Thread Number: 36815
A part fell out of my washer door and now it doesn't work
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Post# 547725   10/6/2011 at 08:05 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Hey gang,

Yesterday I was washing several loads in the Frigidaire 2140. When I opened the door to transfer a washed load to the dryer, I heard something metallic fall to and hit the (concrete) floor. At first I thought maybe it was a coin. However, when I loaded the next load of clothes, the washer would not start. The control lights go on, but I don't hear the door look engage and the water fill doesn't start.

On closer inspection, on the ground below the washer door I found a metallic object, about an inch (2.5 cm) long and perhaps 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep and high (i.e 2.5 x 0.6 x 0.6 cm). It is strongly magnetic and adheres to the metal exterior of the washer.

I assume this is some sort of magnetic piece that forms part of the door latch/lock assembly. No way would I have had something inside my pockets like this, and I am positive it fell out of the machine when I first opened the door (before I removed any clothing).

Does anyone have experience with this sort of problem before? I don't think I could do the repair myself, but is this a >$300 repair?? Or something that can be done by a repair service at more moderate cost? Thanks in advance for your answers.

The last load that was washed seemed to wash normally, so I think the machine itself---minus the door---seems to be working fine. I have heard other people here complain about the doors of the 2140 and 2940 not being sufficiently rugged, but I always assumed they meant the door hinges or the old-style square door itself. I had never read anything about the door lock mechanism itself having any special issues.

Post# 547739 , Reply# 1   10/6/2011 at 08:51 (4,447 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

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Door latchs are complex critters these days. A friend of mine had to replace the door latch assembly on her 5-year old 2140. I seem to recall she said she paid about $250.

It sounds like your machine thinks the door is not closed. Can you try opening it up and seeing if you can figure out where that magnetic piece fits on or near the latch? Good luck.

Post# 547741 , Reply# 2   10/6/2011 at 09:02 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

The garage lighting is pretty dim, but I can check the area with a flashlight. When I opened the door, it sort of sounded like a large coin had fallen out of the washer, except it was too loud (because it had fallen from higher than the lower door gasket) and it happened before I removed any clothes, it happened when I opened the door.

If the latch is up in the $250 range, I wonder if it wouldn't be a better move to buy a new 2140---still sold, Best Buy has them for $425. I have the 1442 gas dryer stacked on top of it. That way I would start new while re-using the stacking kit and a compatible dryer that can stack on top. It would be nice to move up to one of the new fuller featured machines, like the 4474, but that would require a new dryer as well since the existing dryer would not stack on top of a 4474. And it's hard to justify paying $1400 for a new pair when a new 2140 would get me back in business for $425.

Yes, I wouldn't mind moving up in technology now, rather than re-using a model design that is close to ten years old, but I'm not a big fan of tossing out a perfectly good dryer, either. One way to justify it would be to get a new 2140, hope it lasts another 5-6 years, and then get a new pair when something major breaks, on the grounds that I got 10-12 years out of the dryer.

A stacked configuration is nice for some people. In my case, it's the only way to have a front loader because I have a bollard in my garage slab directly in front of the washer space. Would block a door from opening, even on a pedestal. So I placed the stack in the dryer space. The downside is that if the washer must be replaced, either you have to find the same/similar model so that the dryer will still stack on the stacking kit, or else you have to buy a new pair so that you have a compatible dryer.

What I like about Frigidaire is that they've kept their new, larger capacity line in 36" high cabinets. I am 5'11" and the dryer door height is perfect for me. A stack of Whirlpool or Electrolux would be 4-5 inches higher, and I'm not sure I'd enjoy having to unload the dryer if it were that much higher off the ground. The taller machines would be great for someone who is 6'4" perhaps.

Post# 547747 , Reply# 3   10/6/2011 at 09:43 (4,447 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
Not sure, but

On mine, there is a magnet in the detergent drawer for a reed switch so the machine doesn't run if the drawer isn't closed tight. And mine is the original style Frigidaire.

Post# 547748 , Reply# 4   10/6/2011 at 09:48 (4,447 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

pierreandreply4's profile picture
well for me and thats just my own tought maybe its a defect in your washer model because door latchs are not supose to fall like this unless you had a lose screw on the latch holding the door of your washer and if you do decide to change your washer i would recomend buying the maytag maxima model well good luck

Post# 547749 , Reply# 5   10/6/2011 at 09:52 (4,447 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
What I do

is go to (or some other parts house website) and enter the model number to get a parts breakdown for that machine. Possibly you can see from that where the piece is from.

Post# 547752 , Reply# 6   10/6/2011 at 10:15 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Usually I pull out the detergent drawer to drain it (I dump out the water into a small pail and lay the drawer out to dry on top of the pail). The magnet may have fallen out when I removed or opened the drawer. I remember pulling out the drawer to reload with detergent for the next load, but I don't remember whether the part fell out when I opened the drawer or when I opened the door. At the time, thinking it was a coin, I didn't pay much attention until the washer would not start. The

Could you possibly post a photo of where the magnet is located on your drawer? I wonder if you may have hit the answer. I know that my washer won't run unless drawer is closed tightly.

The photo below is EXACTLY the part that fell out. Now I just need to know where it fits into the dispenser. Maybe the folks at will be kind enough to advise. If it's just that a magnet fell out, what a lucky break for me.


Post# 547755 , Reply# 7   10/6/2011 at 10:31 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

I called Repair Clinic. Since I have an account there, I logged on to the Help section and explained the problem: magnet fell out, I don't know how/where to reinsert. Supposedly they return e-mails within 48 hours. We'll see. I asked them for a parts breakdown diagram so hopefully I can figure out how to reinsert.

Post# 547775 , Reply# 8   10/6/2011 at 12:10 (4,447 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
hope this helps

Dispenser Drawer Reed Switch
The dispenser drawer reed switch is a safety switch that
prevents the washer from operating in the wash or rinse
cycles with the dispenser drawer open. The switch is
located behind the control panel next to the dispenser
drawer. The electronic control board sends a signal
through the reed switch circuit. When the signal is
interrupted by the contacts of the reed switch being open,
the board prevents the washer from operating.
The reed switch contacts are controlled by the magnetic
field of the magnet located in the front panel of the
dispenser drawer.
When the drawer is closed, the magnet causes the
contacts of the reed switch to close, completing a circuit
in the control board.

Post# 547780 , Reply# 9   10/6/2011 at 12:25 (4,447 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        

I believe this is the underside of the drawer. See the magnet half way down on the left edge?

Post# 547781 , Reply# 10   10/6/2011 at 12:28 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

I just have to figure out WHERE in the front handle of the dispenser the magnet is supposed to fit. Come to think of it, I now recall that I was hearing something rattling around inside the dispenser when I would remove it to dump out the water. Maybe it was the magnet that was loose and rattling around inside. If so, I may have to remove the front handle from the body of the dispenser to see where the magnet fits. If I'm lucky, will send me a parts diagram so I can see where it fits. There are a number of holes in the handle and a loose magnet could have wiggled out of one of those holes.

Post# 547799 , Reply# 11   10/6/2011 at 13:26 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
here's what I received from

It looks as if the bottom panel (part 50) snaps off and then the magnet (part 51) goes on the right side or something. The diagram is very small (I did not shrink it to size) and hard to read, but they did circle part 51 (magnet) in blue.

Post# 547816 , Reply# 12   10/6/2011 at 14:27 (4,447 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I would try moving the magnet around the opening of the dispenser drawer....and see if you hear any clicking where it may be making a link...just to see if you can get the machine going.....

I can't see getting rid of it for only a simple if it was bearings, motor, electronics, that would be another story.......heck, worst the top and twist those wires together, then you won't have to worry about that magnet ever again....

I pulled off the wire on one of mine for the "end of cycle buzzer".....there was no switch to turn it was too loud!

Post# 547817 , Reply# 13   10/6/2011 at 14:29 (4,447 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        

If you determine where it fits, put a dab of silicone sealant/adhesive to glue it in place.

Post# 547819 , Reply# 14   10/6/2011 at 14:40 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

@SteveD thanks for the tip. Do you mean silicone lubricant or silicone sealer/glue? (I assume you mean the latter).

@yogitunes: earlier in the thread, someone posted that door repairs run $250 and up. So I was posting about a new machine on the assumption that the door latch was gone. Then steved posted that his Frigidaire (older model) has a magnet in the drawer, and the piece that fell out of my machine was magnetized. So then I went to and found that the exact same piece is sold for the repair of Frigidaire dispensers, so very quickly it appeared to have been an issue of the magnet slipping out of place on the dispenser. Should be easy to repair, and of course if I can get the machine to work (by reattaching the magnet) I'd keep the machines. I had dropped the dispenser drawer several times over the years when removing it for cleaning, and I'd bet I unknowingly dislodged the magnet. Now I recall that it would rattle (something was moving between the outer handle and the body of the dispenser) and in retrospect it must have been the magnet that came loose. Thank goodness I found it on the floor and immediately recognized that it came from the machine.

Post# 547836 , Reply# 15   10/6/2011 at 15:57 (4,447 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

@steved: thanks for posting the picture. I am at work so I can't check the drawer until tonight. However, if my drawer has the same layout, I'm in luck, it looks pretty easy. Plus it explains how something could have tumbled out to the floor when I opened the drawer.

Post# 547895 , Reply# 16   10/6/2011 at 23:14 (4,446 days old) by nurdlinger (Tucson AZ)        
So is this resolved yet?

nurdlinger's profile picture
I located the magnet in the tray on my KM twin to the BigSquareDoor model Frigidaires. It's tucked inside the front of the drawer (part #48 in the drawing) along the right vertical edge as you look from the front of the tray. (The same side as the number 49 is found on your diagram. The side closest to the dial.) But it's about halfway up the vertical side, against the flat side closest to the dial. There is a little plastic tab which holds it in place, perhaps that tab broke and let your magnet fall out. The picture posted by SteveD is similar but not the same. The location is the same, but the tab to hold in the magnet runs along the long side, instead of two tabs on the ends as in the photo.

I have the Electrolux parts diagram PDF, it's somewhat bigger than the one from the parts place. It is also misleading, in that it seems to show that the magnet fits sideways along part #51, when actually it is #48 as I mentioned above. I can E-mail if you wish, or you can fetch it yourself, the filename is 5995430336.pdf. I'm blanking on the URL for the site, however.

I can take some pictures if you wish, but I'm sleepy right now and so I won't do that unless asked. If the tab is gone, I thinkt the idea of holding it in place with silicone sealant would work. Good luck

Post# 547907 , Reply# 17   10/7/2011 at 00:00 (4,446 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
It's working again!!

I found the slot for the magnet, thanks to the photos posted and also thanks to nurdlinger's description. The tab wasn't broken, I don't know how the magnet got out but it did (I dropped the dispenser a few times), and when I slipped it into the slot, the tab held it firmly in place. The washer started up normally and is now washing a full load of perm press.

Thanks everyone!!

Post# 547959 , Reply# 18   10/7/2011 at 09:19 (4,446 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

golittlesport's profile picture
Glad it was an easy fix.

Post# 547964 , Reply# 19   10/7/2011 at 10:12 (4,446 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
My toughts after 10 years of use for a washer

pierreandreply4's profile picture
sometime i wonder why after 10 years of use for a washer why pepole would prefer to repair them rather than replace them me in my case when my washer break i prfer to spend some money for a new washer dryer set rather than have them repair but this is just my toughts on this right now i have a set thats nearing the end of its lifetime use since its the 8 year i am using this set and i know for a fact that when i replace them i will be going back to a good old fashion top load washer with agitator and it will mostly be a rebadge whirlpool this model to be precise with the matching dryer and i for 1 thing do not need all these fancy complicated cycles or a heater in a washer this is my 2 cents in this matter but congratulation that you where able to do this easy repair.

Post# 547984 , Reply# 20   10/7/2011 at 13:43 (4,446 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

I appreciate your point. My machines are 6 1/2 years old. Also, they are in a stacked configuration, which is the only possible configuration for me due to a bollard (concrete filled pipe, required by local law) which sits directly in front of the washer space: it would block a FL door, even on a pedestal. As a result, there were two options should the repair not have been so easy (or free, in this case, since I found the missing part):

1. Buy a new 2140 or 2940 (latter are hard to find; 2140 still sold at Best Buy and Lowes) and swap it out. In my area, you can get a 2140 for $425. It no longer qualifies for gas and water rebates because it is no longer considered economical compared to newer models. So I wouldn't be able to move up in terms of technology. The 2940 has two features I would like to have, namely ATC and variable delay start, and the stacking kit from the 2140 would fit on it, but the 2940 is now very difficult to find.

2. Buy an entirely new set. Cost $1400-2000 or more. The existing dryer would fit only on a stacking fit for the 2140/2940. Newer models have deeper cabinets and the existing dryer would not stack on top.

Fortunately, I found the part that fell on the floor (free) and received great advice from people on this forum plus from The washer works good as new and at no cost.

Post# 547986 , Reply# 21   10/7/2011 at 14:01 (4,446 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

It seems that every year newer washers and dryers are being made more cheaply and are less likely to last as long as the set you have now. Plus with the Energy Star ratings demanding less and less water every year it is much more desirable to keep what you have and repair it, especially if it is a cheap repair.

Post# 547989 , Reply# 22   10/7/2011 at 14:12 (4,446 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

You can't get much cheaper than free!! ;) And I agree, my little mishap was not a matter of cheap construction. It was a matter of my clumsiness and having dropped the dispenser drawer a few times on the floor. Typically I remove and drain it at the end of a wash day, because quite a lot of water accumulates inside and is subject to mold issues if not drained and dried.

I wouldn't mind something larger (I can't wash a king size comforter, and queen size is marginal), something with ATC, and something with variable delay---a feature I really like and would use more if I had something more flexible than the 2140's fixed eight hours or nothing delay. Lack of ATC on 2140 keeps me from using cold water wash, since ground water here is too cool except for a month or two in late summer. But I'd only replace the present washer if something broke that required a very expensive repair (say, more than half of replacement cost). Even then, a replacement for me would entail a new dryer as well because of the stacking issue.

Post# 547996 , Reply# 23   10/7/2011 at 14:38 (4,446 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        

Why spend the money for a new set if you don't have to?

Post# 548000 , Reply# 24   10/7/2011 at 14:48 (4,446 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

the German in me (100% on both sides of the family) agrees... ;)

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