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Fixing a Kenmore Series 80 Washing Machine Lid Switch

July 8th, 2009 by Pavlina

I think the title says it all. :)

Now, I am not really Mrs. Fix-it, but when things break….

When I was in Seattle, what, almost a month ago now! The washing machine “would not drain”. Okay…so Jason went home and reported back to me it was the lid switch. It had gone bad, but if you put in a bit of paper or something and wiggled it just so, the problem was solved. Me, I didn’t care one way or the other, honestly. I don’t do laundry at the house, Jason does and Aubrey usually does the kid’s. Problem was, when Jason went away and I had to do some laundry. I broke the silly jury-rigged thing ASAP. Oh damn, now I had a washing machine tub full of disgusting wash water and towels. Grrrrrrr. I tried to fiddle with the lid switch and a rolled up bit of paper to no avail. The darned thing was BROKEN.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should also say the following. We have a newer washing machine/dryer in the garage. I thought it was way too much weight for me and Jason to move alone so I hemmed and hawed my way of out moving the new set in, so the lid switch was never “fixed”. I then tried to Freecycle it, hoping that the Freecycler would help me move the new set into the house and take the old ones away. The moderators at Freecycle wouldn’t let me post the bit about the help as that violated the “no string attached” rule, and apparently folks around here have it too good, as nobody wanted a perfectly good washing machine minus a working lid switch.

I Googled how to fix a lid switch, etc. It seemed an easy repair. I got the model number off the machine, put that into the Sears repair site and found the lid switch. Yup, that looked like the part I needed, It cost around 35 small ones. I looked up directions for replacing the lid switch. I went to two Sears on two consecutive days to secure the needed part. The first day, the Sears did not have the part in stock, but could order it for me. It would take a week. A week? I had a tub full of nasty towels! (Did I neglect to mention that I had removed the sodden towels and I don’t know how many gallons of water from the tub by hand?) So I got the location of another Sears that had the part. Since I had a “free night” I decided that I would disassemble the machine and that way when I got the part the next evening, I could just “pop” it in. Right.

I followed the directions I found on this post: Kenmore 80 series lid switch. The post has sentences in it like:

First of all, unplug your washer. You will need to remove the console in order to get to the lid switch. I believe your washer has release tabs under the console at each front corner. Simply slide a putty knife straight in from the front at each corner and push in while lifting up. You should feel the release tabs push in and the console will pop up. Or, you may have a console that has removable end caps. They can be removed by gently prying up on the top of them from the rear on each side. You may have to use a small screwdriver for this. The caps should pop right off. Once removed, you will need to loosen a screw under each cap. Once you have the console loosned, carefully lift it up and lay it back over the rear panel of the washer in its resting position. Be careful not to damage the small plastic hinges that hold it in place. Now you will need to perform the following steps:

1. Under the console you will find the lid switch connector. Unplug the switch from the connector.

2. There will be two brass colored clips. You will need to remove these to remove the machine casing. Place a flat blade screwdriver straight down into the opening on top of the washer and into the groove of the clip. Push the screwdriver away from you while holding into the groove and the clip will release.

Okay, very good. My washer ended up having the end caps, but they really didn’t look the way I expected them to.


Those are the screws under the caps you must unscrew to remove the console, or the part of the machine that has all the knobs and whatnot on it. Or, and I could never find a “resting” place for said console. I had to prop it up with a smallish fabric softener bottle once I had it loose. The next step of unplugging the lid switch is very easy, there is only one connection to unplug.

Brass clips

You can see it in this photo quite well. Oh, those are the brass clips the instructions are referring too. This was where I threw the towel in, as it was late, I was tired and could not figure out what brass clips they were talking about! But then inspiration struck! Searching YouTube I came across this video…

I saw those big clips were indeed the clips I was looking for, so I went back in, popped them off, then lifted the cabinet up and off! I had to move the smallish fabric softened bottle to do this. :) Then I called it a night.

Next day, I got the new part in my hot little hands. I had my two little helpers this time. So I pulled the entire cabinet up and off, then looked where the old lid switch was snuggled up into it.

Old switch in place

I unscrewed the grounding screw, unclamped the two areas where it was clamped, you can just see one of them in the photo, and took the old, broken one out.

broken lid switch

You can see the printed out directions :) and I am holding up the defective part.

Broken lid switch

If you compare the two photos you can see how droopy it is? FAIL! SO I put the grounding screw of the new working part it, clipped the parts that needed clipping. There are also two screws that hold the lid switch in place. All the while, my two little helpers were awesome! They held the cabinet up so I could do all this (our laundry room is tiny!), then I put the cabinet back in place, clipped the connection back in place, put the brass clips back in and the cabinet was back on! Here is a once photo of the lid switch in place.

Fixed lid switch

Then I put the console back on, replaced the end caps, plugged it back in (important) and ran a short test cycle.

It works!

We did it!

The washer is fixed!

I think the kids were just happy that mommy was so happy.

This was very very very easy to do. My goodness, was it ever easy. Hope this helps!

Edit: Did you find this helpful? I really hope you did. Drop me a note if you did, thanks!

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74 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Doug R Jul 8, 2009 at 11:32 am

    The interwebs are a wonderful resource and repository of knowledge ! Whatever did we do without them ??? Way to go.

  • 2 Air Jul 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    *hugs to those kids*
    When are you coming to Vancouver?

  • 3 Pavlina Jul 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

    mmm, I would love to visit you and KA in Vancouver!

  • 4 Pavlina Jul 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Power to the people!

  • 5 Pavlina Jul 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

    If you find this post helpful, drop me a note! If you think it was worthless, let me know!

  • 6 Jeff Aug 4, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    This post just saved me hours of cursing and sweaty anger. Thanks!

  • 7 Annette Rostad Aug 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    YOU ROCK!!!! i had diagnosed the washing maching issue and got the part – got my ex to help replace it though as had to take the louvered doors down to take it apart. this site was an absolute saving grace!!! thanks so much!

  • 8 Larry Aug 28, 2009 at 1:14 am

    I have the same washer. Did your washer keep tripping a breaker? Mine does, I even tried another separate outlet. I am not sure what part to replace since the plug cord keeps getting hot.

    Thanks, Larry

  • 9 Pavlina Aug 28, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Larry: I would say it is most likely the plug itself that needs replacing. I’ll be willing to bet it also has a part and is easy to replace. If not the plug, the next thing would be the power supply itself and that sits up in the console unit. Feel free to email me if you want to discuss this more!

  • 10 David Aug 30, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I am having a hard time getting the clips back in, was there a trick?

  • 11 Pavlina Aug 30, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Muscle! I know my clips were a bit sticky from laundry detergent. I really had to lean in on one to get it to “pop” back in. I hope that helps.

  • 12 Wanda Baker Sep 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    With so many things breaking in my house I have tried to fix many thing. Now the lid switch is out, I hope I can get this done. SIngle mom on a tight budget with a 40yr old home. Thanks for the info.

  • 13 alice Oct 7, 2009 at 12:23 am

    That was awesome help! My husband and I were struggling, trying to get to the switch from below, and we were ripping our hands up. That video embedded saved us, and saved a lot of colorful language! Thank you so much!

  • 14 Jeanne and Les Oct 19, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    This was very helpful to me and my husband. We did not know how to get the washing machine apart, now we do. To make matters even better, the part did not need to be replaced. My husband realized that the existing one came apart probably from the lid slamming down on occasion. He just snapped it together and put electric tape on it to make sure it didn’t happen again, reinstalled it, put the machine back together and it works.
    like a charm.

    Thanks again for the help, we couldn’t have done it otherwise.

    Jeanne and Les

  • 15 BT Nov 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Great pix and great help. Looks like these things break all the time. Go to eBay and get the part instead of Sears. Less wait time and about 25% the cost. Thanks again!
    - B

  • 16 Trevor Dec 3, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks for your help! Excellent Citizenry!

  • 17 Patrick Dec 27, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Awesome–thanks for this blog post. Also thanks to Jeanne and Les–following their suggestion, I used copious amounts of electrician tape to hold the unit together and it works great!

  • 18 Eric Wendle Jan 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    THANKS for putting these instructions together. You are a life saver!!!

  • 19 Christine May 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Okay, so finding this just made me so happy! Everything else I have come across has been black and white drawing/diagrams! We’ll see how things go tomorrow after I pick up the part. I’ll let you know how it goes…thank you…


    Broke single mom trying to do household repairs herself…

  • 20 Christine May 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Okay, so I went to the local Sears parts store (had to drive about 40 mins to get one in stock), brought it home and it sat on my counter for 2 days. I opened the part, started the task at hand…about 30 mins later…I heard the wonderful sound of a spinning washer! I washed 4 loads of laundry this afternoon. Woo hoo.

  • 21 Michael May 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you very much !!! Saved me from buying a new washer !!!

  • 22 Pal Jun 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks a lot for the detailed instructions and video. We had the same problem and fixed it ourselves saving hundreds in repair bills. My switch mechanism had a loose chassis which we taped up, allowing the spring to work properly. It may be a temporary fix but we saved 30$ for a new switch.

  • 23 sd Jun 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    thanks for your help. i really owe you something. i never done any repair work but your instructions helped me to fix my machine. so relieved. thanks a bunch!

  • 24 Neil Sep 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Like others, turned out we had a loose chassis on the lid switch which we secured with some cable ties. Zero cost – thanks for the helpful instructions! Sears wanted $129 just to look at the thing.

  • 25 Torie Sep 13, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Hey – Thanks! This helped so much. The hardest part for me was putting the cabinet back on, but even with that the whole job took less than an hour.

  • 26 Dina Sep 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

    i have to thank you for the video and share my experience. I have a fairly new (4yrs) whirlpool washer that always fills with water but for the last year has needed “encouragement” to continue the cycle. I called for repair last year and he came twice. Once to replace the timer and another for some part I dont’ remember. But it didn’t work so I refused to pay him. My kids showed me that if they invert (concave) the lid it would usually work. Sometimes they hit it a few times. I know…wrong. So after it stopped on me two days ago I thought that’s it…time to buy a washer. But then I saw this post and have to tell you it is even easier with my newer washer. Under the frame holds a simple mechanism on the left hand side- a bar swings from the lid and it was not aligned. I clicked it back in place, put the frame and console back on and am now listening to the wonderful sound of the water swooshing out! Tell my why the repair man didn’t listen to us when we told him that concaving the lid sometimes fixed the problem? no parts needed. no time wasted.

  • 27 Maurizio Sep 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. I had the exact same problem and fixed it following your steps.

    The problem with mine was the lid switch assembly broke apart (at the hinges). I had to just secure the assembly back together and it all worked fine.


  • 28 Nora Henson Sep 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Thank you so much for your video. I had tried to contact sears and other websites and they wanted to get back to me in 72 hours. With the help of a friend and your video we were able to replace the Lid assembly in about 30 minutes. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!!!

  • 29 Victoria Sep 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you for the picture of the brass clips at the end. I got the whole thing back together but couldn’t remember how the clips went in. So I looked for another website with pictures – found yours and voila! a perfect diagram of how they went back. You and the others who posted directions and made it sound so easy are God sends all.

  • 30 JR Oct 6, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation and photos. I couldn’t get the part locally so I decided to take it apart just to be sure I knew what i was doing. Just like Pal22, the plastic casing on the switch was separating so with a strip of duct tape (making sure not to tape the swivel of the switch) I taped it back up tight and the click of the switch was back. Quickly back together and it’s spinning away. Next time I’ll order the switch and will have the project done in under 20 minutes thanks to you.

  • 31 Rich Oct 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    You are a godsent!
    Thanks for taking the time to help other people in the world of do-it-yourself.
    Your instructions worked like a charm!

  • 32 shelley Oct 26, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I am having a really hard time putting 1 of the clamps back on….any help will be great! It just won’t stay!

  • 33 CC Oct 28, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Thanks! VERY HELPFUL!!

  • 34 Pavlina Nov 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Sorry for the looong delay! You probably figured it out by now. I had to use a screwdriver and a rubber mallet and I just kinda pounded them back in. Hope that helps someone else! :)

  • 35 THills Jan 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Thanks for the tips. I can cut through the chase and fix the problem now because of this information being available.

    Good job!

  • 36 Amy Feb 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you for posting this. It helped me a lot!

  • 37 JC Feb 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks so much for including the pictures with the instructions-that really helped me-I am a visual person and could not have figured it out without the pics. I actually successfully fixed my washer and I am notorious for not being able to put together anything at all without a huge struggle. So your post was of tremendous value to me. You are the BEST!

  • 38 shannon Feb 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

    please do not delete this blog. i am ordering my part right now and will use your blog as my guid. thanks so much…im a single mom and really cant spend $100+ for a service call and it does look super easy! THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER!!!!

  • 39 Jackie Payne Apr 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Great descriptions, getting ready to attempt it myself…but did you empty your washer of as much water as possible before you started this? Im afraid to take outside of washer off with it full of water?

  • 40 Pavlina Apr 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Yes, you really should empty the tub of water. It doesn’t need to be bone dry, but I would recommend the bulk of the water gone. :)

  • 41 Robin L Jun 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    This was such a tremendous help. Thank you so much. I checked the part # through Sears and then found that Amazon had it. Total cost was a little over $10 including the shipping. How cool it that. My hubby (who is NOT a handyman at all) and I followed your instructions and replaced it this AM. The only hard part was that now I have to do a bunch of laundry! Thanks again.

  • 42 nina sheth Jun 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks. That was a big help. Your 2 helpers are the cutest.

  • 43 DDMamora Jul 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Thanks. You’re a beautiful person!

  • 44 Mike Jul 17, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Thank you so much for your terrific post. Did you think you’d still be making a difference with this two years later? We actually had an appointment with an appliance repair person for Monday. After we read this page, we cancelled the appointment, ordered the part on Amazon, and completed the repair, and it’s still only Saturday night! So you saved us two days and probably $200. Thanks again!

  • 45 d.leigh Jul 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    that was awesome thank you very much for the how to get things using normal language and available resourses

  • 46 d.leigh Jul 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    that was awesome thank you very much for the how to get things done using normal language and available resourses

  • 47 sarah Jul 23, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Very helpful. My problem exactly and now I know what to do. Thanks.

  • 48 Dave S Aug 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Checked a dozen other websites that had me using a putty knife, etc. Without your site I would still be scratching my head, wondering who I was going to get to replace this stupid little part. Now I can do it myself without getting “the look”. Can’t thank you enough.

  • 49 Joanfar Aug 14, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Very very helpful! It always amazes me that direcitons assume we know what the parts are or where the parts are. That video was the best! Thank you so much for helping! No more $200 house calls from the appliance repairman!

  • 50 Tony Aug 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    THank you so much for sharing. I’ll be working on my washer this weekend. That picture of your kids is precious.

  • 51 SavedBig Nov 13, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for this article. It was invaluable and saved me literally hundereds of dollars as I was considering either replacing my washing machine altogether or calling a repairman out. I purchased the lid switch for under $40 and had my machine working like new in less than an hour (with the help of my two kids also). Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

  • 52 SuperfluousMan Nov 13, 2011 at 1:45 am

    My problem was the glue on the switch failed. Top and bottom are spring loaded and separated. When I hold it together by hand, it works. If they used a 10 cent screw instead of glue, and parts made of metal instead of plastic, this wouldn’t happen. I’m sure the manufacturer knows this! Also noticed that the Sears owners manual gives NO hint on how to remove the top.

  • 53 PJM Nov 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Awesome stuff. Saved me a lot of money. If only I could get the housing back on correctly. :-P

  • 54 Ryan L Dec 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    WOW, Thank you SO much for this!!!!!! we just moved into our new home and inherited a Kenmore washer that just went on the fritz and you just saved me about $150 for a service call. Thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!

  • 55 Debs11087 Jan 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    You certainly helped me out! I was going crazy trying to take the back of the machine off. You made it so easy. Now if I could only get the cabinet back on correctly :)

  • 56 D. Clawson Jan 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks so much for adding pictures!. I had originally clicked on a different set of instructions and they talked about the first 2 screws I was already pulling my hair out because they didn’t mention anything about the end caps! I followed your instructions and watched the video you posted and it was easy-peasy. Now I just have to get the part.

  • 57 Nicole Feb 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I love you! I fixed this in 30 minutes, thanks to you! Now, if you tell me how to clean the air vent duct that goes from my dryer up through the roof, which seems to be clogged with lint, I will have to propose… :D
    This was a great help, and I am very proud of myself for having accomplished this repair.
    Thanks again!
    Sunny greetings from Arizona!
    Nicole ;)

  • 58 Nancy Mar 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    A GREAT help! Thanks so much. This was as easy as you said and you did a great job of step by step instructions.

  • 59 Ben Mason Mar 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks this is the second time I replaced something on an appliance. First was a dryer belt. I cant wait to tell the repair person who I called yesterday that I did it myself because I could not wait for a return call.

  • 60 Paul Mar 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to help others.

  • 61 jaci Apr 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Hooray! Hooray! This is just what I was looking for!! I don’t think I even need to purchase a new part, really, it seems that the screws that held the starter in place became loose and it finally fell apart (i had jerry-rigged it like your son did above until this occurred and that no longer worked… heh…) . But the parts fell ‘down’ into the side of the machine, of course. So this is great! Thank you for taking the time to submit it. : )

  • 62 Bob May 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I haven’t tried it yet but your video just gave me the extra confidence needed. Thanks

  • 63 jennifer copeland May 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Thanks for the description on this subject! It was one of the ONLY ones that I could make heads or tails of:) Guys forget that us women aren’t used to all the lingo/terms they use;) This made me look SUPER intelligent in front of my parents, and made the job a WHOLE LOT easier:) ThANKS AGAIN.

  • 64 jane Jun 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    THANK YOU for posting this. I need to change my switch too and your instructions are most helpful. I ordered the wrong part the first time and need to wait until correct part comes in. I hope it fixes my washer.

  • 65 Stan Aug 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I just did the very same thing today. I searched around, found youtube videos and ordered the part on Amazon (since the nearest sears was 40mins away)
    Thank you for posting it on your blog and including that hilarious pic of the kids! lol

    check out my blog too!!

  • 66 Bob Aug 30, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for the help! I have the same washer and had the same problem, but I followed these steps and fixed the old switch (glued it back together and braced it) and it works again! Thank you!

  • 67 Stephanie Nov 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I found your post after googling an image search for “lid switch washing machine”. I know mine is the problem because the plastic casing the screws go into to hold it in place broke off so once I had the name of it, that part was easy. Your blog post encourages me to fix it myself – I’m a single mother with a touchy landlord and having to deal with the “How did you break it?!’ interrogation isn’t worth saving $40. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • 68 Scott Jan 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Do you have a part number for the lid switch for the series 80 washer???? I am out of town and I would like to order it.

  • 69 Peggy Jun 5, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for this post. I fixed my washer in less than an hour and was back in business.

  • 70 Travis Aug 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you so much for your post, this information saved me big money. I ordered the part off eBay for $5.32. Once it got here it only took me 20 mins to put everything back together.

  • 71 Connie Sep 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you I did not know if I should attempt this but now I know I can!! Thanks

  • 72 Steve B Feb 24, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Well, here I am . . . nearly 5 years later . . . and just as happy as all others who have posted! All went well tonight except that I broke the plastic casing trying to lift the console with a putty knife. Didn’t have the sense to pull the end caps off first. Super glue doesn’t work very well on plastic, but I’ll figure something out – duct tape maybe.

  • 73 Barbara May 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks much ! I was able to diagnose my w.m.’s problem and now… do I have the nerve to replace the switch myself…???? Stay tuned……

  • 74 George Bickmore Jun 6, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Very good article. Had parts person play a game and would not tell me the secret to finding front screws to open the console. I looked a long time before I saw your article. Not wanting to pry things I had done a lot of work and might have replaced the door switch without removing the top of the machine, but since I knew it could come off I had to try it. Finding those screws was ugh!.

    After I found them it was a piece of cake and changing out the lid switch was easy. Thanks for leaving something behind from your experience. No washer is safe now.