Will my self-cleaned oven be forever locked?
December 8, 2010 11:40 AM   Subscribe

I ran the self-cleaning cycle on my Whirlpool Cleantop oven. It finished successfully, and now the next day, the door is staying locked. Help?

We've never run the self-clean on this oven, new to us but not the house. Once we did, the door stayed locked.

If I set everything to "clean" again and start to move the lever back to "locked," it will automatically set the timer for the cycle, but I can't move that lever all the way to "locked."

Prying the door open a wee bit to get a look, I can see that what looks like the locking mechanism is still engaged.

I've googled around and read that resetting the oven by powering it off sometimes works. I hit the breaker and left it for a few, but when I powered it back up, nada.

Anyone have any experience with this, and how it might be remedied without the use of a repairman yet leaving me with a working oven? I frankly don't care if the self-clean works ever again, I just need to do some cookin when the WHOLE family is here for xmas (naturally.)
posted by nevercalm to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
I was going to say power off and on, but I see that you've tried it. Does the door open far enough to get something small in there to try and release the latch? On our Bosch oven it's just a flat piece of steel with a hook on the end. That hooks around a pin.
posted by fixedgear at 11:44 AM on December 8, 2010

As a safety feature, the door should stay locked until the oven has cooled off after the cleaning cycle ends, since the oven cleans by reaching extremely high temperatures. If the oven is cold and it hasn't unlocked yet then something might have become warped in the latch mechanism. Try jiggling and shaking the door. A sharp bang or two near the latch with the side of your fist could also be worth a try.
posted by longsleeves at 11:54 AM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: I was able to get a coat hangar in there, from both sides, and couldn't budge it either way. I didn't think to watch how the catch engages, so I'm not sure if this is a hook-and-pin thing as well. I'm looking for the book now.

Tried jiggling and the sharp bang, nada. I'm actually thinking of trying to unhinge the door from the bottom, but I'd like to ferret out the book or a pdf first....
posted by nevercalm at 12:06 PM on December 8, 2010

Set the self-clean cycle again and only allow it to work for 15 minutes. Cancel the self-clean cycle and allow the oven to cool. Gently try moving the door lock lever (is so equipped) or opening the door. source
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:11 PM on December 8, 2010

Best answer: Also, a whirlpool forum indicated power off/on. When power is on, press cancel, wait 20-30 seconds. That's the normal procedure for a latch reset.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:14 PM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: I tried the off/on and cancel for 30 secs. After that time, the stove beeps twice and the screen reads " -F2- ". If I press any other buttons, it just beeps and does nothing. Both "Enter" and "Cancel" return me to the clock with no results.

I'm running the self-clean now, I'll cancel in a few minutes.

Also, it appears that the lock swings out from the unit and hooks into the door. I can actually see the end of the hook through a grille on the top of the front of the door, and was able to get the end of a hangar through the hook, but I couldn't budge it worth a damn.
posted by nevercalm at 12:28 PM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: OK, oven's cool, no dice. Tried the powering off reset thing again, no dice. I can also report that glaring at it while eating frozen Girl Scouts' Thin Mint cookies is not working, either.

Any other ideas?
posted by nevercalm at 2:13 PM on December 8, 2010

Have you considered calling Whirlpool? They publish a phone number here; I don't know if it's tech support but they can probably tell you how to reach tech support if it isn't. I've had much better luck with appliance support than with computer.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:17 PM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: I was trying to avoid the repair bill, and it seemed like a bunch of people had had luck fixing this themselves. But googling the F2 error code seems to indicate that a sensor is blown, so it looks like I'm going to have to call anyway.
posted by nevercalm at 2:21 PM on December 8, 2010

Try Samoas or the peanut butter ones and can you open the top of the oven to get a closer look at the lock and pry it from there?

This did happen to me once; it was a blown fuse. And Oreos.
posted by dzaz at 2:22 PM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: Ohhhhh Samoas....that's gotta be the ticket....

Unfortunately, it looks like the top is secured by hardware that's inaccessible unless....I can open the oven door.
posted by nevercalm at 4:06 PM on December 8, 2010

Best answer: Disclaimer: I work for a major appliance manufacturer that is a competitor of Whirlpool.

Here's what we recommend:

You don't say how old your oven is, so I don't know if you have the old-fashioned mechanical latch or the electronic-driven ones.

On models with mechanical latches, make sure the oven has cooled down (wait 30 or more minutes) and then try to unlock it. On some stoves, the oven Set and Temperature knobs must have those knobs set in the Clean position before the latch can be moved to the left. If your door won't unlock, try turning those knobs back to Clean, then slide the latch over.

On models with electric latches...well, I see you've already tried shutting off power, and running another self-clean cycle.

The -F2- code on the ovens we make indicates that the oven temperature sensor shows the oven temperature has exceeded a preset threshold. Given that we source our electronic control boards from the same place Whirlpool does, I'd bet money that it means the same thing. In other words, your stove thinks that the oven has gotten too hot for too long, and shut the door so that you won't hurt yourself (a self-clean oven heats up to 800 degrees to burn away the soil, hence the need to lock the door).

Whenever an electronic control displays a fault code (an F* code) on our stoves, that means you've got a problem that is not do-it-yourself repairable. A repairman should be called to diagnose and correct the problem.

Under no circumstances should you ever force the door or latch open. On our stoves, the hardware is specifically made to be inaccessible because we just cannot have any crazy person opening an 800 degree oven. If you try to brute-force your way in there, you're probably going to wind up with a door you can't close, and at that point you'll just want to go ahead and buy a new stove
posted by magstheaxe at 6:51 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: Well, ok. Finally found the appropriate manual (cmon, Whirlpool, put your model numbers somewhere on the damned appliance!) and the F2 error basically deals with the entire sensor system, which is really not user-serviceable without an array of testers to ferret out the trouble. So, repairman. Oh well. Thanks all!
posted by nevercalm at 8:22 AM on December 11, 2010

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