Now for those of you reading this to find the fix for this ridiculous issue keep reading it’s at the bottom of the article. Let’s first discuss the problem so we are all on the same page. After running Whirlpools Gold Accubake Micro/Oven Combo in self cleaning mode for the first time I was excited to see how well it cleaned (a hole in the tinfoil caused a meal to leak fat all over the bottom of the oven). So I scrubbed and scraped until only the residue was left and thus entered the nightmare of self cleaning mode.
During that mode the door locks and you cannot use your oven for several hours. After completion the lock releases and you should be able to wipe out the oven and be done. This was not the case for myself, and based on the online research many, many others!
The door lock wouldn’t release, and after several hours of reading posts and struggling through Whirlpools (waste of time) troubleshooting guide, the only thing I managed to learn was that I had multiple faults from E0-F1 through E7-F5. What this told me was that Whirlpool had figured out ‘Every’ way to ‘F*&%’ me 5 times.
I then read that on some models the code that I was pulling meant the wiring harness was loose in the back and the cover needed to be removed. I doubted this was the case since it happened during the self cleaning, but at this point in time what the hell! Next I learned that you cannot remove the panel without opening the oven door to remove two screws, which I obviously couldn’t do since it was the door lock that was not working… am I in the Twilight Zone?
So to no avail I was on my last result, of calling Whirlpool; if you’ve ever dealt with customer service you understand my hesitation here. I wasn’t in the mood to spend an hour on hold being redirected to different departments to finally get tech support that would then ask me to turn off the oven and turn in back on (FYI this is what Dish Network does, can’t wait to be out of my contract there… but I digress). Afterwords I would get scheduled for a technician to come out and billed $300, only to tell me I need a new oven… but they will apply the $300 for a 2.5% discount at purchase.
Now on to the fix!
As a home inspector in Birmingham I’m reasonably familiar with appliances and thought maybe I had enough knowledge to fix the guts of the oven. (as a disclaimer I should tell you under no circumstances should you attempt this. You could void the warranty, damage the oven, or subject yourself to injury or death from electrocution).
As I looked in between the oven and microwave I realized the vent lead to some of the internals. Inside there is a small piston that activates the door lock. Since the oven doesn’t use the lock for anything except cleaning, this was a relatively useless feature. With a metal coat hanger (piece of plastic would be better with the electronics, but be sure you disable the power before you attempt anything,) I was able to easily depress the piston and release the lock.
Since the lock is not used the code immediately reset, with the power being off, and did not come back on. As you have it I have a working oven again for the low price of one coat hanger. I haven’t tried the self cleaning feature since and don’t intend to use it again, but the oven works fine now and saved me a service fee or a new oven. Moral of the story here is don’t buy Whirlpool Gold appliances, normally I would chalk this up to a lemon until I found that so many people had the same issue and Whirlpool did nothing to help. Disappointing too because Whirlpool was a brand I was always fond of prior to this experience.