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So you are correct that this is definitely not how the unit is supposed to work
Or I should say that it POSSIBLY isn't working as intended.
Let the washer run through a cycle. Here is how it should work. At the end of the rinse cycle, the water drains out with the tub stationary (not spinning). Then everything is still for a minute, then some water pours in, it stops and then some more water pours in.\
The washer should then start draining the water out WITHOUT spinning the tub.
At some point, the washer cuts power to the motor for half a second and that will allow the transmission to engage and start spinning
It doesn't want to spin the tub while there could be water in the tub, so that is why it delays the spin cycle.
Now by opening the lid like you're doing, you're forcing the timer to cut power to the motor which is why it will go in spin
If the timer won't do this on it's own and cut power and the cycle ends without ever going into the spin cycle---you need a new timer
If it does go into spin on it's own, then everything is working properly
I tried the machine on the "normal" cycle without triggering the safety switch (I kept the lid open with a pencil stuck in the switch slot so I could watch) and the spin cycle failed to happen--soggy clothes at the end of the process. I tried again on the "casuals" cycle and the spin cycle worked properly. I could try it on "delicate" but I imagine this is all the information you need.