How To Repair A Washer That Won't Fill - Washing Machine Repair
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How To Fix A Washer That's Not Filling With Water

About this repair:

  • Rated as EASY
  • 1417 repair stories
  • 6 step by step videos

Inlet Hoses & Screens

The fill hoses for your washer hook up to the main water supply for your house. They’re about four or five feet long and attach to the back of the machine at the water inlet valve. If your washer if not filling, start by making sure the faucet at the water-supply end of the hose is turned on. Next, inspect your hoses for crimps or kinks. Then close the water supply faucet, unthread the hoses and take out the small filtering screen at the water-supply end of the hose. Check the screen for dirt or wear, and replace if need be. Thread the hoses back onto the water supply. Now remove the other end of the hoses from the back of the washer, place the ends in the washer’s tub or in a bucket, and turn the faucets on to check the water pressure. If you have un-kinked hoses that are tightly attached and with clean screens, and you have good water pressure, the next place to check for a water-filling problem is the water inlet valve.

Water Inlet Valve

Water comes into your washing machine for the wash and rinse cycles through the water inlet valve. So a lack of water at the wash or rinse cycle could be a result of a broken water inlet valve. Unplug the washer, then use a multi-meter to verify that the solenoids to open the valve have continuity. It’s usually not possible to buy only the solenoids, so if yours fail the continuity test, you will probably need a whole new valve. If your washer passes these tests then the next step is to call in a service technician to measure the voltage coming into the solenoids when the cycle of the washer is on fill. Perhaps there is no voltage coming into the valve, which means the electrical process is being halted somewhere else in the machine, like the water level switch, the timer, the lid switch or the cycle selector switch.

Lid Switch

On some washers, an open-lid signal will keep the water inlet valve from opening to let your washer fill. This safety feature is crucial to preventing serious injuries, and you ought not to bypass it. If your water inlet valve isn’t receiving power, and your model has a connection between the lid switch and the water valve, it’s a good idea to check the lid switch. Start by finding the lid switch, which is normally located beneath the main top. A pin or lever attached to the lid will activate the switch when the lid is closed. Unplug the washer and see if the switch is tripped by a lever or actuator when the lid shuts. Remove the wires from the switch and use your multi-meter to check for electrical continuity. If the switch is not supplying power to the water inlet valve then you will want to replace it. If the switch has continuity after all, then you’ll need to check the timer, and the rest of the components in this section, to pinpoint the problem.

Selector Switch & Water Temperature Switch

If your model of washer allows you to select the temperature for water of the wash and rinse cycles, the selector switch is one of the components that is signaling to the water inlet valve to open the hot and cold water inlets to fill the machine. If the solenoids on your water inlet valve aren’t powered, it is possible that the temperature selector switch has gotten damaged or worn out. To test, unplug your washer, use the wiring schematic for your model to identify the terminals on the selector switch that power the water inlet valve, and test those terminals for continuity with your multi-meter.

Water Level Pressure Switch

Sometimes a defect in the device used to measure the water level can cause your tub to remain empty during the fill cycle. The circuit that controls the water inlet valve includes a water level pressure switch. A flaw in the switch could mean that the water inlet valve doesn’t get turned on. Start your diagnosis by unplugging the washer and finding the water level pressure switch behind the control panel. It’s connected to an air dome tube running down to the tub. Check this water level switch for continuity with your multi-meter, finding the correct terminals with the wiring schematic for your model of washer. If yours is an electronically controlled washer, the water level switch could be under the tub in the neighborhood of the sump.

Timer & Electronic Control

The water inlet valve opens to allow water into your washer when it receives an electrical signal from the timer, or electronic control. The timer consists of an array of electrical contacts run by a cam assembly, itself in turn powered by a timer motor. The contacts in the timer send power to the circuit responsible for filling the tub. Unplug the washer, use your model’s wiring schematic to find the terminals in the timer that control the water inlet valve, and use your multi-meter to check them for continuity. If your washer features electronic controls, the circuitry responsible for opening the water inlet valve has to be checked by a service technician because the test involves live voltage.

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