Tip & How-To about Washing Machines
If the washer won't fill or fills very slowly, if it overfills, or if the water is the wrong temperature, the water inlet valves could be faulty. These components are easy to locate and very easy to replace, at little cost. When you suspect an inlet valve is faulty, first check to make sure the water faucets are fully turned on and properly connected to the hot and cold inlets of the valves. Then check the screens in the valves; if they're clogged, clean or replace them. If water doesn't enter the tub, set the temperature control to the HOT setting. If there is no water, set the control to the WARM setting. If all that comes out is cold water, the hot-water inlet valve is faulty. Reverse the procedure to test the cold-water valve, setting the control first on COLD and then on WARM. If the tub overfills, unplug the washer. If water still flows into the tub, the valve is stuck open. In any of these cases, the valves should probably be replaced. To check the valve assembly:
- Remove the back service panel and disconnect the hot-water and cold-water hoses to the valves.
- Remove the hoses connected to the valves inside the cabinet. Also disconnect the wires from the terminals. Back out the screws holding the valves to the machine. The inlet valves have solenoids (a coil of wire that carries a current) inside the housing. These can be tested, but chances are the valves are simply worn out.
- Tap the solenoids with a screwdriver. If this doesn't work, replace the entire inlet valve assembly. Repairs usually cost more than a new part. Make sure the replacement valve assembly is exactly the same type as the old one. Install it in reverse order of the way you disconnected the old one.
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