Question about Washing Machines
This advice is for a washer that fills and will not shut off, resulting in an overflow. Or, water is leaking from the washer while filling. The symptoms can apply to either a TOP LOADER or FRONT LOADER washer. This may be able to save you from an expensive service call by making these simple visual checks.
Water Does Not Shut Off and Overflows: The water level in a washer is controlled by the Pressure Switch. The switch is usually cylindrical in shape and has an electrical connection and an air hose attached. In many cases, the small air hose comes loose from the Pressure Switch fitting and/or falls off. This air hose is required to detect the air pressure from the wash tub as tub fills. With no air pressure, the switch will not function and the result will be a wash tub that fills continuously to the point of overflowing. The same would be true, if the air hose has any cracks, splits or holes in it.
Water Leaking While Filling: The other end of this hose runs to the air dome fitting on the side of the wash tub. If the lower end of the hose comes off, the water will begin to spill onto the floor under the washer, but the tub will not fill.
What to Look For: Check for the obvious. Make sure the air hose is still attached to the pressure switch and air dome. Then, inspect the entire length of the hose, paying particular attention to areas where chaffing may occur and at the points where the hose connects to the pressure switch and air dome. Vibrations from the washer can cause some wear if the hose is rubbing against anything, and the ends of the hose can stretch over time and not seal properly.
On most top loaders the Pressure Switch is located inside the operator console behind the knob that controls the water level. This knob is commonly referred to as the "Load Level", "Load Size" or "Water Level". On front loader washers the pressure switch location is usually located in the back of the washer behind the wash tub, or along the interior cabinet wall adjacent to the wash tub.
How to Correct: If the hose has slipped off, cut about ½" off the end of the hose and reattach to the pressure switch and/or air dome fitting. Take a small zip tie and place it around the hose at the point where it connects to the fitting. DO NOT over tighten as this can damage the air hose fitting. Just make the zip tie snug enough to keep the air hose from sliding off. If the hose has any cracks or holes, you can attempt to seal them by using electrical tape. Replacement tubing can be purchased at any hardware store.
NOTE: This is not an all inclusive fix, as the Pressure Switch can fail in some cases and cause similar symptoms. This is merely a preliminary check for a common occurrence that I have discovered. It can give symptoms of a major problem, resulting in a call for a repairman, only to turn out to be a simple fix that any Do-It-Yourselfer should be able to check and correct themselves. I hope this information is found to be helpful and saves many of you a future service call.
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Posted on Sep 15, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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