Washing Machine Not Filling with Enough Water

We all dread doing laundry. Oftentimes it’s just another thing we have to take care of. But nothing makes it more stressful than your washing machine not working properly. This guide is specifically for anyone whose washing machine isn’t filling with enough water. The good news is it’s an easy fix.

Check Your Water Supply Faucet

The best place to start is with your washer’s hose—specifically, the water supply end of the faucet. These fill hoses are connected to your home’s main water supply and can be found coiled behind your washer.

If you are worried your water supply faucet is to blame, simply:

  1. Check that the water supply end of the faucet is turned on.
  2. Check the hose over for dents, kinks, or other irregularities. These can easily block water from getting into your washer.
  3. Close the faucet back up, uncoil the hoses, and remove the filter screen at the end of the water supply faucet.
  4. Check the screen for damages, and replace immediately if the screen is worn or scratched.
  5. Reassemble your washer.
  6. Turn the water supply faucet to check water pressure.

Check the Water Inlet Valve

Another common issue with filling washing machines is the water inlet valve. Your water inlet valve is how water comes through for washing and rinse cycles, so if your washer isn’t filling properly, be sure to check this as well.

You can easily make sure it’s working by doing the following:

  1. Unplug your washer.
  2. Use a multimeter to confirm the electromagnets inside the water inlet valve are working (have continuity). If not, replace the valve altogether.
  3. Hire a service technician to measure the voltage of the electromagnets, also known as solenoids. Do this to confirm if the voltage is being hindered somewhere inside the washer—typically the culprit is the water level switch, lid switch, cycle selector, or timer.

Having a Look at Your Lid Switch

Sometimes it isn’t the water inlet valve that’s preventing you from that day’s laundry load. Sometimes your lid switch’s safety feature, the open-lid signal, is preventing water from getting through the inlet valve.

To start this easy repair, simply:

  1. Find the lid switch. It should be located at the top of the washer.
  2. Unplug the washer and shut the lid to test whether the lid switch is trapped by any levers while the lid is shut.
  3. Remove any wires from the lid switch, and use your multimeter to check for electrical consistency. If the lid switch has no electrical voltage, you’ll want to replace it with a brand new one. If it does, then just simply check the washer’s timer for any issues.

Washer Timers and Their Components

The water inlet valve is always controlled by an automatic timer. This is what allows water to rush into the inlet valve and for the washer to be filled properly. If the timer is faulty, your washer won’t be filled. The timer’s circuits are usually long lasting, but can still be prone to damages and other technical difficulties.

To check your washing machine’s timer:

  1. Unplug your washer. This is necessary, as the circuits inside the timer can be a serious hazard if left plugged in.
  2. Use your model’s instruction manual to help you locate the timer’s circuits inside the water valve.
  3. Use a multimeter to find the timer’s electric continuity. If your washer model is mostly controlled or can be controlled using an electronic panel device (such as a remote), then you will need to hire a service technician for this step. This is crucial if your model is remote controlled because the circuits in many electronic models use live voltage and can only be examined by professionals.

Your Water Level Pressure Switch

A final check that you can do is on your water level pressure switch, which is found in the same circuit that controls the water inlet valve. Defects with the pressure switch cause the water inlet valve to remain off, meaning the washer tub stays empty during the wash cycle.

To fix this:

  1. Unplug your washer.
  2. Find the water level pressure switch, located behind the control panel and connected to the air dome tube inside the washer’s tub.
  3. Scan for voltage continuity using your multimeter. If you own and operate an electric washing machine, then your water level pressure switch could be located under the tub rather than inside.

Selector Switch (and Water Temperature)

If you have followed all these steps and your washer still won’t fill, it could be an issue with your selector switch and water temperature. Washing machines, particularly newer models, can allow you to select your water’s temperature (hot and cold cycles). These components can be found inside the water inlet valve, with two inlets corresponding to the temperature you need for your washing cycle.

If the selector switch is the problem, you will need to:

  1. Unplug your washer.
  2. Use your model’s instruction manual to figure out the wiring terminals. These terminals power the selector switch, and by extension, power the water inlet valve.
  3. From here, take your multimeter and scan the selector switch’s terminals for electric continuity.
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