Regardless where it’s coming from, when water is leaking or uncontrollable it can lead to major headaches.
This is especially true when it occurs with your washing machine. The last thing you want is water spilling onto the laundry room floor and creating a mess you’ll have to clean.
So, if you have your washing machine filling up by itself, even when it been turned OFF, there are two most common reasons. They are: failed water inlet valve, when jammed in open position by calcium build-up and malfunctioned water pressure switch.
If this is occurring to your machine, we have the solutions you need to fix the problem. You’ll simply need to troubleshoot a couple parts and determine where the issues lie.
Here’s a look at the most common malfunctions that cause this problem.
Failed Water Inlet Valve
One of the most common reasons a washing machine will fill with water when it’s turned off is due to a failed water inlet valve.
This valve controls the flow of water into your washer that’s required for both the rinse and wash cycles.
If you notice an excess of water in the drum after the wash cycle is done, let’s say after a couple of hours, it could be due to a jammed water inlet valve solenoid by calcium deposits in the OPEN position.
There’s a simple test you can perform to see if the water inlet valve has failed. Simply watch the washer as it fills, and unplug it when there is ample water inside the tub.
If the tub keeps filling, then your machine has a failed water inlet valve, and it needs to be replaced.
Until you get this part fixed you will want to turn off the water supply so the washer won’t keep filling and start a flood.
But what you can do is to check, will the water be siping through the valve, even when a machine is OFF or not?
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- Turn power OFF
- Remove the top cover of your washer in order to reach inlet valves
- You can leave or remove wire connectors from the valves, but don’t disconnect water hoses to the valves on the back
- Disconnect black filler hose from the valve, one at a time
- Look for water coming out, if not, check the next one
You can also check water inlet valve solenoids (if you want) with a multimeter. Here’s how to do that:
- Disconnect your washer from it’s power source.
- Locate your water inlet valve and remove it. More than likely you’ll find it located behind the hose connections. You may need to remove the rear access panel to reach it.
- Conduct a visual inspection of the valve to look for visible signs of damage or wear.
- Also check the screens inside for debris. If debris is present you’ll need to clean it out. Just be careful because if the screens are damaged you’ll have to replace the whole valve.
- Using a multimeter, put it on the Rx1 function.
- Touch the probes to the terminals inside the valve.
- The reading will vary between models, so refer to your owner’s manual to determine the reading you should receive.
- If the valve is damaged or the test results don’t match what your readings should be, you’ll want to replace the water inlet valve.
If your water inlet valve needs to be changed, here’s how to do it:
- Unplug the machine
- Turn off the hot and cold water supplies and disconnect the hoses from the inlet valve
- Pull the machine away from the wall, so you can access the back
- Use a putty knife to lift the top off the machine
- Support the main top from going back too far
- Use a nut driver to remove the screw near the fill valve
- Lift slightly up on the valve and push it up through the opening on the back
- Disconnect the hose clip that supports the outlet hose
- Lift the valve up out of the opening and remove the wires from the terminals on the solenoids – remember where the wires go
- Use pliers to remove the hose clamp
- Twist the hose off the old valve and discard the old part
- Install the new valve and assemble your machine by going backward through the steps
Problems with Water Level Switch, Pressure Switch, Or Air Dome Tube
Less commonly, devices that measure the water levels inside the tub can fail, and lead to the machine overfilling during the filling cycle.
In a washing machine, the water level is measured by an air dome tube or hose that is hooked to the tub.
As the water fills the tub, the pressure in this tube is compressed. When the tub has enough water, the air inside the tube is pushed against a diaphragm on the water level switch.
The water level switch then shuts off the inlet valve, and stops the flow of the water.
If this tube has a blockage or leak, it prevents this process from happening because the air pressure will not get strong enough to push the diaphragm.
If the water level switch fails, it can also stop the water inlet valve from being turned off.
At this point you will want to complete a bit of troubleshooting. Begin by unplugging your machine.
You will then need to locate the air dome tube. It should be found between the tub and the water level selection dial behind your control panel.
Remove the hose and completely submerge it in water. You’ll need to pinch one end closed and blow into the other side. Watch for air bubbles.
Is something blocking this tube? To check either feel along the length of the tube, or try shining a flashlight into it to see if there’s light coming through. The last thing to look for is worn spots or cracks in the tube.
If the tube appears to be fine, you’ll want to check the water level switch. Are there any signs that the switch may be faulty or clogged?
If so, you’ll want to use a multimeter to check for continuity. To do so, you’ll need to allow the washing machine to fill with water to the correct level, and then unplug it.
Locate the pressure switch and the terminals on it that are used to control the water inlet valve. You’ll need to check your washer model’s wiring schematic to see what your readings should be.
Once you know what reading you’re looking for, pull the wires from the switch and test them. Just be sure the tub is still full of water.
If you have a washer that’s electronically controlled, the water level switch may be located under the tub near the sump.
The important thing is that you check both of these parts. If the air dome tube is damaged or the water level switch has failed, it can cause your machine to fill with water even when it’s unplugged.
Have you ever had a washer that kept filling with water? What was the problem and how did you ultimately fix it? Comment below and let’s discuss!