Washing Machine Keep Filling With Water When Turned OFF – How To Fix?

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.

Washer inlet valve jammed by calcium deposits

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.

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But what you can do is to check, will the water be siping through the valve, even when a machine is OFF or not?

  • 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
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You can also check water inlet valve solenoids (if you want) with a multimeter. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Disconnect your washer from it’s power source.
  2. 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.
  3. Conduct a visual inspection of the valve to look for visible signs of damage or wear.
  4. 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.
  5. Using a multimeter, put it on the Rx1 function.
  6. Touch the probes to the terminals inside the valve.
  7. The reading will vary between models, so refer to your owner’s manual to determine the reading you should receive.
  8. 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.
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If your water inlet valve needs to be changed, here’s how to do it:

  1. Unplug the machine
  2. Turn off the hot and cold water supplies and disconnect the hoses from the inlet valve
  3. Pull the machine away from the wall, so you can access the back
  4. Use a putty knife to lift the top off the machine
  5. Support the main top from going back too far
  6. Use a nut driver to remove the screw near the fill valve
  7. Lift slightly up on the valve and push it up through the opening on the back
  8. Disconnect the hose clip that supports the outlet hose
  9. Lift the valve up out of the opening and remove the wires from the terminals on the solenoids – remember where the wires go
  10. Use pliers to remove the hose clamp
  11. Twist the hose off the old valve and discard the old part
  12. 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!

Reader Comments (13)

  1. My washer was bought in the 90s and has had repairs. It’s a really good washer and I hate to get rid of it. But now it continued to fill with water even after I’ve turned the water source off and unplugged the washer. What do I do now?

  2. Shirley Dobson.
    I’ll start from the beginning. We sold the top load washer along with the dryer. So the washer is long gone. After, we discovered both hot and cold water was dripping heavily into the drain. Both faucets are turned as tightly as possible, can’t open them. This happened approx a week ago.

  3. Hi,

    My washer get filled up after awhile from using it. I noticed the water pressure from the inlet is not stable so can this cause an issue to my washer? or is it the washer issue itself?

    Thank you

  4. My washer will continue to fill even after i turn off the water valve to the washer both hot and cold so what could this mean?

    • Both? Are you sure? How do you know that?
      Is its true, for me it sounds like the water pressure is too high and the water valve can’t keep the pressure. Solution – decrease water pressure to the washer. If it will not help, replace water inlet valves.

  5. why do all my led lights on my top loading GE washer light up and it starts to fill after all clothes are removed from it and I close the lid. I have to unplug it to stop it from filling on its own.

  6. I am having an issue with the drum keep filling with water, however this is a brand new washing machine and the previous one did this. Is there anything with the pipping under the sink that could cause this to happen? It seems unlikely it is the washing machine at this point.

    • If you will turn the machine OFF during the fill cycle, will it keep filling? If yes, it is a faulty inlet valve. If not, there is problem with the water level sensor/switch

  7. The washing machine at our vacation home was filled with water and had overflowed and flooded the wash area and bathroom. We don’t understand how this could have happened since the water to the house was turned off on the outside of the house. Any ideas??

    • Remember that even though the water is turned off there is still pressure in the system. It will take a while for this to bleed off. Also, if you have water going to a bathroom, shower, sink, etc., above the level of the washing machine it will try and drain to the lowest point powered by just gravity. You’ll prevent the washer from filling if you shut off the valve at the washer connection. But that is only a temporary fix. You obviously have a washer problem which is probably a faulty water inlet valve.

      • I have had a problem that there was a clog in my septic pipe leaving the house causing backup into the sher. Once the clog was removed the problem was fixed.

    • Our washer would just fill and fill unless you turned the water off,then you heard a click as the inlet valve shut and then if you opened the valve again it had stopped filling,we got around this by turning the water pressure to the washer down and now it shuts off on its own as it should. Maybe as the valve is old it has lost some of its ability to shut properly if the pressure is high? This is a machine that is 17 years old and had not been used for 2 years.

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