Washing Machine Not Filling Enough With Water? Here Is Why

There’s nothing worse than putting a load of dirty clothes in your washer to find out that it’s not filling with water.

When this occurs you may find that the machine fills very slowly or not at all. There are several common reasons this can occur. They are:

  • Water Tap Is OFF Or Pressure Is Too Low
  • Water Inlet Valve Is Clogged
  • Water Inlet Valve Is Burned Out
  • Water Pressure Switch Is Clogged Or Malfunctioning
  • Faulty Timer
  • Faulty Main Control Board

Today we will discuss these possible issues and how to fix them.

Water Tap is OFF or Pressure is too Low

Before getting too technical there are a few things you should check.

Washer water tap is OFF

First be sure the water tap is turned to the ON position. If the water tap is OFF, no water will flow through, thus the machine won’t fill with water.

The other thing to check is that your water pressure is normal. If the pressure coming from your house is too low the machine will be unable to fill.

A water pressure issue with your home may be due to clogged or leaky pipes. If this is the case, you will probably have to call a plumber for assistance.

Water Inlet Valve is Clogged

If the water in your machine is filling very slowly you’ll want to check to see if the water inlet valve is clogged.

To do this you will want to check the filter screens inside the water inlet valve. When these are clogged it can block the flow of water.

Washer inlet valve clogged

This is actually a common reason why these valves malfunction, and the easiest problem to fix.

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To perform the check, you’ll use a flashlight (if needed) to look inside each of the two hose fitting ports on the water inlet valve. There should be a screen inside each port.

If the screens are dirty, carefully clean them. Just be sure not to damage them.

Water Inlet Valve is Burned Out

If you notice that your machine is not filling at all, your next step should be to check the water inlet valve to see if is burned out.

Depending on the model of washer you have, you may need to remove either the front of back of the washer to gain access to this part.

After you remove the top, front, or back of the machine as appropriate for your model, you should refer to the owner’s manual.

Once you see the valve, you’ll notice there are two wires connected to each solenoid. Pull them off one at a time and remember where they go so you reconnect correctly.

Using a multimeter, you’ll need to test for continuity of each terminal.

If the reading indicates zero, the solenoid is faulty and you must replace the valve.

To replace you’ll unscrew the fasteners holding the valve in place, and then disconnect the wires.

Label them or take a picture so you remember how they go.

Disconnect the internal tube that’s connected to the water inlet valve.

Install the new part by following the steps above in reverse.

Water Pressure Switch is Clogged or Malfunctioning

If the water inlet valve is functioning as it should, you should next check the to see if the water pressure switch is clogged or malfunctioning.

Washer Water pressure switch malfunctioned

Water level switches are located in different places, depending on what type of machine you have. Most of the time it’s found inside the control console.

You’ll first need to inspect the tube to see if there are any clogs. If so, you’ll need to clear the blockages. Here’s how to check for clogs:

  1. Unplug the machine.
  2. Find and check the tube that leads from the bottom of the water level switch to the bottom of the tub.
  3. Inspect the tube at both ends for water, sediment, or other debris.
  4. Also be sure to keep an eye out for any kinks or holes in the hose.
  5. After you’ve cleared any clogs, go ahead and test the switch while you’re here.

Here’s how to check for a malfunctioning water level switch:

  1. Grab your multimeter.
  2. Locate the wires that run from each terminal of the switch. Disconnect them from their terminals.
  3. The water level switch has three terminals. Test for continuity in pairs.
  4. First, you’ll touch the probes to terminals one and two.
  5. Next, touch the probes to terminals one and three.
  6. Finally, touch the probes to terminals two and three.
  7. Now, analyze your results. There should be no continuity between two of the pairs, but one pair should have it.
  8. If you get any other readings the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Faulty Timer

The timer is an important part, as it tells the machine when to advance through cycles.

When this part goes out it can cause your machine to not fill with enough water, and can even make your machine stop mid cycle.

Here’s how to access the timer:

  1. Disconnect the power to the machine.
  2. Depending on the model, you’ll more than likely need to remove some screws at the top of your control panel.
  3. Once you have access to the user control panel, you’ll want to disconnect all wiring harnesses going to the timer.
  4. Remove the screw(s) holding the timer in place.
  5. Locate the inner shaft on the timer and release it with a flat head screwdriver.
  6. Remove the washer knob and corresponding screw.
  7. Lift on the locking tab and disengage the timer from the console.
  8. Before replacing the part go ahead and do a continuity test. If there is none, proceed with replacing.
  9. Install the new one moving backward through the steps above.

Faulty Main Control Board

If your washer has a control board instead of a timer, you will want to check this part. It’s not easy to test the control board to see if it’s functioning properly.

However, you can check it for visible signs of damage such as burn marks or components that are shorted out. If you see any damage, replace the board.

Here’s how to complete this repair:

  1. Disconnect the power to prevent personal injury.
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the rear control panel in place.
  3. Lift the panel up to remove.
  4. Detach the control housing and remove the screws securing the control assembly cover.
  5. Use a screwdriver to help release the cover, and set it aside.
  6. Make a note of where the wires on the control board go, or take a photo before disconnecting them.
  7. Remove the screws securing the control assembly.
  8. Pull the assembly off the control housing, and use a screwdriver to carefully separate the old main control board from the display board.
  9. Align the new control board with the display board and snap into place.
  10. Begin reassembling the machine moving backward through the steps above.

Have you dealt with a machine that wouldn’t fill properly? We’d love to hear what kind of machine you have and what ultimately fixed your problem. Leave a comment now and let’s discuss!

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