A washer not filling with water is a common problem many a user has experienced at some point. There are many causes for this frustrating problem, and I’ll cover them all here. Hopefully, you will be able to diagnose the issue and be able to fix it quickly, so you can get back to doing your laundry.
While no one really enjoys the chore, doing laundry is a necessary evil, and your washing machine needs to be up to the task. If you have discovered that your washer is not filling with water all the way or at all, keep reading to diagnose the issue and fix it ASAP.
- 8 Reasons Your Washer Is Not Filling With Water
- The washing Machine does Not Fill Up All The Way
- Brand New Washing Machine Not Filling With Water
- Water Fill on Front Load Vs Top Load Washer
- Verdict: Washer Water Not Filling
8 Reasons Your Washer Is Not Filling With Water
As I touched on in my introduction, there are several reasons your washer is not filling with water. Some of these causes are easy to fix, while others may require help from a trained repair technician. Let’s get to it, shall we?
1. Make Sure Faucets are Connected Properly
Your washing machine is connected to two faucets (hot and cold) via hoses. The hoses attach to the faucets and the back of your washing machine using thumb screw connectors. Check they are connected and that the water valve is open.
If your washer isn’t filling properly, the first thing you should do is check that these hoses are connected tightly at both ends and that the faucets they are connected to are turned on all the way. Sometimes, the fix for a washing machine that won’t fill is as simple as turning on the water.
2. Inlet Hose Not Connected or Kinked
If you are sure the water is turned on all the way, check that the hoses carrying the water are connected tightly at each end and are not kinked. Kinks or bends in these flexible hoses can slow or stop the flow of water into your machine. If you notice any kinks in the hoses, try straightening them out or replacing the hoses completely to restore water flow.
3. Clogged Inlet Screen
Probably the most common reason a washer doesn’t fill properly is a clogged inlet screen. The inlet screens are located on the back of the machine where the hoses connect. They keep debris from entering the machine, which means they can become clogged from time to time.
To fix this issue, turn off the water supply to the machine, detach the hoses from the back of the appliance, and clean the filters/screens you see there. Once you have removed the gunk that has built up there, reattach the hoses and turn the water back on. Hopefully, this restores water flow to your washer. If the screen appears damaged or corroded then you can pick up a replacement set for around $6 here on Amazon.com.
4. Faulty Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve tells your washer when to stop and start filling. If this valve fails, your machine may not fill with water. If you suspect this is the reason your washer is not filling properly, test the valve for continuity. If there is none, the valve will need to be replaced by a professional repair tech.
How To Test a Water Inlet Valve
You will need a multimeter to check that the solenoids that open and close the water inlet valve have continuity. If you find no continuity with this test, the water inlet valve will need to be replaced. If there is power at the solenoids, there could be continuity loss somewhere else along the electrical path, and a repair person will be able to diagnose and repair the issue.
5. Faulty Lid Switch Assembly
Most newer washing machines have safety switches on their lids that tell the machine to cease operation if the lid is open. Sometimes, this lid switch can get stuck in the “open” position, making the machine think the lid is open all the time. This will cause the washer to not fill or operate at all in most cases, but luckily, this is an easy fix for a trained professional. In fact, if you follow the instructions in the video below, it is a fairly easy job for a competent DIY enthusiast. You can pick up replacement lid switch assemblies for most washer models online here for around $10.
6. Faulty Water Temperature Switch
If your washing machine has controls that allow you to change the temperature of the water flowing into the machine, this water temperature switch may have failed. If the washer is not receiving signals to fill with hot or cold water, it won’t be able to fill at all.
You can test the water temperature switch using a multimeter. Consult the wiring schematic for your machine to locate the terminals that power the water temperature switch. If there is no continuity, you know the switch is bad and needs to be replaced.
7. Faulty Water Level Switch
Most modern washers have a water level sensor that tells the appliance how high to fill the water. If this sensor malfunctions, the machine could think the water level is too high, causing it to not fill properly. If this sensor has failed, a repair technician can fix or replace it quickly, so you can get back to that mountain of laundry.
8. Faulty Timer or Control Switch
A washer’s wash and rinse cycles are governed by a timer or control switch. This switch tells the machine how long to run each cycle. If this switch fails, the machine doesn’t know how long or when to start a fill cycle, so it doesn’t fill properly.
Again, you can test if this is the issue using a multimeter and your machine’s wiring schematics. Locate the timer terminals that tell the water inlet valve to open or close and check for continuity. If there is none, a professional can replace the timer so your washer fills with water as it should.
The washing Machine does Not Fill Up All The Way
In some instances, a washing machine might fill, albeit slowly or not enough. The causes for this issue are like the ones listed above – with the addition of checking the water level pressure switch. Before checking this switch, however, be sure to check that the water supply faucets are turned on all the way and that the hoses are connected tightly at both ends. Ensure there are no kinks in the hoses that can slow or stop the water flow.
Next, check the screens that filter debris from the water before it enters the washer, and ensure the water inlet valve is functioning properly. If that all seems good, check the lid switch to ensure it isn’t stuck in the “open” position. This switch is a safety feature that won’t allow the machine to operate when the lid is open.
A final check is the water level pressure switch. This switch tells the water inlet valve when to open. If this switch is faulty, it won’t open the water inlet valve, which will cause the machine to not fill with water. The water level pressure switch is usually located behind the control panel and is connected to the air dome tube inside the tub. Use a multimeter to check for continuity and replace the switch if necessary.
Brand New Washing Machine Not Filling With Water
Since your washer is brand new, there are likely no worn or damaged parts to worry about. The not filling issue is likely caused by a mere oversight in installation. For example, are the water hoses connected tightly at both the hot and cold faucets as well as at the back of the washer? Did you remember to turn the faucets on all the way? Lastly, check the hoses to ensure they are not kinked, as this can restrict water flow to the machine.
It is important to note here that even though your machine is brand new, it is possible that a technical issue could still be the cause of the machine’s poor water fill. Your new machine likely came with a warranty, so be sure to contact a professional repair person to diagnose and fix the problem to ensure you adhere to the warranty.
Water Fill on Front Load Vs Top Load Washer
If you are environmentally conscious and want to leave a smaller carbon footprint, you may want to consider purchasing a front-load washing machine rather than a traditional top-load model. Studies show that front-load models use far less water than their traditional counterparts, and as much as 50 percent less energy, too.
Verdict: Washer Water Not Filling
Discovering that your washer is not filling with water can be maddening, but luckily, the issue can be resolved rather quickly and easily. First, you will want to check that the water hoses are connected tightly on both ends and that the hot and cold-water faucets that feed the machine are turned on all the way. After that, you will want to check that the water inlet screens are free of debris that may block water flow into the machine. Also ensure that the hoses aren’t kinked, and that water can flow freely to the machine.
If none of these methods fixes the issue, you will need to troubleshoot further, checking the water inlet valve, lid switch, water temperature controls, water level switch, and timer. Using a multimeter, you can test many of these parts for continuity to find out where the issue lies, but don’t hesitate to contact a trained repair person to fix the issue, especially if yours is a brand-new machine.
A washer not filling with water is a common problem that many people experience, but hopefully, the information I’ve provided here will help you get back up and laundering in no time.
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.