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Dishwasher Woes: Potential Inlet Valve Problems That Can Thwart Your System

Dishwashers provide constant cleaning services so it is easy to forget that the machine itself needs occasional cleaning and maintenance for optimal function. There are several problems that can arise with the inlet valve that can actually thwart the functionality or efficiency of the dishwasher.

Here are a few potential inlet valve problems that can arise in your dishwasher and how to fix the problems. 

Machine Won't Fill or Clean: Valve Clogged or Broken

When you close your machine and press the button to start the washing process, a water inlet valve inside opens to allow the required amount of water to come from your home's water supply and into the dishwasher. The water goes into the spray arm, which then sprays that water at the dishes with enough force to clean off grime and food debris.

Has your dishwasher suddenly stopped filling at all when you turn on the machine? Or is the machine running with water but the dishes aren't coming at all clean? You might have a clogged or broken water valve.

Finding the water valve requires a look at your owner's manual since the exact location and access route can vary between models. In general, you will want to first turn off your home's water supply and then unscrew the spray arm. The inlet valve should now be visible.

Clean out any debris or mineral buildups in the inlet valve. Check for any signs of damage. If you suspect damage, call in an appliance repair professional to replace the valve completely. The professional can also check to make sure a secondary problem isn't helping the broken valve block your machine's functionality.

Machine Leaking or Overflowing: Valve Stuck Open

Does water leak into your dishwasher even when the machine is turned off? Or is the unit overflowing with water when it runs? You could have a water inlet valve that is stuck open.

You could check and clean the inlet valve and hope that fixes the problem but if the valve is already sticking, cleaning is likely to cause more damage. You can still check to see that the inlet valve does appear stuck open since it should be shut if the water and machine are turned off during maintenance. But then you need to jump ahead to the step of replacing the inlet valve.

If the overflowing water is ending up on your kitchen floor, you might want to replace the door seal at the same time as the valve to prevent future leaks.

If you have no experience fixing appliances, leave the work up to a home appliance repairs professional. Contact a company like Appliance Tech Repair LLC by Frank Lecato if you can't fix these problems yourself.