Troubleshooting The Inlet Valve On Your Washing Machine
A washing machine relies on both your electrical and your plumbing systems for its correct functioning. Many washers tend to develop problems at the inlet valve, the place where these two systems converge. Here is some information regarding the inlet valve.
The Basic Idea
The inlet valve can be found on the back of your washing machine, at the place where the two water supply hoses are attached. Because the water supply knobs are generally left open for convenience, the inlet valve plays the important role of determining the appropriate time to allow water to enter the machine. An inlet valve contains two separate gates, one for cold water and one for hot.
When you start your washer's cycle, an electrical signal is sent to the inlet valve. This signal, received by the solenoids that control the two gates, results in one or both of the gates being opened up. A broken or faulty inlet valve results in a washer that will not fill properly. Alternately, it may cause the washer to fill with water of an incorrect temperature. Worst of all, it may cause your washer to overfill, potentially leading to a plumbing disaster.
Check The Filter Screens
Each of the two inlet gates contains a round filter screen. Their purpose is to keep sediment and other impurities from working their way inside of the machine. Over time, such debris tends to build up on the screen. Eventually, it will restrict the flow of water into the washer.
Begin your troubleshooting with an inspection of the filter screens. First, turn off the two water supply knobs. Then detach the supply hose from each of the inlet valve's gates. Inspect the filter screen using a flashlight, carefully removing any foreign material to restore proper water flow.
Test The Solenoids
If cleaning the filter screens does not prove effective at solving the problem, your issue may be a faulty solenoid. To test this hypothesis, you will need a volt-ohm meter. Also commonly referred to as a multi-meter, this tool provides a way to test whether current can flow properly through the solenoid.
Access the solenoid by removing the back of your washing machine. This will expose the entirety of the inlet valve. Each of the two gates should have two wires attached to the solenoid. Undo these wires and label them with a piece of tape. This will ensure that you re-attach them to the correct terminals.
For assistance, talk to a repair professional.
Now touch the probes of your volt-ohm meter to the two terminals on a given solenoid. The meter should register electrical resistance. If not, you are dealing with a bad solenoid. Replacing your inlet valve is the best way to solve this problem.