Washing Machine Water Inlet Valve Not Working? (try this)

The washing machine inlet valve is an important component of your machine. It acts as the gateway between water entering your machine in the correct quantity at the correct time and the constant flow of the water mains connected to your machine. The inlet valve is constantly in the closed position until the control board sends a message to the solenoid to open the valve to allow enough water in to wash.

Before you start investigating the inlet valve, check the inlet hose is in good condition with no kinks or bends. If it looks OK then move on to the other suggestions in this article.

The lifespan of the inlet valve is based more on usage than time. So the more times you use your washing machine, the more likely the inlet valve will need replacing. If you are having problems with water not entering your washing machine, the first place to check is the inlet hose.

Insufficient Water Pressure

The recommended water flow for a home washing machine is 10 litres per minute. To check your home’s water flow rate, turn the inlet tap to closed, remove the inlet hose from the back of the machine and place it in a 10 litre bucket. Then turn the inlet tap to open, and time how long it takes to fill the bucket. A 10 litre bucket should take no longer than one minute, a 5 litre bucket should take no longer than 30 seconds and so on.

Is The Tap Open?

The inlet hose should be attached to a tap which should be in the open position when the washing machine is operating. Some people shut off the inlet tap in between wash days, others leave the tap open constantly. If you forget to open the tap, no water can enter the machine, and this could be the problem.

Water Inlet Valve Problems

As it is in constant use, it’s quite common for the water inlet valve to develop a fault and pack up. The most common fault with the inlet valve however,  is the mesh filters that supply the valve with water get clogged up. And so need clearing every so often.

Filter Blocked

Washing Machine

The filter is in place to prevent any sand, grit etc from entering the washing machine and causing any problems. As the mesh needs to be fine to catch these minute particles, it can get blocked pretty easily.  Plus if you live in a hard water area the filter is likely to get blocked with calcium deposits.

To clear the filter, turn off the water supply tap.remove the inlet hose from the machine and carefully clean the filter with a soft toothbrush. Once the filter is clean and free from debris, replace it, reconnect the pipe, turn on the water and the machine should function as normal. 

Faulty Solenoid

As with all electrical components, solenoids have a predetermined lifespan. Once they stop working they need to be replaced. However, it’s not a case of replacing the solenoid, the whole inlet valve needs to be replaced as a unit. This should be carried out by a competent engineer. If your washing machine displays any signs of a faulty inlet valve, it’s important to call an engineer.

Control Board Fault

Your washing machine is controlled by a series of circuit boards that in turn are controlled by a control board. If there is a fault anywhere within this system, the inlet valve could not receive the signal and will not function as it should. If you suspect this is the problem, you need to call an engineer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there no water going into my washing machine?

If there is no water going into the washing machine it could be caused by a blocked inlet hose, the inlet tap closed, or a faulty inlet valve. Other possible causes could be the machine has failed to drain sufficiently, or the water pressure switch is faulty.

Why do water inlet valves fail?

Like all electrical components, water inlet valves have a limited lifespan. The more frequently the washing machine is used, the higher the likelihood of the inlet valve failing.

Is it worth it to repair a washing machine?

As long as the repair will cost less than half of the price of a new machine and the machine is less than 5 years old it is definitely worth repairing it.

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