The Reason Why No Water Enters Your Washing Machine (solved!)

If your washing machine is not filling up with water it’s annoying to say the least. It might not become apparent at first that there’s even a problem. Once you turn on the machine you don’t usually stand around and watch it work so you might not notice there’s even an issue. Until you realise that the majority of the clothes that come out of the machine are completely dry.

But don’t despair, it could be something simple that requires just a small action on your behalf to remedy. We’ll start with the easy fixes and then progress to the more specialised fixes that will almost certainly need professional help.

Please note: Never tackle any electrical problems unless you are confident in maintaining your own personal safety and you fully understand what you are doing.

If you own a modern washing machine it will very likely show an error code if it’s not filling with water. Check the manual as this will guide you on what to do next, to ignore this advice could lead to you voiding any warranty you have on your machine.

Quick Check List

If your washing machine is not filling with water check the following;

  • Check that the appliance is connected to the mains and the power is switched on.
  • Check that the water hoses are connected, with no bends or kinks and that the taps are switched on (in the open position).
  • Check inlet hose(s) for blockages and clear if necessary.
  • Check the inlet filters are not clogged or blocked.
  • Check that the washing machine door is closed correctly.
  • Consider electrical, technical problems and call an engineer.

Simple Fixes For Washing Machines Not Filling With Water

Let’s look at the simple fixes that you can check yourself without having to involve a professional technician.

Is The Machine Humming?

We’re not talking about the regular, power-on noise but a different toned humming. If you can hear this unusual humming sound it’s a good indicator that the problem lies with the taps at the back of the machine.

The first thing to check is are the taps turned fully on, to do this pull the appliance out enough to gain access to the taps at the back.

Remove the hoses from the machine, put the open end into a bucket and turn the taps on. 

Water Pressure

To check the pressure of your water, run the tap into a bucket and time how long it takes to fill. For optimum performance the washing machine needs around 10 litres of water per minute.

If your pressure is too low, you will not get an adequate amount of water to fill your machine. If this is the problem, contact a plumber, who will be able to fix this issue for you.

Problem With The Tap(s)

If there’s not a steady flow of water, the problem probably lies with the taps. Sometimes they can be in the on or open position but no water flows through the tap.

If this is the case, get a pair of pliers and turn the taps with them you might be able to get the water flowing this way.

Hose Issues

If there’s a steady flow of water from the taps, the problem could be with the hose. It might just be the pipe has a bend or kink preventing the water to flow with enough force to fill the machine. This is the easiest fix of all, just straighten the hose and see if this fixes the problem.

If not, remove the hose(s) completely and check for blockages. Use a plumber’s snake to dislodge any blockage from the hose and then replace the hose(s) onto the machine.

Is The Open Door Symbol Showing?

Washing Machine

Many washing machines will not start a wash program until the door is locked shut. This normally occurs as you press the start button. If it doesn’t for some reason either mechanically or electrically, it’s time to call an engineer.

Washing Machine Water Valves 

If there’s a steady flow of water entering the machine, the problem could be with the water valves. It could just be the filter needs clearing, take care when removing the valve filter as they are often extremely fragile.

If you’re not confident enough to remove the water valve filter without damaging it, call an engineer. 

A Faulty Electrical Connection To The Water Valve

If the filter looks clear, the fault could be with the electrical connections to the water valve. As these can carry live power even when they’re not in operation, it’s probably best to call an engineer at this stage just to be safe.

Faulty Pressure System

If the drum starts turning without filling up with any water, it could be a fault with the pressure system. The pressure system is how the machine knows when to allow water into the machine. It does this via a sensor that detects the level of the water in the machine.

Once it reaches the desired level, it cuts power to the pump and no more water can enter the machine. If this is happening before it fills up or with no water at all inside the machine, it’s probably a faulty pressure system.

If this is the case or you even think it’s the case, turn off the machine immediately and call an engineer. Otherwise you run the risk of the machine overheating and catching fire.

Faulty Selector Switch

On the program control of your machine you will have settings for different programs like wash, rinse, spin etc, if the selector is faulty, the machine will not fill with water.

It’s probably time to call the engineer at this point.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my washing machine only fill half way?

If the washing machine only fills half way, the most common cause is a faulty water level switch.

How do washing machines know when to stop filling?

The water level switch which is positioned in the top of your machine detects the air pressure to determine when the machine is full of water and thus when to stop filling.

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