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How To Diagnose A Washing Machine That Won’t Fill With Water

Is your washing machine refusing to fill with water during a cycle? This is a common problem that all washers may run into at some point in their lifetimes. Luckily, often it is a repairable or replaceable part that is causing the issue. Keep reading to see what part may be affecting the water supply in your washing machine.

If you need a washing machine repair in Ottawa, give the team at Ottawa Pro Appliance Repair a call. We have parts for all different models of washers readily available, so we can repair your unit the same day you call!

Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve is what supplies your washing machine with hot and cold water. The inlet valve has two solenoids that control the hot and cold water supply. The valve is controlled by the water temperature selector, water level switch, and the timer. If your washing machine is not filling with either hot or cold water, check that there is power going to the solenoids during the “fill” part of the washing cycle. This can be checked with a multimeter; make sure that you cut the power to the machine before attempting this. You should get a reading of 0; if you don’t, then your valve is defective and needs to be replaced.

Inlet Hoses and Screens

Washing machines are connected to your home’s water supply through fill hoses. The hoses are around 4 – 5 feet in length, and have a plastic or wire mesh screen at the end that attaches to the faucet, which prevents sediment from entering the water inlet valve. If your washing machine is not filling up with water, the first place to look is the faucets. Check to make sure that they are turned on. If the faucets are fine, check to see if the hoses have any kinks or tears in them; if they do, then they need to be replaced immediately. If the hoses are fine, turn off the faucet and remove the hoses from the inlet valve; take a look at the screen to see if it is clogged; to clean the screen, simply place the hose under another faucet to clean out any debris.


The timer lets the water inlet valve know when to release water. The timer is operated by a series of electrical components, which are controlled by a small motor. During the wash cycle’s fill and rinse portions, the timer sends power to the water inlet valve circuit so that it knows when to turn off and on the water supply. If the timer is defective, the circuit won’t know when to release the water. The timer can be checked for power using a multimeter. Turn off the power first before you attempt this. If the timer has power, you should get a reading of 0. If not, then it is defective, and you will need to call a technician to repair or replace it.

Lid Switch

The lid switch is a device that prevents the motor from running if the lid is not closed properly. If the lid switch is damaged, then the machine believes the lid is open and will not allow water to enter the washer. The switch is located underneath the washer’s lid. First, check to make sure that there is nothing blocking it, or that it is not stuck. If the switch is activated, but there is no power being supplied to the inlet valve circuit; then the switch is broken and will need to be replaced.You can also check it with a multimeter; remember to turn off all the power to the washing machine if you are going to do this. You should get a reading of 0. If you have found that the issue is with the lid switch, call a technician to replace the switch for you.

Water Temperature Switch

If you find that your washing machine is refusing to fill with hot or cold water, the problem might be with the water temperature switch. This is a pressure activated switch and is a part of the water inlet valve circuit. This part is usually located below the washer’s tub. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine where it is on your washer. If the switch is faulty, it won’t provide power to the water inlet valve. This can be checked with a multimeter; turn the power to the machine off, and check for a reading of 0. Since this part has a lot of wiring, it might be best to leave testing this to a professional.  

Remember, if you are unsure of how to use a multimeter tester, call a technician to do it for you. Always turn off all power sources to the washing machine before attempting a reading to avoid serious injuries.

Does any of your washing machine’s parts need to be repaired or replaced? Give Ottawa Pro Appliance Repair a call today at 1 (888) 508-8270 for washing machine repair in Ottawa!

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