Fixes for a slow-filling washing machine
1 of 4
Photo 1: Check the fill valve screen
Close the water
valves and unscrew
the hoses from the fill
valve. Check the hose
ends. Some hoses
have screens in them
that must be
removed and cleaned.
Remove the screens
from the inside of the
fill valve. Use a small
screwdriver to pry
them out. Scrape
them with a pocketknife
to remove built-up
scale. Rinse the
screens in water and
reinstall them. Reconnect
the hoses. Turn
on the water and set
the washer to fill. If it
still fills slowly,
replace the fill valve
as shown in Photos
2 - 4.
2 of 4
Photo 2: Release the fill valve
valve to the
Caution: Unplug the washing machine!
3 of 4
Photo 3: Open the top
Lift the top of the washer by reaching through the lid and pulling the top
toward you and up to disengage it from the metal clips. Then lift the top
and tilt it back. Lean the top against the wall or support it with a length of
chain or cord to keep it from falling too far back and straining the hinge
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Photo 4: Replace the valve
Reach down behind
the washer tub and
pull out the fill valve.
Change the wires from
the old valve to the
new valve one at a
time to ensure correct
placement. Use a pliers
to loosen the hose
clamp and slide it
down the hose. Twist
the hose off the old
valve and onto the
new one. Universal fill
valves come with a
small piece of tubing.
To get a tight fit, you
may have to slip this
over the new valve
the old hose. Clamp
the hose. Install the
new valve by reversing
the removal procedures.
water hoses, turn on
the water and plug in
Washing clothes isn't
much fun to begin with. But waiting
hours for the tub to fill sure doesn't
help matters any. If water trickles
into your washer, or if you're not
getting any water, there's a 95 percent
chance the fill valve screens are
plugged or the valve is bad. It's so
easy and cheap to clean screens and
replace the valve that even if they
don't solve the problem, you're
only out about $20 and a few minutes, and
your washer will probably fill faster
Here's a quick way to pinpoint
- Turn the timer slightly to start the
fill cycle, and listen closely. If you
hear buzzing but very little water is
entering the machine, chances are
good the fill valve or screens are
plugged up. Photos 1 - 4 illustrate
the repair procedure.
- If you hear nothing and aren't
getting any water, the electrical part
of the fill valve could be broken, or
the problem could be in the timer
or another electrical component.
Without getting into electrical diagnostics,
you can still check the fill
valve by removing it and taking it to
an appliance parts dealer for testing.
If the valve is bad, buy a replacement.
Otherwise, put it back in and
call an appliance repair person.
We're repairing a belt-drive
Kenmore washer. Repair procedures
are slightly different for other
washers. Here's a guide to what
- A large cover plate on the back of
the washer (Photo 2) indicates a belt-drive
machine. The valve must be
removed as shown in the photos.
- If instead of a large cover plate you
find a small cover plate around the
valve itself, you most likely have a direct-drive machine. The valve is attached to this small cover plate. Simply remove the cover plate screws to access the valve.
- Some direct-drive Kenmore and Whirlpool washers have no cover plates. Accessing the fill valve on these machines is a bit more work. You must remove the metal shell that covers the front and sides of the machine to get at the valve.
Heed these words of wisdom before you start:
- Always unplug the washer before working on it.
- Close the water valves before removing the hoses. Check the condition of the hoses and replace them if they show any signs of wear. A hose that bursts while you're out of the house will cause a major mess. Always replace the rubber washers at both ends of the hoses.
- Flush the hoses before you reconnect them to the washer. This will prevent dislodged debris from clogging the inlet valve or screen.