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Fix a Slow Filling Washing Machine

These simple fixes will solve the problem 95 percent of the time

If your clothes washer doesn't fill or fills slowly, check the check the fill valve screen or replace the fill valve. Both are simple fixes.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Fixes for a slow-filling washing machine

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.

Photo 2: Release the fill valve

Use a 5/16-in. nut driver to remove the hex head sheet metal screws that hold the valve to the washer.

Caution: Unplug the washing machine!

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 clips.

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 before reconnecting the old hose. Clamp the hose. Install the new valve by reversing the removal procedures. Connect the water hoses, turn on the water and plug in the washer.

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 anyway.

Here’s a quick way to pinpoint the problem:

We’re repairing a belt-drive Kenmore washer. Repair procedures are slightly different for other washers. Here’s a guide to what you’ll find:

Heed these words of wisdom before you start:

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

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