How to Repair the Water Solenoid in a Washing Machine
The water solenoid in a washing machine connects to the valve that receives hot and cold water from the laundry room faucets. The timer control signals the solenoid to open or close, allowing water to flow into the laundry tub for washing. If your washer does not fill with water, but the cycles operate normally, a faulty solenoid and water valve may be the problem. Testing the solenoid takes only a few minutes with a multimeter. If the solenoid or valve is defective, the entire unit must be replaced because the two parts are permanently fused together.
Disconnect the washer's power cord from the wall outlet.
Close the two water taps on the wall that connect with hoses to the back of the appliance.
Unscrew the hoses from the two inlets on the washer valve. The inlets extend from the back of the appliance. Set the hoses in the bucket to prevent spilling residual water on the floor.
Remove the access panel covering the inlets by taking out the screws with a screwdriver.
Detach the two wires connected to the contacts on the top of the solenoid, which is on top of the water valve. Each wire pulls off a contact.
Adjust the multimeter to "Rx1" and attach the clip on the end of each tester to one of the contacts on the solenoid. A zero or infinity reading means the solenoid is broken. To repair the washer, the solenoid and valve must be removed for replacement.
Squeeze the clamp on the outlet hose with pliers to pull the hose off the valve. A small amount of water may spill.
Remove the screws in the valve housing where it attaches to the inside of the appliance. Remove the valve and solenoid unit.
Hold the new part in position and attach it with the screws.
Push the outlet hose onto the valve and squeeze the clamp to slide it over the connection.
Clip the two wires onto the solenoid contacts.
Replace the access plate and secure it with screws.
Remove the two water hoses from the bucket and tighten them to the two inlets on the new valve assembly, using pliers. Check the "H" and "C" labels on the back plate of the washer to connect hot and cold water correctly.
Plug in the electrical cord.
James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.
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