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How to Replace the Water Inlet Valve on a Washer

I discovered that my washer was filling up with water even when not running. Also, clothes were not as dry as usual after the spin cycle. It turns out that the water inlet valve was leaking and letting water into the washer all the time. First thing I did was shut off the water supply to the water inlet valve to stop the leaking. After ordering a new water inlet valve on the internet, this is how I saved money by replacing the inlet valve myself.

The washer I have is a Whirlpool Duet Front Loader. The procedure I demonstrate is specific to this model, however other front-loaders should be similar. If you have a top-loader, you may find these steps helpful for concept, but maybe not the actual process.

Leaking washer? It could be the water inlet valve!
    Ready to replace the water inlet valve.
  1. ORDER REPLACEMENT WATER INLET VALVE -- You can do a web search for "appliance parts" to find a place to look up and buy your inlet valve. Or, I found a store on eBay that sold the water inlet valve I needed for about $45 including shipping. I'll post a link to their web site below. You will need to know the part number though, which your owner's manual may have in it.

  2. SHUT OFF WATER SUPPLY -- Yes, please do this. If you don't have a shutoff valve at the washer, then find the closest shutoff to the washer's water supply. Or you can shut off the water to the entire house at the main valve.

  3. PLACE BUCKET AND REMOVE SUPPLY HOSES -- Put a bucket near the water hoses and be prepared to deal with water on the floor. Note which one is connected to "Hot" and which one is "Cold" and remove the supply hoses from the washer. I used these pliers to loosen the connections. Put the loose ends of the hoses down into the bucket to drain.

  4. REMOVE DRAIN HOSE -- You technically don't have to, but for easier access, I removed the drain hose and put it into the bucket too. This hose usually has a pinch-type or band clamp on it. There's some nasty-smelling water in this one -- I poured about a tablespoon of bleach into it when I put it back on.

  5. UNSCREW ACCESS PANEL -- On my washer, there are three screws that hold the top panel on. I removed these three screws in the back of the washer. Your washer may have a similar configuration. Regardless, you need to gain access to the inside of the washer so that you can disconnect the water inlet valve on the inside.

  6. REMOVE ACCESS PANEL -- Remove or open the panel in order to get at the water inlet valve on the inside of the washer. In my case, once the three screws were removed, the top of the washer slides back and up to remove it.

  7. DISCONNECT WIRES FROM WATER INLET VALVE -- There should be wires connecting to the water inlet valve. These activate the valve to let water into the washer when needed. On mine, there are two black connectors for the "Cold" valve and two white connectors for "Hot." Note which colors go to which valve before you remove them so you can replace them the same way.

  8. REMOVE WATER INLET VALVE FROM PANEL -- I don't show it here, but there is a screw in the back to the left of the inlet valve that you can see in Step 5 that I removed to loosen the inlet valve itself. When that is removed, the valve then slides slightly and comes out through the inside.

  9. DISCONNECT WATER LINE FROM INLET VALVE -- You should be able to then get access to the hose clamp on the inlet valve and remove the small hose from the inlet valve. You're half-way done!

  10. INSTALL NEW WATER INLET VALVE -- Now just put the small hose on to the new water inlet valve using the same clamp. The clamp is under my thumb in this picture, and I slid it back on with pliers.

  11. REASSEMBLE WASHER -- Insert the new inlet valve back into the two holes the old one came out of, push and slide it into place and replace the screw, reconnect the wires inside and button up the panel again.

    You might want to think about replacing the water supply hoses at this point, if the old ones are cracked, stiff or just older than say, 10 years or so. Reconnect the supply and drain hoses and turn on the water to make sure nothing leaks. You did it!