How To Check Washing Machine Valve (Super Easy)

Here’s a quick fact.

The hot and cold water flows because of the two water hoses attached to the machine. This is called a washing machine water inlet valve, generally located on the back of the washer.

A faulty water inlet valve could cause damage to the other parts of the machine and the area around the appliance.

If you face any problem regarding the water flow in the machine, it is because the valve is malfunctioning. Problems can range from the washer not running correctly or filling properly, or washing at the incorrect water temperature.

However, testing a water inlet valve as a precautionary measure is very easy. It can be done at home with a few simple tricks. 

In this article, I will go over the step-by-step process of testing the valves and how much it costs to replace them on your own.

Checking The Washing Machine Valve

How To Check Washing Machine Valve (Super Easy)

A malfunctioning water inlet valve can prevent a washer from running, filling properly, or causing it to wash at the improper water temperature. The water inlet valve is the component that joins the two water hoses to the appliance responsible for regulating the flow of hot and cold water into the machine.

Here’s how you should check your washing machine valves.

1. Examine The Filter Screens

Filter screens filter out sediments and particles as water enters your washing machine. If the screens clog up, water drips in slowly or not, making it impossible to get laundry done.

The first step to testing your valve as a precautionary measure should be to check the conditions of the filter screens in the washing machine.

Since these screens’ main function is filtration through sedimentation, they also get clogged easily. Sometimes, it also catches lint and other debris from the clothes.

A clogged filter means the water seeps in very slowly and limits the washing machine’s efficiency. This can also lead to more lint deposits on clothes and poor drainage.

Check for blockages preventing water flow from the water inlet valve’s filter screens. This is the most frequent cause of water input valve failure and the most straightforward issue to fix. 

Look for a flashlight on the water inlet valve with a filter screen in the two hose fitting ports. If the screens are soiled, thoroughly clean them.

2. Test The Valve Coil

A valve can fail electrically, so you need to test each valve coil for continuity, indicating whether or not a continuous electrical path is present. 

The water inlet valve in a washing machine controls hot and cold water flow. To test whether the electrical path is present throughout the valve coil, you can use a digital or analog multimeter.

If you’re using the analog model, rotate the range selection dial of the multimeter to the lowest setting for ohms of resistance. Then calibrate the meter by pinching the probes together while adjusting the needle to read zero. 

Again, for the digital model, rotate the device’s range selection dial to the lowest setting for the ohms of resistance.

Make sure that the water inlet valve is removed from the washer and is away from anywhere damp. 

Now use a probe to touch one terminal of the coil you’re testing and the second one to touch the other terminal.

The coil has continuity if the meter shows a reading between 500 to 1500 ohms of resistance. 

Suppose the meter’s needle does not move or the display does not change significantly. In that case, if there is no continuity, then the valve fails electrically.

3. Check the Solenoids In The Inlet Valve

Solenoids in the water inlet valve are responsible for sending electric power to open and close the hot and cold water flow based on settings for the wash temperature and signals from the water-level switch. 

You should check the solenoids in the valve for failure if clogged screens or valve coils are not the issue. 

Depending on the type of the washer cabinet, remove the front or the back of the machine to reach for the wire connections on the water inlet valve.

You can easily do so by referring back to the owner’s manual that comes with the purchase of the machine. Two wires connect each solenoid once you have reached the valve’s electrical base.

Look at each of the wires, one at a time, not to confuse them, and then reattach them correctly.

How Do You Know If The Water Inlet Valve Is Clogged?

If the washer doesn’t run, won’t fill appropriately, or washes at the incorrect water temperature, your water inlet valve is most probably clogged.

You can tell that your dishwasher’s water inlet valve has gone bad if your washer fills with water slowly or stops filling with water. 

A clogged screen makes it difficult to get laundry done as the screen water drips in very slowly or not if it is jammed shut.

Malfunctioning water inlet valves also do not control the water temperature, which can cause further damage.

A blocked filter, worn solenoid, or clogged pipe can all cause the inlet valves to malfunction.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Water Inlet Valve?

Replacing a water inlet valve could cost around $90 to $190 per piece. You can easily find valves of different sizes in your nearest hardware stores.

If you are looking for the best quality valve that might go on a little more expensive side, it can range from about $400 to $450.

Replacing a malfunctioning valve sounds like a simple job. However, every water inlet valve is built differently and, thus, considered unique.

This makes replacing it a little tricky, and the replaced parts and the procedure must be specific to your washer’s model.

Final Remarks

A faulty valve in the washing machine is frustrating. This is why it is recommended to check the valves and other parts as a precautionary measure to save any damage to your washer.

Following is a list of items you need to check off your list.

  1. Check the filter screens.
  2. Test the valve coil.
  3. Check the solenoids in the water inlet valve.