How to Fix A Washer That Has No Hot or Cold Water

How to Fix A Washer That Has No Hot or Cold Water

About this repair:

  • Rated as REALLY EASY
  • 1417 repair stories
  • 7 step by step videos

Inlet Hoses & Screens

Washing machines are connected to the household water supply by fill hoses. These hoses are typically 4-5 feet in length and often will have a plastic or wire mesh screen inserted into the end of the hose that attaches to the faucet. The screen prevents sediment from entering the water inlet valve, which is located on the back of your appliance.

How to inspect the hoses & screens on your washing machine:

  1. This is a simple inspection; you will not need to disassemble your washer. Begin by checking that the hoses are not kinked and that the faucets are fully open.
  2. Turn the faucets off, disconnect the fill hoses from the inlet valve, and inspect the screens that are a part of the valve. Remove any sediment or debris you find.
  3. To verify that you have adequate water pressure to fill the hoses, place the hose ends in a bucket or tub and turn the faucet on. If you have minimal pressure, inspect the screens in the hose for dirt buildup or damage.
  4. If you come across issues while performing these inspections, you will need replacement hoses & screens.
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Water Inlet Valve

The Water Inlet Valve on your washing machine supplies hot and cold water for the wash and rinse. The valve will have two solenoids that operate inlets for both the hot and cold water supply. The timer or electronic control, water temperature cycle selector and the water level pressure switch control the valve. The valve is controlled by the timer or electronic control, the water temperature/cycle selector switch and the water level/pressure switch.

How to test the water inlet valve in a washing machine with a multi-meter:

  1. Before starting this inspection, ensure that you have disconnected your washer from both the power and water source.
  2. In order to remove the valve for testing, you will need to remove all or part of your washer’s cabinet. The valve should be found directly behind the hose connections.
  3. Looking for signs of damage, cracking, or wear, visually inspect your washer’s valve. The valve has screens inside it that may have built up dirt or debris, if so, it should be carefully cleaned as if these screens become damaged, you will need to replace the entire valve.
  4. The resistance of a properly functioning valve varies from model to model, refer to your owner’s manual to determine what the reading of your test should be. To test for continuity, place the probes onto the valve’s terminals with your multi-meter set to Rx1.
  5. If you do not receive a reading that indicates continuity, you will need a replacement water inlet valve.
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Lid Switch

The lid switch on a top load washing machine is a safety device designed to prevent the motor circuit from operating when the lid is open. On some models, the water inlet valve circuit is also controlled. If the lid switch fails on these models, power cannot be supplied to the water inlet valve. If you have determined that the water inlet valve on your washer is not receiving power, then you should check the lid switch.

How to inspect the lid switch in a washing machine:

  1. Before beginning, verify that you have unplugged your washing machine.
  2. In order to locate the switch, you will need to remove the top panel or cabinet. Once you have located it, verify that the actuators or levers are not sticking or damaged and that the switch is being operated mechanically.
  3. If no issues are found above, remove the switch in order to test it for continuity and set your multi-meter to Rx1.
  4. While pressing in on the switch’s button, touch the terminals with the probes. You should receive a reading of zero or nearly zero.
  5. If you receive a different reading, you will need a replacement lid switch.
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Selector Switch Or Water Temperature Switch

The selector switch or water temperature switch selects the water temperature for the wash and/or rinse portions of the cycle. The switch provides a circuit to supply power to the correct solenoids on the water inlet valve. If you do not have power at the solenoids on the water inlet valve, then the temperature selector switch may be at fault.

How to test the selector switch in a washing machine with a multi-meter:

  1. Since you will be removing and testing electrical components, ensure that you unplug your washer before starting.
  2. Remove the selector switch from your appliance in order to test it, you will need to disassemble all or part of your washer’s cabinet to access it. In most models, it is attached to the frame of the washing machine.
  3. You will be testing the buttons on the switch one at a time. Begin by placing the probes on the terminals for one button, your reading should be infinity at this point, press in on the button, this should change your reading to zero, press in on another button, this should change the reading back to infinity.
  4. If the readings you receive are different than those described above, you will need a replacement selector switch.
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Water Level Pressure Switch

The water level switch is a pressure activated switch that is part of the water inlet valve circuit. This part is normally located behind the control panel and will have a hose or air dome tube that connects it to the tub. On washers that use an electronic control, this switch may be located at the sump area below the tub. If the switch is defective, it may not supply power to the water inlet valve.

How to test the water level switch in a washing machine:

  1. As with most repairs, disconnect the power source from your appliance before starting.
  2. While the switch may be the issue, a faulty air dome hose produces the same symptoms as a defective switch. Rule out the hose as the issue by opening your washer’s cabinet and removing the air dome hose. With one end sealed, blow into the other end while the hose is submerged in water, no bubbles should rise to the surface.
  3. Remove the switch from the appliance to inspect it for any signs of wear, damage, or cracking. It likely will be located at the sump area below the tub or behind the control panel.
  4. If you find any flaws in your parts while performing the checks above, you may need a replacement water level switch.
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Timer Or Electronic Control

The timer or electronic control is used to determine when the water inlet valve receives power. The mechanical timer will have a series of electrical contacts that are operated by a small motor and cams. During the wash, fill and rinse fill portions of the cycle these contacts will supply power to the water inlet valve circuit.

How to test the timer control in a washing machine with a multi-meter:

  1. Unplug your washing machine and remove your appliance’s control panel and rear panel in order to locate the timer.
  2. Remove the timer from the washer. Do not pull directly on the wires, instead pull on the metal connectors attached to the wires.
  3. Set your multi-meter to Rx1, and while pressing in on the button (if applicable), place the probes to the terminals that control the motor (refer to your wiring diagram). You are testing for continuity and should receive a reading of zero or nearly zero.
  4. If your test produces a different reading, you will need a replacement timer.
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