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Kenmore Dishwasher Filling Water Problems

You usually become accustomed to the normal sounds your dishwasher makes as it runs its cycle. However, when something is wrong with the water filling the dishwasher, you may have noticed those sounds have stopped or don’t stop. If you suspect the water is overfilling or not filling your dishwasher, this article contains a number of components to check to fix your dishwasher.

Your Kenmore dishwasher will not fill with water if the inlet valve or solenoid is broken, the inlet valve is blocked or the float is not working properly. If your dishwasher won’t stop filling, it is likely that the inlet valve or timer is broken, the float is stuck down or the drain is backing up.

Water splashing on plates in dishwasher

I will explain more about how these components are causing issues with your dishwasher below. I have also included why the dishwasher may not be washing your dishes, even when it is getting enough water.

Kenmore Dishwasher Filling Water Problems

If you are having issues with your dishwasher filling, there is usually a problem with the water inlet valve, which I will explain in more detail below. This could be caused by a number of broken components, which I have summarised below.

For a dishwasher that is not filling with water;

· Inlet valve is broken

· Solenoid controlling the inlet valve is broken

· Valve is blocked

· Float or float switch is not working

For a dishwasher that keeps filling with water;

· Float is stuck

· Water timer is broken

· Inlet valve is broken

· Water is flowing back through the drain

Something that will always cause problems with your dishwasher is a broken circuit board. This can cause any electrical component in the dishwasher to malfunction, such as the solenoid or the timer. This is more difficult to check, but if all other components seem fine, this is likely the issue.

Kenmore Dishwasher Not Filling Water

Clean plates and bowls in dishwasher

Water enters into the dishwasher through a water inlet valve which is opened and closed by a solenoid. When the solenoid receives an electrical current, it will open the valve. Any changes to the normal functioning of these parts will affect how much water goes into the dishwasher.

You can confirm that your dishwasher is not getting enough water by pouring one or two quarts of water into the bottom of the dishwasher before a cycle. If this improves the performance of the dishwasher, you know that you have an issue with the water coming in.

The first thing you should check is that the valve is not blocked. These valves can sometimes build up with lime scale, restricting the flow of water through the pipes. If this is the case, you might be able to clean it out to get it working again.

If the valve is broken in some way, you will need to order a replacement valve because they cannot be repaired. Make sure you turn off the water supply and unplug the dishwasher from the power before inspecting the inlet valve.

The float also controls the water inlet valve. Once the float reaches a certain level, it activates a switch to cut the power to the solenoid and close the valve. If the float setup is defective, it may be disrupting the electrical circuit and preventing the valve from opening.

You can also inspect the float itself. This is located in the dishwasher, at the bottom. If it is stuck and has not lowered with the drained water level, this would keep the float switch activated.

Another possibility is that there is an issue with the electrical controls of the valve. It could be that the solenoid is broken and therefore not opening the valve when it is supposed to. It could also be an issue with the circuit board, meaning that the signal is not being sent to the solenoid.


A Kenmore dishwasher door that won’t close is often due to a misaligned or faulty door latch. The latch is critical for securing the door so the dishwasher can operate. If misalignment or damage is preventing the latch from engaging, realign or replace the latch to ensure the door closes properly.

Kenmore Dishwasher Water Not Coming In

When a Kenmore dishwasher doesn’t fill with water, a common issue is a blocked or faulty water inlet valve. The valve controls the flow of water into the dishwasher. To resolve this, first ensure the water supply to the dishwasher is turned on. Then, inspect the inlet valve for blockages or signs of malfunction. If the valve is blocked, clean it, but if it’s damaged, replacing the valve may be necessary.

Another potential cause is a problem with the float switch. The float switch prevents the dishwasher from overfilling with water, but if it’s stuck or broken, it can mistakenly signal that the dishwasher is already full, preventing water from entering.

Check the float mechanism inside the dishwasher, usually located at the bottom, and ensure it moves freely. If the switch is faulty, it may need to be replaced to restore proper water flow.

Kenmore Dishwasher Keeps Filling with Water

Inside view of dishwasher

If your dishwasher keeps filling with water, this could also be an issue with the float. In this case, the float may be stuck in the down position. If the float does not rise with the water level, it will not activate the switch the close the water inlet valve.

However, normally the dishwasher will also have an inbuilt timer. This timer will keep the valve open for 90-120 seconds so that no more than two gallons of water enters the dishwasher. If this timer is broken, the solenoid operating the inlet valve will not receive the electronic signal to close the valve.

Usually if one of these controls fails, the other will prevent the dishwasher from overfilling. Therefore, if your dishwasher does overfill, it is likely that both of these controls have failed.

This is why it is good to have both the float and the electronic timer checked. If the dishwasher stops filling when you turn off the power supply, you know that it is an issue with the float or timer

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on July 8, 2021.

If the dishwasher does not stop filling when you turn off the power, you may have a broken inlet valve. If the valve is not able to close properly because of some form of damage, this will allow water to continuously fill the dishwasher because the water supply through the pipes is constant. If this is the case, the water will only stop flowing when you shut off the water supply.

If you have turned off both the water and power supply to the dishwasher and it is still filling with water, this is an issue with the drain pipe. Water can flow back into the dishwasher from the drain pipe for a number of reasons, listed below.

· The drain pipe is not installed correctly with a high loop and sink water is draining into the dishwasher

· There is a blockage in the dishwasher drain pipe

· There is a blockage in the sink’s drain pipe, forcing water through the dishwasher drain pipe

· The Dishwasher’s pump is not working, causing water to accumulate in the drain and flow backwards

Kenmore Dishwasher Fills Water but Won’t Wash

Bowls and dishes in dishwasher

If you know that your dishwasher is filling with water, but it doesn’t seem to be washing the dishes properly, there are a few things you can check. This will either be an issue with water circulation, your detergent or the water temperature.

Normally water will be pumped through the washer arms in your dishwasher to circulate the water throughout the dishwashing cycle. If the water is not being circulated, it could be that the pump or motor is not working. This would need to be replaced to fix the issue.

However, it may be something as simple as food building up in the washer arms. This food can block the holes in these arms, preventing the water from spraying out. If this is the case, you can use a toothpick to reopen these holes and clear the food debris.

If you have forgotten to use dishwashing detergent or a tablet, this will also prevent a proper wash. On the other hand, it is important not to use too much either because this can leave residue on the dishes. If you notice that the dispenser is not open when the cycle has finished, this means that there is an issue with the circuit control and the detergent was not mixed with the water.

The water also needs to be hot to clean the dishes properly. If the water is cold, it is likely that the heating element is broken. This is located in the base of the dishwasher and can be replaced when necessary. You should be able to feel if the dishes are warm or cold immediately after a cycle finishes.

Kenmore Dishwasher Not Filling Enough Water

Dishwasher door open with full rack of dishes and bowls

If your dishwasher is filling with water, but does not seem to be getting enough, it is likely a restricted water inlet valve, similar to the issues mentioned above. The valve may not be fully blocked, but may have lime scale that prevents the right amount of water coming through.

As I mentioned before, you can test this by pouring one or two quarts of water into the dishwasher before a cycle. If this improves the dishwasher’s performance, you know that this is the issue. Remember to turn the water off before inspecting the inlet valve.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on July 8, 2021.

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