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Kenmore Washer Won’t Fill / Keeps Filling / Fills but Not Enough

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Washing machines are wondrous inventions that save people countless hours of labor, but like any machine, they don’t always work how they’re supposed to. Some of the most common issues with Kenmore washers are when they malfunction and water doesn’t flow correctly for one reason or another. What can you do to fix your machine?

When a Kenmore washer won’t fill, keeps filling, or fills but not enough, you will need to check the water inlet valves, lid switches, air dome tubes, and water level switches. These are some of the most common components that can cause water-related problems in a Kenmore washer.

Washing machine filling with water

Washing machines are specifically designed for water to fill the machine, wash clothing, and drain out, so when one part of the machine fails, it can lead to it not working as intended. Because of the wide scope of problems, I will take a closer look at each type of possible water-related problem Kenmore washers can suffer along with potential causes and solutions. Keep on reading below to find out more!

Kenmore Washer Won’t Fill Up, Fills Slowly, or Isn’t Filling Enough

Washing machine filling with water

When a washer won’t fill up with the proper amount of water, fills slowly, or won’t fill at all, a few causes could be at play. Before checking individual parts of the machine itself, check to make sure the main water supply for the washer is on, which is typically a faucet-style valve.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, you need to look at components that could have failed in the washing machine. Thankfully, there are a few common places to start looking.

Not filling at all and filling slowly could be the inlet valve. Check the inlet hose connecting your main water supply to the washer for kinks that would stop water from flowing. If there are no kinks, follow the hose to the water supply and unscrew it.

There is a small screen inside the end of the hose that can become damaged and clog the hose, or it can also get clogged up with dirt or other debris.

If there are no clearly visible problems, the solenoid that tells the valve when to open and close may be the culprit. You’ll need to unplug the washer and check the solenoid to see if it has continuity. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace the entire valve because solenoids for inlet valves aren’t usually sold separately.

It’s important to replace a bad inlet valve solenoid because it can damage other components in the washer such as the temperature selector switch.

The lid switch is another possible cause for washers with an open-lid safety feature. Some washers refuse to fill up with water if the lid is open in any way to prevent bodily injury in the event that a person’s appendages are still in there in any way.

In most cases, the lid switch connects to the inlet valve to let it know it’s okay to let water flow into the washer. If the lid switch doesn’t have power, it can’t tell the inlet valve when to let water through. If the lid switch has power and is functioning correctly, it could be the timer or other components.

Kenmore Washer Keeps Filling Up With Water

Washing machine filling with water

If your washer continues to fill with water past the level selected, it could be either the inlet valve or the water level switch. If the water inlet valve fails, it can lose the ability to know when to close and stop letting water through.

The water level switch is how the washer knows when to stop filling with water, and can also become damaged if an inlet valve solenoid is bad. If the water level switch is damaged or worn, it will stop communicating to the inlet valve when to close at the selected water level.

The water level switch uses a special hose called an air dome tube that compresses as water fills in the washer tub. If this tube has a hole in it or is clogged with debris, it will cause the water level switch to fail and the tub will overfill.

Kenmore Washer Starts To Fill Then Stops

Washing machine in spin cycle

A more puzzling problem is when your washer starts to fill up and suddenly stops for no apparent reason. If you’re not sensing a theme with these problems, the first place to check is, yet again, the water inlet valve.

Even slight changes in damage to the valve can cause wildly varying problems.

If the hose and screens are clear, another possibility is the lid switch. If the washer has a light indicator on the lid, it may flash when this problem occurs. If that’s the case, check to make sure the lid switch has continuity.

The problem may be that the washer starts to fill, then doesn’t get the ‘all-clear’ signal from the lid switch, which is a safety measure. Therefore, if that safety measure fails, then the washer will stop filling.

Kenmore Washer Won’t Fill Up With Hot or Cold Water

Female putting clothes into front load washing machine

Hot water is important to wash heavily soiled clothes, but sometimes the washer simply won’t fill up with hot water. The first place to check in this case is the hot water heater that supplies your hot water. Check first to see if other faucets in the house have hot water. If so, check the valve on the water heater to make sure it’s open.

When your cold water is not working, it may have several of the same causes and solutions that the hot water problem has. If your washer won’t fill up with cold water, it could be the inlet hose or screen for the hot water setting may be clogged.

In order to check, follow the hot water hose and unscrew it, then make sure the screen is intact and that the hose isn’t clogged. You can remove the hose and screw it into another water faucet to see if water flows normally.

Otherwise, check the solenoids for the water temperature switch. If they are damaged, the washer won’t be able to communicate to the hot water inlet valve to allow hot water to flow. Use a multimeter to check if there is continuity. If there isn’t, you’ll need to replace the water temperature switch or solenoid.

Kenmore Washer Fills With Water When Not Running

Washing machine filling with water

If your washer fills with water even when the machine isn’t running, the most likely cause is that the water inlet valve has failed in some way. For you to check the severity, unplug the washer to see if water flows even without power. If so, your valve is very damaged and will need replacing.

To check the damage to your valve, follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the top cover of the washer to reach the inlet valve, while leaving the hoses connected.
  2. Check the screen for damage, because damage to the screen will make the whole valve unusable since it is built into the valve.
  3. Check the solenoid with a multimeter for continuity. Damaged solenoids are very, very rare to find sold separately, so that means you’ll need a whole new valve with solenoid included.
  4. Look at the water inlet valve to see if the valve is heavily damaged.

If any or all of these parts are damaged, you’ll need to replace the whole water inlet valve. Unless you missed something wrong in another component of your washer, this should fix your problem.

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