Understanding Your Washing Machine's Inlet Valve

Posted on: 30 November 2016

Washing machines are one of the most beloved--and heavily used--of all home appliances. Unfortunately, they can also be the source of major disasters, should a faulty part lead to your basement flooding. The good news is that washer maintenance is simple enough for most home owners to handle. If you would like to improve your appliance troubleshooting skills, read on. This article will introduce you to the world of washing machine inlet valves.

The Basics

The inlet valve is responsible for controlling the flow of water into your washing machine. It contains two separate ports, to which the hot and cold water supply hoses are attached. Inside each of these ports is a special gate, which opens and/or closes when its solenoid receives a certain electrical signal from the washing machine. There is also a small mesh screen inside each of the supply ports. Its job is to keep any debris in the water from getting into the washing machine.


As you can imagine, there are a number of things that can go wrong with an inlet valve. For one thing, the gates can become physically blocked, either preventing them from opening or--even worse--from closing. Likewise, the mesh screens inside of the ports can become plugged with dirt and other build up. When that happens, the machine may not fill will an adequate amount of water. Finally, the solenoids themselves may burn out or become damaged in a way that keeps the gates from receiving the signals to open and close.

Cleaning The Filters

When it comes to troubleshooting your inlet valve, the first and easiest thing to do is check that the filter screens are clear. Many problems can be resolved simply by cleaning away any gunk that has accumulated. Before undertaking this task, however, you must be sure to unplug the machine and turn off both the hot and cold water two supply valves.

Next, unscrew each of the supply hoses from your inlet valve. Inspect the inside of the port using a flashlight. You should see a filter screen set not too far inside of each port. Use tweezers to remove any large pieces of debris, and an old toothbrush to loosen up any caked on deposits, then reinstall the supply hoses.


If you have just disassembled your supply hoses only to find that the filter screens appear to be perfectly clean, chances are you are dealing with a solenoid issue. A bad solenoid will keep either your hot or cold water (or both if both solenoids are bad) from entering the machine. Contact a professional appliance repair company like All Appliance Service Inc to help repair the problem.