6 Reasons Your Washing Machine Won’t Fill with Water

reasons a washing machine stops filling with water

When you buy a washing machine, you expect it to fill up with water right? Well, if your washer is playing up and you’re not sure what to do, you’re not on your own.

Water filling issues is one of the most common washing machine faults that engineers encounter, and they’re usually pretty easy to fix.

We are going to walk you through 6 reasons why your washing machine has stopped taking in water.

1) The water supply tap is turned off

It’s pretty obvious that your machine needs water to operate, but what if the water supply is turned off?

water supply tap dripping

You should take a look at where the fill pipe connects to and make sure the tap is in the on position.

It’s a common mistake to make when installing a new washing machine. The water gets turned off while the washer is fitted, but you forget to turn it back on.

The water supply tap will normally have a blue cap on the valve, indicating cold water. If you turn it so the grooved line meets the direction of the pipe, you should hear the water temporarily pass through.

A good indication that your machine is starved of water, is a buzzing noise when it’s trying to fill. This means the water valve is working but is running dry.

2) The water fill pipe has a kink

We all like a neat and tidy looking kitchen but forcing a washing machine back against the wall so that it meets to countertop might cause the fill pipe to become kinked.

water supply pipe kinked

It doesn’t take much force to stop the flow of water through the water pipe, so it’s definitely worth checking it out if your machine won’t fill.

Removing the machine and attempting the wash cycle whilst you can see the pipe will give you a better idea of whether or not the fill pipe is at fault.

If you find out that the pipe has become damaged, it’s a good idea to replace it. Luckily, the cost of a washing machine fill pipe is only around £5 – £10.

3) The water inlet valve is faulty

Moving on to a more technical reason for a washer not filling up. The water inlet valve allows the water to pass through the machine during a wash cycle. If the solenoid valve gets jammed or is receiving no power, the water will stay stuck at the end of the fill pipe.

washing machine water solenoid valve

If you have access to an electrical multi meter you can actually test the solenoid valve for an open circuit. This is usually the problem with a faulty solenoid valve.

It might be a good idea to take the valve off and give it a good clean so that you can rule out any blockages from dirt buildup.

If you find out that the solenoid valve has failed, you can replace the valve by removing the connecting pipes and unscrewing it from the cabinet. Once you swap over the wiring, you can simply refit the pipes and refit the valve back to the cabinet.

4) The soap dispenser is blocked

The soap dispenser is where you put your detergent and fabric conditioner. After a while, you might start noticing mould and detergent build-up in the drawer.

removing the soap dispenser pipes on a washing machine

If the build-up of detergents becomes too much, then the soap drawer can get blocked up. This can lead to your machine leaking into the base of the machine.

Some washing machines are fitted with antiflood detection switches. This means that the water overflowing into the base is detected and the water supply is shut off in the machine.

If you think that your washing machine is leaking from the soap drawer, then you should start by giving your drawer a deep clean and then removing any big pieces of detergent.

It’s actually quite rare that you wouldn’t notice the leaking before the machine shuts off. You can see evidence of the drawer leaking down the front of the machine because it leaves streak marks.

5) The pressure switch has failed

Modern washing machines have pressure switches which are safety devices that are capable of detecting when the drum has filled to the correct water level.

If for some reason your machine would overfill the drum with water, this sends air up the pressure switch pipe which causes the diaphragm to close. If this happens, the pressure switch signals to the control board to shut off the machine and display an error code.

If your washing machine has stopped filling with water, it might be because the pressure switch thinks the drum is full of water when it’s not.

The only real fix for this problem is to replace the pressure switch. The cost of this repair will depend on the model number of your machine. Typically, you should expect to pay around £15 – £25 for a new pressure switch.

Fitting a new pressure switch into a washer is simple and should be a quick and straightforward repair.

6) The control board has failed

You know what they say, more technology more problems. Well in the case of washing machines, it’s correct.

washing machine controls being operated

Modern washing machines are capable of delivering fast, reliable cleaning results with more energy efficiency than ever.

These capabilities do come at a cost though. Washing machine control boards are susceptible to a range of faults that can lead to your washing machine having fill problems.

If a part of the machine has failed, it can cause the control board to have an electrical fault and end the life of the control board.

In some cases, the board can be repaired by a professional although this is not the more common practice.

If the control module on your washing machine has failed, it can be an expensive repair that leads to a new washing machine.

If you’re investigating the control board because of a water inlet fault, all other avenues should be exhausted before deeming the board to be at fault, as it’s an expensive repair to get wrong.