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acadiel
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Premium
join:2002-06-22
61705
kudos:2

Washing machine not filling up properly

Hi, everyone - I have a Whirlpool la5200xtw1 washer that started acting strange tonight. I heard this awful squealing from the laundry room and went in, and the washer was trying to fill, but water was barely dribbling into the tub.

I made sure the hoses were on (they are only three years old), unplugged and plugged the machine back in, reset the cycle, and it appears that it started finally filling (it still squealed a little bit, but finally quit and filled like it was supposed to.)

I'm going to take the hoses off tomorrow and check that inlet valve just in case (but with city water, I seriously doubt there's anything in the inlet valve).

What else could be causing this? The pump?

Thanks for any advice!



MrFixitCT
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Premium,VIP,ExMod 2001-06
join:2000-12-01
Charleston, SC

may be the inlet valve, not opening all the way.. Try the hot water setting as a test. The pump doesn't come into play during filling, just goes by city pressure..



acadiel
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Yep. Hot water for the wash works fine, cold water for the rinse does not.

What's funny is that I turned on the bathroom sink next to the laundry room and flushed the toilet as well while the machine was trying to fill, and it started filling! When the toilet finally filled its tank and shut off the water, the washing machine started dribbling again. I had to flush the toilet and turn on the sink for the washer to fill for its rinse cycle. Go figure. Seems as though lower water pressure let it fill, and higher water pressure made it restrict the flow of cold water more.

So its the inlet valve that I need to replace then?



Heterman
Premium
join:2004-02-28
Fayetteville, AR
reply to acadiel

I think it may be your electronic inlet valve that is inside the casing of your washer. It is activated by the water level in the tub, which pushes air through a tube and closes the electrical circuit to activate the plunger in and out (much like a vacuum activated switch, but in reverse). When full pressure is on the valve, the valve is not strong enough to push back against the water pressure to let water in. This could be due to age. This is probably why when the pressure drops, the water can flow in as the valve is opened against the lower pressure. You might try closing off the valve that is in the wall to restrict flow and see what that might do, although your washer will fill slower.

It is kind of late now and getting hard for me to describe. Ask if you need anything else.



Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
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join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to acadiel

said by acadiel:

Yep. Hot water for the wash works fine, cold water for the rinse does not.

What's funny is that I turned on the bathroom sink next to the laundry room and flushed the toilet as well while the machine was trying to fill, and it started filling!
Sounds like you nhave debris build up in the valve... yes city water can have minerals/dirt in it etc.

And especially if you washer has a fliter screen in it.
(In a related way just replaces several sink aireators in my house... now the sinks flow well, when was thinking a plumbing problem)

By opening the other valves you relieve the presure against that debris and the flow it better... turned off full water presure is against it.

Just a guess but would be my suspicion.
--
»haywardm.com (Hayward's Key West)


MrFixitCT
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1 edit
reply to acadiel

»www.partselect.com/AdvancedModel···kMfgID=3
»www.partselect.com/xq/aspx/Inven···ceCode=1

we wash everything in cold water, for now you could swap the 2 water hoses and set the machine to just use hot water and it'll function normally..



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to acadiel

Check the house water pressure regulator, it might be too high, causing the valve to struggle when opening.
Otherwise it sounds like it could possibly be a bad water inlet valve on the machine.
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jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
reply to acadiel

Unscrew the hose at the washing machine. The inlet should have a wire mesh filter to catch debris. Clean it out. Otherwise the solenoid that opens the valve could be going bad.


McWizzard

join:2001-06-01
Plymouth, MI

1 edit
reply to acadiel

It's called a fill valve solenoid.

You didn't say how old your machine is.

The problem has nothing to do with your water pressure coming into the house. If it were a water pressure problem it would impact both the hot and cold side as the cold water is what pressurizes your entire house.

Fill valves are easy to replace, would probably only need a screwdriver and perhaps pliers.

The valve assembly usually is comprised of both hot and
cold valves, so you'll have to replace both at the same time.

Get the make and model number off the washing machine and call a local appliance repair shop that sells parts. You can also go online and find repair info that would be most helpful.

Parts shouldn't cost more than $45 - maybe.



Heterman
Premium
join:2004-02-28
Fayetteville, AR

Solenoid was the word I was struggling to find. It was getting late.



acadiel
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reply to MrFixitCT

said by MrFixitCT:

»www.partselect.com/AdvancedModel···kMfgID=3
»www.partselect.com/xq/aspx/Inven···ceCode=1

we wash everything in cold water, for now you could swap the 2 water hoses and set the machine to just use hot water and it'll function normally..
I think that this is the part I need - thanks for the link:
»www.partselect.com/xq/aspx/Inven···ceCode=1

That is the part that is referenced for my model # (LA5200XTW1) for the fill valve (solenoid).

The hot water is working fine, and the cold water is dribbling. So, that valve isn't letting the cold water in like its supposed to.

I still find it strange that when I flushed the toilet and ran the sink next to the washing machine while it was trying to fill for its rinse cycle (cold water) that it started working. Strange.

Thanks everyone for the help! I'll try changing this sucker and see if it fixes the problem!


acadiel
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61705
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2 edits

OK, everyone - here's an update.

Here's what I wound up doing (and what happened inbetween):

The other night, I go to try and clean out the inlet, and yep, the cold water inlet had some crud in it. I washed it out and got rid of the crud. In the meantime, my two washer shutoff gate valves decided to leak (!) at the stem one drop at a time when I hooked everything back up and turned them on. So, I go to turn another set of shutoff valves in the ceiling (the guy who did my basement made a set of shutoff valves for the washer shutoff valves!) and as soon as I turn them off, they start dripping slowly. The hot water heater shutoff (on top of the water heater) also dripped when I turned it off.

So, I called a plumber over, and he tightened the gate shutoff valves at the washer and the gate shutoff valves in the ceiling. He decided that the ones on the water heater were beyond fixing (they didn't leak when on, just little drops when they were off) so went ahead and replaced them with new ball valves.

Anyway, to get back to my story, when everything was hooked up again, the cold water was still dribbling at times (and at other times, it worked properly.) So I went ahead and ordered the part above (the valve inlet mixer thing). I put it in tonight, and boy did I notice a difference with both hot and cold! My washer filled up faster than I've ever seen it fill up.

Thanks for the advice everyone - I might have caused me more problems by shutting the shutoff valves, but at least I found out that four of them needed tightening and two needed replaced.

Oh yeah, and this is my 1000th post! What a post!



61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1

My brother had an old washer where the valve never shut off >> first time he didn't notice it >> can you say flood .... until he replaced it he just shut the water off at the shutoff after the washer filled.
--
Humans are capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares.



Greg_Z
Premium
join:2001-08-08
Springfield, IL
reply to acadiel

The shutoff valves, you can get new washers for, due to most likely that is all it is. By tightening them up, the plumber actually did nothing. You can go remove the valve stems, take them into the hardware store and get the parts (nickle cost parts), or pay to have the plumber come back over and replace all valves with new ones (Butterfly valves), and pay more money.
--
--One man's customer loyalty is another man's misguided arrogance.

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