Solved! Why Is My Washing Machine Not Filling With Water, and How Do I Fix It?

Washer woes are no joke. If you realize your washing machine is not filling with water, it’s time to learn how to get the suds flowing again.

By Melissa Graham | Updated Mar 14, 2023 1:21 PM

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Washing Machine Not Filling with Water


Q: I’ve been trying all day to do my laundry, but my washing machine is not filling with water. Is this something I can repair? What could be causing this issue? And who do I call when my washer won’t fill with water?

A: Whether you have a brand-new washing machine not filling with water or a machine that’s been in your home for years with the same issue, it can be frustrating not to be able to clean your clothes, linens, and towels. When a washer will not fill up with water, several problems could be at play. You could have a faulty lid or water level switch, or your hot and cold water supplies could be turned off or have kinks in the hoses. A clogged water inlet screen or a malfunctioning electronic control could also be the reason a washer isn’t filling with water. No matter what is causing the problem, if you’re asking, “Why is my washing machine not filling up with water?” it may be time to contact an appliance repair professional who can save you time and effort by diagnosing and correcting the problem.

Washing machine not filling with water?
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Make sure the lid is fully closed. If it is, check if the lid switch is working. 

Your washer likely won’t run if the lid is even partially open, so ensure the lid is fully closed first if the washer is not filling up with water. If it is, your next step is to look at the lid switch. This mechanism is a safety measure to prevent the motor circuit from running when the lid is open. When this switch stops working, the washer’s power can’t extend to the water inlet valve. You may need to see if the lid switch can be activated manually and ensure the switch’s levers aren’t stuck or damaged. If manually activating the switch starts the washing machine, then you’ve found the issue. Luckily, this should be an easy fix that an appliance repair technician can handle quickly.

Ensure that the hot and cold water supplies are on and there are no kinks in the hoses. 

The next place to check when your washing machine will not fill up with water is the hot and cold water supplies. Since these are typically located behind the washing machine, you’ll need to move the machine forward to make sure each supply is turned on. The cold water supply usually has a blue knob, and the hot water supply has a red knob. If the knobs have been turned off, you’ll need to move the knobs to the “on” position. If the supplies are already on, you may want to check the hoses to see if any kinks are preventing water from running through the hose and into the washing machine. If you spot a kink or two, you can try to reposition the hose or hoses to remove the kink before testing the flow of the water.

Check the water inlet screens for any clogs. 

If your hot and cold water hoses are turned on and are free from any kinks, you may need to check your inlet screens. The inlet screen is responsible for catching debris, and it could be clogged, preventing water from flowing into your washing machine. The good news is that this is a simple fix requiring zero tools—just a little time and elbow grease. If the inlet screen is clogged, and that’s why water is not filling the washing machine, you’ll first need to turn off the water to your unit and disconnect the hoses from your washer. Then you can see the filter screen and remove any particles blocking the flow of water. After cleaning the screen, you can reattach the hoses and turn the water back on.

Washing Machine Not Filling with Water


There may be an issue with the selector switch or water level switch. 

When there’s no water into your washing machine, the problem could result from a faulty selector switch or water level switch. If your washing machine allows you to choose the temperature of the water for wash and rinse cycles, the selector switch is what tells the water inlet valve to open the hot and cold inlets and fill the machine. You can test if this switch is damaged or worn down by unplugging the washer and using its wiring schematic to test the terminals with a multimeter.

Similarly, newer models of washing machines have a sensor that tells them when the water gets to a certain level and forces the machine to stop filling. If the water level switch isn’t working, it could be wrongly telling your machine that the water is at too high a level to fill, even if no water is in the unit.

Both of these issues will require the help of an appliance repair specialist who can inspect your machine and bring the necessary parts and tools to repair it.

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The timer or electronic controls could be malfunctioning. 

When your washing machine water is not filling, it may be necessary to check the machine’s timer or electronic controls. The timer and electronic controls are what signal the water inlet valve to open and let water in: specifically, the electrical contacts run by a cam assembly, which is powered by a timer motor. If any of these elements aren’t working correctly, the washing machine won’t receive the signal to fill up the basin with water.

You can unplug your washer, use the machine’s wiring schematic to the timer’s terminals, and check the terminals with a multimeter to test for continuity. If your washer’s electronic controls are at fault, you will need to have a service technician look at it. This isn’t a fix you’ll want to DIY, since live voltage is involved.

An experienced appliance repair technician can diagnose and fix your washing machine’s problem. 

Turning to an appliance repair technician is the safest and easiest path when you’re wondering, “Why is my washer not filling up with water?” Appliance repair technicians know the ins and outs of every make and model of washing machine on the market and know how to fix a washing machine that’s not filling with water. In some cases, the technician may need to take apart certain pieces of the appliance, and they’ll have the tools and experience to put those pieces back together once the issue has been identified. This takes the time and stress of a DIY project off your plate. Plus, a professional’s work is often under warranty, so you can give them a call if issues arise after they’ve fixed the washing machine.

It might also be worthwhile to look into getting a policy from one of the best home warranty companies (such as American Home Shield or AFC Home Club). A policy can help alleviate the high cost of appliance repairs in the long term.

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