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How to Diagnose Washing Machine Dispenser and Filling Problems

Filling and dispenser problems in your washing machine can be caused in a variety of ways, so in this video Josh shows you how to make sense of them and find out what's causing the problem in your machine.

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Video Transcript:

Hi I'm Josh from eSpares, and in this video I'll be helping you to diagnose dispenser and filling problems in your washing machine.

Safety First! Please make sure that you’ve switched off your appliance and disconnected it from the mains before beginning any repair.

Let's start with a machine that isn't filling properly, it could be due to a fault inside or outside the machine. A really easy way for you to test, is by disconnecting the hose from the back of the machine and using it to fill a bucket.

If the flow of water is quite fast or it’s what you would normally expect to be coming from your tap, then that would indicate that the problem is inside the machine. On the other hand if the flow of water is quite slow, or if there's not much of it then that would indicate a fault with the water supply.

If the fault is inside the machine one of the places that this might occur is the solenoid valves here.

The solenoid valves control how much water is allowed into the machine and you can test them for functionality using a multimeter and just take a resistance reading. Now obviously make sure that your machine is unplugged before you do this, and you can just place either probe onto the terminals of the valve.

For working valve you be looking for reading somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 ohms. Now on this one I'm getting just over 4,000, and on this one just under 4,000, so obviously by said those valves are OK.

Now the water passes through the solenoid valves here and up the hoses into the soap dispenser drawer.

Another problem that some people may have on their machine is that the conditioner isn't being washed out to the dispenser drawer into the drum. That could arise due to a couple of reasons, firstly the spray jets that are above the drawer can become blocked or contaminated with something such as mould, that means that the water isn't being passed through the drawer and washing the conditioner to the drum.

You can check for contamination just by removing the dispenser drawer and checking the spray jets inside for any blockages.

Once you happy that those are clear the other reason that the condition might not be washed out is because the valves aren't functioning properly. This valve controls this hose here and that sends water into the pre-wash compartment here, while this valve controls this hose and sends water into the main wash compartment here.

Now when both files are on both hose are firing and the water is washed into the conditioner compartment here. So if the water isn't being washed into this compartment it means that one of the hoses isn't firing and that's most likely to be due to a valve.

Now another reason that the condition might not be getting washed out to the drawer is because the siphon is blocked up. So just take it out and have a look inside because obviously if it is clogged up and the water is not going to be able to wash the conditioner out of the compartment.

Moving on to washing powder problems, if the flow of water into the drawer is quite low it's not going be sufficient enough to wash the powder out of the draw, it's just going to make the powder damp and that's going to clog the draw up.

So when you first put your machine onto a cycle just open the drawer slightly and have a look inside for how much water is coming into it, and obviously if the flow of water is quite low you going to need to check your water supply to make sure that’s okay.

Another way in which the washing powder can clog up in the drawer is if you're doing several washing loads one after another and if the draw is still wet from the previous cycle and you're putting powder into it, again the powder is going to get damp and clog up in the drawer. So fill the drum with the washing load first, and then put the powder in just as you're about to put your machine onto a cycle so it doesn't have a chance to get damp.

One final word about the dispenser drawer, if you've been using too much washing powder consistently in your machine, overtime this can actually block up in the pipe between the drawer and the drum. As a result water is going to pour out of the drawer and down the front of the machine, this can quite easily be resolved if you just take the lid of your machine and reach inside to the pipe between the draw and the drum, just give the pipe a bit of a squeeze just to loosen any blockages, then that should resolve the problem.

Now if you're finding that your machine is overfilling and this can be caused by a problem with the pressure switch level indicator or the hose that connects it to the drum. The hose goes from the pressure switch down to a chamber which is filled with air and as water comes into the drum it forces the air out of the chamber and up the hose – and from that the pressure switch can determine how much water is coming into the machine.

However if there's a blockage in the hose the switch isn't going to be able to tell how much water is coming in so the water is going to keep filling.

Now you can resolve this quite easily if you just unclip the pipe from the end of the switch and make sure that machine is empty while you doing this, and then just blow into the pipe to clear any blockages and a clear pipe should produce a nice bubbling noise from the water at the other end.

Also if there's a hole in the pipe that's going to affect the air pressure inside it and also the pressure switches response. If your machine is filling with water starting to wash and then filing again, that could indicate that there is a hole in the pipe in which case you need to replace it.

Another cause all repeated filling in the drum is if the drain hose at the back of the machine is lower than the water level in the drum. As a result water is going to drain out of the drum and a way through the drain hose and more water will have to be brought in to compensate.

So just make sure that the drain hose is set at a level that's higher than the water level in the drum. If the drum is filling with water even when the machine is in turned on and the drain hose is connected to a spigot underneath the kitchen sink then it could be that the machine is back filling with water from the sink.

Now you can test this by just turning the taps on the sink and checking the water level inside the drum to see if it rises. If it does, you need to make sure that the drain hose is set at a level higher than the water level in the sink before it connects to the spigot at the end.

Another reason the drum might fill with water even when the machine is in turned on is if the solenoid valves are faulty it's going to mean that a small amount of water is creeping in through the hoses and down through the dispenser drawer into the drum.

Again you can check this by just removing the dispenser drawer and having a look on the back wall for any signs of water that might be dripping down and making its way into the drum.

Spares for washing machines and other appliances are available on the eSpares website.

Thanks for watching.

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