Water Fill Valves
People often think that the valve in a washing machine, washer dryer and even a dishwasher are actually smarter than they are.
Water valves are almost always basic devices that only know either an on or off state when mains power is appied to the electro-magnetic coil or not. This coil generates a magnetic field that lifts a simple plunger allowing water to flow through the fill valve.
Water fill valves are invariably switched on an off by the washing machine controller, be it an electronic control or an old electro-mechanical controller or timer.
Control Of A Washing Machine Fill Valve
As above, the water fill valve is controlled by a flow of current and, mainly, almost all fill valves operate on mains voltages but we have seen some appearing that operate on a low voltage feed as well but these are rare at present.
If you have read our tutorial, How To Repair Your Washing Machine, you will already know that, after the washing machine door locks the fill valve will be opened allowing water to flow into the washing machine.
Some people have thought that this is some sort of operation that involves a pump but, it doesn't. This system relies solely on the water pressure from your mains supply to operate.
If the mains water pressure is too low, generally less than 1 bar, then the machine will either not fill at all or fill very slowly, giving massively extended wash times due to the time the washing machine takes to fill with water.
This whole operation is controlled by the pressure switch or pressure sensor, which detects the level of water in the washing machine drum. If it is too low, the pressure switch sends a signal to the controller which in turn send current to the water valve and water is allowed to flow in.
Once the water level in the drum gets to the pre-determined level the pressure switch tells the controller and it switches off the current to the water valve and the water filling ceases.
They really are that simple.
Ordering A Washing Machine Water Valve
You have options in many cases.
Like many washing machine spares there are, with some spares at least, alternative spares that can be used that can offer a considerable saving. However, not all have so-called "pattern" equivelent spare parts.
Wherever we can and, the copy part is of reasonable quality, we wil offer you both or even multiple options.
As ever, if you cannot find the water valve for your model number please ask as there are literally hundreds of variants when it comes to washing machine water valves.
It is also easy to order a wrong one where the connectors are keyed with a special connection block to prevent copies being easy or you being able to use a universal washing machine water valve. Manufacturers got wise to that many years ago and, while an experienced engineer could swap the coils, remove and refit water restrictors and so on, it is unreasonable to expect a member of the public to do that.
And of course, because there's no alternative, these sorts of washing machine valves do tend to be a tad more expenive. Very much more expensive in some isntances.
We don't like it either, but that's the way it is.
Of course we can supply any washer dryer or washing machine water fill valve so long as it is still available and, even if it isn't officially still available we may be able to suggest a suitable alternative if that is a possibility.