How to Clean the Water Inlet Valve on a Washing Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Pliers

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Towel or bucket

  • Brush

  • Vinegar, if needed


Always use caution when working with water and electricity.

Washing machines pull in water from your home's water supply and mix it with detergent in the laundry tub. The water is then pumped out, and the clothes are rinsed and then spun dry. Sometimes small particles of dirt, sand and grit are present in municipal water supplies. Older homes can also have rust particles floating around in pipes. That's why washers have a screen on their inlet valves. It is a good idea to clean the water inlet valve on your washing machine every year or so.


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Step 1

Unplug the washing machine from the outlet.


Step 2

Move the washer away from the wall so that you can work comfortably behind the machine. Be careful not to pull it out too far or you might disconnect the drain hose or damage the water supply hoses.


Step 3

Turn off the water supply at the supply valves located on the wall behind the washer by turning the knobs clockwise. There will be supply valves for both the hot and cold water inlets.


Step 4

Unscrew the water supply hoses from the back of the washing machine. Have a towel or bucket handy, as some water may drip out. Use the pliers if the hose coupling is difficult to move or stuck in place.


Step 5

Remove the water inlet screens with your finger or a pair of needle-nose pliers. Brush out any dirt or grit. You can soak the inlet screens in a mild solution of water and vinegar if they are calcified.


Step 6

Insert the clean water inlet screens back into the inlet valves on the washer. Attach the water supply hoses. Make sure the hoses are screwed on tight.


Step 7

Plug the washing machine back into the outlet.


Step 8

Run a test load without any clothes. Ensure that the water supply hose is on tight and there are no leaks. Move the washing machine back into its original location when satisfied.


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