If the water level of your washer is low, this could indicate a problem or it could simply be an advantage of choosing an energy efficient washing machine. The key is being able to tell the difference between normal low levels and water problems.
Energy Efficient Washers
High-efficiency washers are designed to use less power and water to get the job done. If you only have half a load or a small load of laundry, your washer will detect this and only use the necessary amount of water and power. In the past, this was not the case and the washer would fill no matter how full or empty it was. The size of the load helps determine the duration of the cycle as well as the water level. It also depends on the settings you choose for different fabrics. So, if your water levels are low when you have smaller loads and you are using a high-efficiency washer, there is no need to worry. It’s completely normal.
There is a water inlet valve which forms part of your washer and its job is to allow water to flow from your plumbing into the washing machine. This is an essential part when controlling water flow and levels. It is also the most common culprit of water inlet problems. If your washer is not filling properly with water, this water inlet valve could be faulty and require replacement. The valve can be located where the two hoses meet and they join the hose on the washer. Your washer inlet valve will also have a screen attached which is designed to filter out any debris that could damage your washer. If this screen is clogged, it can also result in low water levels. These screens can be removed and cleaned but you must always remember to turn the water off before doing so or you’ll end up with a very wet floor! You will need to remove the hoses and keep a bucket handy to catch any water that is still inside them. Once clean, put the screen back and connect all the hoses properly before turning the water back on. Test your washer with a load and see if this solves the problem. If not, you should contact a professional.
Water Pressure Problems
Poor water pressure can have a significant impact of the effectiveness and efficiency of your washer. In most cases, your water inlet valve will need at least 20 psi in order to function correctly. Anything less can result in low water levels. Low water pressure could affect a single part of your home or your entire home. By testing the water pressure in various areas of your home (bathroom, kitchen, etc) as well as the main inlet, you will be able to get a better idea of the source or reason behind the weaker water pressure.
Faulty Fill Sensor
A bad fill sensor on your washer is another common cause being filling problems. If the sensor is faulty, it can cause the washer to stop filling before the water reaches the necessary level. It could even result in overfilling. There’s not much that you can do other than have the sensor professionally replaced by a trained appliance repair specialist.
In most cases, your washer will run without problems for several years. It’s important to understand that there are a number of electronic and mechanical parts on your washer that experience wear and tear every time they are used. Even if you only do laundry once a week, you are bound to use your washer at least twice. Families can do upwards of four loads of laundry every week and each wash cycle can last from half an hour to as much as two hours, depending on the setting you select.
Given the complex nature of washing machines, it’s always best to have a professional diagnose and repair the problem. You can inspect hoses for leaks and check filters for blockages but when the time comes to open the appliance and take a look inside, this is a job best left to the experts. If the water level is low in your washer and you notice water on your floor, there could be a leak somewhere. If you are unable to detect the leak yourself, have a professional take a look.