You’re probably experiencing a defective dishwasher water inlet valve if it doesn’t fill with water or makes funny noises while filling.
Luckily, this is a part that you can buy and replace yourself with these step-by-step instructions.
What is a Dishwasher Water Inlet Valve?
A water inlet valve controls the hot water coming into a dishwasher. It is a part that can causes issues because its inlet port commonly gets clogged with debris. This restricts the flow of water to your dishwasher.
The part can be found near the dishwasher’s access panel and will be attached to two wires, a hot water supply hose (where the water comes in), and an outlet hose (where the water goes out).
How Do I Know if My Water Inlet Valve is Bad?
You will notice less water flowing into the dishwasher if the inlet valve is bad. It might not have water flowing at all. You also might hear unusual noises during the water-filling cycle. Of course, your dishes won’t be as clean either.
The debris (and hard water minerals) clogging the hose can create buildup on the valve that gets so bad the part can’t just be cleaned. The pressure buildup from water not being able to flow properly can also cause leaks which result in water damage to the floors.
In these cases, the dishwasher water inlet valve needs to be replaced.
How Much Does a Water Inlet Valve Cost?
Dishwasher water inlet valves are inexpensive parts, usually costing only about $15 to $35. Some water inlet valves will cost more because they are specific to a particular brand.
You can either take your old water inlet valve to an appliance center or hardware store to see if they have the same replacement part. If not, you’ll need to call the manufacturer’s parts department and order one.
Don’t be surprised if ordering one from your brand supplier isn’t more expensive. However, if your dishwasher is still under warranty, ask if you can have a replacement part shipped to you for free.
How to Replace a Dishwasher Water Inlet Valve
To get started, you’ll need masking tape, a replacement inlet valve, screwdriver, slip-joint pliers, long-nose pliers, and an adjustable wrench.
- Turn off the power to the dishwasher at the main service panel. If you have a portable dishwasher, just unplug it.
- Turn off the hot water supply valve to the dishwasher. It is located under the kitchen sink (assuming your dishwasher is in the main kitchen).
- Remove the access panel to your dishwasher. It can be found at the bottom of the dishwasher. On some newer dishwashers, you might need to remove the outer door panel from the front of the washer to get to the access panel. See video below.
- Using slip-joint pliers, unscrew the hot-water-hose couplings at the inlet valve and the water supply valve under the sink.
- Again, using the slip-joint pliers, squeeze together the ends of the fill hose clamp and slide it up the hose. Then, pull the fill hose off the inlet valve.
- Label the wires on the inlet valve with masking tape to indicate their position. Then pull the wires off the terminals with long-nose pliers.
- Remove the inlet valve mounting bolts and the inlet valve with an adjustable wrench. Take it to an appliance service center to make sure you purchase the correct replacement.
- To install the new inlet valve, bolt it in place. Reattach the wires, fill hose, and hot-water hose.
- Restore the power, turn on the water supply valve under the sink, and check for leaks. Tighten the hose couplings as necessary.
The most trouble you’ll have in a job like this is getting access to the dishwasher water inlet valve. In the old days, access panels were easy to see and get into.
Today, dishwashers are made to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Often, that makes them harder to access. In any case, once you get into the dishwasher, the other steps are easy enough for any beginner.
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