What can be wrong when a Whirlpool washer will not fill with water?

May 22, 17 • DIY Tips6 Comments

Whirlpool washers start the wash cycle by filling with water.

Nothing happens when the water does not flow and the problem can be one of several things. First, a quick explanation of why we care about the water level switch when the washer is not filling and then I will detail the basic steps I use to troubleshoot any washer that will not fill.

The function of a water level switch on a Whirlpool washer. 

The water level switch controls the power going to the water inlet valve. Electrical power is routed from the timer through the water level switch to the water inlet valve.  When the correct water level is reached in the tub, the water level switch will remove power from the water inlet valve and direct it to the motor. This action ends the fill cycle and begins the agitation phase. Specific models may have more components in the circuit, but this is the basic operation.

Troubleshooting steps I use to identify the problem.

These steps apply to the most common washers.  Upscale models may have additional components in the circuit (such as thermistors and water valves with more than two solenoids), but these basic steps can serve as a starting point.

  1. Select different water temperatures.
    1. If the water flows on one temperature selection and not another.
      1. Disconnect the water hoses at the machine and test by running water through each hose into the drain.
      2. Inspect the sediment screens in the inlet of the water valve and clean any sediment that is blocking the flow.
      3. If suspected flow problem is corrected, reconnect hoses and go back to step 1, otherwise, go to step 3 “Test the Whirlpool washer inlet valve” (skip step 2).
    2. If there no water flow on any selection go to step 2 below picture.Pressure switch
  1. Remove and test the Whirlpool washer water level switch (picture above) also known as a pressure switch. Use a multi-meter to test for continuity (connection) between the terminals. Alternatively, the pressure switch can be taken to the nearest U-FIX-IT store for free testing.
    1. Two of the three terminals should show continuity between them.
    2. Blow gently on the hose connection of the pressure switch until you hear a click.
      1. The two terminals that were showing continuity should now show open until the pressure is released.
      2. The common terminal should now show continuity to the third terminal until the pressure is released.
      3. Water level switch is bad if it fails to test as described in the previous two steps, otherwise, go to step 3.Testing water valve
  1. Test the Whirlpool washer water inlet valve or remove the water valve and take it to the nearest U-FIX-IT store for free testing.
    1. Set the water temperature to warm.
    2. Using a multimeter check that there is 110 volts present at one of the solenoid coils on the water valve.
      1. If 110 volts is present at the coil and no water is flowing through the valve then water valve is bad.
      2. If 110 volts is not present at any solenoid then use the schematic wiring diagram to work back through the circuit until the lost voltage is found.

If these steps for identifying the common Whirlpool washer fill problems do not isolate the problem, locate the wiring diagram for your washer and call the nearest U-FIX-IT store for personalized help in locating the problem.

More From Jim Plummer

Jim is an ex-Air Force pilot and a business school graduate of University of Texas at Austin. He has been in the appliance parts business since 1975.

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6 Responses to “What can be wrong when a Whirlpool washer will not fill with water?”

  1. Piney says:

    I have a stackable whirlpool washer dryer. Even on large loads only filling with 6 inches of water. King size sheets don’t even get wet everywhere! Valves are checked. Any suggestions? Model is:WET3300xq2

    • Jim Plummer says:


      The water level should be controlled by the water level switch (pressure switch). Your machine shows to have a 3 level switch which is located behind the third knob from the left. If all three positions result in the same low fill, I would replace the pressure switch. Call 817 472-7740 or the U-FIX-IT store nearest you for free personalized troubleshooting assistance.


  2. Louis Schweichler says:

    I have a Whirlpool Washer, Stock No: LSR7233E , Model No: LSR7233E00 , Serial No: CF4656403.

    Cold water has just begun to fill very slowly. Water hose screens are clean, ie no blockage. Removed hoses from the back of the machine, and placed output side of hoses in Washer tub, then opened the water valves at the wall, both had plenty of water and pressure flowing thru the hoses. I then connected the Cold water supply hose to the HOT WATER INLET connection, and the Hot Water supply hose to the COLD WATER connection. Now the Washer’s HOT water is filling normally, and the Washer’s Cold Water is slow to fill. Diagnosis, the cold water inlet valve is faulty.

    Please send me a quote for a new WATER INLET VALVE ASSEMBLY for the above Whirlpool Washer via email or .

    Lou Schweichler
    Mansfield TX
    817-905-5653 (C)

    • Jim Plummer says:

      I notice you have visited our Arlington store and purchased the water valve you needed while waiting for my reply. Your troubleshooting process will probably inspire others with the same symptoms to use your test. Thank you for your inquiry and thank you for your business.

  3. Sara Perez says:

    My Whirlpool washer starts agitation with no water in tub.

    • Jim Plummer says:

      I need more information before I can offer help. Call the U-FIX-IT Store nearest you (or 817 472-7740) with the model number and we will be happy to give you free personalized assistance in troubleshooting your washer. Thank you for your inquiry.