How to Repair a Dishwasher That Doesn't Fill With Water

looking at broken dishwasher trying to find problem
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 60
What You'll Need
Water inlet valve
Drain solenoid valve

There can be many reasons for having to repair a dishwasher. One of the most common problems is a dishwasher not filling with water. While there are a number of reasons why your dishwasher could be malfunctioning, they are all fairly simple to repair. Just follow these steps to troubleshoot and solve the problem on your own.

Step 1 - Float

The float rises when water fills your dishwasher, and once it reaches a pre-set level, the water switches off. If the float is stuck, this could be the reason why your dishwasher won’t fill.

To check the float, unplug the dishwasher and remove the lower rack and the float assembly cover. Now, try lifting and dropping the float. It should move easily. Check for any debris that could cause it to stick, and remove it.

Use the multitester to check the float switch after disconnecting the wires that attach to it. If your reading isn’t zero or infinity, you’ll need to replace the float switch to repair the dishwasher. This component secures easily into place with a clip. Loosen the clip, remove the old switch, and put the new component in place to rectify the problem.

Step 2 - Water Inlet Valve

A clogged filter screen on the water inlet valve could also be the potential reason behind your dishwasher not filling. Take a look behind the kickplate panel, which is where you should find the valve with hoses connected to it. First, make sure the hoses are properly connected and not kinked. If the hoses are undamaged, turn off the water to the dishwasher, place a container under the hoses to catch surplus water and remove them.

Remove the four wires from the inlet valve, making sure to mark them so that you'll know how to reconnect them properly. Unscrew the water inlet valve and check the screen. If it appears clear, use the multimeter to check the solenoids on the valve. If the reading is infinity, you need to replace the valve, which is another easy repair method.

Step 3 - Door Switch

If the door switch on your dishwasher isn’t working properly, it won’t read as closed and your dishwasher won’t fill. You need to test it to establish whether it’s working or not.

To do this, unplug the dishwasher. Inspect the prong inside the tub to see whether it’s broken. If it is intact and moves as it should, you need to check the switch. This will be in the control panel, and you’ll need to remove a few of the door screws to access it.

Remove the wiring harness from the switch and check the terminals with your multimeter. You should have an infinity reading until you press down on the prong when the reading should move to zero. If this doesn’t happen, unscrew and replace the door switch. This is an easy method to repair a dishwasher.

Step 4 - Drain Valve

The drain valve on the dishwasher is governed by the drain solenoid. If this is malfunctioning, it can prevent the dishwasher from filling. Note that you’ll only have a drain valve solenoid if your dishwasher has a single direction motor. Unplug the dishwasher, remove the kickplate and find the drain valve by the motor. Try the gate arm and the drain valve to see if it moves easily and whether the springs are in good condition or not.

Disconnect the wires from the solenoid and check it with the probes on your multimeter. You should receive a reading of around 40 ohms. If not, you’ll need to repair the dishwasher by disconnecting and replacing the solenoid.