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Why is my dishwasher not filling with water?

Some dishwasher faults tend to be pretty technical and it's likely that you'll need a specialist to repair them. Other times, the fix is actually simple. If your dishwasher won't fill with water there are several basic things you should check before you call the repairman in. Always disconnect the dishwasher from the mains before attempting any repairs.

No tool Checks

The Inlet Hose

Follow the hose from the point where it connects with your mains water supply, along the line to make sure it's still connected properly with no kinks. There's likely to be an on-off tap on the hose, so make sure this is in the on position.

The Float

Remove the lower dish rack and the base cover to see the float. This is designed to rise as the dishwasher fills with water until it reaches a point where it triggers the float switch and turns the water off. Try lifting the float and letting it drop, it should move freely with no resistance, if it isn't doing this check for any dirt or debris that could be impeding its movement. Clean away any dirt you can see and recheck the float to see if it's now moving freely.

Trouble-Shooting You'll Need Tools For

If you have some basic handyman skills and a few tools to hand, there are a few more things you can check for yourself. If you're in any doubt, however, it's much better to call in a professional for these dishwasher repairs:

The Float switch

If the float is rising and falling as it should, it's still possible that the float switch itself has failed, you'll need a multi-tester to check:

  • 1. Lift the float itself out of the way so that you can see the switch
  • 2. Disconnect the wires that attach to the float switch
  • 3. Use the multi-tester on the float switch you should get a reading of zero or infinity. Anything else indicates that the switch itself has failed

The door switch

The door switch records that the door is properly closed and sealed, if it fails a safely override will prevent the dishwasher from filling. The switch is generally found behind the door panel at the top. You need to check to see if the prong inside the door is broken if it is it needs to be replaced. Assuming that the prong is intact the switch itself needs to be checked for continuity. This is done in exactly the same way as checking the float switch.

  • 1. Detach the wires attached to the switch itself and check the terminals with the multi-meter.
  • 2. You should get a reading of infinity with the door prong up, and zero with it down
  • 3. Like the float switch, door switches are designed to be easily removed and replaced.

The inlet valve

You'll find this behind the kickplate of your appliance, just where the hoses enter the machine. Before being able to access the inlet valve you'll need to switch off the water supply to the dishwashers and place a bucket or pan under the hose to catch drips.

There are four wires connected to the inlet valve, you'll need to disconnect these to access the valve and test it. Be sure to mark them so that you'll reconnect correctly.

  • 1. There is a filter screen on the inlet valve, this can become clogged so start by checking it and cleaning it if necessary
  • 2. Use the multi-tester to check the solenoids on the valve. In this case, a reading of infinity indicates that the valve needs replacing.