What are the telltale symptoms of a bad dishwasher water inlet valve?

We look at the telltale Symptoms of a bad dishwasher water inlet valve to help you troubleshoot your dishwasher fault

If your dishwasher is misbehaving (perhaps it’s not cleaning the dishes as well as it should), it could be due to a bad water inlet valve.

But how can you be sure?

Well, the good news is that there are some tell-tale symptoms of a bad dishwasher water inlet valve that you can be on the lookout for as you try to diagnose your malfunctioning dishwasher.

In this article, we will take a closer look at these signs…we want to make troubleshooting the cause of your dishwasher malfunctioning much easier.

Oh, and we will share with you a step-by-step guide on testing the valve and how to go about replacing it (if it is indeed the culprit)

Symptoms of a bad dishwasher water inlet valve

Now, to know if your dishwasher’s water inlet valve is gone, then be on the lookout for the following signs…

There’s no water flow to the dishwasher

A faulty water inlet valve will result in no water flowing to the dishwasher.

But before crucifying the inlet valve, it is good to test it to confirm that it is the cause of the problem (I will be giving you the testing steps in a while).

This is because other factors such as a faulty door switch, inadequate water pressure, a faulty control board and so on might be causing the water flow problem.


The dishwasher is overfilling

Another sign is your dishwasher overfilling – this might be accompanied by water leaking from beneath the door.

Now, an overfilling tub is an indication that the valve might be stuck in the open position.

One way to help determine if this is the case is to open the dishwasher door during the fill cycle.

If the water continues to enter the tub after opening the door, it is likely that the inlet valve is defective.

However, testing should be done to rule out a faulty door switch – I will be guiding you on how to test the inlet valve in a few.


The dishwasher is leaking at the bottom

In this case, you are likely to note that your dishwasher is leaking from the bottom specifically in the area around the valve.

For the most part, this indicates that the valve is either clogged or it has some cracks around it.

Again, a closer inspection is necessary to confirm that the leakage is indeed coming from the water inlet valve and not some other part.


The dishwasher fills with water when it is turned off

If your dishwasher is filling with water even after turning off the dishwasher, it means that the inlet valve is stuck in the open position.

Pro tip: While troubleshooting the issue, turn off the water faucets to stop water flow to the dishwasher.

what does a water inlet valve do on a dishwasher

Your dishwasher is throwing a fault code repeatedly

Seeing a fault code is another super good way of telling if your dishwasher water inlet valve is bad.

But I want you to be cautious here because not all dishwasher error codes indicate a water inlet valve issue…

Besides, different dishwasher brands throw a different fault code for the same problem

For example, nearly all Samsung dishwasher models display Error code 4C/4E when the part is causing trouble (your dishwasher might not be receiving enough water).

Meanwhile, quite a number of Kenmore dishwasher models show the error code 6-2 or F6E2 to signal water inlet valve defect.

So it is best to check your owners manual (if there’s a code on the display) to be certain that it’s associated with a failing water inlet valve.


The dishes are not being cleaned properly

If you note that your dishes are coming out of the unit partially clean, chances are that the valve is gone.

Here’s the thing: a bad water inlet valve will result in a slow fill in the dishwasher.

As a result, the water will be inadequate for the dishwasher to properly clean the dishes.

Now, as I had mentioned earlier, seeing one or more of the above symptoms is not enough evidence that the water inlet valve is bad.

This is because some other part (other than the inlet valve) might be causing the problems you are experiencing.

So, to be sure that the valve is indeed to blame, follow the steps below to test it…


How to test the water inlet valve on a dishwasher

  1. Disconnect the dishwasher from the power outlet.
  2. Remove the bottom front panel to access the water inlet valve.
  3. Remove the wire harness to the inlet valve.
  4. On your multimeter, choose the lowest ohms of resistance setting and proceed to calibrate the multimeter to 0 (for analog multimeters).

Pro tip: if there are signs of leaking around the inlet valve, confirm that the hose is properly inserted and that there are no cracks on the inlet valve.

  1. Touch the valve’s terminals using the probes and check the reading.
  2. If the valve is good, you should get a reading of between 500 and 1,500 ohms of resistance.

If your valve’s resistance is within this range,  then, the valve is good and it might be another part that is malfunctioning.

On the other hand, if your reading is out of this range, then it is probably a confirmation that the valve has failed electronically.

Which means you need to replace the bad valve.

how to check a water inlet valve on a dishwasher

Now, to point you in the right direction when it comes to replacing the part, below is a list of our recommended water inlet valve replacement parts for the most common dishwasher brands in the market:

Dishwasher brand Water inlet valve replacement
LG Get it on Amazon
GE Get it on Amazon
Samsung Get it on Amazon
Whirlpool Get it on Amazon
Maytag Get it on Amazon
Kenmore Get it on Amazon
Frigidaire Get it on Amazon

Symptoms of a bad dishwasher water inlet valve – final thoughts

If your dishwasher has one or more of the above symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that the water inlet valve has failed…it could be that some other part might be at fault.

For instance, other than a faulty water inlet valve, there are other reasons that might result in your dishwasher leaking from the bottom.

So be sure to first test your water inlet valve before you order a new replacement part as described above.


LG dishwasher symbols explained

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