How to replace the water inlet valve on a direct-drive top-load washer
This step-by-step washer repair guide shows how to replace the water inlet valve assembly on a direct-drive top-load washer. If the washer doesn't fill with water or fills with water even when unplugged, replace the water inlet valve with a manufacturer-approved washer part.
You can use this repair procedure to replace the water inlet valve on direct-drive, top-load washers made by Kenmore, Whirlpool, Estate, Maytag, Crosley and Roper.
We also have instructions for replacing the water inlet valve on a front-load washer and replacing the water inlet valve on a VMW top-load washer. If you're not sure if your washer is direct drive or uses VMW technology, check out our washer FAQs to learn the difference.
This video explains how to replace the water inlet valve on a direct-drive top-load washer.
Shut off the electricity and water
Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
Turn off the water supply valves.
Wear work gloves to protect your hands.
Disconnect the fill hoses
Move the washer so can you remove the fill hoses from the back of the washer.
Mark which fill hose goes to the hot connector and which goes to the cold connector.
Using channel lock pliers, carefully loosen and remove both hoses.
Wipe up water spills with a towel to prevent slipping.
Open the control console
Pull the plastic end caps off the sides of the control console.
Remove the screws at the base of the control console.
Pull the control console slightly forward and then swing it over the top of the back panel.Tip: Some Whirlpool models have screws on the back of the end caps instead of on the front of the control console; remove the screws. Other models have spring clips under the end caps; use a putty knife to release the spring clips.
PHOTO: Remove the plastic endcaps from the control console.
PHOTO: Remove the screws at the base of the control panel console.
PHOTO: Flip the console up and back.
Remove the cabinet
Unplug the wire harness from the lid switch on the top panel.
Release the clips that secure the sides of the washer to the back panel. Using a slot screwdriver, pry the clips forward to release the clips from the slots in the top panel.
Lift the back of the cabinet and slide the cabinet forward to remove it from the washer frame.
Set the cabinet out of the way.
PHOTO: Unplug the lid switch wire harness connector.
PHOTO: Release the cabinet clip.
PHOTO: Remove the washer cabinet from the frame.
Remove the water inlet valve
Take a picture of the wiring connections or label them so you can reattach them correctly.
Pull straight back on the wire harness connectors to detach them from the solenoid coils.
Remove the water inlet valve mounting screws and release the valve from the back panel.
Using pliers, release the hose clamp from the interior fill hose. Pull the interior fill hose off the water inlet valve.
Remove the valve.
PHOTO: Remove the wire harness connectors from the valve.
PHOTO: Remove the water inlet valve mounting screws.
PHOTO: Remove the interior fill hose.
PHOTO: Remove the water inlet valve.
Install the new water inlet valve
Install the mounting bracket on the new water inlet valve.
Connect the interior fill hose to the new valve and secure it with the hose clamp.
Attach the water inlet valve to the back panel using the mounting screws.
Connect the wire harness to the new valve.
PHOTO: Install the mounting bracket on the new inlet valve.
PHOTO: Install the inlet valve bracket screws.
PHOTO: Connect the interior fill hose.
PHOTO: Attach the valve to the back panel.
PHOTO: Connect the wires to the new inlet valve.
Reinstall the cabinet
Position the cabinet in front of the washer.
Tilt the back of the cabinet up slightly and keep the front lip of the cabinet on the floor.
Push the base of the cabinet forward with your foot to position the front lip of the cabinet under the front base of the washer.
Lower the back of the cabinet so the holes in the back of the cabinet sides connect with the alignment tabs at the back of the sides of the washer base.
Reinstall the spring clips at the top of the cabinet.
Plug the lid switch wire harness back into the receptacle on the top panel of the washer.
PHOTO: Reinstall the cabinet.
PHOTO: Reinstall the cabinet clips.
PHOTO: Plug in the lid switch harness.
Reinstall the control console
Position the control console on the top panel of the washer.
Reinstall the mounting screws at the base of the control console.
Snap the plastic end caps onto the sides of the control console.
PHOTO: Close the console.
PHOTO: Reinstall the control console screws.
PHOTO: Reinstall the plastic endcaps.
Reinstall the fill hoses
Thread the fill hoses onto the matching connections on the back of the washer.
Tighten the connections firmly using channel lock pliers; don't overtighten, which could crack the plastic on the inlet valve.
Restore the water and power
Turn on the water supply valves and check for leaks at the wall and the washer.
Tighten the connection if it leaks.
Plug the washer into the electrical outlet.
Return the washer to its original location.
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