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 replacement 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.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required

  • Water inlet valve

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Slot screwdriver
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Pliers
  • Towel
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Replacing the Water Inlet Valve in a Direct-Drive Washer

Step 1: Shut off the electricity and water

Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

Turn off the water supply valves.

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: 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.

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: 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.

Reconnect the wire harness to the new valve.

Step 7: 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.

Step 8: 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.

Step 9: 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.

Step 10: 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.