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Low hot water pressure on washing machine

QuestionThe hot water pressure has dropped on my washing machine and it takes ages to fill. I don't know what the problem could be. Any suggestions?

AnswerFirst, check to see if the water inlet valve screen is plugged with foreign material, sand, or even rust if you have galvanized pipes. All would restrict water flow into the valve.

This is pretty easy—first turn off the hot water supply to the washer, and then, with a bucket handy, remove the supply line (hose) from the shut-off valve and drain the line into the bucket. Then remove the inlet hose from the water inlet valve on the back of the washer. With a flashlight check the inward cone-shaped screen of the water valve. If the screen is plugged, clean it using warm water in a spray bottle and a small soft nonmetallic brush. A little CLR might help loosen any sediment. While you're at it, check the cold side as well. If you are unable to unclog the screen(s), then it's time to replace the water solenoid inlet valve.

Some water valve screens are molded into the inlet valve, depending on the make, model, and year of the washer. Don't attempt to remove these screens—they aren't designed for removal.

However, others can be removed for easy cleanout. Use long-nose pliers to grab the outside edge of the screen and remove it. This will also allow you to actually rub the inlet side and clean off any debris. You may find it easier to purchase a new screen, which most likely will only be available from an appliance dealer or directly from the manufacturer.

Another place to check is the end of the hose that connects to the shut-off valve to see if there's a screen. If so, it can easily be replaced. Look for a "filter hose washer" at your local home improvement store—sold three to a package, they are very inexpensive.

If a screen is not available for the water inlet valve on the back of the washer, then remove the screen and place filter hose washers at one end of both the hot and cold washer hoses. This may be an inexpensive way to fix the problem without replacing the washer's inlet valve.

Copyright © 2004, 2006, & 2008 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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