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Old 08-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Plumbing or Washing Machine Issue


Hello,

My parents have a problem with either the plumbing or the washing machine. The plumber said its the washing machine, the washer repair man says its the plumbing.

When we turn on the outside water spicket or the upstairs bathtub, the washing machine drum fills up with water (even though the washer is off). Both the spicket and tub are higher in elevation than the washer, which is in the lowest part of the house. No other water units cause this issue (another shower, toilets, faucets, etc.) If we shut the water off to the washing machine, then the problem stops, we can turn on the tub or outside spicket and no problem. When you turn the water back on, the drum will fill up when either the tub or spicket are on. To me it would seem that its the washing machine solenoid valve is not working properly. The water is always on to the washing machine, but its not a problem until you turn on one of those 2 units. As you turn on the tub or spicket, you are reducing the water pressure within the system, which is relieving some of the pressure off of the solenoid, would that possibly cause the valve to open?

Does anyone know what might be going on here? The repair man said he has never seen this in 30+ years of repair, and the plumber says there is no issue with the plumbing, its something with the washer.

Thanks,

Sorry for the repeat post, my internet crashed, and when i came back on, the original post never showed up, so i thought it had not gone through

Last edited by svaic00; 08-05-2012 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Repeat post, thought first one never went through
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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Plumbing or Washing Machine Issue


Some joker screwed up the plumbing or bad fill valve on the machine. How old is the machine, and are they on well or city water? Is it the hot water, or cold water that fills? If you unplug the wash machine, does it still do it?
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Plumbing or Washing Machine Issue


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Some joker screwed up the plumbing or bad fill valve on the machine. How old is the machine, and are they on well or city water? Is it the hot water, or cold water that fills? If you unplug the wash machine, does it still do it?
The plumbing has been like this for 10+ years, and never had a problem, started up a few months ago.
Believe mom said washer is 15 years old, maybe older.
City Water
I believe its cold, but it may be a mixture of both.

Have not tried unplugging it, only tried shutting off water. I am pretty sure its the fill valve (thats the solenoid valve correct?) because of reduced water pressure within the system, throws off pressure balance between hot and cold, valve may be clogged, old and not work properly.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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Plumbing or Washing Machine Issue


Yes, the fill valve is the solenoid valve. Fifteen years, that machine has served its life pretty long. If it is the fill valve, depends on if the part is still readily available, and not that much.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 AM   #5
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Plumbing or Washing Machine Issue


The fill valve in a washing machine is held closed by the water pressure itself. When the washer is turned on, electrical power operates a solenoid to overcome the pressure and let the water flow in. It's designed like this to prevent water from flowing in, but it looks like the valve in yours is getting worn out. The water pressure in your home drops when you turn another fixture on, and so there's not enough pressure to hold the valve shut, thus water leaks past it and into the wash tub. Replacing the fill valve is not hard, and the part sells for about $25-$50 and can probably be found at a local appliance parts counter.
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