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The Kenmore Elite HE3 is a washing machine by Kenmore.

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Washer slowly fills with water while not in use, what is wrong?

Recently, I noticed that my washer will slowly fill with water when not in use. The problem seems to be intermittent, and I think it could be mineral buildup in the supply valve. Any suggestions would help.

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Dave, I replaced the water inlet valve and still doing it. Water slowly fills where you put detergent and then drips/runs down inside of washing machine on front seal and into basin. Appreciate any other ideas. Thanks, Curtis

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bad inlet valve, or low water pressure can cause this

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Just put in brand new valve and water pressure is fine.

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So still not sure of issue. Appears worse then with old valve.

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SUCCESS!!

Tried everything in the repair video to stop dripping into tub when not in use - checked air hose, blew air into switch and heard it clicking, blew air into air dome and heard water bubbling, so no blockages anywhere. Removed supply hoses from their faucets, drained them, elevated the ends removed from the faucet and filled with CLR and let stand over night. The cold side had been dripping, so had to keep refilling. Major improvement the next day - second night of elevation totally cleared whatever blockage was in switch or lines. Might want to try before even opening the machine up.

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7 Answers

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Water-inlet valves eventually fail. One problem that may develop with a water-inlet valve is that it can no longer completely shut off when the electricity is turned off to it. Then, the valve may leak and drip water into the clothes tub--you may notice that your washer has water in it when you haven't used it for a few days. To fix this, replace the valve.

Here's the part and where to get it: http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail...

I've used these people and they are fast and reliable.

They also carry a repair manual for it: http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail...

UPDATE 7/2020

This can also be caused by low water pressure, i.e. the hot water has been shut off at the tank, or just very low pressure.

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+ Good stuff. I learned something today.

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+ Good research

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Thanks for the quick and quality help!

-Dave

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Excellent research +

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same thing happened to mine because it was delivered in the winter

when they brought it in it was frozen.had to wait 15 minutes for it to thaw.then after 1 month it started to collect water in the tub.i turn the water off after i do the wash so that takes care of it until i replace the valve

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This is a supplement, NOT a replacement to the well-researched and thorough answer from Mayer, above...

In my washing machine, the hard water deposits blocked up the inlet quite a bit, to the point where it appeared to be failing.

I bought a $10 bottle of CLR, or "Calcium/Lime/Rust," sold in a usually gray bottle and ran the roughly 1/4-gallon container through a warm cycle twice, half of the bottle each time. It cleared out the hard water, and the inlet ran well afterwards.

Twice a year, I use CLR the same way on my dishwasher and soak my shower head in it to remove minerals and hard water buildup. CLR is essential for anyone's cleaning "kit" where water is used-- the sink, bathtub, etc.

Remember, Meyer's post is VERY complete and *most likely* your problem with a slow inlet.

NOTE: On the first cycle, with the CLR in the clothing washer, let the water fill up and sit with water/CLR in it for at least a couple of hours. Also, CHECK YOUR MANUAL to make sure there isn't any reason NOT to use CLR on it... I can't think of any, but I'm not an expert on washing machines.

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the CLR suggestion seems to have worked for us.

== Update ==

the CLR seems to have solved the leaking problem for us

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how does putting clr in the tub with water help the inlet valve decorrode? what am i mising here?

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Farspace, silly question but do you put the CLR in the liquid detergent tray, or directly in the wash drum? I assume the latter, as a 1/4 gallon seems like that's too much for a detergent tray. And as it turns out, I actually have the washer used in the video so it literally helps me out! Thank you in advance!

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I started to notice water filling up in my HE washing machine two weeks ago. I thought it was odd but just ran it with another load in it . Went away for the weekend and came back to wash clothes and to my surprise there was a ton of water in it. Of course I freaked out and searched for the number to a service man and was going to call them Monday morning. I then googled my problem and found this. I decided to try CLR first after I dropped the kids off at school I went to Walmart and bought it for around $7. Came home and ran the washing machine twice running the CLR through the dispenser on the warm cycle and it worked!

Thanks for posting your experience it saved me a huge service bill I am sure.

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The CLR treatment has worked for me also! I first shut off the water supply to the machine, disconnected and drained the supply hoses of water, then turned the open end up and poured CLR into it so that it gets to the valve to do its cleaning. The cold water inlet valve did allow the hose to fill with CLR so I'm guessing that valve wasn't as bad as the hot water side because I was able to empty what was left of the bottle into that side. I then held the open end of the supply hoses up and allowed the CLR to soak for several more minutes before reconnecting them, then ran 2 empty cycles on 'quick wash' without clothes detergent to flush the system which additionally cleaned the drum and all parts that come in contact with hard water. This is a useful technique and will now become part of my annual preventive maintenance routine, my dishwasher is next.

Thank you farspace.

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Hi all, thanks for the thread, it helped point me in the right direction//

"Farspace" mentioned the use of CLR, (thanks "farspace")but did not explain getting it into the inlet valve.. As just putting the CLR into the drum will not get it into the inlet valve, I went a step farther..

Turn off water and disconnect the hoses from the supply line, drain the hoses, pour clr into the hoses, reconnect and run an empty cycle.. this gets the clr running through the valve..

(I am not a repairman and I do not claim to know anything about washing machines, my only experience is fixing my own stuff.... this was simply the easy logical way to get the clr running through the valve)

This process did work for me, My washer was slowly filling when not in use running some clr through the valve must have cleared some deposits that were keeping the valve from fully closing..

** after using clr, I would recommend a couple more empty washes to flush it all out before doing laundry..

I hope this helps someone,, it saved me ..

lastly I did not have to order my valve, as this fixed it but for those that have to replace itk once you have the part number, I would recommend shopping around a bit,, Amazon had my valve for about 35%off what the "Repair Clinic" has it listed for....

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Also, after pouring the CLR into the inlet hoses and reconnecting them to the water supply, leave the CLR in the hoses long enough to do its work dissolving the mineral deposits (per the instructions on the bottle) before turning the water back on and running the empty machine through a short cycle to clear the CLR out.

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removing the valve and soaking it overnight would be a better option, then filling the hoses with CLR of Food Grade Citric Acid when putting it back in.

I prefer the Citric Acid (vitamin C), it is non toxic and cleans just as well, I also add 1/4 cup of it to my water softener with each bag of salt to prevent prevent faucets clogging.

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As mayer stated, replacing the valve would be the easiest way to go. If you're going to pull the valve out, you can then visually inspect the inlet and outlet ports to see if there are deposits. There are strainers on the inlet side of the valve where you may see the deposits, particularly the hot water inlet. If there are visible deposits, you could put CLR in a pan and soak the valve to try to remove the deposits. Only put enough in the pan to cover the inlet and outlet ports and not the electrical connections or solenoid.

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Hi, My lg has 2 inlet valves, hot and cold. I ordered both based on what I have read. The parts are in transit. I have hard water, I took both the valve assemblies out today. Easy, 2 screws for both. The cold water has three valves, the hot water has one. Each valve unit has 4 screws at the base. Remove these screws, pull the unit apart. Do the following:

Clean the neoprene assemblies in clr, then use simple green or some other cleaner to make sure all the hard water debris has been cleaned off. Put the units back together and secure the inlet valve assemblies to the back of the washer unit. If the neoprene assemblies are torn or worn out then you need to replace the inlet valve assembly unit, if not all will work as expected. It is clear that these inlet valve assemblies were meant to removed and cleaned.

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Im actually having this problem now. Turn off one water valve at a time to see if it stop. Nope.. still dripping while both are off. Disconnect the hose that screws into inlet water valves on washer (have towel bc water will drip). I discovered build up on the hot water inlet valve and the cold hose still leaked, like constantly. So i placed the cold water hose in the washer and turned on the water valve (quickly) just a little to try flush the line. The drip stop. Then cleaned the valves the best I could. Connected it back and power on and tested the Drain/ Spin cycle. No more drips. Only cost me 45 mins of time.

Possibly reasons if it happens again

• Clogged water inlet valves or hoses lines from mineral build-up or

• Shut off valve going bad or something prevent a closure.

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Hi @justleena9 ,

Usually the hoses have a filter in the end that screws into the machine to prevent any grit or larger particles from entering the inlet solenoids. Click on the "repair video" in the link to see where they are located

Do your hoses have them and are they in good condition?

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Hi @ssk12 ,

Does the washer have both hot and cold water supplies attached to it.

If so when you shut off the main house tap, if you have a hot water storage tank in the ceiling or on the roof, did you remember to also shut off the main house hot water tap so that hot water is not going into the washer, due to a faulty hot water tap that the washer is connected to?

If it is not the hot water supply then if the washer is filling when the main house water tap is closed then maybe that tap is not closing properly and also the tap that the washer is connected to isn’t either.

Try fully closing the main house tap and opening any other tap such as the kitchen tap or bathroom tap and check if water continues to come out of them. Initially there will be a flow of water as the pipes drain so be prepared for this but this should eventually stop.

If water continues to come out even at a trickle then the main house tap isn’t closing properly.

If the water comes out fast all the time you’ve closed the wrong tap.

If the water does continue to trickle out when the main house tap is closed, remove the washer’s hose from the tap that it is connected to, and making sure that the tap is closed check if water is coming out of it.

Remember to close the main hot water tap as well when you are checking for leaking water, just so that you don’t get confused as to where the water may be coming from

Update (02/12/2020)

Hi @ssk12,

You may have two problems so take it one at a time.

You may get a bit wet trying this ;-)

Turn off the tap that the washer's cold water inlet hose is connected to and remove the hose from the tap.

There will still be water in the hose so have a bucket handy.

Check if there is water coming from the tap. Ideally there should be none.

Next turn off the tap that the washer's hot water inlet hose is connected to and remove the hose from the tap. Check if there is water coming from the tap. Ideally there should be none.

If this is what occurs then the taps are OK. If not whichever one is still dripping water then that is one problem but it isn’t the cause of the tub filling when the machine is not in use.

If both taps seal off the water OK, (or even if one doesn’t) reconnect the washer's cold water hose to the cold water tap and turn on the tap.

Check if water flows into the tub. It shouldn't. Give it a bit of time to make sure that it doesn’t. If it does then there is a problem with the washer's cold water inlet solenoid.

If there is no water coming in then do the same with the hot water hose. reconnect it to the tap and turn on the tap and check if water flows into the tub. It also shouldn't. If it does then there is a problem with the hot water inlet solenoid.

If there is a problem with a solenoid turn off the appropriate tap that supplies the “faulty”solenoid and then disconnect the hose from the washing machine. Check the filter in the end of the hose fitting that connects to the washing machine end (or the machine’s water inlet connection, it varies with makes where it is located) to make sure that it is not damaged etc. This filter is there to prevent grit etc entering the machine where it might cause the solenoid not to close properly.

Unfortunately faulty solenoids cannot be repaired, they have to be replaced.

What is the make and model number of the washer?

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Definitely have the main water valve shut as no water comes out of any valves after they are opened and drain. The hot water tank is in the basement so there is not hot water tank draining from above and there should not be upward flow. from the basement. I can remove the hot and cold water lines to see if the lines from the second floor are somehow draining into the washer, but there was so much water overflowing that I'm really confused.

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@jayeff thanks for all your detailed responses to Susan, they're really helping me! I'm trying to do the CLR hack on the inlet hoses and it won't drain through at all. Any idea why that might happen? I know the hoses are patent because there's no issue with the washer filling, just having an issue with water slowly leaking into the drum when the washer is off.

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Hi @miracd

Did you prove which water supply was causing the problem, hot or cold?

It may be that the inlet solenoid for whichever water supply in the machine is faulty and will have to be replaced.

What is the make and model number of the washer?

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@jayeff I haven't, though I believe it's cold. I think there was an issue with a vacuum not allowing the hoses to fill. When I detached from both sides (faucet and washer) CLR flowed right through. However now when I reattach and open the faucet, the hoses are leaking where they are screwed on. Might try some plumbers tape. The machine is a Maytag A412.

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Hi @miracd

Make sure that the hose inlet washer and filter screen in the end of each hose where it screws into the machine are all OK.

The black washer should prevent any leaks through the fitting as it should make a watertight seal between the connector on the machine and the hose. These washers can wear out over a long period of time and water may leak past them as they no longer provide a watertight seal. The same with the filters. They are only plastic (nylon?) and have water rushing through them, eventually something has got to give and that's when the grit etc may get in

The screen stops any grit that may be present in the water supply (it can happen) from getting caught in the machine's inlet solenoid valve and preventing it from closing properly when the water level has been reached etc or when the machine is off and the main supply faucets have been left turned on. Basically the inlet solenoid valves are electrically controlled faucets with spring pressure to hold them closed against the water pressure. They need power to open not close. So it could either be grit lodged in the valve seat and this is why people try CLR to try and clear it (although normally just flushing through with water when filling the machine should keep it clear as should the screens) or that the spring has lost tension or the valve is worn and cannot fully close against the normal water pressure making a watertight seal, therefore the leak into the tub.

Once you know which supply, hot or cold is the problem you will know which solenoid valve to replace.

Although with your model you're unlucky as they are a twin valve arrangement and not two individually removable separate valves, so you have to change the complete assembly. Did I mention that they cannot be repaired, they have to be replaced?

The valves link was taken from this parts supplier website. It is only to show what it looks like and what it may cost. There is also a video with the part link that shows how to replace it.

There are other suppliers online that may suit you better. Just search for "Maytag A412 parts" to get results of suppliers and then look for the water inlet valve etc.

Missed the bit in your first comment about the CLR not draining through the hose. I have never used it so I don't know how thick it is but you're not having any problems with water flowing through so perhaps the CLR is "gripping" on any scale deposit build up in the hose (hard water?) and is not flowing whereas water is under pressure from the water supply and is being pushed through. I know of cases where the hot water hose especially has collapsed internally (you can't see this from the outside) and this restricts the water flowing into the machine but you're made aware of this because it takes forever to fill on a hot wash and when you disconnect the hose from the machine it just dribbles out and doesn't come out like water from a hose so to speak when the faucet is fully open but the water coming out of the faucet with the hose disconnected from it is at the normal pressure.

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Hi @Sathappan Nagappan

Call the repairer back as they should have checked that all was working properly before they left after completion of the work.

If they're not obliging or want to charge for this then you'll have to open up the washer yourself and check.

The repairman may have disconnected the internal hoses before they connect to the inlet solenoids to get better access etc to install the water softener and may not have reconnected a hose correctly.

What is the make and model number of the washer?

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Hi there.Thank you for your reply.The make is Siemens and the Model number is WD15G421GB/04

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@Sathappan Nagappan

Can't find a spare parts list or a service manual for your model so as I suggested you may have to call the repairer back.

Usually professional repair service give a guarantee on their workmanship (at least 30 days).

if they don't respond positively and they are associated with Siemens e.g. are an "authorized" Siemens repairer, contact Siemens and tell them about it.

Sorry I can't help anymore.

Cheers

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Dave H will be eternally grateful.
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