How To Continuity Test The Water Valve On A Dishwasher That Won't Fill Properly

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A dishwasher needs to take in the right amount of water during the wash cycle to ensure that the dishes can get cleaned but that the tub won't overflow. The balance of water is controlled through a water valve, or water inlet valve, located within the dishwasher's access panel. If your dishwasher has recently stopped filling properly, there might be a malfunction with the water valve.

An electrical issue or continuity interruption is easy to test for if you own a digital multimeter.

What You Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Digital multimeter

Step 1: Accessing the Valve

Turn off the power supply for the dishwasher at the circuit breaker. Shut off the water supply using the shut-off valve attached to the line leading from your dishwasher to under your sink.

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the dishwasher's lower access panel in place. Pull off the panel cover, watching out for potential sharp edges, and set the panel cover off to the side out of your way.

Use a wrench to twist off the water supply line attached to the brass elbow on the water valve. Pull the line out of the valve and lay the line on the floor; it's okay if a bit of water drips out of the line you can dry it up later.

Pick up the wrench again and twist off the brass elbow attached to the valve. Set the brass elbow aside. Remove the mounting screw securing the valve to the dishwasher wall. Pull down on the valve to remove it from the frame but you don't need to fully remove the valve to test the part.

Step 2: Testing the Valve for Continuity

Rotate the digital multimeter's dial to the lowest possible setting for Ohms of resistance readings. Remove the wires from the valve's terminals so that you can hook up the multimeter's probes. Touch one probe to one terminal then the other probe to the remaining terminal. Check the reading on the multimeter.

If the multimeter reads between 500 and 1500 Ohms, then the water valve doesn't have an electrical problem and you might want to call in an appliance repair technician or plumber for further troubleshooting. If the multimeter has no reading, or the reading is way too low or high, then you need a new water valve. Call in a service tech for a new part.

Alternatively, if your digital multimeter has a resistance with tone setting, choose to hook up the probes. The multimeter will beep if there is continuity and remain silent if the continuity is broken. Contact HVAC contractors for more information. 

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