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SBW#44 – Washer inlet valve teardown

What does a washing machine inlet valve look like from the inside out? Well, let us tear down this old valve I just replaced on my washing machine. We’ll take a look at how simple this device is and how it works.

First, let me explain what the washing machine inlet valve is. A washing machine inlet valve is a valve or pair of valves that control the water flow from your water taps to the inside of the washer. Older style valves were single meaning that one valve, one water inlet (cold or hot). Newer models however are a dual valve body meaning two separate valves on one assembly (cold and hot). The valve I’m tearing down is a dual model.

The pictures below show where and what this valve looks like. This valve is located internally near the top side of the washer and if in use, has the cold and hot water hose lines connected to it. These hoses could be rubber, reinforced rubber, or stainless steel braided. I created a different article where I talk about the importance of replacing these hoses. It can be found here.

In this image, we see the protective screens that help filter out larger sediment that can come in from your water lines. Finer stuff can make it through the screens larger will not. You can see here my hot water side (right) is really bad from all the mineral build-up.

Unfortunately, I have this problem with anything that uses hot water from sink faucets, washing machines to dishwashers. I wish I could find something that I could attach to the outlet on my hot water heater that would allow filtering and a central location to clean it out. My cold water is not like this so I’m not worried about an entire house system, just the hot water supply. I even regularly flush out my hot water tank and mineral fragments come out each time. There’s just something about the heating process with our public water that seems to do this for me.

Let us start the disassembly by removing the metal bracket’s retaining screws with a socket bit. I use my Kobalt drill with my DeWalt extension. I know I mix match brands but at the time I couldn’t beat the price of the Kobalt drill when I needed a new one as my old 12v DeWalt battery pack was giving out.

Once I get all the screws out I was able to separate the metal sub-assembly from the plastic body. This exposed the solenoid actuators that control the water flow.

Inside of the plastic body, underneath the actuators is where all the action happens. In the image below A is the water inlet from the supply hoses. When the solenoid activates, it lefts a little rubber plunger up inside the actuator body that allows water to flow from A to B. B is the water exit from this valve which flows into a single channel on the backside of this image. The water at this point flows towards C which a little rubber flap, seen in the above image on the metal assembly, mixes the hot and cold water. From there it flows out the little nozzle where my finger is above.

Here is what the underside of the actuator looks like where you can see the rubber seal that is attached to a metal rod via the little blue connector. The metal rod slides up and down in the plastic actuator shaft as the solenoid turns on or off.

The metal assembly holds two 120v solenoids. When power is applied to the solenoid, it causes the metal shaft in the actuator to slide upward allowing the rubber seal to move away from the water inlet hole thus allowing water to flow to the exit hole.

Below are several images of what the complete valve looks like after disassembly with all the parts.

One thing I thought about after taking this apart is what if you run the water in the opposite direction? Could use clamp a water hose to the water exit on the valve and connect garden hoses to the water supply line connections. Then supply 120v to the solenoids in a timed fashion in such a way that you end up with a timed irrigation system? This is just a thought of mine and I have not tried it. A word of caution though, if you do attempt such a thing, remember electricity and water DO NOT mix. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re taking all precautions to isolate the power to the solenoids and the water in such a way they will not come in contact with each other. I’d also recommend ensuring the power source is connected to a GFCI circuit too!

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few links to the equipment I used and Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


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SBW#43 – Washer/Dryer Combo Lint Cleaning

Did you know that your dryer, whether electric or gas, could be a fire hazard? Well, it can if you do not properly maintain it. Yes, there’s the obvious lint screen that hopefully everyone cleans between loads but there are also many other places that lint can collect which can be a potential ignition point for fire.

Now that I have your attention with the worse case possible, you can also improve the efficiency of your dryer by doing these types of lint cleaning procedures every so often. Remember a dryer works by heating air and blowing that across your close and exhausting it out. If any part of that airflow becomes restricted, it will lower the drying efficiency, resulting in more expense to use it and result in longer drying times for your clothes.

It’s been a while since I’ve cleaned out my washer/dryer combo unit. This might also be known as a stackable washer/dryer depending on where you are. So, I’m going to take you through the procedure to go about doing it. I do not touch on cleaning out the dryer exhaust vent line because I regularly do that. However, if you want to do that I would be more than happy to make an article and video on how to do that, just let me know below in the comments or on the accompanying video’s comment section.

My combo unit is a Kenmore Washer Dryer Combo unit and it’s fairly old. However, the same basic principles still apply – open up the access panels, clean and vacuum, and put them back together.

Let’s get started. First and foremost whenever working with appliances unplug them. Never risk working on appliances or anything that is plugged in. Your life has more value than the appliance!

Okay, now that we’ve unplugged it, I start by removing the screws holding the outer access panel on. This will expose two things. On mine, it exposes this hidden technical data sheet for the unit and another sheet metal panel.

Remove the screws to this panel as well. Once you have them removed and the panel detached, simply set it aside. Visually inspect for any damage, burn marks, or anything else that needs attention.

Look at that lint! Actually, you may have a little to a lot depending on the frequency of using your dryer and how often you clean it out.

Let’s vacuum this out. I use a crevasse attachment for my vacuum but if you don’t have one of these use anything you can to get in there and suck that dust and lint out. The main goal is to get the lint out so worse case use your hands to pull any loose lint out taking care not to damage any of the internal components.

Next, we’ll need to open the door and thoroughly clean inside the door panel. This is where the lint screen is for mine and lint always gathers around and inside of the door. Try to get as much out as possible.

Now, we’ll tackle a piece of plastic that almost looks like a storm great. This is on the dryer cabinet underneath where the door closes. This allows air to flow through the door lint screen, out the bottom of the door, and through this grate into where the blower is.

Inside of the dryer drum, there are two screws holding this grate on. The technical term for my dryer part is “Laundry Center Dryer Lint Screen Cover”. Remove those screws and you’ll probably need a small screwdriver to release the clips hold it in. Be careful not to break the grate or the clips. Mine is broken on one side because of the shoe shelf that goes into the dryer that hooks on there.

After removing this plastic grate, take a brush or crevice tool on your vacuum and clean this air passageway out. This is the last step of the line before the blower. Do the best you can because chances are something is better than what it was.

Now that you have it clean, go ahead and start putting stuff together again. I put the Laundry Center Dryer Lint Screen Cover back in remembering to screw the two attachment screws.

Next, I reattach the inner guard panel and finally the out cabinet panel.

Again, I’m not showing the how to clean the dryer vent line.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few links to the equipment I used and Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


Looking for a Gift Idea? Visit the Amazon Gift Hub
Or Check out our Deal of the Day page in the Top Right of the Menu