Troubleshooting Kenmore Washer Overflows

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Water Inlet Valve

  • The water inlet valve connects the hot and cold water lines before entering into the washer, combining the two by means of solenoids in the appropriate proportions. The valve can become worn over time to the degree that it cannot close itself entirely, meaning water will continue to flow through it until the solenoids engage and shut off the flow. This can easily result in an overflow. To test the water inlet valve, first unplug the washing machine and disconnect the valve from the machine's back. Have a bucket handy because, if the valve is faulty, a good amount of water will drain from the valve when you disconnect it. A replacement water inlet valve is inexpensive and easily swapped out for the old one, provided you remember to turn off the water pressure leading to the hoses.

Water Level Switch

  • The water level switch is also known as the pressure switch. There should be a clear plastic tub running down from the control console to end near the bottom of the washer's drum. As water fills the drum, it rises within the tube as well, compressing the air already in the tube against the pressure switch. If the tube has become brittle and cracked, it will allow air to escape, preventing pressure from building inside and throwing the switch. Test it by blowing into the end. You should hear a click from the control console. If you do not hear anything, then either the pressure switch is broken or the tube is cracked. Remove the tube and the switch, which should be connected to the control console. The console can be accessed in various methods, depending on the exact model of Kenmore washer you own. You should be able to remove the console by following instructions in the appliance's ownership manual. Blow directly against the pressure switch once you gain access. If it clicks, then the tube needs to be replaced; if it does not, then the pressure switch itself needs to be replaced.

Drainage Problems

  • The water outlet pipe near the base of the washer can become clogged with debris over time. Since Kenmore washers continuously drain out dirty water and replace it with clean water as they wash clothes, it's possible that if the outlet valve or pipe is obstructed, the washer will overflow. Turn off the water and electricity leading to the washer and detach the outlet pipe, both at the machine and the wall. Run water through the pipe until the flow coming out is strong and clear and contains no sediment. If the pipe was clean to begin with, then the pipe running through the back of the wall to the drain may be the culprit. The pipe fitting should be female ended, identical to that of a garden hose. Attach a garden hose and slowly turn the water on until it's running at full force. The line should be cleared by the water pressure after 10 minutes of this. Attach the drain hose and turn the water and electricity back on.

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