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Thread: Washer Won't fill - Pressure switch?

  1. #1

    Washer Won't fill - Pressure switch?

    Model Number:
    Brand: Brand
    Age: Less than 1 year

    My 5 year old Kenmore Elite Top Loading won't fill. I may have narrowed it down to the pressure switch but want someone more experienced to confirm for me.
    I had read online that when I connect my multi-meter set for resistance to these two outside terminals (as shown in photo) I should get a resistance of 1. Then when I blow in the tube it should change. Well immediately when I attach the terminals I get a resistance of almost zero. I don't need to blow at all. Does this mean I need to replace my pressure switch?
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    A model number would be useful.

    No this does not mean that the switch needs replacing.

    I am assuming you mean zero ohms re: a short.
    Also use the 200 ohm scale not the diode checking mode.

    When the tub is empty the switch should be closed (zero ohms).
    When the tub is full (pressure built up in the sensing tube) the switch should open (infinite ohms).
    This disconnects power to the water valve.

  3. #3
    Model number is Kenmore 796.31512211 Then pressure switch model # is 6501EA1001R
    I tried the multimeter test with the 200 ohm scale. I get the same results. Near zero Ohms with no pressure and near zero Ohms when I blow into the tube. So nothing changes when blowing.

    But I want to make sure I am crystal clear on your (denman's) previous statement. You said when the tub is empty I should get zero ohms. That is what I get.
    But I've seen several YouTube pressure switch testing videos that seem to state that I should get a resistance of 1 when empty. So who is right?
    For reference you can view the 2:30 mark in this video -

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I think we all are.

    Should depend on what connectors you are using to test.
    Common to one connector is the fill contacts re: they are closed with no water in the unit / open when full.
    Common to the other connector is the run contacts re: they close when the unit is full.

    Note: The above is for a normal pressure switch but in the manual below they talk about frequency (KHz_ so I have no idea about this particular switch.

    The 796 in the model number tells you that it is a LG unit.
    I cannot find any tech info using the Sears model number.
    I did look up the part number on another site and it said that this part is also used on an LG WT5070C unit.
    Below is a link with a manual on that unit (WT5070C LG Washer S...)

    I have to assume that the video you gave is correct so the switch is bad.
    The contacts shold open/close when you blow into the tube.

    In the manual they talk about frequency (KHz) but no explanation about this.

  5. #5
    Thank you so much for the advice. That manual does indeed look like it goes to my machine. When I look at their pressure switch testing info I see the following graphic. Since I am getting a reading of zero instead of 21~23 I am even more convinced it is the pressure sensor. I've ordered another one that arrives tomorrow so I'll keep you posted.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Well it wasn't the pressure switch. Installed new one and have the same problem. The more I learned about resistance testing I realized I wasn't just testing it wrong.
    The service manual that denman posted above has given me greater insight. I can go into SERVICE MODE and press START 3 times. Water then starts entering the tub. Horray! I've never been able to get water into the tub until now. As the washer fills the frequency # displayed keeps going down. Like it starts around 60 and after a few minutes is down to 40. Hot water (service mode 5) works too.
    The entire service manual has no mention of "tub not filling" so I don't know what to do. Everything seems to work. Yet when I turn on my washer and try to start a cycle, no water enters the tub. Here is a direct link to the manual since it takes a bit to search through denman's list each time -
    Any more ideas?

  7. #7
    1. Tub fills with cold when I am in SERVICE MODE 3 and with hot when I am in SERVICE MODE 4.
    2. Pressure switch is good. I replaced it but the old one tests was good anyways.
    3. Lidlock switch tests good with multimeter and door locks correctly when I try to start a cycle.

    So I can't think of anything else. I sort of think that even the main circuit board is good. Because it fills the tub in service mode.
    What else could cause it not to tell the inlet valve to open when a cycle is supposed to start?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I am not sure that the unit is actually activating the cold and hot fill valves during diagnostics.
    See page 45 for the valves.
    Mode 3 says it activates the bleach valve
    Mode 4 says it activates the softener dispenser.
    Mode 5 activates the J-dispenser.
    I really detest their manuals as often they use different names for the same part in the manual.
    I think softener dispenser is the Rinse valve and J dispenser is the Jet Spray.

    If I am correct and I am only guessing then the diags do not actuate the fill valve (Cold WASH and HOT VALVE)

    So a bad control board is still a possibility.

    Also even if the correct valves are being activated it does not rule out the board.
    The diags are checking the valves so the normal valve control electronics are taken out of the circuit and the valve outputs are forced on.

  9. #9
    Just an update on this washer. It turns out there was nothing wrong with the washer at all. I never do laundry. During the recent severe cold spell in the U.S. my wife told me maybe the pipes were frozen and then our washer wouldn't work. So I turned it on (just to placate her but never really thinking our indoor plumbing would be frozen). Well it takes this washer several minutes before it starts filling. I never gave it enough time to start filling. My wife must never have paid much attention either because she agreed there was a problem. So after eliminating all the possible issues I thought I'd try it again. Low and behold the washer simply works. Thanks for the suggestions!

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