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Washing Machine Repair
How to Test the Water Level Switch

The water level switch (aka pressure switch) senses the water level in the wash tub. It does this through a plastic tube which runs from the switch in the control console down to the side of the outer tub, near the bottom . The tube is filled with air. As water enters the tub it also enters the tube. As water climbs inside the tube, it pushes on the air trapped inside and increases the air pressure. When the air pressure reaches a certain level, it triggers the switch.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

Before testing the water level switch, unplug the washer or shut off the power at the fuse box or breaker panel to avoid an electrical shock hazard.

A defective pressure switch can interfere with the cycles that depend upon the switch to indicate when water has filled or emptied from the tub. It can also result in underfilling or overfilling of the tub.

The switch routes current from the timer control to the temperature switch and the water inlet valve when the tub needs to be filled. Once full, the pressure switch cuts the current and reroutes it to the motor on the timer control to continue the cycle.

Inspect the air tube for kinks, breaks or damage. The tube should also be free of water. The tubing should be securely connected to the bottom of the outer tub and to the bottom of the water level switch.

The water level switch has three connectors. Label and disconnect the wires from the switch. Test the switch for continuity using a multitester. Set the multitester to the ohms setting X1. It will be necessary to test each of the three possible pairs. For example in the image below, test pairs 1 & 2, 1 & 3 and 2 & 3.

Place a probe on two terminals and note the reading. Now move one of the probes to the other terminal and note the reading. Finally test the third pair and note the reading. The multitester should display a reading of infinity or continuity for each test. In this test two of the pairs should read infinity and one should read near zero resistance (continuity).

Now blow gently into the air pressure connection and retest. It should click and you must maintain the air pressure while testing. For the two pairs that read infinity one should now show good continuity. The pair that previously gave of reading of continuity should now give a reading of infinity.

If the switch fails either of these tests, it should be replaced.

Click here to order replacement parts.




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