Why is My Dishwasher Not Filling With Water?

A dishwasher failing to fill with water is a fairly common fault and can be caused by a variety of problems ranging from the obvious to the obscure. Whilst you might need a professional repair you can most likely fix this problem yourself.

Firstly you need to establish the cause of the problem, starting with some simple troubleshooting steps. Is there no water entering the dishwasher at all or is it being prevented from distributing properly due to a blockage?

Below you’ll find some of the typical reasons for your dishwasher not filling, the parts involved, and some advice on how to fix the problem yourself.

No Water At All?

If no water whatsoever is entering your dishwasher then the first obvious thing to check is the water supply. Have a look at the water inlet hose under your sink and make sure it’s connected properly without any kinks.

Also ensure the tap on the hose is in the open position – if you’re not sure which position is open and which is closed, just turn it and run the dishwasher to see if the problem is resolved. If not remember to turn the tap back again!

If you’re satisfied there is no problem with the water supply then there are a couple of parts that commonly prove to be the culprit –

Water Inlet Valve

You’ll find the water inlet valve behind the panel below the door of your dishwasher. The inlet valves job is to fill the dishwasher with the correct amount of water, and is usually controlled by a timer that triggers during a wash program and the float switch.

If your water inlet valve is faulty then a replacement part is fairly inexpensive and you can replace it yourself if you are comfortable with moderate repair work. Before replacing the valve it’s worth removing and disassembling it and checking the screen inside it for any debris or blockages.

Float Switch

Your dishwasher monitors its water level using the float switch. As the dishwasher fills the float rises with the water. When the float reaches the desired level it will trigger the float switch which in turn stops the inlet valve from allowing in anymore water.

If the float has got stuck or been blocked by debris then it won’t fall back down as the water is drained. As a result the float switch won’t disengage which will prevent the inlet valve from opening and allowing water into the dishwasher.

Check the float to make sure it isn’t stuck in position due to a jam or blockage. You should also examine the switch (which sits beneath the float) and ensure that it is interacting correctly with the float and that its wiring is in good order.

You can find the float mechanism in the basin of your dishwasher. It’s usually plastic and should resemble a dome or tube.

Other Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Won’t Fill

It might be that the water supply, inlet valve and float switch are operating normally and your dishwasher has a different type of problem.

  • If your dishwasher has a leak then the anti-flood protection might be activated, which will prevent the inlet valve from opening. Remove the plinth below the dishwasher door and check for any water in the base.
  • There maybe a blockage between the pump and the spray arms, or the spray arms themselves might be blocked. Try removing the spray arms and whilst you clean them (descaler can help) run the dishwasher without the arms attached to try and clear any blockages.
  • Your dishwasher has a switch to detect if the door is open (which is how it stops automatically if you open the door during the cycle). If the switch is faulty or otherwise not functioning properly then the dishwasher won’t fill. If you suspect an issue with the door switch you’ll normally need to remove the inner door panel to gain access.