Kenmore Dishwasher Not Filling with Water

Is your Kenmore dishwasher not filling with water as it should? This can be a frustrating problem, but don’t worry! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step troubleshooting process to identify the reasons behind the issue and provide effective solutions to get your dishwasher back to working order.

A Kenmore dishwasher not filling with water could be due to various reasons. These include issues with the water supply valve, a malfunctioning float switch, clogged inlet valve or filters, and a faulty water inlet solenoid. Identifying and addressing these factors is key to resolving the problem and ensuring your dishwasher functions properly.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Water Filling

Proper water filling is essential for your dishwasher to function effectively. Without enough water, your dishes won’t be cleaned thoroughly, leading to subpar results. If you’ve noticed your Kenmore dishwasher isn’t filling with water, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly to ensure your dishes come out sparkling clean.

Common Signs of a Kenmore Dishwasher Not Filling

  • Dishes remain dirty even after a full cycle.
  • The dishwasher sounds different or quieter than usual during operation.
  • The cycle times are shorter than normal.
  • Error codes related to water supply appear on the display.
  • If you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s time to dive into troubleshooting and rectifying the problem.

Potential Causes of the Filling Issue

Water Supply Valve Issues


A malfunctioning water supply valve can prevent water from entering the dishwasher.


Inspect the water supply valve for clogs, damage, or blockages. If necessary, replace the valve to ensure proper water flow.


Replacement valves can range from $20 to $60, depending on the model and brand of your dishwasher.

Faulty Float Switch


A faulty float switch might not detect the water level correctly, leading to the dishwasher not filling.


Test the float switch for proper functionality. Gently move the float up and down—you should hear a clicking sound if it’s functioning correctly. If not, consider replacing the float switch.


Float switches are typically priced between $10 and $30, making them an affordable solution.

Clogged Inlet Valve or Filters


Accumulated debris and mineral deposits can clog the inlet valve or filters, obstructing water flow into the dishwasher.


Clean the inlet valve and filters thoroughly. This may involve removing and rinsing them to ensure unrestricted water flow.


Cleaning is free, but if replacement parts are needed, they can cost around $10 to $20.

Malfunctioning Water Inlet Solenoid


A malfunctioning water inlet solenoid can prevent water from entering the dishwasher.


Test the solenoid’s functionality using a multimeter. If it’s not working as it should, replacing the solenoid is a recommended solution.


Replacement solenoids range from $15 to $40, depending on the model of your Kenmore dishwasher.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide

Preliminary Checks and Safety Precautions

  1. Turn off the power: Before any troubleshooting, make sure the dishwasher is disconnected from the power supply to ensure your safety.

Inspecting Water Supply Hose and Valve

  1. Turn off water supply: Close the water supply valve leading to the dishwasher to prevent any potential water leaks.
  2. Check hose connections: Inspect the water supply hose for any kinks or damage. Ensure that the hose is properly connected to both the dishwasher and the water supply.
  3. Examine the valve: Inspect the water supply valve for any visible blockages, clogs, or signs of damage. If detected, address the issue accordingly.

Verifying Float Switch Functionality

  1. Access the float switch: Depending on the model of your Kenmore dishwasher, locate the float switch, usually positioned at the bottom or front of the dishwasher’s tub.
  2. Test the switch: Gently move the float up and down. You should hear a clicking sound as the float engages the switch mechanism. If no clicking sound is heard, the float switch may need replacement.

DIY Fixes and Preventive Measures

Replacing Faulty Parts: Valve, Float Switch, and Solenoid

Pros: Replacing faulty components can effectively restore proper water filling and dishwasher functionality.

Cons: Requires moderate technical skill to safely disassemble and replace components, along with the cost of purchasing replacement parts.

Proper Loading Techniques to Prevent Imbalance

Pros: Following proper loading techniques prevents excessive strain on components and promotes even water distribution.

Cons: Requires careful consideration when loading the dishwasher to avoid overloading or unbalanced positioning.

Seeking Professional Assistance

When to Call a Technician

Pros: Experienced technicians can quickly diagnose and repair complex issues, ensuring accurate solutions.

Cons: Professional assistance may involve additional costs compared to DIY solutions and might also require scheduling appointments.

Identifying Complex Leaks Requiring Expert Assistance

Pros: Expert assistance is crucial for identifying and resolving more intricate issues beyond DIY capabilities.

Cons: Involves investing more time and resources due to the complexity of the problem.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: Can I attempt to fix the filling issue myself?

A1: Yes, you can certainly follow the step-by-step troubleshooting guide provided in this article to identify and potentially address the issue. However, remember to prioritize safety and consider seeking professional assistance if needed.

Q2: How can I differentiate between a faulty float switch and other potential causes?

A2: If your Kenmore dishwasher isn’t filling with water and you suspect the float switch, follow the guide to test its functionality. If the switch isn’t engaging properly (clicking), it might be a sign that the float switch needs replacement.

Q3: What should I do if the problem persists even after troubleshooting?

A3: If the issue continues despite your troubleshooting efforts, it’s advisable to consider seeking professional assistance. Experienced technicians can accurately diagnose and resolve the problem, preventing further inconvenience.


By following this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to troubleshoot and resolve the issue of your Kenmore dishwasher not filling with water. Whether you choose to tackle the problem yourself or seek professional assistance, you’re on the path to restoring your dishwasher’s functionality and ensuring clean and hassle-free dishwashing experiences. Remember to prioritize safety and take preventive measures to avoid future issues.


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