How To Adjust Washing Machine Water Levels – One of my biggest frustrations of late has been my new front load washing machine. I recently bought a whole new set, shiny and pretty to look at, with all of its futuristic buttons that light up and make Close Encounters of the Third Kind music. I guess they have to add all that new fangled stuff to keep you from paying attention to the fact that you will no longer be getting clean laundry. Can I please have my 1990s machine back, now?
How To Adjust Washing Machine Water Levels…
How To Adjust Washing Machine Water Levels…
I have seen all the many reviews raving about how these machines are leaps and bounds ahead of the traditional machines, and I will admit that there are definitely some improvements. But, for every raving review, you will find many more people who are not happy. For instance, you can read this article from Consumer reports on the top-load machines. But, I find the comments to be more telling.
Back when these new high-efficiency machines were introduced, I was the first to jump on board. After all, who doesn’t want to save money and help out the environment while doing so? Unfortunately, the powers that be keep raising the requirements and restrictions on “high efficiency.” My first front loader seemed to have an adequate amount of water. But, with this latest model and the latest changes in efficiency standards, I get about a teaspoon of water per item.
I mean, it’s not enough that we have to jump through hoops for these finicky machines in an attempt to keep mold and mildew at bay, (or suffer the consequences of the dreaded musty odor). Now we are left with machines that either won’t clean properly or, what I have been doing, lugging extra buckets of water to the machine every time I wash a load. Well, I have said enough and decided to make my machine perform the way that I want it to perform.
Before we go any farther, I just wanted to point out a few things for anyone who chooses to make these changes to your machine. First of all, if you are still under warranty, this may void it. That is something you really need to consider before doing this yourself. If you are concerned, you may want to call an approved professional and tell them to make the adjustment for you.
Secondly, if you make this adjustment you may not be able to pause your machine mid-cycle and add additional pieces. As the title says, we are adjusting the water level. That means that if you open the door with the water above the drum, you will have a mess. So either get everything in before it fills, or wait for the next load.
Third, please do not contact me because you ruined your floor by ignoring number two. ;-) While, I offer content that is accurate, it can not compensate for one’s skill level… or lack thereof. I suggest reading my full disclaimer located in the footer section of this page, before following these steps.
How To Adjust Washing Machine Water Levels – More Venting…
This is my machine’s water level with the addition of TWO dish pans of extra water added. I like to have at least this much water when doing a tub cleaning. Without the additional water added, my water level was just a tiny amount resting at the back of the drum. That is just ridiculous! How is the machine going to get clean when the water doesn’t touch 90 % of the surface?
The water level for washing clothes was just as ridiculous. My laundry would get wet, no doubt about that. I could watch the wet towels slapping around in the machine with no extra water in sight, and I wondered how this would be any different from me taking a soaking wet towel and slapping it around in my sink. (If you are reading this, then the odds are that you are experiencing the same thing).
And, I know all about the science behind these machines. How the water passes through the fabric instead of the fabric passing through the water. And, how the detergent requires less water, and yadda, yadda, yadda. Yet, there I was, still with dirty laundry. Even with the machine running for over 2 hrs on the steam setting and using all the extra rinse cycles, I still had clothes coming out with leftover sock odor and undissolved dirt. Can you tell that I was really frustrated with my machine, yet? But, enough with the rants. You didn’t come here for that. So, let’s get right to the first step.
How To Adjust Washing Machine Water Levels – Removing the Top…
Step 1: Pull the machine out to expose the back. (I didn’t unhook anything as I intended to test the results before reassembling it). Located at the top back of my machine, and most front load machines, are two brackets. These are the only screws that need to be removed.
Here is a better view of one of the brackets. This is what holds the top of the machine in place. I used a Phillips head screwdriver to remove both brackets.
Step 2: Once the brackets are removed, the top lid of the machine is easy to remove. From the front of the machine, push the lid towards the back until it separates from the control center – about two inches.
Then, the lid can be lifted up and removed from the machine. Believe it or not, the hard part is over.
How To Adjust Washing Machine Water Levels – Adjustments…
Step 3: The first thing that you need to do after removing the top is to locate the pressure switch. It is usually a round, white, device that has a screw located on the top. As you can see, it is held in place by a metal bracket. (On Samsung and LG front load machines, it should be located on the back of the left side). If you can’t find yours, do a google search for pressure switches for your machine’s brand to see what it looks like.
The adjusting screw on mine, and most likely on your as well, is covered in what looks like a red seal (indicated by the red arrow). This is either red Loctite or something similar. It will need to be scraped off so that the screw can be adjusted. I just used a tiny flat head, but a utility blade will work even better.
Step 4: Once you get the seal removed enough to adjust the screw, start by adjusting it just a few full rotations. Place one hand beneath the pressure switch to support it while making the adjustment. Tip – do not use a power drill to adjust this screw. It is plastic and strips very easily. I attempted to use my power drill on the lowest setting, and it still caused a slight bit of damage to the screw. Then, I switched to a large Phillips head screwdriver and supported the switch with one hand while adjusting the screw with the other, and this worked better.
I ended up adjusting the screw to the halfway point. However, I did test it at the maximum (all the way down) but, it was definitely too much water. I suggest adjusting it a few rotations at a time. Then, turn the machine on to a quick wash setting and see how much water you now have. With my machine, I wanted the water to have enough on an empty load to allow the machine to clean itself, but not so much as to come over the front of the drum.
Adjusting to the halfway point gave me adequate water for a tub cleaning, and also provided plenty of water for the laundry to actually get clean. Now when I run a load of clothes, the water level (clothes included) comes up to about 1/4 of the door.
After you get the water level set to your liking, place the top back and attach the brackets at the back. Then, push your machine back to its original location. A few other tips for getting the most from your machines:
- Be sure to do a regular cleaning to prevent mold and mildew build-up.
- Don’t overload the machine. For best results, your laundry should not go past the middle of the drum height. That is approximately 6-7 standard sized bath towels.
- Do not overuse the detergent or the fabric softener. This will cause build up and lead to mold growth.
If you have any other good tips to share, please leave them in the comments section. :-)
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This post was shared with my friends at Remodelaholic.