We came home to find water on the basement floor from a slow drip coming from the basement ceiling. The room above was the bathroom with the washer and dryer. Maybe a hose was loose, because a burst hose would have flooded the room and the basement.

The drip was so slow that I could not tell if the water was coming from the hot or cold  inlet or  if it was a drainage problem. I turned off the cold water then the hot water to try to isolate the problem. No dice. Until I figured out the problem, we turned off the inlet water between uses. This marginally worked.

Finally, I took the cover off and saw that the cold inlet valve was leaking. When you are facing the front of the machine, the cold valve is on the left. It also has two valve heads.

Step 1: Ordering the Part

I found the replacement part at the online Sears Appliance Repair store for about $40 (s/h included). The cold inlet has two valve heads. The hot valve has only one. Make sure you order the correct item. The cold valve costs more than the hot.

Initially, I could not see how to remove/insert the part. But in fact, it is a rather simple repair once someone shows you what to do.

(Oops, this is a picture of the bad valve. You can tell because the tab with the key is missing.  I was too heavy handed in the removal step and it snapped off.  I had already installed the new valve into the machine.  Sorry, but I did not want to remove the valve for this picture!)

Step 2: Remove the Cover

1. Remove the two screws at the rear corners of the washer. Pull the top to the rear and it should slide back a bit. Then tilt the rear up and the cover should lift off.

Step 3:

2. You will see the hot and cold inlet valves. The cold is one the left (as you face the machine from the front.

Step 4: Remove the Hoses

3. Put a towel under the hoses of the cold water valve. Disconnect the hoses. These are pinch style hose clamps. Squeeze the clamps' ears and slide them down the hose away from the valve body. Next pull/twist the hoses off the valve body.

4. To get the valve out, disconnect the wire harness from the right side of the valve.  Then slide a thin blade under the short tab end of the valve on the outside of the machine. Be very careful here. This plastic is stiff and will break. Under the short tab a plastic key fits into the valve hole in the washer carcass. Gently (so the tab is not broken off) pry/lift the tab up so the key comes out of its hole. At the same time, slide the cold water valve body away from the hot water valve.

Step 5: Remove Valve

5. Once the key is out and the valve moved over, pivot the valve into the carcass for removal.

6. You are removing the broken valve so you don't have to be all that careful.  After all,  you are going to throw it away any way. But the old valve serves as practice if/when you have to remove a valve you intend to reuse.

Step 6: Conclusion

7. Reverse the order of these steps to install the new valve. However, during installation, you don't have to pry the tab up. Just slide the valve over and the key should snap into place.

8. There are several things I don't understand about this machine:
a) Why does the cold valve have two valve heads?
b) Why did the rightmost valve head fail first? Was it chance or is that head is used more than the other head?
c) Usually the hot water valve fails first because a rubber seal is hardened by the heated water. Is the hot water valve soon to fail?
d) The washer has a heater to get the wash water temp up to sanitizing levels. Why is there a hot water inlet at all? Why not just heat the water as needed? Would this parts/complexity/costs especially, since more people are washing with just cold water more often to save energy/wear and tear.
e) It appears (by simple observation) that changing the wash temperature does more than just open/close the water valves. I wonder what are the actual program changes?
f) I wonder how it sets the water level? Is it by weight or flow or moisture sensor?
g) I wonder how one can get access to the programs it uses?

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