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These days washing machines have smart technologies; as such going through a wash cycle is much more straightforward and fast than it used to be.
But owners of washing machines often need to control the water level for various reasons that you will read further down. This article will teach you ways to trick or hack the water level sensor so you can get the most out of your washing machine.
Types of Washing Machines
Before we go into bypassing the water level sensor, let us look at the types of washing machines.
There are three main types of washing machines:
- Top loading
- Front loading
- Top load impeller
Top Loading Washing Machines
Top-loading washers are the oldest type of washers still in use today and are one of the most popular models. They call it a top-loader because you add laundry from the top. There is a long agitator in the middle of the work basket, the main washing tool. This agitator swishes against the clothing to clean them.
The control panels on this type of washer are usually straightforward and intuitive to use. But of course, this is relative to the person and the machine. Generally, the top loaders run with very low vibrations when operating, thus not being too noisy.
Pros and Cons of the Top-Loading Washing Machine
Here are the pro and cons of the top-loading washing machine:
- Affordable – The price points are reasonable.
- Efficient – Though generally cheaper, they do the job well. Your garments will be spotless, and the cycles will be short with less vibration.
- Convenience – Some top-loading washers allow you to add laundry after the cycle has begun.
- Easy to use – Operating the control panel is usually simple to use and intuitive.
- High water and energy demand – They consume more water and energy than newer models. They’ll raise your energy and water expenditures. Though there are some energy-saving models on the market.
- Harsh agitators – Due to the agitator tool, washing in this machine is harsher on your clothes than other machines.
- Cannot wash large items – Large single items, such as comforters or blankets, are usually challenging to fit.
- Cannot customize the washing cycle – It isn’t easy to customize the wash cycle to meet your exact cleaning requirements.
Front-Load Washing Machine
Unlike top loaders, you can add laundry from the front. Also, they do not have agitators. The clothing rubs against each other during the washing cycle as the wash basket spins quickly. The washing cycle with front load washing machines is gentler on the clothes due to the lack of an agitator.
Unfortunately, sometimes control panel is confusing and intimidating, although, with time, you can become accustomed to them. Mainly because they sometimes have more features. Some come with sensors for automation, making it easy to regulate your desired washing set-up.
Tip – Front-load washers are an excellent alternative to top-loading washers as they are gentle but still clean well.
Pros and Cons of Front-Load Washing Machines
Below are the pros and cons of the front-load washing machine.
- Option for steam – To increase stain removal, several front load washing machine models will allow you to add moisture to the wash cycle.
- Highly efficient – It saves energy because it consumes less water during the wash cycle.
- Reduces dry time – Its rapid spin speed absorbs more moisture from wet loads, reducing drying time.
- Uses less water – It fills water in the tank below the door’s threshold.
- May accommodate more oversized items – Larger items will wash better in a front load washer, and because of the extra spin and less water, you get a head start on drying difficult-to-dry items.
- Struggles to clean filthy clothes – Some models may not be able to clean very dirty clothes well because they use little water.
- Long cycle time is long, ranging from 1.5 to 2 times that of top-loading machines. Even with customized settings, the wash cycle time can be 30 minutes or longer than on other types of washers.
- More expensive – A front-loader is more expensive because of its superior technology and extra washing cycle features.
- Potential odor – Due to its design, after washing, water may not be removed entirely, causing a bad odor in the machine.
Top Load Impeller
Top-load impeller (or high-efficiency) washers are the more recent of the three. You can add laundry into these washing machines from the top, as ordinary top loaders. Top-load impeller washing machines use an impeller instead of agitators to clean clothing. These impellers are located at the bottom of the wash bucket.
The clothing moves back and forth due to the velocity of the bottom impeller. These rubbing action clothes allows the cleaning to take place.
Pros and Cons of Top Load Impeller
- Affordable – They are not relatively inexpensive.
- Uses less water – It uses less water because it only fills halfway, suitable for your water bill.
- Can handle big loads – They can handle huge loads like some front loaders yet have agitator-like cycle times.
- Deep filling options – Some models have a deep filling option, allowing you to add more water for larger or dirtier items.
- More gentle on your clothes – They’re gentle on your clothes, like front-loading machines.
- Noisy – They make a lot of noise. This is not a smart option if you live in an apartment building thin walls or are easily bothered by noise.
- Cannot always add more water – Not all models can deep fill, so keep that in mind while shopping. The most appealing models have a deep fill on all cycles, while some only have a deep fill on one cycle. While other models don’t have this option at all.
When is it Necessary to Override the Water Level Sensor?
There’s a reason why water level monitors exist. They help you to manipulate the water level without tampering with the machine’s internal components.
Generally, the various sensors found in today’s washing machines determines:
- The amount of water needed throughout the washing and rinsing process.
- The weight of the laundry inside.
Aside from their functionality, these sensors have two obvious advantages:
- Energy bill savings as they help limit the amount of energy the machine uses.
- Washing machines use as little water as possible, which means a lower water bill for you.
But here are some problems that you can get with these sensors.
- What if the clothes are dirtier than you’d consider ‘normal’? Unfortunately, the volume of water set by the sensor isn’t always enough to provide the best washing results.
- If you want to wash clothes with less dirt, you may want to use less water.
- Clothes covered in loose dirt need less water than those covered in heavy dirt and soil.
- When your washing machine does not have enough water, it leaves soap scum and residue or an unpleasant odor on your clothes. From my experience, this happens a lot with front-loading machines because they use less water.
- Sometimes, due to overfilling, you get an error code aborting the wash cycle. This can be stressful because some washing machines do not have a manual on how the parts work. Then you have to pay for professional help. But if you know how the water sensor works, you can help yourself.
- Water level sensors are usually efficient, but sometimes due to failure of the system, they can cause washer flooding.
If you happen to be experiencing these with the washing machine, then learning how to bypass the water level may be the solution you are looking for.
How Does the Water Level Sensor Work
Water levels in washing machines use the same technology-based on air pressure.
The sensor selects water levels for your washing load based on the setting you choose on the control panel. It detects the water levels in the washing drum using a pressure switch.
Identifying the Pressure Switch
A pressure switch is a small gadget with many wires. This element should be under the lid at the top of the washing machine. The pressure switch in the older models is much bigger than those in newer models. The pressure switch has a thin rubber that runs down with the hose’s wider end, which is connected to the base of the tub.
When the water in the washer drum rises, the water level in the hose increases as well. The air in the hose compresses as the water level rises. This raises the pressure inside the pipe, which forces a piston inside the switch control to move. The switch detects the presence of the desired amount of water in the tub and shuts off the flow.
How to Bypass Washing Machine Water Level Sensor – A Full Guide
There are four possible ways to bypass a washing machine:
- Adding more weight
- Installing an external hose
- Adjusting the pressure switch
- Changing the water level options
Adding More Weight
The water level sensor checks the weight of your laundry and decides how much water it needs. Therefore, increasing the weight of the laundry is a simple way to trick the sensor.
Also, here is a tip for you – the bulkier the laundry, the more efficient the spinning.
There are two different ways to make your load heavier:
- Add old clean towels – Adding clean towels to the clothes to the machine drum is one way to increase your machine’s load. Please pay attention to the color of the towel, so the color doesn’t run on your clothes. Maybe it is safer to go with white towels.
- Add more water – Adding more water to the garments and allowing them to absorb before washing can help you to get a heavier load. The increased density will put pressure on the switch, causing water levels to rise.
If none of the above options worked, then try using the bulky/sheets control panel setting. The setting was designed for washing sheets and large fabrics, but there are no restrictions on when to use it, so feel free. Any of the above tricks can force your washing machine to supply more water. Nevertheless, remember that it is better not to overload the machine to maintain an excellent load to water ratio.
Installing an Alternative Water Hose
Despite how complicated this method might sound, it is relatively straightforward. Installing an additional water hose will enable you to bypass the water level sensor. If you’re up for a small DIY project, try this trick. A top-loading washing machine is preferable for this procedure.
You’ll need the following:
- A splitter
- A few plastic hose covers
- A 6-foot hose
- Turn off your washing machine’s hot and cold water supply.
- Connect the splitter to the washing machine’s temperature water terminal.
- Double-check that the splitter is well connected.
- Connect the splitter to the wash cycle hose on one of its apertures.
- Connect the 6-foot hose to the splitter’s third channel.
- Open the water supply valves to allow water to enter the hose while your washing machine fills with water. When not in use, make sure to cap the hose to keep it clean.
Adjusting the Pressure Switch
This method works only if the drain hose is not below the washing tub’s highest water level. If this isn’t the case, the hose may drain the water from the washtub.
The casing of the pressure switch has a rubber diaphragm. The air pressure in the plastic tube linked to the diaphragm rises as the water level in the washtub rises. The pressure compresses the diaphragm, which shuts off the water at the right level.
The pressure switch works in tandem with the water level switch. A plastic spring-loaded disc presses inward as the water level switch change from low to high. At the highest water level switch setting, the disc will push inward. So, how do you adjust the pressure switch? This is a simple task.
Locate the water level switch and inspect it. To do so, you’ll need to open the control panel. The pressure switch is behind the water level switch. A second pressure switch can be present in some energy-saving washers for the rinse cycle.
A rubber tube runs from the switch down to the edge of the drum to differentiate the water level switch from other switches.
Increase or decrease the set screw pressure. Adjust the water level controls for the cycle while on the dashboard. Make sure the drainer hose has the highest water level in the drum; otherwise, it will siphon water out of the drum and leave it at the lowest level.
Tighten the spring-loaded disk. Adjust and tighten the spring-loaded disc inwards with a screwdriver. This step enables you to bypass the water levels sensor and increases the water levels.
Put the set screw in place. To keep the set screw in place, use thread locker glue. When the machine vibrates, this will prevent it from becoming loose.
Adjusting Water Level Options
This is an option that many people miss. This isn’t a trick or a hack. Most of us have this option incorporated in our washers, but we tend to forget about it for some reason. Also, many washing machines feature an extra rinse option.
If the water level option fails to work, try combining it with the additional rinse option. To allow for an extra rinse, raise the water level to its highest setting. Washers have several sensors for efficient performance and use less water and energy. You may wash without worrying about how much water control.
The machine controls the water levels, but if a washer does not have the option to turn off the water level sensor. The machine isn’t going to be able to have a good wash efficiency. It will have either little or a lot of water.
Question: Are There Any Washers That Don’t Have Sensors?
Answer: Yes, some top-loading machines with agitators do not have sensors and must be manually filled.
Question: What’s the Deal With my Washing Machine Filling All the Way Up? Is There a Problem With the Sensor?
Answer: No, the issue isn’t with the sensor. It’s most likely a problem with the inlet valve. I recommend you get professional help with this problem.
Question – Which Brand of the Washing Machine is Best?
Answer: A washing machine’s performance is not brand-based, so there’s no need to worry about that. But, if you value quality, look for some of the better selling and reputable models from Samsung, LG, and Kenmore. Of course, this list is not exhaustive.
Question: How Much Should I Spend on a Washing Machine?
Answer: It depends on your budget; modern washing machines have wide price points. Still, keep this rule in mind: “You get what you pay for.” Dirt-cheap washing machines won’t have top-of-the-line features.
Question: How do You Reset a Washing Machine Sensor?
Answer: To send the reset signal to the system components, you can open and close the washing machine door six times.
But it will help if you start by doing a general reset on the system. Unplug your washing machine from the power outlet to reset it. Then, reconnect the washing cord to the wall. Please turn off the machine at the power outlet, then wait one minute before turning it back on.
You learned how to bypass the washing machine water level sensor and the basics of how it works. The methods should work on most brands and models of automated washers. I also explained to you the nitty-gritty of how water level sensors work.
A bypass does not mean you are destroying your machine or any electrical system. Also, none of the above methods will cause you to void the washing machine’s manufacturer warranty. Using my methods to bypass the washing machine’s water level sensor is both safe and ethical.
Also, you can apply some of these tips if you have a high-efficiency washer at home. Even on these washers, sometimes the sensor can become ineffective.