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I'm in Australia with an Electrolux front loader - it's a 7kg 'Eco Valve', model EWF1087.

I don't know if they're sold in England, hopefully they are or the same thing with a different name, perhaps.

The trouble is the soap is not being efficiently taken out of the soap drawer. It takes some and merely wets the rest. After the wash there's a claggy lump of hardened soap powder in the drawer.

I noticed today, for the first time, that fabric conditioner is not being taken in, either.

Any help would be much appreciated. Electrolux are majorly unhelpful. The 'regret' they 'can't help'.

Just how stupid do they think we are, I wonder.

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It's most likely just poor water pressure, which would account for them saying they can't do anything because it isn't a washing machine fault. Make sure the fill hose isn't kinked, and the filter inside the water valve or inside either end of the fill hose isn't partially blocked and make sure the tap is on fully and is delivering enough water (disconnect the hose and run the tap into a bucket).

Related help articles - Washing machine won't fill with water (or no water goes into washing machine) | Fabric conditioner doesn't get taken into washing machine

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I should have mentioned we've been using the machine for about four years quite successfully.

This is a recent development. The water pressure has always been sufficient previously. In fact I find the pressure excessive many time (in the garden when I switch on the hose).

They didn't say they couldn't do anything in quite that way. They wanted me to book a service call at $170 plus parts.

They were saying 'they in the office' or 'they, the Electrolux company' couldn't do anything. But a serviceman would. (or it's a foregone conclusion I'd be paying for nothing?)

My point is they could make a service manual available to me at the very least.

They could make a database of known faults available to me as you have done.

They could supply an educated 'pointer' as to likelihood of cause of fault, as you have done.

So to say they 'couldn't' do anything was either a major error or a lie and I take it to be a 'company policy' lie.

And their policy is to direct all help requests to paid servicemen who probably pay for the franchise and are sold it on that premise: that the company will direct everything to them.

A poor sales practice, I think.

Anyway it is good news if the main probability is that it is a supply fault, rather than some pumps or valves inside the machine that I'd have trouble getting at.

Though for all that it is difficult to see what to do.

The input hose - it only has one, the cold - is less than a metre long and has no kinks.

As I said, everything is as it has always been and it always used to work okay.

And now no fabric conditioner taken in... well, that seems significant to me somehow, though of course I know nothing of how they work. Wish I did. That's why I'm here. :)

p.s. I did think of leveling the thing. It might have wandered across the uneven floor and got out of level but that's not so. Fore and aft perfectly level, side to side a little bit down on the side away from the soap tray.

and what about a workaround? Can I pour water in to wash the soap into the machine at some point in the cycle, having the soap drawer half open or something?

I was hoping to find it's a common problem caused by 'hard' soap buildups and pouring hot water in or something might clear it. Not so, it seems.

:)

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Have you checked the filters in the water valve and end of the fill hose (if fitted)? That would be consistent with it working ok and then not if a slow build up of something has restricted the water flow. Also make sure the water pressure is still getting to the washing machine ok from the tap by disconnecting the hose and turning the tap on into a bucket or bowl. High water pressure in other parts of the house doesn't necessarily mean there is high water pressure in one specific tap. It's a long shot but an engineer needs to rule out all possibilities before being able to diagnose a fault. Also check there aren't any blockages in any nozzles that might be inside the soap dispenser like a build up of black slime and gunge.

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  • 2 months later...

If it is not your water pressure you will find that the draw dispenser has been roughened up by the powder and is acting as a friction source against the powder. Once the powder get wet it sticks and unless cleaned each wash eventually backs up the system and doesnt go into the machine.

You could try and rub with some wet and dry enery paper to take the rough edges off but possibly best to get a new draw that is smooth and has no resistance to the powder flow

Peter

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Yep, I checked the water line and all's okay. I see what you mean. ALL the water that goes into the machine goes through that soap thing, one way or the other.

But it has three compartments as best I can make out. All above the soap tray. And the water spurts down from holes in the roof above each compartment: prewash, soap, softener.

And the water just isn't spurting down into the soap compartment.

You can see that. The soap is untouched. Just a little wetted and gone at the far end, the interior of the machine. Made me think the water was supposed to be flooding in from the back. Not so.

What I do now is pour hot water into the soap tray during the filling operation and we're getting good washes out of it.

There appears to be two solenoid type switches or valves where the water comes in. I guess the 'three compartments' are effectively only two and it switches from one to another.

So I guess one of those is no good. The top one I'd say, because that feeds the central compartment which is the one above the soap channel in the soap tray.

Either that or the electronics are gone haywire and they're not sending a signal to the switch.

I wonder if I can get one of those switches to try it out?

They look to me like maybe they just pull out. Anyone with experience of these things can confirm that? Seen switches like that before?

Here's the pics, try the 'slideshow' (top left above the pics) shows them to best effect I think:

https://picasaweb.google.com/abrogard/Washingmachine?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNy04ryop-3NTQ&feat=directlink

Postscript: I've located the part. I think. Part number 3792260-72/5 'Inlet valve' all one thing, both inlets.

$78. They know how to charge don't they?

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Have you checked the filter inside the water valve? If that's clear, and you definitely have strong water pressure coming through the washing machine hose and it's not kinked then maybe there's a solenoid problem although normally those things either work, or they don't. Make sure there aren't any filters inside the ends of the fill hose too (unless water is gushing through the hose ok, which you may have said is the case).

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I had the same issue with my hotpoint before christmas last year. First thing I did was remove the pipes from the soap tray feeder at the back and then aimed them into a bowl. With the machine programmed, I turned it on to see how much pressure was coming in. The cold feed was incredible, but the hot feed was only half. I removed the solenoid valve at the back and replaced it with a new one, which was very cheap. Bingo, full pressure again.

Apart from that, it has to be the holes where the dispenser tray goes. I use a safety pin every 6 months and clean out all the holes. It's a bit fiddly, but with the soap tray removed you can just about use a bent pin to clean them out. In the soap tray, at the back of the softener compartment there is a plastic cover I can remove, which contains a route for the softener. This also tends to block over time. Some softener just overflows into the soap compartment and the rest stays where it is. Just holding it under the hot water tap seems to dissolve the softener and open up the pipe again.

Before all this though, I would remove the hot water inlet, and look at the little mesh filter in the back of the machine. It may be blocked.

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I was going to suggest disconnecting the small hoses and testing the pressure there but it seemed a bit precarious to suggest, I can imagine someone getting water sprayed all over the insides of the machine and blowing it up :(

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Because there's two little hoses feeding different compartments I can isolate the problem a bit.

Because one hose works: the 'prewash' compartment, I can say that all water feed up to these two hoses must be okay.

So the problem has to be in the path of that second hose - the valve part unique to it, the hose itself, the soap compartment.

So I tried pricking out the holes of that soap compartment and they seem quite clear, no blockage. It didn't help.

I will have to take the hoses off and see if they are blockd and try to stick a wire into the soap compartment from the hose end and wave it around a bit, see if something has blocked it inside there.

It would be good if the solenoid for this input valve was cheap but they sell only the complete 'input valve' which comprises the two sections - the bottom hose and the top hose - it's all one. And no separate solenoid parts to plug in.

Actually I guess under $100 to get a fully functioning washing machine again isn't too bad. Still it rankles to be beat....

I'll check the hoses when I get a chance...

:)

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Please report back how you get on, it's great to see conclusions to these queries. Could it be that one of the solenoids has gone? It can be tested with a continuity test meter, they usually have very high resistances but on the right setting you can see if one is open circuit or not. I would temporarily swap the connectors over and see if it energised the other valve.

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