Should Washing Machine Valves Be Fully Open?

Should Washing Machine Valves Be Fully Open?

Note: As an amazon associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase.You can read my complete affiliate disclosure for more details

Should Washing Machine Valves Be Fully Open?

Washing machine valves are small metal fittings that connect your hot and cold-water supply lines to your washing machine. They regulate how much hot or cold water is allowed through the pipes.

In other words, they act as a temperature regulator for your washing machine.

They’re not usually something you would need to replace, but if they leak or stop working correctly, this can pose a severe risk to your safety and even cause structural damage to the plumbing in your home.

Yes! For the following reasons:

  1. Adequate water supply: Washing machines need an ample water supply to function correctly. Keeping the valves open ensures adequate water is available for the machine to fill the tub and wash effectively.
  2. Water Pressure: In most U.S. homes, the water pressure is not strong enough to flow through a partially opened or closed valve.

Since the washing machine uses water pressure to pump water from the supply line, a partially closed or closed valve can cause reduced washing machine performance, as well as a larger bill due to higher utility use.

  • Hot and Cold valves: Most washing machines have two water valves, one for hot and one for cold water. If you leave only one of the valves open, there is a chance that hot or cold water can leak from the valve.
  • Water Heater: In most homes, the washing machine and water heater are separate utility fixtures.

If you leave only one valve open, there is a risk that the water heater will not receive adequate cold or hot water supply to function correctly.

  • Water-Heater system: Even if you connect the washing machine and water heater to a system, it is possible that too much cold water can leak into the system, which can cause problems for the water heater.
  • Risk of Flood: If you are not careful when opening or closing a valve, you can misdirect the water flow and create a flood.

What to Do if You Cannot Open the Tap for the Washing Machine

ProblemPossible SolutionAction Required
Tap Is StuckApply lubricant to the tap handle or contact a plumber.Try turning the tap handle gently, or seek professional assistance.
No Water FlowCheck the main water supply valve, inspect the hose connections.Ensure the main valve is open and the hoses are correctly connected.
Water Pressure Is Low.Clean or replace the clogged filters, check for kinks in the hoses.Remove and clean filters, straighten any kinks in the hoses.
Leaking TapTighten or replace the faulty washers, seal the leak with plumbing tape.Turn off the water supply, repair or replace washers, apply plumbing tape.
Frozen TapThaw the tap with warm water or a hairdryer, insulate the tap.Apply gentle heat to thaw the tap and prevent future freezing with insulation.
Faulty ValveReplace the valve or contact a plumber for repair.Turn off the water supply, replace the valve, or seek professional assistance.

Do Water Valves Need to Be Opened All The Way?

Water valves do not necessarily need to open all the way. The extent you open a water valve depends on the desired water flow and pressure you require for a particular task.

In some situations, fully opening a valve may be necessary, such as when you need maximum water flow for activities like filling a bathtub or watering a large garden.

However, there are instances where a partial valve opening is sufficient.

For example, if you only need a small amount of water for tasks like washing your hands or filling a small container, opening the valve all the way may result in excessive water flow and wastage.

Should Washing Machine Valves Be Fully Open?

It’s important to note that opening a valve too much or too little can impact the water pressure and may cause issues.

If you open a valve only partially, the water pressure downstream may be lower than expected, affecting the performance of appliances or fixtures that rely on adequate water pressure.

On the other hand, opening a valve too much can lead to excessive pressure, potentially causing leaks or damaging pipes and fixture components.

The amount of water a valve can release boasts limitations by the water flow through the system and by-laws related to sprinkler systems and fire safety.

For example, if you need to turn off a faucet for five minutes – for instance, if the toilet paper roll boasts depletion – it’s best to shut off the water entirely rather than partially opening the valve.

In addition, not all valves allow for quick-release shut-offs. For example, a faucet’s cold-water valves may release only a tiny amount of water and may not open fully or quickly enough to warrant shutting off the water ultimately.

Which Valves Are Normally Open?

1. Non-Return Valves

Non-return valves boast designs that allow flow in only one direction. When the valve opens, gas or fluid flows in the desired direction.

When the gas or fluid flow stops or reverses, a part of the valve opens to prevent pressure or backflow. A typical application is preventing backflow in compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel supply lines.

2. Check Valves

Manufacturers design these valves to allow flow in only one direction. When this opens, gas or fluid flows in the desired direction.

When the gas or fluid flow stops or reverses, a part of the valve opens to prevent pressure or backflow. A typical application is preventing backflow in compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel supply lines.

3. Pressure Relief Valves

Most internal combustion engines use a pressure relief valve to prevent backflow in fuel supply systems. This valve allows flow in only one direction.

When the gas or fluid flow stops or reverses, a part of the valve opens to prevent pressure or backflow. A typical application is preventing backflow in compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel supply lines.

4. Solenoid Valves

Plumbers use these valves to control flow in one-way flow applications. When the valve opens, gas or fluid flows in the desired direction.

Should You Shut Off the Washing Machine Valve?


Shutting off your washing machine valve boasts some benefits, such as:

  1. Prevent Water Leaks: Turning off the valve when the washing machine is unused reduces the risk of water leaks. 
  2. Saving Money: By shutting off the valve when not in use, you’ll save money by not having to pay for electricity. If you don’t shut off your washing machine valve when not in use, it will turn back on once someone is no longer inside the washer.
  3. Extend Machine Lifespan: Constant water pressure within the washing machine, even when not in use, can wear out valves, hoses, and other internal components over time. By shutting off the valve, you reduce unnecessary wear and tear, potentially extending the lifespan of your machine.
  4. Conserve Energy and Water: We want to save energy and water. Having your washing machine turn on while you’re away allowing you to use these resources appropriately.
  5. Save Washing Machine Wear and Tear: Washing machine washes can damage your washer and wear out parts over time.

By shutting off the valve, you’ll save the wear and tear of wearing down washing machine valves, hoses, and other internal components.

Why Is My Valve Not Fully Closing?

Possible CausesPotential SolutionsNotes
Obstruction In the Valve MechanismInspect the valve for any debris or foreign objects. Clean or remove them if found.Ensure the valve is completely shut off during inspection.
Valve Stem Or Spindle DamageReplace the valve stem or spindle if it is damaged or worn out.Consult a professional if you are unsure how to replace these components.
Incorrect Valve Installation Or AlignmentReinstall or realign the valve properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.Check the valve’s alignment against the piping system.
Insufficient Pressure Differential Across The ValveCheck if there is enough pressure difference between the inlet and outlet of the valve. Increase the pressure if needed.Consult a professional if adjustments to the pressure are required.
Valve Seat Damage Or DeteriorationReplace the valve seat if it is damaged or deteriorated.Ensure the replacement seat matches the valve’s specifications.
Warped Or Damaged Valve BodyReplace the valve body if it boasts of warping or damage.Consult a professional if you are unsure about replacing the valve body.

What Type of Valve Is Either Fully Open Or Fully Closed?

The type of valve that is either fully open or fully closed is known as an on-off or shut-off valve. On-off valves get designed to provide a complete and immediate interruption or restoration of flow within a piping system.

They operate on a binary principle, meaning they have two positions: fully open or fully closed. When the valve is fully open, it allows unrestricted flow; when it is fully closed, it blocks the flow completely.

On-off valves boast usage in various applications where precise flow rate control is not required but rather the ability to start or stop the flow altogether.

Plumbers use these valves when there is a need to isolate or divert the flow of fluids or gases, such as in plumbing systems, industrial processes, oil and gas pipelines, and water treatment plants.

The design of an on-off valve usually involves a gate, ball, or butterfly mechanism. Gate valves use a wedge-shaped gate lowered into the flow path to block it when closed and raised out of the way when open.

Ball valves use a rotating ball with a hole in the center that aligns with the flow path and blocks it when closed. Butterfly valves consist of a disk that pivots on a central axis to allow or block the flow.

Should Washing Machine Valves Be Fully Open?

The simplicity of the on-off valve design makes it reliable and easy to operate. You can achieve the opening or closing action through a manual lever, handwheel, or an automated actuator.

The quick and definitive control provided by on-off valves allows for immediate response to emergencies or the need for rapid system shutdowns.

How Far to Open Washing Machine Valve?

The washer opening gets determined by pounds per square inch. It’s best to open the valve halfway for balance and easy access to the pump cover if needed.

To find the proper PSI, start by finding your water pressure. This is how much force it takes to push water through a pipe. If you need help with how to do this, ask around or consult your manual for the specific pressure of your pipes.

The PSI fluctuates between 50-100 psi and depends on location, so it’s best to find out what yours is.

You can adjust the pressure valve to that amount, usually around 90-100 PSI. The PSI needed depends on the temperature outside.

For instance, colder temperatures require more pressure to operate the washer, while warmer temperatures require less.

Next, you need to find the point where you want your washer to open. You can watch for extra water or sediment particles in your washer.

The position of the washer opening boasts measuring in degrees, with 450 straight up, and the valve should be almost fully open. This is a good setting for most homes.

Additionally, if you have a water softener installed in your home or reduce lime buildup and limescale deposits on your washing machine, less than 90 psi may be needed.

Please consult a qualified plumber if you are still determining how much PSI to use or what setting to use on the pressure regulator valve.

How High Can a Washing Machine Pump?

Pushing the washing machine up to 8 feet above the floor is possible. The most commonly used method is a pipe under the sink and a valve on top.

Most of these valves can be adjusted, so they can lower or raise the water pressure according to your needs.

When you are installing this type of system, be sure that you know how to do it correctly and that there are no leaks anywhere in your plumbing before running any new lines.

It can be challenging to find if you accidentally use the wrong kind of valve and have a leak.

The standard method is to run a very long hose from the high-water line on the washing machine to a set of water faucets.

When the hose is not in use, any water that leaks from it will come out of the faucet on top of the sink. This can also be messy if your sink has any cracks or scratches.

The third method boasts a temporary solution allowing you to pump the water about two or three feet. You can run a hose from the washing machine to a bucket on the washer.

This works great for those who need to pump up their washing machines quickly in an emergency, but it is only practical if you plan on doing it a few times.

The Flow Rate of a Washing Machine Pump

Washing Machine Pump TypeFlow Rate (Gallons per Minute)Flow Rate (Liters per Minute)
Diaphragm Pump10.539.7
Centrifugal Pump8.231
Reciprocating Pump9.837.1
Gear Pump7.628.8
Peristaltic Pump6.926.1
Axial Pump8.732.9


You should know how to calculate the correct pressure for your washing machine. The pressure is relative to the water pressure in your area, and you only need to ensure it is not too high or too low.


Hi! I' am Tyron. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

Recent Posts