What is a solenoid valve and does it control water coming into the dishwasher?
Answer Hello Merelyn,
A solenoid is another name for a coil of wiring used as an electromagnet. The electromagnetic field is used to pull an iron core up into the coil. In the case of a water valve, this force is strong enough to overcome the water pressure and internally open the valve, allowing the water pressure to pass through the valve into the appliance. When the water level is sufficient to satisfy the pressure switch, a set of contacts open which dis-continues the voltage to the coil and the water pressure pushes the water valve closed.
The water inlet valve WD10M10 on a dishwasher is behind the kick panel, mounted to the bottom frame of the unit. The first thing you need to do to change it is to turn off the breaker to the dishwasher. The second thing is to verify that the correct breaker has been turned off to prevent electrical shock. The third thing you need to do is turn the water supply to the dishwasher off. This is usually a shut-off valve found under the sink at the hot water supply line to the sink. If the unit was installed properly, the dishwasher will have a separate shut-off from that of the sink.
Now you can proceed to remove the kick panel. The water line should be removed from the water valve first since the water line is going to be on the valve tight. If you remove the water valve from the frame of the dishwasher first, it will be too hard to break the water line loose from the valve. Once the water line is off, remove the screws securing the part to the dishwasher frame. Now you can unplug the electrical wire connector and using a pair of needle nosed pliers, remove the water outlet line from the back of the valve.
The installation of the new valve is the reverse of the removal instructions. The only difference is that you need to turn the water pressure back on to the valve before re-installing the kick panel. This way you can check for any leaks that may be present. Once all leaks are corrected, reinstall the kick panel.
One more note: Before changing the water valve, check the float switch inside the unit. If an item drops from the rack, it can get under the float and prevent the water valve from being energized.