How to Clean a Cold Water Screen on a Washing Machine

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If you notice the cold water is running into your washing machine slower, or even barely trickling in, the problem may be a clogged cold water screen. The screen is designed to catch sand and sediment so it doesn't get into the water pump. You can clean the screen yourself in just a few minutes and have your washer running fine again.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Bucket Old rag Pliers Small, flathead screwdriver Cotton swabs

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Instructions

    Clean a Removable Screen In the Back of Your Washer

  1. 1

    Locate and shut off the cold water valve behind your washing machine. Locate the metal end of the cold water supply line that's attached to your washer. It usually looks like the end of a garden hose.

  2. 2

    Place the old rag underneath the hose end to catch water drips. Place the bucket on the floor below. Use the pliers to loosen the metal hose end of the cold water supply line. Turn the end counterclockwise. As soon as it is loose enough, you can finish turning it with your fingers. Remove the metal hose end and lower it into the bucket to drain.

  3. 3

    Place the end of a small, flathead screwdriver inside the cold water outlet on the back of the washer. Carefully push the tip of the blade against the side of the cold water screen; pull it towards you to pop it out.

  4. 4

    Hold the screen under running tap water until it's clean of sand and sediment. Then, place it over your fingertip and carefully push it back into the cold water outlet. Push it back in place until it's seated again.

  5. 5

    Wipe the inside of the metal end of the cold water supply line with the rag to remove any sand and sediment. Then, place the end squarely on the cold water outlet and screw it on clockwise with your fingers. Use the pliers to tighten the metal end on.

  6. 6

    Turn the cold water back on. Check the metal end to make sure there are no leaks.

    Clean a Non-Removable Screen in the Back of Your Washer

  1. 1

    Shut off the cold water valve behind your washing machine. Locate the metal end of the cold water supply line that's attached to your washer.

  2. 2

    Place the old rag underneath the hose end to catch water drips. Place the bucket on the floor below. Use the pliers to loosen the metal hose end of the cold water supply line; turn the end counterclockwise. As soon as it's loose enough, finish turning it with your fingers. Remove the metal hose end and lower it into the bucket to drain.

  3. 3

    Reach into the cold water outlet with the end of a cotton swab. Move the swab over the screen. You'll be able to feel if there's sand and sediment present. Pull the cotton swab out and check the end. If there's no dirt present, the cold water screen doesn't need cleaned. If the end is soiled, use a clean cotton end to continue cleaning the screen.

  4. 4

    Use the rag to clean the inside of the metal end of the cold water supply line. Then, place the end squarely on the cold water outlet and screw it on clockwise with your fingers. Use the pliers to tighten the metal end on.

  5. 5

    Turn the cold water back on. Check the metal end to make sure there are no leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • You may need to use several cotton swabs to clean all the sand and sediment out of the cold water screen located on the back of your washer. If the cold water supply line has a screen in it, unscrew both ends. Hold each metal end under running tap water to remove sand and sediment. If the cold water screen on your washing machine needs cleaned out very often because of sand and sediment, you may want to invest in a whole house water filter.

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