How to bypass the water level sensor in washing machine? (Easy Steps)

Most modern-day washers these days come with hard-coded settings, what that means is, that it calculates the weight of your garments and accordingly adjusts the water supply.

While that may sound good there are a few reasons you might need to bypass the water sensor.

Some of the reasons are:

  • You have a few clothes that are heavily soiled.
  • At times your clothes have detergent residue on it
  • When a limited quantity of towels and blankets requires thorough cleaning

To bypass the water sensor in the washing machine simply add extra weight by either adding a presoaked thin towel OR by soaking the clothes in water before putting them in the washer. This technique will trick your washer to think that the laundry size is large, thereby forcing it to use more water.

In this article you will learn:

  • How to Bypass the water level sensor?
  • Tricks to optimize the water level
  • Commonly asked questions
  • And More…

Let’s get started.

How Does Water Level Sensor Work in Washing Machine?

The water level sensor in your washing machine is there to help regulate the amount of water required to wash your laundry.

Depending on the model of your laundry machine, this sensor is usually located near the water hoses OR near the bottom backside of the washer.

The sensor works by using a pressure switch to determine how much water is needed to fill the tub.

As water fills the tub, the pressure switch closes and sends a stop signal to the washing machine control unit.

Once the pressure switch is closed, the washing machine starts the wash cycle.

So the amount of water required to complete a wash cycle completely depends on the weight of the load size.

Most modern-day washers are designed to be efficient and eco-friendly therefore they are programmed to use a specific quantity of water for a specific laundry weight.

Also Read: How to change a washing machine belt?

How to bypass the water level sensor in washing machine?

Bypassing the water level sensor is relatively easy and can be safely done in different ways.

Add More Weight

Since most washers, these days work on “Water to Laundry weight ratio” principle, the best way to trick them is to add more weight. The heavier the laundry size, the more water it will use.

Therefore, a simple trick to bypass the washing machine water level sensor is to add extra weight.

There are a couple of ways you can do this:

Add thin towels

Soak a thin towel in water and then put it in the washer along with other garments. This will increase the weight of the laundry, therefore forcing your washer to use more water. If you need more water, simply add heavier towels presoaked in water.

Soak the clothes in water

Another best technique to force your washer in using more water is to put pre-soaked clothes in your washing machine instead of adding dry ones.

Simply, soak the clothes in water for a while and then put them in the laundry machine.

Using this technique will increase the weight of your laundry even if the number of clothes is less. This way you can get more water even with less number of clothes.

If more water is required try the hybrid technique i.e. put wet clothes along with wet towels to add more weight.

Wet clothes along with wet towels will add lots of weight and create an illusion that the laundry size is large. Therefore, forcing the washer to use more water.

Select Settings That Provide Maximum Water Level

Some washing machines have an option that allows you to select settings that provide maximum water levels.

In most cases, a high water level setting is located on the panel somewhere near the extra rinse cycle setting. By selecting this option, you can bypass the preset water levels.

If your washer does not have the extra water level settings look for the high soil settings option. High Soil settings will use high water volume.

If both options are not available try using an extra rinse cycle by adding more weight. You can add more weight to the same laundry size by soaking them in water before putting them in the washer.

If these methods do not work, you can try installing a water hose that bypasses the sensor altogether.

Install the water hose

Installing a water hose will allow more water into the washer, bypassing the water level sensor.

Installing the water hose is fairly simple.

You will need:

  • A Splitter
  • Plastic Hose caps
  • And a 6-foot hose

Once you have the above items handy, follow the below steps.

Step 1: Start by turning off the hot and cold supply

Step 2: Connect the splitter to the appropriate slot based on your preferred temperature. For instance, if you want to use cold water, connect the splitter to the cold water supply, and if you want to use hot water, connect it to the hot water supply. Last, ensure that the splitter has a screw in the main channel so that you can fit it properly to the water supply.

Step 3: Now connect the wash cycle hose to the splitter’s outlets.

Step 4: Connect the six feet pipe to the Third channel.

Step 5: As the washer fills the water, simply open the valve to let the water flow in.

The above steps will not only help you to get extra water safely but also keep the warranty intact. The above-mentioned steps are relatively safe as it does not require you to touch the internal components and switches.

Utilize the bulk option

Another way to force your washer to use more water is to select the bulk setting. I know this is a known setting in the washing machine. This is not exactly a hack or trick, but it has been noticed that with most washers, selecting the bulk setting and putting less laundry does the trick a lot of time.

For instance, if you have 2 heavily soiled clothes to wash and need more water, simply put them in your laundry machine and select the bulk setting. This way your washer knows that it needs to use more resources to clean your garments.

The only drawback with this method is that if you are washing large comforters or blankets, heavy sheets, and a large number of heavy towels it may not work well.

Also Read: What is RPM in Washing Machine?

Adjust the Pressure Switch

If the above ideas do not help try adjusting the pressure switch as a last resort. Having said that, adjusting the pressure switch may not be an option for all types of washers.

Not all washers have the same design, If your drain is lower than the highest water level mark on your washer, the water will drain, thereby not achieving the desired results.

For Adjusting the Pressure switch follow the below instructions.

Step 1: Open the front control panel.

Step 2: Locate the pressure switch (In some washers pressure switch is located right behind the water level switch).

Step 3: By using a screwdriver tighten the screw to press the disc inward.

If you are not comfortable adjusting the pressure switch or if it is not an option on your machine, consider calling a qualified technician to get the job done. Adjusting the pressure switch is a delicate task and needs to be handled with utmost care.

Also Read: 16 things you must know about washing machine drum

Final Thoughts

The best and recommended way to bypass the water level sensor ethically is to make your laundry heavy.

The heavier your laundry is, the more water it will be forced to use. The only trick here is to use less number of clothes by making them heavy.

Pre-soak the clothes in water, make them heavy and then put them in the washer to get access to more water.

Adjusting the pressure should be the last option as it can easily ruin the warranty.

Also Read: How to troubleshoot a portable washing machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know how to bypass the water level in the washing machine, let’s take a quick look at the most frequently asked questions

How do washing machines determine water level?

The water level sensor uses a pressure switch to detect the water level in the washing machine. The pressure switch is connected to a tube that goes into the bottom of the tub. When the tub is full of water, the pressure switch sends a signal to the control unit to stop adding water.

Do all washing machines have sensors?

No, not all washing machines are the same. While most modern-day washers have lots of sensors, there are a few exceptions. Manual washing machines and some portable washers do not have any sensors.

Can I manually put water in automatic washing machine?

Yes, you can add water to your automatic washing machine in order to bypass the water level sensor.

For more questions related to washing machines, you can refer to our dedicated FAQ Section where try to answer the most frequently asked questions.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)