I recently moved into an apartment which has, separate from the sink, a faucet that looks like this: image of faucet supplying water to washing machine. (The water flow begins when the handle is turned counter clockwise)

I'm a beginner in home repairs, but that looked like a washing machine hook-up to me (local washing machines use only cold water), so I bought a used machine and the necessary connection tubing from the hardware store to allow for water flow in to clean the clothes and for drainage out.

(Everything connected great, and the washing machine is running an empty cycle now with a little vinegar to clean out the smell of unused washer, and so far, everything seems to be working....)

BUT: I tried searching online for instructions on when to open the water valve and when to shut it, but I think I'm using the wrong keywords. The faucet is only used for the washing machine and has no impact on the sink's water. I'm using a top-loading European machine (Crystal, Super Lord A class). How do I know when the machine's full of water enough to do its job so that I can turn the water off to avoid waste and flooding? Do I leave it on in a drizzle? Shut it off after a few minutes to fill? Turn it on and off as the cycle goes?

Thanks for any suggestions and tips that you may have!

  • See if you can find the manual for your machine online (I could not). This should provide information on operating the machine properly.
    – Elder Geek
    Jul 13, 2014 at 18:23
  • 1
    Is that valve attached...to a door?
    – user23534
    Jul 14, 2014 at 2:50

2 Answers 2


Most modern machines will self regulate the amount of water allowed to enter the washer. The typical washing machine is connected to the water supply by a hose. The hoses can fail with age. The most common use of a shut off valve like yours is to stop the flow of water when the machine is not in use. So you would open the valve allow the washing machine to run it's complete cycle. You would then close the valve to prevent flooding the apartment in the event the hose leaked while unattended.

  • My Brother-in-law lived in an apartment which could use a portable washing machine that hooked up to the sink. It had one of these shutoff valves. You would turn the sink on when you want to run the washer. Jul 13, 2014 at 17:52
  • 2
    Unless the connection hose is obviously deteriorating or the washing machine is showing signs of age, it's probably not necessary to open and close the valve every time you do a load of laundry. You may want to consider it if you're leaving the washing machine unattended for a longer period of time, like if you go on vacation for a week or two. It's not surprising you found the valve in the OFF position, since you just moved in, and it's possible the apartment was vacant for some time before that. Aug 16, 2018 at 16:14

You can just let them on 24/7. Washing machines have solenoids that turn the water on/off themselves.

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