I still get people asking if I know of any washing machines with a hot water valve. There are just a few washing machines available with a hot water valve (some LG & Statesman models) but they hardly take any hot water in any more, particularly on 40 degree washes, which is the most common wash programme. They only take in hot water on washes above 60 degrees.
Most washing machines now only have a cold water valve and most people instinctively don’t like this change. We all know that washing machines use hot water so it seems crazy not to use the hot water in our homes. This apparent madness is even more annoying for people who have an environmentally friendly and economic source of hot water such as solar powered. However, there is an argument (explained in great detail on the second link below) that because modern washing machines use so little water on wash there is no need for a hot valve and it is in fact more economical to use cold fill only on 40 ° washes.
A few issues are raised by the lack of a hot water valve in modern washing machines
- Several people have asked me if you can connect an environmentally friendly and economic hot supply to the cold valve to utilise it. The short answer is no, for more details read Don’t connect the hot water supply to the cold valve on cold fill washing machine
- Why are most washing machines cold fill? Should I buy a cold fill washing machine?
Some people, after reading and understanding about the cold fill issue, whilst accepting that for most people it’s either cheaper or has negligible effect, still want a washing machine with a hot water valve. This is because they either get cheap (or even free) hot water, or unlike most people they use a lot of hot washes. Even if you get free hot water though, as the link above explains, modern washing machines hardly use any water on wash. So because hot water cools in the pipes and the cold water has much greater pressure, the result is that hardly any hot water gets into a modern washing machine anyway.
The only way I would think it’s worth considering buying a hot and cold fill washing machine is if you really use a lot of 60° or 90° washes and you have a very cheap hot water supply.
- If you do buy a washing machine purely for the hot valve you are severely limiting your choice
- If it’s not a very good washing machine in other areas then the savings can easily be wiped out
- If it’s unreliable or doesn’t last a reasonable length of time it would also end up costing considerably more than buying a good quality cold fill washing machine
- Some Hotpoint washing machines appear to be hot and cold but they are designed for cold fill because there’s only a cold fill hose supplied and a y-piece adapter supplies both valves. I suspect this is a temporary measure and that subsequent models will just have the cold valve
- A modern cold fill washing machine only uses around £30 of electricity per year (figures based on a typical family of 4 and on 10p per unit) Therefore potential savings by using a hot water supply are less than many people might assume unless you do a lot of hot washes
UPDATE March 2012
There is a washing machine available which is now designed to use hot and cold water. It fills with hot water until it senses the temperature is approaching that which is set by the selected program and then intelligently fills by alternating between hot and cold intake. It’s also a very good quality washing machine.
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