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What’s happened to the hot water valve in washing machines?

 This subject is more complex than you might think, and this article alone has attracted 326 comments before I had to close them. Many people dislike not having a hot valve on their washing machine. Most people probably don’t need one – yet others would be better off if washing machines still had them.

I’ve just spent a few hours updating my previously published thoughts on the subject (apologies for not being able to make it more concise). There’s also a lot of comments under this article, which anyone seriously interested in the subject may want to read before looking at my article – Should I buy a cold fill washing machine or hot and cold fill?


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Comments

  1. I think that a hot and cold fill washing machine is absolutely not necessary. It’s just a waste of money which the ultimate consumer pays. In the UK many households have a hot water boiler, which means that you pay for heating up your water anyway. If you use a gas boiler, It’s even worse. Using the hot valve is like using hot tab water for cooking or to boil water in the kettle. It doesn’t make much sense. A new cold fill washing machine heats the water even more energy efficient, I guess. In Germany and most other countries, a hot water connection for washing machines does not even exist. Germany has a very high quality standard. The best washing machines are Made in Germany (Miele, AEG, Bosh, Siemens) and if a hot water valve would be better, the Germans would definetely not miss out on it. Why do mainly the cheap crappy washing machines have that feature? Because the good brands know and do much better.

  2. Isabel: As my article points out there is a lot of truth in what the manufacturers say about not needing a hot water valve but only for washing machines in certain (albeit common) conditions, with a certain type of hot water water supply and using biological detergents and low temperature wash programs.

    However, Miele have previously published the following, which appears to contradict a lot of what manufacturers say about cold fill being better -

    “Hot water operation saves energy – saves up to 40% electricity

    The Miele AllWater washing machines, including the current model W 3841, offer a special contribution to environmental protection. They can be connected to a hot or alternative water supply as desired. Compared to cold water operation, using the AllWater washing machine with a hot water connection can lead to considerable annual savings in particular on electricity. Our example projects average savings for a 4-person household.”

    It must be pointed out that this washing machine is not currently available in the UK and may never be. The waters are very muddy regarding this whole issue. My opinion after researching and thinking about this issue is that a hot water valve should be fitted to all washing machines and customers should be able to select whether to use it or not depending on their type of hot water supply and their style of washing (e.g. lots of hot washes or only low temperature washes and ordinary detergent or biological detergent) because otherwise the washing machines are not flexible enough, and are designed only to work ideally in the majority of situations.

  3. With all the pushing and shoving in the UK to get people to fit solar-panels, I find it laughable that the “free” hot water thus acquired through solar heating cannot now be used to wash clothes! You use energy whichever way it goes…either to heat the hot-water tank or via the electric that’s used to heat water in the washing machine. Presumably the same thinking will start applying soon to dishwashers (though I don’t own one so won’t be bothered).
    I read somewhere that solar panels can get water up to around 30 degrees C, surely if that went direct into a washing machine it would be a pretty good starting point for lower-temp washes? I rarely wash things any higher than 50C. I think someone’s fallen a bit short on joined-up thinking here….the opportunity to utilise solar-heated water for washing clothes has been well and truly scuppered, so that’ll put a lot of people off installing solar. May as well go back to washing clothes in the bath-tub.

  4. Hello Chris: Dishwashers have long since been cold fill only. It’s been very rare for years to see a dishwasher that uses hot water. Again, as they now use so little water most dishwashers connected to a hot water supply would have finished filling well before the hot water started to run through. Plus with dishwashers you have the extra problem where connecting a hot supply would mean wasting lots of hot water on rinses (dishwashers have always only had one valve).

  5. avatar Stan Thomas says:

    When I plumbed my house I put the hot water cylinder next to the boiler and the washing machine(s) in the ground floor utility room. The hot water run from tank to inlet, including hose, is less than 1 metre and about 2 metres for the two washers. The hot & cold supplies are both via the cold storage tank in the attic, so the fill at the same rate. Solar panels provide a significant amount of water heating. Having done all this, I now find that all new washers have cold fill and heat it with expensive electricity. Makes me look stupid doesn’t it. But it makes that A+ rating even more stupid. I wonder if I’m determined enough to retro fit a hot fill to a new washer…

  6. I have solar water heating which, on a sunny day gets the temperature up to well over 60 degrees centigrade and I would save a lot of money if I were able to use a hot-fill machine.

    So who supplies them – both washing machines and dishwashers?

  7. Hello Richard: LG still do hot and cold fill washing machines the last time I checked (please double check yourself) There is a more comprehensive blog article on the subject here I want a washing machine with a hot water valve

    FURTHER COMMENTS?

    It would be better if from now on, all further comments on this subject could be added to the article above as it’s best to have them all in one place.

  8. Many thanks. I did actually read the article and found it very useful – but most of the washing machines and dishwashers I’ve seen advertised do not seem to mention the question of fill and I assume therefore that they only have cold fill.

    But I’ll take a look at LG.

  9. Richard: Please let us know what you find. When I first mentioned LG they definitely were one of the only ones left with a hot valve but I suspect things may have changed.

    LG don’t mention hot valves on their site and their new washing machines all seem to be using steam to wash with. The promotional video shows only one water supply.

  10. So far my research has not found any machines that have fill information listed and I infer from that there there are no dual-fill machines now on sale. The LG site certainly doesn’t mention dual fill.

    I will keep searching.

  11. I would prefer a cold fill only machine. I have a combination boiler, and the hot supply has to run for a long time for the water to be hot. Much longer than the fill time of the machine. This is wasting gas, heating water that will only sit in the pipes. The other problem with hot fill, is the pressure drop with a combination boiler to the hot supply. It is very annoying while having a shower, bath or washing up for the hot water to stop because the washing machine is at a fill cycle.

    However my Gran lives in sheltered housing where hot water is free, but electricity is not. I have thought about using a shower valve to supply water at about 40 deg to the cold fill.

  12. You make a very good point Gareth. Even combination boilers take a certain time to start delivering proper hot water and if the washing machine has all-but finished this water will have been heated up to just stand in the pipes and cool down.

    You might be interested in this article regarding your last point about supplying water at about 40 degrees (although 40 degrees isn’t too bad I would still think it wouldn’t be conducive to rinsing) – can you connect the hot water supply to the cold valve on cold fill washing machines?

  13. I don’t know how the manufacturers arrange things but I’d have thought it would have been easy enough to arrange for a machine to draw from the hot water supply only to start with and keep that water in a holding tank. Only if the water were too hot would cold then be called to reduce the temperature to an appropriate level.

    In the summer I get free hot water from my solar panels – up to near boiling on really sunny days – and it’s REALLY annoying that I then have to pay to heat up water using electricity just because no properly contrived mixing system has been installed.

    The point made by others here about “preferring” cold fill only is really a bit of a red herring. Dual-fill machines can be filled with cold only and those who choose to use cold only can simply turn off the hot supply. Those of us who wish to do the opposite with single-fill machines have no such option.

  14. Richard:

    The manufacturers design for the masses and if only a minority of people could really utilise a hot water supply they would never design for them. You can logically argue a case for doing so on environmental grounds though.

    The problem is that there’s no room for a holding tank. Also, dual fill machines won’t work on some programmes without a hot supply because they are designed for an expected hot and cold supply and some fill with hot only on hotter washes. With the hot tap off they would stall and abort with an error. They aren’t bright enough to think there’s no hot water so I’ll use cold instead.

  15. Washing machines that do have a hot water valve

    After phoning LG I can confirm that their washing machines do still have a hot water valve. If a hot valve is paramount to you then check the LG brochure available on their web site LG washing machines Navigate to a model, click the “brochure” link which will download a pfd brochure.

    Once open, look under the “Feature” list which is at the top and at the bottom of this list it should say “Hot & cold water inlet hose option”. If this model has one there will be a tick in the box next to it.

    But before you rush off to LG..

    Even LG said that their washing machines only use the hot water valve on 60 degree and 90 degree washes and they will not use it on 30 degree and 40 degree washes which are the ones most people use.

  16. Many thanks for this.

    I agree that the technology used in most washing machines right now seem not to be “bright” enough to know what to do if the hot water supply fails, but it should be perfectly possible to contrive such a thing by means of sensors and microprocessors that will measure the temperature of the water actually in the machine, and not simply admit an arbitrary amount from each source.

    Back in the late 1950s my parents’ sloping front Hoover Keymatic managed the job perfectly. If there was not enough hot water it simply got cracking and heated up whatever water it had in its drum, turning occasionally to ensure that the temperature was even. It never “stalled” – not did the two Keymatics that I subsequently bought and used when I got married and only reluctantly replaced with a more “modern” machine when they were no longer made.

    I did think about the holding tank space problem and dismissed it. As you say in various postings, the amount of water involved is only about a bowlful and there is plenty of spare space in the average machine – near the floor there is a volume that is more than sufficient. Bear in mind that the holding tank does not need to be any special shape, providing the water therein is circulated by a special pump; the cooling systems on cars are far more convoluted but they seem to keep their coolant at a constant temperature.

    Your comment about the commercial aspects of manufacturers’ production is certainly very sensible. However, many local authorities are now giving substantial grants to assist in the installation of solar water heating and this, along with the ever-increasing “green” lobbying, will surely mean that there will be many more solar systems installed and many more people wanting to use their “free” hot water! A wonderful opportunity for a go-ahead manufacturer.

  17. Oh, and thank you for the note about LG. Unfortunately they only have a brochure download facility for one of their models – the direct drive washer – the steam washer and the washer/dryer have no further information available.

  18. After much to-ing and fro-ing with LG’s help-desk, they have finally admitted to me that they no longer make washer-dryers or dishwashers – so the question of what fill they used to use is academic.

  19. Richard:

    All washing machines should behave the same as the sloping front Hoover Keymatic you mention from the 50s. Any program that fills with hot and cold water at the same time (which is most) would just to fill with cold and continue the programme if the hot water wasn’t available.

    When I said dual fill washing machines won’t work on some programmes if the hot supply is turned off I was referring to programs such as whites 90 degree washes (or the 60 degree wash on some models) where the washing machine fills with hot water only to give a kick start. These programmes would fail without a hot supply. However, it’s fair to say they should have been designed not to stall in such circumstances, which would be easy to do. The point is of course mute now because of the cold fill only situation.

  20. On a price comparison website I found, there was a listing of hot fill washing machines and the sites suggested that Electrolux still made them. The Electrolux site has no information so I emailed them a couple of days ago.

    They have not yet replied.

  21. Please let us know if they do reply Richard or if you find any others. I just reviewed an Electrolux washing machine Electrolux EWN 14991 W Time Manager washing machine review and it was cold fill.

    I don’t know about any other models but I would be surprised if they do make a hot fill washer. I can’t imagine anyone making both as it would severely affect the economy of scale, which is paramount to keeping prices down these days.

  22. Actually my memory served me false! It was hotpoint that they suggested made hot fill machines and it is Hotpoint who’ve not answered me. Sorry Electrolux!

  23. Hotpoint washing machines (bizarrely) still have a hot valve but they are cold fill. They come with a y-piece that you need to use to connect both hoses to the cold supply. I am assuming it’s a temporary make do and mend situation while they redesign them properly or something. It doesn’t make a lot of obvious sense.

  24. I agree. It would actually cause all sorts of problems since, typically, the cold supply is at a higher pressure than the hot and the cold would thus tend to simply run up into the hot system and eventually into the cistern.

    I have no contacts in this field but I would suggest that it would be very easy to devise an after-market mixing device that would take water from both supplies (starting with the hot) into a small catchment tank and adjust the mix until it was at the temperature required for the wash. If there was insufficient hot water available then it would get the mix to the hottest it could and then admit it into the standard cold-fill connection, where it would be heated to temperature in the usual way.

    Of course, there would need to be some kind of system to decide what temperature is needed and when, and at the simplest this could simply be a control that the operator used according to what was needed. At its most complex it could be a micro-processor that would adjust the temperature of successive fills to meet the differing demands of each cycle. I would imagine that these will be similar for different machines, although they will differ according to the programme selected. But such information is readily available, and, I feel quite sure, is these days stored on the machine’s micro-chip, a duplicate of which could readily be used to control the mixer unit.

    It does seem ironic that the needs of those who have solar water heating – an increasing number – are not considered as a potential market by a normally responsive industry..

  25. Like a growing band of truly green consumers I have a solar panel to heat my hot water. Even in February on a sunny day the tank can reach 60C.

    So we have lots of FREE hot water created without burning CO2 at the power station.

    Therefore it is essential we have a washing machine that can use the solar heated water:

    1) It should have a setting to tell it there is solar heating.
    2) It should fill until the temperature is at least 30C and pump out the initial cold water in the pipes.
    3) Then it can mix hot and cold to get the correct temperature.

    Its not rocket science, I am a software developer with a degree in electronics and I know that a solar friendly washing machine can be created. Give me a job and I’ll design it for you!

  26. I think washing in cold water is the answer. They’ve been doing it for years in the US Tide Cold Water Detergent

    We would need our washing machines to be designed to use it though as you can’t stop most washers heating the water up because they are all geared up for using warm water. The Tide cold water detergent is designed for top loading washing machines that have no heaters.

  27. Cold water detergent works OK (and cold-water detergents have been available in the UK for years as well as in the USA) but there are reasons why cold-water washing is not a completely satisfactory alternative to hot-water washing. One of the less commonly publicised, but nevertheless true, is that parasites and their eggs, present even in the most scrupulously clean of households, are not killed by detergent or by lower temperature washes. Near boiling water is needed to properly sterilise clothing.

  28. Hello Richard. Thanks for that. The problem you describe applies equally to most of the washing already being done with normal washing machines. The overwhelming majority of washes are done at no more than 40 degrees, and people are being persuaded to move down to 30 degrees. That being the case, using cold water shouldn’t (I would have thought) make any difference although I suspect your point is that we shouldn’t lose the option to do hot washes.

    I think if detergents are available that wash just as effectively in cold water then it defies logic not to move over to it in an era where conserving energy is considered highly desirable – even critical.

    The answer is to make washing machines that still have a heating element to allow hot washes when desired or when necessary, but with an option button to tell the machine to wash in cold water too.

    It would be nice if washing machines were also able to utilise solar powered heated water. However, this would be more difficult to achieve because they would need to either pump the first lot of water down the drain that is cold due to cooling in the pipes (which would be wasteful) or store it somewhere to be used on rinses. But it’s hard to imagine where the room could be found to store it – especially as space is cramped due to the popularity of large drum capacity washing machines.

  29. I had a feeling that washing machines (and certainly dishwashers, to which my remarks apply equally) often have a pre-wash cycle that uses cold water. Ideal to draw the first fill from the solar storage and then, once the pre-wash had finished, to draw the (now hot) solar water.

    I am quite sure that the job of choosing the correct supply could be done, as Paul Hadley (above) has suggested.

  30. Dishwashers do use a pre wash rinse although they’ve never used hot and cold fill as far as I’m aware so they would have to be redesigned to have 2 water valves. They’ve historically always been cold fill only. With some dishwashes there is an issue where hot water can damage the salts and minerals in the filtration system although I’ve known some dishwashes allow connection to either hot or cold.

    Using a hot fill on pre wash with the washing machine woud be a clever way of using the otherwise wasted cool water from the first draw but most people don’t use pre wash on washing machines. It used to be more common when people washed nappies but these days most use disposable ones. There may only be one heavy duty boil wash programme that uses a pre wash which is rarey used.

    Washing machines could definitely be redesigned to utilise solar powered heated water but I can see how manufacturers woud currently think it wouldn’t be worth doing until enough people are using it. As it currently stands the cost of washing machines would be increased and reliability would be impacted by several extra parts and the majority of people would see no benefit.

    My current feeling is that lower and lower wash temperatures are going to be increasingly introduced until we reach cold water washing.

    There’s always likely to be a need for occasional hot washes though, and in fact all manufacturers now advise to do a hot wash once a month for maintenance purposes so it’s a valid concern that people with eco friendly heating supplies should want to utilise them.

  31. My first dishwasher ( a Balay) had hot and cold fill.

    I suspect, too, that there will be a move back to pre-wash especially for things like nappies. Ecologically disposables are a very bad thing; financially an even worse thing.

    I notice nobody’s comment on the hygiene aspect; cold water washes do not kill the eggs of the bugs that, even today, get into people’s clothes. Head lice are actually an increasing, not a decreasing problem.

  32. What about the time for a wash? One machine I was just researching said a normal 40 C wash would take 115 minutes. Doesn’t having hot water filling onto the machine save time. I have a tap next to the washing machine and run the hot tap before I put it on to empty out the cold water so that it’s a quicker wash.

  33. Marie: This is a common puzzlement to many people. It’s confusing to think that economy programmes on dishwashers, tumble dryers and washing machines take a lot longer. I explained why in a previous blog article but the short answer is that it is the heating element that uses lots of electricity. The motor by comparison uses hardly any.

    Therefore it’s cheaper to wash in cooler water for a couple of hours than to use the heater for 20 minutes. Here’s my article – Economy settings take much longer – why?

  34. I see that it is more economical/greener to have a wash setting that is longer, but I would like to have the choice to have a quicker main cycle, not just the quick wash setting (I have young children!) as there are a lot of people in our household and time is an important factor for us.

    The Americans who visit us cannot believe that it takes nearly 2 hours to do a small load of washing. I remind them of the fact that with energy available so cheaply in USA there is a lot of waste.

    I agree with your comment in #28 that it’s good to have a choice.

  35. My Bosch Precision (2000) has H&C fill. A 40 or 60 wash uses 0.24kwh and the soap drawer is hot after filling – and is 10m from hot water tank with 15mm pipe. A new machine is 1kwh + at 60 because it heats the water – what a waste. They do not deserve an A rating. On a boat with loads of hot water from the engine or solar heating I do not want to use elec to heat the water.
    The LG machine mentioned earlier is virtually useless – it only uses the hot water if the wash temp is above the hot water temp. Crazy.
    With all the computer power and fuzzy logic in these modern machines, surely they can blend the incoming water as required?? Clearly the logic of the manufacturers is extremely fuzzy.
    I am looking at using a TMV and a double solenoid valve so that I can select blended water for the initial fill, then switch to cold for the rest. Or TMV valve with a hose through the soap drawer. Bosch have at least told me that an 6kg load requires an initial fill of 12 ltrs.

  36. Still no comments from the manufacturers, I see. Now, in sunny April, I have more hot water from the solar panels than I know what to do with – the cylinder was 80 degrees yesterday as the sun set – but I still have to use electricity to heat the water for my washing machine and dishwasher!

  37. Colin: Yes, I mention on the main article that the LG washing machines only fill with hot water on 60 or above washes.

    They can’t really blend the hot and cold water to the correct temperature for two reasons -

    1: Biological powders work best when the enzymes are slowly released. They just work better when washing starts in cold water.

    2: Cooling in pipes is unavoidable and in many households there are long pipe runs where the pipework is not insulated. Hot water drawn into the pipe network quickly cools. In order to mix water to the correct temperature they would have to use thermostatically controlled filled valves, extra fuzzy logic controls, and they would have to draw in several litres of water before they had some hot to work with. This first draw of water would have to take place in a separate chamber so as it did not wash away any of the detergent. Once a workable hot water supply was detected the first draw which in many cases would contain litres of water would need to be disposed of somehow and wasted or stored to be used in rinsing (but there’s no room to store it). The whole process would just be unnecessarily complex to solve a problem that isn’t really there for most people.

    Even though there may be cases where a cold fill might be less economical, they are very isolated cases. The majority of people just wash at 40 degrees and the trend is to move down to 30 degrees, I believe we are heading for cold wash. I’m sure no one would argue that all washing machines should be designed so that they are more economical in cases that may number one in a thousand or possibly even one in 10,000 at the expense of making them less economical for everyone else.

    Statistically fewer people use 60° washes and there is little doubt in my mind that washing at 40° does not need any hot water to be drawn in. In fact it is less economical to use hot water on 40 degree washes as explained below (not forgetting that biological detergent works best from cold) -

    Experiment

    I’ve just done an experiment that you might be interested in. I cut a 1 m length of 15 mm pipe and filled it with water. It took a quarter of a litre. On your 10 metre pipe run that’s 2 1/2 litres. Unless water has been drawn recently the chances are most of that water is either only warm or all cold. If your washing machine does draw 12 litres (which seems a lot these days) and you had a washing machine that used hot and cold water then that works out at about 6 L of cold and 6 L of hot.

    In reality, all washing machines would draw a quarter to half a litre of cold water in at first. This is to avoid any detergent placed in the soap drawer being washed down into the sump and wasted. Also, in the majority of situations the cold water pressure is a fair bit higher than the hot. These last two points mean that the chances are only about 4 L from the hot water supply would be drawn.

    There is every chance that the 2 and 1/2 litres in your pipework is cold or at least not very warm. By the time the washing machine has finished filling it may well have fetched in about 1 and 1/2 litres of hot water. However, when the washing machine stops filling it will also have drawn in about 4 litres of hot water to replace all the water in the 10 m of pipework. This hot water is likely to be wasted and quickly cool down. If this water is “free” it’s not a big problem but the overwhelming majority of people pay for their hot water.In cases where the hot water is supplied via a hot water cylinder then there is extra wastage because all the water that went into the washing machine, plus all the water that replaced it in the pipework, would be replaced by cold water from the header tank. This would then cool down the water in the cylinder and probably trigger the heater to bring it back up to temperature.

    So in the majority of cases there is a knock-on effect of drawing “hot” water into a washing machine which involves a lot of waste. The argument is that it is much more environmentally friendly and economical to just heat up the water inside the machine.

    Washing machines have never been so economical to use, they have never used less water and they’ve never used less electricity than they do now. The holy Grail is to make washing machines that are more economical than a competitor’s. If using hot water was more economical and gave better wash results for the average household then surely manufacturers would use it.

  38. As I have said all along, hot fill is really only important to those of us who have free hot water – and I have gallons of the stuff right now!

    I see nobody’s commented on my point about the sterilising benefits of hot washes.

  39. I replied Richard ( Comment 28 )

    Your point was that cold water washing would be bad because only near boiling water kills the parasites eggs but almost every garment would be damaged at this temperature. Only white cottons and nappies have ever been washed at these temperaturres as far as I know.

    Virtually no one washes at 90 degrees any more and few even wash at 60 degrees. Therefore the problem you describe is applicable equally now, and cold water washes shouldn’t make any difference because none of the parasites eggs are currently being destroyed any way.

  40. The temperature needed to kill bacteria is 70 degrees centigrade. That’s far lower than boiling – and far higher than the low-temperature washes now in vogue.

    Most parasites are destroyed at lower temperatures than bacteria – around 60 degrees.

    Washing at 30 degrees relies far too much on the efficacy of the detergent as a lethal agent, to my mind.

  41. avatar Francis Xavier Holden says:

    I’m in Australia. It would be 15 years since I have washed with hot water. Every household I know washes with cold water, in fact you have to go to a small section in the supermarket to buy hot water detergent.

  42. avatar Richard English says:

    Does anyone have any comment to make about dishwashers? I can’t see cold-water dishwashing catching on – if only because the crocks would never dry!

    My first dishwasher had hot and cold fill.

  43. Richard: Rinse aid is supposed to make the water run off as it breaks the surface tension. Don’t know if they’d dry though without heat. Some dishwashers used to have hot air blown over the dishes to dry them which would solve the problem, but that would cancel out the savings in energy gained by washing in cold water.

  44. avatar Richard English says:

    Oh yes, the crocks rinse just fine – but I’m sure they would never dry if they were washed in cold water. The last rinse is in near-boiling water and that’s why the crocks are dry when the cycle’s finished.

    As I said, my first dishwasher had hot and cold fill but my next one didn’t. The reason, I was told, was that introducing hot water at the outset tended to bake food residues onto the crockery. However, I don’t believe that since it would be simple enough to run an initial cycle with cold water and then introduce the hot.

    Since I have as much free hot as I can use between April and September it grieves me to have to pay to warm up cold water using full-price electricity. But that point I have already made.

  45. Hi Richard / all,
    I’m with you Richard: I have more solar hot water than I can shake a stick at, a very short run of pipe to the Washer from the cylinder and was most of my laundry at 60 (+) degrees.

    I posted on the other board a few days ago because my 25 year old Hoover washer is on it’s last legs. However, for dishwashing may I reccommend that you look at Miele. I bought my Miele d/w 18 months ago and one of the reasons for the choice of brand was that it accepts hot or cold water fill. I have it on hot and it has slashed the cycle time and my electricity bills! I notice that the instructions for the d/w specifically reccommed hot connection if you have solar water, so Miele are clearly thinking about this issue a littel bit….but sadly not enough to deal with the washing machine.

    My mum had a Hoover the same as mine (we bought them at the same time in fact in the middle of the miners’ strike!). Sadly her’s finally gave up the ghost about a year ago and she bought a Miele washer because the blurb in the shop stated that the washer coudl be connected to hot fill but you had to bear in mind that it would then rinse in hot. We were both very angry when the machine arrived and there was a great big sticker on the back next to the valve staing “do not connect to hot water”. When we made enquiries it turned out that this was a very recent “design improvement”. We asked Miele if we could ignore it but they said that the warranty woudl be invalidated if we did, and since it comes with a 15 year guarantee as standard we didn’t want to risk that on a £700 machine.

    I’m intrigued by the Hotpoint machines, and even a few new Hoovers, that have two valves on the back, in Hotpoint’s case marked “H” and “C”, but come with a Y adapter pre fitted. I want to know if I can buy one of these, take the Y off, and plumb in to Hot and Cold as before, but Hoover and Hotpoint won’t tell me, they just say that the machines are cold fill only. I’m not convinced. Washerhelp – have you any insider knowledge on these?

    One final comment on washing efficiency. Mum’s washing in the Miele was noticeably less clean than in the Hoover until she started to use the “extra water” setting on every wash – strikes me that savings in water are outweighed by shorter life of clothes due to lower standards of cleaning. Even the Miele instruction book implies that using the extra water setting may improve results.
    I may be only 40 (and 2 days!!) and therefore relatively young, but I’m getting increasingly suspicious of modern contraptions as time goes on ………………….

  46. avatar Richard English says:

    Interestingly enough, I did an internet search and found that one manufacturer (Hotpoint) did come up as supplying H & C fill machines. But when I looked at the machine specifications there was nothing about the fill. Their website similarly was innocent of information about this aspect.

    So I wrote to them; they didn’t have the courtesy to answer.

    Sadly it’s not only modern design that is occasionally a retrograde step; it is also modern manners and business ethics. My standards for replying to emails and/or snailmails is that I always reply within 24 hours – even it’s to say no more than “Sorry, can’t help you”.

  47. Yes, Richard, I am totally withyou on this too. I have had several very heated arguments with council officials, MP’s and even a couple of Government ministers on this point. Seems that no longer do manners maketh the man (or woman). Hmm……

    I rang Hotpoint about the washers. The woman who took the call was reasonably pleasant, but when I asked about the machine and quoted the model number (WD421) of one I had seen in the shop she first of all said it was a discontinued model and that I must have the wrong model number, but when I said that I was quite sure but if she liked I’d go and take a pic and send it she then said that it might actually be a new model not on her list yet! Either way her answer to the H&C matter was a blanket “all our washer are cold fill only now”. Plain, simple but I remain unconvinced.

    I wish I could pop into the shop with a screwdriver and pop the lid off; I’d put a hefy gamble on finding that it is just a traditional hot and cold fill but that to “keep up wityh the jones’” they have stopped admitting it. I’d put money on the Hoover ones I’ve seen (some of the “Nextra” range) being the same, but again the lady on the phone at Merthyr Tydfil was polite, pleasant and effciient but simply said “none of our macines take hot water any more”. She even put me throught to someone she described as “an engineer” to double check, but he also just trotted out” we don’t do hot fill now”.

    The matter of the Hoover is rather academic for me anyway; we’ve always had *everything* Hoover for longer than I’ve been alive: I still use a Hoover Junior 375 of my grandparents and it works like a dream, I even have a local shop that still stocks the parts, but my last Dishwasher was Hoover and it was, sadly, a disaster. They’re all Candy with a Hoover badge and importeds from the Hoover / Candy works in Italy. So I’m afraid I would be very hesitant indeed to buy Hoover now. Maybe Washerhelp or some other reader knows a someone in the S/yorks area who will still fit me new drum bearings in my Electron 1100? Last quote I had was £120, but when I said I’d happily pay that the man said “actually, mate, we wouldn’t do it, not on a machine that age”, so I suspect the quote was artifically high to try to put me off.

    Great to compare notes with you Richard, both on hot fill, and manners!
    D

  48. I mentioned the Hotpoint washing machines as part of my washing machine and hot valve articles. Here’s what I said -

    Some Hotpoint washing machines appear to be hot and cold (fill) but they are still 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

    The situation is bizarre. My assumption is that they decided to change to cold fill but for some reason it suits them to keep using the old hot and cold fill machines. Presumably they convert them to cold fill by supplying the y-piece but the machines software could be designed to be cold fill only.

    I’m also assuming that if you connected a hot supply to the hot valve and a cold to the cold valve instead of using the y-piece to connect just cold to both valves that either hot water will be drawn in on rinses (because it’s energising both valves simultaneously) or it will work as a hot and cold fill machine but the wash results will be skewed because the wash programmes are designed for cold fill.

    It could just be though that they haven’t bothered to redesign anything and it’s a pseudo cold fill machine done cheap.

    On the point about wash efficiency and lower water usage, washing machine manufacturers give us what they think we are demanding. If they gave us what they think is best for wash results we’d get different machines. I don’t believe any manufacturer would have come up with such drastically reduced water usage unless market forces and environmental concerns forced their hand. I’m sure if there were no perceived consequences they would use at least twice as much water as they currently do.

    The current rage is low water usage and low energy usage both of which come with downsides. Poorer rinsing and much longer wash times. However, given that washing machines currently have to use so little water and so little energy you should get better results with a quality machine than with a cheap one when both are using low amounts of water.

    I predict (slightly tongue-in-cheek) that one day washers will recycle all their water by cleaning it and reusing it. Then they could use as much as they need. Mind yo they’d need a big storage tank. Actually the chances are that they’ll eventually not use any water at all. Dirt will be removed by micro waves or by bombarding with ironised particles or something.

  49. Dave: You’d be amazed how many washing machine repairers quote very high prices to get rid of jobs they don’t want to do or even customers they don’t want to deal with ( I’m positive it’s the former with you :-) ) it seems you called their bluff. Their answer of they wouldn’t do it on a machine that age sounds a bit pompous. If you are happy to have it done and they make money by doing it why all of a sudden display the morals?

    I know someone in Sheffield that would probably do it, if he can still get the parts though. it’s possible they are obsolete. Please email me to discuss.

  50. avatar Richard English says:

    On a related note, but one which will become increasingly important as fuel cost continue to soar, is the financial benefits that will increasingly accrue from the use of solar water heating.

    I don’t use gas for cooking and since April I have used just under £2 worth of gas – which is the amount needed to keep the boiler pilot light running. British Gas clearly didn’t believe my reading and sent a man to check – but I was correct. I have had all the hot water I need (including that for baths and showers) without using any gas at all; the only fuel cost for water heating has been that of the electricity used to heat the water my dishwasher and washing machine.

    You can understand why I would prefer hot-fill machines!