I want a washing machine with a hot water valve

Hot-tap I still get people asking if I know of any washing machines with a hot water valve. This article gives a few suggestions – but you should read on first to fully understand the issue. It is not as simple as you might think. It could be a complete waste of your time looking for one.

Most washing machines now only have a cold water valve but many people instinctively don’t like this. We all know washing machines wash with hot water, so it seems crazy not to use the hot water we already have in our homes. Heating it all up from cold seems wasteful and unnecessary.

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 a good argument that because modern washing machines use so little water on wash – there is no need for a hot valve. It’s in fact more economical to use cold fill only on 40 ° washes for most (but not all) people as explained here – is a hot & cold fill washing machine more economical?.

What is the science behind cold fill only washing machines?

All this is explained fully in my article Should I buy a cold fill washing machine?

So are there any washing machines with a hot valve?

At the time of writing there are some LG & Statesman models with a hot valve. However, they don’t take in hot water at all unless you use a very hot wash cycle. There is alternatively a British made washing machine with a hot water valve. Ebac’s hot & cold fill washing machine is advertised as using, “Intelligent hot fill technology”.

Some Hotpoint washing machines appear to be hot and cold fill, but they are designed for cold fill because there’s only a cold fill hose supplied and a y-piece adaptor supplies both valves.

I suspect this is a temporary measure, and that subsequent models will just have the cold valve.


So hot and cold fill washing machines are currently very rare. But even if you find one, you need to know that the few I’ve seen rarely even use the hot water valve.

If most of your wash cycles are done at 40 degrees or less it will most likely never use the hot valve at all.

Related:

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

Comments disabledNew comments on this topic have been closed. There were over 600 comments now trimmed down (below) to 233. There are very interesting discussions there.

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254 thoughts on “I want a washing machine with a hot water valve”

  1. I’m a Which? member and would be keen to support a campaign. Just let’s get the issues straight and come at them with a consistent message… Give us the ammo and tell us where to send it!

  2. Phil:

    Washerhelp, surely it’s not beyond you to fit a spur piece of pipe near your washing machine to run off the cold water from the hot pipe? You don’t have to pour it into a sump, just down a plughole somewhere convenient. Apologies if that sounds rude, but it only took me a couple of days to figure that out and ask a plumber to arrange it when he was next in. I don’t think this is the 1st time it’s been mentioned here either

    Hi Phil. Lots of things have been mentioned over and over again ;-) With some justification though as there are so many comments that any newcomer will not read them all and most likely jump to the last several. So having the points coming back again may not be as pointless as we might think (only for regular readers maybe).

    I’m perfectly happy to let my washing machine heat up exactly the amount of water it needs because 95% of all our washes are at 40 degrees. It’s not necessarily less economical to do that instead of trying to inject hot water from my immersion heater which is miles away in the airing cupboard.

    I believe that running off a few litres of water every time we wash (daily), and throwing it down the drain, filling all the pipes with hot water, causing cold water to enter the immersion heater cooling the rest of it down and then having all the hot water in the pipes cold down and get wasted ready to be thrown down the drain the next day is definitely not going to save any money worth going to all that effort for. The only people I can imagine finding this worth while are people with lots of solar heated water. It’s perfectly possible that it would cost more in reality than just having the washer heat the small amount of water it uses on wash to 40 degrees..

  3. Dave: I’m trying to see the issue from an objective point of view, not from any particular viewpoint. The argument that hot and cold fill is best is completely bogus – as is the argument that cold fill is best. They are both arguments that can only be “proved” if taking a blinkered view and quoting specific scenarios that are not applicable to everyone.

    There are good arguments on both sides and that’s why sometimes I may say things that appear to agree with your point of view and sometimes they appear to not agree. The only point of view I stick rigidly to is that there is no single best method, both have their pros and cons dependent entirely on where the washer is situated, what detergent you use, which wash programmes you use and the method of supplying it with hot water.

    I’ve said many times that washing machines need to be completely redesigned in order to be able to configure themselves to the environment they are working in and for the customer they are working for. Part of that intelligent design requires a hot water valve for sure, but hot and cold fill washing machines without true fuzzy logic and customisation are only better for some people, just as cold fill only letting the washer heat up the water are better for others.

  4. Richard English

    Which? made the point long ago when comparing dual-fill and cold-fill machines. Their very words were, “Choose a dual-fill machine as it will save you money unless your water is heated by full-price electricity”

    I wonder how many people there are nowadays who use full-price electricity for their water-heating. Even oil is cheaper.

  5. Richard: As we’ve gone over plenty of times that’s simply not true. You cannot say dual fill will save everyone money. I can prove it wont because I would get no hot water into my machine and many other people would find the same. Also if someone used biological detergent and does have a scenario where hot water gets in straight away the 60 degree + water kills the enzymes and the hotter water the machine started off with would impact on how well the biological detergent would work. There are lots of scenarios where a dual fill would not be better.

    We need to stop going round in circles and accept that we all agree that it’s far more complicated than a simple dual fill or single fill policy, and that a complete new approach (with a hot valve installed) is the only real answer? :-)

  6. Reading today’s comments, and taking Washerhelp’s point that we are going round in circles (with which I heartily agree) it sounds to me as though Washerhelp is describing, when he says in the post aimed at me at 11:30 a.m., that neither hot and cold fill nor cold fill only is ideal for everyone, the old design of washing machines with the “old style” hot and cold fill system and controls, and the instruction book like the one for my Hoover A3260 which explains that if you have no convenient hot water supply you should connect both the hot and cold inlets to the cold water using a “Y” connector.
    Surely, washerhelp, you would agree that all we need to do is make washing machines exactly like they always used to be made, but supply them with a “free” “Y” connector and clear instructions telling users that they should use cold only in the relevant circumstances?
    This would be dirt cheap to do, would allow people like you with a long pipe run (and no draw off spur as sensibly suggested by Phil) to connect to cold only and people like Richard and I and many others to connect to hot and cold to utilise our cheap or free hot water and short pipe runs?
    The instructions to the user would be no more complex than (and indeed probably more straightforward than) instructions on how to programme a so called “intelligent” machine to use the correct inlets for our installation and as the installation would not change on a regular basis there would be no difficulty at all in making a change in the event that you moved house or had a new plumbing system installed which changed your supply situation, when you’d have the washer disconnected for the move / work anyway?
    So, to me, that sounds like a perfect solution that meets all Washerhelp’s criteria, as well as those of Richard, me, Phil, Sarah, Barbara, et al, and it is as chap and easy to manufacturer as it was in the 1970’s and 1980’s and uses technology that already exists so there are no R&D expenses.
    Simples? Or doesn’t this meerkat understand Washerhelp’s points again????

  7. Yes I agree with your last points Dave although I fall short of agreeing it’s a “perfect” solution. :-) It is low-tech version of my ideal genuinely intelligent hot and cold fill washing machine, which would be considerably cheaper though far less effective. Coincidentally I advised someone only yesterday to do exactly that via email when he said he also has a long pipe run and not much hot water gets to his machine.

    In fact this is exactly what the manufacturers have done. They’ve converted washing machines over to cold fill for us because they realised that just letting a hot and cold water valve draw in water simultaneously was no good – especially for the now most common 40 and even 30 degree wash programmes where too much hot water could get in for some people.

    They didn’t want to go to the expense of making their machines sophisticated enough to properly utilise hot water. Just making them cold fill seemed like the best thing to do and I agree, back then it was. In a stroke they solved several issues and actually saved money on manufacturing costs. For the majority of people it either made little difference or even saved money and they claim produced better wash results for those using biological detergent.

    Things are different now though. Back then there wasn’t a drive to reduce energy use on appliances. It wasn’t an issue then and sales were driven only by extra features. Now, many people are getting environmentally friendly solar heated hot water. You can see solar panels on roofs all over the UK and it’s growing. These people deserve to be able to use the hot water they’ve secured often at great investment cost.

    Also people are buying appliances based on energy usage . Energy saving washing machines are highly sought after by consumers. Bringing out a washing machine with sophisticated fuzzy logic and being able to adapt to its environment by configuring itself differently dependent on if the customer is using biological detergent or non-biological detergent could be seen as a great advantage to modern savvy consumers. Washing machines shouldn’t be optimised for biological detergent usage until biological detergent is the only detergent. Possibly millions of people don’t use biological detergent so do NOT need their washing machines to take longer to wash and to fill with stone cold water to help biological enzymes work more effectively!

    Being able to adapt according to the type of hot water supply being used would also be welcomed by the modern consumer. Being able to control the input of a mix of hot and cold water to give a gentle kick start to even 40 degree washes (especially in winter when the cold water temperature can be quite cold) and to start a 90 degree wash at 60 would make perfect sense to modern consumers.

    The time is right to bring back the hot water valve – not as it was before, which was crude, unsophisticated and wasteful at times but in a modern form for modern times.

  8. Really interesting post from Chris H above which appears to tell us that the “intelligent controls” that Washerhelp says are the way forward, and which many of us would at the very least be pleased to see, even if we are not quite as eager to lobby for them as Washerhelp, have clearly been around since at least 1998 and, what is more, in a brand not known for being expensive. It’s a shame that Candy today have a reputation for being very unreliable and appear not to sell any hot and cold fill machines, at least not in the UK, but it shows that the technology is there and it is not new or expensive.

    Annoyingly the Statesman machine that a few of us have commented on has a similar control to make it switch off the heater, but sadly when I asked statesman about this they told me (possibly wrongly but it was from the horse’s mouth) that the washer would wash COLD with COLD FILL water using their selector. VClearly statesman need to talk to Candy about this!

  9. Dave:”..that the intelligent controls that Washerhelp says are the way forward, and which many of us would at the very least be pleased to see, even if we are not quite as eager to lobby for them as Washerhelp..

    I’ve lobbied many times during these comments that we need properly intelligent washing machines capable of adapting to all circumstances. At least 4 or 5 times I’m sure.

    However, the ones you refer to in Chris’s post are anything but the “intelligent controls” we desire. As far as I can see he just mentions an option which turned off the heater on 60 and 90 degree washes, which sounds pretty crude – albeit desirable to you guys with the solar heated water supplies.

  10. Some people would like the option of being able to buy a dual input washing machine because it suits their particular home system / lifestyle choices / whatever.

    That these might not be of specific use or cost savings to many people is beside the point, dual input appliances are in the majority in Europe ( I worked in Belgium for 4 years where such machines are freely available).

    The arguments over wasted heat, wasted water, limited costs savings etc. would equally apply in mainland Europe, however at least there consumers have the option to make their own choices, rather than being limited by cartel-like decision of suppliers in the UK market.

    Meanwhile in mainland Europe the logic of the arguments magically falls tot the other side of the argument and dual feed machines are in the majority.

    Here in the UK, some of us use wood burning stoves or solar thermal water heating ( or both), some of us have spring water supplies, some water modern system designs exist that ensure that water is hot at the taps immediately, superior insulation allows water to stay hotter longer in more normal supply systems, while “wasted” heat contributes to the overall heating of the house.

    These of course are not a single mass market solution or requirement, but constitute the situation for a currently frustrated element of society who want to change their energy usage and general approach to services and usage within their own lives. We do not want to be told that WasherHelp knows best and have the error of our choices ‘explained’ to us, we simply want the option to choose.

    While the market makes such decisions difficult or punitively expensive by not supplying such items as dual feed washing machines in the UK without very high expense and only at top of the range products, such individuals are not able to make their own informed choices.

    It is not too much to ask that the option of hot supply is also available on a washing machine in the UK, since such machines are freely available 22 miles from Dover – within our free-trade single-market European Union.

    And yes, machines supplies to the rest of the EU do run at 220 volts AC, single phase is the majority, and all conforming to the same EU electrical safety directives that machines supplies to the UK market have to observe, they are supplied by the same companies who supply the UK market, and many likely built in the same Asian factories.

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