Almost every washing machine and, certainly any that we have come across in the UK and most of Europe has a water heater or heating element fitted in order to bring the water up to the desired wash temperature.
Thankfully the wash element is a very simple thing most of the time but there are a few that have what we refer to as a TOC or thermal overload cutout fitted internally. A TOC is a safety device that is normally one-shot, in other words it ail work one time and never reset rendering the element useless. This makes testing a wash element a very simple process and an easy problem to diagnose.
One point to note that is very important: Manufacturers change heating elements a lot, even from model to model depending on features and functions!
If you're not sure, don't guess - check before you order!
There is nothing worse (for everyone) that ordering the wrong spare part, a little time spent up front can save you and us a lot of hassle and time as well as you not having a working washing machine for even longer. It also means that, if available, we can suggest alternatives which can often save you a considerable amount on a new element.
If you put the wrong element in some modern machines that detect the resistance of the element then it is possible that error codes may be displayed or even the washer simply not work if you put the wrong wash heater in your machine. Worse, you can cause damage to other components as well as your laundry if you do so.
Because we get asked about this a fair bit we decided to make a short video explaining how to test a wash heater as well as some other tips and tricks when testing and replacing one. Simply click on the image to view the video showing you how to do all this.
What the video shows you is the best and fastest way to check and replace a washing machine heating element. It does also touch on the thermistors as well since they are now, these days, often fitted with the wash heater.