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  Hot Water Fill Washing Machines

Another article explaining why for most people hot fill is a waste of time and money

 

All the time we get asked what machines have a hot fill and, to be perfectly honest, many engineers will struggle to understand why people want this feature as, in our opinion, it is a complete waste of time.

When we're asked about this we are often wondering, in most cases, why on Earth anyone would want a hot fill washing machine.

We are, as repair guys, sort of living in the past a little in this new found age of ecological awareness but, in the past the only machines that did a "proper" mixed hot and cold fill were old Hotpoint and Hoover washing machines (distinctly British and British made) but now with no washing machines made in the UK there is no hot fill washing machine on sale in the UK. Yet.

But these old machines were really pretty primitive and dumb. They just opened both valves and filled until the level was reached, there was no intelligence about them at all.

Later imports from Italy and beyond on occasion had a hot fill, mainly as they likely would sell less if it were omitted, but they only filled with hot water once, on one program only as did some of the Korean washing machines when they sported a hot fill valve. We explain more below.

  Separating Myths From Facts

Most people think that a washing machine will fill from both the hot and cold at the same time, fact is that no current machine that we know of does this, period.

Old Hoovers and Hotpoint machines used to do so in the dim and distant past, but even they have not done this for many, many years and since both are now under Italian ownership it is also very unlikely that the feature will ever return.

You see hot fill is really pretty unique to the UK for some reason, outside of the UK there is very little, if any, demand for a hot fill. Manufacturers these days cater for either a European or global market, they are unlikely to change just for the UK.

The next point to make is that almost universally a machine that does have a hot fill capability will almost certainly only take hot water on the high temperature wash on the first fill after the pre-wash is completed. Obviously this is one of the least used programs, the most common in the UK being the 40˚C cottons wash, thus rendering the feature next to useless.

  Modern Homes And Hot Fill

In the vast majority of modern UK homes the hot water is supplied either from a tank or from a combination or condenser boiler system.

This means that the water, whether it is stored or "instant" has to travel from the source to the machine itself via the home's pipework.

In reality with a modern machine this almost inevitably means that by the time that the machine has filled to level that all you've done is fill with the cold water that was lying in the plumbing and filling the pipes with that hot water that you thought you drew. This is a total waste of energy and, in the end the machine will continue and heat to the desired temperature anyway.

It also means that there will be almost no saving if indeed there is any at all, on time.

Actually, it can be seen as wasting energy as, after all what you've done is fill your pipes with hot water (that used energy to heat) only to have it dissipate away serving no purpose whatsoever. So really then, hot fill could cost you money, not save it.

Of course we have seen the argument over water that is heated via solar power and quite rightly too. But you see the same problem applies, you still have to get the water from the storage tank to the actual machine and, in any event, there's a whole load of hot water now filling your pipework that has just gone to waste.

Bear in mind that the newer the machine, especially the new A rated appliances, the intake of water is far, far lower than machines of old. A few litres of water is all they take.

Washing machine water fill valve

  Detergents And Clothing

If you use biological detergent (which we recommend you do) then if the incoming water is above 40˚C then you've just wasted the detergent. The high temperature will kill the enzymes and lower the efficiency with which the detergent will work. This may well apply for many other detergents as well as they are designed now for low temperature washing, not to work in an environment where the temperature is high and, unknown.

In short the technologies employed have changed and moved on just as they have in most areas of life and hot fill is really no longer required.

There's another problem though and one that many people probably will not consider.

There are a lot of fabrics now, especially expensive designer clothing, that must be washed correctly and, if too high a temperature is used then they are very likely to be damaged. This is known as "thermal shock" in many cases as, when the hot water hits the clothes then it can cause irreversible damage to the fibres of the garment. Again, this isn't good and damage is less likely if the temperature is gradually increased and may be avoided altogether.

  Conclusion On Hot Fill

The simple conclusion is that, as you will probably now realise, that hot fill to a washing machine or even a dishwasher is that it is highly inadvisable in the case of dishwashers, pretty much a waste of time on washers and you certainly should not base your purchase decision on this feature.

But if you're really not convinced by the common sense and facts here, we expanded on this in a follow up article on why hot fill is still a waste of time in Hot Water Fill For Washing Machines Again that you can get from the link.

In that one there's an explanation of how you can do it, sort of right and some experiments that you can try at home that will demonstrate just how pointless it usually will prove to be.

Andrew Smith
what a load of bull hot fill was and is the best wash try to dissolve washing powder or tablets in cold water think about the energy taken to heat the water in the machine and the time it takes to do a single cycle ?
MJ Sim
Hot/Cold
Just bought a British made EBAC intelligent hot & cold fill washing machine.
Our economy 7 electricity tariff is 7.5p/unit night rate and 16p/unit day rate.
The distance from the hot water cylinder is around 3 foot. The machine is used about 4 or 5 times a week. 7 year warranty and energy rated A+++ for 400 quid including delivery.
I think it's time you updated your article.

Kenneth
Hi Andrew,

Did you actually read this?

The energy you use to heat the water, regardless of where the energy comes from or is produced, is the same.

Detergents are *NOT* designed to be used with hot water immediately and doing so is actually a bad thing, it makes them less effective.

So, if people want less energy use. longer cycle times are the only solution unless you have a way to get around physics and the laws of physics that you'd care to share with the world?

Jon
Hot Fill
On the whole I agree with pretty much all that has been said in the above article about \"Hot fill\" being unnecessary. Unfortunately I have a solar array and a pumped secondary which means piping hot water is always available from every tap almost instantly... And yes call me old fashioned but I do still run a \"boil wash\" every so often for certain fabrics. (it can also clean out sticky bits from sensor tubes etc) I was disappointed to find the new washing machine had no \"hot fill\" capability and it is certainly a lot slower to heat the water up for obvious reasons... Ho Hum... It would be nice to still have the choice though. :-(
Ildiko Toth
There are many dual fill washing machines
I don’t know who wrote this article , maybe just looked around in the UK, but there are many dual fill washing machines in Europe , for example LG, zanussi, age, Electrolux, my mum and mother in law has that type , okay , it’s ipper loading , because in the rest of Europe people put their washing machines into the bathroom instead of the kitchen
Jill
HOT FILL
I agree I also run off solar power with a store of hot water.I believe hot and cold fill did just that hot and cold together to make the correct temperature for the wash. So called energy efficient machines seem to take much longer to do the same job. Not so efficient when you try to do a washload by the sun.
Roger Fentiman
Hot Fill
Absolutely. My Bosch machine fills intelligently from hot and cold; cold only at 30 or below, mixed intelligently at 40 and above.
So I fill cold when running overnight on cheap electricity, and hot during the day when I have free hot water and electricity from the solar panels.
The main article is over-simplified rubbish.

Paul Langdon
ISE WM hot fill
Hmmm do not remember you saying that when I bought my hotfill ISE washing machine. When I discussed this with you you thought it would be advantageous to me (I have solar panels and an Immersun).
Kenneth
We have never advocated hot fill, in any form.

For most people, most all the time even a more advanced mixed fill like the ISE had almost nobody will see any tangible advantage. Even with solar heated water. Makes more sense on community hot water but, even then, no great shakes.

So whoever said that to you, wasn\'t us.

Paul
ISE Hot Fill
I am sorry but my recollection is that you did. You certainly had an association and were supportive of ISE. I will have a look back through my emails and see what I can find.

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