Washer water on hot only lukewarm

TEL51May 29, 2012

Don't know whether this question should be in the Appliance or the Plumbing Section.

I have a GE WCSR2090GWW clothes washer. My hot water heater is a tankless set for 120 degrees.

My problem is that the water going into the washing machine is just barely warm even when the washer is set to hot. There seems to be plenty of water flow on the hot setting, so I don't think the water inlet is plugged up with debris. Water going into sinks that are both closer and farther away than the washer are very hot so it doesn't seem to be related to the tankless water heater. I've tried running the water in the farthest faucet until it's hot before turning on the washer - same result, barely warm water.

Any thoughts or suggestions before I call an appliance repair person?


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Suggest re-post at "Laundry Room" forum.

Your description is common as nails. Use the search function over there and you'll be reading for a long time.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 3:25PM
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There is a separate section on THS/GardenWeb for Laundry-related questions/topics. :-)

I believe there should be a number (0, 1, 2, etc.) between the G and WW in your model.

Has this problem always been the case, or is it a recent occurrence? How's the warm temp?

Can't say for sure if it's involved on your machine, but many washers nowadays have what's commonly referred to as "dumbed-down" temperatures for energy conservation purposes. ATC (automatic temperature control) utilizes a sensor in the water valves to control the mix of hot and cold to specific targets ... cold may have a little hot added to maintain 68F (for example) so detergent dissolves ... warm is not necessarily a 50/50 mix of hot + cold as in the past ... and hot may have some cold added to target no more than 110F (for example, depends on the individual machine).

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Suspect you're likely a prisoner of the machine's ATC settings. Suggest call GE's help line and/or your machine's vendor and ask them what the ATC on your machine is supposed to be doing. Assuming you'll find it is not allowing full-hot flow, ask further if there is a replacement ATC that will allow that and/or work-around for it. Do this before scheduling/paying-for a service call.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 5:05PM
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Per my initial searching on your model, it's a somewhat lower-end unit that seems to not have ATC ... but I can't confirm that without further details, such as a wiring diagram or model-specific tech sheet. There's some disparity in control panels on the references I found -- some have a 3-position hot/warm/cold temp switch, some have 4 positions (cold/cool/warm/hot?).

The replacement water valve comes up as a three-solenoid valve. Multi-solenoid valves are common nowadays on machines with dispensers (detergent, softener, bleach) to direct the incoming waterflow to the various dispensers for flushing the additives, but the model in question doesn't seem to have any dispensers. Unless, there are 4 temp choices and the three valves allow for different mixing proportions of incoming hot & cold water.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Turn the cold hookup off and see if it will fill. Also check output pressure on the hot water line. and you can partially close the cold supply to regulate fill temp further. A splitter can make two supply lines out of one hot source so all you get is hot.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:17PM
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I want to thank all of you for your feedback. Haven't found the answer yet, but your suggestions give me some avenues to pursue that I had not considered.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Sounds like you ruled out the most common reason for this which is cold water in the line.

Only the very cheapest washers today, the ones with one button for off and on and one knob for hot,warm,cold will you get actual straight hot water from the water heater.

So if your washer mixes cold water into the "hot" and what you have setting in the line is cold water when it turns on the hot all you get is mostly all cold until that water in the line is gone.

You have 2 choices for actual hot water today in a new machine, buy the absolute cheapest washer you can find, like $300 with 1 knob 1 button or buy a washer with a built in heater and even then usually only 2 maybe 3 settings will give you hot water.
On ours we have "Bright Whites" which is heated by the machine to 122 degrees and then "Sanitary" which is heated to 158 degrees.

One possibility is you could check your screen on your inlet if this is a not a brand new washer just installed in the past few weeks or months then it is possible the inlet could be clogged with calcium or what ever mineral deposit.
Take off the hot water hose check the screen. If the screen is clean then switch the hot over to the cold side and Visa versa to check if the water inlet valve is defective and does not open.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Only the very cheapest washers today, the ones with one button for off and on and one knob for hot,warm,cold will you get actual straight hot water from the water heater. I've seen tech sheets and service info for some so-called lower-end models that do have ATC, even if not explicitly stated in the machine's feature description.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Sorry for delay in getting back after receiving many good responses. Got sidetracked by something unexpected.

Following are my responses to some of the questions & suggestions.

o The model # should have been stated as WCSR2090G6WW (there was supposed to be a 6 between the G and the W)

o The machine has 3 position temperature control - cold, warm and hot

o The machine has one dispenser (for bleach)

o The water is barely warm when temperature is set to hot even when the water is run in a nearby sink to get it hot before turning on the washing machine

o Tried the suggestion to turn off the cold water line completely. Machine filled ok (meaning the hot water line screen was not clogged). Water going into the tub was HOT (similar temperature to nearby sink) meaning the machine is somehow mixing too much cold in.

Guess my next step is try and determine whether there is an ATC in this machine that is malfunctioning (I can't believe an ATC would only allow barely warm water when turned to hot if it were functioning correctly) or if there is some other problem.

Again, thanks for the input.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Does seem that ATC of some ilk may be involved, witness that you got nicely hot water (on the Hot temp setting?) when the cold supply faucet was turned off.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:07AM
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I said earlier......"Suspect you're likely a prisoner of the machine's ATC settings."

Below is link to triple-valve assembly on your machine plus some questions/answers from people like you.

Not surprised to see here comment from another parrot who thinks 90F wash temps give results as good as 130F.

Here is a link that might be useful: ATC control for your machine.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Click on "expand all" at the site to reveal answers to the questions.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:29AM
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