washer that regulates very cold incoming water

jameslyssaJanuary 17, 2012

Is there a washing machine that will regulate the incoming water temperature for all options in both wash and rinse cycles? (auto temperature control?)

I have very cold (40-50 degrees) water most of the year. My 80G 120 degree water heater is 6 feet away. Machines these days have mostly cold rinse options. My new LG 5101HW is absolutely worthless in this matter. Warm/warm (50-60degrees in my machine) is really my only selection because my cold rinses are 40 degrees. My machine supposedly has an internal heater. My particular machine barely gets warm on Sanitary cycle not to mention the freezing rinse. Too many service calls and smart diagnostic calls to tell me my machine is functioning properly. Lucky I bought the 5 year warranty!!!!!!!!

I don't want to get into the particulars of this machine. All I know is ITS GOING BACK for all the reasons in other posts I've read. I really don't understand how this machine is great for some and utterly horrible for others. Watch those ratings!!I How can someone give a 4 star review with mentioning terribly twisted clothing? Are all new HE top loaders this hard on clothes?

Thanks for any and all help! I can't be the only one out there with this cold of water.

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Pretty much all machines nowadays have ATC (except maybe Speed Queen). Cold rinses are normally tap-cold, not controlled ... so a warm rinse must be selected to get other than a tap-cold rinse, which warm for rinse is typically controlled to a lower "warm" temp than is a warm wash, and in most cases it's only the final rinse (or a spray during the final spin) that's warm.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Thanks for your help! I guess my question should be "What washer will ATC the cold rinse?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 1:06PM
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The answer is probably ... none. And it'll likely be difficult to confirm if any do without direct hands-on experience as manufacturers are often not forthcoming with such level of detail ... although some user manuals I've seen do specifically state that cold washes are ATC and cold rinses are tap-cold.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 1:56PM
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"....manufacturers are often not forthcoming..."

An understatement, IMHO, and very true. Getting meaningful information out of them can be quite a trial. They don't want you to question or to know. They just want you to buy.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 2:32PM
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You might consider trying to find a used 220V Miele, older Asko, (or possibly current 220V Asko or Bosch) which have very hefty internal heaters and can handle any incoming temp with aplomb. I have both Asko and Miele machines (220V, not current models) and they are fed only tap-cold, which in the winter here in my frigid basment can be as low as 40F.

They receive this chilly water and heat it to any temp I select; keep it there throughout the wash phase, etc. I can go as high as 205F on the Asko, slightly lower on the Mieles. All the rinses are tap cold, but if you've just drained a load of stuff washed at 185, the residual heat in the drum and laundry heats the rinse water up quite nicely until the last one, but by then it doesn't matter much what temp it is. (My machines do 3 or 4 rinses standard and I can add in more, if needed.)

The other good thing is that the machines are not even connected to my DHW system, just the cold service lines, so the washing machines never draw any heated water. Hot showers and clean clothes at the same time!

Used Mieles aren't too hard to find these days as many people seem to be swapping them out for the newer (but less effective, IMO) big machines. Their loss could be your gain. Generally used Mieles are going for around $150-200 each. Craig's List is a good source. Mieles are built like tanks, so they can be expected to soldier on for a long time.

Another thing you can try if you have a laundry sink near your machines is running the hot water tap to exhaust all the cooled water in the lines before starting the machines. That sometimes helps.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 2:40PM
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What a drag! I can understand HE washers not being able to do what I need. But they could and they should. But then they wouldn't get their star rating. . .

What about the new "old style" agitator machines? Or are they energy star rated as well?

I can't be the only one with this problem. Do people in my situation just assume their washer is working at an acceptable temperature? When I take my laundry out, it is freezing. How can a person not notice; or are there lots of us out there trying to figure out this purchase. A purchase that used to be much simpler.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Thanks for suggestion L. Appreciate and agree with "not forthcoming" not only to get you to buy but especially after you buy. What a racket.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Why is a cold rinse bad? My Miele W4842 uses cold rinses and I haven't noticed a problem.

As for twisted things ... I've read numerous times that seems to be an issue with the HE TL machines.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 3:33PM
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"Do people in my situation just assume their washer is working at an acceptable temperature?"

Many (most?) do, actually. The controls still say "hot", "warm", and "cold" like they always have, don't they? Most machines advertise their "Automatic Temperature Control" so temperatures must be fine, right?

Nope. Everything's different. "Hot", "warm", and "cold" now mean whatever a particular mfgr says it means -- except they don't want to tell you even that. ATC doesn't work worth a damn on low-fill-volume HE machines but they have it in there anyway and still advertise the heck out of it. Few consumers pay any attention. Many have never known how their machines work anyway and aren't about to start now so they don't know what questions to ask or how to research anything. Salespeople are almost as ignorant as consumers. And the manufacturers don't want to disclose anything.....and don't unless severely pressed. There are 10's of thousands of these machines out there already in the hands of people who still don't have a clue. Of course when they find out they're disappointed and enraged. This forum and many others are filled with their complaints.

If your HE machine doesn't have a built-in heater, you'll never get a hot wash -- ever. If your machine's built-in heater is governed by controls like the OP's, you'll never get one either.....plus 40-degree rinses in many cases. If you don't research DILIGENTLY the machine you intend to buy, you may encounter all manner of disappointments once you're up and running at your location. Stupid, annoying state of affairs but here we all are.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 4:04PM
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40-degree incoming rinse water won't give a 40-degree rinse, just as 120-degree incoming wash water won't give a 120-degree wash, for the same reason. The water's temperature will be moderated (warmed, in the case of the rinse) by the drum and its contents.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Yep, there we are. Wow. 2012 So if 10s of thousands people don't know about this, how many do? And they just live with it. I'll have to try to find an old one.

In the meantime, I'll have to change my question again to "What ideas to deal with HE water temperature problem? Hot water on demand, cold water storage in my house, somehow reprogramming a particular machine . . . .
We live in the rockies and our water system is gravity fed. Pipes not too deep.

Don't even get me started on the twisting. Eeech! But I've learned a few tricks over the past year to lessen the twisting and stretching, but I seem to get this chain of clothes most of the time. And come out of dryer wrinkled and look dirtier and worn over time.

I'm getting ready to program my one special option to babywear, warm/warm, water plus, and fabric softner options so I don't have to remember my only option each time. We'll see if it can handle it. I'll push my luck after that and try to get the extra rinse as well, because I only open the cold faucet a crack which helps the temp but not the water level. Not always a lot of water in there. I'm sure there are many discussions on that topic too.

Makes me wonder what other appliances suck so bad?

Wow I used to enjoy doing laundry. Yep, there we are.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 5:16PM
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suburbanmd "40-degree incoming rinse water won't give a 40-degree rinse, just as 120-degree incoming wash water won't give a 120-degree wash, for the same reason. The water's temperature will be moderated (warmed, in the case of the rinse) by the drum and its contents."

But on warm my wash is 50+ degrees so my drum and contents don't warm any thing! My hot about 65. No warming there either. What do you own? Maybe that's the ONE.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 6:18PM
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"My machine supposedly has an internal heater."

Ya know, your description is so maddening to read I've got to ask you to confirm this. I don't understand how any machine with a heater is producing "sanitary" temps that are "barely warm". I'm thinking either no heater or heater not working. Can you straighten me out on that?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 6:20PM
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I warm up the COLD inlet water by using a wye adapter at the cold inlet, and a faucet and check valve, that bleeds in any amount of hot water that I want. It works great! You'll need to buy some more hoses, and two wyes, also.

Besides that arrangement, I installed another wye at the HOT inlet, so that I can bleed off cold water sitting in the HOT water lines. For that you will need a wye at the hose bib on the wall, and a wye at the HOT inlet, a facet, and a METAL check valve (about $10 at Home Depot). Be sure the check valve is oriented properly and that it sits horizontally so that the slight back pressure of the cold water doesn't get past the check valve when the machine calls for hot water. I initially made the mistake of not taking that into account (the positioning of the check valve), so that all water in my home was cooled down by about 25 degrees until I quickly determined the problem, which was that I had the check valve pointing downward. Because the type of check valve I used has a hinged "gate", it has to be oriented properly or it won't seal off the slow flow of water in the reverse direction.

I can now get very hot water for my washing. I have the hot water heater set to provide 150 degree water.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 6:35PM
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I forgot to mention: when I open the faucet to bleed off cold water inside the HOT hoses, the water runs through the faucet to a black vinyl drain hose (3/8 ID) and drains into the regular drain sitting behind the washer. I usually turn that faucet on for about 10 seconds, or until I feel the faucet get hot. Since the HE washers use so little water, we need all the help we can get, to obtain a decently warm wash water.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 6:39PM
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The 5101 does have a heater, but when and how was the water temp measured? The water temp will only hit "sanitary" for after minutes right near the end of the wash cycle a who knows what temp it will max out at. I'm one of the few that likes ATC because for the first time I can do a warm wash if I want. Before my water was to cold, setting the washer to warm yielded a cold wash and hot was tap hot. With my Bosch I set it and the ATC and heater do the rest but I do understand that Bosch is one of the few that uses the heater on all cycles to maintain the water temp.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 6:59PM
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jameslyssa, three years ago I returned an LG FL and bought a Miele W4840 because of water temperature issues. My situation is different from yours -- my cold water isn't as cold as yours, but my washer is far from the domestic water heater, so the incoming hot water can be tepid. I had a sinking feeling as soon as I did a hot wash, and saw that the machine was filling with a mixture of (nominally) hot and cold water. At the time I didn't have a way to see if the heater was on, or to measure the water temperature when the wash cycle ended. But just from feel, it seemed like the water hadn't been heated much if at all by the end of the cycle.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 8:11PM
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asolo "Ya know, your description is so maddening to read"

I wrote you a nice explanation but lost when previewing. Bummed. Will find time to rewrite.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 9:26PM
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BTW....said that wrong.....I was NOT maddened by your way of writing/describing. I was maddened by what you described as having happened with your machine. Can't imagine being in your shoes and not being annoyed.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 10:12PM
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asolo " I don't understand how any machine with a heater is producing "sanitary" temps that are "barely warm"."

Ok I'm glad it wasn't me who made you mad. And yes I'm very annoyed but trying to remain calm.
Your question is basically the question I keep asking the service companieS (yes I have had 2 out) and the LG's smart diagnostic crew? And they keep saying my machine is working within LG's "parameters". One company refused to install a new heater element because they were afraid to lose Sears contract business because they were unable to "verify my complaint." Even though the technician KNOWS I'm not getting hot water even on sanitary. He says sorry my hands are tied because its working within the parameters and sorry the water is not as hot as you would like it. The same company refused to work on my machine again because there is "nothing they can do. It's working as it should." ? Hello?
The tech said he found out from LG that "the internal heater is programmed to kick on for a short time and only in sanitary in order to get the energy star rating." They have been very nice and have been out at least 7 times. Their recommendation is to install hot water on demand for my unit. Haven't even contemplated that yet.

Early on the smart diagnostics could tell me what cycle I ran, what the temps were, How long it took . . . Now they zip me off to a department that deals with these type of washers and haven't given me any usable information; It didn't register or it only shows what cycle was selected nothing more. Its like their giving me the run around, rudely even.

I'm not sure if its my particular machine not working correctly but saying (smart diagnostics) it does, because other people have this problem BUT NOT ALL. Or if its the model or if its all HE washers. I've read many reviews and threads on this model. Some are pretty heated posts. I'll have to find and post the one I'm thinking of. Anyway, Sears(not LG!!) is going to replace it for me. Thank you Sears. I just am so skeptical. I'm diligently researching an option, if there is one out there.

Thanks to everyone with their brands, ideas and empathy. It helps.
Good Night

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 11:41PM
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link to my question for Sears.
Can't wait to bring this list in to my local store.

I will look for that other post later. I think it came up when I put the model number followed by the word Hate.

Get to go to work . . . Have a great day

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 8:57AM
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You could always install a mixing valve to automatically adjust the cold water temperature for just that room / line. It might be easier than manually tweaking the water temps each time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mixing valves

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:50AM
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The manual for my lower-end Samsung defines a range for hot, warm and cold water temps, and while it didn't say that it heats during all cycles, I was able to meter the electric consumption to verify that the heater was coming on in most wash cycles. However, it would only bring Warm and Hot to the bottom of the ranges, which were 85 and 105 deg respectively. I didn't test whether it heated for Cold as our inlet temp is generally above the 60 deg bottom of range listed in the manual.

Since 85 and 105 are not actually what I'd call Warm or Hot, and since the washer did not extend the wash times to account for heating time, I increase the ratio of hot inlet water by throttling down my cold water shut-off valve behind the washer. Takes somewhat longer to fill for rinses but no biggie.

I like the suggestion above to use wyes to create a mixing valve for the cold temp inlet. I didn't know they sold check valves with hose connector fittings, but I may try that because I like that it will create warmer Cold in addition to hotter Hot!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 6:59PM
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I like the mixing valve idea too. Maybe I still have hope. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Is this a great country, or what? Where else can you buy a thousand-dollar washing machine that compels you to redesign your house before it will work right?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 10:36PM
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being a little melodramatic, aren't you, asolo? putting in a couple of wyes, 2 faucets and extra hoses is hardly "redesigning your house".

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 1:39PM
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being a little dense, aren't you, dave1812?

The point was that an expensive washing machine that claims to manage water temperatures effectively should, in fact, manage them without requiring modification of the installation site with two faucets and extra hoses or anything else. I was trying -- humorously, I thought -- to express my disgust that OP's expensive machine was apparently incapable of that. Of course it was a sarcastic overstatement. Most humor is. Apparently I failed. At least in your case.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Jameslyssa - I have an LG FL. When purchased we opted for one w/o a heater as the unit was 2 feet from the water heater and our cold water was room temp due to a pressure tank. Now, our washer is 2500 feet from the heater. My DH solution was to hook both the hot and cold intakes for the washer to our hotwater line. I never get a true hot wash but the water is never cold. My machine was $350. For that I was willing to do some finagling. I am currently shopping for a 2nd set to put upstairs. It seems to me that Miele & Asko are the way to go if you want a sanitary cycle. Even if the washer will get the water to a sanitary temp, it must keep it there for 10 minutes to sanitize. I sympathize and share your annoyance with manufacturer's standards.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 3:49PM
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asolo, rather than being "disgusted", how about you apply some ingenuity to solving the problem in a mature and sensible fashion; ie, getting hot water into the cold inlet. I guess I prefer solving problems rather than griping about them endlessly.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 4:13PM
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It was a joke, son. Just trying to make a point with sarcasm/humor.

Do you, then, think it's reasonable for customers to have to modify their plumbing in order to enable an expensive washer to work? I certainly don't.

The solution was stated in OP's original post. He's sending it back.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 4:47PM
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I'm a she. And I agree, a machine should work as expected. This has been such a headache. And to find out I have to do that extra work is a big deal for me. Not the actual work but the work to get to this point. And to have lived with the problem for so long with the manufacturer not offering any advice. I tell you, its been very time consuming and frustrating. And just saying "live with it" is unacceptable. But who is going to do any thing about it . . .

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Mea culpa....of course I should have said he/she, since unknown to me.

I think the point isn't "as expected" because consumers can get all kinds of ideas. However "as represented" is an entirely different matter.

To the point: Mfgr's absolutely do endeavor to create the "expectation" that their machines will do what they "represent" they will do. The problem is that those machines very frequently do not. They very frequently cannot given the constraints of many install sites. And manufacturers tenaciously withhold or obscure the most basic of information that would allow consumers to make rational purchase decisions. They also withhold it from their sales staff. Everything now revolves around the golden "energy star" designation....and to hell with everything else.

The time, effort, and diligence now required for Joe and Sally Average to make an informed decision about these basic household devices is a travesty of intentional obfuscation, IMHO.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 6:59PM
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I have no doubt there ARE machines available that can accomplish the task -- even in jameslyssa's application. I merely despair of the effort required to research sufficiently to sort them out and find them. It shouldn't be necessary to interrogate each manufacturer individually and in-detail in order to be assured of performance-to-representation on-site. Unfortunately, it clearly is.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 7:32PM
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jameslyssa, I am very sorry that you're having to deal with this. What a bummer.

This ATC issue is why I bought a Maytag Bravos HE TL with an internal water heater. The heater works on almost all cycles, and I use it every time I need true hot or warm water.

When I use it for true hot water, including the Sanitize cycle, the water is much too hot to touch and it steams up the washer lid. It is hotter than 140F water from the hot water heater, and I don't have to use Clorox on white cottons anymore, only OxyClean.

My washer does not twist or tangle laundry, but my former traditional washers w/agitators did.

Before I bought this washer, I researched Speed Queen too, but their washers were too small, too expensive, and I had read here that their spin cycles aren't as good as my washer's. I wash for a large family and the Bravos has cut my washer loads per week from 10+ down to 3-5. It is also a big help that I can wash comforters, don't have to spend megabucks at the laundromat.

I'm glad you got a great warranty and I hope your washer is just a lemon, that you can get a really good one that meets your laundry needs.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:03AM
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