Which 120V Washer Gets Water Temps the Highest?

alwaysfixinSeptember 24, 2010

I want to be able to do some high-temperature laundry. I know that various brands' internal heaters vary in how high they can get the water temp. I am aware that the Miele washers operate on 240V, which means they can heat water much faster and to a higher temperature than the water heaters in the 120V machines. However, I do not wish to do the electrical work necessary for the Miele in our '50's house. The wiring would be a lot of trouble and $$$ for us. So, does anyone know which 120V machines can get their water temperature the highest?

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FYI, the newer Miele washers, other than the Little Giants etc., are now 120V.

Also, the 240V Asko washers plug into the back of the dryer, so you would have no problems there if you are already wired for an electric dryer.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:31PM
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OP here. I just read the thread "Front loader w/o heater but reasonably hot wash cycle?" and learned from that thread that it will be hard to find a washer even WITH an internal heater that will bring the water temperature very high. What I gather is that many of the washers, even those with internal heaters, aren't heating the water to high temps, for the sake of energy savings. So, I guess I still have my original question--is there a 120V washer with a heater that DOES heat the water to the high temps, say 170F or even 200F? Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 9:13PM
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As nearly as I can discern, highest temps available for 110/120VAC machines are between 150-160F....which typically lengthens the cycle time by 90-120 minutes. The cycle (usually only one) that allows these highest temps is typically labeled "sanitary" or something with that word in it.

Asko and Miehle and Danby that used to offer machines that would go to 200-205F used 220VAC....and smaller-capacity machines....which nobody on this side of the Atlantic was buying....so they gave up. If you want these higher temperatures, you'll have to explore commercial machines and endure commericial-level energy bills.

If you want a 4.0cf machine that runs on 110/120VAC and want 200F water temps....1) you'll have to move to Mars because nobody's going to build one for you here, and 2) If some fool did, you'd have to pay him 1/2-again what they're charging now and wait 2/3 of a day for the heater to accomplish its task.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 9:52PM
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Thanks Asolo for the input.

I was just looking at the Bosch website, and their 800 and 500 series full-size washers all include in the description what they call an "XxtraSanitary�" cycle that heats the water to 170 degrees. Are the Bosch washers good? They seem expensive. Does anyone know if the 170 degrees they state is accurate?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:30PM
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90-120 minutes extra is for a sanitize cycle, which is the only way to get sanitize temperature on most machines, unfortunately. On a machine like Miele (120V) that allows sanitize temperature on a non-sanitize cycle, the additional time is maybe 15-30 minutes, depending on load size. And that's in my house, with such a long hot water lag that the hot water feed is basement-temperature for much of the fill. The trick is that the water heating time partly overlaps the wash cycle time, because the required wash time at the target temperature is less than the full wash cycle length. If I used sanitize temp on a non-extended wash (shorter wash cycle), then maybe the water heating would add more time, but still not 90-120 minutes.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:54PM
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First of all, I'm not an engineer, nor do I play one on TV, but......

"Ball-park" rule of thumb is something like one degree F per minute...which diminishes as the temperature rises due to increasing heat-bleed. (I'm sure I'll get jumped and corrected....might be a good time for it.)

If you're telling me your machine can raise five gallons of mostly-cold water to 170F in 15 minutes -- or 30 -- using 110/120v supply....I've no choice but to suggest you are likely mistaken in some portion of your analysis.

My 2005 Duet (3.8cf....uses about five gallons per fill) on "whitest whites" (heater on - 127F target, which it does actually achieve) increases time from about 50 minutes (for "hot" cycle) to about about 1:10 -- that's about a 20-degree rise from measured 105F in-the-drum in about twenty minutes -- or about 1 degree per minute.

"Sanitize" setting, which gets it up to around 157F -- another 30-degree rise -- clocks in at 2:05: Total fifty-degree rise from starting point of 105F adds a total of 75 minutes.

I don't know how much of any of these times are attributable to cycle characteristics as opposed to heating-time but I do know the actual temps are attained. Of course starting with colder water would increase those times rather easily, I submit, getting us into the the 90-minute range.

With respect, I don't think your own 110/120v heating element -- or any other characteristic of your machine -- is much different from mine. I cannot accept that it attains the heat you claim in the time you claim starting from the cold fill you claim.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 12:19AM
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I have a Bosch Nexxt 500 which has a Sanitary Cycle that heats the water to 170 degrees. It is a very long cycle, but that's okay with me. I also have a Temp Boost cycle which is 150 degrees. Hot is 125 degrees. This washer uses the heater in all cycles. I love my washer.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:04AM
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stbonner....I know Bosch/Siemens used to be the only machines to "guarantee temperatures in every cycle". It was a big part of their advertising. I'm not seeing that language on their current web-site. Do you know if they still offer this feature this feature....or is yours an older machine?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 9:08AM
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asolo, I also figured that a full load would heat at 1degF/minute. Double-checked by calculating it in metric units also, and got the same result. That was a couple of years ago, but some things don't change :-) Now, let me explain how my situation differs from your analysis...

First of all, a smaller load uses less water. Not necessarily in exact proportion to the size of the load, because there'd be some water even if you ran an empty load. But a small load, completely saturated with water, clearly contains less water to heat than a full load, similarly saturated.

Second, like I said, the water heating time partially overlaps the wash time. Let's say I run an extended wash, with a wash cycle time of 1 hour. For the first 40 minutes, the cycle timer is counting down while the water is heating and the load is tumbling. The target temperature hasn't been reached after 40 minutes, which is a problem because the machine wants at least 20 minutes of tumbling at the target temperature. So the cycle timer stops counting down, while tumbling and heating continue. Bottom line, the first 40 minutes of water heating haven't increased the cycle time. Those time intervals (1 hour, 40 minutes, 20 minutes) are approximate, and can vary according to the machine's adaptive algorithms.

Now, if I ran a non-extended wash instead, with a 30-minute wash cycle, and a goal of tumbling for 10 minutes at target temperature, then there's only 20 minutes of "free" heating time, and the cycle-length increase would be greater.

My Miele's target temperature for sanitize is 158degF, not 170degF.

"Hot water feed is basement-temperature for much of the fill" is intentionally vague. The heater activates on some of my warm washes, not on others, and it probably varies according to season. Suffice it to say that most people's washers are probably much closer to the domestic water heater, and their heating times would be shorter.

I got into this discussion mainly to counteract the impression that 120V heaters are so slow as to be useless. Their usefulness is limited on machines that only heat the water for a full sanitize cycle (though even then it's still a good thing to have, for when you need it). On more flexible machines the 120V heater is very helpful, not a hindrance at all. I definitely benefit from my machine's heater for "warm", "very warm", and "hot" washes also, which take less heating than "sanitize".

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 11:05AM
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Suburbanmd......I'm laughing....because clearly there are at least two of us here who need to find other things to do!

Thanks for coming back. We're on the same page.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 11:39AM
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alwaysfixin, note that in the other thread "Front loader w/o heater but reasonably hot wash cycle?" my report of the temp achieved in the Heavy Duty cycle of the Duet was wrong because I did not realize the heater raises the temp in the drum after it is filled.

Maybe I can measure it more accurately today.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Bosch will take you up to 170 and hold it there for only a few minutes, not for the entire cycle. You most likely wouldn't need temps in excess of 150-160 for the vast majority of your laundry, even whites. I've recently started washing whites at 120 with a couple of tablespoons of sodium percarbonate. I don't notice any difference in the results versus washing at 140 or 160 (158 on my Miele, I'm rounding).

I used to wash everything at high temps with my Asko. I've been washing at lower temps with the MIele and have to admit that my clothes seem less "stressed", no mold or smell issues to speak of, and the clothes actually look cleaner than they did at much higher temps in my Asko.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 4:29PM
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sshrivastava, if I recall your saga correctly, you were using too little detergent in the Asko, so it isn't a fair comparison.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 4:48PM
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My Bosch washer is a 2006 model, I believe. Also, the Sanitary cycle only boosts the temperature to 170 for a few minutes, as stated above. The other heated cycles are heated for the entire cycle.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:20AM
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@suburbanmd: I was using the 1.5 TBS recommended in the Asko manual. Now that I can fit about double the amount of clothes in my Miele, I usually dispense 3 TBS. So it's still pretty equal when you take the volume of laundry into account.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 3:09PM
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The Summit SPW1103 is a 120v washer that can heat water to 203ðF or 95ðC (download the owners manual and look at the second to last page). A small 24"w machine but with decent 7kg (15 1/2 lb.) capacity and - a rarity in front-load washers - a reversible door.

Bosch has a large 120V Vision washer in their DLX series (sold through independent dealers) that heats to 175ðF.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 1:57PM
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As I'm taking delivery of my Asko this week, this has me concerned. Why did you have mold and smell issues? Wouldn't the high heat kill any mold spores?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:38AM
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While higher temps can remove more stains and germs, most of Europe has moved away from boiling laundry since decades. Most hot washes these days are done at 140F - at which almost all stains are removed, dust mites are killed and most germs, too. All Sanitary cycles heat beyond 140F. Look for the NSF certification to be sure.

There are also some washers that have a dedicated Allergen Removal cycles. This cycle has to heat to 131F.

Quote: Protocol P351 establishes requirements for washing machines to demonstrate their ability to kill dust mites and wash away a minimum of 95% of pet (feline) dander and dust mite allergen loadings in a common load of household laundry. Requirements of this protocol include sustaining a wash water temperature of 55ð Celsius (131ð Fahrenheit) for at least three minutes, and the machine must be designed to avoid accumulation of dirt and debris, be easily cleanable, and corrosion-resistant.

Currently, some washers from Whirlpool/Maytag and Electrolux/Frigidaire carry this certification.

Other than that, I think only Bosch and Miele guarantee to meet a certain temperature - most other washers will probably time out if the ingoing water is too cold. Or you move to Europe: our version of the Duet can perform boil washes...


Here is a link that might be useful: NSF Washers

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:39AM
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@fabb: I never had any mold issues whatsoever. A year or so ago, and after using BI-O-KLEEN Premium for a while, I started to notice a strange odor to my sweat pants. I purchased new sweat pants that smell the same in my new Miele after washing in an odorless detergent, so what I'm smelling is the true smell of the fabric when it's damp rather than a detergent cover-up.

Don't worry about your Asko. You will love it! :)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:01AM
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Oh, okay...that's a relief! I just spent $160 on Persil and related products and can't wait to start using them :-)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 6:22PM
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