Miele owners willing to experiment?

izeveDecember 13, 2011

All the talk on this forum about wash temperatures, internal heaters, etc. makes me wonder if there is any 120V washer on the market in the US that in fact washes in the exact temperatures specified on all cycles. I have read on this forum that Miele does but now I am starting to doubt that as well. After all, Miele washers are subject to the same limitations of ATC, short cycle times and inadequate voltage to produce quick heating resuls.

Is there any Miele owner willing to engage in a bit of an experiment? Can any of you who own the 48XX series try to run a couple of cycles that have about 20 minute wash portion set to Very Warm or HOT and report on the actual temperatures measured in the drum? I know that the door will not be able to be opened after a certain temp is reached but I think you can still do this test. Start your washer without flushing out the cold water from the pipes and measure the temp right after the fill is completed and then 10-15 minutes into the cycle. That should give us a good idea about the rate the heater heats the water in the drum.

By running this type of test in my LG FL washer I was able to confirm that the heater engages in all cycles in my washer but that in most instances (excluding Sanitary and one other cycle with an hour long wash portion of the cycle) the wash water does not reach the optimum temperature because the cycle time is too short and/or the incoming water was too cold to begin with. I really would like to know if and how Miele was able to overcome this.

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@izeve, my Miele locks even when temps are not that high. It just locks at some point into the cycle. I've never analzed so not sure when. I just know I have tried to pause it before and the machine is locked.

I can tell you this about Miele though:

"Every Miele washing machine is equipped with DualTherm internal heating elements. These elements allow the water to be heated to high temperatures, regardless of the intake water temperature. This, together with the wash action of Novotronics, means you can do away with using harsh chemical additives, such as chlorine bleach, and still get your whites their brightest."

I'm assuming DualTherm may mean two elements therefore able to heat water faster?

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele Technology

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 2:28PM
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The only way a high target temp can be reached with 120v heating is by extending the wash/heating period as required ... or if the amount of water involved is very small. HE frontloaders nowadays don't take much water, but it's still way more than can be heated to 150F+ from a cold or lukewarm fill in 20 mins.

Comparing to dishwashers that heat (dishes don't absorb water ... fabrics do absorb water so more volume of water is needed to get a working water level), I have a Danby countertop dishwasher that runs on 120v, heats to 165F on the first wash and final rinse (the mechanical timer stops advancing until the target temp is reached, so it CAN run on a cold fill and still heat to 165F) ... but it takes only 0.79 gals per fill. I've not checked how long heating takes, but it's much less than "hours."

The Danby's heating element is ~1250 watts, which is double the wattage of my DishDrawer's heater. DishDrawers also always heat the main wash and final rinse to specific target temps (high as 163F), are time-delayed as necessary, and take 0.8 to 0.7 gals per fill .. but the heating time on the lower-wattage element is accordingly longer than the Danby.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 2:29PM
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@livebetter, so you cannot throw in a stray sock or forgotten hand towel into the wash once it starts? That's rather inconvenient.

Anyone else with a Miele 120V washer who is willing to try this experiment?

@dadoes, I agree with your take on the issue. In my washer the heating element manages about one degree F per minute (give or take). So in order to reach 158F on Sanitary or Baby Wear (my equivalent of Whitest Whites), the wash portion of the cycle is at least one hour long. In other cycles though, the wash time does not extend automatically unless extended manually by selecting a higher soil level or the Stain Treat option, so you get a 20-25 degree boost in temperature within 20-25 minutes. If I flush the cold water from the pipes before starting the machine set to Hot that will give me a good Hot (120F+) wash but if I don't that results in a warm (around 100F) wash.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 2:41PM
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I'm assuming DualTherm may mean two elements therefore able to heat water faster?Doesn't matter how many elements are involved, the total wattage draw cannot exceed what's allowable on a 120v circuit (or a 240v circuit for that matter).

volts x amps = watts.

A 15 amp 120v circuit can feed 1,800 watts, a 20 amp 120v circuit rates 2,400 watts ... but there's a safety margin per electrical codes that limits it to a bit less.

A typical portable electric space heater draws between 1,250 and 1,500 watts. My GE toaster oven is rated 1,200 watts. My West Bend Iced Tea Maker is 625 watts. I've run them simultaneously numerous times on one outlet without tripping the breaker. All the electric 120v circuits in my house are 20 amp.

So two elements could draw only half the allowed wattage each, not both elements each pulling maximum wattage.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 2:50PM
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"so you cannot throw in a stray sock or forgotten hand towel into the wash once it starts?"

Up to a certain point I can. I've just never analyzed when exactly the lock happens. I wouldn't throw a stray item in too late in the cycle as it wouldn't really get clean anyway.

I can attempt to measure as far in as I can. What type of thermometer are you testing with? This all seems really scientific ... lol ... some Miele/LG/what have you execs are laughing at us somewhere.

@dadoes, forgive my ignorance ... I really have NO clue about this stuff. So basically, no matter what Miele calls it, their heating element can be no better than anyone else's (at 120V)? Nothing about it could make it better/faster?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Why not just measure the temperature of the water as the machine drains? You will lose a little heat through the drain line, but you should get pretty close.

livebetter - Miele could have a more durable heater, but at 120 volts, it would be unable to add any additional energy to the water compared to any other brand so it is not possible for it to be faster.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 7:18PM
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@livebetter, I hear you - I wouldn't throw something in towards the end of the cycle but it does come in handy to be able to do it at the beginning. I always seem to walk by the bathroom and notice another hand towel that I forgot to load ;-)
I use a digital thermometer - don't know what kind it is but I found it among my husband's various tools (he's a retired chemical engineer who has every tool and gadget imaginable....)

@alicein wonderland, my washer seems to add water just before draining (presumably cool) so taking the temp of the water as the washer drains would not be accurate.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 7:36PM
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@livebetter - I think we would have to cancel the cycle in order to get the door unlocked.

@izeve - I've already done my HOT washes for the week, this morning. If nobody has been able to do this, I'll be doing sheets by this weekend and will give it a go.
FWIW, I think (emphasize think) any cycle in my W4842 that has HOT runs for at least an hour, except "Clean Machine" which is 45 minutes.

@alice... - good suggestion but I can't do it on my machine. The hose is tied down to the washer faucets, probably so the force doesn't kick it back upward, but who knows. It was not tied down for my old conventional TL washer. Either way, it would require gymnastics for which I am no longer young enough to do.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 8:29PM
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Testing the draining water might not work. Some machines will add cold water to the end of a really hot cycle to cool the clothes down first. My HE3t did this, so you will not get the results you are looking for

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 3:04AM
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Water heating in most to all US washers remains a mystery...

Bosch used to state that their washers will always reach the desired temp (although warm and hot weren't all that warm/hot to begin with) and Miele allows for a "cold water fill" setting via the service menu. Also read that Miele pauses the timer for water heating - but who knows.

Other than that, you'd have to rely on Sanitary and Allergen cycles that have to heat to a certain temp to get the NSF certification. If you don't have these, highest soil level along with options like Stain Treat and Steam - anything to extend the wash time - will give you higher temps.

Case in point: Whirlpool's manual said the Heavy Duty cycle would "heat the water to optimum temp". BUT the service manual then said, water heating does not happen when Less Soil is selected. Okay, Heavy Duty and Less Soil is kinda counterintuitive but it still shows just how selective water heating is. Best bet today almost is the Cabrio Platinum and its Maytag cousin, which both have a Water Heater On button and a Water Heating light...

And about the LG: I have a couple of service manuals from LG (although older ones) and water heating takes place in all cycles. Now, if this is still true for today... I don't know. FWIW: I'm not surprised the LG WaveForce won't heat on any but the two dedicated cycles. Just look at the amount of water it uses compared to a FL.

And as far as European washers are concerned. Our consumer magazine recently tested washers and also took temp readings on the 140F Cotton cycle - the one relevant for the Energy Label. ALL washers, even Miele, fell short of reaching 140F in order to get super ratings. 131F was the highest temp and LG even stopped at 113F. In order to still obtain excellent washing results, LG increased the overall cycle time to three hours. This is not uncommon in Europe these days but still... three hours to save 0.xx kWh?

Oh, and the W48xx has an emergency door release behind the drawer. (Should) let you open the door any time. It's on page 40 of the online manual.


Here is a link that might be useful: Some LG service manuals

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 8:13AM
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Great info, whirlpool trainee! The way my LG FL works is consistent with your information above - the heater engages in all cycles, however, the cycle time may be too short to reach the optimum temperature in some cycles. I'm assuming that it reaches 158F in Sanitary since it is NSF certified.

Thank you for the link to the LG manuals. The one thing I've been trying to do with my LG is to get it to display the internal temp - I tried various button combinations but had no success so far. Any suggestions? The model I have is WM2301 - it was discontinued last year.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 9:52AM
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Whirlpool trainee,
I got this information from Bosch about when the heater comes on in my Nexxt 500 plus machine.

"Thank you for contacting Bosch. The only cycles that the flow-thru water heater will be used is on those that require water temperatures higher than 120�. As you will see by the attached information sheet this would apply on the hot water cycles that use 125� and the temperature boost of 150�. All other cycles are achieved by blending the hot and cold water to reach the correct balance."

So the heater comes on in my machine for all hot, xxtra sanitary(170) and the kids wear(150) cycles

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:13AM
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When running a Custom cycle on my Miele W4842, I can start the cycle out on COLD and then change the temp to HOT within the first 5 minutes. So with the tub filled with COLD water but with the temperature set to HOT, the Miele will pause at 1:00 left until the water reaches the last temperature that was set. I had it sit at 1:00 for at least 10-20 minutes when I tried this, so it's obvious that the machine is trying to hit that target temperature and eventually hits it once the timer starts counting down again.

I do not know if this same functionality extends to the MasterCare or pre-programmed buttons. Those seem to behave differently than Custom. The only easy way to do this is with a laser thermometer, but I'm not willing to spend money right now on an experiment when I'm perfectly happy and satisfied with my machines. I just put in a pool and back yard, so spending money is gone!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 3:25PM
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sshrivastava, so a laser thermometer will measure the temp inside the drum without opening the door??? Wow, we actually have one of those in the house (as I said, my husband owns every gadget imaginable ;-) but I use it only to play laser tag with the cats. Mind you, I'm not offering to send it to you to test your Miele ;-)
but it will make my own experiments with my LG a heck of a lot easier.
So are you saying that Miele will take 60F water to about 130F in about 70 minutes? That sounds right and comparable to my washer. My LG does the same when I use Baby Wear (Whitest Whites) cycle.

I was curious though what happens when you use a cycle with a relatively short wash time and select HOT. Does it automatically extend the wash time until it reaches the designated temperature or does it fill with hotter water than other washers do (other washers being limited by ATC).

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 4:12PM
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@ izeve,

Depending on which cycle I select, sometimes selecting HOT or SANITIZE temps will increase the cycle time. I live in Arizona so my "cold" most of the year is above 70 degrees. I didn't calculate how much time it took, but since the timer stopped at 1:00 for quite a while, I assumed it was for purposes of hitting the water temperature. I don't know what else would cause such a delay. I did something the machine didn't expect, which was fill it with cold and then switch the temperature setting to HOT before it locked.

I assumed a laser/infrared thermometer can measure through glass but I could be mistaken. I've never actually used one, but someone in this forum did measure his laundry temp using one of those - maybe he or she had the door open. The W4842 will let you pause and open the door at any point during the cycle so long as neither of the following has occurred: 1) a high water level is being utilized and/or 2) the water temperature exceeds 130 degrees.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 6:08PM
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sshrivastava, I have done some reading on laser/infrared thermometers since your post and it looks like unfortunately you cannot measure the temp through the glass. Instead, you will get a reading of the temperature of the glass itself. So no improvement in my testing methods :-(

In any event, I am still waiting for that brave Miele 120V owner who is willing to open the door at various points in the cycle and measure the actual temperatures inside the drum ;-)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 9:42PM
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@ chloe

Interesting, since Bosch always marketed that every cycle would get the optimum temp due to the heater. By the way, hardly any washer I know of uses a flow-through heater. Certainly no Bosch unit.

@ izeve

No, I suppose you'd have to download a manual close to your model number and go from there.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:02PM
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"...Also read that Miele pauses the timer for water heating - but who knows. "

I can easily confirm it works this way on my 240V Miele washer. If I select a short wash (42 min) and 190 degrees, it definitely pauses the timer for a few minutes until this temp is reached. The pause occurs about 10 min into the cycle. My washer is only connected to the cold water to allow for profile washing. The pause isn't that long as the washer has a 3000 watt heater in it and doesn't occur on the longer wash cycle. I would think the 120v Mieles, at least the W3xxx ones from Europe, would most likely work the same way.

On my washer the door locks above a certain temp. If you wanted to know the temp of the wash water, you have two options. One would be to measure the temp of the water at the drain at the end of the cycle. You would have to turn off the cool down fill if it is active. The other, would be to slightly open the clean out drain while the tub was washing. (though I'd recommend turning off the washer first.) It's like a faucet so only open it enough to get a sample as you don't want all the water out of the tub. Put a plastic pan under the spout and measure the water there.

If neither of these are options, then you could try turning off the washer and using the emergency open cable to open the door. Obviously you wouldn't want to do this if the water was visible on the glass.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 1:42PM
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I posted the e-mail I received , so I don't know why it is different than your understanding of how and when it heats the water.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 6:44PM
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@izeve - I've got a load of sheets in the washer right now. Incoming COLD tap temp measures 54 degrees F, so drum filled at that temp. I used Custom cycle, HOT.

Ten minutes into the cycle, I stopped it and used two candy thermometers (I'm not Paula Deen so that's all we have) and temp of my laundry was 112F. There is no standing water, so that's all I could do.

Ten more minutes into the cycle (a total of 20 minutes into the wash cycle which is 1:08 on High spin), the laundry load measured 125F. After pressing Start, the countdown timer did not change for several minutes. We can probably assume the load was reheating from lost heat due to door opening, and probably raising water temp before proceeding.

I can't sit with the washer and time how long before the countdown starts up again... busy day and I've got to leave. I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:13AM
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chloe - I know it wasn't you who posted the reply but a service person from Bosch. I'm just wondering about the term flow-through heater, since Bosch washing machines do not have them. A flow-through heater would mean that a pump would be running most of the main wash time to pump water through a heater located outside of the tub - this is not the case. Washers usually use immersion heaters, similar to what one sees on US dishwashers. Flow-through heaters are used on Bosch dishwashers, however. I was basically just wondering, since he already wrongly used the term "flow-through heater", if he might be posting wrong information on the actual heater use as well.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 3:41PM
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yes, it sounds like I didn't get very good information from them.
I just now called them and she said the heater comes on with every cycle if the incoming water is below the temp range for the cycle.
At first she said that it had a flow through heater, but I asked her to check with someone who really knew because I had information that it didn't have one.
So after being on hold a loooong time, she came back and said that it had a heating element and not the flow through.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 4:23PM
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@cavimum, great info. Thanks for taking the time to measure and post. I don't understand though why you think the drum filled with Cold water for a Hot cycle. Given the rate at which your washer heats the water (looks like about 10-13 degrees per 10 minutes), there is no way that it could have taken 54F water to 125F in 20 minutes. I'm assuming that it filled with water at about 100F and it went from there. I'm impressed that you get it to fill that hot. I think that is probably where Miele wins over other washers - ATC allows higher temp fills than in other washers so the heater actually can bring to proper temp in 20 minutes or so.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 6:32PM
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@izeve - "I don't understand though why you think the drum filled with Cold water for a Hot cycle."
It was cold enough. Next time I do a HOT wash, I'll take the temp. immediately after filling, because you raise a good question.

Once the washer had filled (my amateur guess is 2 to 3 gallons water), I ran the hot water tap on the laundry room sink and it came in lukewarm to the touch. So in reality, my HOT wash yesterday started with at least a gallon of 55F Cold before some of the Hot water arrived from tank type water heater.

Ideally, I would have measured the temperature inside the drum, as soon as the cycle began, but I probably missed that in your OP and only measured the first temp, five minutes into the cycle.

It was not the most scientific experiment, but here is the entire story. Feel free to scroll on past if it bores you. LOL

My normal practice is to first draw up the hot water from the water heater via the laundry room sink, allowing HOT water to enter the machine immediately. I did not do that yesterday because I wanted as much Cold water in the drum as possible in order to measure the speed of the water heating. This also duplicates the laundry room setting for many/most homes.

Water heater is aprox. 20 to 25 feet away, in an unfinished daylight basement that is walled & closed off (door access) from the garage. Water heater temp is set for 120 - 125F. Laundry room is at opposite end of house from bathrooms & kitchen, so hot water previously drawn for normal use does not greatly affect laundry room. LR pipes 'T' off from main line fairly soon after leaving water heater. Hot water pipes for laundry room travel six or eight feet before passing through the wall to the garage.

Garage is downstairs under the laundry room w/unenclosed ceiling; we can see the joists, insulation & pipes. Temps down there for the past few weeks have been 55F (per car thermometer display on dashboard in a.m.) which matches temp. measured from the laundry room's Cold tap.

Therefore, yesterday the first gallon or two that entered the washer came from a Hot water pipe that had not been primed, in order to provide maximum amount of Cold water entering drum .

P.S. ---> After I posted yesterday, I checked the washer countdown timer five minutes later, and again before I left the house. Apparently after the second time I checked the wash water temp, the countdown timer did not change for approx. 8 minutes. There must be some point at which the countdown stops, in order to bring the water to the 140F setting. This is the only addition I have to yesterday's experiment results.

Hopefully some of our other Miele owners here will be able to run the experiment.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 12:27PM
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@ Cavimum, you have a Miele W48XX right? Why not just run a Custom cycle initially set to COLD, and then after the first 5 minutes of the cycle running change the temp to HOT? This will ensure your machine fills from the cold tap, and once you switch to HOT (before the 5 minute window closes) the heater will be engaged and the machine will try to hit 140F. If you do this, you will see the cycle timer extend and/or pause until the machine hits the target temperature.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:06PM
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@cavimum - again, great info and helpful for everyone. I have a similar set up to yours with the water heater a long way away from the laundry room(it takes at least 2-3 gallons before hot water starts flowing into my washer). If I do not flush the hot water pipe by running the water in the laundry sink, then I get an initial fill of about 80-90 with the cycle set to hot.

So it looks like Miele may be doing a combination of two things: allowing more hot water to flow in and automatically extending the wash time to reach the designated temperature. Again, that explains better washing results since most other washers sold in the North America are limited by ATC and set wash times.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:22PM
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In my opinion, any manufacturer that ties a heated cycle to a timer instead of a thermostat hasn't a clue about laundry care. For goodness sake, these are fundamental concepts. I'm surprised by how many machines are out there without this basic functionality. What good is having a heater if the cycle won't automatically extend to give the heater enough time to do its job?

This obsession with short cycle times is ludicrous. Front loaders take more time to clean clothes due to the smaller volume of water and intermittent tumbling versus lots of water and constant motion in an "old fashioned" top loader. Yet manufacturers are constantly trying to push their machines out the door with inadequate cycle times that don't even allow the heater - for which you paid extra - to function properly or to maximum effect.

Consumers need to educate themselves before buying a machine. There's a reason some machines are more expensive than others.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:52PM
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sshrivastava, couldn't agree more. However, not everyone can afford a Miele ;-)
In my experience, you can make any front loader with a heater work well but it takes some effort and cannot be done if the user has "push the start button and leave" mentality or expects great cleaning results by using just the Normal cycle or Quick Wash cycle. Even your Miele does not engage the heater in the Normal cycle ;-)

I have spent some time figuring out how my LG FL works and now can tell you that I know now what do in order for it to give me true warm, true hot, profile and sanitary washes. It did require quite a lot of investigative work though ;-)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 2:02PM
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@izeve - Today I checked the water temp as soon as the drum began to tumble, and it was right at 90F. I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 12:53PM
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