Miele - Should I get a 240v in the laundry closet

lalitharDecember 5, 2011

Hello all,

We are planning an Miele W+D setup. Based on some other feedback, we are planning a washer and electric dryer. I haven't narrowed down specific models yet but my electrician is advising me that if I want 240v, now is the time to add without too much cost as we are re-framing that area. Should I do this?


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If you want an electric dryer, 240v will be needed. Don't understand the hesitation. You have no choice.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:13PM
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I agree with asolo, you have no choice if you are going electric, no matter what the brand of the dryer. Make sure the electrician puts the right type of receptacle which uses all four prongs since the Miele uses all of them.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:16PM
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If you're at the construction phase where wiring is easy, why not get a second 240v line put in addition to the one required for an electric dryer and the normal 120v? That way if you are ever able to get a 240v washer you'd be covered without any additional costs in the future. If you've got it down to the studs anyway and have clear access to the breaker box, it is vastly easier to do now than later, even for the off-chance you might need it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 10:18AM
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I think what you're asking is whether you should install a 240v/15A (or was it 240v/20A) circuit and outlet for the washer, rather than use Miele's expensive splitter box to break out two 240v circuits from a 240v/30A dryer outlet. Sadly, Miele washers in the US no longer run on 240V, instead following the mass market and using 120V/15A like most other washers sold in the States. That means it takes longer to wash your clothes since it has only about 1000 watts rather than 2500 to heat water, can no longer be fed to a cold water intake, and can no longer can heat the water to 190F for blasting away dirty collars. There are a few other brands, including Bosch, Asko, and Fagor (the latter that offers a combination unit that both washes and dries your clothes in a single step) that continue to offer 240v washers. But if you have an older Miele washer (up through late '00s), a separate circuit and outlet would be a nice touch, and probably a cost saver, and would allow nearly any brand of dryer to be plugged into the 240v/30A wall outlet.

I think Miele's dryers now all use a 240V/30A plug, although the smaller dryers draw less than 15 amps.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Sorry for not phrasing my question more clearly. But yes, I was asking to see if I should also get a 240 for the washers. Too bad that they are phased out. I will however use the suggestions to get a 4 prong receptacle that is rated for 240v/ 30A.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 1:29PM
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I bought a used Miele in part for that reason (and because it was 1/8 the price of a new one, and they last almost forever anyway). Search your local Craigslist; it's amazing how many people sell them because "we wanted something bigger", and new homeowners who move into a house with Miele appliances sometimes have never heard of them or know their value - hey, it's not sold at Sears, Lowe's, or Best Buy, obviously it's some cheapo off-brand. :-O

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:34PM
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Lee676 --> Which Miele washer model did you get? We have pretty bad allergies and the doc keeps telling me to use very hot water to wash clothes and linen. I also tend to use very little detergent and am currently double washing laundry in my whirlpool to make sure all the detergent is washed out. I figure that getting a washing machine with a internal heater that can really get hot and can rinse well is a good investment for my health and even reduce per use laundry cost and time. I believe 240 v are more efficient for heating anyways.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 8:56PM
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@lalitha - Based on everything I researched and read on the 'net, you'll either have to special order a 240v washer or buy a used one. We don't know if 240v washers will be easier to find when a used one dies, etc. etc. etc. In my non-professional, non-technical, everyday consumer opinion, 240v is overkill for the cost of wiring and getting laundry clean.

* Something else to consider: If you wire that washer for 240v, you will need to disclose this fact whenever you go to sell your home. 99.99% of the buyers won't understand the 240v point, or will miss that fine detail, nor will they have a 240v washer nor want one, and it will kill their own washer if they gleefully plug their in while under the rosy glow of new home ownership. Or,,, they won't buy your home because they won't want to (a) find an electrician and (b) spend the $$$ to have it rewired, and happily buy something that is easier to move into. It will be a long time before home sales recover from its current status as well as being a strong buyers market. Resale-ability is crucial in today's times. I don't over-customize anything in our home. "Customized" homes are the ones that take forever to sell, in our area.

I am new to the HE and FL washer world. I have bad allergies, take shots for dust & mites & more. I have the Miele W4842 and the "sanitize" cycle heats to something like 160 degrees Fahrenheit. That is good enough for me and will kill dust mites. Miele "hot" at 140F will kill dust mites better than my old TL water hog, drawing from a water heater 25 feet away. Wash water with an internal heater and 110/120v is much hotter than "HOT" in the old conventional Whirlpool TL.

As for multiple rinsing, if you buy a Miele here in the U.S., only use one-fourth (1/4) of whatever dose of detergent is recommended by the manufacturer on the label. Based on my own personal experience, as well as what my local Miele salesman, technician and Miele USA 1-800 support tell me, start with 1/4 dose detergent from whatever the product packaging calls for. Otherwise, I have detergent overdose. I tried increasing our detergent dose, because so many other people on this forum use more detergent in the same machine, but it was too much for our moderately hard water quality. All our clothes, bedding, etc. already had serious detergent residue from the old Whirlpool water hog TL washer. Which I figured out the hard way after I got the TL.

You can do a search on this forum; just enter Miele and you will find old 'threads' where water temperature is discussed.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 9:24AM
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Agree with @Cavimum. My W4842 is hot enough. I have never used the sanitary cycle - only the tub clean cycle. I have used hot occasionally. It is very hot.

IMO, the higher temp thing is an old mentality "boil wash" thing. My step father's 87 year old German mother believed in boil washing because that's what she knew from way back when. You couldn't tell her any different.

The reality is most fabrics and definitely items like elastic can't handle that heat for too many washing before breaking down.

Just my two cents. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 9:44AM
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You wouldn't have to "disclose" a 240V outlet for a washer. The electrician would also install regular 120V outlets, so a 120V washer could be used in the space. And it isn't possible to accidentally plug a 120V appliance into a 240V outlet, the prong spacing is completely different. There's no downside to including a 240V outlet just in case you might want it, other than the expense, and the slot it'll take up in your circuit breaker panel.

The detergent overdosing thing isn't a universal experience. When we switched to a Miele W4840, we didn't notice any residue in our clothes, all of which had been washed with recommended amounts of Tide liquid in a Whirlpool-made agitator TL (we did always do two rinses in the TL). We use recommended detergent amounts in the Miele (Sears Ultra Plus powder, some Vaska, some Whole Foods 365 powder) and haven't noticed any rinsing issues. Granted those are all pretty weak detergents, but our clothes come out much cleaner than they did in the TL with Tide.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 10:44AM
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[long post alert - but this question comes up enough that all the info should be in one place]

lalitha - I'll answer your questions, but first, a few responses to recent posts:

No, you don't have to "disclose" your 240V outlet. It is not a defect and does not violate building codes. I've used GE Advantium 240v over-the-cooktop high-speed oven/microwaves, despite that every other brand available runs on 120v. No prospective homebuyers have complained their food would be ready too fast. As for resale value, nobody is going to turn down a $325,000 home because they may have to hire an electrician for $180 to install a new outlet lest they decide to change an appliance.

As suburbanmd noted, it would make sense to have a dedicated 120V/20A outlet in the washer area too, but there's a good chance there already is one. Also, if you're buying a 240V washer and dryer from the same manufacturer, you can use the commonplace 240V/30A outlet that most homes already have in the laundry room (usually used for the dryer). The smaller, more efficient European machines extract more water in the washer, so the dryer needs less power, and thus they usually run on 240V/15 amps rather than 240V/30 amps like most American dryers - half the electricity. For that reason, many dryers from the brands that sell 240V washers, including Bosch and Asko, include a fused 240V/15A outlet on the back of their dryers, which you can plug the washer (also 240V/15A) into. Then you plug the dryer into the existing 240V/30A dryer wall outlet, and now you have power for both machines. No electrician needed. However, having a separate 240v/15A wall outlet and circuit gives you the flexibility to use your 240v washer with any brand of dryer, each with their own wall outlet.

Another approach, which Miele used, is a separate box with two fused 240V/15A outlets that plug into the common 240V/30A wall outlet. You plug the washer and dryer into the two outlets on the extension box, which has a 5' cord that runs to your wall outlet, and again provides power to both machines. Fagor sells these too. There are two types of 240V/30A outlets in wide use in the US - the older three-prong variety and the newer four-prong (with separate ground) type; you'll need to make sure your adapter box matches the outlet you have (or install a grounded outlet if necessary, not a bad idea anyway). Dryers in the US are usually sold without power cords for this reason - both types are common.

There are many good reasons to go with a 240v washer. Hot water cleans better, but can also cause certain types of stains to "set" and become permanent or hard to remove if doused with hot water. The best way to clean, therefore, is to start with cold water (which won't cause stains to set) and heat it up as it's washing - which 240V machines do considerably faster. Asko and Fagor/Brandt washers don't even have a hot-water inlet. Bosch and older Mieles do, although both can be attached to a cold water feed only (via capping the hot water intake in the Bosch, or using a Y-shaped splitter hose with the Miele). Because of the long heating times needed to reach high temperatures in 120V washers, some of them "cheat" by starting with warm water, or by not reaching the temperature you set if it's taking too long (this has been discussed in other threads).

Currently available 240v washers include everything made by Bosch, everything by Fagor including the aforementioned all-in-one washer/dryer, and all 24" wide Asko washers. Miele's only 240v machine is a very expensive semi-commercial model PW6065. Maximum temperatures are 205F for Asko, 195F for Fagor, and 190F for the Miele 240v machines that were discontinued a few years ago, although some are still available new. Bosch 240v washers, although foreign-market machines heat to 190+, only go to 161F on US machines. Whether temperatures higher than 160F are helpful has been the subject of much debate in these forums and elsewhere. Miele's instructions note that it can reduce elasticity and recemmends it only for very soiled cotton items.

As for which used Miele I bought, I got a W1926, which dates from the late '90s. It has a wonderfully simple, direct control panel - no arcane buttons, lights, or LCD displays; no confusing cycle names like "kid's wear" or "outdoor/active" or "plaid flannel" that leave you guessing as to what the machine is actually going to do. Instead, just a few clear, consiee, properly labelled controls: one dial to set temperature (tap cold to 190F, in seven increments), one dial for spin speed (up to 1200 rpm), a few buttons for options like extra-water rinse, extra-gentle, or high-speed wash; and only four cycles to choose from. It's like comparing a cheap camera with a "sports mode" or "portrait mode" to a pro-grade SLR that assumes you're smart and knowledgable enough to actually set a shutter speed or lens aperture. The W1918 is similar but 4" shorter front to back, with correspondingly smaller capacity but will fit completely under a standard countertop or in shallow closets, and also can spin up to an even faster 1600rpm since the filled tub weighs less. Newer 240v Mieles include the W1966 and 1986; I think the latest that ran on 240V were the W1912/1914/1915 but there may be others - basically everything before the 3000 series. These had somewhat dumbed-down controls, but also added new features like a tub light. User manuals for their machines going back decades can be found here on Miele's website

But enough proselytizing from me about how great 240V Mieles are/were. I'm just some random guy on the internet, and what do I know? Instead, read this similar opinion from a notable, sadly departed historical figure whose opinion may, indeed should, carry more weight. "We ended up opting for these Miele appliances .... They are really wonderfully made and one of the few products we’ve bought over the last few years that we’re all really happy about. These guys really thought the process through. They did such a great job designing these washers and dryers. I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years."

Really, when the guy who brought forth the iPhone and iPad thinks a washing machine is cooler than any gadget he's used in years, I figured it must be darned impressive. And it is.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 2:46PM
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While I do appreciate the ability to do a true profile wash (something the W4842 is not equipped for), I still don't see how temps over 200 degrees would really be necessary. I've never even used my sanitary (159) on my W4842. I used it on tea towels cautiously ... lol ...

What the W4842 will do is a prewash. My understanding is it will use warm water for the prewash no matter what temp is selected for the wash. This "in theory" would help remove stains without setting them in hot water.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 4:05PM
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I've found super-hot water works well to clean the oily stains that build up on the collars of white dress shirts, especially when pre-treated with detergent and STPP and letting it sit wet for several hours before washing. Again filling the machine with cold water and letting it heat it up to high temps.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 5:15PM
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Really? Wow ...

My husband's dress shirts are all custom made from good Italian cotton. I can't imagine washing them in those temps.

Luckily, he's not too bad in the "ring around the colar" department. I use a great laundry bar I have to treat the collars and then toss them in. They get washed on wrinkle free (warm) and they always look nice.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 9:18PM
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I don't know if I'd want to try that with really high quality shirts - I wouldn't know much about them, my shirts mostly being $10.99 specials from Men's Wearhouse (which of course means they were made in some sweatshop in Honduras), but it's something I only do maybe every few years on any given shirt.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 10:33PM
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