Hot and cold water pipes

Can You Still Get Hot and Cold Fill Washing Machines?

Washing machines aren’t an everyday purchase, so it makes sense to weigh up all your options when it comes time to buy a new one.

Unless you’ve owned one before, you might not be aware that hot and cold fill washing machines are a thing.

But can you still get hot and cold fill washing machines? If so, are they worth it? These are the questions we’ll aim to answer in this article, so read on to find out.


What Is a Hot Fill Washing Machine?

A hot fill washing machine has a connection to your mains hot water supply. This means that the washing machine takes in ready-heated water for hot washes rather than heating the water itself.

Although the exact settings will differ between brands, hot fill washing machines will generally draw from the hot water supply for washes about 40 degrees Celsius.

Similarly, they may need to mix the mains hot water with cold or heat up the water for washes above 60-70 degrees.


Can You Still Get Hot and Cold Fill Washing Machines?

The short answer is yes, you can still get hot and cold fill washing machines. However, your options are far more limited because it’s not an industry standard.

For example, in the UK, the only real supplier of hot fill washing machines is Ebac.

You might find the odd washing machine from larger brands like Miele or Samsung, but expect to pay more for the privilege.

While hot and cold fill machines aren’t much more complicated than a cold fill machines (they basically only have some extra tubes), the industry demand just isn’t there to justify making more.


Why Are Cold Fill Washing Machines the Standard?

Cold fill washing machines have long been the standard product for domestic use. This is because it’s more efficient for the washing machine to heat the water itself using an electric heater than it is to use a gas boiler.

The average modern washing machine uses 48.8 litres of water per cycle. This figure includes the wash and rinse cycles, so let’s say it uses around 25 litres of water for the wash cycle.

Although heating water using electricity is more expensive per kWh than gas, it’s more efficient for the washing machine to do it than to use your boiler.

If heated in the gas boiler, the water would lose a lot of its heat travelling along the pipes to the washing machine. Plus, you have to consider the time it takes to heat up the water and the water you’ll “lose” as it runs through the boiler waiting for it to heat up.plumber fixing washing machine water system



Do Hot Fill Washing Machines Have Any Advantages?

So, are there actually any benefits to having a hot and cold fill washing machine? Yes, although they don’t necessarily outweigh the extra cost. The advantages of a hot fill washing machine include:

Quicker washes

Filling the washing machine with ready-heated water will save time, simply because the machine doesn’t need to heat the water itself.

Ebac claims its hot fill machines will save you 21 minutes per wash. Is this enough to make it worth it? Perhaps not.


Less wear on the machine

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that a hot fill machine will use its heating element less, resulting in less wear.

Again, Ebac claims this leads to a 43% longer lifespan for the machine, which is an obvious advantage. A 43% increase is major when we’re talking about an appliance that can last 20 years or more.


It could be cheaper to run

Again, this is a benefit by technicality. The price per unit of electricity is far higher than gas, so heating water using a boiler is cheaper than having the washing machine do it electrically.

However, you have to balance this against the higher initial cost of the hot fill washing machine.

Ebac’s washing machines, for example, are nearly three times the price of a similar-sized budget cold fill machine. You’d have to do thousands of washes over the machine’s lifetime for this to become a cost-effective option.


Works well with solar power

Having a solar panel array in your home means access to incredibly cheap hot water. This is one scenario where a hot fill washing machine would make a lot of sense.

If your solar array is already heating water, you might as well use it in your washing machine.

Of course, this is currently quite a limited application, but it could make a lot more sense in the future depending on how many of us get solar panels on our homes.

washing machine drum with water


Is a Hot Fill Washing Machine Worth It?

So, to bring it all together, is a hot fill washing machine worth the effort and cost?

The short answer is no. Modern cold fill washing machines are very efficient and can be very inexpensive to buy. The cost of heating up the water isn’t massive and will pretty much always be cheaper than heating it via your boiler.

However, this might change in the future depending on how we use renewable energy sources. For now, though, there aren’t really any merits to investing in a hot fill washing machine.