Washing Machine Not Heating Up – Causes and Solutions

Washing Machine Not Heating Up – Causes and Solutions

A common misconception is that if you can’t feel the heat through the washing machine’s door, it isn’t heating up. However, if you don’t have any errors, your washing machine is working properly and clothes are coming out clean, it is unlikely you have any cause for concern.

If you think that your washing machine isn’t heating up, there are several tests that you can run to determine whether it is faulty. 

Be aware that you shouldn’t tackle most of these issues if you don’t have an engineering background!

Initial Troubleshooting

Sometimes, an issue such as a lack of hot water in a washing machine during the cycle is down to a problem that is very easy to resolve. Before panicking and calling an engineer, run through these tips to eliminate any easy-to-fix problems.

1. Check that the cycle requires water

checking the wash cycle if it requires water

First, double-check that the cycle you are selecting will require water to be heated. If you are checking the washing machine door to see if it is warm during the cycle, do so during the initial wash cycle. 

The final rinse is usually cold, which is why clothing often feels cool when removed from the washing machine.

2. Is the drain filter clogged?

clogged drain filter

A clogged drain filter can cause all manner of problems, including stopping the washing machine from heating up. 

Remove the drain filter from the washing machine and remove any debris. Clean the filter with warm water and replace in the machine. If the drain filter shows signs of damage, contact the manufacturer to try to source a replacement.

3. Is the washing machine overloaded?

overloaded washing machine

After checking the cycle and cleaning the filter, make sure that the washing machine is not overloaded. An overloaded washing machine ends up off-balance, and this can cause a range of issues.

If you have gone through these tips and your washing machine still is not heating up, carry on reading for possible mechanical causes of the problem.

4. Check error codes

washing machine error code

In an ideal world, an appliance would always show an error when anything goes wrong, and most modern appliances will. If the heating element does stop working, for example, the machine should stop and give you an error code corresponding to the failure.

Older machines may not have this function. Instead, they might just keep washing until the thermostat registers the required temperature.


Causes of a Washing Machine Not Heating Up

Cause 1: Faulty heater

Faulty washing machine heater

If your washing machine isn’t heating up, the most common mechanical failure is the heating element itself. Most washing machines should give you an error to indicate that this is the problem, however not all washing machines will.

The most common test for a potentially faulty heating element is to use a continuity meter. This is because most heater issues are caused by broken circuits or dodgy wiring.

Accessing the heater is rarely easy, and if you are not a qualified engineer or electrician, you should contact a professional to solve this problem.

Cause 2: Thermal overload cut-out

If the heater itself is fine, the next possibility is the thermal overload cut-out. This is a small device that is usually found close to the heating element. 

In some washing machines, the thermal overload cut-out is built into the heater, whereas in others, it is just next to the element.

If this has tripped, it is a cause for concern. This is because this element should only trip if temperatures inside the machine have reached potentially dangerous levels. 

If this is a possibility, call an engineer or the manufacturer of your washing machine!

Cause 3: Dodgy wiring

repairing faulty washing machine wiring

If the heater and thermal cut-out are all fine, it could be that the wiring inside the machine is faulty. The wiring will vary depending on the brand, but this issue should be easily diagnosed and repaired by an electrician or engineer.

If you do decide open the washing machine to look for any obvious signs of damage, make sure that you turn the machine off first. If you find damage, loose wiring, or scorch marks, call an electrician.