How Much Water Does a Washing Machine Use?

South End Plumbing, Heating, & Air Expert Tips

How Much Water Does a Washing Machine Use?
According to Energy Star ratings, a high-efficiency washer certified by Energy Star uses about 13 gallons of water a load.

How Much Water Does a Front Load Washer Use?

It can be difficult to figure out what washing machine to pick if you’re needing a new one, want an upgrade, looking for an energy-efficient, or water efficient one. You want it to do laundry as you need. Maybe you want modern conveniences. Maybe you want to save money on utility bills. One seemingly simple question, which isn’t so simple, is how much water does a washing machine use?

How Much Water Does a Washing Machine Use?

The water used by a washing machine per load varies quite a bit. More modern high-efficiency washers, as you’d expect, use less water on average than older washers. According to Energy Star ratings, a high-efficiency washer certified by Energy Star uses about 13 gallons of water a load. A standard washing machine uses about 23 gallons a load.

Even the actual mode and function of the machine can tell you about water usage. High-efficiency washing machines with impellers use less water than washing machines with agitators. Front-loading washing machines use less water than top-loading washing machines. Cycles, rinses, settings, and loads can change water usage.

What Can Change the Water Usage?

How you use your washing machine can increase or decrease the water it uses. Longer or heavy-duty cycles or washing bulky loads will take more water. If you change the rinse settings to extra or longer rinses, it will use more water.

Comparing setting to setting with a high-efficiency model versus a standard model, will typically mean lower water usage, but each setting affects the quantity of water. Some cycles and settings are meant for specific clothing, material, or lengths of time. Using settings not meant for certain loads may mean a machine is not running as efficiently, for water or energy, as the standard is.

What if the Water Level Looks Low?

If the water level seems low, even if you’ve gone to a high-efficiency, lower water usage, machine, there is a cycle to run to check the washer. You might be looking to save water, yet then worry about the water level. You can run a clean washer cycle. This cycle is a reset for the appliance to factory settings, including the default water level. Take everything out of the washer before running a clean washer cycle.

How Much Water Will Fill a Washing Machine?

A standard washing machine, machine will hold about six gallons of water.

What’s the Cost of Running a Washing Machine?

Newer washing machines may be an upgrade in a number of ways. You may well save money on water and energy. Older, standard washers may cost about $300 or more in utility costs with normal use. Newer models can cut those extra costs to as low as $20-40 a year.

How Long Should a Washing Machine Last?

Washing machines’ lifespans vary a lot. Most of the time, machines should last 15-20 years. This depends on the number of loads and the usual maintenance and upkeep. Washing machines normally have a longer span than dryers, which have an average span of 8-12 years. Front-loading washers normally last longer than top-loaders.

What Cycle Saves Water Best?

A washing machine’s cycles are meant to be best for specific uses and items. Each cycle and setting has pros and cons meaning how it’s designed to be used.

Without a doubt, the most efficient cycle, when used for the right types of loads, is a cold wash and warm rinse. If you’re trying to use less water and less detergent per load, it’s possible to use a shorter wash time and a setting with no extra water. Clearly, though, there are some loads, and messes, with which this will not efficiently get the job done.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Soap?

Yes. Too much detergent will clog machines and wind up making them use more water, or have to re-run loads which are definitely inefficient and a pain. More potential problems with this are bleeding colors and malfunctioning machines.

If you use too much detergent in a load, the fix is empty the machine and run a cycle with a few cups of white vinegar to clean out the detergent.

How Much Water Does a Washing Machine Use?
Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Soap?

Hot, Warm, or Cold Water?

Using cold water more often will decrease energy usage per cycle. It’s worth being careful though, cold cycles won’t wash all stains or garments well enough. Having to re-run clothes or whole loads might negate any water or energy savings you’re expecting.

For instance, if a water heater can warm water up to 140 degrees, it would be more affordable to run a cold/warm cycle which would cost about 10 cents per load. However, with a washing machine using three gallons of hot water a load, it could cost more than $30 a month.

How Long Should a Load Take?

The time for a load of laundry depends on the load, size, items, and setting. Short cycles use less soap. In current models though, there’s very little energy-usage difference between short cycles and medium cycles. There is a significant energy and water use difference in a cold/warm cycle setting compared to a hot water cycle.

South End Plumbing specializes in leak repairs and water heater installation, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in tankless water heaters – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.

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