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Power Consumption of Washing Machine

Like you we too googled “what is the power consumption of a washing machine” and we were shocked to find all websites promoting wrong answers.

“Internet is full of misinformation”

You too may have found answers like these.

google snippet

And this

answer from electrical4u

It goes on and on

In most of the answers they are saying that the power consumption is equal to the power rating of the washing machine. This power rating is written on the appliance itself.

This is absolutely wrong!!!

“Wattage value written on any electronic device does not mean it will consume the same wattage power”

It may be true in the case of a LED bulb but not with a washing machine.

power label of whirlpool 7 kg semi automatic washer

Here is the power label of Whirlpool 7kg semi automatic washer which is of value 340 watt.

But that is not the actual power consumption of this washing machine in 1 hour or for 1 wash cycle.

The actual consumption would be way less.

This value is only the max power which this Whirlpool washer can consume in any instant but a washing machine will seldom touch this power consumption value.

Motor of Washing Machine

At any instant during a wash cycle the power consumption is different.

In the washing machine the component which consumes the most power is the motor which spins the washer drum. 

So we can say that the power consumed by the motor is the actual power consumed by the washer.

Power Consumed by Washing Machine = Power Consumed by the Drum Motor

You should know that this motor never runs at its max speed during an entire wash cycle.

A Wash cycle goes through soak, wash, rinse and then drying phase. 

The spinning speed or to say the power consumed by a washing machine is different at each phase.

In the soaking stage the motor is not running, In the wash stage the motor is running at some low-moderate speed.

During the drying stage or spin mode this motor runs at a very high speed.

So the drying stage or the spin mode consumes the most power.

Power consumption depends on 

  • type of washer
  • its capacity
  • load(quantity of laundry) 
  • the wash setting used

For different washers
Power Consumption: Semi-Automatic < Top Load Fully Automatic < Front Loader 

Right way to calculate power consumption

Calculating power consumption for a washing machine is impossible from generic values like wattage of the washing machine or wattage of its motor.

To find the right power consumption you will need a watt meter or micro Power Monitor.

This device can be used to calculate accurate power consumption of any appliance.

It is plugged into the socket along with an appliance. 

One can check the amperage, voltage, wattage at any instant and total power consumed within a time period.

We have tested three washing machines of different types and capacities using a micro power monitor.

You can check one micro power monitor on Amazon.

We tried to fill the washer drum with clothes such that some space was left.

We used the max RPM speed.

The below values are power consumed for 1 single wash cycle from washing to draining the laundry.

LG Fully Automatic 6.5kg Top Loader = 0.08 kWh per cycle

LG 7kg inverter front loader = 0.1 kWh per cycle

Motorola 10.5 kg front loader = 0.14 kWh per cycle

With the hot water wash program where the washer has a built-in heater the power consumption can go as high as 2 kWh.

Fact: In hot water wash, water heating can account for up to 75-90 percent of the total energy consumed in the entire wash cycle.

If you want to calculate power consumption for your washing machine you can take the values from the above test.

All washers in the same type and same capacity will have nearly the same power consumption. 

Do note that the tests were performed on Indian washing machines where it is not mandatory to follow energy rating and energy standards. In countries like the USA and UK there are high efficiency washers which are highly power efficient.

Let’s calculate the monthly & yearly bill.

Taking the first washer with 0.08 kWh per cycle power consumption.

Power consumption for month = 0.08 x 30 
2.4 kWh or 2.4 units of electricity

Power consumption for year = 0.08 x 365
29.2 kWh or 29.2 units of electricity

Power Consumption of Semi vs Fully Automatic Washer

Semi Automatic washers are simple in design, do not have many features, have two separate drums for washing & drying, and need manual labor.

Fully Automatic Washers have many wash settings, are fully automatic in nature that means no manual labor is required, and have a single drum.

Semi automatic washers will always consume less power when compared to fully automatic variants because the wash cycle is shorter in the semi automatic ones when compared to fully automatic ones.

Power consumed is proportional to

  • Time consumed in a wash cycle
  • RPM or spinning speed of washer drum.

Semi automatic wash cycles are dependent on the user but are usually shorter than fully automatic ones.

In fully automatic washers time consumed varies for each wash setting. Ex- delicate wash, wool wash.

Power Consumption of Top vs Front Loader

Fully Automatic Top Loaders are washers where the wash drum rotates on a vertical axis and washes the cloth via agitation.

Fully Automatic Front Loaders are washers where the wash drum rotates on a horizontal axis and washes the cloth via tumbling.

Coming to comparison between top loader vs front loader in fully automatic variant.

It is generally said that the front loader consumes less power than the top loader but I highly doubt that because with a front loader the spin speed is higher, the wash cycle too is longer.

With high spin speed and longer wash cycles the power consumption should be higher.

Both Whirlpool and Samsung say that power consumption is less in the front loader when compared to the top loader.

You can check on Samsung’s site
https://www.samsung.com/in/support/home-appliances/what-are-the-differences-between-the-front-load-and-top-load-washing-machines/

In our tests on different types of washers we found the power consumption of a front loader higher than a top loader.

Is 5 star washing machine more efficient

washing machine star rating

In India, washing machines too have started to come with energy star ratings.

We know that with air conditioners, a 5 star rated AC will be more efficient than a 3 star rated AC and so will consume less power.

But is the same true with washing machines?

We cannot say as not all washing machines present in the indian market come with a star rating. Only a few of them have star ratings.

One can compare a 5 star washing machine with another only if both have a star rating label.

Not all electronic products and appliances have BEE star ratings.

Some products are mandatory to have a star rating while other products are not mandatory to have.

Few products which are mandatory to have star rating are air conditioner, refrigerator, color TV, geysers, led lamps.

Few products which are not mandatory to have star rating are ceiling fans, washing machines, LPG stoves, printer, etc

source: https://beeindia.gov.in/content/standards-labeling

The products which are under the list of not mandatory can have or not have a star rating. 

Are you concerned about energy efficiency

A washing machine will atmost consume 6 units of electricity in a month that too if used everyday.

All types of washing machine consume less power and electricity but still if you want a washer with high efficiency which consumes less power and water.

Then you should go with high efficiency 5 star front loading washing machines.

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