Miscellaneous washing machine topics (part 2)
This page continues washing machine subjects that don't fit into other categories but are either interesting or informative
- What do the energy labels for washing machines mean?
- Extension cables and washing machines
- Can I install a washing machine in a bathroom?
What do the energy labels for washing machines mean?
The washing machine energy labels are meant to encourage us to buy more economical washing machines, and in turn encourage the manufacturers to make their washing machines more economical. However, there are problems with this incentive scheme, which can give a blinkered view of the true economical impact a washing machine can have. You can have a look at the online replication of a Government consumer leaflet on EU energy labels which explains what the energy labels are supposed to mean.
Then have a look at my more sceptical thoughts on the ECO energy labels and washing machinesGo to top of page
Extension cables and washing machines
It's not ideal to plug a washing machine permanently into an extension cable because it introduces an extra risk of electrical overheating. Miele for example say in their washing machine instruction book, "Do not connect via an extension lead. Extension leads do not guarantee the required safety of the appliance (e.g. danger of overheating)"
Many washing machines (and tumble dryers) are plugged into extension cables and anyone deciding to do so should at least use the right type of extension cable. You cannot use a 2 core extension cable which has no earth. If you do, although your machine will work, it is in a potentially lethal condition because it isn't earthed - see I get electric shocks from the machine
You must also ensure the cable is rated for 13 Amps. Many extensions have thinner cable than that of the washing machine. This is an indication that the cable is meant for lawn mowers, lamps etc and not washing machines (or tumble dryers and dishwashers.) If the cable is just as thick or thicker than that of your appliance then it should be 13 Amp and 3 core (with an earth lead) but don't assume anything. Using a 5 or 10 Amp rated cable can cause overheating and is potentially dangerous. Using cable that has no earth can kill if your appliance develops an insulation fault.
Finally, note that extension cables that wind up must be fully unwound when in use. This type of extension cable will have two ratings written on it in amps. You will see that when wound up, or not fully unwound, the unit cannot take as many amps as when it is fully unwound. For a washing machine (that can draw close to 13 amps) they need to be fully unwound or they can get hot and overheat.Go to top of page
Can I install a washing machine in a bathroom?
A bathroom isn't an ideal place for a washing machine. For a start, if the bathroom is upstairs and washing machine flooded it could cause a lot of damage to the ceiling.
However, as far as the (UK) regulations go, it is OK to have a washing machine installed in a bathroom - as long as strict rules are adhered to. These rules are covered under the local authority regulations and need to be followed exactly. I don't have a copy of these regulations but one of the main criteria is that a person in the bath or shower (and presumably even on the toilet) should NOT be able to touch the washing machine. The washing machine should also be plugged in outside the bathroom and protected by an RCD.
If you must install a washing machine in a bathroom, seek out and consult the official regulations. Your local council will have them. Here's a site you can use to find your local authority
- Other related questions on Miscellaneous washing machine topics (part 1)
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Diy washing machine repairs advice
- DIY washing machine advice (part 1)
- DIY washing machine advice (part 2)
- DIY washing machine advice (part 3)
- DIY washing machine advice (part 4)
- DIY washing machine advice (part 5)
- DIY washing machine advice (part 6)
- DIY washing machine advice (part 7)
- DIY washing machine advice (part 8)