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Anyone know of a make and model of an integrated washer dryer that works well with low water pressure?

My plumbing system uses a pump and in order for the pump to operate the washing machine needs to allow enough water in and so bring the pump on. Can anyone help?

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There's no definitive answer but here are my thoughts. There will be a minimum amount of water pressure that all washing machines require to operate, which should be standard, but I'm sure there will be potentially critical differences between certain makes or models. The problem is that there is no research into this that I know of, and no published "time to fill" figures. Washing machines may differ in two relevant ways.

  • The speed of water flow into the soap dispenser controlled by flow restrictors in the water valves
  • The actual time their software allows for filling before timing out and aborting

These differences could be crucial if you have particularly low water pressure. It's definitely possible that some washing machines may work, while others would time out. I would expect that the cheaper washing machines are likely to have poorer designed soap dispensers, which would leak under high water pressure, and therefore have stronger water restrictors in the water valves to drop the pressure going in. I would also expect cheaper washing machines to have less sophisticated software and sensors too.

I can't specifically recommend a particular washing machine in this case but I would avoid the cheap ones. Miele built in washing machines are very expensive, but I know that Miele washing machines can have their software updated by an engineer, “for example to reduce its water intake or electricity consumption or adapt it to a new type of detergent or fabric” and it’s the only washing machine I know of with this ability.

If you contact a particular washing machine manufacturer it may be possible to get advice but it's a long shot to be honest. Most are likely to simply quote you the minimum water pressure requirements although it may be useful to compare (if there is any difference that is).

Possible adjustment for low water pressure in washing machines

Washing machine water valves usually have a flow restrictor inside the water valve. This is to prevent water going in too fast and possibly leaking out of the soap dispenser when connected to a high water pressure supply. This should always be left in place, but if your water pressure is so low that it causes problems, it may be possible to remove the water restrictor, which may increase water flow into the washing machine.

  • Turn off water supply
  • Undo water pipes from the valves (just unscrew)
  • Using pliers, carefully remove the plastic filter
  • Using narrow-nosed pliers, remove the small round rubber now exposed
  • Carefully remove the plastic flow restrictor (which is usually a tight fit). Warning: I can't guarantee that all washing machine valves have a removable plastic restrictor inside although all the ones I've seen do.
  • Refit the plastic filter. Be careful not to damage it, they are delicate, do not allow even a small hole to be made which would potentially allow something into the valve and cause failure.
  • Save the flow restrictor parts in case water pressure increases in the future or the washing machine is relocated

Background information:

In the old days washing machines were not timed on fill. Once they reached a fill position, the washing machine just sat there, and would do nothing until the water reached a certain level where it would trigger a pressure switch and washing or rinsing commenced. If you had very low water pressure, the washing machine just took longer to do a cycle but it always worked.

These days washing machines are controlled using software in the PCB. They effectively run a computer program. This means things like the time it takes to fill up with water are monitored and if the water levels aren't reached quickly enough the program times out and aborts the wash.

Pros and cons

We are discussing the downside to the modern software controlled washing machines here, but this problem affects relatively few people. The plus side is much safer washing machines. If an unattended washing machine developed a fault in the water level sensing system (pressure system) or developed a bad leak which meant the water poured straight onto the floor, a modern washing machine would abort the program and empty the water after timing out on fill, thus preventing a potential disaster. An old washing machine would continue filling – forever.


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I now have an article specifically about low water pressure and washing machines which should be helpful


Need an engineer, or to buy appliance spare parts? Please use my affiliate links to support this forum.

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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