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Old 10-08-2012, 13:57   #1
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Washing Machine and Power

I am having trouble determining the typical power consumption of a clothes washing machine on a yacht.
The aim is to see if it feasible to run a 3-6kg small domestic 240v washing machine fom solar/ wind power.
The power specs quoted by the manufacturers seem very variable. Popular units like splendide and candy quote consumptions of around 1300w. This seems high and must indiclude heating the water.
Is it possible to do just a cold wash and if so what is power consumption ?

What about twin tubs? These seem to quote much lower power consuption around 350w, but seem to use more water and are physically larger.

I know there are smaller plastic machines with low consumption. Do these work long term ?. I would prefer a more robust small domestic model if the power consumption is feasible, but 1300w is too much.

If anyone can tell me if their small domestic machine can do a low power cold wash and what power it uses ( and for how long) I would be greatful.
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Old 10-08-2012, 15:37   #2
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Re: Washing machine and power.

We have a Eudora small (3.5kg) combo washer/dryer on board. It uses up to 2200 watts of power. The peak power consumption occurs during water heating. So yes, you can reduce that by setting it to cold water. While drying it uses about 1500 watts.

We run it off an inverter while motoring (driven by a Leece 110 amp * 24 volt alternator). Or off the generator. Works great, but it is awfully small, uses a lot of water, and takes a tremendously long time.

But a washing machine on a boat is, I think, a little like a dancing bear. It's not how well it dances, but that it dances at all . . .
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Old 10-08-2012, 15:51   #3
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Re: Washing machine and power.

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
We have a Eudora small (3.5kg) combo washer/dryer on board. It uses up to 2200 watts of power. The peak power consumption occurs during water heating. So yes, you can reduce that by setting it to cold water. While drying it uses about 1500 watts.

We run it off an inverter while motoring (driven by a Leece 110 amp * 24 volt alternator). Or off the generator. Works great, but it is awfully small, uses a lot of water, and takes a tremendously long time.

But a washing machine on a boat is, I think, a little like a dancing bear. It's not how well it dances, but that it dances at all . . .
Thanks for the information. It's nice to get some real world experience.

I guess my ideal machine would wash in cold water and spin to get most of the water out, so the clothes can be easily hung out or the final drying.
This should be possible with less power than 1500w, but it seems all the small domestic machines want to add heat and don't have an option to turn this off. This is fine on shore power, generator or even with the engine running, but we very rarely have any of the above.
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Old 10-08-2012, 17:33   #4
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Re: Washing machine and power.

We tryed to run a Spledide (spl) on a inverter and had to many problems ! hot or cold water ! if ya don't have the means to run it off the engine Alternator, or don't have a genny then ya mite as well go to a wash tub or bucket !! thats what we did, sold the washer! and went back to the old way !! on our new to us boat theres a genny and tons of water, so useing the washer thats aboard will be a lot easier!! just our 2 cents
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Old 10-08-2012, 18:59   #5
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Re: Washing machine and power.

I just have to hop in and suggest the bucket-of-warm water, detergent, dance a jig in a bucket, and hang dry method. Considering that onboard washer/dryers are no larger than a bucket, it makes sense.
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Old 10-08-2012, 20:55   #6
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Re: Washing machine and power.

I have a Candy Aquamatic 3.5kg machine. Fitted by previous owners and they just opened it up and disconnected the heating element before installation to get around the power issue. Ran off an 800W inverter, highest draw was on spin dry with the ammeter showing more than 60 amp draw. According to the manual draws about 1300W with the element operating
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Old 10-08-2012, 22:42   #7
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Re: Washing machine and power.

The Splendide doesn't heat water. It has inlets for the ship's hot and cold water supplies. The 1300W is for the dryer function. The washer itself takes very little power. Running on an inverter seems to be a problem though.
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Old 10-08-2012, 22:46   #8
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Re: Washing machine and power.

We bought a haier top loader from Lowe's. It's a compact unit. Wash and spin. Uses 600w. A brilliant little unit and only uses 7 gal on a full load, wash and rinse. It works from the inverter and uses half the power my daughters hair dryer uses
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Old 11-08-2012, 16:05   #9
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Re: Washing machine and power.

I've got a Splendide vented unit. It's important when comparing and looking at units to distinguish between the two. As mentioned earlier, the Splendide doesn't heat water - it draws hot water from the boat. The only time it heats, which is when it draws 1300W, is while drying, and that's ONLY for the vented version. I don't think the unvented unit heats at all, but I might be wrong about that. I do know that I've never hear anyone report satisfaction with the drying performance of the unvented units. The vented unit drys effectively, but it takes a long time.

As for power, mine runs of the inverter, and it runs off the generator PROVIDED I also turn off the inverter/charger. It appears that the charger function in the inverter interferes with the washer. It's very frustrating.
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Old 11-08-2012, 16:44   #10
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Re: Washing machine and power.

What type of inverter charger do you have? If you have a Xantrex Freedom the charge function stops working when the inverter is enabled. More clarification is needed on the type of inverter (max rated wattage), the battery bank size feeding the inverter and do you have supplemental charging other than just the inverter/charger?
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Old 11-08-2012, 19:25   #11
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Re: Washing machine and power.

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Originally Posted by Billylll View Post
What type of inverter charger do you have? If you have a Xantrex Freedom the charge function stops working when the inverter is enabled. More clarification is needed on the type of inverter (max rated wattage), the battery bank size feeding the inverter and do you have supplemental charging other than just the inverter/charger?
Bill
Are you asking me or the original poster?
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Old 11-08-2012, 20:36   #12
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Re: Washing machine and power.

The Splendide non-vented combo uses a lot of water in the drying cycle - more than in the washing cycle. Unless you have a large production water maker, it is not practical. The vented model uses alot of watts in the drying cycle - too much for an inverter.
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Old 11-08-2012, 20:58   #13
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Re: Washing machine and power.

Thanks I have 765AH's of AGM house battery supplemented with 450 watts of solar. I also have a watermaker, large enough water tanks and a 7.3kw generator. I planned on running mine strictly off of AC either dock power or while the generator was running and never planned on using the inverter for this task. I plan on using the vented model. I haven't heard anything positive about the Spendid non-vented unit. As for the hotwater I pan on mainly using cold water. I only have 12 gallons of hotwater.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:49   #14
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Re: Washing machine and power.

Thanks everyone for their answers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marinheiro View Post
I have a Candy Aquamatic 3.5kg machine. Fitted by previous owners and they just opened it up and disconnected the heating element before installation to get around the power issue. Ran off an 800W inverter, highest draw was on spin dry with the ammeter showing more than 60 amp draw. According to the manual draws about 1300W with the element operating
Disconecting the heating element sounds like a great solution.Candy have been recommended what model is it?

I don't know much about washing machines I am afraid to say. Even my wife has never used a front loader, so we are not sure how long the high power draw goes for and how much of the wash cycle is the machine pausing with low power draw.

Could anyone provide a ballpark figure for the energy consumed for a 3KG cold wash and spin.

I am thinking 15mins actual washing at 40A. 20 mins pausing using say 5A, and 5 mins spinning at 60A. (@12v)

This would be 10AHrs + 2AHrs+5AHrs=17AHrs.

Are these sort of numbers roughly correct, or totally wrong?
This seems low, but even doubling it or more it's still viable from solar and large enough inverter and battery bank.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:40   #15
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Hi nolex 77, I have a washing machine story I love to share, I bought a new portable twin tub washing machine from eBay

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MINI-WASH...item53ee41c15c

For $80 and quite frankly I still can't believe the value, I normally store it in my aft cabin and when it's full of dirty washing I bring it up to the cockpit to wash , I hook it up to a 300 watt inverter and I think it uses about half of that, living on a sailboat I must be mindful of water use while out at sea. I have two buckets one with soapy water and one for the rinse. No water goes to waste as it finally is used to wash the decks, it's light and non intrusive. My work invokes me to travel large parts of Australia and washing is such a chore am seriously considering putting some straps on it and making it a backpack, cheers.
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