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Old 31-08-2010, 04:57   #1
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Washing Machines

I'm running a 3000 kw Victron Inverter, can anyone advise what brand washing machine (front loader) will run on this inverter. We recently tested a Miele (too expensive) washing machine and it worked perfectly, we then bought a Ariston Washer and it couldn't run it due to sine wave (we think). We are allowed to exchange it but are trying to find a machine that will work ok but not as expensive as the Miele. Appreciate any help.
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Old 31-08-2010, 05:10   #2
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All washing machines should run on your Victron inverter provided they are rated for the same voltage and frequency. Sine wave form is what regular mains power looks like and should be compatible with any kind of appliance. It is cheaper inverters which don't have sine wave form which are incompatible with some kinds of electronics and some kinds of electric motors.

Other than that it is just down to power. I have not personally seen any washing machine which needs more than 3000 watts of power. Ours (a Eumenia Sparmeister washer/dryer combo) draws about 9 amps max at 230v, so a little more than 2000 watts. You should have a pretty free hand.

You will want to be putting power into your batteries somehow while running a washing machine on your inverter unless you have a giant battery bank. It takes quite a bit of energy. I guess you know this but I thought it worth mentioning. We use a generator, not an inverter to power ours.

Takes a lot of water, too. Washing and drying clothes on board is pretty resource intensive.
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Old 31-08-2010, 06:27   #3
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Some washing machine motors are capacitor start and will draw double or more the amps to start the motor. In Dockhead's example that would mean 4000 watts or more to get that type of machine started.
- - Also multiply the amps by either a factor of 10 (sometimes by 12) to convert battery draw by the inverter. Again in Dockhead's example you are looking at up to 100 amps coming out of your batteries for up to a half hour or so. The wires can normally handle the draw but the batteries will get very hot during that time. That is definitely not a good thing for the battery life.
- - Average small washing machine - like apartment or condo machines - use about 17 gallons (63 liters) during their 30 to 35 minute operating time. That is why is is very advisable to use a genset rather than an inverter to power the machine and a water maker to replace the water used.
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Old 31-08-2010, 06:39   #4
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Some washing machine motors are capacitor start and will draw double or more the amps to start the motor. In Dockhead's example that would mean 4000 watts or more to get that type of machine started.
- - Also multiply the amps by either a factor of 10 (sometimes by 12) to convert battery draw by the inverter. Again in Dockhead's example you are looking at up to 100 amps coming out of your batteries for up to a half hour or so. The wires can normally handle the draw but the batteries will get very hot during that time. That is definitely not a good thing for the battery life.
- - Average small washing machine - like apartment or condo machines - use about 17 gallons (63 liters) during their 30 to 35 minute operating time. That is why is is very advisable to use a genset rather than an inverter to power the machine and a water maker to replace the water used.
All very good points. One small remark: Victron inverters are conservatively rated and for continuous loads. They have quite a bit of spare capacity for startup load. I think the inverter will be fine, but you would have about 200 amps, not 100 amps, coming out of your batteries to run a washing machine which consumes 2000 watts, like mine, assuming you have a 12v system. It will not use the full 200 amps the whole time because the water heating element in the machine will not be in constant use, but still it's a lot of juice which will flatten your batteries if you're not feeding them with a big alternator.
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Old 31-08-2010, 06:59   #5
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I was thinking you had a 24V system since you are shown as in England.
Didn't even think about the water heater element - that is really a killer load. Maybe a Honda eu2000i or some similar machine would work for Hales63 if they do not have a genset built into the boat.
- - They should remember that battery life is a function of "cycles" (discharge and recharge) and such deep discharges would most probably really take a lot of battery longevity in terms of time out of their system meaning buying new batteries more frequently than normal.
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:08   #6
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
I was thinking you had a 24V system since you are shown as in England.
Didn't even think about the water heater element - that is really a killer load. Maybe a Honda eu2000i or some similar machine would work for Hales63 if they do not have a genset built into the boat.
- - They should remember that battery life is a function of "cycles" (discharge and recharge) and such deep discharges would most probably really take a lot of battery longevity in terms of time out of their system meaning buying new batteries more frequently than normal.
Indeed. Would be battery-killer.

European washing machines have longer cycles and I think they all have heating elements in them. My Eumenia machine uses 60 liters of water and up to 1.6kWH of power to wash a load of whites in 85 minutes. Drying them takes up to another 1.8kWH of power over another 85 minutes. 3.4kWH of power would be about 340 amp hours of power out of a 12v battery bank, considering the efficiency losses in the inverter. Considering the Peukert effect, this would entirely exhaust a 1000 Amp/hour battery bank.
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:14   #7
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I presume you have the battery bank appropriate to a 3Kw invertor, then its no problem. As an alternative to Miele, I;d suggest the Bosch range, though they also can be expensive. Of course go for CE energy rating class A for example the Bosch WAE24366GB has a rating of 1.02 Kw/h and a max 2300W draw, total water consumption is 45 litres, which is not a lot. This model has a fastwash cycle ( 15 minutes).

Its more then feasible to run this from an invertor.

My advice is avoid the cheap brands ( often the difference is about 100 pounds) like Zanussi, Ariston and especially Hotpoint, a lot are Chineese junk quality machines.

Dave
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:14   #8
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We have a non-vented Spledide but run it off the genset not the inverter for the reasons given above. The problem with this machinne is that it uses an extraordinary ammount of water in the drying cycle so we usually festoonn the boat with laundry for drying.
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:25   #9
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washing machine

This one works pretty well. Almost any inverter will do. Only need to invert it when done...

(sorry, just had too)
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Old 31-08-2010, 08:12   #10
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While on charter I put the washing in a big cooler box put water and cold wash soap in and tie to front of boat. It actually washes surprisingly well after 1.5hours. How good it washes depends on how rough it is. That said my wife has insisted on a washing machine on our new boat.
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Old 31-08-2010, 08:41   #11
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I recently was called by a friend to look at her European washer/dryer in her house. It was one of those "ventless" models popular in apartments/condos where they don't want to punch vent holes in the outer walls.
- - After downloading the maintenance/parts manuals, I was amazed that the drying cycle functions at all. The machines dry by heating the clothes with the heater element which causes the water to steam/evaporate and then additional cold water is streamed over the outside of a condenser chamber just off the main washing drum. the clothing water then condenses on the cool metal/plastic of the condenser chamber and is pumped out by the normal drain system. Also there is only one (1) water supply hose - the cold water one. The machines use an internal heating element to change the cold water to hot water (sort of hot) - there is a selector know for how hot you want it. So you cannot use your boats hot water heater which already has hot water in it.
- - According to the manufacturers manual, drying time is in the range of 4 +/- hours during which a lot of electricity and additional cold water is consumed. All in all, about as inefficient as you can get.
- - So if the only machine that will fit in your boat is one of these machines, do not use the dryer function, hang the wash out on the lifelines, etc. You might also consider using a "Y" fitting and hose to meter your own boat's hot water into the machine for the initial wash cycle versus sucking considerable electricity using the machines heater element.
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Old 31-08-2010, 15:19   #12
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Hi, thanks everyone for the advice. My husband has read them all and thinks ConradG is spot on with the bucket haha. We do have a watermaker. Reading Multihull last night my husband has found a Lightwave Yacht that is running a washer/dryer off the inverter so I will contact Lightwave this am to see what it is.
Thanks again...
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Old 31-08-2010, 15:45   #13
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Any wash machines with thermistors need a pure sine, not a quasi sine wave to work
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Old 31-08-2010, 15:49   #14
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Doesnt anyone use cold water detergents? I do most of my washing just on the cold setting so only the drum motor draws power.
Occasionally I do a 40 deg wash for towels and soiled work clothes.
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Old 31-08-2010, 16:17   #15
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This bad boy works wonders... (sorry)



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