does cold weather affect washing machines

Does cold weather affect washing machines?

In this blog, we’ll answer this question and how avoiding this damage can help your washing machines survive a long time.

Your washing machine may experience serious damage if the temperature drops below freezing. There is a danger of water damage from freezing if you keep your washing machine in a cold place, such as a garage or an RV.

Keep reading to learn more!

What is the Usual Washing Machine Temperature?

washing machine temperature

The temperature has a significant impact on your washing cycle, and washing garments at the incorrect temperature might have a variety of negative consequences.

If you are experiencing difficulties with the temperature of your water, you should call your washing machine repair professionals. 

This is why most machines recommend a wash at 40 degrees Celsius. 

However, washing some materials at certain temperatures may provide many superior results, and determining which temperature to use is simpler than you would believe.

Does Cold Weather Affect Washing Machines?

washing machine affected by cold weather

In cold weather, you must wash your laundry correctly and carefully.

If you do your laundry carelessly, you risk damaging your washing machine and garments.

A hose fills the tub, and a pump removes the water after the washing is finished. 

So, it will freeze if you place your washing machine in a basement or garage against an outside-facing wall during cold weather.

When you come down with a load of laundry, you may find ice instead of water in your hose and pump. 

When ice is used in place of water, the water intake valve may break, causing catastrophic damage to your washing machine.

This, however, is preventable!

How To Use Washing Machine In Freezing Temperatures

how to use washing machine

A washing machine might be at risk all winter long if kept close or in a garage where temperatures dip below freezing.

However, knowing how to protect your washer from harm can help your equipment last longer.

Here is a step to step guidelines for using a washing machine in freezing temperatures:

1. Draining Water

drain water

One of the most effective methods to prevent your washer from frost damage is thoroughly emptying it.

There is nothing to freeze if there is no water in the machine; therefore, the cold should not harm it. You must disconnect the water supply lines.

Run a spin cycle to remove as much water as possible, then disconnect the drain line.

You may need to tilt the machine back and forth to drain any retained water.

To be thorough, use compressed air to blow out the lines and hand-dry the tub's interior.

2. Water Expansion

When the temperature in your washing machine falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water inside begins to freeze.

This indicates that the liquid will solidify and expand significantly. 

Because the water is often in a tight area within the washer, the growing ice may cause different elements to fracture or shatter as a result of the increasing solid’s pressure. 

The pump, hoses, and other pieces that retain even a little water may rupture, much like frozen water pipes in a house would.

This can cause leaks and major damage to the equipment, which will need to be fixed before it can be used again.

3. Hot Water Solution

use hot water solution

You may not want to disconnect your hoses and dry out your machine if you need to use it for washing, regardless of the weather. 

If you use your washer daily and can’t live without it during a cold spell, use it often to avoid freezing.

Turn the water on “hot” and run it intermittently, even if you don’t have any washing. The heated water will prevent the formation of ice.

4. Drip from the Faucet

Turning on a faucet at night, allowing it to trickle gently, is the golden rule for preventing pipe freezing in the winter.

You don’t need to turn on every faucet; one should do. 

This will relieve the water pressure, allowing the water to flow continuously through the pipes.

A dripping faucet can keep your washing machine pipe – and other water pipes in your house – from freezing since moving water needs very cold temperatures to freeze.

5. Shut Off the Supply

shut off water supply

If you are going to be gone for an extended period and freezing is possible, ensure you completely turn off the water supply to your washing machine and other equipment.

A washer, unlike a faucet, cannot be left leaking to avoid freezing.

6. Insulation

If frozen pipes are prevalent in your region, you might consider insulating your washing machine pipes.

Water pipe insulation is available at most home improvement retailers, including Home Depot and Lowes.

When the foam padding is placed around the pipe, it acts as a thermal barrier against the bitter cold of winter.

7. Winterizing

antifreezing for winter

Maybe your washer and dryer are outdoors or in an unheated basement. Perhaps you’re winterizing your summer house.

In both cases, a washing machine will be subjected to freezing temperatures. 

Even while not in use, washing machines may freeze due to water in the hoses and pump. Freezing water expands, damaging a washing machine’s pump and intake valves. 

If cold conditions damage your washing machine without being winterized, your warranty may be voided.

So, by draining any remaining water or combining it with RV antifreeze, you may winterize your washing machine and avoid this costly repair.

There are two ways to winterize and store your washing machine:

  • Draining the fluids from your washing machine
  • Use RV Antifreeze to freeze-proof your washing machine

Steps to Draining Your Washer’s Fluids For the Winter

draining washer fluids

Draining your washing machine of all water is one method for winterizing it. To begin, switch off the water supply taps.

Then, unhook the hoses from the water source and let the water drain out. After that, disconnect the washer drain line from the drain hole. 

The drain hose is the hose that connects the drain port on the washer’s bottom to the drain hole in your house.

Lay the drain hose on the floor, still attached to the drain port, and drain the water into a shallow basin.

Once all hoses have been cleared, tilt the front of the washing machine roughly 4″ to 6″ to drain any excess water in the pump.

Allow your machine to remain at room temperature for 24 hours before returning it to service.

It is recommended to put the hoses back together to the sink and shower drain before turning on the water taps.

How to Use RV Antifreeze To Prevent Your Washing Machine From Freezing

using rv antifreeze

You may also use RV antifreeze to winterize your washing machine. The antifreeze will keep the machine’s water from freezing. 

Begin by disconnecting the water hoses, turning off the water faucets, and letting them drain.

Then pour 1 liter of RV antifreeze into the basket. RV antifreeze is non-toxic and propylene glycol-based, making it suitable for washing machines. 

Run the washer for 30 seconds to mix the antifreeze with any remaining water in the pump. Finally, disconnect or turn off the washer.

When you’re ready to use your washing machine again, run water through the water pipes and hoses to clean the hoses after reconnecting the electricity.

Then, turn on the water and reattach the hoses.

Get rid of the antifreeze by running a lengthy, hot cycle with detergent or vinegar.

Notes to Take

notes to take washer

In cold temperatures, water in a washing machine’s input valve and the pump may freeze. Damage to the pump and valve bodies might result from this.

Non-toxic antifreeze, commonly branded RV, is all that is required to safeguard the machine. 

Here are the steps to follow when winterizing your washing machine:

  • Close both water supply valves (for cold water and hot water).
  • Pull the washer away from the wall to obtain access to the rear.
  • With your slip-joint pliers, loosen the hose connections at the washer. The cold and hot water supply hoses should then be unscrewed and removed.
  • Set the washer’s timer to FILL and the temperature settings to WARM WASH.
  • For 10 seconds, turn on the washing.
  • Lift the top and pour non-toxic antifreeze from the RV into the washing machine tub.
  • Connect the washing machine.
  • Set the washing timer to DRAIN & SPIN and run the machine for 10 seconds.

Before reconnecting the washing machine in the winter, make sure the hoses haven’t developed dry rot.

This may happen if you’ve been gone for an extended period, resulting in leakage, broken pipes, and expensive water damage. 

If you have a faulty hose, take it to a hardware store to replace it. If the hoses seem in excellent condition, just run some water through them (into a bucket) before rejoining them.

Final Verdict

Does cold weather affect washing machines? Freezing temperatures may do significant harm to your washing machine.

If you store your washing machine in an area where the temperature falls below freezing, such as a garage or RV, you risk harm from frozen water.

However, following the methods outlined above should keep your pipes from freezing.

Remember to insulate the pipes, leave the faucet dripping, and utilize a space heater.

Also, if you’re going away, switch the water supply to the washing machine during cold weather.

Thanks for reading!