Troubleshooting A Washer That Isn’t Getting Hot Enough

Clothes getting tangled in washer

Is your washer not getting hot enough?

You’re not alone! Washer temperature issues can be super annoying, especially when you want to wash fabrics that need hot water.

But don’t worry; you came to the right place for answers.

If your washer isn’t getting hot enough, you’ll need to double-check your water heater settings, inspect your water hoses, or clean the inlet valve.

Keep reading for warmer washing sessions!

In case you prefer to listen, here’s a clip from our podcast where we discuss why your washer isn’t getting hot.

Is Your Washer Not Getting Hot Enough? 3 Fixes to Try

Before fixing your washer, which is not getting hot enough, it’s important to mention that not having scorching-hot water coming from your washer is normal.

Older washers didn’t have temperature control, so when you did a hot wash, you were getting water at the temperature your water heater was set to, even if that was 130 °F (ca. 54 °C).

Now, with most washers, even a hot wash can only be about 103 °F (ca. 39 °C). I know this seems warm, but considering that our body temperature is about 97-98 °F, it’s not really noticeably warm.

Nowadays, laundry detergents are designed much better and will react to lower water temperatures, so even if you’re not getting scalding water, your clothes are still getting cleaned properly.

The bottom line is that unless you’re actually getting cold water, chances are you don’t have an issue on your hands. However, if your situation does involve cold water, here are some things you can try.

#1 Double-Check Your Heater’s Settings

If your washer isn’t getting hot enough, your water heater is likely not set to the right temperature.

If you turn off your heater from time to time to save money on gas, there’s a good chance you left it off without noticing.

Adjusting water heater temperature
If your washer is not getting hot enough, ensure you’ve selected the right settings for your heater.

And even if you didn’t turn off your heater, minor movements on the temperature dial can also affect how hot water comes out, so I recommend keeping an eye on your dial as well.

#2 Check the Hot Water Hose

When I see a washer that is not getting hot enough, I always check the water hose.

It’s possible that hot water is coming out of your home’s supply line due to sediment or other substance blockage.

Washers have two separate inlets for hot and cold water, and most laundry rooms also have two different spigots in the wall to connect a hose.

If the wall outlet, the washer inlet, or the hose is being blocked by something, only cold water will be delivered to your washer.

checking washer hose
If your washer is not getting hot water, ensure the water hoses are not blocked.

In my experience, the best way to check for an obstructed hose is by first looking at it and observing whether you can see the other side. Try running some water from one end to the other.

If the hose passes both tests, there’s a good chance the issue lies with the wall outlets/spigots or the washer’s inlet valves.

#3 Check and Clean the Inlet Valve

If you’ve tried the fixes above, but your washer is still not getting hot enough, it’s time to inspect the inlet valve.

As you wash clothes, limescale and sediment can build up, especially if you live in an area with hard water (water with a high mineral concentration).

In such cases, I always advise homeowners to take a closer look to see whether there’s a blockage. If so, it’s important to clean the valves, as the flow of hot water can be compromised.

Cleaning washer's water inlet valve
A clean inlet valve will let enough hot water through to solve most temperature issues.

Luckily, doing so isn’t too hard. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Unplug your washer from the electrical wall outlet.
  2. Turn off the water supply to prevent spillage and flooding.
  3. Carefully disconnect the water hoses from the Hot and Cold inlet valves.
  4. If you have a clear view and access to the valves, look closely at them. Check whether the screen inside them (designed to prevent debris from entering the washer) has sediment buildup or anything else that could be causing a blockage.
  5. Use a soft brush to remove any gunk carefully. Please be gentle; you don’t want to break the protective screen.
  6. Once you’re happy with your cleaning session, reassemble by connecting the hoses to the valves again and see if you have hot water.

Is Your Washer Still Not Getting Hot Water?

If you’ve tried the three fixes above, but your washer is not getting any hot water, I recommend contacting a professional, as there’s likely a more complex issue with your water heater or washer.

To rule out your water heater, my advice is to check whether you have hot water in your shower and kitchen sink. If so, the heater’s probably fine, and the washer requires more attention.

Provided you have a technician you trust, make sure to give them a call and ask them to check for anything that requires repairs.

It’s nice to get savings from trying to take care of things yourself, but doing complex technical repairs without the proper knowledge could render your washer useless and cost you even more money!

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you know why your washer’s water isn’t getting hot enough.

Remember, addressing washer temperature issues is very simple and quick. In most cases, making sure to keep the inlet valves clean and the water hoses unobstructed, as well as double-checking your water heater’s settings, should do the trick.

Thank you very much for sticking with me to the end. If you found this article helpful, please check out our other incredible resources below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

We have all sorts of solutions for everyday appliance problems, such as a washer that smells like burning, as well as useful guides, including one on washer best practices.

Have a wonderful day!

— Craig.

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more
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