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Why Your Washing Machine is Not Heating Water

washing machine heater not working

Washing machines and dishwashers, how could we live without them?

Today, we rely on machines to handle big cleaning tasks more than ever, which has freed up our time to do more of the things we enjoy, and improve our downtime around busy work schedules.

There’s nothing like a washing machine breakdown to make you appreciate how valuable these appliances are in our lives. When they work every day, we hardly notice them, but when they fail, they’re all we think about.

Aside from a washing machine not draining, a washing machine that no longer heats water is a common fault and one that seriously affects your machine’s ability to clean dirty washing properly.

You’re probably dealing with this issue now, otherwise, you wouldn’t have read this far. So, let’s work through this together and get your washing machine back to heating water and cleaning clothes.

Why Your Machine Isn’t Heating

Like other household appliances, washing machines are among the most heavily used helpers and many of the components they use to wear out after a few years. If the heat fails during washing, this can not only happen due to worn parts. This can also be due to the electronics, which are either defective or have to be readjusted. The possible causes are:

  • Heating element damaged
  • Damaged wiring
  • Damaged sensor or thermostat
  • Faulty program switch or electronics
  • Blocked air value
  • faulty water pump

As you can see, the reasons for your machine, not heating water can be varied and often require specialist knowledge and tools to locate the exact fault.

Most of the causes can only be resolved through a check or repair. Heating elements are notorious for causing this fault and are connected to the control board via electronic connections, which can also be damaged. You can do a visual check of the wiring and solder joints yourself without having to be a specialist. To do this, open the back panel of the machine and have a look at all the wiring – see anything burnt out or disconnected?

Check Error Codes

Before going to the trouble of opening the washing machine, you should pay attention to whether your machine displays any error codes on the control panel during or after a cycle.

This is important and your first port of call, since modern premium washing machines in particular have large clear displays and sensors inside the machine that recognize problems and provide you with an error code to fix.

Depending on the manufacturer, these differ, of course, and for this reason, you should look in the instructions for use of the machine and look for the code. This saves you possible repair costs because you know in advance what the problem could be. Of course, that’s not the case with older models as some of these machines only have basic control dial and buttons.

Checking Inside

You are probably wondering why you only open the back and the lid of the machine here and not the front. This is mainly due to the door and the way the machine is put together. The washing machine door is quite difficult to take off and even trickery to put back on if you don’t have the skills. Therefore, you should only remove the two parts mentioned to get a look inside at the wiring, as these can be removed easily using a screwdriver and a little force.

Here are the steps to check inside your washing machine:

Step 1: Unplug the washing machine from mains power and pull the machine forward to access the hoses.

Step 2: Turn off the water inlet valve and then remove the hoses. You should place a bucket under the openings to catch water spillage.

Step 3: Empty the hoses into the bucket or sink and place them aside.

Step 4: Now you can open the rear panel by removing the screws with a screwdriver. There are usually 2 – 4 Philips screws holding this panel in place.

Step 5: After the screws have been removed, you can carefully remove the panel to expose the inside of the machine.

Step 6: You can now see the inside of the washing machine. Check all possible power cables and soldering points here, and see whether any are broken or burned out. Also look for kinks, because even these could cause the heating elements to fail. Likewise possible loose contacts.

Step 7: In the upper right part of the appliance, visible through the cover, you can discover the control board of the machine.

Step 8: Cables can work their way loose from vibrations of the machine and are easily plugged back into place.

Step 9 If you can solder, you could repair any broken joints yourself, otherwise, get a pro.

If you have discovered possible sources of damage, you should definitely inform the technician, as this can rule out certain causes. Of course, this has an impact on the price, as it doesn’t have to stay that long or unnecessarily check components, which costs time.

Because of this, through this check, you can at least have an idea of ​​what could be the cause of the problem. After that, it is necessary to have a specialist carry out the necessary repairs if you do not have sufficient experience in the field of electrical engineering yourself.

Possible Repair Costs

If you have to have your washing machine repaired by a technician, depending on the party at fault and the time involved in replacing it, your costs are hard to estimate so always get a few quotes to get the best price.

If your warranty has run out and you don’t have appliance insurance, then you have to cover all repair costs yourself, which can be quite expensive for washing machines. Of course, everything depends on what is needing to be replaced, and when it comes to washing machines that won’t heat cold water, these parts can include the following;

  • Fault diagnosis
  • Replace heating elements
  • Repair electronics
  • Replace the pump
  • Replace cables
  • Replace motherboard

Fault Diagnosis

Fault diagnosis is essential before any repair or quote can be given. A qualified professional use diagnostics equipment and industry experience to pinpoint errors, and will advise on the level of repair. Always shop around, get at least three quotes and thoroughly investigate the business before initiating any repair work.

Small faults such as clogged pipes and filters can be fixed there and then very cheaply.

Heating Elements

Replacing a failed heating element sounds a lot more expensive than it actually is. Since the heating element is one of the most common parts at fault when a washing machine has stopped heating water, these parts are produced on mass and are easily accessible.

These elements can be permanently damaged by limescale, so it’s a great idea to clean your washing machine regular with descaling agents, this is especially important with older machines plumbed to a hard water supply.

The price of the heating element will depend on the manufacturer – Bosch, Beko, Candy, AEG will have their own elements, but generally, they’re priced around £30 for the part, and get a few quotes for the labour cost if you can’t fit it yourself.

Internal Electronics

The repair costs for the electronics are difficult to calculate because numerous electronic components in the machine can be damaged. If the main control board is burned out then this will likely be the most expensive to fix. Small wires and electrical connections, switches, and sensors are cheap.


The pump is a hard-working moving part of the machine, and without it, there will be no water being pumped to the heating element for heating or pumped into the machine for washing. It can clog, and wear down, which can cause heating problems for the water.

Cables and Small Parts

A direct cost analysis is not possible here, as each component requires different connections. However, these costs are among the lowest and are often not even included in the bill.

Is it worth fixing a washing machine that won’t heat up?

It is necessary to analyze whether it is worth repairing the washing machine at all. Depending on the age and condition of the machine, you should do without this if it is already quite old or has had to be repaired frequently.

Especially if the repairs accumulate over a short period of time, you should rely on a new device, since an inspection can cost enough money. If you still have a guarantee on the device, you should make use of this, since a problem with the heating elements of the washing machine is often not a fault of a third party, but a direct problem with the machine itself.

If you are not sure whether a repair is worthwhile, you can get a cost estimate from the respective technician. This effectively reduces possible repair costs and you can easily invest in a new machine if necessary.