5 Reasons Why Your Washing Machine is Not Heating Water

A washing machine not heating water has multiple causes. These include a bad heating element, a failing control board, a dodgy thermostat, or even bad wiring. It needs further investigation to confirm the actual cause. 

Let’s take a closer look at the problem to see what is preventing your washer from heating its water and see what we can do about it.

5 Reasons Why Your Washing Machine is Not Heating Water

I’d like to point out that the causes below usually require a skilled technician to work on them. Honestly, they’re almost always beyond the ability of the busy 9-5er who doesn’t repair household appliances as their main vocation. 

Bad Heating Element

A bad heating element is the proverbial elephant in the room. 

As mechanical failures go with washing machines, it’s first on my list because it is the top contender. It’s confirmed when the appliance displays an error code. But don’t rely on this because some appliance models do, while others do not. 

Accessing the heating element – depending on whether it’s located at the rear or the front of the appliance – requires removing at least one panel.

Once done, use a multimeter to check for a successful ohm’s electrical reading. This confirms if the element is done for or if it’s alive and perhaps another problem is the true cause. 

Heating elements are quick to slide out and slide in a replacement. But the exact part of your appliance make, and model is needed, or it won’t fit. 

NTC Failure

The NTC is a neat little technical thing that communicates with the main control board, letting it know the current temperature. 

Based on this information, the control board determines whether to enable or disable the heating element to warm or stop warming the water. 

The NTC is replaceable, but the part number needs to match what the washer model requires. An appliance technician is needed when things get this serious.

Failing Control Board  

The main control board is vulnerable to power surges and general failures. 

It is made up of a programmer module and a control module. Both help send signals back and forth to different operational parts inside the appliance. Modules, for example, are especially vulnerable to power spikes or surges. 

Damaged control boards and circuits are repairable. However, it is often more trouble than it is worth because there could be multiple faults in the modules or the programmer unit. The initial fix might not catch every issue, prolonging your repair inconvenience. 

Getting the entire control board replaced as a single fix is the better option. It avoids suffering through a gradually cascading series of control board faults stretching over several months.

A professional technician can complete the work on your behalf.

Thermal Overload Cut-out Failure

Washing machines include a thermal overload cut-out element. Its purpose is to trigger the heating element to disengage when temperatures are abnormally high. 

Some thermal overload cut-outs are installed inside the heater; others are separated. 

The thermal overload part may be failing. If so, it could be tripping the heating element to disengage, believing its senses overheating (which never occurred). As a result, the water never gets a chance to heat up. 

An appliance engineer needs to check for this when examining the heating element. 

Bad Internal Wiring

If there is no issue with the NTC relaying information back to the control board, the thermal overload is fine, and the heating element itself isn’t faulty, then exploring other ideas is necessary. 

Bad wiring is sometimes an issue. Low-quality wires quickly degrade performance. A wire may have gotten snagged, frayed, or burnt out. 

A multimeter is used to check electrical readings for wires inside the machine. However, there are lots of wires, some of which may require disconnecting and/or removing parts to access other areas.

This is something for a technician to figure out whether a bad wiring is causing all the trouble. 

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