Saving Power at Home & Work

Washing Machine (Automatic)

The power consumption of an ordinary automatic washing machine was measured using a data logging meter.

washingmachineprofilThe graph above shows the way a normal washing machine uses electricity.


The machine tested was a Whirlpool AWM 815 Aquaprogram automatic washing machine. The dial was set to position 3 (which according to the manual is for “Colourfast Cotton”), the temperature dial was set to “Min” (please note that power used would increase significantly if this was set to a higher setting). The machine was then left to run through a normal cycle.


You can see a number of key characteristics:

  • The washing machine is almost entirely a resistive load. The kW and KVA readings coincide almost completely.
  • The spin cycle at the end of the program clearly uses the most power.

The summary figures for the test are:

Max. Power drawn 767W
Average Power drawn 174W
Max. Volt-Amps drawn 844VA
Average Power Factor 94.2%
Total energy consumed 0.26kWh

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