Question about Washing Machines

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Dear, We have recently bought a Zanussi ZWF 260 washing machine but it appears that the water doesn't heat up so we can only do cold wash. I do have to say that we are running this washing machine on a 12kva diesel generator - this is the reason why we bought a manual machine as an electronic one doesn't work with the generator - but I am able to use my oven or a kettle so in theory it shouldn't be a problem unless the heating element is electronical and therefore doesn't recognize the power from the generator. We have checked if all the cables are connected and everything seems alright and for the rest the machine works perfectly fine. Any idea what the problem might be? Hope you can help... Kind regards, Birgit Van Mierlo ( 34) 662 249 162

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  • 6842birgit Apr 20, 2008

    We did check the connections and they seem to be fine, if you say that the electronic control board starts all the operations and the washing machine works fine except for the heating element then it can't be a problem with our generator or what? How do I check if the heating element is working?

  • 6842birgit Apr 20, 2008


    Thanks for your reply.

    Suppose the generator wouldn't have the right requirements, wouldn't this mean that the washing machine wouldn't work at all? If all the operations are controlled from the same electronic control board then it doesn't seem to make sense to me that everything else works perfectly fine.

    If you say the grounding could effect the heating element then I reckon that might be the problem as there is none, not on the generator and not on the electrical installation in the house. But here again, wouldn't this effect the use of our other heating appliances such as an electrical oven, microwave and/or kettle?
    I thought grounding was as a safety but didn't actually effect the working of the appliances...?




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Hi 6842birgit,

and with the indulgence of ginko....

I can think of only three (3) possibilities why the water pre-heater of your Zanussi ZWF 260 spin washing machine is not functioning as expected:
1. as ginko has posted, electronic or electrical and therefore would require a replacement unit from your dealer since it would be under warranty;
2. supply of generator is not compatible - even if your generator is rated at 12KVA and this washing machine is consuming 2.3KW, the generator must be able to conform to the washing machines requirements of 220~230VAC @ 50HZ; and/or
3. grounding system - most heaters and/or high wattage appliances/devices require some sort of grounding system. This system differs from region to region but the common denominator is there should be a grounding system, and that includes the source, which is the generator in your case.

If for whatever reason you would opt for a on-site remedy or a semi-temporary work around rather than return the unit to the dealer for a replacement or require that they provide service personnel, pls post back.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back as requested, how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Apr 20, 2008

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Apr 21, 2008

    Hi again,

    Appreciate the postback and I will assume that you would opt for an on-site user performed remedy and/or a workaround.

    Am I right to assume then that your genset is rated at 60Hz whereas the washing machine requires 50Hz? If yes, then 3 possible results; the washing machine's motor would run but not at the required 600RPM, the on-board electronics would also work since it requires DC and presumably there is an AC-DC converter inside and last, if your model uses the line's 50Hz as a time reference, then some functions may work differently since it will be getting 60Hz instead.

    Let's leave the 50/60Hz issue for a while and focus on the heater itself. Should you venture into a DIY, then it would be needed to determine if there is an open wire in the wiring harness or on the actual heater itself and test the heater's continuity with a DVM (multi meter) or at least a continuity tester. The ZWF-260 is not available in my country as even the brand Zanussi is known as ElectroLux. Having said that, then details at best would be generic and therefore, you would have to wing it. You need to remove at least one (1) of the electrical connection to the heater while doing a continuity test. Most heaters are less than 50 Ohms. Next to be checked would be the thermostats and the thermal overload cutoff. Often they would read as shorted (0 ohms). Some ElectroLux (Zanussi) models have been known to have temperature sensor problem as well as loose connector issues. You might find this page interesting.

    Should the above proved to be OK, then we go back to the 50/60Hz issue and the time reference. Pls verify if your other heating appliances are rated at 50 or 60Hz with particular attention to the microwave since it also uses an electronic control board. Both the electrical oven and kettle I assume are pretty much straightforward with no electronic controllers.

    I agree with you that the grounding is more of a safety feature rather than an electrical requirement. It's just another possibility for some design reason that the heater will not work if not properly grounded.

    Of course it is precluded that you are comfortable working with electrically powered devices and are aware of the safe practices involved.


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There is a control board, which is electronic, starting heating and all other operations,
First check that connections are ok and that the heating element is working, it can be a fault.

Posted on Apr 20, 2008

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