Can using a washing machine as a water reservoir at full capacity during several days (during a severe water shortage) damage the machine? I mean, can the weight of the water during several days exert anough stress on the parts (bearings, suspension, seals, gaskets and the like) so as to damage them? .. or is it safe?

It is top-loading, and it's 10 Kg (22 pounds) capacity. I'm not sure how much water the drum holds without any laundry in it.

  • I'd rather use a water heater tank myself, especially if you have magnesium anodes and a decent drain valve on the thing... – ThreePhaseEel Aug 5 '17 at 3:10
  • @ThreePhaseEel Not sure I understand your comment or you didn't understand the question. – Tulains Córdova Aug 5 '17 at 3:17
  • Just trying to give you other ideas about where to store water during a storage...or do you not have tank-type water heaters where you live? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 5 '17 at 3:19
  • @ThreePhaseEel Ah ok. Yes we have but they are already full and we need all the extra storage we can get. – Tulains Córdova Aug 5 '17 at 3:25
  • Ah, I see :) Perhaps a hot wash cycle on the machine with nothing in it would be good prep? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 5 '17 at 4:08

Just conjecture here, but I think you would be fine for a few days. They needs must design for unusual scenarios, like if you loaded it and then lost power before it could drain.

A top load machine rated for 22 lbs. is a large capacity machine, probably about 4.5 cu. ft. If loaded full of water without clothes (we will run with the presumption that it is designed to handle running with no clothes, because that could easily happen, in theory) 4.5 cu. ft. = like 34 gals. (~270 lbs.)

I will not address the concerns I have with actually drinking water that may have residue of detergent, bleach, and all manner of whatever got washed off of stuff. Better than dying of thirst I guess.


The stresses on the machine during the spin cycle far exceed anything it experiences standing still. And these things are built to take some abuse - the makers don't want a reputation of their product falling apart.

However, unless you bought it last week the internal parts will have a coating of detergent, hair, dirt, bleach and whatever else came off your clothes. Fine for non-drinking water. And before you ask, boiling will not make it drinkable - boiling kills bacteria, it rarely makes a dent in chemical contamination.

If you line the drum with plastic you will have a decent water store. Assuming your model does not have a central agitator a lawn-and-garden garbage bag should fit. Needs to be slightly larger than the drum or the water will stretch and tear it.

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