I'm trying to calculate exactly how much water is spent per washing machine use (medium water-level with a soak-wash-rinse-spin cycle).

On the last page of the manual of my washing machine (Samsung - WA6550B9), it states that the "water usage" is 164 litres. However, a tub of water at its "high water level" is only 56 litres:

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Why is the "water usage" stated to be 164 litres?

Even if it's a soak-wash-rinse-spin cycle, wouldn't it use approximately two tubs of water? Yet 56 litres × 2 is far from 164 litres.

How do the numbers add up? What exactly is the 164 litres of water usage referring to?

  • My washer goes through a lot more than just a single rinse cycle ... and it doesn't back fill up the whole way each time.
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 1:33
  • @Joe, There's still some oddity with the "water usage" number. It seems to suggest that its fixed and not dependent on the water level or function used. How is this possible? What exactly is the 164 litres of water usage referring to?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 1:37
  • 2
    You might have to contact the company ... I can think of two possibilities : it always uses the same amount for rinsing, therefore the usage would be (164 + load size - displacement) or that because of the displacement of clothes, they just average across all load sizes. ... and in this case, but 'displacement', I mean 'the volume taken by the items being washed'
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 1:42
  • 1
    I'm sure there's an industry standard for how this is measured. Heck, I'm sure there's a government standard since this would be part of the Energy Star calculations.
    – keshlam
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


[It's very probably measured on high] edit - nope there's an average of sorts - if you'd like a very tedious read, the (US) government procedure is here, at least for some point in time. Beware, it's govenmentese...CFR-2011-title10-vol3-part430-subpartB-appJ1

It takes considerably more than two tubs of water to wash and rinse. Rinses may be multiple, and there may be water sprayed into the spin portion of the cycle for additional rinsing. In many cases the "clean" clothes will still make suds and or dark water if you run another wash cycle with no new detergent, so even that much water may not really rinse things "clean" other than the sense that we normally accept that when the machine is done, we call the clothes clean...

This is a good quick read about washing machine test standards, but does not really address "what size load do they test on" from what I can see.

My dishwasher actually told use per cycle options, and that made me suspect that there the "normal" option is the one in that standard, as every other cycle used more water.

  • Could you summarize some of the information from the links provided, just in case the links ever go bad.
    – Tester101
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 10:17

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