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Will A Dishwasher Work Without Hot Water?

Will a dishwasher work without hot water

It’s true that dishwashers use hot water. The biggest reason behind this is that hot water has a better cleaning ability than cold water. It requires gallons of water for finishing an entire cycle of a dishwasher. And amongst all steps, the machine uses hot water for 2-3 processes only. However, these 2-3 processes make a big difference.

Now the confusion or usual query is, what if I run my dishwasher without hot water?  Here’s the answer. A dishwasher will work perfectly fine without hot water. It is not at all mandatory. Mostly because the majority of dishwashers come with a circular heating element at the bottom. This element takes cold water or normal water as an input and heats it up by itself. Generally, it requires water at around 120 F temperature. Then the machine will heat it up to 140-150 F temperature for better cleaning.

However, old dishwasher models need a hot water connection. But now technological advancement has enabled machines to work with cold water as well. So, if you are planning to buy a new dishwasher, it will work with both kinds of water, given some crucial dos and don’ts that I have discussed below.

Running A Dishwasher Without Hot Water: Can You Run A Dishwasher with Cold Water?

Most queries, I get about running a dishwasher without hot water, have the same context, ‘will it hurt my dishwasher?’

Well, one thing you must understand. Coldwater will not hurt your machine in any way but may create a huge difference in the performance.

As, hot water is far superior in cleaning and killing germs, using cold water to clean your dishes may not give you the same result. That’s it. Nothing will happen more than that.

The dishwasher won’t stop working if you are using cold water for your dirty dishes. It is not like there will be some technical issues or errors that can occur. Or the machine will not start or will stop working because you are adding cold water for the washing.

But hot water has better cleaning and sanitizing performance than cold water. And because of this, by default dishwashers are designed with hot water usage. Your dishes will get washed with cold water as well but you will notice the difference by yourself.

Read: How does a dishwasher water softener work?

What Would Happen If You Use Extremely Coldwater?

If you are using really cold water (below 120 F) then the dishwasher will attempt to heat it up by itself. But as the water temperature is not up to its requirement, it will use extra energy to make it hot enough.

Thus, increasing your electricity bill. Also, overworking a machine is definitely going to affect its longevity. So, if you are living somewhere, where the temperature of the water usually goes under 120 F then connecting a hot water supply with manual temperature settings is highly advised.

Read: Can you have a dishwasher with a septic tank?

Does A Dishwasher Use A Lot of Hot Water?

does a dishwasher need a lot of hot water

The average dishwasher uses 6-8 gallons of water per cycle which is a lot of water. Among which 2-3 gallons used is hot. Some dishwashers use even more. It differs from brand to brand. The advanced models use less water, electricity and come expensive too. Overall, out of the complete cycle, half of the water will be heated for various steps.

So, you can check with your manual. To heat up approx. 2-3 gallons of water up to 150-160 F temperature, is a big task for a dishwasher. It takes near about 1000 BTUs. Hence, can be a little expensive on the overall bill.

If you are concerned about the energy and water savings or your house has constraints with the same then the first thing you need to check is what kind of dishwasher will be suitable for you. I recommend going with the advanced models. Maybe they are expensive now but in the long run, they are worth it.

Read: Everything You Need To Know About Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Do Dishwashers Need Direct Hot Water Input?

Many buyers have this confusion – whether they need a hot water connection to use the dishwasher or not. Well, widely used designs of dishwashers come with inbuilt water heating elements. But nowadays there are many brands that are producing designs with direct hot water slots.

So, if your house has a hot water connection with manual temperature settings and you like to find a design that can work with your plumbing arrangement then, there are options available for you to check. Based on your requirements and preferences you can find your suitable design easily.

What if You Want to Add Hot Water Manually?

will dishwasher work with cold water

People who have an efficient hot water facility at their home can easily save money by selecting a dishwasher without an inbuilt water heater element. Dishwashers without thermostat are less expensive and it can also save some electricity bills as well.

If you are going for one like this then the manual will help. It will contain all the information you need for this process.

However, be a little careful about the temperature of the water. Since you are directly supplying hot water, always follow the prescribed temperature. Usually, water should not exceed above 160 F temperature otherwise it can really harm the machine. Modern innovations can withstand higher temperature. So read the manual carefully before using the machine.

Many brands offer free installation. So, you may get free help with the manual hot water supply.

Read: Best Cruelty-Free & Natural Dishwasher Detergents


In this article, we understand how hot water can maximize the cleaning efficacy of the dishwasher. But that does not mean, you cannot run it without hot water. A dishwasher is perfectly capable of using cold water. However, hot water aids in better cleaning. Also, manually supplying of hot water is possible. And if you buy a dishwasher with a heating element, it will automatically heat the water.

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