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Can A Washing Machine Spin Without Water? (Read This First)

Last Updated on November 20th, 2022 - By Steve

Did you buy a new washing machine? Or maybe you have an old one and are curious about how well and fast it spins.

You’ve watched the machine run while water and clothes are in, but how about running the washing machine without water? Will the washer spin without water in it?

Yes, a washing machine will spin without water, and this is due to a feature called the automatic sensing function. This feature permits the washer to spin without water but stops mid-way when clothes are in the drum.

In this article, I’ll tell you more about the automatic sensing feature and give details on washing machines designed with this feature.

You’ll get to know how your machine will behave when you try to run a wash cycle without water. Keep reading to tap into this knowledge.

Will an Automatic Washing Machine Spin Without Water?

Can Washing Machine Spin Without Water

Yes, an automatic washing machine can spin without water. The feature possessed by a washing machine that allows it to spin without water is called the automatic sensing function.

The automatic sensing function detects the low water level or water pressure flowing through and distributes adequate water for the machine to run adequately.

Suppose there is no water flowing through the machine. In that case, the automatic sensing function prompts the agitator to spin for a while if it uses an agitator.

Usually, this automatic sensing function helps your washing machine until the first cycle and stops midway.

If you are considering getting a washing machine with an automatic sensing function. 

Here are details on some of these washers.

#1. Front Load Washing Machines

These machines possess automatic sensing functions, allowing even water distribution throughout the machine. 

Front-loading washing machines are known for their efficiency and ability to wash bulky clothes.

Front-loading washing machines are top-tier in efficiency. They use a minimal amount of water and electricity, and they get the washing done. 

Here are the desirable features of front-loading machines:

  • Front-load washing machines do not have central agitators that cause clothes to rip apart. 

You can wash your delicate fabrics with a front-load washing machine.

  • Front-load washing machines last longer because they do not possess a central agitator, which is tough on the hardware of washing machines.
  • Front-load washing machines produce minimal noise because the internal drum is stable.
  • Front load washers can accommodate 16 wash cycles.
  • Front-load washing machines have a built-in water heater.
  • Front-load washing machines can run an auto-error diagnosis.

Here are some disadvantages to front-load washing machines:

  • The front-load washer design makes it challenging to get clothes in and out of the washer. You have to bend to put clothes in, and the door locks mid-cycle.
  • Front-load washing machines usually have mold and mildew problems.
  • Front-load washing machines usually require frequent maintenance.

#2. Top-Load Washing Machines

Although conventional top-load washing machines cannot perform well with too many clothes at a time, they are very efficient. 

High-efficiency washing machines, however, can wash much more clothes than conventional top-load washers. 

Unlike conventional top load washers, high efficiency doesn’t have central agitators that take up space. If you are considering getting a top loader, purchase the high-efficiency model.

Generally, top-load washing machines are easy to operate and affordable.

Here are the desirable features of top-load machines:

  • The design of top-loading washing machines makes it easy for you to remove and put in clothes for washing.
  • Top-loading washing machines are very affordable.
  • High-efficiency top-loading washing machines use a minimal amount of water.
  • High-efficiency top-loading washing machines can extract water soaked in the clothes during washing properly. This feature simplifies the clothes’ drying process.

Here are the disadvantages of using top-load washing machines

  • The central agitator cleaning mechanism in conventional top loaders doesn’t work so well
  • Top-load washing machines usually make annoying noises
  • Conventional washing machines are not suitable for clothes with delicate materials because the central agitator is usually rough on clothes.
  • The high-efficiency top-load washing machines cause clothes to tangle
  • Conventional top-load washing machines cannot accommodate many clothes because the central agitator built into them takes up a lot of space.

If you get caught choosing between a top-load washing machine and a front-load washing machine, here is a table to simplify the comparison.

SpecificationsTop Load Washing MachineFront Load Washing Machine
Energy efficientMore energy efficientLess energy efficient
Gentleness on fabricsLess gentleness on fabricsMore gentleness on fabrics
Higher costsLower cost of purchase and maintenanceHigher costs of purchase and maintenance
CapacityLower capacityHigher capacity
Noise productionLarger noise productionSmaller noise production
Wash speedFaster wash speedSlower wash speed
StackableLess stackableMore stackable
Ergo EconomicsMoreLess
Cleaning performance Relatively less cleaning performanceBetter cleaning performance
LifespanShorter life spanLonger lifespan

Can You Test a Washing Machine Without Water?

Yes, you can test a washing machine without water. Doing this will help you check how well the machine agitates.

To test your washing machine without water, put a few clothes in the washer and turn it on. The auto-sensing function in the machine will allow the clothes to spin.

Although the cycle stops mid-way, you’d have gotten to know how well your washing machine’s agitator or spin cycle works.

One important thing to know when testing your washing machine, especially when you’re about to buy it, is that the inner part of the drum must be smooth.

Make sure that the surface of the drum is smooth so that you don’t eventually have to worry when trying to wash clothes made of delicate materials.

You can test the smoothness of the drum by using a nylon stocking. Rub the stocking along the surface of the drum.

The drum is smooth if nothing happens to the socks when you do that.  

Is It Safe to Run a Washing Machine Without Water?

Yes, it is safe to run a washing machine without water. However, it would be best if you only did this when you needed to test the machine.

Running the machine frequently without water can slowly cause the hardware to get damaged. At some point, an error code will start to pop up. 

You can remove the error code, but if it pops up a lot more, you’d have to spend to get something in your washer fixed.

What Happens If I Forget To Turn Water On In My Washing Machine?

If you forget to turn on the water, your clothes will remain dirty. The automatic sensing function in the washing machine will allow it to spin for a while and then stop mid-cycle.

For some washing machines, dumping your clothes in them and prompting the machine without adding water can cause it to display an error code. 

This error code would show up if your washer is very sensitive or already had issues, and then you finalized it when you attempted the washing-without-water process.

To remove the error code, click the cancel button twice and the power button once. 

If that doesn’t work, you can try removing the items in the drum and disconnecting the washer from power for a few minutes.

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