Off Grid: Having a Washing Machine

vlcsnap-2017-02-10-20h36m35s989When Mark and I were talking about living off grid, we decided early on that we wanted to have as many modern conveniences as possible.  We both did not want to have to hand wash our clothes. So, having a washing machine was on the list of appliances that we wanted to have.  When Mark was figuring our power usage for our home he took the list of items we would have in our house that would take power and calculated how much power we would need and then designed our solar system to fit our power usage.

With being off grid for about five years now, I have to say that Mark did an outstanding job with our solar system.   We are able to use whatever power we need, like using our washing machine, pretty much any time we need and this is with minimal generator usage throughout the year.

Last summer our old Kenmore washing machine died and we had to purchase a new one.  There were three things we looked for when looking for a new washing machine.

  1. No phantom loads
  2. Least amount of water
  3. Least amount of power

These three things can be helpful for those of you who are off grid and on the grid.  Anything that can be done to cut the amount of power use will be of assistance to anyone.

Here is a little video talking about having a washing machine whether on the grid or off the grid and what to look for.  Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Off Grid: Having a Washing Machine

  1. Very interesting Krista. Even though we don’t live “Off the Grid”, we like to keep our power usage as low as possible, this will make me look at that usage sticker in my front load machine, your videos are always interesting, and useful, plus it’s also nice to see You and Mark. ❤

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  2. Great post. We’ve had our off-grid washing machine for 22 years now, since 95′. It is a simple Admiral (well named indeed). it is not as efficient of water conserving as the newer models, but it keeps running so we will wait to replace it. The amazing thing about the washing machine it that we used a Statpower 1500 watt Modified Sine Wave Invertor to power it for the first 15 years without any problems. Connecting this to your previous post about your fridge/freezer, 8 years ago we needed to upgrade from our 12 volt Nova cool fridge, which drew only 6 Amps @ 12 volts – but it was a tiny 3 cubic feet. We bought a new Energy Star 12 CubicFeet 120 volt Vestfrost fridge/freezer , and Chris Daum, (owner of Oasis Montana) urged us to only run the new fridge off a pure sine wive Invertor…. so then we bought a 4000 watt Magnum. Chris gave me quite a bit of her time to and she was so kind and helpful, even though I made it clear to her thay I would purchase from a Canadian supplier. By the way – her company website – – is an excellent resource for off-griders. One final thought… on your refrigeration post you mentioned if you travel away you have to leave your Invertor on to run the fridge, which of course has quite an idling draw of about 60 watts or so. Our new invertor can be put on standy mode which draws much less power (5 to 10 watts) but it turns the Invertor on when it senses the load. This eliminates the ghost load. On the down side, no other small electronics (security cameras, etc) can be operated on standy-by, which is a bit of a catch 22.

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  3. Hi, Thanks for the video !
    I also had the idea to connect the washing machine to hot water with a thermostatic mixer in order to manually choose the right temperature. This avoids the machine to heat cold water with electricity, which consumes a lot of power. That way, you can use the hot water from your stove.
    The temperature would be less precise, but I think it should work.
    Is it what you have done ? Looking at the video, I noticed 2 water pipes coming in behind…

    We have acquired a small mountain sheep farmhouse in France. There’s nothing ready inside and plan to renovate it. We are still looking for good tips !


    • Blandine,
      Thank you for your comment. On your washing machine question, we use hot water that is pressurized and plumbed through the wood stove during the winter and use a propane tankless water heater for the hot summer months. See our other posts hot water from the wood cook stove and our off grid water system. Feel free to post any questions you might have.


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