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What Is a Semi-Automatic Washing Machine?

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  • Written By: Kathy Heydasch
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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A semi-automatic washing machine is one step above washing clothes by hand and one step below washing clothes with an automatic washing machine. An independent and self-standing appliance, a semi-automatic washing machine does not need a hot and cold water source attached to it. This is because water is added during the wash and rinse cycles manually.

Ancient methods of washing clothes by beating them against rocks have been replaced by more and more technological advances in washing that make the job infinitely easier. One of these is the invention of the semi-automatic washing machine. This machine makes washing clothes much easier than doing it by hand, but it’s not as technologically advanced as the fully automatic washing machine.

With a semi-automatic washing machine, one would place a load of clothes inside a tub inside the washer. These washers are normally top-loading, so the door to the machine would be on top of the appliance. Once the clothes have been added, water and detergent must be added manually for the wash cycle. An agitator inside the tub moves clothes in and out of the water, washing them thoroughly. Then the water has to be drained and then re-added for the rinse cycle, and then drained again for a spin cycle. Some semi-automatic washing machines have two tubs, one for washing and rinsing and one for spinning.

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A fully automatic washing machine is hooked up to a hot and cold water source. Water is automatically added for wash and rinse cycles, then the same plastic drum spins the clothes to remove excess water. The functions of the two washing machines are the same, but the fully automatic washing machine requires less labor and no manual water source. This is the more popular washing machine in developed countries throughout the world.

In countries that are not as developed as Britain and the United States, for example, sales of the semi-automatic washing machine are growing by leaps and bounds. This is because in developing areas, access to automatic, installed hot and cold water sources are extremely limited. The semi-automatic washing machine removes the need for a continuous water supply since water is added manually at different parts of the washing cycle. The emerging markets in which sales are up include Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Even in developed countries, however, a semi-automatic washing machine might be ideal in apartments with no washer/dryer hookups or in small homes with limited space.

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