Crunch, bang, power off (500mA RCD, so non-trivial) and now the
washing machine is probably a goner.
Tomorrow will be time to pull it out (more trouble to wrangle it out
of the cupboard space than in fixing it!) and to strip it to see just
what's broken. However it's a 20-ish year old Hotpoint and probably
not going to be worth the fixing.
So assuming I buy new, what do I get? What do you like / dislike /
find works OK on new low temperature detergents? No rugrats, nothing
weird needed, I just want to avoid future DIY work on it.
I'm thinking a simple-ish Bosch front-loading wash-only. No idea about
Bosch Logixx range should give you something fairly solid that actually
works and stays working - and easy to source parts, for a reasonable
price. I have a couple of Bosch Logixx appliances (dishwasher and dryer)
so if the washing machines are of similar quality it should be OK.
Or, if you can justify it - low end Miele (I have one). Washes quietly,
doesn't walk around the room on spin, sensible programmes and seems to
wash and rinse very thoroughly.
The low end Mieles have a similar feature set to the top end Bosches but
with better engineering.
Apart from obvious stuff like using bloody heavy cast iron blocks to
weight the tank down, lots of little things are quite pleasing:
Lets you open the door at any time in the start of a programme to add
stuff, except under exceptional conditions like the water is *too* hot
(eg 95C wash).
Lets you open the door when it has just stopped spinning rather than an
arbitrary 2 minutes after it removed power to the motor.
Locks the control a few minutes into the wash and flashes a light to
tell you the rugrats have fiddled (but not suceeded!) - not a problem
for you, granted.
All little things but they point to a thoughtful process of design that
hopefully includes less visible facets...
Interesting in that I'd never have justified a Miele (we have a Bosch,
admittedly very good - but seeing the list below, and considering how
often we come up against the limitations you mention below, and cursed
resoundedly, makes me think we should have bitten the bullet:
You'll be telling me next it *doesn't* have a loud warning beep which
goes off at two minute intervals ad infinitum, to tell you the wash
cycle is finished... :(
Hah. We called the engineer out to our Bosch when it was still quite
new, because it was regularly throwing a wobbler during wash cycles;
however he couldn't find anything wrong. We later realised that the
problem was the cats jumping up on to the utility room worktop and
randomly punching the touch-sensitive buttons on the front of th machine
- now solved by a 600mm panel of Contiboard which sits on the top of the
machine, below the worktop, and gets pulled out like a canopy each time
the machine is switched on.
Doesn't beep at all!
Unlike the Bosch dryer that shouts like a demented MiL - have feeling
that at least that can be shut up with a user-programming option, or
maybe that's just the dishwasher - must look at the manual...
I hate shouty appliances.
OK - Miele is catproof too - unless they can hold the door open button
down for 10 seconds :)
Yes, but .......
when it ceases to work, as some day it inevitably will, you're in big
trouble because service is horrendously expensive, only Miele
servicemen can clear fault codes on some newer models, and you can buy
a washing machine of another make for the cost of some of the fairly
routine spare parts.
The quality is better than average, but I had a pump fail on one
earlier this year -- impeller shaft fractured because it manifestly
wasn't up to the job -- far too small a diameter and poor quality
steel. I used a pattern replacement for under £60 -- the Miele part
would have been about twice that by the time I got it delivered.
Miele have some dirty tricks up their sleeves, too. Main solenoid-
operated inlet valve wasn't opening properly on the one in our holiday
cottage. But all three solenoid operated valves are on the one block
and can't be replaced individually. A repair by a Miele serviceman
would have been well over £200 and not worth it on a nine year old
machine, so I simply parallelled the connection to the main-wash and
pre-wash solenoids and told my wife to use the right hand section of
the dispenser tray for the washing powder :-).
I have two Miele washing machines in current use. Yes, I like the
machines. But I don't like the company. Nice machines -- but all
washing machines are a gamble. With Miele machines the stakes are
higher and the manufacturer is of very questionable ethics in terms of
the provision of spare parts and service at a fair price.
This brings me to the case of a relative. People buy Miele washing machines
because they are reliable. People are scared stiff of the down time when a
washing machine stops, so much they are prepared to spend to reduce down
time. A sort of insurance.
A relative was contemplating a Miele. It was to go in the garage. I
persuaded them to buy two mid range washing machines and stack them. The
cost was still less than the one Miele.
The advantages were:
1. No washing down time. If one breaks down there is always one working
until the broken machine is fixed.
2. The two are cheaper than one Miele
3. Twice the washing can be done at the same time, so no washing strewn over
two days. Double the load. Whites in one, colours in the other. The full
family washing is done quickly.
4. The two washing machines last twice as long as the load is shared, as
they are used only half the running time of one machine. Far less wear on
They saw the logic and went for it. They are still using the same machines
after 15 years. Only one has one broken down and when it did they could
still do the washing.
Excellent idea if you have the room. We could squeeze an extra one into
the utility room side by side I guess but I wouldn't want to stack
washing machines without some serious racking.
We went the Miele route on the last machine after the previous two
lesser models blew bearings etc. After four years the Miele has been
faultless and it's used daily mostly. It wasn't that costly - about £580
as an end of line from Comet. It's a major piece of machinery though -
or at least, it's very heavy - but seems to have less electronics to go
I know it's a Slovenian company -- although the group now includes
Asko of Sweden who actually build the ISE machines as well as machines
under their own name. Once had a dishwasher from Asko -- lasted quite
well. And spare parts for Gorenje aren't too bad -- they're available
from UK Whitegoods.
However, not to have material properly proof-read their public website
shows a sloppy attitude and, in this instance, reveals crass ignorance
of geography. If they employ crassly-ignorant people in one
department, they're likely to do the same in other departments. If
none of their UK staff have even read the website, then it doesn't say
much for them. Nor does it say much for them if they have read it!
Would they ever have the competence to get a repair person to the
Slovenia is a little bit further than from the Isle of Wight than my
own address in the North of Scotland, but it's only the difference
between 700 miles and 1000 miles, so if I can get it right, then they
should be able to. If they're selling into the UK market they should
get it right.
I doubt it was the Slovenes who created the website, more likely a UK based
agency. So while a sloppy website might say something about the quality of
staff in their UK sales and marketing office it doesn't have much to do
with the quality of the manufactured goods.
* It says something about the quality of the agency they employed to
create the website
* In fact, the whole website is a masterpiece of non-communication
* It says something about the quality of staff they employ in England
that they wouldn't even check the website, or, if they did check it
and didn't notice that whopper, then they must be a bunch of plonkers.
Yes, perfectly good equipment can be let down by poor-quality
representation in an overseas market, but it's usually the local
representatives you have to deal with when even the best machine
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