[ot] tumble dryer buying advice

Hi,
It seems that my (condensor) tumble dryer bearings have failed (grinding noise when drum rotates). I can't complain; it is over ten years old. I understand they are supposed to be easy to replace, much easier than for a washing machine but...
I haven't quite worked out how to dismantle it. I have managed to get 3/4s open but not the 1/4 that I need to get to. I'm concerned that I may break something in the process of trying to get to the bearings ;)
Also, age and heat have taken their toll. I don't think the door is a perfect fit any more. I think it must have warped and some hot air is escaping at the top.
And the handle on the condensor has become brittle and snapped.
Although these are all little plastic things that I expect could be replaced, I worry that it might be cheaper to buy a new machine than buy lots of parts for this one.
I have had a look at costs and they seem to range from vented dryers for a couple of hundred to heat pump dryers that are several hundred pounds.
The walls of the utility room are not external, so I cannot drill a vent to outside. I do have an extractor fan but the ducting runs a few feet through the ceiling before it gets outside. I think this would be too long and unsuitable for a vented dryer?
I did wonder about these new heat pump dryers but they are a lot more expensive. I'm not sure why. I thought it was only a fridge inside and they are cheap enough. Whilst they may be A energy rated, I'm not sure that the energy savings over its life would offset the higher capital cost but I have not done the sums yet.
There also seems to be a tumble dryer that uses steam. Has anyone used one of those?
I don't have mains gas, so that rules gas out.
I was looking at Bosch unless you can recommend any other good make? It is not clear to me whether the Bosch only drain the water into the built-in drawer or can they be plumbed in? Plumbing in would be much more convenient.
TIA
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On 01/10/2012 11:44, Fred wrote:

We have one the Bosch A+++ rated heat pump dryers, took the plunge on the premise of the operating cost outweighing the purchase price. We use the tumble just about every day though, so energy consumption for us is maybe more important than initial cost. As far as operation goes it does seem to be good at drying clothes, they come out feeling dryer and cooler than our old tumble and it doesn't seem to dump as much heat into the room. Has sensor dry and the usual features you'd expect. It pumps the water in to the top mounted reservoir, I would have preferred a plumb-in option but emptying the reservoir is not too onerous. Not as quiet as it could be, it's pretty good on the rotation and fan noise but does clunk very loudly when pumping and cleaning.
D+G do an extended 5 yr warranty for a one off 80 squid, that sounded too good to pass up but also suggests they think it should be reliable.
See if you can find a dealer who can demonstrate or buy online with a good returns policy, but we like ours so far...:)
Lee
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On Monday, October 1, 2012 12:21:58 PM UTC+1, Lee wrote:

for the retailer it is.
I don't see much sense in the cost, effort, space used and time wasted in tumble dryers. http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Clothes_dryer
NT
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You don't have kids I'm guessing. I never needed one when I was single but our washing machine runs every night, and sometimes daytimes too. We simply can't get stuff dry quickly enough, though we do tend to do a "one day on the rack, finish in the drier" to save some money.
Paul DS.
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On Monday, October 1, 2012 1:12:55 PM UTC+1, Paul D Smith wrote:

Well, a tumble dryer really makes very little difference over a plain fan. Most clothes are dry in an hour with a fan, tumbler takes a bit less but not enough less to be of any significance imho. There's just nothing to gain, they're the emperor's clothes imho.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Press the button on the tumble drier, go off to the pub and forget about your clothes, they will be dry when you get back from the pub.
--
Adam



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On Monday, October 1, 2012 9:28:38 PM UTC+1, snipped-for-privacy@blueyonder.co.uk wrote:

Almost.
TD: Move clothes from washer to tumbler, switch tumbler on, hang clothes up when dry in 30-40 minutes.
Fan: Hang clothes up, turn fan button. Dry in 40-60 minutes.
And with B you can happily dry 2 double duvets and 4 pillows at once, plus all the bedding. And B takes a tiny fraction the energy use, a tiny fraction the purchase cost no floor space, and if its a ceiling fan, cools you in summer too.
No brainer.
NT
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wrote:

Sorry to reply so late.
I looked at the Bosch brochure. I was puzzled that both the B and C rated machines seemed to use 3.9kWh to dry a load, so I could not understand why they had different letter ratings.
If I did the maths right, the A rated machines save 90-120 per year based on one load every day. So they would pay for the extra outlay in a few years. I was quite surprised how much electricity they saved and if I don't say it someone else will, electricity prices will only go up.

I had an email from Bosch. They say you can buy an additional pumping kit for some models but not these as these are self-cleaning models. I guess they don't want to pump the lint into the drains? How does this self-cleaning feature work?
TIA
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On 09/10/2012 16:34, Fred wrote:

Bosch reckons between 1.1kWh and 2kWh per load depending on fabric type and how dry you want it. Sounds good to me ;)

Far as I can work out, it just means it pumps water over the condenser to keep it clean, this approach failed to work with the washer dryer we had so it remains to be seen if it works with this machine.... There is an additional filter in the water reservoir.
Note that there are others doing A rated heat pump dryers now, the John Lewis branded one, for instance, is quite a good price compared to the Bosch. No idea what it's like though.
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Do Meile do something in this line? They're pricey but our washing machine came with a Miele 10 year guarentee and it's thus far (5+) been both quiet and reliable.
Paul DS.
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On Mon, 1 Oct 2012 12:32:55 +0100, "Paul D Smith"

Miele do and their models do pump to a drain but they are over 1000 compared to the Bosch being 600ish. They must be lovely machines but I don't know that I can afford that much for one.
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Fred formulated on Monday :

We have a condensing dryer, but find it much more efficient to be able to simply hang washing up in the utility, in which I have fitted a fan and a automatic dehumidifier. The fan runs constantly stirring the air around the room and the dehumidifier then takes the moisture out of the air as necessary. Straight from the washer, clothes dry in a few hours usually done overnight.
--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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On 01/10/2012 15:12, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

That's interesting assuming one has the space in a room which can be heated. My wife has always insisted on using a tumble drier mainly because it leaves the clothes softer and there is much less need for ironing.
For many years we used a gas tumble drier which are I understand more cost efficient to run, but changed back to electric when we started doing the washing in the garage. Unfortunately I suspect now the efficiency is further reduced in the colder months because of the cooler and potentially much more humid air in that location...
j
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Why not do what I do... pay for reviews at www.which.co.uk I think it's worth 120 per year. They currently offer 1 for a trial month. If you can't afford 1, go to a library and read the reviews at no charge.
They reviewed 61 dryers and list the best ones. They also include user reviews from Which members.
They have exactly the information you're looking for (including factors such as heat pumps, condensers). I won't undermine them and post their top scoring dryers here.
Bosch and Siemens are both part of "Bosch und Siemens Hausgerte". If you like Bosch, you may also like Siemens.
I inherited a Zanussi dryer. I was very pleasantly surprised with the condensing function that allows it to operate without a vent. I don't mind emptying the water container. I was also pleasantly surprised with the humidity sensor that allows functional settings such as 'iron dry'. I'd definitely go for a humidity sensor and a condensor again.
Hope that helps
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On Monday, October 1, 2012 7:00:39 PM UTC+1, (unknown) wrote:

I took Which seriously a fair while ago. Real life experience of products they've reviewed has left me realising their reports were a waste of perfectly good time.
NT
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On Mon, 1 Oct 2012 11:00:39 -0700 (PDT), metric snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

as heat pumps, condensers). I won't undermine them and post their top scoring dryers here.
Their biggest omission is the date the item was tested. No problem if its a fresh review but if you do a search for previous reviews its very hard, often impossible, to find out if it was tested recently or 5 years ago.
e.g. Search for Tumble Driers produces "Which? review 90+ tumble dryer appliances condenser, vented and gas tumble dryers from Bosch, Hotpoint, Hoover, Miele, White Knight and Zanussi tested FAQs Compare features and prices Best Buys"
Click on best buys and I find top of the list is a machine with a "launch date" of Oct 2010, but further down the list is one launched in Apr 2006. No clue as to when the tests were actually done or if these machines have been replaced by newer models.
Then there's the dumbed down reviews with just a few stars replacing the detailed technical data they used to give many years ago when they started out.
Its possibly useful if you're researching a product new to you, but these days I don't consider it at all authorative. I keep meaning to cancel my subscription, perhaps I'll do it this time!
-- Phil Addison
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djornsk formulated on Monday :

No need for much heat, just enough to keep it a few degrees above freezing for the dehumidifier to be able to work. The freezer and the washers waste heat is usually enough heating, though there is a radiator in there if needed.
I installed six parallel lines along the 14 foot length of the util, with the fan blowing across the lines mounted on a wall, with the dehumidifier mounted on a surplus TV wall bracket next to it. The dehumidifier drain is piped away into the washers drain.
--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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On Mon, 01 Oct 2012 15:12:35 +0100, Harry Bloomfield

Sounds a good idea and I think NT was thinking along the same lines. I had thought of doing something like this before but my utility room is not big enough to accommodate a decent sized line. Like another poster said, having babies and toddlers, washing seems to be constant.
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