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Need To Buy A New Washing Machine


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#1 JohnFB

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:25 AM

I need to get a new washing machine as our AEG Lavamat 6100 is beyond repair as the drum is corroded and would cost too much too repair.
What would you recommend?

Originally was thinking of getting a Bosch m/c as they have always had a good reputation in the past. However on reading various opinions here Bosch don't sound as good as they used to be - build quality etc. Would like to get a machine that will last a good length of time, we had the AEG for almost 10 years. I have read here that it's better to get a cheaper 'good' make than a more expensive cheaper brand, but is this true for the Bosch machines as I thought the cheaper ones were now made in Spain rather than Germany.

We will probably buy from John Lewis and I can see that they have their own branded machines. Are these as good as Bosch/AEG ?
(I always thought that Zanussi weren't quite as good).

Miele and Siemens seem a bit expensive and Miele also seem a bit difficult to repair.

An engineer looked at our AEG yesterday (found from the Whitegoods website) and said the cause of the corrosion to the drum and mountings was because we had been using liquid detergent and it would be better to use powder instead as liquid detergent does not dissolve as well as powder. I had not heard this before and would never have thought of this. What are your thoughts on this subject ?

Also the engineer was recommending the ISE machine (5 yr parts and labour guarantee) which he would be able to supply, but am a bit wary of this as it is a complete unknown.

Hope you can help.

Thanks

 

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#2 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 04:43 PM

No Bosch aren't like they used to be although to be fair no one is. Even Servis washing machines used to be built like a tank 20 years ago. However, if someone is only willing, or only able, to spend 200 - 300 then Bosch is amongst the best ones to get. For now at least, they still have a decent reputation. You just need to be aware that these cheap prices come with a big compromise on build quality, repairability and longevity.

A Bosch could still last a good length of time, it's a matter of how long "a good length of time" is defined as. If you mean 10 to 20 years you'd need to be very lucky and a Miele is a much better bet. Some would argue that for 250 if a washer lasts 5 - 7 years it's a very good length of time for the money. A Bosch could easily last 10 years, but the problem is that if one of the major parts failed then repair prices would be a very high percentage of the purchasing cost, and few people are prepared to spend these amounts so you'd find yourself buying another one instead.

we had the AEG for almost 10 years. I have read here that it's better to get a cheaper 'good' make than a more expensive cheaper brand, but is this true for the Bosch machines as I thought the cheaper ones were now made in Spain rather than Germany.


Bosch's "quality" washing machines are sold under the Siemens brand. A basic Siemens is going to be better made than an expensive Bosch. Here's my thoughts on the subject in case others are interested -

( What's the difference between the basic and the top model of a range of washing machines? | If I buy a more expensive washing machine, do I get a better washing machine? )

John Lewis are excellent. I push them a lot on Washerhelp because as a long standing customer of theirs I feel confident to do so. Although they still run their famous "never knowingly undersold" pricing policy, I don't shop there because I expect they will always be the cheapest available (although they often will be) I use them for their undeniably superior standard of service ( John Lewis is nation's favourite store ) and the fact that if I did see the same product cheaper elsewhere later, they would price match it.


I've been meaning to write an article on this so I'll start it here and maybe do the proper article on the main Washerhelp site later.

Relative costs of a washing machine

In approximately 1972, a Hoover washing machine (spinning at around 700 rpm with around a 4Kg drum) cost 95 (model A3236). According to an online calculator ( Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2006 ) 95.00 in 1972 was the equivalent of at least 866.27 (in 2006 which is the latest figure available) "using the retail price index."

Also, according to a BBC news archive ( On this day: 1972 ) the weekly wage of a British miner was 25 (which is 108 per calendar month)

So in the early 1970s, a normal (not high quality) washing machine cost roughly the equivalent of 866 today, which was approximately just under a month's wage at the time. You can now buy a much higher spec Hoover washing machine for as little as 218 - which many people earn in less than a week.

You have to wonder how it is possible that a much higher spec washing machine can be bought for only double the price after 35 years of inflation. Washing machines haven't really benefited from the falling prices of the micro chip which accounts for much of the fall in computer and brown goods prices. A washing machine is mostly made up of metal casing, tubs, inner stainless steel drums and motors which can only fall in price either through cheaper labour, mass production (they tried all that) and finally reducing quality and using techniques that save production costs at the expense of accessibility and ability to carry out repairs.

The modern equivalent cost of the 1972 washing machine (866.27) is much more like the months-wage cost of the 1972 washing machine). I would conclude that assuming advances and savings in production costs and technology are able to improve on this price, 500 is a much more realistic price for a basic washing machine today but most basic washing machines are only between 180 and 250). It's no coincidence (to me) that something like a basic entry level Miele washing machine costs nearly 500. ( Don't forget that some expensive washing machines are still not high build quality and the money goes into more features instead - If I buy a more expensive washing machine, do I get a better washing machine? )

I don't claim this is a cast iron scientific comparison, it's too simplistic an approach to just do an inflation calculation although I have qualified it by acknowledging some legitimate reasons for a fall in price. However, I do believe it does puts things a into a perspective that many people miss. There are legitimate explanations for some of the drastic reduction in the costs of modern washing machines but a significant proportion of the cost savings for many washing machines have been found by constantly reducing build quality, and by reducing the amount of money spent on after-sales (in guarantee) service and repairs, as well as constantly increasing the price (and profit made) on spare parts. After 20 years of this, we now have lots of washing machines that simply aren't lasting and are often much more expensive in the long run. It's also now becoming clear they are causing unnecessary environmental damage by being scrapped way too soon. But instead of the public rejecting them, they are mostly rejecting the washing machine manufacturers that have not reduced their quality so severely, virtually accusing them of over pricing.

An engineer looked at our AEG yesterday (found from the Whitegoods website) and said the cause of the corrosion to the drum and mountings was because we had been using liquid detergent and it would be better to use powder instead as liquid detergent does not dissolve as well as powder. I had not heard this before and would never have thought of this. What are your thoughts on this subject ?

I have a section covering this - Causes of grease, slime and black mould inside washing machine and this recent topic also discusses the subject - Which Do You Prefer Washing Liquid Or Washing Powder And Which Brands?

Also the engineer was recommending the ISE machine (5 yr parts and labour guarantee) which he would be able to supply, but am a bit wary of this as it is a complete unknown.


The washing machine itself is not a complete unknown as it's made by Beko who have made washing machines for many years. The guys behind it are from the UK and specified improvements as well as securing spares at reasonable prices. The concept of the ISE washing machine is relatively new although it's only reintroducing the idea of a washing machine that is highly repairable and one that most independent washing machine engineers can easily fix and get reasonably priced spares for - which is how Hoover washing machines used to be up to around the 1990s. What is the ISE washing machine, and why is it different to other washing machines?

As with the quality issue, after sales service, cheaper spares, better repairability and a five year guarantee all cost money and this has to be part of the pricing calculations so you don't end up with a "cheap" washing machine.