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#1 apswan

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 03:34 PM

I bought a Samsung Washing machine from a large retailer on November 6th so is around 9 months old.
We have noticed a number of small holes appearing in clothes over the last few months. We eventually figured out it is the washing machine by checking every item before it gets washed, but originally blamed the kids or the cat or anything else.

The manufacturer say the machine is perfect, but spins so fast that it pushes the material through the holes and onto the sharp edges on the outer edge of the drum causing the damage. I accept that this is a valid explanation of what is happening, but wanted to see if anyone else had had a similar experience as I do not believe it is acceptable performance for a washing machine.
I have also checked for anything sharp in the drum. The machine has also been inspected by a repair company on behalf of the manufacturer who says it does not have any inherent flaws ( other than the fact that it appears to damage clothes)

According to the manufacturer if an item is spun too fast for the fabric, then damage will occur. My argument is my old washer spun at 1200 as did the last one before it and the new one. I have never seen this happen before. I do not know anyone else with similar problems. Most of the damage is to Cotton T shirt type fabric which has a mixture of washing labels, so there is no consistency there.
I have read many manufacturer sites, instruction books and web forums without a single similar mention of possible pin hole damage if spun too fast. Many Manufacturers seem to sell on the benefit of a higher spin speed. What is the point of 1600 rpm if 1200 rpm, eats your clothes?

Is it acceptable for a machine to make holes in clothes like this. I can accept that using a 90 degree wash on wool would ruin the material, but should a fast spin cause this type of damage?

Please let me know of other experiences or your professional opinion.
I am awaiting an response from the shop who so far have been very helpful but they are awaiting a detailed response from the Manufacturer.
Many thanks
AP

 

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#2 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 02:15 PM

Random holes in laundry can be caused by contact with bleach. Or even open zips, underwires from bras etc. They can also be caused if garments are catching in the gap between the drum and door seal.

If your laundry is being damaged by being forced through the holes of the drum and catching on the heating element or the tub itself it's something that shouldn't really happen. Surely no washing machine should damage laundry on spin even if the wrong spin speed has been set for the laundry being washed?

If you spin fabrics at too fast a spin speed you expect excessive creasing or even damage to fibres on woollens resulting in stretching. The idea that they could get holes in them isn't something I've ever heard. Are there any appropriate warnings in the instruction book? That is something like - WARNING: If you spin x fabrics too fast they can become irreparably damaged.? If this is genuinely what the manufacturer believes and accepts surely they have a duty to warn their customers.

Cottons can be spun at full speed, so if the damage is also occurring on cottons I can't see how it can be anything to do with spin speeds - especially if it's happening on 1200 which is classed as being pretty slow these days.

If the gap between the revolving inner drum and outer tub is too small, that could account for laundry scraping during spin.

Finally I have a comprehensive article which has attracted lots of comments and theories on my white goods blog here - Holes in washing (laundry)

#3 Jackie H

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 04:52 PM

I had exactly the same problem a few years ago with a Hotpoint machine-it was all on Watchdog at the time. I called in an engineer who stripped the machine down and found multi coloured scraps of material (ripped from my laundry!) all tangled up inside. I then insisted that Hotpoint sent engineers out and the fault was as you described-laundry getting pushed through the holes during spin cycles and getting caught on metal internally. It seems it then wound round and round at speed until finally the material pulled away-hence holes in the clothes. Coincidentally mine was almost always in cotton t-shirts as well. Luckily it was under warranty so I received a voucher to purchase another machine.

I then got a Zanussi one costing 550 that did exactly the same thing! Dozens of engineers came and went without finding the fault-but oh it was certainly there. My son went mad when I washed his designer t-shirts and they emerged with holes in-sometimes quite sizeable chunks ripped out. A few weeks ago I cut my losses and dumped the machine and bought a Miele with honeycomb drum-so far so good.

But you certainly are not alone with this problem, a friend of mine had the same experience with a Hoover machine and she too dumped it in favour of Miele. There doesn't appear to be any solution and in terms of ruined clothes it is financially a wise move to get rid of it-good luck.

#4 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 02:22 PM

Specific names aren't supposed to be mentioned in this forum but this problem doesn't seem to be restricted to a specific make or model so I'm not concerned about unfair focus on a particular company.

What drum capacity are these washing machines please? I'm wondering if it's related to bigger than standard drums such as 6, 7, 8 kg etc. where the clearance between the drum and the tub may have been reduced.

You are right in that the Miele honeycomb drum is much kinder to laundry as it doesn't have standard holes. ( Miele honeycomb drum pictures )

#5 apswan

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 06:46 PM

Specific names aren't supposed to be mentioned in this forum but this problem doesn't seem to be restricted to a specific make or model so I'm not concerned about unfair focus on a particular company.

What drum capacity are these washing machines please? I'm wondering if it's related to bigger than standard drums such as 6, 7, 8 kg etc. where the clearance between the drum and the tub may have been reduced.

You are right in that the Miele honeycomb drum is much kinder to laundry as it doesn't have standard holes. ( Miele honeycomb drum pictures )

__


My machine is a regular 6KG load, the holes in the clothes are too small to be caused by getting stuck in the drum clearance. The engineer and the Samsung helpdesk said that 'their machine spins for longer and faster and everyone should realise that if you spin fabric too fast it will get holes in it' I am please to hear that I am not alone in thinking that it should not.

I am awaiting a call from Samsung Monday ( 16th July) as it has been escalated to their senior customer support desk at my request. But I do not hold a great deal of hope. I can only hope that the Store will side with me and allow a change of product.

Thanks for the replies so far. Still love to hear any similar experiences.

AP

#6 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 08:27 AM

My machine is a regular 6KG load, the holes in the clothes are too small to be caused by getting stuck in the drum clearance. The engineer and the Samsung helpdesk said that 'their machine spins for longer and faster and everyone should realise that if you spin fabric too fast it will get holes in it' I am please to hear that I am not alone in thinking that it should not.

I am awaiting a call from Samsung Monday ( 16th July) as it has been escalated to their senior customer support desk at my request. But I do not hold a great deal of hope. I can only hope that the Store will side with me and allow a change of product.


As other contributors to this thread have shown, this "problem" is not necessarily restricted to one manufacturer. 6Kg isn't a regular size, it is larger than normal although it's starting to become common and is likely to eventually replaced the 5 kg drum as the standard size. The washing machines with larger drum capacities are usually not physically bigger in size. I'm wondering if the gap between the drum and tub has been reduced in order to help accomodate the larger drums.

I've been in the trade 30 years and I don't see it as obvious that if you spin certain fabrics too fast they will get holes in them, especially cotton shirts. As I said before, if that is their genuine belief they at least owe a duty of care to have an adequate warning to customers in their instruction books about it.

#7 apswan

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:11 PM

As other contributors to this thread have shown, this "problem" is not necessarily restricted to one manufacturer. 6Kg isn't a regular size, it is larger than normal although it's starting to become common and is likely to eventually replaced the 5 kg drum as the standard size. The washing machines with larger drum capacities are usually not physically bigger in size. I'm wondering if the gap between the drum and tub has been reduced in order to help accomodate the larger drums.

I've been in the trade 30 years and I don't see it as obvious that if you spin certain fabrics too fast they will get holes in them, especially cotton shirts. As I said before, if that is their genuine belief they at least owe a duty of care to have an adequate warning to customers in their instruction books about it.
__


Samsung have now replied and confirmed that they are unwilling to provide a resolution to this as the machine in their opinion is not faulty. It appears to be working to their specification and intent. i.e. if you spin certain clothes too fast they will get holes in them. I have escalated this to the store that I bought it from who are very sympathetic as they have never heard such a load of rubbish or had anyone else with a similar problem. So either I am uniquely stupid, other people are perfectly happy with holes in their clothes or the machine has a fault. Take your pick!!

AP

#8 peter

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:39 PM

Have you tried to see if the store will refund or replace as I believe your problem under 'sale of goods' is with the store not themanufacturer and they are sympathetic.
Adverse publicity usually works and I can remenber trying to reason with a store for several weeks and they would not do anything but 2 mins on local radio consumer program and was replaced within the day.
Same can be said of threatening to write to consumer or 'woman's weekly' magazines etc nobody wants their product dragged through the mud. i use the term 'womans weekly' not in a derogatory sense but it does work.

#9 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:02 PM

Interesting: The dilemma at the moment is that it is unclear whether the problem is widespread or not, in which case exchanging the washing machine may not resolve the issue unless it was exchanged for the standard 5 kg (tried and tested) drum size. One contributor has already stated that his retailer did replace their washing machine with a totally different make and the problem still occurred.

Initial indications are that many different makes of washing machine are affected by this "problem". The manufacturer in question has stated that the washing machine is perfectly okay. It's difficult to imagine a retailer replacing the washing machine under such circumstances other than out of good will. However, this doesn't mean that there isn't a design fault. A product with a design fault can still be tested and found to be working exactly as designed. Without the recognition or admission of a design fault the product would be presumed innocent by most engineers finding no obvious fault. At this stage it's the manufacturers who are currently judging the product and are unlikely to concede a design fault unless forced to. History, and my experience has proved this to be the case and I can recall several different instances where customers where initially blamed but design faults proved to be the cause in the end.

I've been in touch with washing machine repairers through my contacts on a trade only forum and several have already replied that they have had customers with this problem. Again, the makes involved vary. One supplier has told me that they supplied two different washing machines (of the same make, not already mentioned in this thread) and both damaged customer's clothes. One was a 6kg 1600rpm and another was a 7kg 1600rpm. Both of these washing machines were replaced with a 1400 rpm spin version and the problem apparently stopped.

Unfortunately it is still early days. I'm starting to suspect this could be a big issue but remain determined to stay open-minded unless it becomes clear that design is the issue. At the end of the day it is something that will come out sooner or later no matter what.

My suspicions are that it may be related to the larger capacity drums, and possibly combined with very fast spin speeds, but only when we have a lot more contributions from other people will a pattern potentially start to emerge.

It may even turn out to be that there is little that can be done about it if people want larger drums without physically larger washing machines. In order to fit larger drums inside the same space the gap between the revolving inner drum and outer tub is usually decreased.

To me there are two possible outcomes. Either it turns out to be an unforseen side effect of the way these washing machines are designed and even using the washing machines correctly could result in certain garments being damaged, or the manufacturers are right when they say it can only happen if customers use the machines incorrectly and spin certain types of laundry at the wrong speed.

If it's the former then it's going to be a big problem for manufacturers and if it's the latter then people should get much better warnings from manufacturers who at the end of the day are supposed to care for our laundry. If they are aware how easy it is to ruin laundry it should be printed in bold warnings on the instruction books. It is not common knowledge, nor is it even common sense to expect that spinning a garment at a higher than recommended spin speed will obviously cause it to get full of holes and become ruined.

#10 apswan

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 07:44 AM

Thank you for a comprehensive and unbiased professional opinion. I am now sending pictures of the damaged clothes to Samsung after much persuading. I am not hopeful, but it is possible that they will side with me. Currys have been very understanding and very much on my side, but will not do anything without support from the manufacturer.

Having looked at many alternate machines over the last few days, it is evident that some steel drums do have quite sharp edges around the holes which could snag on material. I guess its down to quality control, and good design to make sure that the holes are kept to an optimum size and the holes are punched deep enough to keep material out of harms way combined with a better process to minimise metal burrs around the edges. I seem to remember older machines having enamalled drums, or some similar coating that smoothes the edges of the holes. Stainless steel looks nice and clean, but maybe it needs more care in manufacture to make it good.
Maybe a lightweight synthetic drum such as cardon fibre woudl work, or maybe its too expensive?

Thanks

AP

#11 Jackie H

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:19 PM

Hmmm interesting! I go along with the theory it may be caused by bigger drums being fitted into normal size casings. I also had a tumble drier with a larger drum-good idea at the time. But within a few days of purchase the drum screeched after it had been operating for a short time. An engineer duly arrived who said the manufacturer was aware of the problem, caused by metal expansion then grating against the casing. Bigger drum but standard outer=screeching and grating when warmed up.

There was a modification kit engineer said, but when he looked it had already been fitted. So drier was exchanged without any fuss. But within a few short weeks exactly the same problem-the noise filled the house. Luckily I got a refund on that as problem was acknowledged by manufacturer. Now also got a Miele drier. Have spent soooo much money over the years on rubbish machines decided (after reading a lot of advice on here) to go for the best and cut my losses.

#12 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:59 AM

Thank you for a comprehensive and unbiased professional opinion. I am now sending pictures of the damaged clothes to Samsung after much persuading. I am not hopeful, but it is possible that they will side with me. Currys have been very understanding and very much on my side, but will not do anything without support from the manufacturer.


If you want to send an example to someone independent I have an address of someone who is interested in examining these holes.

Maybe a lightweight synthetic drum such as cardon fibre would work, or maybe its too expensive?



I imagine it would be too expensive yes.

#13 Russell

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 12:50 PM

I am glad that I have found this thread as my girlfriend has started finding small holes in her clothes. The most recent was on a garment that she has only washed once and was new last week. On it there is a pattern of the drum (as if the material has been sucked through the holes) and one of these 'patterns' has a small hole in it. I am not sure if this is snagging or just that the material is spun so quickly and the centripetal force is pushing the material through the holes as the water is 'squeezed out'.

The washing machine is of a manufacturer that has already been mentioned here, and it is interesting that people are finding similar issues with other machines.

I have posted my girlfriend a link to this thread and suggested she try slowing down the spin cycle, but I agree with most people's sentiments on this that regardless if the manufacturer thinks there is nothing wrong these appliances should not damage clothes.

If anyone hears anything more on this or has any suggestions then i would be very interested to know.

Thanks, Russell

#14 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 01:34 PM

Thanks for your contribution Russell. When a washing machine spins it is normal for the laundry to be forced through the holes of the drum although this usually affects softer items such as towels. Taking towels for example it is possible for bits of the towelling to protrude a good few mm through all the holes on the fast Spin. Clearly there needs to be enough of a gap between the revolving drum and the outer containing tub to prevent these bits of the laundry scraping on the heating element, heating bracket or the outer tub itself.

Certain items of clothing made out of nylon, polyester and other non-cotton items may not normally get forced through the holes in the drum so much, but one possibility is that some of the extra fast spins speeds are able to force them through which could be causing the problems. Whether the holing of certain laundry items is caused by extra fast spins speeds, or extra large capacity drums, or a combination of extra fast spins speeds with a large capacity drum is yet unclear.

If enough people specify exactly which drums size their washing machine has and which spins speeds the damaged items were spun at we are likely to build up a pattern and get to the bottom of it.

#15 apswan

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:47 PM

Thanks for your contribution Russell. When a washing machine spins it is normal for the laundry to be forced through the holes of the drum although this usually affects softer items such as towels. Taking towels for example it is possible for bits of the towelling to protrude a good few mm through all the holes on the fast Spin. Clearly there needs to be enough of a gap between the revolving drum and the outer containing tub to prevent these bits of the laundry scraping on the heating element, heating bracket or the outer tub itself.

Certain items of clothing made out of nylon, polyester and other non-cotton items may not normally get forced through the holes in the drum so much, but one possibility is that some of the extra fast spins speeds are able to force them through which could be causing the problems. Whether the holing of certain laundry items is caused by extra fast spins speeds, or extra large capacity drums, or a combination of extra fast spins speeds with a large capacity drum is yet unclear.

If enough people specify exactly which drums size their washing machine has and which spins speeds the damaged items were spun at we are likely to build up a pattern and get to the bottom of it.


Just to clarify the problem that I have and the current analysis from Samsung.
The holes in the clothes are being caused as many people describe by being forced through the holes in the drum. The damage is caused, not by the proximity of the outer tub to the drum, but by the sharp burred edges of the holes in the drum. Recently whilst the engineer was changing a faulty detergent chute and the machine was in bits, I could touch the outer edge of the drum and found the outer edges of many of the holes to be razor sharp. It is therefore highly likely that these sharp edges are snagging on the material, which when pulled back out during the wash, or as you remove the clothes at the end, cause fibres to be cut leading to the holes.

I do not think that this is anything to do with drum size, but believe it is down to the size of the holes and the depth that the holes are sunk into the surface of the drum coupled with poor machining or finishing of the holes. As I have said before, I am not sure how long stainless steel drums have been around, but older drums of a different construction did not suffer from this. Higher spin speeds make the whole situation more likely to occur as the material is forced further into the holes with the force.

One more area that I have found confusing is the lack of standard wash symbols on many modern machines. All machines used to have the 40, 60, 90 style temperature guides along with program variations for the - and -- symbols, whereas a lot of newer machines have settings such as Cotton, Synthetic, Coloured, delicates and Wool settings. Unless you take time to check what setting you are supposed to use by cross referencing with a chart it is possible to choose a program based on the material in use. I.e. Cotton for a shirt made out of cotton, makes sense? not if it is marked with a 40 -- symbol which means wool wash or a 40 - which means synthetic wash. Add to that the fact that most machines also allow speed and temperature to be set independantly makes for a more confusing operation rather than just matching the symbol on the clothes to the symbol on the machine.

Your thoughts welcome.

AP

#16 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 03:10 PM

Washing machine drums have always been peppered with small holes and they've been made from stainless steel for about 30 years. From the inside the drum is smooth but outside these holes are like a cheese grater and you can cut yourself on them. If a delicate fabric was expressed through them far enough it may be possible that they could snag on the sharp edges which clearly does not trouble things like towels and sheets.

So if the affected laundry should not be being forced through these holes but it is, then the issues should be related to faster spin speeds and with inappropriate fabrics being spun at these high speeds. Manufacturers may argue that if used correctly this damage cannot occur. If this is shown to be true then apart from not warning people properly about this issue it's hard to hold them liable.

If one or more holes is jagged or too sharp this can be tested for by stretching some nylon tights overhand and carefully rubbing all over the drum to see if anything catches on it. To be honest, with the problem being reported from so many different manufacturers it doesn't seem as likely that it is a manufacturing fault as it would if the problem appeared to be associated to just one make. One possibility of course is that something has changed about the way these drums are manufactured and that it is affecting many different makes. Many drums for example could be made by the same company for several different manufacturers.

To me this is a new phenomenon. If it is associated with higher spin speeds manufacturers really need to warn people in the instruction books that spinning certain items at too fast a spin can damage them.

As you point out, care is needed to choose the right programme especially with more delicate items. Attention needs paying not only to the recommended temperature but the bars underneath the wash symbol that also indicate the level of agitation and dictate the final spin speeds.

My experience is that a significant percentage of people do mix quite a lot of different fabrics and throw them in on the same wash. Many even use the same wash for almost all washing. If anyone is doing that and suffering from occasional damage to laundry they should look into whether the damaged items are being spun too fast or not.

#17 damianmkv

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 11:46 AM

Hi everyone

Glad that I have found this thread as recently I have been suffering from "smallhole-itis"...all are appearing in cotton T-shirts ( my designer ones :angry: + my son's ).

Our washing machine has a 6kg load, 1400 spin cycle and is around 1 year old. The instances seem to be getting more and more frequent...it is making holes in around 60 of T-shirts per week :o

The brand has not been mentioned on this thread yet.

I would certainly be interested on a positive conclusion :P

#18 MrsMorrison

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 09:39 PM

Prior to my currect machine I had a Hotpoint Aquarious Washer Dryer purchased in 2000 which made small holes in all our T shirts, if it happened to catch one at an outer edge it would often tear a whole strip of the material and leave the holey drum imprint on it.
I'm pretty sure it was a 5kg 1200 spin.
An engineer who visited for another problem told me it was common with this make.

Mrs M

#19 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 11:17 AM

I'm still investigating this issue and will post new information on my White goods Blog. My Blog article on the subject of holes in clothes is here - Holes in washing (laundry)

#20 Lovyan

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 04:10 PM

I just found this thread from performing a search on exactly this problem. I have been puzzled by the appearance of small holes in my tops for a few years now and have finally narrowed it down to being my washing machine which is a Zanussi and came with my apartment when I bought it new nearly 6 years ago. It's a new build and so the washing machine was new. Is the answer to turn the spin speed down? Mines currently on 1000. Will 900 be better or even lower? The last wash I did was a half load and I am really quite upset that my brand new top now has 3 holes in it. I really liked this top and it wasn't cheap!




 

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