Hotpoint WD64P washer dryer review
Independent washing machine reviews by a repairman with 30 years experience.
There's not much to shout about with this washing machine. It's neither rubbish nor great. The Hotpoint WD64P (UK) is extremely similar inside to the WM and WD range of washing machines that they've been selling for years. If you have had one, you know roughly what you'll be getting. Drum bearing failure has always been more common on these washing machines than it should be.
Hotpoint washing machines are easily repaired because most independent repairers deal with them. Hotpoint spare parts are easy to come by too. There's also a free 5-year parts guarantee with all Hotpoint washing machines.
This model is discontinued but there are still plenty of similar models around
NOTE: The "P" at the end of the model number indicates the colour (Polar white) Therefore the exact same model number (WD64) with a different letter at the end is the same washing machine in a different colour.
This washer dryer is virtually the same washing machine Hotpoint have produced for many years, which in turn was little different from the Hotpoint washing machines produced for several years previous too. If you have had a Hotpoint washing machine before and the model number started with WM or WD then this washing machine isn't really much different although there are definitely some improvements. (Hotpoint currently sell another range of washing machines where the model number starts with WMA. These are quite different to the WM and WD ranges)
One of my biggest criticisms of many washing machine manufacturers is that instead of sticking to a design and slowly improving it, they constantly redesign washing machines from scratch. This introduces constant teething problems and prevents developing a tried and tested washing machine. So, after sticking with the same fundamental design for so long, have Hotpoint managed to develop this type of washing machine into one of the best around? Well unfortunately Hotpoint are in a price war with many other similarly priced washing machines so they seem more concerned with just producing a washing machine that will sell competitively in their chosen price range rather than producing the best they can - which would potentially double the selling price.
The WD64P is bright white with matching door and control panel. Hotpoint have always designed aesthetically pleasing washing machines although here, the control panel looks a bit too busy as the controls for the dryer and the option buttons compete for space.
The build quality isn't cheap-tack, but it's in no way a quality washing machine either. The soap dispenser and dispenser drawer front are better quality than those seen on Indesit, Candy etc. and so is the casing and back panel. It's basically a little step up in quality from the budget washing machines but a slight step down from the Hotpoint washing machines supplied for the last 10 years or more that this washing machine is based on.
Usability of the washing machine
The controls are simple enough although a bit cluttered. The program timer is the older manual type so there are no electronic displays. Next to the program selector knob there is a manual spin speed selector knob which allows control of the final spin speeds, and the dryer timer knob. There are four largish option buttons.
- super rinse
- Rinse hold
- Time saver
Super rinse buttons remind me of the "bass boost" or "super bass" buttons on portable sound systems. If you turn them off, you can hardly hear any bass so they get left permanently on. For environmental and economy reasons, modern washing machines don't use much water on rinses. If you select a super rinse (or extra rinse) option it usually just makes the washing machine rinse "properly". This is achieved by simply using more cold water (as they used to) Therefore if you have skin irritations it's a good idea to keep this option selected for more thorough rinsing. If not, and you are on a water meter, you may find it OK to leave it unselected.
The Time Saver option is new, and claims to reduce the wash time on most programs by 25 minutes. It also reduces the ColourFast Cotton program (D - 60 degrees) wash by a whopping 43 minutes. This begs the question, how long does ColourFast Cotton take without the time saver button selected? The answer is, 160 - 180 minutes! This point is developed in the concerns section later.
Continued on next column ...
John Lewis are a great place to buy a washing machine from. They give at least 2 years guarantee on all washing machines and other appliances - and even 3 years on their own brand (plus 5 year guarantees on TV's).
Free standard delivery on all orders over £30
They've also been voted top of the customer satisfaction polls by Which? consumer association. John Lewis - the best? (external link to my Blog).
Review continued .. (starts in left column)
The parts inside the WD64 washer dryer
The parts inside the Hotpoint WD64P washer dryer are little changed from many previous Hotpoint models although there are some improvements. For this reason I'm particularly familiar with any weak points as I've repaired many similar Hotpoint washing machines in the past.
Hotpoint motors have always been fairly reliable apart from the carbon brushes, which wore out quicker and more often than any other make of washing machine I know. This motor now has far more durable carbon brushes fitted which counts as a big improvement.
The WD64 uses proper suspension dampers Not the best, but better than on more budget washing machines.
The pump is relatively quiet. It's protected by a filter but this filter is inside the sump hose and therefore (bizarrely) not accessible for the customer. The effect of this is potential unnecessary repair charges to clear the filter in the future. I've been called out to many Hotpoint washing machines with a filter that was caked in accumulated cotton material that a pump with no filter would have pumped down the drain, and a pump with a proper filter could have been cleared by the customer.
As far as I know Hotpoint are the only company to do this. Everyone else either has no filter at all, or a customer accessible one at the front. I feel that a filter at the front is pretty essential for a washing machine.
As with most washer dryers, this is a normal washing machine with a few modifications and heating parts added. The dryer section is simple to use requiring just a simple time selection. The high and low heat settings are built into the timer setting. The top time options are for low heat and the bottom ones are for high heat.
If you've had a washer dryer before you'll know what to expect. If not, and especially if you had a separate tumble dryer you could be disappointed. Read Washer-dryer, or separate washing machine and dryer - which is best?
- The belt can be adjusted if it gets slack (many can't these days)
- Nice rubber wings on the end of the drain hose makes it much less likely to slip out and flood
- Although there's still a delay before you can open the door, an indicator light informs when it can be opened
- No filter for customers to clean or retrieve coins and bra wires
- Door release method could be much better
- All option buttons are disorienting as they are reversed (see below)
- Design of option buttons attracts dirt and tricky to clean
Things I don't like about the WD64P
Hotpoint have unfortunately decided to stick with their ludicrous, wrong-way-round buttons and it continues to frustrate me each time I see it. For some bizarre reason, they think it's a great idea to reverse the operation of all the push buttons on these washing machines. Since push buttons were invented they have always worked the same way. When out, they are off (or not selected) and when pushed in they are on (or selected) What is the point of suddenly making all option buttons work the wrong way round? To switch this washing machine on, you turn it off. To select any of the four options, you de-select them. In my opinion this is being different purely for the sake of it, and offers no advantage - just disorientation.
The worst instruction book I've seen so far. It's just a folded pamphlet that opens out into a giant map-like sheet with 6 crease-defined sheets. It's basic and difficult to use. The result of cost cutting I'm afraid.
Door release button
There's nothing particularly wrong with the door release button other than it's small and requires pressing in with a thumb. Women with extended nails, or anyone with bad arthritis could have problems opening this door. A door release operated on the door itself by pulling a handle would be far better.
One thing to watch for with this washer dryer (and all Hotpoint washer dryers) is that Hotpoint put the water valves at the bottom right of the rear panel (looking from the front) Washing machines conventionally have the water valves at the top left of the back of the machine (as Hotpoint do with their ordinary washing machines) This means that if your water taps are in a cupboard and to the left of the washing machine, the supplied water hoses may not reach. This is exactly what happened to the customer of this washing machine and I had to fit extra long hoses for her ( Buy washing machine fill hoses including extra long hoses ). The extra distance from your previous washing machine's water valves to these valves could be approximately 3 feet so if you would be affected you may need to buy extra long hoses.
Long wash times
As mentioned above, the wash times for the ColourFast Cotton program (D - 60 degrees) are quoted at 160 - 180 minutes. This means the washing machine could be on for 3 hours doing just one normal wash. Apart from the inconvenience, this is going to wear the washing machine out quicker.
This appears to be a consequence of two things. First, modern washing machines use far less water than old washing machines and this can affect washing efficiency unless other design advances compensate. Second, washing machine manufacturers are trying to get their washing machines rated as high as possible with the new energy label rating system The effects of these two factors can make some washing machines perform poorly when tested by the labeling system.
A cheap way round this is to increase the wash times considerably (sometimes on just one program) to improve results. This is common practice particularly amongst the cheaper washing machines and many modern washing machines now have very long wash times. Unfortunately, the sales brochures and sales people are unlikely to give you this information and you may not realise until you've bought one.
Having said this, if you select the Time Saver option, then the wash time is reduced to 65 - 75 minutes, which is still long, but at least not outrageously long and not likely to be longer than most other washing machines these days. Also bear in mind that long wash times are common on most washing machines these days apart from the quality ones.
Summary: I put my summaries at the beginning of my reviews so people can quickly assess the washing machine.
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Please note that all information on Washerhelp is given freely and without warranty. I can't rule out errors in quoted specifications, features or sizes. Please double check any aspect that is important to you with your supplier before buying any washing machine.