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Indesit W103UK washing machine review

Independent washing machine reviews by a repairman with 30 years experience.


The Indesit W103 is extremely cheap. It looks nice enough, and is easy to use. However, as with all the budget washing machines, it's cheapness is a double edged sword which could severely cut short its potential longevity.

My experience is that few people are prepared to pay out to repair cheap washing machines if they develop a fault after a few years. Even a straight forward repair could cost nearly half what you paid for it (unless you know a reputable local repairman) and a more serious repair can cost little less than a new one.

However, if you don't want to invest in a quality washing machine, you can still get good value for money from something like an Indesit W103 if you are lucky and you don't over work it.

As with most things in life it depends how you look at them. If the Indesit W103 lasted 3 years without breaking down, then it works out at just £66 a year. Even 2 years would only be £2 a week, and if it lasted 7 years it's a mere £28.42 a year. So the odds are you could get enough washing out of it for your money. It's just that they aren't very sophisticated, quiet, or maybe even as economical and efficient as one similarly specified but twice the price. Don't forget also that these days, people are far more conscious of the environmental damage washing machines cause by not lasting a reasonable length of time. Millions are dumped each year into landfill.

Latest info:

This model is discontinued.

Main review

Indesit washing machines have long been one of the cheapest washing machines available in the UK. I've always felt they were reasonable value for money but are they still? The one I've inspected cost just £199. The cheapest online price I can see is currently £175.

Make no mistake, this is the budget end of the washing machines so don't expect top quality. However, you could buy 3 of these washing machines for the same money as one Dyson CR01 washing machine (Dyson's basic model) and still have £100 left over. Or you could buy 2 Indesit W103 washing machines for the same money as a basic Miele W864 washing machine with about £50 left over.

So the question is, are you better off just buying a cheap washing machine like the Indesit W103 or should you pay two or three times as much for a quality one?

First impressions

The Indesit W103 washing machine is a nice looking but basic no-frills washing machine. You get simple controls and just two option buttons, anti-crease and economy. The plastic door seems surprisingly solid but the soap dispenser is flimsy and very small.

Unpacking the W103

The first thing I noticed was a leaflet stating that the power supply cable must only be replaced by an authorized service engineer. I've never come across this before, and inspecting where the mains cable enters the washing machine I could see that it goes directly into the mains filter suppressor so you wouldn't be able to replace just the mains cable. I find this highly unusual and can only imagine that it's cheaper to source the mains cable and suppressor combined. That's fine, but having to call out an engineer who will need to replace the cable and suppressor just for a damaged mains cable is going to be expensive.

To be fair, it's unlikely you will ever need to replace a mains cable, but this highlights a problem with buying very cheap washing machines. To call an Indesit engineer out, if you damaged the mains cable, would currently cost approximately £89 plus the cost of the mains cable & suppressor (£30?) which will be over half the purchasing price of the machine. Imagine the cost if the motor, programmer or drum needed replacing.

If you are interested in the pros and cons of cheap washing machines verses quality washing machines you might want to read Buying washing machines advice

Instruction book

I initially thought the installation instructions were missing until I found them (bizarrely) on page 10. Puzzlingly, the instruction book shows you how to use the washing machine before telling you how to unpack and install it.

The instruction book stated that you need to connect the hot water fill hose to the water valve marked with a H, and the cold hose to the water valve marked with a C, however there were no such markings on the W103 at all. The only way I could see which water valve was which, was because the filter inside one of the valves was red. This could be very confusing for a customer. Other than this, the installation was straight forward.

Continued on next column ...

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