Getting back to our wonderful WT2780 - shades of deja vu as yet again I go traipsing around the internet for clues...
This thread is particularly interesting, as the guy clearly has techical nouse regarding the drying issue of his Miele model (4 web pages via link) -
And here they give photos of the dubious dryer unit itself:
What I think I've learned so far is:
- the element for the dryer unit sits in a metal box above the drum - I assume either air passes over (drying) or a mix of air and water passes through (for the ritzy 'steam' function
- this element box may not be part of the 'rinse out fluff' and/or able to be descaled* - fluff definitely collects there causing overheating (and the need for initally a reset, but eventually a manual delousing).
- the fan unit is positioned at the bottom of the machine, and is the most difficult item in the machine to access and take apart (according to at least one Miele engineer, resulting in Miele only offering to replace the entire unit (at £400), though a competent amateur is able to take apart and clean (with time and effort).
- the fan unit may have some inherent design fault, as part of the gubbins frequently gums up and has to be meticulously cleaned and re-assembled periodically
- the rinse out fluff feature fails to work properly as designed, leading to people having to use long pincers to jiggle and extract gungey fluff which has turned to something ghastly and practically immovable over time
- one German owner commented that when he took the fan unit apart, he was appalled at the cheap quality of the electronics (he could have been a bit of an exaggeration merchant)
- one (satisfied) German owner commented that the machine was great, but had two key flaws - a) that it broke down if you did not use Rinse-Out-Fluff, and b) that it broke down if you did not use the drying feature every so often (interesting, as obviously we haven't been able to recently)
*the comment about the descaling/rinsing of the element box, or absence of, is what really intrigues me. As mentioned, we do use the descaler and cleaner as advised - but I am now wondering how this stuff is routed within the machine. Basically the instructions are just 'throw the powder in the drum and run at 60+ degrees'. Not mechanically minded, but I assume that this does indeed clean the drum and main element (as it sloshes around) and does indeed clean the hoses leading down to the pump and outlet (as the powder circulates and eventually disappears via the outlet).
But the big question is... does the powder ever make it in liquid form to the element box on the top of the drum? - if the steam function does involve water being passed over the element there (as opposed to the main element in the machine), then obviously descaling is required there.
Ditto, does the cleaning powder make it around the air pipes leading to the top element box? I assume not, but given that the technically gifted user has photos to show the way fluff accumulates there despite frequent Rinse Out Fluffs...
I'm determined not to go to my grave without finding the answer to these fascinating mysteries... mainly because if Miele have indeed designed a £1500-£2500 machine in such a way that fluff-clogging is inevitable even if users follow their advice, and fan-gumming and eventual failure and a £400 bill is also inevitable, then...
... the 'designed for 20 year lifespan' is clearly a load of old c*bblers, as far as WT models are concerned, and consequently innocent little ole' customer such as yours truly and others are due either a totally free overhaul or ideally a brand spanking new machine and 10yr warranty to go with it (I can dream).
But what we really need is some decent anonymous Miele engineer to come on here and spill the beans (or correct the assumptions of myself and others). C'mon, surely there must be at least one in the UK who knows the washer/dryers inside out and is willing to tell all?!
(failing that, does anyone have a PDF manual for people to pore over?)
p.s. having had washer-dryers since they first came out, I remember our first was an Indesit - and taking the top off, there seemed to be what looked like an industrial steel hairdryer lying flat on the top. Not an elegant solution, and there was often fluff in the usual filter down below which needed scooping out every other week, but on the other hand it flaming well worked more reliably than this precious Miele! (suggesting that for washer-dryers at least, Italian smarts beat German smarts).