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We have a washing machine plumbed into (cold water only) a non-mains supply from a low header tank in our flat. An old 1bar minimum machine (Bosch) used to repeatedly time-out on fills. Could be prodded to carry on from where it had left off, but pretty annoying. We eventually (when that broke) replaced that with an AEG which supposedly worked down to 0.5bar and that did seem to be much better behaved. But recently it too started misbehaving. Timeouts on fills, but also the conditioner drawer compartment didn't seem to be getting any water.... instead of dripping through the roof above the conditioner, the water just seemed to be dripping down at the back of the drawer. Checked and cleaned all the intake pipes and strainers. No obvious issues and no improvement . Checked the water pressure by a "bucket fill" test: 3-4litres/minute. Which is interesting, because back in February 2009 I posted on your article here https://www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/low-water-pressure-and-washing-machines/comment-page-4/#comments that we were getting 5. Some information with the old Bosch machine claimed the 1bar minimum should produce 8... so something seems to have happened to reduce our water pressure below the machine's 0.5 bar minimum (and so not too surprising we were now having issues). Unfortunately the header tank is pretty inaccessible (in fact I only just discovered where it is; what I thought was it actually turned out to be for the central heating's pressurization), and it has so far strongly resisted attempts to get a closer look at it. Maybe this is all down to something as simple as a dead mouse blocking the tank outflow... but if it is I've no idea how we're going to do anything about it. So instead I went down the route of what your low-pressure article said not to bother trying and got hold of a flow-activated pump. Sticking a takeaway container in the detergent-and-conditioner drawer got me an estimate that the machine would take 0.75litres/minute when the intakes were activated, so I looked for the lowest flow-activation I could find and got one which triggers on 0.5l/minute (most are up nearer 1l/minute it seems). Pump claims to be 2bar pressure BTW. Initially it looked like it was going to work pretty well: with the pump assisting, the flow into the machine became a magnificent cascade (compared with how it had looked before anyway) and it filled in record time. However, there seems to be a fatal flaw. On the machine's quickest 30 minute wash, the pattern of intake (there are a couple of electronic-activated valves at the machine intake, each controlling a pipe to the detergent or conditioner compartment sides of the drawer) seems to be: 1. Via the detergent drawer. Full pumped flow. Great! 2. Via the conditioner drawer. However valve seems to only partially activate and flow is insufficient to trigger the pump. With the pump in the circuit, flow is even more of a trickle than it was before and we get a timeout and the conditioner drawer doesn't get any water. 3. Via the conditioner drawer again but this time the intake valve seems to fully open, the pump kicks in and the conditioner drawer gets flushed/syphoned out. Great! 4. Via the detergent drawer again for a final rinse. Full pumped flow. Great! Further, we note that on the "wool wash" cycle the initial fill also seems to do the thing with the initial fill that it only partially opens the detergent-compartment intake and water just trickles in (resulting in timeouts of course). So, not a success or a solution. The thing which really surprised me was that the intake valves seem to be able to select between (at least) a couple of flow rates... I'd have assumed they'd have no need to be anything other than either on or off, and if they did just do that, the pump would probably be a pretty good solution. In fact I did initially think there might be some issues with the valves "sticking" but the flow pattern seems to be so consistent between cycles it must be under the machines control. I'm quite curious as to what the reason for it is though. However, looks like a real solution will involve figuring out the reason for the pressure drop and/or getting at that inaccessible header tank. Or getting the machine plumbed into the main (which must pass quite near it on its way under the flat to the kitchen). Either way, looks like time to get a pro in.
Hi having had my bosh w/m for about 3 yrs over the last 18 months all items washed are rough . Towels feel like sandpaper . Have tried various powders , gels etc ,conditioners items still the same. This is my second bosh I was pleased with the last one so brought another not so happy with the present one . Has anyone else had this problem if so how did you resolve it pleaz Kate
Hello all, Firstly, Andy, this is really a great site with some fantastic information - bravo! . Now, the great debate between powders and liquids - a personal annoyance of mine, so please excuse the rant ahead. I thought I'd provide as much info as I can. This is a question that I find comes up again and again. Everyone has a preference, but here are some of the facts. There are 4 main types of laundry detergent available - powder, tablets, liquitabs, liquid. I'm goig to focus mostly on powder vs. liquid as tablets are just ready-dosed powder and liquitabs are ready-dosed liquid. Laundry detergent also comes in 3 different formulars - biological, colour and non-biological. ALL detergents contain anionic surfactants. The term "surfactants" is actually quite a broad term, but when used in context of laundry detergent, this is essentially the soap part of the detergent - the bit that foams up and performs the main cleaning act. Non-Biological powder detergent contains oxygen based bleaching agents. This aids with stain removal and keeps white items looking white. These also aid with hygiene. Biological powder detergent contains less oxygen based bleaching agents, but adds in stain removing enzymes to help break down stains on clothes (in the same way that enzymes work in our saliva to break down food). Again, the oxygen based bleaching agents are present to aid stain removal, keep clothes bright and keep everything hygienic. Colour powder detergent is the same as Biological detergent, only this does not contain any oxygen based bleaching agents. In theory, this is to keep colours from fading (I say "in theory" because dye particals are ALWAYS going to run in water, regardless of the detergent used - it's impossible to stop coloured clothes fading completely). Oxygen based bleaching agents are NOT included in liquid detergent as these are unstable in liquid form, therefore opitical brighteners are included instead. These are designed to keep things looking bright, but they don't actually help with any cleaning. Non-bio liquid is, in my honest opinion, completely pointless as it's essentially just liquid soap. In my opinion, biological powders are the best all round detergent. They contain enzymes for stain removal as well as bleaching agents for brightness and hygiene. Not only that, but the bleaching agents also help keep your washing machine clean and mould free (though if you wash at low temperatures which one should never do on whites, towels or bedding, run a maintenance wash monthly to keep the machine really clean) which liquid detergents don't. You could get away with using any detergent on your day to day clothes, such as jeans and jumpers. But when it comes to heavy washing where items are particularly dirty or where hygiene is a factor such as bedding, towels or kitchen cloths, bio powder is the way to go. Further to that, I've found that not only do powders wash well, but they rinse out much easier than liquid when dosed correctly due to the wash water being considerably more dense than laundry liquid, which is very gloopy and often leaves unpleasent residue in cloths and around the door and seal of the washing machine. In a recent study by the British Institute of Dermatology, it was found that biological detergent did not cause any more skin irritation that non-biological (see link) and that skin irritations caused by laundry detergent were largely a result of poor rinsing. Poor rinsing is often caused by over-dosing by the user or a poorly designed machine. Do yourself a favour - go out and by a large 50+ wash box of Persil or Ariel bio, following the dosing instructions on the box (I used about 80ml in medium-soft water, more will be needed in hard water areas) and enjoy the results. You'll also save on the pennies as the bigger boxes tend to be much better value. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1020902/Biological-washing-powders-NOT-cause-skin-allergies-says-expert.html
When you half or quarter load a washing machine drum and it starts washing and 'violently' sloshes the washing around (ie lifter/paddles lifts washing to top of drum and then the washing slams to bottom of drum) could this not damage (this sloshing/slamming action) the garments over time and indeed the paddles of the machine , (or both) - I relise that the proper way to load the drum is not fill it right to the brim of the top of the drum, you have to leave a vertical hand width height of free space dont you? - but if you do that the clothes will slosh and rub against each other (friction - simulation of rubbing the clothes together) to get them clean , but when you half fill or quarter fill a drum they can slosh with quite a thud, especially in a 9kg size drum. ?