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Christine

Trying To Decide Which Washing Machine To Buy

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Hello

My washing machine has given up the ghost after 4 and a half years, and has now been written off by the insurance company (after a lot of trouble). The machine is a Candy and first went wrong about 2 years ago (luckily I had taken out an extended warranty). Over the past 4 months I have been without a washing machine for about 12 weeks in all (2 breakdowns) - waiting for the service engineer to visit, decide what was wrong, order parts, wait for parts and then organising someone to be in the house all day to wait for the part to be fitted.

Finally, the engineer and insurers have decided to write it off and I am trying to decide which machine to buy. I am extremely reluctant to take out another expensive warranty on another cheap, and very possibly unreliable machine, and would rather put that money towards a better machine. Various people have recommended Miele machines and a couple have also mentioned Bosch. I was initially put off by the prices of Miele, as they are expensive, but decided to look at reviews on the Internet. I found your site which has given me a wealth of information - thank you - and I also took up to 30 day option for Which?.

I am now torn between Miele (reviews from both your site and Which? are fantastic) and Bosch (which also have good reviews and are more within my price range). I am prepared to pay extra however if I decide that it is worth doing so, but would appreciate some advice, if possible.

The Miele models I have looked at are the 1514, 1714 and 3240. The 1514 has a smaller drum, but apart from that are you able to advise me on the benefits (if any) of the more expensive machines? I was interested to read your comments on the free 5 year and 10 year warranties - is this something that I should take into account, and is the difference worth an extra £50 or £100?

I haven't any specific Bosch models in mind as I have just started looking at them after reading the Which? reviews. Are there any that you would recommend?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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Welcome Christine.

The difference between a Miele washing machine and a Candy washing machine is similar to the difference between a Fiat Panda and a BMW car. Apart from the obvious cost difference, they are worlds apart in build quality, sophistication and noise levels. Repairs, should be much less frequent, but of course more expensive, and the life expectancy should be far greater. You should also notice a much better class of repair service from the Miele engineers who are dealing with a quality product, and customers who’ve paid a lot and expect a lot.

While Bosch is still a respected washing machine manufacturer, they have now entered the budget washing machine market and you can buy a Bosch washing machine for as little as £225. With the best intentions in the world you cannot make a quality washing machine to sell at £225, but they are still a decent washing machine for the money and Bosch usually gives a 2 year guarantee. However, as with most cheap washing machines, they can be prohibitively expensive if one of the following parts needs replacing out of guarantee –

  • Motor
  • Drum
  • Tub
  • Drum bearings
  • Control board PCB

To be fair, if these parts need replacing on a Miele washing machine they will be even more expensive because they are better build quality. The difference is that -

  • They should be much less likely to fail
  • On cheap washing machines these parts can cost 80% or more of the purchasing price to replace, which no one in their right mind would spend, and would therefore be a write off (even if only a few years old) Whereas a Miele washing machine should still be worth investing the money in to repair, and the repair would be a much smaller percentage of the purchase cost.

I'm glad you took out the free Which online trial. The Which? online offer is very good - I took it up myself :) The 1 month free trial is genuine and you get a copy of the Which? magazine too. Anyone taking out the free trial by using a link from Washerhelp will help Washerhelp as well as themselves. You can read lots of Which? best buy washing machines, consumer reports, ask questions etc. all online.

The Miele washing machines you mention are as follows, W1514 –

  • It’s one of the latest Miele designs, which looks more modern
  • 5 kg capacity microhole drum
  • Max spin speed 1400 rpm
  • It has a current offer of 5 year parts and labour guarantee until 31/8/2006

W1714 –

  • One of the latest Miele designs, which looks more modern
  • 6 kg capacity honeycomb drum
  • Max spin speed 1400 rpm
  • It has a current offer of 5 year parts and labour guarantee until 31/8/2006

These two washing machines are very similar, the main difference appears to be that the W1714 has a larger 6Kg drum, and it's the Miele patented honeycomb drum which, “has fewer and smaller holes where the 3 drum paddles meet reducing breakage of fibres and pilling on delicate items”, and various other benefits. It does appear to be a better drum design, and unique, but you have to choose whether to pay more for it or not.

The W3240 -

  • Is the older style Miele washing machine that has been in use for some years. It has a more old fashioned look to it but it’s fine
  • This one also has the Large 6kg honeycomb drum and 1400 top spin speed
  • It has a current offer of 10 year parts and labour guarantee until 31/8/2006

Which one to go for would be dependent on your personal preferences and budget.


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Hi

Thanks for your reply - it was very informative. I think I have now decided that I will go for the Miele, although still not sure which one. The link to Pricerunner is much appreciated - it is quite amazing how the prices vary so much for the same machines. Sadly I can't take advantage of the cheaper prices as the insurance company are sending me a voucher which can only be used at the original retailer's stores. Still, I'm looking forward to owning a good machine at last.

I will let you know how I get on with my new machine in the near future.

Thanks again - what a brilliant site.

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Thank you Christine. The extra guarantee offer on Miele washing machines requires you to fill in a form. If you don't get one, you can download one from Miele's web site


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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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Guest Guest_Richard_*

My old Hotpoint that is now almost 4 years old has given up the ghost and therefore I need a new washing machine. I hear what you are saying about Miele and I must say that I am tempted to invest except for one thing. I live in an area where the limescale content of the water is very very high. My wife thought about using calgon or similar in the hotpoint but worked out that 4 years of buying calgon tablets = cost of new hotpoint so decided against it on those grounds. Have you any advice?

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Hello Richard,

You raise a valid point, and one someone else emailed me about recently too. However, it doesn't make sense (to me) to continuously buy washing machines you don't expect to last because there's no point buying one that will last - on account of your hard water ruining them. Imagine the long term cost compared with the costs of softening the water and just getting rid of the problem. The ongoing costs of buying cheap rubbish washing machines that don't last long, would probably work out more than the costs of installing a water softener system (or something) to remove the problem - and then buying decent washing machines.

I agree that adding Calgon tablets or similar to the wash every time, over the lifetime of all your washing machines would cost a fortune. Unless I was unsettled, or only temporarily in a house, I would look into dealing with the hard water and limescale problems once and for all by either trying one of the devices that attach to the plumbing, or having a water softener system installed. This would deal with all other costly problems associated with limescale damage too.

( Related: Is Calgon worth using? )


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Guest Guest_Richard_*

Many thanks for your good advice. I have just ordered a Miele Premier 520 and will address the problem of hard water at source. In that way I will also be protecting my dishwasher, electric shower etc. Happy days and thanks again.

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Guest janice

I have a Zanussi FL1012 washing machine for nearly 20 years. and i feel its time for a new one. Not that there is a problem with the one I have apart from the slight noise. I had my mind made up to buy another zanussi but was told in the shop that they do not make there own machine any more but but another company - this has totally thrown me. Which machine do I buy - I was recomended the Miela PREM 520 but really have no idea.

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Zanussi are owned by Electrolux, who also own AEG. Zanussi washing machines aren't in the same class as Miele, but they are decent washing machines for the money. If you want something as well made as your 20 year old Zanussi, Miele may be even better, the latest Zanussi's aren't as well made, but then they cost a fair bit less too.


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