Jump to content

Book washing machine & appliance repairs Buy appliance spare parts

Note: The links above are needed to help keep this site running, please consider using them.

wobblewash

Off-piste ideas for my next washing machine

Recommended Posts

I've been recently active on the repair forum, but running out of options. I'm annoyed both with the manufacturer of a machine that lasted ~3 years, but more angered by the industry's use of sealed tub that seems specifically to prevent repairs and ensure I need a new machine (whilst the same manufacturers have the audacity to shout loudly about their 'green' credentials!)

I'm coming to terms with the fact I'll probably need a new machine, mainly governed by the amount of clean pants I currently have. Un-impressed at the options available to me I'm looking wider at some alternatives.

My primary considerations is environmental impact of manufacture/shipping of these machines, followed by impact of running them. Cost isn't much a governing factor (within reason) -- I don't mind spending a little more if I actually get quality and maintainability, especially as I usually repair stuff myself.

Spec wise, I benefit from a small 6kg wash, and previous machine is <50cm deep. I can probably move some pipes to make more space if it's worth it.

What are peoples views on some of these options:

  • Second-hand machine, a few years old, best I can find; one where the seals, bearings, dampers and springs are all repairable, no sealed tub, and taking advantage of eBay+patience+knowledge (thanks to this forum) to get a high-end one with most longevity. Older machines aren't the slim-depth type, so I'd probably need to do the pipework changes.
  • Buy a new, low-end machine and stick a big warranty on it: if I accept that the machines are crap and assume that the average lifespan of a machine is 3-4 years, buy the cheapest one and get an extended 5 year warranty. For example,  a 6kg Indisit which is £200 + £95 to take the full parts+labour guarantee from 2 to 5 years. I've never considered "extended warranty" on an appliance before! It's not my style. But I just can't see these machines lasting. Am I a mug for gambling that the odds are that a machine won't actually last that long? With any luck it'd break catastrophically after 4.5 years with a full replacement.
  • Spend more on a high-end machine; will I really get improvements in reliability that makes it worthwhile, or just nonsense like Wi-Fi? Worth mentioning I'll only get a sealed tub this way. And it requires the pipework changes, too -- I don't think this option can ever win over second-hand?
  • Taking a tub from another broken machine; probably not worth it as any bearings/drum would be equally worn as the one I'm having a problem with.
  • Wash at the laundrette; this is appealing from an environmental impact point of view, just it doesn't really fit with my lifestyle

Any opinions (or crazier ideas) gratefully received ... many thanks :)

Mark

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Book washing machine & appliance repairs Buy appliance spare parts

Note: The links above are needed to help keep this site running, please consider using them.

I would recommend looking for a machine that comes with a long warranty OR has a good reputation for reliabiltiy. Miele & Ebac both offer 10 year parts & labour guaruntees on their machines and even Miele's low end machines are well known for lasting years (mine was an entry model and is now 8 with no repairs or problems).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would buy a Miele with a 5 or 10 year guarantee. The Ebac washing machine with 10 year warranty sounds interesting. I don't know enough about them to be able to recommend one. However, I have seen their web site and their videos. I am impressed with their ethos and what they are trying to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd not heard of Ebac and it's definitely caught my interest.

Looking at the pictures and videos in their factory it looks like they are possibly not be sealed tubs, either. That would be interesting. Maybe I am latching on to my recently failure case, but I fail to see how a washing machine where the bearings can't be replaced is anything but the wrong ethos. Does any know about Ebac? I've sent them an email to try and find out how maintainable they are, so I hope they reply. It seems the 10 year warranty only applies to their largest machines, which would not be the right machine for me. But if it were a 3 year warranty with the key parts replaceable, that would be ok too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it looks like the main tubs featured in the Ebac promotional videos are in 2 halves attached together by screws. This is how they have been manufactured by most manufacturers for many many years. There's no guarantee they are still made that way at the moment but I would guess they probably are. You would have to ask them to confirm. I think what they are trying to do is admirable and deserves our support. However I remain cautious for the moment because I gave my support to another company (ISE) trying to buck the trend and do things differently, and in a fairer way once before, but unfortunately they went bust. It is encouraging to see though that this company is a much bigger concern, and appears to have an excellent track record with their previous products dehumidifiers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish we lived in times where you could still nip around the back of electrical shops and peruse their collected machines and get some parts out of it to fix your own washing machine and get it working again, or even be able to go down to the local recycling centre and get some parts out of an old washing machine down there - but alas those days are gone. I myself used to do that years ago if ours packed up.  - I remember going down to our local electric shop and when our hotpoint washing machine packed up just asking the shop owner and he would give me keys to just go up the back yard of the shop and see if there was any identical washing machines with the bits in I need. I got a  complete drum once for my hotpoint - they had a machine up there where the drum was perfectly fine but the programmer/timer was fried. And then our pump packed up so up again I went up there and got a working pump off a machine.  

Got a complete washing machine once for nothing that done us for years not a mark on it working perfectly fine and the guy in the shop said that the woman got rid of it because it was white and didnt match the colour scheme of the kitchen because it was white and thats all was wrong with it, and just wanted the shop to take it away with them when they dropped off a new one - thats what you call proper recycling. There must me hundreds of washing machines a and white goods that are dumped in recycling centres now these days that have a plethora of useful parts that can still be used again - I dont really know what they do with these machines next when they are left at the recycling yard these days. does anyone know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes mate it's a great shame that so many of the appliance repair shops have closed down. There used to be loads and loads of them but most have long since ceased trading. They used to be very helpful indeed and I had great relationships with many of them in my area. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I applaud what they're doing. Their survival probably depends on being realistic about who their target market is, and I hope there's a decent pocket of consumers looking for aspects such as repairability and not shipping a washing machine across the globe every 3 years, and have the cash to pay the higher wages of say the UK vs China. It's interesting that they started selling the machines via local retailers first, which sounds like a smart way of ensuring a controlled growth and ironing out any issues with the production process.

I'm almost too young for the days you guys speak about (though I picked a lot of computers out of skips) and whilst those days are gone and the future will be different, it won't necessarily be worse if we don't want it to be. The web means it's never been easier to seek out like minded people or products that actually fit the bill, whereas previously our choice would have been mainly limited to a local shop. 3D printing of parts will be the next disruption and it seems the "throw away" ethos of the current manufacturers is woefully prepared for that.

Recently I discovered the "buy it for life" group on Reddit which is interesting if you haven't seen it. So with any luck, such a company as Ebac doesn't need a massive market to survive if it can target the right people

(though I'm extrapolating quite a lot in this about the ethos behind Ebac -- it could be it's solely "buy British")
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It took a bit of time to get to the actual answer, but I had a reply from Ebac to say they don't use sealed tubs, and the drums are screwed together. They said a bearing replacement is possible but not an easy job and not recommended unless you "knew what you were doing" which I assume means a washing machine repair person. Sounds promising!

Seems the warranties are parts + labour for the full duration which seems nice (rather than weasel-words like "selected parts only" ie. the stationary bits!) So for the larger models that's 10 years.

For now my old machine is limping along, but I'll be keeping an eye out for a review (or even one in a shop)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update. I remain intrigued by Ebac. If I were you I'd be tempted to invest in one. The only real concern is that a 10 year guarantee is only as good as how long a company keeps trading. If they go bust the guarantee usually goes with it. The same thing happened with ISE who had a similar new approach but they didn't have the track record that Ebac has. From what I can see they are a highly respected company. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True that they could go bust, that's why actual repairability is important -- no good if they just work on the basis of replacing machines. At least then the mechanical parts (eg. bearings) have a fighting chance of finding a replacement.

As before, part of my problem is my dependency on a shallower machine without doing some modest pipework. I like the idea of hot fill though, no idea why that appeals (especially since electric can potentially be renewable, but not gas from the boiler)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might find this article interesting wobblewash Do washing machines with a hot valve use much hot water?  A hot water valve is definitely a desired feature for many people. But most people won't benefit much from one. As far as I'm aware no one has designed a washing machine that can cope with the water cooling in the pipes problem. This means most people's washing machine would hardly pull in any hot water. People with solar heated water supplies would usually prefer a hot valve. Also if you use a boil wash a hot valve would be useful. The only way to ensure that you fully utilise a hot water supply in people's houses would be to design a washing machine very differently. I have put forward my ideas on the subject in some of my articles and in the added comments.

 A washing machine would have to draw in from the hot water valve into a separate chamber or be pumped out down the drain (and wasted). The temperature of incoming water would have to be monitored with a stat. Once the water is hot the water would then need to be diverted back to the soap dispenser drawer to flush in the detergent and go into the drum The cold water that came in from the pipework before it ran hot would have been wasted if pumped down the drian or if diverted into a separate chamber it would diverted into the rinse cycle. All this would just be too complicated and expensive.

You might find this article of interest too - Cold fill verses Hot fill washing machines

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what about utilising one of these instant willis heaters in line with the cold input. i know the clothes would then wash in hot water too though. am pretty sure on the immersion stat inside you could turn it down to 15c , that would then give it a head start on the heating up score no? 

http://www.topline.ie/plumbing-heating/cooling-heating/water-heaters/water-heaters/easi-plumb/willis-heater 


5391269644872.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not seen one of these before. But it does look like it is meant to be installed next to the hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard. It says as much on the side of the box. I think the context you were suggesting would mean installing it next to the washing machine. Another problem with the idea is that it uses electricity to heat up the water. Therefore there would be no difference between heating the water up before it goes in with electricity and heating the water up after it's gone in. If you had a solar heated hot water supply where the hot water was not costing extra to heat up then it would potentially be helpful to get it into the washing machine. But using a separate device that has an element just like the washing machine wouldn't help much unless you wanted to rinse in warm water. There has been an argument that rinsing warm water is more effective but again only if the hot water isn't being heated up by gas or electricity which would just cost too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see benefits of hot or warm water going into machine, even if it was still using electricity. Number 1 benefit is that if you use soap type powder in the soap drawer it would dissolve it far better than cold water can (sometime with these powders it clumps up in draw because cold water is not dissolving the powder properly) and thus keep the soap drawer and the large pipe from soap drawer to outer drum tub clean. 

Then the washing can start revolving in warm/hot water from the very start (with dissolved powder) and then if it has to heat up to 60c or 90c its already been given a head start. I think I read somewhere its more economical/quicker to heat up hot water than it is freezing cold water. 

I think the element in this instant heater would use an element which would be 3kw (same element which would be found in an immersion cylinder in the airing cupboard) and therefore much more powerful than the one in the washing machine which lets say is 1.5-2kw to give the washing machine its economy A+++ 

I should imagine the water would have to run slower though through this heater device as having mains pressure of water you would need around 9kw of element power, and this willis heater uses 3kw (so you can plug it into a 13a 3 pin socket) so I reckon you would most probably have to fit a pressure reducing valve or a gate valve before the heater to lower the pressure of the mains cold water or run it off header tank in the loft which would have lower water pressure - so yes this lower pressure would mean that the washing machine would take longer to fill up the tub with water and add a little more time to the wash times. 
 

Do you agree with any of that Andy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Andy. When detergent clogs up in the soap dryer it's because the water pressure isn't high enough or the soap dispenser isn't designed well enough. The detergent doesn't need to dissolve inside the drawer. It just needs to be forcibly flushed into the drum. I suspect many washing machine manufacturers don't have the nozzles letting in water far enough forward, which if combined with low water pressure will cause problems. The soap dispensers over the years have been plagued with leaking problems. For some reason none of the manufacturers put a proper seal around the soap drawer. They just rely on water not getting too far forward. Ideally, to wash in detergent, water needs to be coming in right from the front to flush it all back and down the dispenser tub hose.

If the water pressure was high enough and the water flow properly coming from the front you should be able to flush even half a dozen dice for example into the tub. The detergent shouldn't get a chance to dissolve it should literally just get flushed immediately into the drum. 

In a way I find it sad that manufacturers seem to stick to the same old design with very little real innovation. The only innovation tends to be from the brown good manufacturers such as LG, Panasonic, Samsung but they tend to be in my opinion just gimmicky innovations rather than true advances in function and reliability.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yep Andy my machine is linked up to the gravity fed water supply from the header tank up in the loft and its not very powerful at all. But there is no cold mains water pipe whatsoever nearby the machine which is a shame but thats the way it just has to be unfortunately . i know myself on my machine the water going in is not really strong enough because I can hear the buzz of the water inlet solenoid over the sound of the water trickling in. - when i had the hot pipe linked up to the inlet instead it was same water pressure (tank fed) as the cold but it did dissolve the soap powder in the tray totally and no residue was left. But then I changed it back to the cold water and most times now some soap residue is left when using washing powder. round Washing tablets used in the drawer dissolve much better, but the powder is cheaper. 

Do you know why Hotpoint went with the 'swing out' soap drawers like they did as opposed to traditional pull out ones? - any pluses to designing it like this? - no other manufacturers seemed to take it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Andy, all things being equal warm or hot water will flush detergent in better than cold due to its ability to dissolve it quickly. As washing machines are cold fill only and manufacturers should be well aware of the vast variation in water pressure from house to house they should be designing the dispensers that flush detergent in perfectly well with the minimum water pressure.

The cold water pressure to my own washing machine in our garage isn't so great, so even though it's a Miele, the soap drawer is in a poor state. I'm sure the distribution of detergent could be done much better than with these drawers. They are very poor at flushing detergent in if the water pressure is low but often leak if the water pressure is too high.

Miele do have automatic detergent dispensing washing machines but they use liquid detergent, which I don't like as it's linked to grease and grime build up in washing machines . A few other manufacturers seem to be experimenting with similar things too. I think all washing machines should have some method of automatic dosing.

The swing out dispensers are just a design fancy as far as I'm aware.I can't think of any advantages, but one disadvantage is the drawer would need to be a lot smaller.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the washing powder peeps could be doing more though as well , maybe a few more investigating and improvement in how their powder dissolves in cold water , with low pressure without it clumping up in the drawer - i'm sure it could be done. as I say the round tablets seem to dissolve better than the powder in my circumstance/ when I have used them.

The only disadvantage is sometimes getting the plastic cellophane package of the tablet. I have a very good grip and even i find them a bit fiddly to open and get the tablets out of the packet and into the drawer (sometimes accidentally crumbling the tablet - which defeats the object) so lord knows how someone with grip problems or arthritis or rheumatism gets these tablet type things out of their packets - I would also say you have got to be extra careful as well that not even a tiny little bit of cellophane gets into the drawer with the tablet because that would find its way into the drum and then finally into the propellers of the drain pump clogging it up.  

Good point you raised about the liquid detergent causing grease and grime build up, I never thought of that one. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might be talking about the main outer packaging on the tablets? We use dishwasher tablets that have a thin cellophane covering. We leave it on, I think it's design to dissolve. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

You might be talking about the main outer packaging on the tablets? We use dishwasher tablets that have a thin cellophane covering. We leave it on, I think it's design to dissolve. 

- definitely have to remove the plastic wrapping off the laundry tabs we use. But it would be cool if they did do laundry tabs with dissolvable wrapping. maybe they do but that I just havent seen it.

I bought a secondhand dishwasher once and the arms werent moving even though they spun freely and the holes were clear. i took apart the pump and found plastic wrapping from a dishwasher tab inside the recirculating pump thus restricting the flow of water to the spray arms. I guess the previous owner must have thought the wrapper was dissolveable type. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi !

I do think it is possible to replace plastic rare parts of washing machine thanks to 3D printing. I am working for MyMiniFactory, a curated sharing platform for 3D printing where all uploads are tested to guarantee a high standard of quality. We have more than 250,000 users.

We are building a comprehensive and well organized spare part category here where people can easily find and print the replacement parts they need for free. I think that fits your vision of the Repair world, and it may be helpful for you to know this platform. https://www.myminifactory.com/category/brands-spare-parts

You can have a quicker access to cheap pieces, difficult to find in shops. 

Don't hesitate to create an account and download the objects. If you are a designer, please share your designs because there are other people who need the same spare parts as you do.

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×