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Repair Or Replace?


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Here's a dilemma I bet will sound familiar - do I repair or replace a faulty machine?

The faulty item was a mistake from the day I bought it. The requirement was simple: a washing machine for a tiny flat which isn't used very much. Shopping around (and, four years ago, without the benefit of the excellent Washerhelp!) I settled for a Hoover Six washer/drier, on the grounds that it wouldn't get much use and would probably last until I sold the flat.

As I say, it was a bad choice. It takes an age to dry anything that isn't poly-cotton (towels are misery), so, though it washes well enough, it has been frustrating to use. Until last week, though, it had at least been reliable. Then the pump failed and, trying to check the filter, I flooded the kitchen floor - not good in an upstairs flat!

The options are to have it repaired (it's only a few years old and really hasn't had much use -possibly 1 or 2 loads a week on average) or replace it. And if so, with what?

I won't buy another washer/drier. I think they are, at best, an uneasy compromise. Instead I'd buy a separate small drier and a good quality washing machine. Even though it wouldn't get a lot of use I'm tempted by a Miele, not because I want a machine to last 20 years, but because I travel a lot and can't afford the time to handle breakdowns. I considered a Bosch but yesterday looked at their current entry-level machines and was appalled at how far the quality seems to have dropped in a few years. In Currys, several had badly fitting doors, where the steel holding the brackets had flexed and distorted from repeated opening and closing, while the catch itself was made from what looked like nylon. Even the cheapest machines from other makers had metal catches!

So, Bosch was off the list (with regret as I've always had good service from their machines) which leaves... what? Risk a Zanussi or an AEG equivalent in the £300 region? Or do I go crazy and spend £500 on an entry-level Miele? Whatever I buy won't get a lot of use, but I need, so far as possible, to be free from breakdowns as I spend most of my time away from home and scheduling service appointments is a nightmare.

Or... do I just get a cheap fix for the Hoover and avoid the hassle and expense of disposal and replacement?

All suggestion will be very gratefully received as I'm completely undecided about what to do!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a dilemma I bet will sound familiar - do I repair or replace a faulty machine?

Apologies for missing this. When I created a few new forums I forgot to subscribe to them and didn't receive notification of some new topics.

If it's only a few years old it may be worth repairing. There could be a fault on the dryer side which may account for its poor performance, which an engineer could check out too although it could just be that it isn't particularly efficient at drying. Washer dryers are a compromise ( Washer-dryer, or separate washing machine and dryer - which is the best? ) Make sure you are not trying to dry full loads in it.

This washing machine is still covered by Hoover's 5 year parts guarantee so it should cost no more than about £90 for them to fix - I have a 5 year parts guarantee - should I use it? On the other hand £90 is a lot of money, and there's a chance that someone local may be able to fix it for less - Find a washing machine repairer (links ) However, as the 5 year guarantee link points out, you don't know for sure if it's going to be cheaper to get it fixed under the 5 year parts guarantee or not until someone has looked at it, by which time it's usually too late. Not pumping water out should be cheaper for a local engineer to fix as 9 times out of 10 it's just an obstruction in the pump or one of the hoses ( Washing machine won't empty water ). Even if it needed a new pump it shouldn't be more that what Hoover would charge. The complication is if there was something wrong with the dryer as well then it could make it cheaper to use the parts guarantee. There's a lot of unknowns complicating the decision.

If you decided to cut your losses then without spending a lot more, Bosch should be a more reliable washing machine than the Hoover. Bosch's quality has dropped along with its price but they still do very well according to Which? Which? £1 offer

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Thanks very much for such a helpful reply (and for these forums!).

I must admit, having it repaired is appealing, almost more for the sake of convenience than cost, because getting machines in and out of my tiny (upstairs) flat is a nightmare!

Sadly, in this case, the 5 year warranty didn't apply as the Hoover was 'graded'. That's something people need to watch when buying graded machines. They have to come with conventional warranties, apparently, but you lose any extra benefits (or so I was told!).

As for getting the drier checked, I will (if I repair) but I don't think it's *quite* bad enough to be the sign of a fault: it's just a 'feature' I think.

On Bosch (and we've discussed this elsewhere) I've looked quite closely at the latest generation of their entry-level machines and haven't been impressed. Then, only today, I read on here the horror story from the poor chap who has bought a new AEG and seems to have run into terrible problems with their call centre. That has the 'ring of truth' about it, too, as just before Christmas, my nextdoor neighbour was fuming about probems with a brand new Zanussi and the attitude from (one assumes) the selfsame call centre.

The choice seems to be Miele or a quick fix and, with the benefit of your inside knowledge, I'm thinking hard about the latter!

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