“ Brand: Beko / Capacity: 8kg / Energy rating: B „
Having been putting off replacing our somewhat inadequately sized 3kg Whight Knight tumble dryer for some time, we were finally convinced just after Christmas this year that it was time to purchase a replacement when it started making a whole host of sounds no healthy appliance should make. We therefore set off in search of a reasonably priced yet decent sized tumble dryer that would suit our needs far better than the one we already had. Our current tumble dryer was vented meaning we had it in the garage as we could vent it through the window there rather than having a freezing cold house but this was somewhat inconvenient. This meant that for convenience sake we were looking for a more expensive condenser type dryer that would be able to live in our kitchen without having to be vented outside. Our other key requirements were that it would have to have a large capacity and be as energy efficient as possible.
Having had a good look around it was perfectly clear to us that we would be ending up with a machine from the budget end of the market. This is not something that disappointed us rather something we expected having to shop on a budget, and having to justify the purchase in balance to everything else we need in life, as well as getting a product that would come somewhere close to fulfilling our expectations. The tumble dryer we ended up purchasing was the Beko DSC85W which at the price of £250 at the time of purchase actually ended up exceeding the specification of what we was expecting to get for our money. There really was nothing else around at the time that come close to matching this item as far as value for money was concerned.
Appearance and Specification:-
Looks wise as expected for a budget item this is quite a bland looking tumble dryer in basic white with a large front loading door also finished in white. There are the control buttons along the top with a dial for selecting the cycle, again very basic with nothing too advanced, just the LED lights for displaying delay timer settings, cycle progress, on/off etc. Whilst looking quite basic the build quality is good with all of the buttons feeling as if they will stand up to more than enough punishment, as does the dial selector for setting the desired program. Both the drum and door have a very large diameter allowing ease of loading, as well as having a light that comes on when the door is open, which helps when spotting rogue socks. The drum itself is very sturdy and has stood up to trainers being dried inside of it without any damage, and is still running as quietly as it has since we owned it. So overall in the appearance stakes a very average looking machine with a deceptive build
Pictures of Beko DSC85W
Beko DSC85W PICT0029 - Beko DSC85W
Dimensions - 84.6(H) x 59.5(W) x 59.8(D)cms
Power Rating:- B
Power consumption:- 2700W
Installation as expected was a piece of cake as no consideration was needed when thinking about locating the tumble dryer other than plugging it in and making sure that we had adequate space for ventilation around the appliance so it didn't overheat. There is a pipe on the back of the tumble dryer which allows it to be connected to a standpipe much in the same way as a washing machine but as we are in rented accommodation we opted to leave this and cope with emptying the waste water tank whenever it was full to save having to replace the fitting on the standpipe when we do leave as it required making an extra hole in it in order to connect up the waste pipe from the tumble dryer.
Thankfully the adjustable feet allowed the appliance to sit flat as soon as we pushed it back into place meaning that the only thing we needed to sort out was a load of wet washing to test it out. Upon first use I must admit that we did briefly check out the instruction manual just to make sure that all of the controls were as obvious as they appeared to be, with the instructions being clear and understandable, bringing to light exactly how to use the child lock and different cycles.
The instructions also contain handy information on which programs are suitable for which garments and give a complete explanation of the cycles available. The main cycles are extra dry, cupboard dry normal dry and iron dry with programs such as cottons, delicates and anti-creasing being listed as main features of this machine. With special programs for garments such as jeans and shirts, with an Xpress 35 minute cycle capable of drying cotton items up to a weight of 2kg within 35 minutes. There is also a freshen up cycle which as the name suggests deodorizes clothes that have been left in the tumble dryer, or even in wardrobes and drawers by running a ventilation only cycle which just uses fresh air rather than hot air as the clothes won't actually need drying but just require the musty or damp smell to be removed. There is also an option to set a timer which is handy for those on an economy style electricity tariff that is cheaper at night, and also when I want my washing dry for a set time such as when I get up in the morning without it sitting around and getting creased in the bottom of the tumble dryer.
Overall getting started and installing the machine have been well thought through by Beko and I could not have hoped for an easier product to start using, it would have been a longer process had we connected it to the stand pipe but not overly complicated or time consuming meaning either way this product would have been quick and easy to install.
With a maximum capacity of 8 kg this Beko dryer will keep up with all but the very largest washing machines with its drying capabilities, and I must admit that in almost a year we haven't come across any major inconveniences or faults with this product. We usually just keep the tumble dryer set to the extra dry program as this leaves most items of clothing almost crease free due to the fact that the drum rotates in both directions during any selected cycle. Another feature that we use frequently is the child lock which is simply a case of holding the start and cancel buttons together for 3 seconds, which then disables the program selection and start/stop buttons therefore foiling our daughters mischievous attempts to change the cycle as she enjoys spinning the dial around. The only button it doesn't lock is the main on/off switch, which whilst I appreciate is for safety reasons, our daughter has turned the machine off more than once meaning it needed to be restarted again.
The sensor-dry feature on this tumble dryer is most handy and means that the tumble dryer will stop using heat and alert the user by means of a buzzer that the washing inside is at its required level of dryness. Once the washing has been dried the tumble dryer goes into a two hour long cycle that activates the drum to turn every 10 minutes, without heat, in order to prevent creasing of the items inside which has proven itself to be a good feature if we have put on the tumble dryer whilst we are out and will be back quite some time after the machine has finished drying. The sensor dry feature was the main feature I was looking for in a tumble dryer as I found it most annoying to return to our old tumble dryer to find that the timer had come to an end but the washing inside was either still wet or stiff as a board from being over dried and therefore overheated. I am glad to say that Beko have delivered with the sensor-dry as I have found it to work really well; at first I wasn't sure whether this would be a bit of a gimmick on a cheaper machine, but it does seem to work just as well as the sensor dry on my parents far more expensive high end branded tumble dryer.
The drum on this Beko tumble dryer is cavernous and whilst we haven't set about weighing our laundry it has managed all of the full loads from our 7kg washing machine which I have a feeling is frequently overloaded, taking no longer than around 1½ hours to dry a full load of wet washing on the cupboard dry selection which is the longest cycle. This time can be reduced if the washing is put onto an extra spin cycle whilst in the washing machine; however this takes a while with our washing machine so for convenience sake we usually end up transferring it straight to the tumble dryer. With smaller loads the sensor-dry can bring this down to less than half hour as no matter the size of the load the sensor dry works on moisture content rather than heat making it quite an energy efficient machine. There is also the option to pause any cycle or program that has been set which is handy if forgetting to put something in as just opening the door will stop the tumble dryer and will mean having to start from scratch again.
As far as noise is concerned the actual turning of the drum and running of the machine isn't actually all that bad it is mainly the sound of the air flow that is noticeable. If we don't shut the kitchen door it is enough to warrant turning the TV up, we usually try to leave this door open however as the tumble dryer heats the sitting room nicely as it dries. I have heard much more expensive tumble driers that seem to run at a whisper compared to this, but the main issue for us it that it gets the job done with the noise being just a minor issue.
Maintenance and Cleaning:-
Maintenance is quite a simple affair with this Beko dryer with the fluff filter needing to be emptied after each use, with the condenser needing to be cleaned once a month. The fluff filter sits in its usual place just by the door of the tumble dryer and is easy to remove and wipe clean, whilst the condenser will need rinsing and cleaning, and can be an effort to remove as it needs to be unscrewed from behind the drop down panel on the front, and ours was screwed on tightly from the factory.
My main gripe with this tumble dryer is the fact that the waste water tank could be a bit larger as it struggles to contain all of the water from even a half load, with the container usually needing emptying ½ to ¾ of the way through the drying cycle. This means whilst I can set a timer for the machine to start I have to take into consideration that the tank will be full at some point. This could be got around by connecting the appliance to a stand/drain pipe by the supplied hose but we haven't done this for reasons outlined above.
Overall I would have to say that I recommend this Beko DSC85W tumble dryer, it may be one of the cheapest condenser tumble dryers on the market but I feel it represents great value for money in such a basic appliance. Whilst it doesn't have lots of bells and whistles, this Beko in my opinion, has all of the features to put it amongst the best in the value for money stakes when considering the budget ranges we looked at.
So overall apart from being a little noisy and the fact that the water tank often needs wmptying more than we expected this tumble dryer has lived up to our expectations and has so far proven to be a reliable piece of equipment. Beko have done well at providing a decent budget machine with just one star being knocked off for the two small niggles mentioned here, but over than that a pretty solid recommendation from me.
Clothes horses, washing lines and heated airers may be the most environmentally friendly and cheapest options for laundry drying purposes but they are space and weather dependent (especially with the UK's new weather apocalypse affording a mere 15 drying days a year), so for people simply inundated with washing sometimes the only option may be a tumble dryer. Sure, they are the least environmentally friendly and most expensive of your options but they are also by far the most convenient and space forgiving. Our old Beko vented tumble dryer (clearly manufactured in the stone ages) had a hinged door that opened rather oddly from the top and somebody (i.e. me) one day left the door open before vacating the house, and upon returning home couldn't find the cat anywhere. After a full scale cat-hunt we were eventually able to detect faint cries and worked out he'd gotten trapped in the dryer with no escape for which I was duly whipped by a cat o' nine tails - a fitting punishment. Dehydrated but otherwise unharmed we realised this tumble dryer had to go for cat safety and switched over to a much more modern tumble dryer.
==Too many choices putting you in a tumble?==
There are 4 main types of tumble dryers available: electric vented; gas vented; electric condenser, and compact. Both types of vented dryers dry clothes by heating then extracting the warm, damp air from the drum and venting it out through a hose. The electric condenser dries clothes by heating, extracting the warm, damp air and then allowing it to cool in the machine to be collected in a water reservoir. Compact tumble dryers are basic just smaller versions of the aforementioned other three and intended for where space is an issue. The advantages of vented machines are they are cheaper than condensers, even more so with gas but they do need to be installed near a window or door to allow for proper ventilation and gas ones should be installed by a Gas Safe installer. The advantages of condensers are they can be installed anywhere but since you will have stagnant water, a cheap condenser could lead to a mildew problem if it has poor moisture control so you do have to choose these ones wisely to avoid this nightmare.
Having nowhere suitable to put a vented dryer we plumped for the BEKO DSC85W condenser sensor dryer from Currys for the reduced price of £199.99 (as of October 2012) but the price seems to have gone up since then. The sensor drying element means this tumble dryer should sense when your clothes have reached your set level of drying and stop to save running for longer than necessary and thus saving on energy. This particular model on the Energy Efficiency Scale has a B rating which makes it the second most efficient appliance you can buy at less than 0.64 Kwh/kg per usage. The manufacturer's guide for this model state that 8Kg for a full cycle on the highest temperature it will consume 4.49 kWh and for 4Kg on a lower temperature it will consume 1.80 kWh so the annual costs for an average usage all year round will probably be around £110 give or take which is obviously a cost you'd have to weigh up against the free cost of leaving clothes lying around to dry naturally but at a much slower rate.
This beast is reasonably heavy at 38Kg (approx. 6 stones) and quite bulky at 850 x 600 x 600 mm (H x W x D) and had to be lugged from the car all the way up the stairs which was definitely a two person job. Once we got back from hospital after corrective surgery on our spines, installing the machine in our utility room was simple. We plugged it in. There were also some feet at the bottom which needed a little adjustment to make sure the machine was level to enable smooth running and fewer vibrations. The first noticeably great thing about this tumble dryer is it has the functionality to drain out the water collected in the reservoir through its own special hose compatible with a pipe fitting for a house's drainage system and fortuitously the pipes ran through our utility room so we were in the perfect place to connect the two up which was apparently a very easy job (according to my dad the resident expert). Although, special care to ensure the connection is sealed up must be taken or flooding is likely to occur if the hose comes loose.
For once the instruction manual that came with the tumble dryer was actually worth a read as it gives clear help on: how to fully install the machine complete with outgoing drainage; very useful safety advice for operating the machine, child (cat) safety and ensuring you avoid shrinkage and irreparable damage to your clothing by only drying appropriate clothes (a list of no-nos is provided) and ensuring you remove things like coins and lighters and tissues from your clothing; a breakdown of all the different programmes available, as well as proper maintenance and cleaning advice. The capacity of the machine has a maximum of 8Kg and there is also a useful chart in the manual to give you an idea of the average weight of an item of clothing such as sheets, towels, jeans, shirts, dresses to make it a bit easier to stop you overloading the machine and causing mass destruction.
This tumble dryer has no digital displays so it is all very manual when programming. All the buttons and knobs are laid out clearly at the top - from right to left you get the on/off button; the knob to set your chosen programme; the start / pause / cancel button; the audio warning button to alert you when the programme has finished which can be switched off; a vertical row of status indicators so you know where you are in the cycle; two indicators for when either the filter is full or the water tank needs emptying (which won't happen if the machine is plumbed in), and finally a time delay button for a 3h, 6h or 9h delay. If you press the start / pause / cancel and audio warning alert buttons together you will operate the child-proof lock deactivating all the other buttons apart from the on/off button preventing naughty little imps from ruining the whole drying process. These are all pretty obvious to work out even without the manual so I personally find this machine very intuitive to use.
The door also hinges from right to left and needs a pretty hefty shove to get it to close and a strong pull to get it open so should be pretty safe for children (and cats) as they won't be able to get trapped inside and certainly won't be able to open the door mid-cycle and the machine is so stable there is no danger whatsoever of it toppling over.
There are 11 available specialist programmes to run and 4 extra time programmes:
~~Cottons / Coloureds~~
These programmes are run at a high temperature and are recommended for bed sheets, quilt covers, underclothing etc. - basically anything made of cotton which is durable.
Cupboard Dry - with a capacity of 8Kg and a spin speed of 1200-1000 rpm, this programme takes 129 mins to complete and should be used on normal laundry which should be dried in such a way that ironing is not required.
Normal Dry - with a capacity of 8Kg and a spin speed of 1200-1000 rpm, this programme takes 134 mins to complete and should be used on normal laundry which still shouldn't require ironing, but has a higher chance with certain items.
Iron Dry - with a capacity of 8Kg and a spin speed of 1200-1000 rpm, this programme takes 105 mins to complete but the items will require ironing afterwards.
Extra Dry - this programme is designed for thick, multi-layered cotton laundry like towels, linens or jeans and should not require ironing afterwards but there are no operational values for this function so I've no idea how long it takes or how much you can put in since I've never tried it.
These programmes are run at a lower temperature than for Cottons so are designed for the less durable materials such as shirts and blouses.
Iron Dry - the same as for Cottons but with a capacity of 4kg and a speed of 800 rpm this programme takes about 40 mins to run.
Cupboard Dry - the same as for Cottons but with a capacity of 4kg and a speed of 800 rpm this programme takes about 53 mins to run.
This programme is designed for your very delicate laundry such as silk blouses and fancy underwear and is run at a very low temperature making it suitable even for items that are hand wash only. This programme has a capacity of 2 kg, a spin speed of 800 rpm and should take 40 mins to complete. You are then recommended to whip these items out as soon as they've finished and hanging them up to prevent creasing or damage.
This programme is designed for...drum roll...jeans. The capacity is 4Kg (which is about 5 jeans) and runs on a spin cycle of 1200-1000 rpm with a completion time of 80 mins.
You know the drill by now - meant for shirts. 1.5kg capacity, 1000-800 rpm, 40 mins. Probably ideal if you're off to an interview and were desperately trying to get something clean to wear.
~~Xpress 35 mins~~
Works with a maximum of 2Kg on cottons, running at high speed with a spin cycle of 1400-1000 rpm taking just 35 mins, again ideal if you need something quick (as long as it is cotton based).
This programme allows you to simply run the ventilation part of the process without blowing any hot air on the clothes for 10 minutes which should deodorize nasty smells if the clothing has been trapped in a closed environment for a while.
These programmes allow you to run the tumble dryer at a lower temperature for 10, 20, 40 or 60 minutes to finish off any still damp clothes.
* If you need to stop any of the programmes simply hold down the start / pause / cancel button for 3 seconds. You can then change the programme if you want by twizzling the knob and pressing start again which will start running the new programme from the beginning.
* If you want to add or take out clothing in the middle of a cycle if you press the start / pause / cancel button this will pause and then you can safely open the door.
* Adding wet clothes to drier clothes before resuming the programme may result in all the clothes not being fully dry by the end so think carefully before you make such a bold move.
* If the child-proof lock is in place and the programme is changed this obviously won't affect the current running of the programme, but if the child-proof lock is then deactivated the machine will get confused as the programme would have changed so will simply terminate mid flow.
* If you leave your laundry in the machine after a programme has finished it will start an anti-creasing programme for 2 hours which basically consists of every 10 minutes rotating the laundry to stop creases forming.
==Giving it a spin==
Now I am a self-confessed lazy person, and when it comes to laundry I do not separate any of my clothes for washing (and nothing bad has ever happened) and frankly I'm not about to do it for tumble drying. So when I do use this tumble dryer on my clothes I tend to just bung it all in, run the Normal Dry for cotton programme and return in just over 2 hours. The first time I used this tumble dryer, I hadn't even bothered to unroll my socks and these alas remained damp (clearly through user error) but everything else was dry, even though it took a bit of getting used to the way the material felt as it did still feel damp even though it wasn't which was confusing to the brain. They also did end up with a strange smell - not particularly unpleasant but they no longer smelt like the fabric conditioner used after the initial wash but I guess most new stuff offends the olfactory senses in some way or another so it wasn't overly surprising.
The second time though the outcome was much better with my clothes smelling as fresh as when they were firstly laundered, and having learnt my sock lesson, were all completely dry, so it must have been the system sorting itself out the first time around. Also, and most importantly, there was no discernible damage to any of the clothes which consisted of a mixture of underwear, socks, jeans, pyjamas, cardigans, t-shirts, blouses and a towel so I have no fear that this machine will shrink, perforate or generally destroy any of my clothes even though I am blatantly using it in a reckless and cavalier way. This is sadly with the exception of zipped cardigans for which both my sister and I have had incidents months down the line whereby the zips broke off which could have been on the verge of occurring anyway but were certainly expedited through use of the tumble dryer so I think unfortunately some wise decisions of what clothes should be added need to be made which does mean a little more effort into using this dryer may have to be made. Still, broken zips has of yet been the only casualties and everything thus far has survived intact from sheets, pillowcases to towels, jeans and shirts so I have full confidence in this machine.
Apparently this dryer operates at 65dB which for me isn't overly noisy, especially with the utility room door shut so I'd have to say this machine is pretty inoffensive, especially given how long some of the cycles are so I don't really have too many complaints about that aspect. The filter does become clogged very quickly so this is in constant need of cleaning out which is a bit annoying, but for the convenience of the tumble dryer I'm willing to get over it. There's not much I can really add about the overall running of the machine - clothes go in, they dry, the water drains away, clothes come out undamaged which has been happening successfully over 6 months of constant operation so far. As you've probably guessed, ironing is not my forte due to crippling idleness so again this is not something I really factor in with my clothes - I'm happy to strut my stuff in wrinkled clothes - but for the purposes of this review I've had a good check and on a Normal Dry cycle my clothes come out pretty wrinkle free so at least from the perspective of ordinary clothing, ironing should be at a minimum.
I do feel slightly bad about the environmental implications but as soon as warm weather returns there will be no need to use this tumble dryer as clothes will dry much faster naturally (in theory). This dryer still has another 6 months under warranty (12 months in total) but it looks like it should last a long time from all experiences so far, though obviously if this changes I will updated this review accordingly. Overall this is an efficient, quiet tumble dryer that is easy to install and clean with a nice range of programmes to suit all kinds of different materials and has yet to do any damage to any clothes. The cycles can take quite a long time to complete for large loads but still are comparatively much quicker than waiting for them to dry naturally, with the exception of blistering hot sunshine - as if that is even a factor in the UK. If you're looking for a reasonably priced tumble dryer that won't cost you too much over the years you could do a lot worse than this one.
==Clean is Serene==
* Keeping the tumble dryer clean will improve its longevity and the quality of your laundry after a cycle and this is not a particularly tricky job so even a lazy-bones such as myself can cope. Lint and fibre has a tendency to fly about during a drying cycle and gets caught in the filter. To clean this, simply open it up and pull it all out. If it becomes too clogged it can be washed with water (a shower head seems the easiest option) and be allowed to dry before reinserting.
* The metal sensor at the front of the drum which detects whether the clothes are dry should be washed 4 times a year with a vinegar covered cloth before drying them.
* If you do not drain your water away, the water tank needs to be constantly emptied and can be cleaned as you see fit as longs as it is dry when it goes back in.
* The condenser which is located at the bottom of the machine should be cleaned once a month or after every 30 cycles again with the easiest way a spray from a shower head - all in all no more than a 20 minute job for everything.
Short name: Beko DSC85W