“ Brand: Hotpoint / Capacity: 7 Kg / Power Source: Electric / Dryer Type: Home Dryer / Load Type: Front Loader / Cycles: 2 Cycles / Energy Efficient: With Energy Efficient / Cool Down Feature: With Cool Down Feature / Overall Depth: 58 cm / Overall Height: 85 cm / Overall Width: 60 cm „
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Hotpoint Tumble Dryer with built in Condenser Unit
COST - £297.00 from John Lewis three years ago, included a free 5 year guarantee.
AVAILABILITY - Still readily available from all good Electronic Retailers, Department Stores and Catalouges. Also available on line. The up-to-date selling price is around £220.00
Our family moved into our new Ground Floor Flat around three years ago now from a much larger Multi-story Maisonette. We had actually just bought a brand new tumble dryer but due to the new kitchen having much less space and having a lay out with no access to a window, well no where suitable to put our current tumble dryer anyway, we realised immediately that our best option was to invest in a tumble dryer with a Condenser Unit.
Sure we could have plummed our existing one into a drain or bought a portable condenser but the first option was out of the question and the latter was not preferable due to the afore mentioned lack of space.
With a regular tumble dryer you have a hose which can be placed into a sink, drain, or even out of a window but the condenser collects the water within the machine thus allowing you to place it anywhere you want and not have it's position dictated by window or sink access.
The condenser actually works by separating the water from the moist air which is either emptied after drying or pumped out. We chose not to plum ours in which eliminated the pumping out option, as we could have done this with our other one. Instead we simply placed it in the corner of our kitchen and chose to empty the water ourselves.
Installing the tumble dryer was extremely simple. In short you plug it in and it's ready to use! There are no preparations needed other than reading the instructions.
The instruction mannual was very clear with detailed diagrams accompanying all written instructions. The mannual was not written in complicated technical terms but in clear, reasonably sized, easy to read plain English!
The first thing I wanted to find out was how to empty the water unit as I was a bit worried that this would be messy and a hassle. Also having arthritis I wondered if this was a job I would be able do myself or if it was something else I would have to make sure hubby did before he left for work!
Thankfully emptying the water unit was easy. On the top left corner there is simply a drawer which you pull out. This is actually the container for the water and is very neatly hidden. It slides out extremely easily after which you simply carry it to the sink and empty.
Obviously the more regularly you empty the water unit, the easier and lighter it is to carry, therefore with my arthritis I find it better to do after each wash.
The container can hold up to 5Kg of water at a time so you could actually use the machine three of four times before emptying, depending on what type of load you have in.
I find if you are drying towels the container will fill up much more quickly. Nylons, silks, satins or other delicate materials don't seem to emminate nearly as much water.
You must remember to empty the water unit because if you don't the unit will fill up and start to over-flow thus leaving puddles all over the kitchen!
The digital display does actually flash the emptying icon everytime you use the machine just to remind you to empty it. However unfortunately there is no icon to tell you if the unit is full or over-flowing you just have to remember to do it each time. I found this came the more I used it and I now have a routine of checking everthing before I switch it on.
Planning a cycle is extremely easy as any button you press flashes up on the digital display telling you the time for the cycle you have chosen.
There are four main options you can choose from, Cottons High Heat which lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes, Cottons Low Heat which lasts 20 minutes, Synthetics which lasts 1hour 15 minutes and Wool which lasts an hour.
All of these programmes can be put on for less time by first chhosing the programme then pressing the timer button. The timer button adds on time in 20 minute denominations. You can not put the programme on longer than the set time and if clothes are still wet you just have to repeat the programme. This is when reducing the time a programme is on for comes in handy.
To be honest the only programmes I reaaly use are the Cottons - High Heat and the Synthetics. I have found these programmes are great for most clothing types as long as you vary the time accordingly.
As well as these four programmes there are also additional features such as Delicate mode, Airing mode or Easy Iron mode.
The Delicate setting allows you to dry clothes on a lower heat ready for them to be worn. This is perfect, I find for fragile tops with beading or coloured transfers.
The Airing setting is a twenty minute programme that airs your clothes with cool air and I also use it to freshen clothes which have been lying in a drawer. Also because I smoke, before I wear something for the second day running I will pop it in on this programme with a sheet of Bounce and it comes out with a newly washed fresh smell.
The Easy Iron setting is an even shorter programme which is on for just less than ten minutes and is great for clothes that have lay wet in the washing machine for longer than they should have, as it softens the creases and makes them easier to iron.
After using the tumble dryer, as with any type it is important to clean out the fluff filter which is located inside the tumble dryer under the door. It is a semi-circle shaped plastic arc which easily pulls out and slots back in. I find it is important to do this after each load to avoid the fluff building up and travelling to and damaging other parts of the machine.
It is also important to remember to empty pockets before tumble drying, especially if using it to freshen clothes up. However if you forget this is where the debris will end up. I often leave paper tissues in my pocket which make such a mess as they end up all over your clothes and the fluff filter!
The only other part of this Tumble Dryer which needs regular attention is the Condenser itself. I find washing it once a month is enough. This is found under the door and can be pulled out easily by lowering a plastic lever which holds it in place.
Often when you open the door water will pour out, especially as you begin to pull the condenser, therefore it is a good idea to put a towel underneath to protect wooden flooring before even opening the door.
You then need to flush the unit through with water before letting it dry and returning it to your tumble dryer. I do this by taking it into the bathroom and holding it under the shower. It is easier this way as the shower has a strong force of water so even if dust and dirt get caught, this way you will still flush it out.
I usually let it then drip dry in a hot bathroom for a half hour then dry any remaining parts with an old towel. Obviously it is not a good idea to put it back in wet as the dirt will stick easier to a wet surface.
In the three years which I have had this tumble dryer I have only ever had one problem with it. The catch on the door broke a month after we bought it. However this was because my husband had not realised that you had to gently push the door to open it and instead had been pulling it straight open.
Even though it was our fault, when I phoned the Service Centre the woman was extremely polite and seemed to have dealt with this problem before, making me think that this may be a common occurence within these dryers.
The operator gave me two choices. I could either have an engineer come visit and install the part which I would have to wait up to two weeks for. (Priority is given to more serious repairs as the dryer was still working if the door was ledged shut.)
Option two was to have the part mailed to me along with the instructions. She assured me that the part was very simple to fit and even if the engineer did come he may leave me to install it anyway and so I went with this option.
The operator was very polite and the call was answered extremely quickly. In less than fifteen minutes my call had been answered, processed and my part ordered.
Two days later the part arrived and as promised it was indeed very easy to fit. To remove the old catch and insert the new I simply had to remove a screw then replace it.
Since then I have had no problems with the machine what-so-ever but if problems do occur I would have no problem in contacting the service team as they were very efficient and I'm sure they could deal with most problems.
Here are a few things that have happened to my tumble dryer but have turned out to be simple problems where I over-looked the most simple solution.
My tumble dryer would not start. This was simply because the catch was broken. If the door is not secure, the dryer will not start. To check if this is the problem hold the door firmly closed as you try to put it on. If the catch is faulty the dryer will go on when you hold the door closed with pressure and will stop when you let go.
Sometimes the clothes seem to take ages to dry. The most common reason I have found for this is that the clothes are too wet and so put them in for another rinse in your washing machine then try again.
Another reason clothes will dry more slowly is if you are using the wrong setting. I have had to experiment to find out which clothes dry best and quickest at which timings and settings. This is just trial and error.
If your water unit needs emptying, the fluff filter needs cleaned or the condenser needs cleaned this will also slow the drying time down.
Overall I have had great results with this tumble dryer and although I paid a bit more for a condenser the convienience has really made a great difference. I have had my tumble dryer for three years now and it is still working the same way it did when I first got it.
I do think the key to success with this dryer is looking after it and although it does need a bit more attention that a regular dryer, once you get into a routine emptying the unit and cleaning the fluffer and condenser becomes second nature.
I think this tumble dryer is great value for money, it is well made and works as it is supposed to. This is my first tumble dryer with a condenser and I would never buy a normal one again. It is definately woth paying a bit more for this machine.
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ALSO POSTED ON CIAO! UNDER THE SAME USERNAME.
Hotpoint freestanding condenser dryer 7kg load Sandstone Ultima / Short name: Hotpoint CTD80T