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Now I have the HOTPOINT Aquarius TCM580P Condenser Tumble Dryer, but Ciao rejected a new product for this and told me to put it here which is why my picture is a bit different to the one in the stock picture.
My machine is entirely white which I think looks considerably better than the silver/black monstrosity shown above.
The machine was actually surprisingly light, and as you may see from my photograph it is stored above my dishwasher so it was able to be lifted by one person several feet off the ground. Its dimensions are relatively standard at 85 cm x 59.5 cm x 58.4 cm which should allow it to fit under most standard work surfaces.
The dryer is filled via the front door which opens from the right and will open to almost a 180° angle to the left of the machine which allows for easy access, and it won't swing back allowing you to get the wet clothes into the dryer unimpeded.
After you have loaded the machine with your desired amount of wet clothes / towels, etc, you simply close the door and use the dial in the top right hand corner to select the time required. I don't do any of this separation nonsense for whites, colours, cottons, polyesters so it all goes in. Nothing ever shrinks, the only thing I don't dry in this machine is wool which goes over the radiator in the hall. For a full load I generally stick it in for 80 minutes, although the dial goes up 160 minutes. There are also two temperature settings, the highly inventive "high" or "low". I always have it on high. There is no digital display for this machine, but a dial is more than sufficient for the purposes of drying your clothes.
At the time when I bought this machine it cost £299.99 with 6 months interest free credit to allow me to pay it up. They also charged £20 to take the old one away but it saves any hassle as it was completely knackered!
You can currently buy this machine for £199.99 at Curry's, or there is currently a reconditioned one available on eBay for £119.99 (really useful collection in Dover only). Just buy a new one and get it delivered for the sake of that risky hassle!
*Can also be found in full on Ciao*
I needed a tumble dryer that had a good sized drum and also wasn't too expensive and this one fit the bill. I bought it from Curry's where it was originally 299 but was on sale for 199. Compared to loads of other condenser dryers that I looked at this seemed like a bargain and it came from a brand I was familiar with instead of one that I had never heard of before.
The dryer is white and looked quite bulky but it fit in the built in space in my kitchen that was for dryers perfectly so it is obviously standard sized and only looks big. When it was delivered I just had to plug it in and it was ready to use straight away.
The tumble dryer is perfectly suited for family use because of the large 8kg capacity. I need a large capacity tumble dryer as my washing machine also has a large capacity and I wanted one where I could just decant the clothes from my washing machine to my tumble dryer and not have to dry things separately. The drum is really large and I can fit loads in there at one time.
There is a setting for both low and high heats depending so you can change it depending on what fabrics you have in there so they won't just shrink. It also has a cool down cycle right at the end of drying to reduce creases etc. The timer goes up to 160 minutes which even when the drum is full is more than enough time to dry absolutely everything. I never put the timer on for so long as I find that you just don't need it on for as long as it dries much quicker than that.
The door has a push mechanism so you just have to push it with your fingers slightly to open it and it closes easily without needing to be banged. It has an energy rating of C which isn't the best but it is quite good. Ideally I would be hanging out my washing to dry outside but with our weather that is not really a practical option especially in winter so this is invaluable for my household as we always have so much washing. When the dryer is on it is quite loud but it is only really a problem if I am sitting next to it as it isn't loud enough to bother me if I am in another room and I can hve it on when I am in bed and it doesn't keep any of us awake.
I needed a condenser because I don't have anywhere to vent the hot air and it is great to be able to just put my wet laundry in the dryer and leave it until it is dry. The tray that fills with water is easy to take out and empty down the sink and doesn't weigh a ton when full.
We already have a Hotpoint washer dryer, but the one problem that we have with it is that the barrel is on the small side. We didn't take this into consideration when we first bought it some 13 years ago as we didn't have two kids then Our thoughts were that we should either replace the entire washing machine (although there's little point in that seeing that it's still running well) or get an independent dryer. Needless to say we went for the later.
We purchased the dryer from Comet for around £250 2 years ago. It's living quarters are the garage. It usually gets used the most in autum/winter or if bad weather sets in.
It's freestanding as opposed to integrated and has a drying capacity of 8 kg. Energy rating is marled down as C which I think is OK but not the best. There are 2 drying temperatures and the timer can be set to a maximum of 160 minutes which will certainly cook your clothes at the high temperature! The display is digital and it has a dial in order for you to select the programme that you require. It's size is pretty standard that being or: H850cm X W595cm X D584cm. It is a stackable product i.e. if you need to pop another dryer or washer directly on top of this then it is possible.
It has a reverse-action drying system that actually works really effectively. This action stops your clothes from becoming tangled. Whatever setting you choose is dependent on whether you're loading up cotton, wool fabrics and it always runs a cool cycle. A cool cycle will reduce the creases in your garments and makes it therefore easier for you to iron.
When the dryer is running it is pretty noisy, although this doesn't bother me as it's in the garage and I can't hear it. So this is a warning to anyone who installs it in their kitchen. It doesn't have a drying sensor to calculating the time required to dry your clothes is impossible. I usually pop it on for 1 hour 30 minutes if I have a full load and then see how it's doing as I don't want to over cook them as this will waste electricity. It's a case of suck it and see, you'll soon get to learn how long it takes to run a cycle for nicely cooked clothes!
I recommend this dryer to anyone who has a medium to large size family. There is really nothing complicated about the dryer.
This tumble dryer might not be the most attractive tumble dryer you can buy, but it is simple to use and dries clothes quickly and fairly quietly. After my last machine having electrical problems with it's electrical display and buttons, I like how simple and manual the controls on this machine are. It has a low/high heat setting and a dial for you to select how long you would like your clothes to be dried for. I've found that this dryer can do an 8kg load of normal clothes (i.e., not towels) in an hour or less. The last 10-20 minutes of the cycle is at a reduced temperature, meaning that by the time it has finished the clothes are dry and cool to touch. This also means that you can leave your clothes in the dryer for as long as you need to without them becoming damp again.
One major advantage to this machine is that the condenser drawer that you must empty every 2-3 cycles is at the top of the machine - no bending down to the floor and lifting 5kg of water! The drawer slides out easily, tip it back slightly, and you can carry it easily to wherever you plan on emptying the water.
The only drawback to this machine that I've found is that the lint/fluff collector gets full every single time I use the dryer. It has to be emptied every time I use it, and the fluff seems to not be completely caught by the trap. It's not a major problem, but something that wasn't part of my regular usage of my last machine.
I'd recommend this dryer to anyone.
We were bought this tumble dryer as a very generous wedding present from our parents. We didn't choose the dryer ourselves so really we just had to hope that it would be suitable for our needs. Luckily it does seem to be....for the most part. The dryer is a condenser dryer which means that the water collects in a tank within the dryer. I'm not certain what other type of dryers there are but based on the space we had available this was the sort we needed.
==How to operate==
The dryer is really simple to operate. The door has a spring function so you press the door and the door springs open. You put your clothes inside and close the door. There is only one dial on the front of the tumble dyer which is clearly 'time'. The maximum you can dry for is 2 hours 40 minutes (160minutes). Obviously you can put the dryer on again if you need to. You then decide if you want to put it on a high heat or low heat. I'm a bit of a maverick here and put everything on high heat (and occasionally wonder why my cardigans seem smaller!) and it seems to do OK. Then once you have selected the heat, you press the start button. To stop the dryer your just press the large door and the dryer stops instantly.
==Drum Size and Drying Time==
The drum size is 8Kg which is brilliant, but typically if you fill the drum the clothes come out quite creased and take AGEEEEEEEEES to dry. Small bits (i.e. less than 10 items) for short bursts of time seem to work best and really reduce creasing. However, most of the time we seem to forget to do this and just throw the entire washing load in the dryer and wonder why it takes ages to dry. The drum size is good for drying sheets and even a double-bed throw fits into it with a bit of a squeeze. Compared to the "other" type of dryer that my Mum owns, this seems to be quite slow at drying clothes. She has used this dryer when hers has been on the blink and found it very slow in comparison. I'm not sure why, perhaps this is something that condensing dryers do?
The noise isn't too bad. Our dryer is perched on top of a worktop (washing machine underneath) and doesn't jump around at all. It is in the utility room which is tiled and echoey, so I do think it makes some noise, but is generally quiet compared to our very old (old) washing machine which used to sound like an aeroplane taking off. This has a loud hum to it but nothing too bad. Might feel differently if it was in the kitchen but we can close the utility room door so it isn't as loud.
1. Fluff gatherer - I'm certain this isn't the technical name for it, but essentially there is a fluff gatherer on the front which you can take out (and must take out) regularly to throw the fluff in the bin. I like this feature as compared to my Mum's older dryer, the fluff used to get everywhere in the shed and make a mess so I'm glad this feature is in our dyer.
2. Water gatherer - As I mentioned earlier there is a water tank which is basically a long drawer with a handle (you can see it on the picture). The water is drawn out of the clothes and condenses into this tank. When it is full, a red light comes on and you pull the drawer out of the machine and empty it down the sink. The worst part of the dryer is that if the tank is full and cannot hold any more water, the machine doesn't cut out. It keeps on drying to no avail as there is nowhere for the water to go. A better design would be for the dryer to cut out once the tank was full. Therefore if you think you are going to be doing a lot of drying, make sure you check to see if the tank is full or not. I think it holds a gallon of water if memory serves me correctly.
Overall, I do like this dryer, but would be interested more to know how the drying time compared to other dryers out there as I feel our dryer is on for a long time sometimes and it must use a lot of energy up. We haven't had any problems with it in the 2 years that we have had it. Would I buy it again? I'm not sure. I'd definitely want to do more research into the best drying times of condenser tumble dryers rather than just going and buying anyone. The drum size is useful but again putting full loads of washing in takes hours to dry. The quality of the parts seems good as I would expect from Hotpoint.
Hotpoint Freestanding Aquarius Condensor Dryer 8kg / Short name: Hotpoint TCM580P