Newest Review: ... Although the capacity is small, the door and the drum are huge. Obviously the point of a tumble dryer is that there is enough room for ... more
And the Washing Came Tumbling After
Member Name: ryanando
Advantages: makes everything soft and fluffy, dries well, easy to use, nice colour
Disadvantages: buttons are a bit clunky.
---Jack and James Went up the hill---
My dad lives in a tiny little village in a land far, far away. Well, it's about a twenty minute drive both ways. This means it sucks my petrol dry any time I have to visit him. Given that he asks me to Dog-sit for him when he goes off on a wee wander with his wife, my petrol tends to be sucked dry fairly regularly. He also likes to think that I'm rich (he's quite well paid and has that thing where you forget people earn much less than you) so he never compensates me for said petrol or leaves enough food to eat while I'm watching the Dog. It would also happen that he has a tumble dryer. Couple this my house in which washing refuses to dry making a large pile of backed up washing and you have an ideal situation for a little son-father exploitation.
Every so often when I have his house to myself, Allan and I pile our washing into my boot and tip-toe up to the house, check they have left and then its operation "Wash n Dry" till we leave with a boot full of clean and dry clothes. He's forever telling me what's his is mine and since I slipped him some cash for it a while back, I'm finally getting some real use out of it! I've already reviewed the washing machine, now it's time for the tumble dryer!
---James came tumbling after---
My Dad (James) got himself a nifty little Hotpoint TVM562 Aquarius tumble dryer around 4 years ago to match his Hotpoint WMF760G Aquarius+ washing machine. Name wise it's a perfect pairing; nothing like a bunch of numbers and letters to get your blood flowing. The colour matches perfectly so I assume it's also called the same thing (which is "Graphite") a light grey/silver colour for the body and a darker grey for the door and the top section. Unlike the washing machine the button selection on the tumble dryer is very simple, it tumbles at one speed so there's no real need for a lot of options.
It's a vented tumble dryer which is, I assume, a reference to the big white tube that blows the hot air out the back of it. You'll need to have it somewhere close to a window or a built in vent to use it safely. I chipped in £100 while I was living with him to put towards a new tumbledryer (on top of money I chipped in for the matching washing machine) and currently you can only buy it second hand. I've seen prices around the £200 mark but being that it's second hand there's a lot more leeway for changing the price.
---What's the capacity?---
For this model the capacity comes in at 6kg. That is fairly small if I'm being honest. You can go up to 9kg without much hassle, so 6kg doesn't really sit well with my needs if you are purely looking at the numbers. Throw in some slight confusion from me as to why my dad would by a 7kg capacity washing machine and pair it with a 6 kg capacity tumble dryer. That seems like an odd decision. Then again, I never said my Dad isn't odd. Where do you think I get it from? Although the capacity is small, the door and the drum are huge. Obviously the point of a tumble dryer is that there is enough room for the hot air to circulate. I'm a little rebellious and transferred my full 7kg load into the machine and there's still plenty of room!
---Plugging it in---
Being a tumble dryer, this is much easier to install. Not only is the whole unit quite light (at least in comparison to the washing machine) but you simply need to find a space that it fits in, point the ventilation shaft wherever you want it to go and plug it in. Simple! Energy wise the machine is a C rating. A handy little website I was on informed me that if you do 5 loads of drying a week in the machine then you will pay around £120 a year to run the machine. Here was me thinking it would be ridiculously priced to run a tumble dryer. Had I the space in my flat, I'd probably invest in one for the odd occasion, but I don't so boo to that.
---Driving your tumbler---
Working the machine is fairly simple. There are three buttons and two dials to use on the machine and there is a handy list of settings on the left hand side of the machine to help you decide. I'll deal with the buttons first. The first button going left to right is the "alarm on/ off" button. When you push it, the button clicks into place and stays in. In this position the alarm on the machine is ON. Push it again to release the button and the alarm is off. The alarm basically beeps when the machine is finished so if you want to toddle off and leave the machine it will give you a loud beep to let you know when it's finished fondling your knickers.
The next button along to your right is the Low Heat/ High Heat button. In the same way as the alarm button, it clicks into place when you push it. With the button pushed in your tumble dryer is on the "high heat" setting. When the button is in the out position your machine is on "low heat". This setting would come in handy if you want to boost the drying power, though be careful as you could potentially shrink some clothes on a high heat. I'm determined that's why none of my jeans fit anymore. Nothing to do with all the take-aways at all... hmm.
The last button is the start button. Simply turn your dials to where you want them and push this. Assuming you have also closed the door the machine will start. Unlike your washing machine there is no lock on the tumble drier door but it does automatically cut out as soon as the door is open. If you decide to open it mid cycle you'll need to push the start button again when you close it. You won't need to change the dials unless you want to add more time to the cycle.
I have to mention that due to the buttons protruding it does make the machine look a bit nasty. It doesn't look quite as sleek as its counterpart with computerised, LED encrusted buttons. They are a little bit clunky and clicky and sticky-out-ey so it does look a bit old fashioned because of them which is a shame as overall it doesn't look terrible, just that it could look better.
---Dial my number---
The two dials are fairly simple to work. The first one is a timer delay. It's not very self explanatory in that it simply has numbers from one to twelve around the dial. I would think that they wouldn't bother allowing you a maximum of 12 minutes delay so I have to assume that it's up to twelve hours. Simply turn the dial, select your programme and hit start. I can't say how well this function works as I've never needed or wanted to use it but I can foresee an issue with the small space between the numbers and no other markings making it a bit of an inexact science trying to get anything between the hour marks.
The second dial is your main cycle dial there are a couple of little pictures that correspond with your cycle list to the left and a general timed setting that goes up to 120 minutes, the last 20 minutes of which is a "cool down" setting, presumably so that your washing isn't uncomfortably warm when you're taking it out but possibly so that it cools down slowly rather than quickly, which may make your clothes unhappy. Usually I just shove a whole load in on the high heat setting and blast it for 120 minutes. Given that the load is higher than recommended you'd think this would cause issues but it really doesn't. At most I've had to separate jeans out and give them another 10-15 minutes as they were still very slightly damp, but everything else was fine. I'd imagine if I actually stuck to the load recommendations that it would all get dry in the allotted time. If I wasn't being a washing ninja, I'd probably relax a little more and try it out properly.
---The Parent Trap---
In the rim of the door (the main body of the machine) at the bottom you will find the removable lint trap. This is something you should be very conscious of. That goes doubly so for me. Can't have my dad going to dry his washing and pulling out the lint trap to find it is already full. He'd know! It simply slides out and you can easily rub the lint off of it, usually getting a small handful. You should really do this after every load you do as it does fill the filter each time. Apparently clothes are fluffier than you realise. My lint is usually a grey blue but I don't know if that's the same for everyone. Answers on a postcard guys! Once you've cleared the lint trap (which takes less than 30 seconds) simply slot it back in to where you took it from. Perfect!
As mentioned the machine comes with some recommended cycles written along the left top hand side of the machine. These are split into four sections: Cotton - high heat, Synthetics - high heat, Acrylics - low heat and Set and forget. Follow the recommendations and it will probably get your washing dry without shrinking anything. I'm far too brave for that, but just in case you wish to know, here's what Hotpoint recommend!
---Cotton - High Heat---
1-2KG = 20-45 minutes
2-3KG = 45-70 minutes
5-6KG = 70-120 minutes
Maths wise you are best to just put as much in as you can. If you split your loads into smaller amounts you will be using the same amount of time to dry your clothes but adding in time to unload and re-load the machine. I shove everything in on a high heat for 120 minutes. Yay!
---Synthetics - High heat---
1kg = 20 - 30 minutes
2kg = 35 - 40 minutes
3kg = 45 - 60 minutes
Again with this one, maths wise it makes much more sense to shove it all in as if you split it up into smaller loads you actually ADD drying time. As an example a 5kg load could be split to 3kg and 2kg making your minimum drying time 80 minutes, whereas 5 loads of 1kg would be 100 minutes, a whole twenty minutes extra plus time for unloading and re-loading. Crazy. Personally though I'd still just shove the whole load in and stick it on max.
---Acrylics - Low heat---
1kg = 25 - 40 minutes
2kg = 40 - 60 minutes
Hotpoint are obviously assuming you won't have a high amount of acrylics to dry. On this setting the maths still points towards doing as much as you can at the same time. Simple.
---Warm, cosy noise---
Tumble driers aren't anywhere near as noisy as washing machines. If anything you'll get a low hum and the occasional clacking of your zips and buttons off of the drum as they are tossed about. I actually find the sound of the tumble drier quite relaxing as it is essentially white noise. My dad keeps his tumble drier outside in his shed and when you're in the house you can't hear it. When he used to keep it inside you only heard it if the utility room door was open. There shouldn't be much issue with this unless your house is made of paper and you live above people with super hearing. If you have no downstairs neighbours then you won't need to worry at all about the noise, even if you do I can't imagine it being much of an issue.
The tumble dryer works. That's what's important. It has worked for over 4 years for my Dad (with the occasional sneak-thief usage from me) and hasn't caused any problems. Being that you will only be able to pick up a second hand one now, the prices are very variable, so you might be able to get a very good deal. Replacement parts are still on sale everywhere for fair prices too so even if it does break down it won't cost an arm and a leg to have it fixed if you are sensible about it. The clothes come out dry, soft and fluffy which is always a great feeling. Tumble dried towels are the best. The only thing I would take marks off for are the clunky buttons that lend it a very old fashioned appearance in an otherwise modern looking machine. Overall a great little addition to your plethora of appliances, scoring a 4 out of 5 from me.
Summary: A great little hotpoint tumble dryer