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Ok, so I am not even going to pretend to be an expert in washer dryers and dread the inevitable time when gadgets such as these give up and need replacing, but so far (and touch wood) in the two years that I have had this model, I have been quite happy with it.
To be honest, when I needed to buy a washer dryer my mind was on more appealing purchases (it being holiday season and all) so I was looking for something cheap that would do the job without too much fuss. I didn't really care about the look of it or whether it had special features other than it would be installed quickly and I could forget all about it.
When the machine, which cost around £380 arrived I got a bit of a shock when I opened the drum as the space for putting clothes didn't seem to go back very far. Having said that when I checked it out against other machines, it had a similar capacity to them so no worry there then. It still comfortably holds a good load of washing, no problems.
There are various options as to wash times and temperatures and as I am one for whizzing my clothes through when they're worn but not really that dirty, I like the 59 minutes wash which, like some of the other programmes can be set to various temperatures.
The tumble drier has loads of options including drying the items to a set requirement, such as store dry and iron dry as well as for a specific length of time.
This washer/drier is easy to operate once you get the idea of it and my mum, who needed to buy a washer/dryer soon after myself chose the same model. Despite not being 'into technology and gadgets' she has also found her way around the way it all works without problem so that makes two of us.
All I can say is that this washer/dryer was bought in a hurry to get working and washing with minimum of fuss and expense. So far it has done us proud.
We've actually owned two of these machines over a period of around 6 years. Having two wasn't through choice - we purchased the first for around £390 and something major went wrong with it (something with the drum but I don't know what exactly - all I know is that the repair man tutted for ages and finally told us it was beyond repair!) As it was insured we received an old for new replacement with the same model. That doesn't really get this review off to a good start! I will say though that I think washer dryers in general last far less time than washing machines - my mum has had 2 washing machines in nearly 30 years, I've got through 3 washer dryers (I previously had a Hotpoint that lasted 2 years before moving onto this Hoover) that have lasted roughly 8 years! Unless I'm just cursed with them?! I often have days where it's not used but then 2 or 3 loads are done on another day and I'd say my mum uses hers just as much.
The washer dryer we have is white, I'm not sure on other colours available. It constantly needs wiping clean but then that's just white machines in general. The washer dryer's top is plain but to me doesn't look like it's been finished very well - I'm glad ours is slotted into the units so the pattern can't be seen!
I remember when it arrived thinking how futuristic it looked! But times have changed and I think now most machines have this look - at the time though it seemed an exception. The machine measures 85cm x 60cm x 52cm. The capacity of the machine is 6kg for washing, 5kg for drying but as I don't ever fully fill the machine I've never had to take clothes out before using the drying cycle. That's what I like best - I know when the clothes go in, next time I see them they'll be clean and dry! The energy efficient rating is B and it is a 1400 spin machine.
There's a dial on the machine so that the desired wash and dry setting can be programmed. There are a large number of cycles available - the one I use most is the quick wash. I previously used the normal 59 minute wash but found that the quick 30 minute cycle worked just as well on most items (apart from husband's dirty football kit!) so saving me half an hour with every wash. There's a sports wash option for his football kit which I do usually use but it doesn't always get some of the really bad marks on his kit out (although maybe that's partly down to the tabs I use?). Another cycle I make great use from are the wool and delicates cycles - these take around an hour to wash and does treat the clothes with great care, although they come out sopping wet. Depending on the item, I usually go back and set the machine to the spin cycle straight after to get the excess water out of the clothes before removing - otherwise they drip all over the floor. Depending on the cycle, the washing heat can be set to cold, 30 degrees, 40 degrees , 60 degrees or even 90 degrees! For example, on the quick 14 minute wash, which is extremely handy when I need something in a rush, the only temperatures available are the 30 degree and cold ones but a couple of cycles for heavily soiled items automatically switch to 60 degrees.
The dry cycles are quite basic - just a setting of either high heat or low heat on the dial, although you can also set it to dry straight after most of the wash cycles. Obviously on the wool cycle I don't because I don't want the clothes to shrink but more importantly they are far too wet for the dryer to have any effect! There is a button on the machine to then choose the amount of drying that you want on the high or low heat setting - I usually use the 90 minute drying time for a normal load of washing, making a complete wash and dry for me around 2 hours in total. The other options are 30 minutes (I usually use this for very light loads), 60 minutes and 120 minutes (I usually use this for towels and jeans). The other options are cupboard dry, iron dry (leaving them with a partly damp feeling), sunshine dry (as though they've been hung outside) and air dry. I usually find that the 90 or 120 minute settings work best for our loads depending on the clothes. I do find some things eg jeans come out feeling a bit like cardboard when they've been on the 120 minute drying cycle and have lots of creases in them that I need to iron out.
There is an LED screen which is very handy to know how it's getting on. The machine has a wide door with a good catch - my mum owns what I would consider a more premium branded washer and over a 6 year period has had to have 2 catches replaced! The one on this machine however feels sturdy and fit for purpose. To open the door, as with the majority of machines, there's a button to press behind the handle. The dispenser drawer comes out of the machine, which is handy for wiping it clean, but this can be a bit fiddly to pull out - mine seems to get stuck and needs tugging out. Luckily, I now generally use tabs and gels and they go straight in the machine rather than the drawer so it doesn't need wiping as often these days. There's a delay start button too but I've never used this feature because I've never needed to. Other features include being able to change the spin speed, a sensitive care setting and a stain blaster setting.
I think it's a good machine, although we have had a few problems. Obviously our first one only lasted 2 years and then developed a major fault so that wasn't great. This replacement seems (*touching wood*) to have been ok, although there is something wrong with the LED screen. It's still usable and washes and dries to the same standard but it's started flickering whenever I choose the quick wash and flickers to the point that I'm halfway through setting the wash and dry that I want and it'll flicker something random onto the screen and I have to start again. I assume this means that there's a loose connection somewhere which may be easily fixed if we got someone to it, I don't know. The filter also fills with water fairly often (I'd say around every 3 months) and needs emptying via the compartment at the bottom of the machine. This is annoying - especially because I need a whole house worth of towels to soak up all the water that gushes out! But, on the whole - the washing and drying process is great - the clothes always come out lovely and clean so it does a good job there.
I think I'm going to rate it 3 stars overall - maybe that's slightly generous. Two have to come off for the fact that the first one broke after 2 years and the fact that this one seems to be on it's way out now after 4 years. I do think though that washer dryers in general although a great idea, are temperamental and if it wasn't down to lack of space, I'd consider owning separate machines instead.
Thanks for reading :o)
We purchased this Hoover washer drier VHW654 after extensive research online, looing at Which? and asking family and friends who own washer driers. We had heard bad things about washer driers so we wanted to do our homework. We purchased the Hoover VHW654 as it seemed to tick all the boxes in temrs of different temperature washes and drying functions. Our first disappointment was how loud it was when spinning - our last machine was noisy and we though by getting a new machine we would see an improvement. The Hoover VHW654 did not deliver. If you are looking for a quiet Hoover washing machine or washer drier, then in my opinion this is not for you.
Things really started to go wrong just after its first birthday - typical! The first thing to go wrong was that the display started to jump around. You woudl select a wash and the display would show other washes, moving from one setting to the next, and when you saw the wash you wanted, you had to quickly push the 'door shut' button to get it to work. The second problem we found was that the drier stopped working! It would make all the noises and go through the motions, but the clothes were still wet - even after going through twice! I think the problem was that the heat wasnt working. I have asked if these are common faults but Hoover wouldnt comment.
So, in summary, my advice if you are looking at washer driers or, in particular, Hoover washer driers, then dont purchase the Hoover VHW654.
It struck me whilst shopping for a new washing machine that I really had no clue what I was doing, my partner didn't either - not a good start! The washing machine the previous owner had left behind had started leaving oil marks on our clothes and sounding worryingly like it was preparing for take-off. After a quick look on the Which? website (www.which.co.uk - £1 trial) and a lot of washing machine debating, off to Curry's we marched to buy the Hoover VHW654D.
It took a while to even decide that we wanted a washer dryer (the more jobs one machine does, the more parts it has to go wrong) but having limited space meant the Hoover's 52cm depth fitted under our kitchen unit perfectly and meant we were able to have something to dry large items such as bedding which takes up a lot of hanging space in a small flat like ours. It was hard finding a washer dryer that would fit but the Hoovers design means that the drum has a wider diameter and is less deep than its rivals but it still takes a 6kg load (5kg for drying). More than enough for the two of us - possibly too small for larger households though.
The machine is good to look at with its large viewing window and simple controls, the door is easy to open and close although the shallowness of the drum makes it easier for clothes to fall out when the wash is finished. The dispenser drawer is slightly tricky in that you need to ensure it is pushed firmly when closing it.
There are many wash settings including washes for cottons, synthetics, quick wash, delicates and wool. The washing machine also has a clever feature which adjusts the length of the wash depending on how much washing you have put in - it shortens the wash time if there is less than the full weight in the machine. All the settings have variable options for temperature - I have found that the 30 degree wash cleans perfectly well. An average cotton wash lasts about one and a half hours. The machine is pretty silent and doesn't shake too much but does make an unusual whistling sound when it's spinning! All our clothes have come out beautifully clean, not too wet and all the washing liquid and fabric conditioner has been used from the dispenser.
The dry functions are also plentiful but slightly less successful. You can dry to cupboard or iron dry and can choose a low or high heat depending on if there are synthetics or cottons. You can also simply select a time from the electronic display from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes. We tried to dry four towels as we had guests coming the next day and it took three and a half hours. The only thing it has been useful for is those last minute 'everything's in the wash' panics - when you need to put a top or some trousers in it does do the job in around twenty minutes, much easier than the hairdryer! The biggest problem comes when you have to try to get drying out before the time is up, the doors lock whilst drying and getting washing out means a complicated fiddling with the buttons to try to make the machine forget what you were doing. It also seems to take the smell of the fabric conditioner out of the clothes that have been dried in it.
The Hoover VHW654D is currently available at £479.00 from Curry's - we got ours for around £380 and is also being sold at Dixons.co.uk and some other online retailers for £391.00. It comes with a five year parts warranty and one years labour. I love this machine for washing and think it's great value for money but it lacks in the drying department, hopefully it will continue to wash well and when I get a bigger house I will get a separate dryer!
Short name: Hoover VHW654