“ Brand: Hotpoint / Washer Type: All-in-One Washer / Dryer / Load Type: Front Loader / Spin Speeds: 1200 rpm / Washing Method: Drum / Energy Consumption per Wash: 5.67 kWHrs / Water Consumption per Wash: 98L / Energy Efficiency: B / Wash Efficiency: A / Spin Drying Efficiency: B / Tub Material: Stainless Steel / Exterior Color: Graphite / Dryer: 3 heat settings „
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Firstly let me apologise in advance if this review turns into a rant, but as far as this nasty washing machine goes it deserves nothing more. My rants are justified and I can back them up with facts.
I bought the machine just over two years ago when we moved into a property with such a strangely shaped kitchen that there was barely any room for our slightly larger than average fridge, let alone a washer AND dryer. I thought I was doing the right thing by choosing a combo machine. Big mistake.
It cost around £429 and is available in white or graphite. I chose graphite as I had the idea at the time of having a silver/graphite/chrome theme going in the kitchen. It's not a bad looking machine to be fair, the new sheen wears off quite quickly but overall it looks a nice piece of kit
The first disappointment was the length of the various cycles, a standard wash and dry cycle would take up to four hours and even then the clothes wouldn't necessarily come out dry. There's a numbered dial where you choose how long you want to set the dryer to run, this is a waste of space as unless you pick the very highest 180 minute setting the machine will dry nothing heavier than a single sheet or very light load of clothes. And I mean very light, as in maybe one outfit providing it's not too thick. In three hours. It's bizarre, I can to-and-fro with a full load on and off the radiators and dry it all in a shorter time than that. Who's got three hours to wait for a (still clammy) load of clothes to dry? With four kids (including a sicky newborn and very messy toddler) I definitely haven't got the time as I usually need to fit at least two loads in a day, something which was hard work in the time I had this machine.
There's one programme which I found quite useful and that is one which will wash and dry a couple of items in an hour. This was handy during the snow and bad weather as I could wash the kids' uniforms every night and know it wouldn't take as long as throwing them in as a single load on the standard cycle. When it died a death I wasn't completely surprised as I'd noticed this hour long cycle becoming less and less efficient, that combined with the fact that the dryer suddenly started refusing to dry even the miniest load.
The wash isn't great either. No matter what washing powder I used there were lots of stains that this Hotpoint machine couldn't cope with. I'm a good washer, I've always had a knack for getting stains out but since buying this washing machine I've been defeated by even the simplest of stains. I'm actually looking at a top of Hollies as I type, a gorgeous Next top which has been ruined by the machine not being able to remove a smudge of macaroni cheese - a semi transparent mark which any decent washing machine could have got out.
A horrible thing about this washing machine was the smell, every three months or so I've have to bleach it through as the clothes would come out with a fusty smell. Vile. I worked out that if I removed the clothes *immediately* after the cycle ended then they'd be fine, but leave them sitting in the machine for an hour would make them smell stale and unclean. The bleaching probably didn't do it much good, and when it finally died I think I overwhelmed it with half a bottle of Domestos and a ninety degree wash cycle!
The machine was bad news from the off. When it arrived it was too big for the gap due to the website getting the measurements wrong, I was happy with my purchase then (before using it) so Mark cut a cupboard down to get it in. Then one of the pipes (hoses, whatever) split after the second wash, meaning we either had an upwards of four week wait for a replacement from Hotpoint or pay for them ourselves - and with a large family we simply couldn't be without a washing machine any longer so we were forced to bear the (not small) cost.
Then a month after the guarantee ended the thermostat on the machine failed, the machine just went off one day and tripped the electric at the same time. We couldn't get it on again and as the emergency button for opening the door was also faulty a whole load of clothing ended up ruined as it sat in water for four days until the repair man could get to us. He fixed the thermostat (£50) and I muddled on with the machine for another few months, but when it died again recently I simply bought a new machine and got rid of this rubbish as I couldn't deal with it for another minute.
I actually contacted Hotpoint about it on at least three occasions, each time being told that as it was out of guarantee they weren't prepared to do anything about it. Honestly though, from the day I took delivery of this machine it has been worse than useless but Hotpoint were simply not prepared to listen to my arguements about it not being fit for purpose so I have vowed never again to knowingly own a product made by this dreadful company. It actually quite sad to see a market leader such as Hotpoint being reduced to creating vastly inferior appliances, but that's the 21st century I suppose.
My last big buy was a new combined washer dryer back in July, the ventilation tube of my tumble dryer was posing a hazard to my baby granddaughter as she learned to walk so I had the perfect excuse to treat myself to a condenser dryer which didn't need a tube to work.
I decided on the Hotpoint WDL520G because it was reasonably priced and had all the functions I needed, it was also highly recommended by the girl in the shop who could have sold me a more expensive machine but instead told me of her own good experience with the model. Costing just £299.99, this combined machine costs less than some of the more standard Hotpoint washing machines and you have the benefit of more space in your kitchen when you get rid of your tumble dryer.
This has proved to be the best washing machine I have ever owned. It's so simple to use that a cursory glance of the easy to read instruction manual was all it took before I felt I knew the machine inside out. The manual is very good incidentally and covers all the things I would need to know or look up before using the machine, it's well written with basic instructions on how to do everything as well as easy to follow illustrations.
In the shop I was not overly impressed with how the machine looked, I don't know why but it looked very old fashioned to me. It's graphite in colour with the main body of the machine being a lighter shade than the top and the section which houses the dials and dispenser drawer. I suppose it was because this machine was surrounded with crisp looking white washing machines in the shop that it looked so old fashioned because as soon as it arrived and was plumbed in it looked great, my kitchen has a pine and silver theme and I think this machine blends in much better than the bright silver Servis one I had before.
The machine is operated by way of three dials which set the programme, wash temperature and drying time. They are self explanatory and a full key to the programme numbers is printed clearly on the detergent drawer. As with any washing machine you will soon learn which programmes are most suited to your family and the majority of them are surplus to requirements for day to day washing, but occasionally you'll need to use one of the more obscure programmes and then you'll be glad there are 16 to choose from!
I tend to use the cottons programme on 30° with a 100 minute drying cycle and my clothes always come out perfectly clean and dry ready to be ironed. This machine has been given an A Grade wash performance rating, which means it will remove the most stubborn of stains. I can agree with this because everything I have washed has come out spotlessly clean, right down to my baby granddaughter's dirty bibs and that has got to be the ultimate test for any washing machine!
A couple of the programmes I use fairly often are the Easy Iron and Ready To Wear options. I also press the button which tells the machine that this is a small load sometimes as I live alone and often need to wash just a few items, the small load function saves water and energy but still cleans the clothes perfectly. Easy Iron is a good addition to the machine, it soaks the clothes for a while in water before the final spin which means there are fewer deep creases in the fabric. One dislike I have with this machine is that the clothes are unbelievably creased when I take them out and ironing is an absolute necessity, my old tumble dryer would leave the majority of my clothes needing no ironing at all as took most of the creases out! Easy Iron doesn't remove all the creases but my clothes certainly don't come out crumpled as they do using the standard cottons programme.
Ready To Wear is a good programme which works well with smaller loads of thin fabrics and allows you to wash and dry in 60 minutes. This is great when I'm short of time as the long drying cycle of this machine would have me tearing out my hair otherwise. I am quite an organised person when it comes to my laundry so put a load on in the morning and then I don't care how long the washing and drying cycle takes. The machine takes much longer than my previous Servis washing machine though, the wash taking around an hour and then up to a further 180 minutes to dry the clothes. You can opt for a quick wash which will take just 30 minutes, but this doesn't seem an adequate length of time compared to the standard wash although I have used it on barely soiled items.
The spin speed is 1200 rpm and the clothes certainly seem to be have spun well on the odd occasion we have had dry enough weather to peg it out on the line, they dry slightly slower than those from my Servis machine but this had an rpm of 1600 so I expected this.
Whichever programme you choose you will have to select a temperature on the second dial, temperatures range from 30°C to 90°C or you can choose a cold wash. Obviously some of the programmes give you a limited choice of temperature, but this is clearly marked on the key and the machine will not allow you to choose an incorrect temperature. I find 30° is fine for me but my daughter, who has the exact same machine, finds she needs to go up to 40° to get all the girls' clothes clean and she even washes at 80° when my son in law comes home from work in particularly filthy overalls!
Talking of my daughter, she has a pre-payment electricity meter and has actually calculated that a full wash and dry cycle costs only 72p which astounded me as it seems to take such a long time. According to the booklet it has an energy consumption of 5.67kW, although that means absolutely nothing to me so I'll just say that 72p a cycle is pretty impressive in my opinion! It saves on water too because one of the excellent eco related features is the fact that the machine will adjust the amount of water needed depending on the weight of the load, perhaps all washing machines do this I don't know.
You can fit 7kg of laundry into the washing machine drum, although it will only dry 5kg worth so if you regularly fill your machine to bursting point then please be aware that you will need to remove some of the wet washing in order to dry the rest thoroughly. This is no problem for me as I don't like tumble dried towels and have several items which will shrink if dried in the machine, so if my load looks too heavy for the dryer to cope with then I simply remove all these things and reduce the weight by around half as towels in particular are very heavy once wet.
All in all I'm very happy with my Hotpoint WDL520G. I registered it with Hotpoint as soon as it arrived and am now covered with a 5 year parts warranty and 1 year labour warranty, this is in addition to my statutory rights as a consumer. There were various options for me to purchase an extended warranty and the prices did not actually seem too bad, but as my best friends husband is a washing machine repair man I didn't bother to take them up on it as he'll generally fix any problems for the price of a few beers!
Short name: Hotpoint WDL520G