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It's sods law isn't it? First the dryer coughs and splutters its last hot breath, just as Christmas approaches and I need it most and then the washing machine starts to sound like someone is mixing cement in it, making a grinding, crunching sound like it has turned cannibal and is slowly eating itself. Like most of you, there is no way I can manage without my washing machine, not with three teenagers and a messy husband to run around after. Well I started saving my pennies as soon as Christmas passed over but to be honest it was going to take me a while. Then I had a bit of luck. The local bingo hall had a prize draw and it was my ticket that was plucked from the basket. I found myself the proud owner of a brand new Candy Aquaviva 1300 washer dryer. Of course I was thrilled. It's not everyday you get something so useful for free. I was really excited, especially as it was delivered the very next day. What do you do when you win something so great? You jump straight on the net and see how much the little beauty would cost you if you had to buy it. This one is available from Tesco Electricals Online for a penny under two hundred and thirty pounds. Hmm, thats not a lot of money to pay for a good washer drier. I did wonder how good it would perform but hey, remember, this was a freebie. I was still chuffed. When it was arrived it was really well packed. I have to say though, that although I was happy that my new machine was very well protected, unpacking it was difficult, especially as at one stage we had to lay the machine on it's back and to remove the support bar underneath the machine and it then had to be lowered onto it's front for access to the underneath. I would suggest that if you are going to install this machine yourself you make sure that you have some help as I can tell yo u it wasn't easy to manoeuvre and was extremely heavy. The blue and red hot and cold pipes came with the machine and installing it was really easy. The Candy Aquaviva is a standard size and fitted lovely under my work surface with no ugly gaps around the sides. There are however little feet on the bottom of the machine which can be extended it it needs to be raised. The washer has been given a B rating for it's wash and a C for energy, pretty average I would say. It's white and clean looking. Nothing special but then saying that there is nothing wrong with the look of it either. You know what it's like ladies, new is beautiful and I was more than happy for this nice new machine to take the place of my old knackered one. Let's face it, washing machines are like willys, when you've seen one, you've seen them all, it's what it can do for you that really matters. The instructions were clear and easy to read and understand and the machine came with a manufacturers Guarantee Period - 1 Year Labour + 5 Year Parts Warranty. So, what has this baby got to offer? 5.5kg (11lb) wash load. The door on this machine is much bigger than on most washing machines and in my opinion that makes the drum appear deceptively bigger. Personally I think 11lb is pushing it, especially if you want to make sure everything is washed properly. There is a safety button above the door that prevents you from opening it if the machine is in use but as soon as you turn it off the door will release.There is an indicator light to show you when the machine is in use and you select your wash options by turning a dial on the machine. It's actually very easy to operate and we had it washing for the first time within minutes of installing it. In the soap drawer there are compartments for pre -washing, main wash, bleaching and softener. I never add bleach to any of my clothing but for some the bleach pocket would be quite handy. 2.5kg (5.5lb) drying load. Hmm.....Read on. 1300 rpm spin speed. The washer I had before this one was the Creda Excel 1200. Compared to the Creda, the spin on this one is much quieter. There is a spin protection system built in and the weight seems to distribute itself much better. Of course this balance means that when spinning, the machine isn't going to go for a dance around the kitchen whenever it's too full. 11 Wash programmes. Options include a fast wash cycle, extra rinse option, rinse hold option and an intensive wash option. I have to say I have no complaints with the wash I have received from this machine. The economy wash which is for non fast colours at 50 degrees does get the washing nice and clean. 2 Drying programmes. There is the normal dry, and the high temperature dry. Not a lot of choice but then hey, how many ways are there to dry something? Well, in the case of this machine there is actually only one way. Slowly.............. Very, very slowly. To call this a washer drier is actually an insult to some of the better brands. I wonder sometimes if my washing would have dried quicker had I ran around the garden with it, waving my arms in the air and praying for the sun to shine. Stop laughing. I am serious. I put two towels in there the other day and it took over an hour and a half on the high temperature to dry them and then they still needed airing. It doesn't matter how little you put in the drum it still takes ridiculously long to dry. It gets hot OK, in fact if you have little ones I would watch them around the glass window of this machine because they could very e asily get burnt. It almost feels like so much effort goes into heating the door that the washing inside comes a sad second. I know what you are thinking, what are you moaning for? It was free for goodness sake. I know, you're right, but if I had gone out and bought this I would be extremely disappointed. As it is I am still going to have to go out and purchase a new drier for my kitchen, that's how bad this one is. So my opinion of the Candy Aquaviva 1300 washer drier is that it's a good little washer. It washes well, spins well and looks good too. As a drier it really lets itself down and I have to say that if you have young children and drying is a necessity in your house, as it is in mine, I'd look elsewhere. This may be a cheaper option but you really don't get your moneys worth in the drying department. Thanks for reading.
Wash Rating:A / :B / Spin Speed:1300 / Load Capicity (in kg):5.5 / Dimensions (H/W/D):51 x 69,5 x 43 cm / Washing Machine Type:Frontlader