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The machine looks smart and is compact.It is a cold fill only machine, heating exactly what it needs and not using your household hot water. The machine is very neat and easy to use.On some washers you can accidentally restart the programme on washed clothes just by pressing the wrong button but with this one you have to switch to "Off" before it will do anything else so you cant accidentally re-wash the load.Any programme can be cancelled at any point during the cycle.It seems to me to be a good sturdy reliable machine which could be operated by most people, it is straight forward, my young teen took to it easily, always a good thing!!The porthole is very wide and the door opens to a full 180.The small neat manual is well set out and very easy to read and make sense of.
We have had this washing machine for two years and three months now. I know this for a fact because the Hoover parts helpline told me so. Yes, that's right; my washing machine is currently in a state of non-functionality. Well, maybe that's not quite accurate. It kind of works, just not very well. It all started about two days before we went on holiday. This in itself is not unusual, as every year regular as clockwork some major mechanical device decides it can't bear to go on another minute without us, and so tops itself, causing major headache and added expense just when I am trying to pack the bucket and spade!
So is this a good time to review this washing machine? Well yes it is, as to be honest before this I didn't know very much about the blinkin thing. Now I feel that we have an unbreakable bond; a special relationship. I can honestly say that in the last few weeks I have had many a chat to this machine, going something along the lines of why don't you work? Why don't you spin without jumping around the kitchen making that terrible racket? I use other shorter words too, but let's not go there.
So rewind a few weeks, just what does the Hoover HNL6166 offer on paper at least? Well to start off it has a 6Kg load capacity and an impressive maximum spin speed of 1600 rpm. The spin speed has an independent control and can be set at the following speeds; 600, 800, 950, 1100, 1450 and 1600 rpm. Up until recently we never wavered from the 1600 rpm though. However choosing a particular wash cycle can give the machine the option to override and select a lower spin cycle if appropriate.
The machine is A rated for both wash and spin energy efficiency, and apparently uses an average of 54 litres of water per wash. The range of washes is also fairly good, but again we tended to stick to the same ones without fail; usually one of the three time saving programmes. The wash cycles available are; Cottons, Colourfast, non-fast, AA40, Synth's, Acryclics, Rinse, Spin, drain, Woolmark, Silk, and Sports, as well as the time saving programmes previously mentioned. The longest cotton wash will take around 2 hours, while the shortest takes just 29 minutes.
The temperature of each wash can also be set between 90 deg C right down to the inlet water temperature (having just a cold water inlet pipe). The range of settings is as follows; Inlet water temp, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 deg C. Again a particular wash cycle will override and reduce a temperature setting as appropriate.
The other buttons on the machine are;
Start/Pause: As stated
Delay Start: Can be used to delay start by up to 9 hours if required.
Time Saver: Can be used on the Cottons and Synthetic programs to reduce the time of the wash by up to 50 minutes.
Stain Blaster: The Activa system is utilized by controlling the temperature and drum speed in such as way as to maximize the distribution of the detergent, available in the Cotton wash cycle only.
Sensitive Care: Available in the Colourfast and mixed fabric programmes; again the Activa system is used to provide a gentler outcome by increasing the water usage throughout the load.
One other feature worth mentioning is the Out of balance protection. This electronic sensor can detect if a load is balanced correctly and will try to adjust the load as required. If the load cannot be adjusted then a lower spin speed may be used or the machine may abort the spin altogether in an effort to avoid damage. To be fair, before the trouble began the machine did seem to perform very quietly, and dried the clothes very well indeed, certainly a lot better than my mother in law's machine which can only muster a meagre 1100 rpm, which unfortunately we are presently being forced to endure.
This all sounds very impressive, and indeed I wish that my wife and I had gotten to use some of these features a little more in the past. I was particularly interested to read that the programme we used to use most frequently (the daily 29) should only be used with a 2kg maximum load. Not the stuff it in until you can't get any more in option that we adopted.
So why is our washing machine not working I hear you ask? Well it has taken me several weeks to find the answer to that question. The original fault my wife came across was an awful burning smell (like burning rubber) and lots of little grey flakes all over the newly washed clothes. I was immediately called in to investigate, and promptly diagnosed the door seal to be at fault. Having then discovered the true spirit of the Hoover 5 year free parts warranty, i.e, yes the parts are free but we will charge you an arm and a leg for the call out sir, I quickly Googled the part in question and paid a handsome £15 for delivery and all. After fitting this with only some moderate swearing at just how badly designed and cramped these things are to work on, I proudly announced that the washing machine was healed!
Of course that was premature; but you can see how I was led down the garden path by the little blighter though after running a cycle without any clothes in it worked like a dream. I then did a wash with only a few clothes in, again no problem. It wasn't until I released the beast back to my wife to carry on with full loads that the old spin problems began again. The problem is happening when there is a reasonable size load of clothes on the spin cycle. The machine starts to make a terrible banging noise and looking through the glass door, you can see how the drum is off centre when spinning.
After spending far too much time on the internet looking for answers I have finally found what I believe to be the root cause of the problem. I need to say a big thank you to those boffins at Ukwhitegoods.co.uk, who have diagnosed the fault as being a corroded and cracked spider, or to put it another way; £62 of metal to replace. I am told that the job of changing this part while not terribly difficult is very time consuming, as I will have to take the machine to pieces to get to it.
So that is the current state of play. I haven't bought the replacement part yet, nor have I bought a new washing machine. I paid around £300 for this machine two years and three months ago. Why have I given 3 stars to a machine that has broken down and will cost me in total over £75 in parts alone to repair? Well, before it broke down, the Hoover HNL6166 took everything that we threw at it, and just kept on taking it. We never did a 90 deg C wash twice a year to clean the machine (like it states in the user manual). No, every wash was as short as possible at 30 deg C with concentrated non-bio washing liquid. Apparently this type of washing is a sure way to slowly kill your washing machine through alkaline corrosion. In our defence, we have two young children who produce a steady flow of lightly soiled clothes that we need to wash as fast as possible, otherwise the wash basket looks like the north face of the Eiger. The user manual also states that the filter should be cleaned once a month (I didn't realize it had one) and the detergent drawer should also be cleaned as well as the inside of the glass door; guess how often we did it?
I do wonder how much more life we would have got from this washing machine if we had looked after it a bit better. Considering how we treated the Hoover HNL6166, I cannot really blame her for breaking down. Will I do the repairs, or buy a new machine? Well I've used my 50/50 and phone a friend, so short of any other logical reasoning, why not ask the audience?
After only 2 years my door handle has snapped off. Is this a common problem? Had no other problems apart from this but you would expect more from Hoover as this is not a cheap washing machine but obviously is a cheap part. I would not buy one again and am currently using a spoon to open the door. Its probably cheaper to buy another washer than get the "free" part from Hoover and have it fitted!
The print on the front of the washing machine (including the labels for the buttons and dials) rubs off if detergent is spilled on it, so you need to be careful! I was given a replacement fascia under the warranty, but once it is out of warranty, you just have to put up with it! The door handle has just snapped off after two years of use. This is considered normal wear and tear. I am entitled to a 'free' part (within 5 years), but would have to pay the £100 call-out fee to get this.Apart from this, the detergent tray seems to get clogged up relatively easily, but the machine does wash clothes satisfactorily.
hi there my hoover hnl 6166 washing machine is very good but there just one thing bugging me when i turn the dial to a wash cycle it jumps to all different cycles so i have to keep turning the dial till it jumps to the rigth one apart from this its a good washer
Great whilst working then it stopped taking water. It was the wires which hadnt been fixed to the inside which had dangled and the abrasive concrete slab had worn the wire through. Even worse was the machine was 3 months over the 12 month guarantee and I was told the £99.50 for a service engineer to call applied whether it was the poor workmanship or not. But the piece of replacement wire would be free!! whoopee doo!!.An Electrician said it was lucky the wires hadnt touched the metal or Id have got a nasty shock!!Hoover? never ever again
this washing machine is brilliant, Hoover made the very first contrarotator called the Hoover Keymatic. It lasted for 20 years This new model is easy to use a wide choice of programs including easy quick washes and multi spin speed selection and temperature, it has several great gadgets such as stain blaster which is great if you have overalls and adds more water, and sensetive care for rare quality clothes and detergent allergy. It looks good and the door opens 180 degrees which is excellent if you have a small kitchen, the cold fill only on the machine is a genius plan as many hot water systems have not the pressure needed to fill the machine
The time saver button is a good option if you suddenly realise you need the washing sooner and reduces the wash time.
the best cleaning results ever, and beleive me i have had many different washing machines.
Front Load Drum Washer, Efficiency: A+AA, 13.23 lb / load, Features: Dial Controls, Delayed Start Timer, Time Remaining Indicator / This A+ energy rated washing machine is from the new 2005/6 Hoover range / The latest Nextra washing machines combine optimum cleaning performance with superior clothes care / The new Hoover 'Optima Wash System' automatically makes thousands of adjustments during the wash and spin / It's like having a laundry expert monitoring every stage / To make life even easier, the Nextra 'Countdown' display keeps you informed of cycle time remaining, and when you're in a real hurry, the 'Time Saver' option saves up to 50 minutes on any programme / Short name: Hoover HNL6166