I brought the Hotpoint FEW12 1200 spin about 3 years from comet auction site, for the bargain price of £150, they sell ex display,end of line, and sometimes superficially marked gods for knock down prices and best of all most items come with a years guarantee on them.
I had just moved into my new house and needed a solid machine to deliver the goods, this model does that job. First thing that drew me towards it was the brand, my family have had hotpoint washing machines for years and never had a problem with them, secondly the '12' bit indicated the 1,200 revolutions a minute the drum performs when washing.
59.5 cm wide
Capacity from 1 to 5.5 kg
voltage 220/240 Volts 50 Hz which is about standard.
The machine was delivered within a week of me winning the auction, the set up was straight forward, firstly you have to take the nuts out of the back (they stop the drum from being damaged in transit) then you just connect the cold water pipe and drainage pipe to the unit and plug in.
The control panel at the front is fairly familiar with a dispenser drawer on the far left, on the right you have a 'rinse hold' button, 'energy save' button and a 'super rinse' one with the 'start' button far right next to the programme selecter dial.
All the different programmes are dispayed in written format in the middle i.e., White cotton, Heavy Soil =A, Cotton, Heavy Soil =B and so on, it also indicates the wash label and temperature next to it. So it is fairly well marked. The programmes run right thru to 'Q' = Slow Spin dedicates. Being a typical man not really an expert with the various types of wash this machine makes it easy to find out which wash is suitable for the garments you wish to be cleaned.
I liked the fact it had rinse and just spin cycles to give a load an extra going over it you need it.
In summary the Hotpoint FEW 12 is a good all round performer and will do a good job, the only draw back is that it can be a tad noisey sometimes.
I would recommend the model as i have had no breakdown problems with it and its cleans my clothes well and effectively.
Well, that time had finally come. My washing machine of 12 years decided to give up the ghost. I was lost. Nightmares of endless handwashing and visits to the launderette loomed. I needed to get a new washing machine and fast. The problem, funds were limited and I didn't want to get into the burden of more credit. I wanted a reasonably priced machine by a proven manufacturer - so in stepped the Hotpoint FEW 12.
I don't like things all singing and all dancing. Digital displays, fancy settings and lots of bells and whistles are not for me. The FEW 12 seemed to fit the bill.
Twisting the program selector dial and pushing one button is all you need to do for your basic wash. Not to say that there aren't any useful features, there are, but you don't need a week to study the instruction manual to find and use them.
In case you haven't managed to research this machine, let me take you through some of the details.
One of the most important things that clinched the deal for me was the 5 year parts guarantee. Okay, so you still have to pay for the labour, but we all know the price of some of the parts can be astronomical when compared to the price of the machine itself. This, at least, gives some peace of mind. Of course, there is the standard 1 years parts and labour guarantee as well.
The drum capacity is a very useful 5.5kg, ideal for those family washes (30 shirts apparently!) but can be as little as 1kg, great when you just need a few odds and ends done. For those of you out there who are worried about water use don't be, the machine will automatically adjust the water level to cater for different loads.
There are a 15 programmes in all, each selectable with a simple turn of a dial. These range from a cold wash (no heating at all), a quick wash (useful for freshening up lightly soiled items), right up to 95 degree washes for the heavy soiled stuff. Another useful programme is the 30 degree wash for those really delicate items - time to test out those washing powders that claim to wash at lower temperatures! A feature I have had to use a couple of times is the ability to change the programme after the machine has started. This meant I was able to select the programme I should have done had I been concentrating on what I had been doing in the first place, a feature my old machine sadly lacked.
There are 3 other useful option buttons:
Super Rinse - this increases the water level of the first two rinses making sure that almost all of the soap is washed away. This is useful for large loads and for those with sensitive skins (ie: young children). I also find it useful when doing a quick wash as sometimes there can be white marks where the soap has not quite rinsed away. This option is not available on all programmes.
Energy Save - this saves money and time on lightly soiled loads by reducing the water temperature by 10 degrees. Again, not available on all programmes.
Rinse Hold - this helps to reduce the creasing of clothes by preventing the programme going into the spin cycle and holding the wash in the final rinse water. When you're ready to spin the clothes just press the button again and the spin cycle will start. If you're like me and forget you've done a load, leave it for ages in the washing machine already spun, then you'll know that this can make ironing harder. I've tried it and it does seem to work.
The only display on the machine consists of 3 indicator lights that tell you what's going on. These are simply 'Active' and 'Door Locked', during the wash, and 'Prog. End' when the wash has finished.
The surprising thing I noticed about this machine when I first used it was its lack of vibration during the 1200 rpm spin cycle. My old machine, despite it being level and stable, used to vibrate like mad sending anything mistakenly left on top of it quickly to the floor. Also, due to the machine's quietness, doing a wash does not lead to the cats scurrying for cover or the need for the raising of voices when talking in the kitchen!
I have a few things I'm not quite so happy with but these are fairly minor.
Firstly, some of the wash cycles take slightly longer than the manufacturers claims. Sometimes adding up to half an hour on to the cycle, so don't believe the hype.
Secondly, a concern, particularly for those in harder water areas. The only inlet is for cold water. I was used to the machine filling up with hot water straight from the gas boiler and the machine only needing to 'top-up' the heat of the water. Now, even for the lowest temperature washes, the heating element has to be used constantly. To me this has the disadvantage of making washes longer as it always has to heat up from cold, and that it may lead to increased limescale deposits on the heating element thus shortening the life of the machine. Of course, you probably should add a product like Calgon to each wash, but how many of us actually do and who needs the extra expense. I'm not sure, but I think there being only a cold water inlet is now industry standard, but it's worth checking out.
Thirdly, is the unbalanced load feature. If the machine is unable to balance the load after the fifth attempt the machine will abort the spin process. This has only happened to me once so far and meant that when I came to take the wash out of the machine, the clothes were still wringing wet, which was a little annoying. I don't object to the feature itself but the fact that there's no visual indication that this has happened. One or all of the indicator lights flashing or something would have alerted me to the situation and I could have redistributed the load and spun it straight away. It's a small thing and hopefully a rare one.
Finally, just a little niggle. If like me you have your machine freestanding and not under a worktop or built-in be aware that the work surface provided is prone to easy staining. I happen to use the top of the washing machine as my main worksurface and this means I'm always spilling tea on it. Therefore, I have to constantly resort to having to wipe it down with some kind of cleaning product rather than just wiping it with a damp cloth. It's costing me a fortune in Cif!
So, to sum up. This is a good little machine for the money (I could have shopped around and probably got it for less, but the price I paid included delivery, installation and taking away the old machine), it's well built and washes thoroughly. There are cheaper makes out there but I'm not sure that these would be such good buys and most do not come with that extra 5 year guarantee.
Overall, I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a simple, no nonsense, washing machine from a trusted maker.
5.5kg Load Capacity / Rinse Hold / 'A' Wash, 'A' Energy and 'B' Spin Performance / 1200rpm Spin Speed / Dimensions (H x W x D mm): 850 x 595 x 580 / Short name: Hotpoint FEW12