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This washing machine was bought for myself and my husband when we moved into our first house together. This was back in 2002. My auntie bought it for us, and we had very little input into what she chose. I asked for it to be white, and kind of left her to it. I suspect she also didn't have too much choice as although her presents are generous, they are usually bought from one of her catalogues. At the time i believe she paid between £350 and £400 for it.
It is a nice looking machine. It is a front loader, with a white external finish. There is a drawer at the front to add powder, softener and a prewash if needed. This is quite large, and i try not to overfill it as it just gets gunky if i do. The drawer has a safety mechanism on the inside. A small bit of plastic that you have to depress to get the drawer out. This is useful as it stops my kids pulling it out.
There is then a panel with instructions of all the temperatures and what cycle on the machine this corresponds to. I used to always use the quick cycle taking around 35 minutes, but since having kids i now mostly use a 40 degrees wash to work out the stains. The other washes are a bit longer, taking about 50 minutes with the timesaver button. If my husband uses it, he tends to choose a longer cycle as it is mainly his dirty work clothes, and they seem to take about an hour and a half.
There are 3 extra buttons. Extra rinse, and rinse hold. I am not sure what they do as i never have had the need to use them. There is also a half load button that gets a lot of use. If i can see a gap in the drum, i press it. The machine does seem to use less water visibly when i use this feature.
The machine is operated by a dial which you turn to the programme you want. When you are ready to set the machine off, there is a start button on the right hand side which will only work once the door is fully shut.
I have found this to be an excellent machine. We have run this machine a lot of times. Before we had kids, it maybe did 4 loads of washing per week, but since our first son arrived in 2005, this went up to at least a load a day with the extra clothes he went through. We have never had any failure of the machine. I believe this is because i try my best to keep it well maintained. I use a small amount of powder, i wash the drawer out around once a week to remove residue from the powder and conditioner. I also run occasional hot washes through, sometimes with bleach, or since trying to become more eco friendly, i add bicarbonate of soda to the powder section, then add white distilled vinegar and quickly set it off.
The washing machine has had quite a lot of stick in my opinion. I am not good at doing small loads. I always fill it as full as i can. I don't worry too much about balancing the loads either. It sometimes sounds like an aircraft is about to land in the kitchen when i do this.
The clothes always seem to come out well spun, so that they dry within 24 hours on an indoor airer. As it is only a 1000 spin, i think this works well.
The drawer is not looking good. At some stage it has been right up against the oven when it was on, so it is a bit distorted and bubbly on that side. I have also noticed that the drawer does appear to leak now when the powder is taken. I don't believe the two are linked as the bubbling does not affect the seal with the machine.
The only thing i am not keen on us that i can't find a filter on this machine to clean, and i am sure this is why the drawer leaks. It looks like there is one above the drawer, and even though my husband took the top off the machine, we still could not get into this bit. I have had to make do with a good wipe with a cloth when the drawer was out.
In summary, i have found this to be a reliable machine lasting us 8 years to now with no breakdown, and doing almost a load a day in this time. It can cope with quite large loads. I have washed a couple of sets of single bedding in one go, and i have also washed single duvets and pillows in it but never attempted a double.
I will be replacing it this year as we are updating our kitchen and want one that is less bashed and also has a better energy rating and a bigger drum.
It has served us well.
I have had one of these machines for 3 years and the paddles have fallen off one after another. In desparation at the growing pile of washing I fixed them back in with large tie-wraps one at each end threaded through the drum and pulled tight. All three are doing the job they were designed for and the tie wraps do not seem to be damaging my clothes. Tie wraps cost about 3p each. It has worked for me, but I am not responsible for your washing machine.
We bought this washing machine in 2003 after our first washing machine finally gave up the ghost after 15 years. Since the 12 month guarantee ran out, I have spent, on average £70 per YEAR on plastic replacement paddles.
The 3 plastic paddles (lifters) fix to the inside of the drum by a series of plastic lugs which slot into the drum. There is a warning on the £7.50-per-lifter spare part, that you should not attempt to fit the parts yourself unless you are suitably qualified. Well, I took a TEC in plant engineering some years ago, so I would suggest that doing that qualifies me to slot 6 lugs into 6 holes in a washing machine. To be honest, using my son's K-Nex kit poses more difficulty.
Anyway, after a couple of months use (and I only put the machine on at weekends as a rule, as I work full time during the week) each of the three lifters decides that they don't want to be attached to the machine any more, and the lugs break off. I can always tell when I am going to have 'that problem' again, as I can hear the pieces of plastic rattling around in the pump when the water is extracted before the spin.
My local spare parts dealer charges £7.50 per lifter, so multiply that by three and it's £22.50 every few months. I could have bought a new machine for the money I have spent out in spare parts over the last three years!
I contacted Hotpoint Customer service through their online drop-down menu customer service wotsit, and to date I have not received a reply since writing the email over 6 months ago. I have scores of ruined clothes which have meen ripped up in the spin cycle when the paddle falls off mid wash, so I guess I'll just send them a selection of clothes and broken paddles, and ask them to comment on their wonderful product and the extortionate cost of spares from their approved retailer!.
Wash Rating:C / Spin Speed:1000 / Load Capicity (in kg):6 / Dimensions (H/W/D):59 x 85 x 58 / Washing Machine Type:Frontlader / Short name: Hotpoint WMA34