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When my partner and I, with 4 month old baby Harry, moved into our first home together, we needed all the basics for it. This meant all the kitchen equipment, beds, washing machines, the lot. Obviously, this was going to cost us quite a bit, but luckily a lot of relatives helped us out. So when opting for a washing machine, I didn't want to choose a too-cheap option as I knew it was going to be used a lot and I didn't want to waste money on something which wouldn't last.
So I opted for this machine, the Indesit WIA-111. I had heard good things about Indesit from people I knew so I hoped this would be a good one. I ordered it online from John Lewis, and it arrived a few days later. Luckily, my dad came up to plumb it in for us, so we didn't have to fork out for that. I did watch him do it, so I know it was easy to do. We had to remove all the layers of plastic, cardboard on the corners to protect it, and then remove the transit bolts which stop the machine moving on the lorry. This was easy to do and only took my dad a few minutes. He told me that the machine is cold-fill only, meaning only cold water enters the machine and is heated up when required.
The machine itself isn't anything spectacular to look at. It is a white machine, with a round front-loading door, a liquids drawer and 2 dials; 1 for temperature and 1 for the choice of programme. There are also 3 buttons, one for power, one for rapid-wash and 1 for an anti-crease function. The drum itself is stainless steel, and I have had no problems with it at all, it works fine and hasn't failed in any way. The door has a glass window, and a handle which is hidden behind a panel. It's easy to operate, just squeeze the button and the door opens. In fact, it's so simple Harry has mastered it lol, I have to watch him like a hawk.
Ok, to the progammes. They are written on the liquids drawer for easy reference, and state the name of the cycle, and the ideal temperature for it. There are 4 cotton programs (White pre-wash 90°, white cotton 90°, colourfast 80° and non-colourfast 70°), A synthetics set (White nylon 60°, Easy Care 40°, Delicates 40° and Daily Wash 30°) and finally a Delicates set (Wool 40° and Silk 30°), so this makes 10 different settings in total. The ideal temperatures are stated next to the cycle i.e. 90 degrees for white cotton wash or 40 degrees for a wool wash. This is just a guide, and you can set whatever temperature suits you, but I find their guides are fine for my washing.
One good feature of this machine is the daily wash cycle. This lasts for just 30 minutes, and is done on a 30 degree wash. This is much more environmentally friendly than a hour long 50 degree wash, so I use this for lightly-soiled items which only need a slight washing. It's handy, and good to know you are saving water and energy!
The liquids drawer is situated in the top left of the machine, and as I mentioned, has the different cycles written on it. When you pull it open, there are 3 compartments. The furthest left one is for any pre-treatment liquids, the middle and largest one is for your detergent and the small cube in the corner is for fabric softener. I do find this drawer gets mucky quite a lot so once a fortnight I pull it out (pull it out normally as if for a wash, then just lift slightly and pull out further), and give it a good old wash to keep my machine running at optimum pace. It doesn't take long and at least I know my clothes are getting nice clean detergent! One thing though is that the drawer is a little flimsy, only made of plastic and does rattle around in its slot a bit. Harry does tend to pull it out and pull down on it to peer inside, maybe making it a bit loose, but it could be made to a better quality in my opinion!
So to the washing aspect. I have found this machine really good, and I don't recall many times in 18 months having to rewash something because it has come out dirty or anything. I have once had to do this because powder bits came out on the clothes but this was because the unit was dirty so I washed it and it was fine. I have however switched to liquid detergents which are much better! Anyway, the water always seemed to be heated up properly if I need a really hot wash, the glass in the door always feel VERY hot if I do a rather hot wash so that's quite good to know. It spins fantastically, with 1100 RPM (which apparently means rounds per minute) and I find this plenty adequate enough to get rid of all the excess water in my clothes. Noise-wise, the spin isn't too bad, it doesn't rattle around much and doesn't spin for too long, I find around 4-5 minutes on the super-quick spin. If I shut the kitchen door, it isn't too audible so that's quite good I think.
The dials are easy and clear to use. The larger one on the right hand side of the front panel is for the cycle selector, numbered 1-10 (with the key on the liquid drawer), but there are a few other options too. There is drainage, light spin / heavy duty spin, light rinse / heavy rinse and the top option is just off, which is what the dial should be set to when the machine isn't in use. If the dial is elsewhere when it's not being used, the door lock LED flashes red until you set it to off, which I find good. The temperature is the same, except this dial is smaller. It has temperatures from 30-90 degrees, a cold option, and Max temperature, which I would presume is also 90 degrees lol! Also during the wash, there are 3 status LED's which light up green as the cycle hits that particular area. The first is main wash, the second is mid-cycle and the bottom one is Spin-cycle.
The drum can take loads of up to 5kg which is plenty for my family. I don't like to fill it up to the brim as I don't want to hinder its performance in any way, so I just have it 3/4 or so full. If you only have a very small load, there is the option to have what is called a "rapid-wash", this cuts the overall washing time by 30%. To activate this, simply push the 'rapid-wash' button along the front panel of the machine at the top. Also available is an anti-crease function, but this is only operable on selected cycles. This basically leaves your clothes sitting in water until you switch it back on and can take them out straight away, leaving them as crease-free as possible.
Now to the problems I have had with the machine. In the 18 months I have owned it, I have had to call out the Indesit engineer a total of 3 times - not good huh? The same error has actually happened 3 times over, which is worrying but *touch-wood* it hasn't happened in a while! Basically, all the LED's on the front (which show the status of the wash) flashed at the same time, the door lock LED was constantly on, and the door didn't lock during a wash. So they came out, pulled out the machine and had to replace its brains (some sort of motherboard). Each time, just a month or so later the same thing has happened. But it seems okay at the moment but perhaps something to bear in mind if purchasing this machine. Other than these errors, it's all been okay though!
The manual which came with it is nice and easy to use, with clear installation instructions and each cycle is explained with duration, temperatures and order of what happens (i.e. pre-wash, main wash, small spin, wash, super spin), handy to work out which cycles are suitable for you. There are also contact numbers in there, with some Frequently Asked Questions, and Trouble-shooting as well, good for little things that could go wrong.
If I remember correctly we paid £179.99 for our machine from John Lewis, who delivered it free. The delivery men also put it into the kitchen for us, which was good. You do get a one year manufacturer's warranty, and when this is approaching the end they do send you reminder letters telling you that it is possible to purchase additional cover. I think this is an older model now, but I have found it on www.applianceplanet.co.uk for £174.
Oh, and of the energy ratings. I think people are taking more and more notice of the energy ratings on appliances these days, probably because the better the rating, the cheaper your electricity bills! This machine has an Energy Efficiency rating of A, Wash Efficiency of A and Spin Efficiency is C, so overall this is quite impressive and quite a good energy efficient machine. My electricity bills aren't high at all, and I do around 5-6 washes a week! Our water bills aren't too bad either, so the other half can't moan about me doing too much washing! And apparently, on a 60 degree wash, the machine uses around 53 litres of water andconsumes 0.9 kw per hour!
So what do I really think? For the money we paid, I am actually pretty satisfied with the machine. Although we have had a few problems, well re-occuring problems, they have been quickly and easily sorted and haven't caused major problems for me. It washes very well, as I said I don't remember havin to re-wash stuff much and is a cheap machine to run. It is energy efficient, pretty quiet even when on its most vigorous spin cycle and aesthetically not too bad either.
Dimensions of the machine:
Height in cm: 85
Width in cm: 59.5
Depth in cm: 58
For more information on Indesit and other machines and products offered by them, visit their website at www.indesit.co.uk.
Thank you for reading!
Short name: Indesit WIA111