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I was recommended to buy a direct drive LG washing machine when the repair engineer came to try to fix my old machine which turned out to be beyond help. He uses an LG machine himself and told me he had never had to repair one. I concurr with everything the previous reviewer has said. There are cheaper machines but I believe this one is worth the extra money because it takes a very large load (I have just washed a king-sized duvet), it is remarkably quiet even when spinning at top speed, it is very easy to use, it is economical to operate and has proved very reliable. I like the display that tells you how long the selected programme will take. I started by carefully sorting my laundry into the synthetic / cotton etc piles as I used to need to with old machines but have found this washer is so efficient that most of the time I use the 30min wash programme which is suitable for most fabrics and the clothes come out really clean. I should think everyone get the occasional coin or other foreign object into their machine by mistake and have had to call out an engineer. On this machine you can access a drain filter and fish them out yourself. I certainly do not regret buying this machine and would thoroughly recommend it and would expect its replacement to be equally good.
Our old Hoover washer drier Ecologic 1300 gave up the ghost at the end of 2004. For 13 years it had washed and dried clothes as well as proving to be costly to keep up, with repair bills amounting to half of its initial price. Although it still had some life in it, our Hoover repair man pointed out that the joints holding the barrel drum were about to be rusted through and before the drum literally fell out of the machine and onto the floor, a new washing machine had to be found to replace it. For those in the market for a washing machine, please read on - this is a long review but its definitely worth it!
We searched shops high and low for an LG machine and only LG at that time because no other maker could produce washing machines which have a direct drive policy i.e. no worries or need to replace drive belts which weaken and break over time in a usual washing machines life. We had heard that LG were one of very few manufacturers which use a self drive motor which means the end of belts and ultimately the end of a call out charge plus all the other repair costs. Even with Hoover's extended 4 year guarantee it wasn't always plain sailing.
Finding this machine was like finding a needle in a haystack and unlike vacuum cleaners made by the company, it was difficult to actually track down a machine that was capable of what we were looking for. This time around we were not looking for a dryer element in fear of it burning out as it had done with our last washing machine. As we have a gas dryer in the home and as this has proved cheaper to run than condenser and vented electric driers, we decided against the decision of an added drying element and went straight for a washing machine purchase.
Thus the LG WD (M) 16220FD/16225FD large white washing machine has met our expectations. This machine comes equipped with a digital display and icons which highlight what the machine is actually doing. You had to guess what the Hoover was doing at times...
** Nars Quick Skip Product Features **
LG Jumbo Drum can handle 7.5kg clothing maximum load.
Intelligent Wash System which detects water amount and water temperature and adjusts the water levels accordingly.
Direct Drive System Brushless DC motor revolves the drum without a belt.
Child Lock prevents children from pressing buttons during wash activation.
Low Noise Speed Control adjusts the amount of load and balance therefore adjusting spinning noise levels.
Auto Restart Machine will restart if there is a power cut.
Water Circulation Detergent solution and water gets onto the clothing directly allowing clothing to be more quickly and thoroughly soaked during the washing principle. Uses less detergent and water as a result.
Efficiency, performance and power rating at AAA standards. Efficiency energy is actually rated at A+.
Price £484-49 excluding removal of old machine.
2 Years Labour & 5 Years Parts Guarantee.
** Using The Machine **
At first, looking at the small digital LED readout you could be confused in how to operate the machine. As with any machine though, load the clothes in (the large port hole door has its own handle) and add the detergent to the left hand side slide out tray. You will find with this machine that the door opens rather largely and this port hole has a much larger, expansive area meaning that your hands dont come into contact with the sides of the machine and loading is a lot easier and faster too!
The powder tray in itself is a large affair and the drawer for each solution is clearly marked. Once the solution has been added switch the machine on by pressing the On button which is marked similar to buttons you find on music players. This machine then gives an audible signal, like a musical 1, 2, 3 warning that you normally hear at train stations! It indicates that the machine is on and that you can proceed to select programmes.
The biggest dial on the machine is a large softly sprung metallic silver control rotary dial. Total duration times have been given as recommended times by LG. This allows you to choose your clothing specific programmes such as:
Synthetics at 60°, 40° and 30°. (Total duration of wash time 1 hr and 39 mins)
Cotton at 30°, 40°, 60° and 95°. (Total duration of wash time 2hrs 41-45 mins)
Eco setting at 60°.
Delicates at 30° and 40°. (Total duration of wash time 1hour 3 mins)
Quick 30 which is a quick wash programme fixed at 30° and lasts 30 mins.
Wool/Silk at 30° and 40°. (Total duration of wash time 1 hour 1 min)
Hand Wash at 30°. (Total duration of wash time 55 mins)
Drain function. (around 1 minute)
Once you have selected the desired programme, LEAVE the rotary control dial in the position you have selected. The temperature will light up permanently at the dial that has been set.
Thereafter, there are three main buttons located underneath the LED screen panel located to the right hand side of the fascia. These buttons are labelled Option 1, Option 2 and Spin.
This gives 2 settings which can be picked if desired; Pre Wash and Crease Care. You dont need to press this button if you dont wish these programmes to be activated.
Both optional settings are marked by little green LED lights that move randomly until you have selected one by pressing the Option 1 button again. The selected programme will light up permanently to indicate that the machine has taken on your command.
Time Save and Rinse Plus (both have green LEDs)
The Time Save function can be activated to reduce the time of a wash programme and can therefore be used with Cotton and Synthetic programmes too.
The Rinse Plus function can be used as an additional rinse to effectively clear traces of solution residue. As such if the function is activated, rinse time and rinse water is prolonged.
The third button, marked Spin gives you the choice to choose which spin speed you wish. Following years of being a student with cheap machines that only have one spin speed I have never really been that impressed with machines that only have a rinse speed of 1000. This machine has a maximum rinse speed of 1600 rpms.
By pressing the button, 6 options are lit by smaller green LEDs which light up going from one (just like Option 1 & 2) and then next diagonally allowing you to choose which spin speed to use. The first time I did this I thought I had selected 1200 but the machine went onto 1600 automatically. When the LEDs light up on the selected spin rinse speed that you wish, press the SPIN button to ensure that this speed has been selected.
Spin speeds range from 400, 800, 1200 and 1600. There is also the additional feature of having no spin and rinse hold feature too.
Then, to begin the machine you just press the start button. The start icon button is similar to a Play button you would find on a hi fi or similar performance related machines in the home. I guess that LG fitted this to indicate the simplicity of the machine. Its a lot nicer to have that instead of Start in big letters. This button also has an inner ring which lights up in a pleasant green colour to indicate that the machine has been activated.
The Time Delay button is clearly marked and can be activated by pressing it and entering the time delay you wish set by pressing the Option buttons to enter the exact time you wish the machine to begin on.
The controls in general have been designed to angle upwards towards the user. It can therefore be considered to have a flush fit design with markings that are clear, easy and simple to read. Even the power solution drawer has been angled and shaped so that its easy to pull out, even when it comes to cleaning inside of it.
** Initial Washing **
When the machine first begins the drum moves instantly and you can hear your water supply flood into the machine and the powder drawer. I must say that even with this it is quieter than our old Hoover machine. Looking at the LED main fascia display the machine senses what exactly has been put into the machine and after a few seconds the time that the programme will take in duration comes up on the screen in hours and minutes.
3 Icons then flash at the right hand side of the main LED screen to show you what the machine is doing in its initial stages. On the other side of the machine, there are 4 icons marked which blink intermittently (Detect, Wash, Rinse and Spin) when the machine has reached one procedure and gone onto the next. Its a bit like going to the launderette!!
** Noise Levels **
This machine is one of the quietest I have ever experienced. The Hoover auto washer was just far too noisy especially on its final 1300 rpm spin. Whereas our old machine used to vibrate the floor boards which could be felt in my room, this machine is whisper quiet. I guess you get what you pay for in terms of performance, quality and price although for near £500-00 I am very impressed with the lack of noise, harshness and vibration. To put it simply, there is virtually no vibration and no noise and this is even on the 1600 rpm speed selection! Decibel levels; wash at 53 decibels and 79decibels for spin this is quite impressive if you know your decibel levels!
** The Manual **
Now the manual is not actually that helpful to my mind. Its only a small complaint against an otherwise excellently executed manual which allows you to see every answer you are looking for. If you have the top machine for example, like ours then you dont need to realise what your model number is but I have noticed through specific pages in the manual for example, looking at the spin selection that other machine model codes have been given to indicate what is available on those machines. This can become confusing for any user with a new machine. I suggest that LG should just offer ONE manual PER machine model number and be done with it.
What is very helpful is how to install the machine incase you dont get the installation done by companies such as Co Op.
Each diagram is well marked and the manual in this instance has been well thought out. Attention for example has been paid to several different installation possibilities as well as keeping the machine level and troubleshooting problems.
The washing machine like many other rivals comes with a spare spanner tool and an optional Hot/Cold inlet hose.
The manual also helpfully displays tap settings on your main water supply, explaining how the machine should be fitted if for example you have a tap without a thread & screw type inlet hose or if you have a machine with a single hose, therefore connecting to a tap without a thread and one touch type inlet hose. This machine has COLD fill only.
** Other Areas of Excellence **
In addition to the simplicity of controls, you can stop the beep alerts by holding down the Option button and Spin button together. This turns the alerts off. I havent done this, neither have my parents because as soon as the machine stops an alert similar to a cuckoo alerts 6 times to indicate that the machine can now be emptied. The machine switches itself off after the beep is sounded and the door can be opened after 1 minute when the machine switches itself off. This is handy when all the other household members are located in other parts of the home. We can hear it from the living room so we know that the machine can be emptied and if need be, another load can be put in!
** Digital LED panel **
The Digital display has a self diagnostic display (LG call it their Multi Display window) incase anything should go wrong with the machine:
PE indicates that the machine has a water pressure sensing error
FE indicates the problem of overfilling water
dE indicates that the door is not closed
LE and CE indicate that there is an over load in the motor.
IE indicates water inlet trouble.
OE indicates drainage trouble.
UE indicates an unbalanced load.
tE indicates water temperature trouble.
When completion of washing has been done, End is also displayed on the Multi Display digital readout.
** The Drain Flap/Draining **
There is also a Drain flap on the bottom left hand side of the machine. Now I remember from our old Bendix washer/dryer this was a trial and error task and if you didnt have a bowl handy there was lots of water on the floor! Not so with the LG again Intelligent thinking takes on here the flap comes down to reveal the main circular drainer receptacle which must be turned to be taken off this reveals a tube which all the water comes out of, so again a bowl is needed but luckily there is no water coming out because it all comes out of the extra see through tube!
When we first used the machine and countless times thereafter, we have been impressed with the fact that the clothes are now close to dryness. The machine ensures that the clothes are perfectly spun every time. As for colour care, the machine has yet to let us down although we are perfectly aware (again thanks to the manual) the helpful guides of washing care and procedure. It seems that we have been living in a past era with our old Hoover 1300 washer dryer compared to this machine. In short, it is excellent.
In terms of washing different clothes, the machine excels in all operations set. We have also tried to wash on the lowest setting for example some of my mother's own knitted sweaters and scarves - washing hand knitted wool is a general no-no when it comes to washing machines - but this machine copes well when No Spin is selected and the wool remains fluffy and non-shrunk.
** Any Downsides?**
We have only encountered a hefty bump when the machine first begins its first spin but the manual suggests that if it is a heavy weight of clothes, this is normal as the machine is sensing the weight accordingly. It doesnt bump for example when we are washing clothing like tea and bath towels. If we hadnt had read the manual then we would have assumed some fault with the machine.
Also, make sure that the transit bolts have been removed on the back of the machine where the hose snaps fit to the back of the machine if the transit bolts are not removed, they will cause vibration and noise. LG also give out caps which can be fitted once these 4 bolts are removed and must be kept if the machine is ever to be moved. Handy!
Another issue with this LG is the fact that if it doesn't sit on a flat level floor, then the machine does get noisy. We were so impressed with our white model that our neighbour went out and bought a silver version but her kitchen floor had to re-levelled to match the quietness of the LG particularly on the spin speeds. Her LG was noisier until her floor was re-done and has now quietened down to match ours.
** Conclusion **
So what in effect does £500 buy you? Technology and intelligent thinking, with a lot of ease of use too pretty sums up what I think about the LG. It is an old machine by today's standard and you can probably find the same features in the 1633 model which replaces the 1622 by LG; it may even be cheaper to buy.
Our LG is simply relying on new technology such as its electronic brain and the self drive motor policy but given that there are other machines out there that may offer an extra heated element drying function, I think its money well spent. Since 2004 the LG is used everyday and mostly on the 30 40 quick wash programme or spin only. It still gives excellent all round performance and from a brand which until the last four years was still relatively unknown.
True, there are more expensive names out there such as Siemens, AEG and Maytag who are bringing more domestic appliances to the kitchen with a hefty price tag, but for the simplicity of use and simple ease of use (plus AAA performance) I dont think there are that many rivals out there that offer the same specification AND a self driven brushless, belt less model.
The power options of rpm choice are well selected. I've noticed the resulting differences between a duvet (15.5tog single size) for example feeling delightfully fluffy and almost dry once it has been spun at 1600 rpms whereas as 800 rpms has a slightly damper feel whilst at 1400 rpms there is virtually no difference in feel apart from the tops and bottoms of the duvet feeling slightly damper.
Lastly and oops before I forget! Guarantee? From Co-Op Direct you'll get your first year free - from LG with its Laundry Care the full premium care cover costs £54-00 plus an additional 3 years labour of £149-00 Sound expensive? LG go to all the trouble of then offering you the optional 10 monthly direct debit payments (which I think is better) of £5-40 and then £14-90) instead.
In short from LG you get additional care PLUS the normal FREE 2 years labour and a 5 year parts guarantee! Not so expensive now is it? Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2007
LGEUK website: www.lgelectronics.co.uk
Front Load Drum Washer, Efficiency: A+AA, 16.53 lb / load, Features: Dial Controls, Delayed Start Timer, Fuzzy Logic / Power direct to the drum for a smooth balanced action so its whisper quiet even at 1600-spin! And because there are no brushes, pulleys or belts, the source of most repair problems is eliminated / Short name: LG WM16220FD