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You know you've joined the grown-up league (even though I'm still resisting it...) when you start looking for your first washing machine. Oh yes, the responsibility! But after a few years of using the local laundrette I'd decided enough was enough...
I like to do my research before making a purchase, even though it can be tedious at the best of times. After much browsing, I settled on a Zanussi machine that seemed to have all the features I wanted, was in my price range (sub £300) and it looked good as well.
I first bought it from Argos, but after their cavemen delivered two (yes two!) broken machines (with various dents and broken off pieces!), I asked for a refund and instead got my machine from Comet. Few days later they delivered a pristine Zanussi ZWF1221W, and we have lived happily ever since. (Although saying that, I've probably just jinxed it!)
Unpacking & initial set-up was fairly easy apart from releasing the drum. You are advised to lay the machine on its back and unscrew a panel, before practically climbing inside and removing two long and thin polythene bags containing foam blocks at either side of the drum. These things are important as they keep the drum in place during transport, but it took the strength of Hercules to pull them out. I don't know what other machines are like in this respect, but this should be made easier.
After that, blood pumping, testosterone flowing, I got my toolbox out (I say toolbox, but I mean the pliers...), connected the inlet hose to a cold water tap under the sink, the outlet hose to some other tap (the one my plumber had pointed out), and my appliance was ready to go.
The manual recommends placing the machine on a solid floor (not wooden or carpeted floor) and checking the machine is level (by raising or lowering its feet with a spanner) to prevent noise, vibration and displacement. I did that too.
So, what about the machine itself? Well, it takes up to 6kg of your dirty stuff, which sounds like a decent amount, although have you ever weighed your laundry before filling up the machine? Neither have I.
The spin speed reaches a dizzying 1200rpm (and at that speed it sounds like a jet engine!), although you can set it to a lower speed (a more sedate 900, 700 or pedestrian 500rpm), if you don't want to wear out your drum altogether in the first few months! I find 700 or 900rpm is usually more than enough.
The 27-page instruction booklet that comes with the machine is fairly detailed, describing all the important features, maintenance and troubleshooting, installation, as well as providing you with many useful tips (such as washing very small items inside a pillowcase, fastening buttons and zips, not going to Glastonbury and rolling in the mud, etc).
It also addresses environmental issues in terms of water and energy usage, and suggests always using a full load, avoiding pre-wash if possible and washing at lower temperatures, amongst other things.
The control panel on the machine if very straightforward, particularly if you have bothered to flick through the instruction booklet. The washing sequence is very simple as you might imagine... load the drum, pour in your detergent/fabric softener, select the required programme/spin speed and press the start button. You have the option of delaying the start by up to 12 hours, maybe that's useful for some, not so much for me.
Various washing programmes are available, including delicates, hand wash, wool, and 30-minute quick wash, along with the usual cotton/linen, white/colour and synthetics options. There are two economy settings, intended to use less energy, and the machine also uses an "Eco valve" which reduces water consumption and ensures all detergent is used up during the wash cycle. Another plus point.
Each pre-set is described in detail (e.g. temperature, maximum load, intended use, and time length) so you can choose a very specific wash programme each time, best suited to your needs.
Some programmes go on for over 2 and a half hours, which seems like an eternity! I've found the quick wash at 30C to be the most useful so far, as it only takes around 30 minutes and does a pretty good job. A quick spin or two and your clothes will be dry by the end of the day.
Overall, I've had no complaints and I've been very happy with the performance so far, so would happily recommend this washing machine. Provided you keep up with basic maintenance and don't give it too much abuse, your machine should last you many years.
Spin Speed max. 1200rpm
Weight Capacity 6kg
Energy Efficiency A
Wash Efficiency A
Spin Drying Efficiency B
12 month standard guarantee
well, the machine is ok when it works. however mine is 16 months old. the electronic board used to control the machine has been replaced(under warranty) and now the drum bearing has gone! I guess they don't build them lke they used to.
My family has one of these washing mashines and i can say that we are completely satisfied with the quality and functionality of this mashine.
It has a great loading capasity, simple in use and small gabarites. It is very fast and effective in the work. Does not produse noise. And after all, the prise is very low that does not influense you budget. Well, in the end i can just advice you to bue and enjoy this product!