Washing Machine Energy Standards
All washing machines
sold in the European Union have to have an EU Energy Label which must
be clearly visible on the appliance. The EU Energy Label rates the Energy
Efficiency of the washing machine and this is indicated by a letter
(A through to G) as well as a colour associated with the letter. A is
the most energy efficient on a sliding scale to G which is the least
efficient. This is also indicated by the colour scale, with A being
darkest green, through to D which is yellow, through to G which is red.
The Energy Efficiency
rating should be clearly stated by the manufacturer in brochures, leaflets
and marketing literature, whether printed or on the internet.
The energy rating for
a washing machine is calculated on all machines using a standard cycle,
so that each machine is tested according to the same rigorous criteria.
Most washing machines
on the market now are either A or B energy rated. Many manufacturers
class their machines as more efficient than A rated, for example A-20%
or A++, both of which indicate that the appliance is 20% more energy
efficient than an A rated machine.
A typical energy label
will indicate, apart from the overall Energy Rating, the following information:
- Total energy
consumption per cycle in kWh per cycle
- The washing
rating (A to G)
- The spin
drying rating (A to G)
- The maximum
spin speed in revolutions per minute
- The total
capacity in KG that the machine can handle in one cycle
- Water consumption
per cycle (litres)
- Noise level
in decibels for both washing and spinning
All washing machines
carry a manufacturer's guarantee of some sort although these
can vary widely between the manufacturers, and even between ranges or
models from a manufacturer. Many manufacturers offer a free of charge
extended guarantee if the purchaser registers their details either on-line,
by post or by telephone.
Examples of guarantees
offered for washing machines currently on the market include:
a standard guarantee for 12 months covering labour, material and transportation.
However this can be extended for an additional 12 months if the purchaser
registers by post, on-line or by completing and returning the guarantee
a 12 month parts and labour warranty. They extend this to 5 years parts
only if the purchase registers their appliance and if the spare parts
are fitted by a Hotpoint engineer.
2 year parts and labour guarantee for call-out parts and labour as standard.
They currently offer certain models of machine with a 5 year guarantee
under a special time-limited offer which may not be applicable in the
Hoover has a
standard 12 months guarantee, but all washing machines must be registered
with them to qualify (this can be done on-line).
LG - the LG UK
website states that their warranty period differs by product and that
each model should be checked separately. A cross-check of their washing
machines indicates that most of them are covered for 24 months as standard
(commercial use excluded) for labour and parts. Those machines with
a Direct Drive Motor are covered for 10 years for the motor only.
warranty period of the washing machines on the Whirlpool UK website
was not clear. Some of their machines are guaranteed for light or full
a standard 12 months guarantee parts and labour warranty. This can be
extended to 5 year parts only on registration of the product and if
Indesit's own engineers are used.
Neff offers a
12 month guarantee as standard, extendable to 24 months parts and labour
if the product is registered with them within 30 days, by phone or on-line.
Candy - their
standard warranty terms are 12 months parts and labour, with 5 years
parts warranty on registration and if using a Candy engineer.
On top of these standard
guarantee periods, most manufacturers and retailers also offer an extended
guarantee through a third party insurer for an additional fee.
Many manufacturers insist
that only original spare parts are used and to use generic spare parts
may invalidate the warranty.
Washing Machine Installation
It is recommended that
you call in an expert to install your new washing machine. Many retailers
will be able to arrange this for you as a chargeable service.
However some people
do prefer to install the appliance themselves, which is a fairly straight-forward
task, as long as the plumbing and pipes are already there.
If you are installing
the machine yourself, there will be detailed instructions in with the
machine, but you should note the following:
- Make sure
that all packaging is removed, including the packaging inside the machine.
If this is not done, the machine will not work and there is a high danger
- If the floor
is not even, make sure that a suitable piece of board is well secured
with screws to the floor, to minimise vibration and noise.
Washing Machine Disposal
When purchasing a new
washing machine, many retailers and manufacturers offer a disposal service
for your old machine. This service is usually chargeable and they will
often only handle washing machines that have been disconnected, however
this is probably the easiest way to dispose of your old appliance.
Another way to dispose
of your old washing machine is to take it to a local recycling centre,
which will take the old appliance free of charge, however you usually
need to be able to transport it there yourself, although some do offer
chargeable collection facilities. If you are unsure of where your nearest
local facility is, please visit www.recyclenow.com for further
Alternatively your local
council can arrange to collect the washing machine, although there may
be a charge in some areas.
For more information
on disposal and recycling of appliances and to apply for a special collection
of large items, including washing machines, you can visit this link
to the U.K. government public service website.
There are also private
waste management companies who can arrange for the collection of your
old washing machine for a fee, but this may well be more expensive than
using the local council. It is also important to ensure that any private
company follows WEEE regulations for disposal of items.
If the washing machine
is still in working order, you may wish to free-cycle it rather than
disposing of it. Many local newspapers offer a free-cycle facility and
there are also websites such as www.freecycle.org where you can list your appliance.
Repairs & Spare Parts
Firstly it is necessary
to check whether the machine is still covered under guarantee or not.
If it is still within the guarantee period then you should consult your
guarantee documentation and follow any special procedures to claim the
guarantee. If you act outside of the guarantee terms and conditions,
for example calling in a repair company which is not authorised under
the guarantee, this may not be covered and may indeed invalidate the
guarantee and you may end up having to pay for the repair work yourself.
If the machine is not
covered by the guarantee, you will need to find a company who will be
able to repair your machine. Many manufacturers have a network of trained
engineers and detailed information on their website, including:
Bosch - their
network of engineers are employed and trained by Bosch themselves and
you can book an engineer on-line or by telephone. Prices are stated
on their website including their 'Repair Time+' which is a fixed
price for labour and call out, regardless of how long the repair takes,
and also their 'Repair Care Plan' which is a monthly fee per year.
you can register your new washing machine on-line and also download
user manuals from the site. You can also book a service call on-line
for washing machines covered by the guarantee or by telephone for those
which are no longer covered. All engineers booked through their site
or by telephone directly with Hotpoint are trained by Hotpoint and the
charges for a fixed price repair are clearly set out on the Hotpoint
UK website. Repairs are guaranteed for 90 days and an interest free
payment option is offered for repairs. There is also basic trouble shooting
advice on the website such as how to unblock a washing machine pump
which may avoid costly repairs. For self-repairs or accessories, official
spare parts can be purchased on-line.
Siemens - full
instructions are given on their UK website on how to book an authorised
engineer visit. This can be done on-line or by telephone and feedback
regarding a previous visit can also be done on-line. Repairs, which
are guaranteed for 12 months, can be done under a fixed price for call-out
and labour (but not including spare parts) or a monthly fee under the
'Siemens repair Care Plan'. Original spare parts and accessories
can be purchased on-line.
Hoover - they
encourage the use of their on-line 'Problem Solving Guide' before
an engineer is called out. Call outs can be booked on-line or by phone
for machines still under guarantee and those that are out of warranty.
Pricing is clearly stated on the website and there is also the option
of spreading payments. Spare parts can be identified and purchased on-line
through the official Hoover UK site. There is a notice on their website
that Comet customers should contact Comet direct.
LG - those
in need of an engineer visit should call or email the LG support centre
to discuss the possible options but there is no pricing indication of
repair costs for washing machines not covered by warranty. If the machine
is still under warranty then a claim can be submitted on-line. Repairs
can also be tracked on-line. Spare parts purchases are redirected to
their authorised distributor Nedis.
engineer visits cannot be booked on-line, but there are details of the
central telephone number together with working hours on their UK website.
There is a clear pricing plan for repairs on their site, including a
one off fee or a monthly fee to spread the cost. There is a link to
purchase spares from their authorised distributor 4Whirlpool.
Indesit - they
encourage users to try to resolve problems before calling an engineer
with their 'Solve it Yourself' section. Spare parts can be purchased
on-line as can engineer visits. There is a clear pricing structure for
repairs not covered by the guarantee.
Neff - their
authorised sister company BSH Appliance Care is responsible for the
service and call outs can be booked on-line, by phone or by email. Feedback
can also be given on-line on previous engineer visits. Prices
for service calls are clearly stated on their website, as a one off
charge or a monthly plan to spread the cost. Spares can be purchased
on-line but they do recommend that they are only fitted by qualified
Candy - call-outs
to machines still on warranty and out of warranty can be booked on-line.
A clear pricing structure is on their website for repairs, with a sliding
scale of charges according to the age of the machine. Payments can be
spread into instalments. Spares cannot be ordered on-line but
they can be ordered by phone or an enquiry made using their on-line
General note: The monthly
service plans advertised on many of the manufacturer's websites seem
to be very similar to extended warranties and most attract an interest
The advantages in using
a manufacturer-approved engineer are that they are trained and authorised
by the manufacturer and only use original spare parts. However, the
call out and repair charges may in some cases be more expensive than
a local repair company and they may not cover the more remote areas
of the country. If you do choose to use the services of a local repair
company for whatever reason, make sure that you look for a reputable
company - word of mouth from family and friends is always a good place
Some points to look
out for in local washing machine repair companies are:
- Check the
call out charge and subsequent charge per hour.
- Most companies
charge extra for weekends or out of hours calls, so it will usually
end up less expensive to repair the machine if you are able to wait
until working hours.
- Some companies
charge a fixed price per job which may be preferable.
- Not all repair
companies are able to service all brands of washing machine, so check
that the company is experienced with your particular brand of machine.
- Check if
the work is guaranteed and how long it is guaranteed for.
It is not advisable
to try to repair the washing machine yourself, especially if the machine
is still covered under guarantee, as this may invalidate any warranty.
However if you do need to buy spare parts or accessories, most manufacturers
either give advice on their sites where original spares can be purchased
or sell them on-line themselves.
Advice and Tips for
Use of Your Washing Machine
- Before washing, it is strongly
advised to sort your clothes into different types.
- Sort between dark coloured
and light coloured clothing/whites to avoid the dye running into lighter
garments. If you only have a small load and it is not practical to separate
items, there are special cloths ('Dye Grabbers') available from
some household retailers which absorb any loose dye in the wash and
can be used for up to 30 washes. These can be very effective but should
be used with care.
- Sort between garment types,
for example delicate items or woollens which may need to be washed on
a special cycle to avoid damage or shrinkage.
- Sort between items that need
to be washed at different temperatures. However, if the
clothes or items are only lightly soiled it is recommended that you
wash them at a low temperature and on a shorter cycle to save energy
and water. You are unlikely to notice the difference in the quality
of the washing.
- All items should be marked
with a label containing the laundry care symbols. This indicates whether
an item can be washed or not, the maximum temperature it can be washed
at and what type of cycle should be used. Remember that the temperature
indicated is the maximum and if the item is only lightly soiled or just
needs to be refreshed, always go for a lower temperature.
- If the care label indicates
that a garment needs a specialist treatment, such as dry cleaning, never
attempt to wash the item yourself as this will probably damage or shrink
- Always try to wash a full
load in one cycle to avoid wasting energy. However do not overfill the
drum as this can lead to poor performance and even damage to the clothes
and/or machine. Many manufacturers recommend leaving a gap of about
10 cm between the clothes and the top of the machine drum.
- Make sure that the spin dry
setting is high enough to remove excess water from the garments. This
will mean that clothes take less time to dry naturally or in the tumble
- Consider using your washing
machine at night or at off-peak periods as many electricity companies
offer cheaper rates at this time. Some washing machines have a time-delay
switch which makes this more convenient.
- The washing machine filters
and pumps need to be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure optimal performance
- check the operating manual for details on how to do this.
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