A Small Domestic Positive

Yes, I am still writing about washing machines and household electrics. Unbelievable, I know.

After the fiasco with trying to get the new washing machine installed last week, I managed to get an electrician to come out on Wednesday to fit the required ‘safe socket’. That added Β£60 to an already big enough bill, but he did a good job.

On Sunday morning, the shop was due to re-deliver and install the new washer, as well as removing and disposing of the old one. Luckily, they work on the Sundays before Christmas, so they fitted us in. Of course, I didn’t expect them to turn up. I was sure that they would forget about it, claim that the truck had broken down, or the men had gone off sick.

Yes, the phrase ‘Oh Ye Of Little Faith’ was written for me.

Then the phone rang, and the shop said they would be here between midday and three in the afternoon. I had to get into gear to take Ollie out early, so that I would be back just before twelve. I didn’t want them to have any excuse to drive off because I wasn’t at home.

To both my surprise and delight, they arrived at twelve-thirty. Ollie was pleased to see them, and enjoyed extra pats and strokes. The electrics were pronounced acceptable, and the old machine removed first. Then the new one was fitted in and tested. After that, one of the men explained the basics of how it worked before they left.

This new model, an update of the one before, has an electronic screen. It also has a great deal more washing options, and a completely different control set-up. The old one had just two dials, and a start button. One dial set the temperature, the other selected the desired wash cycle. As it worked, one dial moved around to show the progress. When it finished, a red light flashed, showing me I could open the door. Then the machine switched off. With little training, even a small child could have operated it.

In the new one, the manufacturer has abandoned such basic tried and tested methods. The large dial visible on the photo above chooses one of many (confusing) programmes, and then the screen illuminates. The load is weighed by a device in the legs of the machine, and the temperature and wash time set automatically. To change any of the ‘recommended’ settings, I have to move small increments on a digital screen by touching it.

I wish I had my dial back.

As soon as they had left, I loaded up some bedding, and fired up the first wash. Fiddling with the screen, I reduced the washing time down to just over one hour, which is recommended for saving on water. (If we could use rainwater, we wouldn’t ever need to save any of course)

I nervously pressed the screen next to the word ‘Start’, and the door locked as the machine filled with water. As soon as it began washing the bedding, the screen began to countdown the time remaining until it had finished. When it had stopped washing, a loud beep sounded three times, informing me I could open the door. I then had to return the dial to the ‘Off’ position, and the screen went black.

It was a case of ‘so far, so good’. It had worked.

This new machine won a ‘Best Buy’ award, and comes with a two-year guarantee. It should save quite a lot of water through our meter, and runs on less electricity too. As I tried to make some sense of the forty-page instruction book, before deciding that I was happy to always use ‘Easy Care. 40 degrees.’, I should have been content.

So why am I sitting here expecting it to break down soon?

64 thoughts on “A Small Domestic Positive

  1. I don’t know why but I find this so funny! Some gadgets I appreciate need updating, but I don’t understand why washing machines need new options, etc. They’ll always do the same thing just with more buttons and options to confuse everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We sometimes use a 60 C option for white cotton, and also the 90C when using a cleaning product to clean the machine. But the rest of the time, it is usually a 40 c mixed load. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  2. The saddest thing I read about appliances recently was a table of expected longevity for them. My mother used the same washing machine through four children,including cloth diapers, the whole time she lived in that house, at least 25 years. No such machines now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh ye of little faith! It won’t fail until the first week after the guarantee runs out! Bought a new washer myself a couple of years ago when the old one died. I found one washer setting I liked and use it for everything. Couldn’t be bothered reading the entire handbook which came with it. So far so good.

    πŸ™‚

    Besties.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I tend to be skeptical of things like this, but with good reason. (We could exchange customer service stories until the cows come home, Pete.) Right now, I’m fried because each time our power goes out (it’s happened with shutoffs due to wildfires and because of windy weather), our home alarm system quits working. Then we have to pay $160 to have the alarm company come out to fix it. Every direction I turn, it costs more money for things that are out of our control.

    On the other hand, we have a similar washing machine that does all that you describe with weighing the load, etc. It has worked each time in the last eighteen months since we got it. Now, if the other sixty-four (only a slight exaggeration) things that are going wrong could fix themselves, I’d have nothing to complain about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pete. That $160 charge by the alarm company smacks of ‘income-generation’ to me.
      I can cope with one thing going wrong, it’s when so many things happen at once that I start to feel victimised. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know what you mean, Pete. I love my washer. It’s not pretty; it’s a top loader and it’s just plain Jane white but I love all the features and the precision of it. The other day I overloaded it and it went berserk. I was so scared. Same thing with my computer. I love it. I has big processor and a lot of ram, a wonderful sound card. But I’m so scared of getting a virus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have a bad case of terminal ‘techno fear’, Pam. I have never had a top-loader myself, but my mum used to have one when I was in my teens. Most washers are stored under worktops here, so top loaders don’t work for us.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Best of luck with it, Pete! I was given the option when I moved to my current address of bringing my own washing machine, or using the one currently in situ: given that the latter was virtually brand new, and my own was pretty much on its last legs, it was the proverbial ‘no-brainer’! Notwithstanding that levelling it is next to impossible [I think that was covered in a previous blog?] it performs very well on the Quick Wash cycle and doesn’t shake, rattle & roll too much πŸ˜‰ Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I’m dreading the day we have to get a new washing machine. Ours is pretty old by today’s standards and has dials and is very easy to use but I realise we won’t find another one like that. Curious about it weighing the clothes – would it tell you if you tried to shove in too much?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently it does, and won’t turn on. But the ‘icon’ that tells you that is more or less indecipherable to my eyes, even with my glasses on. 😦
      (There was one Hotpoint machine for sale with simple dials, but it was a special ‘small load’ model, so not much use except for one person.)
      Best wishes, Pet.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pete, this is our new world order: incredible technology to replace the tried and true things like a simple knob that you turn so that your machine washes then dries….now you can do permanent press, delicate, heavy, speed wash and more…as someone told me recently about our new car: “well, it’s not really a car, it’s a computer on wheels!” And it is…it tells me if I’m too close to the yellow line on the left, and the white lane marker on the right…it tells me if there’s a car coming, but also if i’m backing up too close to another parked car…it has a camera to show me what’s behind me, but while I look at it my eyes are off of what’s in front!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are expecting it to break down because the next generation washer is out and your “new one”
    has to break down so they can sell you the next generation (and yes it will require a new “safe” and improved electrical connection. Warmest regards, Theo of absolutely no faith at all

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My machine is old and still has dials and that makes me happy. Analog is my friend. My daughter’s front-loader has problems with mold and mildew around the gaskets, but her machine is several years old. Hopefully they have resolved those issues now. I know you did your research!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had front-loaders since the 1970s. I never have issues with mould as I wipe any water away from the rubber after every wash. I also use a machine cleaning product four times a year. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I have a 5yr old Beko (I know… Julie doesn’t like them) and so far no problems. We choose the wash we want with a dial, and there’s a little countdown screen that tells you how long there’s left, simples. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You know that old phrase: newer doesn’t always mean better? It usually is the case that is for sure. Hopefully it will continue to work as it supposed to do (all those extra technological gizmos usually are things I don’t care for at all) Anyways..nice to see your posts are as entertaining to read as ever (not that I ever doubted that for even a single second:))

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Yes, they don’t go for easy these days. All these time-saving and everything else saving devices has such lengthy instructions that I’m not sure even the people who designed them would know how to use them… But I doubt that it will break down while it is under guarantee. I’m sure I have just signed on some campaign asking for manufacturers to make their electronic devices easier to repair, to save waste, but I wonder if a campaign on making them simpler would go anywhere… Oh, by the way, I saw and enjoyed The Irishman. Thanks for the recommendation! (Not much of a role for women, though, and I missed Anna Paquin saying more than 6 words…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Olga.
      Yes, The Irishman is a film about men. Certain types of men, in a time and place where the women in their lives didn’t count for much. In that sense, I suppose it is at least historically accurate. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  14. Mine plays a tune when the cycle has finished. Amused us no end when we first bought it. I pretty much stick to the same settings, I created a favourite which is a short cycle on 30 degrees, like yours the load is weighed and the time adjusted accordingly. Like you I hate having to replace these appliances. I left a 18 Yr old wm behind which is probably still going if the new owners have the brushes replaced every so often. They don’t make them like that any more. And the cooker I had was 33 yrs old!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jude. Don’t get me started on cookers! The one I wrote about last time has had to be replaced under warranty because the fan kept running. And now the replacement has started to exhibit the same problem. I just want things to work. But it seems that everything is too clever for its own good now. Complexity never equals reliability, not in my experience. Grrr.. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  15. I think the more complicated a machine is the more there is to go wrong. Like you, I nearly always use the same setting as when I try something different it locks with the stuff still in the water and I never remember how to get it to change. I usually end up doing the wash all over again!
    I still don’t know everything my mobile phone can do. As long as I can get calls and take the odd photo I’m content. I haven’t downloaded any apps or tried to play music on it.
    We are going through a period when everything is warning us to update. I’m nervous about all this privacy stuff as I wonder if I’ll forget something and not be able to access my own work.
    Oh for the days when we bought something and it lasted for years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Julie. I could have written this comment. πŸ™‚
      This machine at least has a ‘reset’ feature. If I set the wrong programme, I can cancel it, and start again. I expect I will be using that option quite frequently.
      As for updates, I work on the golden rule of never updating anything, until they leave me no other choice but to do so.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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