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 £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?