Reason for purchase
We have a cute kitchen - otherwise described as extremely small. Thus we needed an appliance that had petite dimensions. Now is an opportune time to mention the dimensions of the WDL 5490 P -
The depth is the all important dimension here for us and there are not that many options. Having already had a positive experience with a Hotpoint washer/dryer we had no reservations in making the choice. Where we would normally research something to death we rather trusted the brand and perhaps in hindsight that was an error on our part.
Swiftly delivered - looks good
Impressed with Curry's efficient online service and suitably pleased with some cash back from Topcashback, we (well my husband) installed our shiny new friend. The machine scored full marks on aesthetics and compatibility with our tiny space. The design is minimalistic and the controls are dials which I desired so as I would not be baffled by technology.
On the control panel there is minimal fuss. Basically you have your detergent drawer (which can be removed easily by lifting slightly so that it can be maintained and cleaned). There is a simple on/off button - I like this feature as I cannot go wrong can I. A large knob displays the wash cycles that you may choose from (eight in total) - this has quite a good range of cycles but unfortunately, unlike my last two machines, there is no quick wash or option to skip functions in a cycle. The only way around this is to stop a cycle and then select another - but this does not give me the chance to begin at the spin stage for example. There is a separate temperature knob which I find confusing because the cycles each have a temperature allocated - you cannot select above the allocated temperature. I feel restricted to cycle number 3 the majority of the time as I find it limited and confusing to be honest. I have read the instruction book and that only leads to more bewilderment and to be honest I don't really want to be reading reams of stuff - I just want to do my load of washing as soon as the machine can. The drying knob is on the panel too and I discovered the hard way that you need to be very careful when you set your washer cycle going that you have not nudged this little knob by accident - the machine will go straight into a good long drying cycle (that you cannot stop - another feature that is greatly missed) and if you have clothes in there that you really don't want to be dried - oops. There is the wash cycle progress which is displayed clearly by a list and little lights. When the cycle is finished the End
indicator will flash green and the door will kindly unlock.
There are some function buttons along the bottom that you can personalize the wash with - to be honest I have attempted to work with these and then given up as they seem to conflict with what I have chosen for the cycle. I really do not like too many fiddly options on a machine - plain and simple is what I thought I was getting with a dial function but not the case here.
An all important Start/Pause button is on the panel too and that has been one that I have been using regularly recently - now you shall discover why.
Rub a dub dub
This machine is still in warranty and under a year old. Aside from my issues with the controls and limitations of the cycles I have been very pleased with the washing capabilities of the machine. The drum size is large (maximum load 7kg) and the door large which I have found beneficial. I have been washing successfully for months and months until last week when one of the paddles - of which there are three - fell off. The paddles are plastic on this model and we have never had a machine which featured plastic paddles in the drum before now. It was not something that I had even thought about checking until this experience. A exceptionally loud noise alerted me to the fact that something was clattering in the washer drum - at that point I had cause to use the Start/Pause button which is now a good friend of mine - and used the drain cycle (another very welcome option) so that I could investigate. There was the paddle loose in the drum and it had totally sheared off. I should mention here that I have not washed shoes, trainers or anything like that in this washer and have only ever washed small to moderate loads of clothing, bedding and towels.
After a hearty discussion with the customer service guy at Hotpoint my husband understood fully that the paddles are unfortunately not covered in the warranty and come under the descriptor of general wear and tear. So we had two paddles loose and one sheared off - we needed to replace them. If you buy from Hotpoint they are £20 each. Fortunately we found a pack of three on the internet for much less and exactly the same when we compared for quality. They were £11.97 for three! So that was good wasn't it - well it was until five washes later when the first replacement paddle sheared off. Oh dear. It was only then that we researched the model and discovered a wealth of consumers who had exactly the same issue with the paddles and some only lasting two washes. This is a problem with this model unfortunately. I only wish that we had researched before buying - quite an expensive mistake.
A wee bit extra
At the time of reviewing you can purchase this model from a range of outlets which include:
BHS DirectPrice at this time ranges from:
£385.80 - £499.99 including delivery
Well it is not all bad news for this Hotpoint washer/dryer. I cannot fault the washing performance and it does have eco friendly options such as the 30 degree wash facility. There are options for crease reduction but only on the silk items wash cycle. The dryer is efficient and I do like the options for desired effect - hanger dry, iron dry and cupboard dry. Up until the recent event with the paddle issues the washer would have scored a good 4 stars - one dropped because of the limitations in the cycles and confusing programming. Also I don't really find the handbook user friendly. Now I am stuck because there is the issue with the paddles - which is a common fault with this model. I am basing my rating on my experience alone and taking all things into consideration I feel the machine still warrants at least 2 stars but I do have to say that I would not recommend it to others purely because of the extra ongoing expense of replacing the paddles.
The machine is quite loud when spinning - certainly louder than my last one which was a Zanussi. I include photographs of the sheared paddle outside and inside the drum so that you can see where it was originally attached.
Thanks to following your suggestions to write to Hotpoint/Indesit I was informed that the paddles are to be investigated and that it is not a wear and tear issue as the previous customer service guy had said. An engineer came out and said that they now provide stronger paddles under a new serial number and replaced them. He asked us to see what happens and if they continue to detach we will be covered on the 5 year parts warranty? So three different lots of advice and information but we have not been charged and are prepared to see what happens next .... lets hope these new stronger
paddles do the trick.
The contact sheet that I sent my email through was via this link (there are a few different websites)
_It's thank you and goodbye - also published on dooyoo_