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**Edit - After three years of use the bearings are now in the process of destroying themselves and the machine can only be used on a quick wash and on a low spin speed as the noise it creates is phenomenal. It sounds like something might jam or seize up. When I phoned Hotpoint they offered me a repair at £110 using there engineer as that is the only way to get the free parts guarantee. The other option is to pay £15.50 a month warranty for repairs for a year. I am looking for a new washer and it won't be a Hotpoint)
When my last washing machine decided to give up on its life of laundry and attempt to sound like a thrash metal band complete with its own smoke machine I thought it was time to do away with the old and bring on the new.
Now as you can imagine purchasing a new washing machine is not a task I take on lightly, a washer is one of the larger more expensive kitchen appliances. After kicking and cursing my washing machine for failing me after 6 years I limped off to my laptop to search for its replacement. With my pennies being tight, as I imagine are every one else's I wanted value, durability and performance from a name I trusted without having to give up my planned holiday to Cornwall.
I picked out a Beko branded machine and showed it my husband "What is Beko? I have never heard of that" he declared "get a Hotpoint". So sucking in my breathe I typed in Hotpoint, what popped up on screen was the Hotpoint Ultima WMUD962 G. Aaah! It was a thing of beauty, mainly because it was graphite coloured and would fit in with my kitchen décor (pic 1). I scrolled down to look at the specifications.
A++ sounded good, this means it has an A rating for energy consumption (pic 7), washing and spinning, which is always good as hopefully it shall reduce my electricity bill a bit.
The next thing I spotted was its massive 9kg wash capacity, also good my previous washing machine had an 8kg capacity and was always on the go, so maybe this will cut down on the amount of washes I do and there by cut down on energy consumption too. I have learnt through using the machine and reading the manual that the massive 9kg capacity is only available on cotton washes and the bed and bath cycle. (I will write about that later) otherwise the recommended amounts can vary between 4kg on a synthetics wash to 1kg on a delicates wash. So the massive 9kg claim that attracted me is not advised on all washes. I try to stick to the recommended weights as I want my washing machine to last at least five years.
The machine also has a 1600 spin, great for spinning out clothes so they line dry quicker, I would imagine they also dry faster in a tumble dryer but as I don't have one I can't comment on that. It also has what is described as a wide porthole, as it is a washing machine and not an ocean liner I think it is referring to the door. These two points appealed to me as the dryer my clothes are when the wash finishes the quicker and easier it is to line dry them or in the case of the summer so far put them on clothes airers. A small niggle for me now that I have been using the machine is that the door does not open a full 180 degrees, it is more like 120 degrees. The size of the door (porthole!) does make for quick and easy loading and unloading (pic 2).
The washing machine has what is described as eco cycles, I thought this meant shorter wash cycles but upon reading the manual I discovered
it means there is an option to choose to wash without heating the water at all, if you choose this option the washing machine will fill with cold water and not heat it and add extra spin and agitation cycles to remove dirt and stains, as appose to heated water. I have not used this option as I like my clothes to be washed on either a 40c or 60c wash. Another thing that hooked me on this washing machine was the anti-allergy cycle; the washer adds upto three extra rinses to a wash cycle helping remove traces of wash powder/liquid, animal hairs and pollen. This appealed to me as my husband and daughter both suffer with asthma and hay fever. The machine also has a 30 minute quick wash, which is quick by anyone's standards, when a quick wash is used you can only wash 3.5kg of clothes, that is actually a lot of clothes I weighed them to make sure I was not putting to much in. The quick wash is quite efficient and pressing the fast wash button I washed my bath mats in less than 15 minutes which I thought was great, although the spin is reduced to 800 the bath mats came out a bit damp and dried indoors on a clothes airer within 24 hours.
The washing machine also claims it has advanced anti-stain treatment; this is a 5kg, 40c wash that has a 1600 spin and lasts for 3 hours if you don't modify it.
All washes can be modified within reason, for example the bed & bath wash, which is the full 9kg wash with a 1600 spin and can last for 2 hours and 10 minutes. I usually modify this by reducing the temperature from 60c to 40c and then pressing the time saver button; this makes it a 1 hour and 37 minute wash. The bed & bath wash is a wash especially for towels and bedding. I have washed plenty of towels on this wash and I am very pleased with the results, they look brighter and dry up very soft when I use conditioner. I have also done a weeks bedding on this wash and I was very pleased with the results, the washing did not ball up in the machine and came out beautiful. I did weigh out 9kg of towels, and let me tell you that is a lot of towels and they won't all fit in the machine, so common sense dictates that you use the recommended weight as a guide and still leave a hand span gap at the top of the drum.
The washer allows the modification of set wash cycles, you can vary the spin speed from 1600 to 800 at 200 intervals or you can choose to have no spin at all. The same for the temperature it ranges from 90c down to no temperature at all. You can add up to three extra rinses and choose from normal, super wash or delicate agitation. It is just a case of playing around with all the wash cycles and options till you find the one that you like the best. When you have found a wash cycle you like you can store it in the washing machines memory by pressing the my cycle button, you can then recall this wash any time you fancy without having to modify it again.
The washing machine has a delay up to 24 hours, as I am a house mum I don't need to delay my washing but I can imagine it would be useful if you worked as you could get the washer to do its cycle while you were in bed or at work. The machine also has a child lock button so once you have set the machine going the cycle can not be modified by curios little people. The washer also has an on/off button as well as a start button.
When you turn the washer on it makes a cheerful little beeping melody, indicating that it is on and happy to do your laundry (I think that is what it means anyway) and when you turn it off it does the melody again. When I first heard this noise I thought it would be annoying, but it isn't. The washer also gives out a long loud beep when the cycle has ended. A thing I like about this washing machine is that when the cycle ends it is possible to open the door immediately, my previous washer had a 1 minute delay, and some times that minute seemed to last forever, particularly on the last day I used it as the drum was full of smoke.
The washing machine has a large display (pic 4) that tells you what wash you are currently doing and how long you have left till the cycle ends. The display is also handy when you are modifying wash cycles as it tells you what wash temperature, spin speed and what stage in the wash cycle the machine is at. It also tells you when a combination is not allowed.
The washing machine comes with a Woolmark Company approved wash that is suitable for washing wool clothes that are labelled hand wash, so if you have a lot of hand wash only jumpers this would be an ideal machine for you.
The washing machine has 13 different cycles (pic 6&7) and virtually all of them can be modified to a certain extent, the manual tells you how much water each wash consumes and the maximum energy consumption for the cycle. The maximum water is 92 litres and the minimum is 38 litres depending on the cycle selected. The maximum power consumed is 2.54 kwh right down to 0.20 kwh, also dependent on the cycle chosen. I think this is really good for if you are on a water meter or trying to cut down on energy consumption.
As with all washing machines you should sort your laundry according to fabric type, dark colours, light colours and whites. All pockets should be emptied first and buttons and zips fastened, the Hotpoint guarantee does not cover damage caused by items left in pockets.
The washing machine has a very pleasing layout and is easy on the eye; it is a combination of greys or graphite as Hotpoint calls it. The digital display is clear and easy to read using orange writing on a grey background. The dimensions of the washing machine are height 85cm, width 59.5cm and depth 59.9cm. It easily slots under the work surface but in my kitchen, despite the worktops being 60cm depth the washing machine pokes out a few cm, this is due the power socket for the machine being behind the machine itself.
The Hotpoint comes with a 5 year parts and 1 year labour guarantee as standard, but you must remember to phone Hotpoint up and activate it, I did this before I did my first wash, better safe then sorry.
The washing machine came packaged in plastic with a Styrofoam top and bottom, so the packaging was not recyclable and is still propped up next to my dustbin for when I go to the dump. Once unwrapped the machine needs manoeuvring into place, this will take two people as it weighs 75kg, when in place you can remove the four protective screws that hold the drum in place while it is being delivered; I always save these screws in case we move so it can be secured safely. You are provided with four blanking caps to cover up the hole left by the screws.
The machine is easy to level as it has two height adjustable feet on the front, it is important that it is level as this will prevent it from vibrating and shifting during the spin cycle. My husband used a spirit level to make sure he got it just
Pictures of Hotpoint WMUD 962 G
right. It looked quite easy to plumb in and Hotpoint supplied a water hose that just needed screwing in to the appropriate places. My husband plumbed the waste pipe of the machine into a fitting under the sink easily enough, I then turned on the power and did the recommended auto clean cycle before I put any of my laundry in, this took a bout an hour and washed the machine through and helped reassure me that everything was water tight. It is recommended that you run an auto clean cycle about once a month to keep the washing machine and its workings clean.
One thing that impressed me was that the detergent dispenser draw is hinged (pic 5), so instead of sliding forwards it opens like a door thereby giving access to the detergent and softener compartments. It seems to me that the washing machine uses the detergent and fabric softener more efficiently as my laundry looks brighter, smells fresher and feels softer. It is recommended that you clean the detergent draw regularly and instructions for doing so are in the manual (pic3).
The manual that comes with the washer contains lots of useful information and is worth reading before you start using the washing machine, when I first saw the machine I was slightly intimidated by all the different laundry options, but like every other washer I have had I now have my two favourite wash cycles that I use most often.
One of the selling points of the Hotpoint Ultima range is that it is super quiet; it claims to be 51 decibels maximum while washing and 79 decibels maximum while spinning. I don't have a decibel meter, so I would describe the sound the washer makes while washing is like that of a noisy eater while eating spaghetti. The pump does groan and gurgle but that is something I think is common on all Hotpoint machines. The spinning is about as loud as an extractor fan, whether it will continue to run this quietly for the whole of its life is something I remain dubious about, but currently it runs quiet enough for me as my kitchen and hall are open plan (I took the kitchen door off, budget open plan). The machine does not wobble or vibrate excessively and keeps its load balanced.
The 1600 spin is very good and efficient but I would not say my washing feels any dryer than it did in my 1400 spin machine, I think clothes can only get spun out to a certain point before they can't get dryer.
With all these features and more I was expecting to pay over £500 so I was very pleased with myself when I got the Hotpoint Ultima WMUD962 G for £405.95 delivered from www.very.co.uk, I have paid for it upfront so I have incurred no interest charges and it was delivered in under a week. I could not find it cheaper with delivery any where local. I put my older washing machine on the side of the house to take to the dump at the weekend, unfortunately it disappeared and is now missing assumed taken for scrap. I phoned my local council and informed them of what had happened as I do not want the finger pointing at me if any part of the washing machine is fly tipped and traced to me.
In conclusion I think this is an excellent washing machine, the reviews I read on-line prior to purchase all praised it very highly and I do too. It's quiet, efficient and virtually all wash cycles can be modified according to your own needs. The graphite colouring is very nice and fits in well with my kitchen.
Thank you for reading my review. If you have any questions or require more information please message me and I will be happy to help.