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Appliance geekery - Ed's journal
Appliance geekery
Ok, so have found a place to live.
Now need to start with the furnishings.
It's unfurnished, and we'll gradually work on expanding the collection - but basically will need a full set of appliances (and furniture) eventually.

So, does anyone have experience/recommendations regarding buying:
Washing machines (driers, or washer-driers)

Like who's good, who's bad, and what's important, and what's gimmick:
Energy rating - how big a difference is there between an 'A+++' and a 'B'?
Is 1400rpm significantly better than 1200rpm?
Is a washer-drier a bad idea (we have space for separates, but the 'other' would be out a garage-shed thing)?
I am under the impression that 'direct drive' is significantly better than belt, due to noise and wear and tear.

Pretty sure we have connection for gas. Am used to fairly basic ovens, in student houses.
What should I be watching out for though?

Er... anythign else?
What's the verdict on renting an appliance?
19 comments or Leave a comment
jorune From: jorune Date: November 30th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you're going to doing lots of purchasing then I'd recommend a quick subscription to Which. The VAT rate will increase in Jan so it will be cheaper to do your buying in December.
ephrael From: ephrael Date: November 30th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ovens: One with a light in.

Renting: we looked at renting a washer recently, but you pay out the cost of buying one in little over 6 months.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 30th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have noticed that most rentals tie you into 18 month agreements, which ... well, ends up costing you more overall.
But on the flip side, it means you don't then have to move your appliance. (Then again, if you've paid less than the rental would have been, then I guess you don't _really_ need to move it then, either)
juudes From: juudes Date: November 30th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, way to go! Does this mean you won't be turning up on a Wednesday night anymore?

I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to buying white goods. I always go for German - our washing machine is AEG and has (TOUCH WOOD, although I'm not superstitious) never gone wrong since we got it (15 years or so). Our previous fridge and freezer were also AEG and we only got rid of them when we got a fridge-freezer, which is a Bosch (no problems so far). We don't have a clothes drier, but I've been told that washer-driers are more likely to go wrong simply because there are more bits to go wrong in them (it's one thing trying to do the job of two).

We now have a separate fitted oven and hob arrangement - I would always go for a gas hob but our oven is electric and it doesn't really matter to me. I only use at most 2 of the settings and I got on fine with my simple stand-alone oven (in fact, couldn't work out why cakes wouldn't cook in the new one without the fan - the old one didn't have a fan and it was fine).

Never tried renting an appliance except for a TV (yes, we still rent our TV... inertia...). Not sure it's such a boon for white goods, it's not like you want to upgrade them every year. But if you wanted to move to a house and get a fitted kitchen you may want to get rid of them before bought items have paid their way.

Phew, brain dump - sorry! BTW, does your use of 'we' mean what I think it means?! 8-)
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: November 30th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't know much about oven buying, since everywhere we have lived had built-in ones, apart from the flat in Canley. At the time, being poor, we bought a plug-in-the-wall 2 ring hob and were gifted a very decent combi microwave oven. We found that plug-in-the-wall cooker rings were not designed for daily use, which worked out in our favour, because they invariably gave up within their guarantee period, and so were replaced free of charge every 9 months. A decent combi microwave was our best buy. We bought a Sharp, a brand we knew to trust, and it didn't let us down. It was still going strong, after having been our main oven for 2 1/2 years, and in constant use as a microwave, oven and grill for 7 years, right up until a heavy cast iron pestle and mortar fell on it, denting the top, and even then it carried for another 6 months. We replaced it with basically the same thing. Even after we had a proper oven, the extra oven space was invaluable for dinner parties.

From a usage point of view, the best option is an electric oven and a gas hob. Gas is a lot cheaper for cooking and you have a lot more, immediate response control. Electric fan ovens cook things evenly. As for brands and features etc, I have no idea.
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: November 30th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fridge-freezers, we decided (again, being poor at the time), to just buy the cheapest one out there and upgrade later. We usually take the opinion that if you're buying something costly, get a decent one so it lasts. But in this case we went for something that would do as a stop-gap measure until we could afford a really decent one. We bought a Beko fridge-freezer from Argos. It's still going nearly 9 years later. Make sure you get a self-defrosting one - that's really not a gimmick.

Washer-driers aren't worth their salt. They use a lot of energy, and they don't always get your load dry in the maximum automatic drying time. You're better off just using an indoor airer during the winter and a washing line during the summer, or else if you have space, getting a tumble drier (though they use a lot of electricity to run).

Washing machines, as far as we could tell when we were buying, are pretty much all the same. A good energy efficiency is important. rpm at or above 1000 is fine, the difference thereafter is not especially noticeable. If you intend to have kids in the future, get one with a decent energy-efficient daily wash programme. If you are on a cheap night-time electricity tariff, eg economy 7, then get one with a programmable timer so that you can set it up to come on during the night. And you want one with a cold water inlet only.
elrohana From: elrohana Date: November 30th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have a look here and use their advice - my repair man belongs to them and every piece of advice he's given us has been pure gold, including what white goods to buy. His advice is mostly reflected on their website. Never buy a combined anything (e.g. washer/drier) cos when one breaks, you usually can;t use the other half either! And with ALL appliances, golden rule, buy the best you can afford, it will be worth it in the end. I have a Hotpoint fridge freezer that was VERY expensive when I bought it, but its run problem free for over a decade now (you watch, it'll blow up tomorrow now I;ve said that)
elrohana From: elrohana Date: November 30th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
jorune From: jorune Date: November 30th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the tip on this site. A lot of brands justify a higher price through marketing rather than quality. My next door neighbour was a buyer for a car company in Coventry. He would tell me tales of massive factories in China where many different brands rolled off the same production line. They would then be shipped to finishing plants around the world where the exterior fittings were added so the company could claim they were 'Made in the EU'.

Made in China, -£10
Made in UK +£10
Made in Germany +40

Even though it's the same product underneath.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: December 1st, 2010 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting link.
Pity it's not been updated for 3 years though.

Seems they have a lot of love for the ISE10 though. Reading through it, it looks impressive, but ... well, a bit pricey.

I'll have to have a think on that. I've got some money to 'spare' but ... well, yeah.
elrohana From: elrohana Date: December 1st, 2010 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
My repair man Chris recommends Bosch, any model with 'GB' at the end of the model number has actually been assembled in the UK, and generally the parts are mainly German, apparently. We've bought 2 Bosch items on his recommendation (a dryer and a dishwasher) and so far both have been excellent quality. He also recommends Whirlpool but he did concede that they were VERY expensive, so Bosch is the next best bet. Also their own stuff is apparently very good and is guaranteed to a ridiculous level, but we just didnt have that much cash lying around so went for the Bosch. Look at the new models that follow on from the ones recommended on the website and you won't go far wrong.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: December 2nd, 2010 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)
By 'their own stuff' do you mean the ISE 10 washing machine? I looked at that. Pricey, but if it really is liable to last 20 years, then that may not be a bad idea.
Just a bit hard to conceive of that sort of time frame, really.
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: November 30th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
(sorry me again)
if you want our old plug-in-the-wall hob you're welcome to it. I can't guarantee how well it works, it hasn't been used in a while. But it might give you the chance to shop around a while and get a good deal. Also in our shed we have a sturdy table that we can't use. We're coming to Cov next weekend, so we could bring these to you.

There is also king-sized Devan bed with 4 drawers (no mattress). It's been there a while, and can't easily be transported. But if you can pick it up you're welcome to it. Unless there's been any damage in the time it's been in the shed, there's nothing wrong with it. It just won't go up our stairwell.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 30th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi, If you want to access the Which site, give me a call, and I'll let you know my u_name & pw
sobrique From: sobrique Date: December 1st, 2010 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
That might come in handy. There's a lot to read and digest, and balance relative cost-benefit.
fishrgreat From: fishrgreat Date: December 1st, 2010 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Tesco and Iceland are good places to get good appliances much cheaper. Our washing machine and fridge came from there. We've got Hotpoint everything, they seem to be good.

I'd get a electric oven, gas hob if you can since it's better to cook on but it does depend on fittings and space in your kitchen. Gas ovens are a pain, but so are electric hobs!
angryangeltoo From: angryangeltoo Date: December 2nd, 2010 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)


Congratulations on buying your own place.

Always buy , don't rent it's money down the drain. You can't go wrong with Hotpoint, I have a fridge freezer and a washing machine from them fridge is 12 years old washing machine is 3 years old and my first that has not furred up in two years flat. Avoid John Lewis own brand like the plauge and sadly the same goes for Ikea own brand white goods.
Cookers, depends on how much you want to spend, if you are going electric fan assisted oven with halogen hob are the best. If you are going gas, then have the whole oven gas, combination ovens are harder to fix and more expensive. You must legally get a gas engineer to install a gas cooker and the cookers are meant to have flame supervision switch off thingy on them (but mine does not as it's an antique and I love it)
Don't be afraid to look at second hand stuff
Preloved is an awesome site
As is ebay, if you buy a gas cooker second hand it must be checked by a gas engineer when being installed.
Good luck lovely let me know if I can help out in any other ways
Get a good microwave for emergencies. Samsung are excellent.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: December 2nd, 2010 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

Does your advice remain the same with rental properties? We're not in a position to buy a house yet.
I've looked at washing machines in particular, and the choice seems to be to go for something cheap and expect to have to replace it after a couple of years.
Or to go for something more expensive, and get one with a 10 year warranty, as standard. (There's one that looks like they have the right attitude, in that they don't mark up parts, and test their stuff for 8000 washes, but they're in the £800-900 region)
From: sebbo Date: December 3rd, 2010 08:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to admit to just purchasing applicances without doing much research. In the end I went for style on Fridge and a direct drive on washer drier (no space for separates).

Both are LG ... I'll be able to tell you how well they worked out in a few years ^^

I was going to go for an AEG, but we couldn't agree on a model we liked the look of... I guess what I am trying to say is that I am betting on this being a fairly mature technology and that having spent too much money on it I got into the "quality range" of products, which will hopefully be fine.

On the other hand, the previous washing machine we bought was an AEG, and we sold it on to one of Mar's relatives. That was just as we left Cov, so a good few years, and she hasn't had any problems and is well satisfied with the quality.
19 comments or Leave a comment