Whirlpool Panic in the Daily Mail

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Doghouse Riley, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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    Read this morning, that Whirlpool may have to recall 500,000 tumble dryers of various makes as they are still catchig fire.
    We've had a succession of Hotpoint tumble dryers over the last forty years or so. The present one we bought at the begining of 2014. Ours probabably gets more use than some, as my wife with her disability can't manage a washing line, so it's on for a few hours every day. It's been faultless from day one.

    A year after we bought it, we read about the problems (in the Daily Mail) and I immediately contacted Whirlpool. An engineer came out in less than a couple of weeks and made some adjustments to it and he said it was fine.

    He said the main problem was that many people didn't clean the filter. It got blocked and lint forced its way past it. Some he'd been to were actually nearly solid with lint. If it reaches the element it will catch fire. He and a few other engineers were altering them. He said he did six a day. He said the list was growing fast. I reckoned at that rate, it'd take them years to do all those that needed checking.

    Our gets cleaned after every use. It's just a case of damping a finger and running it over the surface of the filter. It takes about five seconds. Every now and then, because of its high use, I take the filter out, (it slots into the bottom of the rim where the door closes over it) and check that there's no lint below it. I've a little cane with a net curtain hook on the end of it. Sometimes there's a bit of lint down there the size of a marble. So I hook it out. Now and again when I'm cleaning my car, I stick the nozzle of vaccum cleaner I use, into the dryer vent in the side of the house. But not much comes out.

    A contributary problem which must cause many fires is fabric softener. My wife uses it with everything except towels. I say she uses it. It's in the "eco balls" she uses. There's a different one for towels. Some fabric softeners can make the lint a bit sticky, so any that gets past the filter might not all get blown out of the vent.
    O.K. The filter can't be as effective as in previous models. But a lot of the problems are down to the, "contemporary malaise."

    "Some people just can't be arsed."
     
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  2. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller Cuddly 'NEW SHED' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    Just to add a different perspective, whilst I accept that "some people just can't be arsed" may well be a contributory factor in some cases, we cannot escape the facts. The first fact is that it is incumbent upon any manufacturer/designer to ensure that their design takes into account user error, and fails safe - again, I accept that there will always be the odd case where even good design cannot mitigate negligence on the part of the user, but it should for the most part. The sheer numbers of appliances involved here point to a serious design flaw.

    The other fact that cannot be escaped is that Hotpoint products were of a reasonable quality, and then went seriously downhill. Consumers are partly to blame for that, wanting more and more for less and less money, however there can never be an excuse for cutting corners to the point where safety is compromised.

    Hotpoint's (and Creda's) problems really started when the Italian company Merloni Elettrodomestici (Indesit to you and me) bought half the company in 2001. As is always the way with these things, they went headlong for quantity over quality, and that continued until 2007 when Indesit bought out Hotpoint and Creda completely and merged them with Ariston.

    This was the final nail in the coffin as far as I am concerned, as there was now no input from GEC/Marconi to moderate the cost cutting. Product quality plumbed new depths of garbage thereafter, and I am pretty sure that I have gone on record on this forum and others telling people to steer clear of them as their quality was so bad. Cost cutting included things like plastic inner tubs on washing machines, and plastic back panels on fridges.

    Roll forward to 2014, and Whirlpool wanted to try and expand, so they bought just over half of the shares of the Indesit group, and immediately inherited a great steaming pile of turd.

    The fridge that caused the Grenfell tower fire was a model that was built between 2006 and 2009, so prior to Whirlpool getting involved, yet it is the Whirlpool name that is in the frame. The tumble dryers that are involved were also designed and manufactured prior to 2014 as far as I am aware. The sad thing is, that there were signs of product quality going back up after Whirlpool got involved - not a lot, but a bit - the company is likely to take such a beating over this that investment could well stall and their reputation is going to be shot for a number of years.

    Worthy of note, Hotpoint products in the US are NOT related as they remained under GEC under a venture with Haier.

    A few morals to this story - consumers need to realise that some things simply cannot be made 'cheap'; brands that we recognise and trust may not be the same company they were the last time we bought their product; anything mechanical or electrical needs to be maintained and looked after properly.

    Oh, and my last nugget - by Miele, Bosch, Siemens, Neff, Samsung or LG.
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      I also feel that the maintenance by the consumer is just a minscule contributory factor towards the problem otherwise all the makes would be going up in flames. The Consumers' Association (Which?) have been warning consumers against these particular dryers for years. They've been pushing the government to make the manufacturer get their finger out but the government have been dragging their heels.

      The recommendation is that, if you own one of these, then you should be pestering the manufaturer to come and repair it immediately. The retailer is ultimately responsible for selling an item of 'satisfatory quality' and if I had one I'd be taking them to court.
       
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      • Doghouse Riley

        Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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        I think the Americans were the first to coin the words "built in obsolescence" back in the 50s and it's always been with us.

        The general standards of appliance manufacture in my opinion is poor. We've had problems with a top of the range Bosch washing machine and dishwasher, both failing within a year, then an expensive Bosch fridge/freezer that didn't last more than five years. The all singing and dancin' Miele fridge/freezer we bought laast year had to be replaced. Our Kitchenaid coffee nmachine kept going wrong after 5 years so last year we binned it and bought a Smeg. The very expensive Kitchenaid toaster has had to be replaced twice.

        Thirty-odd years ago we bought a Hotpoint "Ice Diamond" fridge freezer which was two machines stacked, (two compressors with a central control) that lasted 20 years which we had to "beat to death with a stick," when we upgraded to a bigger one.

        The problem with the Hotpoint dryer is really the filter. The model we had before had a double filter that fitted the whole of the door. The new one was obviously far cheaper to make. As I said, the engineer was finding machines where the owners were hardly ever cleaning the filter. It should be done after each use, but, Hey! Who reads the instructions?
        It's impossible to make stuff completely "idiot-proof." But 'elf n' safety demand it these days.
         
      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        Built in obsolescence is no excuse for bad and dangerous manufacture. These dryers are dangerous! It has been shown, by multiple testing, that it's a design fault and they have changed tens of thousands already but have been dragging their feet about it. Even the manufacturers have agreed it's a design fault - otherwise they wouldn't have done all the repairs and exchanges.

        It seems to me that you have either been very unlucky with your choices or that you're a magnet for faulty goods. :lunapic 130165696578242 5:
         
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        • Doghouse Riley

          Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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          Think about it.

          Regardless of design, how many fires could have been avoided if some people, "could have been arsed and read the instructions?"
           
        • Fat Controller

          Fat Controller Cuddly 'NEW SHED' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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          I would add that I have had a Bosch washing machine for ten years or so, still working. Bosch tumble dryer, seven years and still working, Bosch dishwasher, seven years and still working, we had one of those ill fated Hotpoint fridges (because it was the only one that would fit the kitchen we had at the time) less than three years later it was knackered.

          Yes, there is built in obsolescence in most things, but equally there is also a degree of durability - that delicate balance left Hotpoint in the early part of this century, and now people are paying the price. Or are you suggesting that the fridge that caught fire in Grenfell hadn't had it's lint filter cleaned?
           
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          • andrews

            andrews Super Gardener

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            We had one of the 'problem' tumble dryers and requested an engineer visit in the early days of the problem. The date given for a visit was months away - can't remember exactly how long but it was too long.
            Hotpoints answer was to watch the tumble dryer whist drying 'just in case theres a problem' in the meantime. This was clearly not an option so we escalated and were sent a new, upgraded tumble dryer that didn't have the issue.

            On price / consumers driving price down etc. I can accept that some products are made to a price point and that compromises are made to get to that price. This does not mean that compromises can be made with product safety.
            If a filter needs cleaning, the equipment should alert to that fact. In many cases the manual is turned to as a last resort. Manufacturers need to assume a level of stupidity / laziness from some of their customers.
             
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            • pete

              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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              My washing line has never caught fire, and it costs nothing to run.:biggrin:
               
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              • wiseowl

                wiseowl Friendly Owl ADMIN Staff Member

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                Good evening @pete yes my friend and I bet it never moves across the kitchen like my dryer :lunapic 130165696578242 5:
                 
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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  I put it through the mangle first.:thumbsup:
                   
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                  • Doghouse Riley

                    Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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                    proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg
                     
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                      Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
                    • Fat Controller

                      Fat Controller Cuddly 'NEW SHED' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                      Oh please do - this is a forum where we discuss things after all. Besides, I could do with a laugh.
                       
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                      • Marley Farley

                        Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                        :scratch: Are there really any “safe and reliable” dryers these days as big company’s buy out so many of the older more reliable companies.? I swore by Hotpoints for years until they were taken over and was so disappointed with the last new machine they replaced it when they did the recall I got rid of it and went to Zanussi but now their products are not all they were either.. I don’t know who has bought them out. Maybe we can’t buy reliable white goods anymore..:scratch:
                         
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                        • CanadianLori

                          CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                          My Drumi hasn't either :) And my solar oven is cantankerous. It only operates on sunny days :heehee:

                          I guess I've been lucky. My Miele dishwasher in the cellar is 20 yeRs old and the one on the main floor is 15 and both are operating fine. My Maytag front load washer and dryer set have been working quite nicely for 23 years. My oven and cooktop are the same age. I only get about 10 years out of my side by side refrigerators but I suspect that has something to do with the fact they are pushed to their ice making limits every day. Convection microwave ovens about 5 years.

                          I only bought my Drumi clotheswasher for small loads in between regular wash days and when weather permits dry my laundry outside. That time has not arrived. Too much pollen flying around right now.:doh:
                           
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