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Douglas Spencer

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Tumble Drier [Feb. 7th, 2007|04:56 pm]
Douglas Spencer
I have a tumble-drier.

I can get the freshly-washed clothes out of the washing machine, put them in the drier, do things to the controls on the front panel, and the machine springs into life and dries the clothes for the prescribed amount of time, and then turns itself off. It's clever enough to do the last ten minutes or so at a reduced heat in order to minimise creasing. It can take a whole washload of clothes and manages to finish drying them before the washing machine has finished with the next load. I like my old drier, it's a nice machine, it's simple and reliable and there's very little inside to go wrong.

But we got it about fifteen years ago, second-hand, and it was old then, and it's finally found a way to break down.

Now, I put the clothes in the drier, do things to the controls on the front panel, and the machine springs into life and dries the clothes ... indefinitely. The clock/dial thing doesn't turn, and (so far as this machine's tiny brain is concerned) the prescribed amount of time never elapses. If I suddenly have to go out, or I forget about the machine, it might run for hours and hours. I can stop it running by opening the door, but the clothes are still really hot and they crease easily, and if the door swings closed after I've unloaded the machine, it springs back into life drying nothing at all, and I have to turn it off by pulling the plug out. There are serious implications here for safety and energy use.

I'm going to get a new tumble-drier, one that has a timer that works, that actually knows when to turn itself off. I've had a bit of a look around and they now do ones which can work out when the clothes are dry enough and which can turn themselves off earlier if they feel like it. I'd like, too, to retain the ability to dry as much clothing in one go as the washing machine will wash.

I'm looking at the Hotpoint VTD20. What do people think?

[User Picture]From: hawkida
2007-02-07 05:35 pm (UTC)
I think Watervole is going to tell you to stop using up all that heat and buy a drying rack/clothes horse thing.
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2007-02-07 05:41 pm (UTC)
I have a couple of drying rack/clothes horse things, but in winter you can have clothes waiting on them for ages before they dry.

Unless she wants me to crank up the heating in the house...
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[User Picture]From: watervole
2007-02-07 08:41 pm (UTC)
Do you have an airing cupboard? Most things will dry there if they've been properly spun.

Who's in a hurry? Do you really need things dry within an hour? YOu don't need the house particularly hot to dry stuff.
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[User Picture]From: watervole
2007-02-07 08:39 pm (UTC)
Funny you should mention it! I'd already put a note telling him to use a washing line before I read your post.
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From: ex_the_major316
2007-02-07 05:48 pm (UTC)
Get one of those cheap timers like the one I use on the radio in the kitchen - means you can set it so the tumble can only run for half an hour before power is cut off.
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[User Picture]From: alex_holden
2007-02-07 09:39 pm (UTC)
Check the timer will handle enough current if you do that; driers use loads of power.
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[User Picture]From: lexin
2007-02-07 06:12 pm (UTC)
I like the 12 hour time delay (means you can run it overnight, and potentially use cheaper electric) but I'm less keen on the fact that it's only a "C" rating for energy use.

My washer/dryer is an A/B, so you should be able to get a dryer that's at least a B, if not an A. I'd check out Currys or somewhere like that for similar, but better rated models.

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[User Picture]From: dougs
2007-02-07 06:26 pm (UTC)
That's a slightly misleading measure, because a drier can get a lower rating by consuming less power, but it can end up running for longer before the clothes are dry, and consuming more total energy. One of the statistics you can get is the total energy consumed when drying one load, and you can then divide that by the size of the load. We're looking at figures in the region of 4 KWh for a 6Kg load. It's more complicated than just being an A or a B or a C, and I need to do more finding out.

Pretty much all current models are more efficient, by either measure, than my existing unit.
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[User Picture]From: watervole
2007-02-07 08:37 pm (UTC)
9 times out of 10, it's possible to use a washing line. Never overheats and uses zero energy. These days, I only use my tumble dryer if it's rained for five or six days on the trot.

The model you're looking at only has a C energy rating. How does that compare with others?
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[User Picture]From: purple_peril
2007-02-07 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think you should forget about Evil Tumble Driers TM and get an airing rack instead.
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