The washing machine has become one of the essential appliances in the equipment of a house, even if in town it is still possible to use a laundromat. The programming of these machines becomes more and more sophisticated, with refined safety while seeking, ecology oblige, reductions in consumption of water, electricity, laundry and time.
- Mode of loading
- What you need to know about washing machines
Mode of loading
The smaller and smaller size of some models makes it possible to integrate them in the smallest of the apartments especially with regard to machines with loading from above. The porthole machines which occupy a little more space, have the advantage of offering an additional surface in the bathroom or the kitchen, usual places of use of these appliances...
There are two types of loading:
- from above, via a flip-top cover (washing machine "top" and a trapdoor);
- by the face, via a porthole (front washing machine).
Top-loading devices are very popular with French consumers. This configuration reduces the width of the device and facilitates its integration into a kitchen or a small space. It also avoids having to bend down to load or unload the tank.
Front-loading is the most common system in the world. Some people will consider this mode of loading less convenient because it forces to bend down. And especially it prohibits to reopen the machine once the program started (unless a special system). On the other hand it allows a loading and unloading more convenient large pieces of cloth (sheets and duvet cover, for example).
While in the world the porthole model is the most widespread, the French are very attached to the washing machine "top", generally narrower (40 to 46 cm wide) and therefore easier to "house" in a small space but offering in principle a lower loading capacity. The loading and unloading models "top" are also without having to bend down, which is not negligible when you have back pain.
Spinning and drying
All washing machines nowadays have a system that allows the maximum amount of water to be removed from the laundry at the end of the cycle: this is the spin that results from a rotation of the drum at a very high speed. The more the towel is wrung out, the faster it dries. It generally goes from 400 to 1400 rpm, knowing that the higher the speed, the more delicate the linen is manhandled.
Some machines include a drying function (energy intensive), evacuation or condensation (preferable), ideally with electronic probe (not timer), which allows the drying phase to stop as soon as the laundry is "dry". Some people, however, sometimes prefer a slightly damp cloth, easier to iron.
This Fagor washing machine has a maximum capacity of 6 kg to accommodate the linen of the whole family. It benefits from an automatic release system avoiding to find the crumpled linen until 1 hour after the end of drying. An electronic selector makes it possible to sequence washing and drying and to know the duration of the cycle. The drying is done by condensation.
What you need to know about washing machines
Some washing machines now have a dashboard worthy of that of a long-haul aircraft... For simplicity, let's say that the programming of a washing machine must integrate the following functions:
- fast wash:
- different temperature settings;
- delicate linen (wool, silk):
- cold washing;
- deferred start;
- off-peak synchronization;
- economic program.
The display must include:
- a light on / off;
- a program flow display;
- a remaining time display;
- an end of cycle indicator.
The controls of the machine must be ergonomic, the display can be analog (simple rotation of buttons with index) or electronic (by display of message in clear or by LEDs).
All machines, whether "top" or porthole are safe preventing the appliance from being switched on when the door is not properly closed. Never shun this security even in the event of a false contact.
Anti-overflow system automatically cuts off the water supply in the event of leakage or clogging of the drain which can cause the tank to overflow.
Some machines incorporate security "Anti-waster losses" and anti-unbalance for the drum (bad loading).
The power consumption of the device is indicated by the energy label now mandatory (A to G). It now takes into account, besides the energy class, the efficiency in washing and spinning. The ideal is to opt for an AAA machine.
Noise level: the mandatory energy label includes this data.
Water consumption: few manufacturers point to this yet essential datum; it is of the order of 50 l per wash for a thrifty machine (knowing that this represents more than 10 000 l / year...).
Laundry consumption: it is often very imprecise due to the washing method of washing and mechanical dosing by the apparatus. Some machines today have a tank of laundry and liquid softener, whose dosage is very precisely depending on the hardness of the water, the amount (weight) but also the soiling of laundry.
The washing machine control panel reflects the level of programming
of the device. A digital display accompanies more and more analog commands by rotary knobs and keys.
The surprising DOSE-E washing machine from Brandt incorporates a liquid laundry reservoir, which automatically calculates the right dose depending on the amount of laundry, the hardness of the water, the type of laundry suit.
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