/ Home & Energy

Would you keep a washing machine that might explode?

Wrecked washing machine

If there was a machine in my home that could explode, I’d expect the manufacturer to inform me, apologise and get it out of my house. Quickly. So why isn’t Candy recalling its potentially faulty machines?

That’s right, there’s no such approach from Candy regarding the high-spin washing machines it built before a correction in September 2009.

Hang on – make that any Candy washing machines built before September 2009. Oh wait… Hoover washing machines, too. In fact, Candy can’t guarantee any of its pre-September 2009 washing machines are safe when you call its helpline for ‘reassurance’.

So what’s going on? A known fault affecting some Hoover-Candy washing machines is causing the drum to break loose under the pressure of a high spin. The result is that the drum can tear through the top of the machine at high speed and break through anything in its way, as the pictures we’ve been sent illustrate:

How widespread is the problem?

As well as five explosions in Germany, we’ve heard about three UK cases in three months – despite Candy saying the fault is ‘very, very rare’. We’ve also received a comment from a high street retailer engineer, who claims to have seen ‘probably over 100 cases’ in the UK over six months – Candy says that figure is ‘significantly higher than they’d expect’. So why isn’t Candy doing anything about it?

Candy claims that ‘the likelihood of failure remains extremely low’, and that Bolton council – the authority dealing with the case – is satisfied with Candy’s approach. Bolton council told us that ‘at the end of the day, it is up to the trader to decide what actions to take.’

Washing machines stay put

So it seems these washing machines will stay in people’s homes – and owners may remain unaware of the danger – because Candy’s risk assessments show the number at risk is low in relation to the volume sold.

We think Candy’s attitude towards the safety of its customers and their families is shocking – and it’s terrifying to think what would need to happen before Candy is forced to reconsider its position.

What do you think about Candy’s approach? Have you bought a Candy washing machine before September 2009 and would you consider selling it to us for testing? If so, let us know below or contact homeeditor@which.co.uk.


Amazing!! Iv had my candy grand o vita just over a week and the noise it’s making is unbelievable!! It actually sounds like the drum is trying to come up through the top of the machine!! Candy havnt got a engineer available until Monday!! Think il be leaving it well alone after seeing posts about some machines exploding!!

Lisa says:
10 January 2017

Did you get it sorted?? Mine is the same. Put up with noise for four months but thought it can’t be right! It’s 95 decibels at its worse!

Had my candy grand washing machine nearly 2 years and caught fire today. Had a look at it and the pulley on back of drum has stripped the pulley splines causing it to over spin and not spin drum over heating the pulley to meltong point causing belt to rub on drum and cut through the drum catching it on fire lucky I was in the house the machine still has 3 years parts warranty.

had a candy washing machine,just ovr 2 years,started banging on high speed,opened it up ,found the concrete stone under drum that act as a weight,broken in half,very disappointed,dont tink ,we can claim,wont be buying cany next time,

I have had my Candy grandevo1682d just over 2 1/2 years and on Monday the concrete block inside my machine broke apart and wrecked it!! Do I have a claim even though we didn’t take the extended warranty? Either way I won’t be buying Candy again!

Had our Hoover machine for 13 months & it started making a v loud banging noise & moving around , Today i looked inside & the concrete block has totallycome unbolted & the part where it bolts together has totally sheared off so cant be fixed ! Surely these machines are meant to last longer than this ! Luckily i was there because the front of the machine was actually bulging out where the drum was smashing against it , if anyone knows if i can still get help even though i didnt take out extended warranty ,could you reply many thanks.

ellie says:
9 June 2016

my candy tumble dryer burnt my expensive duvet cover and sheet it’s only 1 week old and had a couple of uses
I have had the engineer out and he said its fine and I can us it.
he went on to say I had it on the wrong setting
I did read the label and it was for a low setting but anti crease of which I allways use doesn’t state if high or low of which he didn’t know it was only on for 10 mins.
also he reported a little fluff in filter of which I left everything for him to inspection I allway empty it.
I am really scared to use it and just don’t know what to do I spoke to the after care and I just feel they don’t want to know.please I any help would be very appreciated

I had the fire brigade out as it made my tea towels so hot they self combusted I didn’t put two and two together at first until it burnt my duvet cover and then I dried another duvet cover and it actually burnt a hole in the middle and other parts were melted together now I am scared to use it the fireman said if we had been in bed the use wouldnhave gone up in flames

had my candy grand o vita for just over 2 weeks I have used it on 4 occasions and this week it has blew up! had a massive carry on between very and candy about getting a refund etc will not be buying a candy product again very scary! blew up for no apparent reason it wasn’t even mid cycle etc

John Whyte says:
18 December 2016

I have just opened the rear of my Hoover DYN9164DPG washing M/c to discover the concrete block has torn itself from the drum and is broken inside the machine. Has Hoover accepted responsibility for this design fault and will they replace the machine

gaynor says:
18 February 2017

Exactly the same thing happened to me last night I was terrified. I have only had it 3. Months the drum just fell through. Got to phone littlewoods and I’m dreading it

This comment was removed at the request of the user

That must have been a bit of a shock, Gaynor. In addition to the manufacturer’s guarantee and also have statutory rights thanks to the Consumer Rights Act. http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-do-i-do-if-i-have-a-faulty-product#use-our-faulty-goods-compaint-tool Unless it can be proven that you have misused the machine you are entitled to a replacement (or repair if replacement would be disproportionately expensive). As Duncan says, repair would be expensive, so it’s likely you will get a new machine.

I have a candy hoover washing machine, and last night the door exploded and glass went everywhere. Ive had problems with it since i got it and it’s so loud. When i called and spoke to the help line, they tried to tell me that i was at fault for washing anything that may have a zip. They also want to charge me for someone to come round and look at it and to pay to have it fixed. Shocking customer service.
The washing machine is in a down stairs toilet and I have 2 young children that could have been sitting there when this happened, fortunately they wasn’t cos otherwise I would be up the hospital. The lady that I spoke to said that this is not the first time she has heard this happening, and she has only worked for the company for 14 months. But candy hoover don’t want to take ANY responsibility.

T barnicoat says:
24 June 2020

Just happened to me.. candy said it’s never happened before,.
My glass door just exploded

christopher says:
16 January 2018

Yep, mine almost caught fire yestreday. Not sure how old it is as in rented accommodation and was already in when the owner brought. Thankfully I was in an was able to pull the mains on it.
When i opened the front loader smoke came out and it smelt of burnt plastic/electrical fire.

Paul says:
11 June 2018

Had candy grand vita for over a year it’s never been a really quite machine but for at least the six months the noise and banging at any spin speed or what ever the load has been truly unbearable.Now started fouling up and not completing programs at times.Worst washing machine we’ve ever owned.

GVS149DC3 never completes programme …. no END signal, spins endlessly. Now on our second machine exhibiting the same fault. Washes, rinses and spins perfectly OK, everything is fine until the final 1 minute on the display… and that’s where it remains, spinning on and on until we switch it to OFF manually. ARGOS now in negotiations with CANDY to resolve the issue…. I’m tempted to simply take a refund and choose a different manufacturer.

If Argos are happy to give you a refund that might be the best choice, Michael.

Grand Vita Dryer….. burning items on Lowest setting…. i smelled burning and came in to see smoke. AO are not aware of any problem… however theres plenty of people on their own facebook page stating they have the same issue. Its also very very noisy and they came out to change the drum as it was faulty.

took delivery of brand new candy condenser sensor dryer today and after getting it set up put first load but as it spinning the drum was just banging constantly , phoned argos where I bought it from and there bringing out a replacement dryer tomorrow , but these machines should not bang like that if theres a problem with them and they know about it then they need to recall them

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Clare Gorst says:
14 April 2020

I’ve only had my Candy Grand O Vita since February and twice so far there has been a smell of burning and the drum has filled up with smoke. An engineer is coming out tomorrow but I have totally lost confidence now and don’t really know what to do. I use Economy 7 electricity which is cheap at night and this means a lot of my washing is done while I’m asleep. I wish I had never bought the machine.

I’m sorry to hear about this but at least no-one was injured.

Fire brigades urge us not to leave appliances on at night. For example, the London Fire Brigade says:

“Don’t leave the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher on overnight and unattended.”

If a fire starts when you are awake then you can take prompt action, such as switching off the appliance. This can be done at the fuse box/distribution board if there is smoke or fire.

i bought the candy grand washing machine and condenser dryer from argos around 2 years ago had nothing but problems had the last minute spin on the washing machine where you have to unplug it have got the banging the dryer is terrible had it repaired 3 times heater element water getting into heater and electrics and burning my bed throw does any one know what i can do its costing me a fortune in repair bills as i wont deal with candy the repairs have been done by specialist appliance repair business

My Candy Grand O GO F 842 just went on fire in my kitchen, lucky we were here….Bought in 2014 if I remember correctly….

Michele Hoye says:
12 August 2021

I Have a Candy Grand O Vita i brought in july 2019 and its just over 2 years old, from AO. Its just started blowing the fuses in the house but not tripping the fuses box. its only dos this when it spins. not happy as i now have to buy a new machine.

Kevin Richards says:
10 October 2021

Our Candy washing machine lasted two years then spontaneously combusted in out kitchen. We were lucky, if we had caught it a minute later our house would have gone up in flames. The plastic on the outside was burning and thick black smoke bellowing out. Managed to get the power switched off and pour water in it to put the fire out. Dont care to think what would have happened if we had been asleep !!!

I’m sorry to hear about what happened, Kevin. This is why fire brigades stress the importance of not leaving white goods running overnight or when you are out of the house.

Since you dealt with the fire the incident will not have been recorded, so please contact the manufacturer. You should also be able to make a claim against the retailer unless you misused the machine, and Which? provides this advice: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-do-i-do-if-i-have-a-faulty-product-aTTEK2g0YuEy With luck you might at least be given a replacement machine.

White goods are responsible for a considerable number of fires in the UK and washing machines are one of the most common problems, even though few of us will experience a fire. I believe that white goods should be designed to contain a fire, so that it cannot spread to the room/house, but our current safety standards do not require this. Plastic case parts could be replaced with steel, which does not burn, but maybe there are not enough fires to deem this necessary.

Have you asked Which? about containing fire in similar appliances? Such matters are the province of international standards which, in turn, feed our national standards. These deal with product safety. UL (Underwriters Laboratory USA) did some work on this a few years ago – electric dryers if I remember correctly – and are represented on the committee dealing with the safety of such appliances and their work will, no doubt, have been evaluated and considered in the preparation of standards.

Plastics come in a wide variety with differing properties, including flammability. Therefore choosing the correct type and grade of plastic is important. The safety standard requires any plastic used to resist the spread of flame and very specific tests must be passed to demonstrate compliance. Maybe the material used in the Candy machine was not compliant. I wonder if fire brigades ever ensure this is checked when there is an incident like his.

We really need the OPSS (Office for product safety and standards) to investigate such matters and, if necessary, either propose improvements to regulatory standards or hold manufacturers to account.

Yes I have, to no avail. I have also posted numerous photos of laundry appliances, mainly driers, where plastic parts of the cases have burned or melted, allowing fire to spread.

Yes there are plastics that are non-flammable or self-extinguishing but as I have explained before I have taken samples from the cases of appliances of several brands and found that they burned rapidly producing copious and possibly toxic smoke. I have spoken to two firefighters who have witnessed burning plastic. It’s easy to demonstrate flammability yourself. Any plastic that burns readily is not non-flammable or self-extinguishing!

There is no need to use plastics in the cases of white goods and older appliances did not use them. It does not matter if internal parts are plastic (e.g. for electrical insulation) providing that the appliance has a metal case and can contain a fire.