/ Home & Energy

Is your appliance lying to you?

Washing machine timer

Time remaining displays on washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers can help you plan your day around your chores. But what if the predicted time differs from the actual length of the cycle?

Whenever I hit the start button on my dishwasher at home, the screen on the front will proclaim how long I have until my dishes are done. But the few times I’ve actually taken note of the time and then keenly come back to unload my clean crockery, it’s never finished. My washing machine also suffers similar delays.

Admittedly, a small lag of time is nothing to get up in arms about, though it can be frustrating when I’m in a rush to get out the door.

However, we’ve heard reports of appliances with much more significant delays. One Which? member, David, has a washing machine that promises a cycle lasting two hours and twenty minutes. Instead, the cycle takes three hours.

Do you trust your appliance’s predicted times?

David thought his machine was at fault, but the first two engineers told him that his AEG L64850LE Super Eco washing machine was working to specification. When David spoke to AEG directly, he was told that three hours is not exceptional and the dial figure is an approximate time for a full load.

When we contacted AEG ourselves, the manufacturer told us that the time shown on the washing machine can be affected by a number of factors:

‘Our washing machine calculates a time that an optimum load will take at the start of the selected programme. The actual time taken is dependent on a number of factors e.g. water pressure, amount of soilage, laundry weight and amount of detergent used. These factors can affect the length of time taken but do not affect the performance of the appliance as your own test has shown.

‘The outcome of the report already provided, indicated that [David’s] washing machine was working to specification at the time of our previous visit. However, in light of our customer’s concerns, we have arranged for a further inspection of the appliance and all aspects of the wash cycle.’

A third engineer visit revealed the problem; David’s washing machine was unbalancing and repeating parts of the cycle. An unbalanced load is often caused by a heavy item sticking to one side of the drum. Many modern machines will detect this, pause the timer and try to readjust the load along with repeating parts of the cycle. The countdown timer will only begin again once this has finished.

Yet, doesn’t this just mean you’ll never really know when your washing will be ready? Isn’t that the point of a timer?

What I want to know is how many of you note the predicted time of a wash/drying cycle, and how accurate do you find them? Can you plan your day around your chores, or do you treat your appliances’ estimated times with suspicion?

If your washing machine/dishwasher/tumble dryer has a time remaining display, is it:

Normally accurate (47%, 87 Votes)

Just a little bit inaccurate (34%, 63 Votes)

It’s usually completely wrong (21%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 190

Loading ... Loading ...

Mine is terribly inaccurate. Once, it said “34 minutes left.” I come back a half hour later to check, and it said “24 minutes left.” I come back ANOTHER half hour later. “8 minutes left.” I come back about 20 minutes later when the timer alarm sounded.

g cross says:
26 August 2019

I have a bosch machine and it does the same had a mielea for 12 years before this one and it was very accurate

Daisy Coleman says:
9 August 2020

Hello. Is your Bosch machine still adding time?Ours adds about an hour to the cycle! I am trying without extras to see if it makes a difference. A quick wash doesn’t go past one minute for ages so I interrupt it and just spin or spin and drain

It would be worth contacting Bosch for an explanation, Daisy.

Quick washes are popular but they are not very effective according to this Which? article: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/05/the-dirty-truth-about-washing-machine-quick-washes/

linda bray says:
20 February 2019

just switched on my washing machine on cotton 60 degrees 3 hrs 7 mins and 5 mins later the display is now showing 1 hr 35 mins. this happened to my previous machine the 3rd time i used it and had it replaced thinking it was a fault with the machine. Could it it be the electricity supply at fault?

My brand new a rated Hotpoint washing machine tells me 3:30 for a cotton wash then after 20 mins jumps to 2:30. Btw, it’s a great machine but s***e as I can’t customise a cycle.

Not sure if you solved the issue but i have just purchased a hotpoint. 60c cotton displayed at 225 minutes but what the quick user guide doesn’t say it that is for a FULL load and on downloading the product fiche on hotpoints website I found that half a load is reduced to 165 minutes shortly after starting. I’m guessing it adjusts itself after the machine has determined what load it is dealing with

Bella says:
27 January 2021

Mine is the same Rik…I hate it. The engineer said the computer reads the weight of the dry laundry then does what it wants. It wouldnt be too bad if when you set it the time the washer chose dispays.

I have a Hotpoint Smart washing machine, bought July 2017, which up to the last few weeks seemed to stick to the time displayed. However I have recently noticed it stays on 10 mins (on the spin programme) for ages and then suddenly will drop to 4 minutes and finish the cycle a couple of minutes later. I have today noticed it saying 19 mins left on a 45 min wash, then it went to 21 minutes, then back to 19, then down to 7 (after only a further couple of minutes)!. It seems to be washing OK however. Very disconcerting and I have never experienced this in previous machines (and I’ve had a lot!).

paluine says:
2 August 2019

Agree completely with your comments, mine is doing a similar thing.

Can we go back to basics on washing machines please, manufacturers. Really no need for all this extra information. My new machine has jumped back from 55 mins remaining to 1hr 12 mins. Also why 1400 & 1600rpm spins? What is the need for that kind of speed?

Bells, whistles and high spin speeds help sell washing machines, Chris.

A front-loading washing machine is supported at one end, which puts considerable load on the bearings, particularly if the machine has a heavy load, is out of balance or run at high spin speeds. With most modern machines it is not possible to replace bearings since they have a ‘sealed tank’ meaning that the entire tub and drum are part of a single assembly. That makes it not economically viable to do what used to be a straightforward repair.

Each time I start a cycle on my machine I have to turn down the spin speed. That cuts down the noise and hopefully will mean that I don’t have problems with bearings.

Mr Stephen G. Rowe says:
30 October 2019

Have just purchased a Candy 9 kg 1600 rpm washing machine, this has replaced 3 brand new machines one after another, No.1 Indesit 9 kg 1600 rpm washing machine but arrived damaged, it was returned and replaced with another Indesit No.2 same spec as previous one, no damage on the outside, great. Started washing and it made an awful noise, rattled, banged mixture of both, so decided to call the Indesit tech dept who heard the noise and gave me a uplift number, contacted supplier and gave them information. Now had the choice of having another make so went for a Logik washing machine No.3, had to wait a couple of days later arrived and the Indesit collected. This machine was lovely and quiet but needed to spin the washing twice on 1600 rpm as washing came out a little too wet. Getting a little tired now so rang the store to arrange collection and asked them to refund my money, as by now lost faith in them. Washing to do now 5 days worth, have managed to get through most but would have got all done problem being having to spin washing twice as first washing cycle with 1600 rpm spin has not managed to do it as it should, otherwise we would be done, now all we have left is another 10 bath towels to wash and then there’s today’s to do as well. This is the 4th machine we have had since the Sunday before last, and still not that happy with it, programmes are all over the place with timing, it’s extremely noisy especially on 1600 rpm spin, even makes the washing machine draw rattle, just like the one we had that went completely wrong. Would send this one back but my wife is disabled and we need a reliable washing machine, at least this one will wash and spin but it’s so very noisy and I dare not send anymore machines back, it’s another supplier but am getting weary of washing machine problems, just want a 9 kg 1600 machine that spins reasonably quieter than this.

I think buying a cheap washing machine and using it at 1600rpm is likely to give trouble. It puts a big strain on the bearings. Probably OK in a more expensive machine with better quality bits, but I’d avoid high spin speeds of you can.

Have you looked at Which? best buys at the price you are prepared to pay?

This comment was removed at the request of the user

19 January 2020

My machine at home cost only 200 quid and literally couldn’t be better… A brand I used to steer a country mile around back in the 80s+90s

Did you take the transporting screws out of the back? I didn’t and it was really noisy but realized and when I took them out it was nice and smooth

As well as removing these screws/bolts it is important to adjust the feet as per the instructions. This can result in a considerable reduction in vibration and may prolong the life of the machine as well as reducing noise.

19 January 2020

I ended up on thread while I waited for the final two minutes of my machines cycle to compete, and it was over 20 effing minutes

Y Airth says:
30 January 2020

Hi I’ve had a major issue with the AEG washer dryer which is not even 2 years old! In Sep 2019 engineer came out as the machine wouldn’t go past 11mins to final spin for 20mins! I was trying to spin one shower mat and so the engineer, without even entering the kitchen said it was uneven load! Understandably I’ve not this again but then the machine did this even with full loads and a couple of weeks ago it spent 15mins trying to go to last spin with only three bath towels and a bath mat. Engineer out on Monday, said uneven load….what is an even load then? No one can answer this but even though in warranty they want to charge me for call out of same issue – I’ve explained it is similar but not same! Explanation for detergent drawer filled with water was for me to physically remove and empty it myself – as this issue only began a few weeks ago it’s unbelievable I’m expected to do this every time! Now they are trying to charge me for call out and I’ve taken this up with Which? Legal. Both engineers supposedly wrote “tested ok” on their paperwork without testing anything! AEG Customer service blame service department, they don’t want to know.

Jinny says:
1 February 2020

Just had a brand new Hotpoint WM due to my other one being in the Whirlpool recall programme.
My issue has been that the countdown timer keeps adding time – as much as an hour and when there was supposedly only half an hour to go, can this be right? I know it’s only a guide but it’s very unhelpful and frustrating when you believe that the washing’s going to be finished in half an hour, then having to wait 1 1/2 hours. Total time for synthetic wash (a relatively small load and nothing heavy to upset balance) 3 1/2 hours. Phoned Hotpoint helpline for WMs under 28 days old and was told that this can happen 🤨

Alison Smith says:
4 February 2020

Yes the same. Mine is a new Hotpoint washing machine. It states 3hours 10 minutes then nearly 5 hours later (4hrs 40 ) it finally finished!
I thought it was a faulty product, but after reading all these reviews, sadly it seems to be the norm.
Such a pain as I don’t like leaving the machine on when I’m out, or in bed, so now having to plan my washing around being home for long enough! Damn nuisance
Currently my machine isn’t on the recall list but the fact it’s a Hotpoint and new models are being added to the might burst into flames list doesn’t fill me with confidence!

peter says:
9 February 2020

have beko din28r22 integrated dishwasher which takes on average 22minutes longer than programme time ,whichever programme is selected

Simon says:
12 February 2020

I’ve got new Bosch washing machine that adds 15 mins sometimes. Rang Bosch and they said it’s normal as it’s calculating factors to do with that particular wash…… modern technology is sometimes too clever for its own good

Just purchased a hotpoint washing machine. On the 60c cotton cycle the time shows as 225 minutes, however what they don’t make clear is that this time is for a FULL load and after downloading the ‘washing maching product fiche’, i see that a HALF load on the same cycle is reduced to 165 minutes. I guess this is why the timer display suddenly drops an hour shortly after starting when the machine has determined what load it is dealing with

Jim says:
17 March 2020

That’s nothing. Just got a new beko washing machine. Put on a ‘dark care’ wash. The timer stated 1h 24mins. Came back half an hour later to see the timer had jumped to 3h 30 mins!!! I think in total it ended up being a 4h plus cycle!
My old beko was great. Mixed wash was 1h 25mins and it was exactly that. I’m smart enough that I dont need the washing machine to think for me.

Luke says:
23 July 2020

Currently into my 19th minute of my Bosch Logixx 8 displaying 0.01 (and my 28th minute of a 10min spin). Thought I’d go online while I waited. Does this every time.

Luke says:
23 July 2020

A watched Bosch never stops…

Joan Smith says:
16 November 2020

Interesting everyone has cycles that extend. My new Hotpoint starts off saying 3:30 or similar, but then reduces in steps greater than time passing – sometimes by an hour in a couple of minutes. It’s never taken longer than about 1:30 when I’ve been watching.
Being new, we asked for this to be checked. They came and tested it, replaced the control unit, and now it does just the same! I haven’t worked out whether this fast washing is significant or not.

John says:
5 December 2020

I set my Boch washing machine on ty 40degree and the timer said 2.45hrs.
Forty minutes later it said 58 mins. Total wash time 98mins. Did it do the complete cycle in this time or is the timer faulty ?

Just got a Bosch Serie 2 WAJ28008GB today. Put it on a 40 Cycle @20:00 just to try it out and it is now 00:46 probably still be running in the morning. Light load…

Philip Taylor says:
5 January 2021

I put my washing an echo wash and it immediately came up 6hrs 45mins.