back to article Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

Samsung's bad month gets worse as the South Korean electronics giant warns that some of its washing machines may halt and catch fire. The tech giant says it is working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on a plan to fix top-loading washing machines prone to what Samsung terms "abnormal vibrations", or as the …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    Eeek!

    Lucky the UK is addicted to front-loading washing machines. At least then all you have to worry about is the waterproof seal failing (as well as everything else like heater elements etc).

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Eeek!

      Unless you own a Hotpoint/Whirlpool/Indesit dryer, then you might have to worry about it getting a bit too warm.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eeek!

      always wondered why the US have top loading washers and we tend to have front

      1. Jason 24

        Re: Eeek!

        My grandma still runs a top loading washing machine, so I've always assumed these were the old way, and front loaders are newer and better. I can always remember having a front loader since being a kid.

        A quick Google shows that front loaders will clean better, spin faster, use less water, and use less energy. but cost a few quid more.

        A case of the US lagging behind?

        1. cd

          Re: Eeek!

          I have a US-made top-loading horizontal axis machine. Best of both worlds, can add clothes mid-wash, can't leak from front door seals because there's no front door. Simply constructed, easy to service, warranty involves them shipping replacement parts and instructions. Used in off-grid homes because they use little power and water, which is where I first encountered one.

          http://www.staber.com/washingmachines

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

            Re: Eeek!

            "Top loading". The entire reason seems to stem from space. UK has smaller places to live in, so we go for front loading, with a cupboard/work surface above. You need extra space generally for a top loading.

            Once something becomes common, then social pressure and idiocy kicks in and people refuse to change. If you asked for a top loading in a general UK store, you'd get looked at like you were weird. Though we do still have them in some places, and no doubt they are ok... but a lot of us have no experience with them, so they are also an unknown quantity.

        2. MSmith

          Re: Eeek!

          My top-loader died after only 15 years of service (the tub bearing wore out). When looking for a new washer, the front loaders were (1) bigger in size and wouldn't fit in my old house's laundry room, (2) two to three times as expensive, and (3) didn't seem to save any electricity or water. The new top loaders use a lot less water than the old ones (that filled the tub up every time), but still have that option for something really filthy. The big problem with front loaders in the US is mold and mildew. Top-loaders normally have the lid open when not in use to let the water evaporate. Leaving the door on the front-loader open usually isn't convenient because it blocks an exit or hallway, so they often build up mold and mildew inside. Several of my friends with front-loaders have gotten rid of theirs and gone back to top-loaders because of this.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eeek!

            The problem I have with top loaders is the annoying noise they make.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eeek!

        Front loaders are more efficient and need less space.

        Top loaders are more convenient.

        1. Wensleydale Cheese

          Re: Eeek!

          "Top loaders are more convenient."

          You can add extra items during a wash cycle with a top loader.

          Used judiciously that can save on complete wash cycles.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eeek!

            you can *most* of the time with a front loader too. we have a nice Siemens washing machine and 9/10 it will let me, but sometimes I'll get a water level too high message and it won't let me and I'll need to wait a while. The new Samsung machines have a little hatch higher up the door that you can use to put stuff in.

      3. DarrenJ

        Re: Eeek!

        Here in Thailand it's top loaders all the way. Or failing that a bucket of water and some soap. Buckets don't explode.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Eeek!

      "Lucky" is the product name of a new front-loading washing that is equipped with strong and flexible tentacles claimed to be for sorting, loading and folding the laundry - but - which are really tools for strangulating us in our sleep, cut our bodies into itty-bitty pieces and run the pieces down the waste disposer.

      I hear noises in the basement at night. I hope it doesn't do stairs.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eeek!

      Lucky the UK is addicted to front-loading washing machines. At least then all you have to worry about is the waterproof seal failing (as well as everything else like heater elements etc).

      Unless you forget to take the Samsung Note 7 out of the clothes you're about to wash.

      I am now waiting for YouTube videos of people putting Samsung Note 7s in a Samsung US top loading washing machine. That combination might go critical.

      It's a good thing you're not allowed to bring a washing machine onto an airplane. No, wait..

      :)

      1. choleric

        Re: Eeek!

        So maybe the perfect storm would be a note 7 phablet in a top loading washing machine on a 787? Would you call the film Shakes on a Plane?

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Eeek!

          "So maybe the perfect storm would be a note 7 phablet in a top loading washing machine on a 787? Would you call the film Shakes on a Plane?"

          No, you'd call it Airplane III: The Threequel.

    5. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Eeek!

      "addicted to front-loading washing machines"

      They are as likely to destroy themselves if allowed to spin a badly imbalanced load.

      Amazed this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vROdVsU_K80 hasn't already been linked.

      I would say the most likely cause of the Samsung problem is the imbalance detector failing, however, I read comment somewhere about plastic mounts failing

    6. MotionCompensation

      Re: Eeek!

      Where I live, top loaders are the norm. They do the job in in under 30 minutes and they are cheap. But they tend to wear your clothes out faster and they use lots of water. Most people here use cold water, forget about heating the amount of water a top loader needs.

      I switched to a front loader, got tired of buying new clothes all the time. A better name for a top loader is a clothes shredder or bacteria incubator.

  2. Steve K Silver badge

    Maybe someone left their Note 7 in an item of washing?

    Maybe someone left their Note 7 in an item of washing....?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Maybe someone left their Note 7 in an item of washing?

      If not, perhaps a Galaxy Core Prime. Or maybe the Galaxy S7 Edge.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laugh if you will, Steve K

    But Li-ion batteries in washing can and do explode. I am pretty sure this occured once with an old ancient machine, on Valentine's evening. Talk about bad timing, had 1" of water on the floor and the mains trip went but it could have been a lot worse.

    The drum evidently failed at max RPM, did find some debris suggesting that *something* blew up but never found out exactly what.

    AC/DC

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Laugh if you will, Steve K

      some do some don't.

      I know of several iDevices that have been through the wash and survived.

      but this is Samsung and not apple othewise there would have been lots of posts saying

      'You are loading it wrong'.

      Yes, I am being sarcastic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I this occured once with an old ancient machine, on Valentine's evening

      Presumably, once you'd "fixed the washing machine", the evening improved somewhat?

  4. Mage Silver badge

    Competition

    Whirlpool?

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Competition

      > Whirlpool?

      Seriously, avoid them. I do not know any product of them that is not single handedly the worst of all you can buy.

      Mine is the one that's mostly ripped apart, with half a sock in the remaining pocket.

      1. Chz

        Re: Competition

        Eh, depends. Whirlpool owns a fuckton of different brands in all sorts of markets. Certainly their Maytag and KitchenAid stuff isn't awful.

        My tumble dryer is a branded Whirlpool and seems alright. Mainly because being a heat pump unit it's quite unlikely to self-combust like some of their other products. I do occasionally worry about it having been the cheapest heat pump on the market at the time, but really there's nothing inherently more complicated about them than a resistance dryer so I'm assuming the price premium is for being new and fancy.

        Now my old Hoover dryer. It didn't catch fire, it just melted the plug into goo. But that's Candy group, and they specialise in making shit.

        I'll give credit to Beko for being cheap and reasonably durable in certain things. Their dishwashers seem pretty decent.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Competition

          My Beko dishwasher packed in one day. Turned out the black tar had melted on the back and it had burned through the insulation on the wire.

          Apparently you're not supposed to put their under-counter dishwashers under the counter and it was my fault.

          ( It was out of warranty, so I just bought a new one as we didn't want to do without ). Also we have a Beko oven/grill. Terrible, awful quality. It was cheap, but I didn't expect to have this many problems - I thought Beko made good stuff.

          I'll never be buying Beko again.

      2. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: Competition

        And Indesit, rhymes with In-The-Shit. So you remember what it means to be the owner of one of these.

        Total crap featuring stretched point-to-point wiring and four-corner panels fixed with 2 screws and two slits. Getting a pump out of one of these was like open heart surgery, I had to use tools to keep all the "organs" apart for reaching the pump.

      3. BitDr

        Whirlpool...

        We have Whirlpool Duet front load washer and gas dryer, they are now 11 years old and the washer motor needs new brushes (it sometimes throws an error during spin cycle), the dryer is functioning as new. We must have purchased before the bean-counters started to use inferior materials in an effort to increase shareholder value.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      Avoid anything from the Electrolux group, they tend to fall apart or rust to hell.

      We've got cheap as chips Beko.

      Last one went 8 years (including reusable nappies) and the current one is going strong

      Had to replace seals and bushes, but I don't mind paying £50 every 5 years to keep it going.

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        Re: Competition

        > Avoid anything from the Electrolux group, ...

        Indeed. Note that the AEG brand was bought by them, so, same crap there.

      2. Bloakey1

        Re: Competition

        <snip>

        "Had to replace seals and bushes, but I don't mind paying £50 every 5 years to keep it going."

        That sounds a bit like Trigger's Broom.

        http://tinyurl.com/htkl3gy

        I had a Dyson washing machine that was not good at all, thankfully a Bosch was put in and peace and quiet was resumed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          I had a Dyson washing machine that was not good at all, thankfully a Bosch was put in and peace and quiet was resumed.

          If you have a kid with eczema, there's really no better machine than a Bosch. That is, provided you tell the engineer about this the first time the door seal appears to rub - the oils in the ointments dissolves the seal that is fitted by default and you'll discover this at most three months in. When informed, the engineer will replace that seal with a nitrile based one (slightly darker in colour) at which point you'll have a trustworthy machine that will outlast its warranty many times over. Our machine is basically as old as my oldest, and she's about to start driving lessons now. And it still works.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Competition

        > We've got cheap as chips Beko.

        When we moved to our current place in 1997 we had to buy a separate fridge and freezer so we bought nice cheap Beko units on the basis that, if we had to replace them in five years, we wouldn't have lost too much.

        They are still in place. Admittedly, the freezer door seal is getting slightly flaky and you have to give the door a bit of a push to make sure it's sealed properly but they both still work fine.

        The kitchen/utility/dining room are all going to get remodeled at somepoint soon so we might replace them then.

    3. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Competition

      > Whirelpool...

      >

      It never ends...

      Your courtesy earworm entertainment for the rest of the day, sorted. YVW.

  5. Joe Werner Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "Exploding"?

    Sounds like vibrating apart. An explosion is caused by a fast, often exothermal reaction that creates a lot of gas very quickly (at least that's what I think an explosion is). Surely this is a bit like one of them old drum storages running in "horizontal mode", happily skipping along the floor...

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: "Exploding"?

      > An explosion is ...

      Not sure this is much of a consolation for the owners of those "forcibly redecorated" homes.

      One wonders why there is no mechanism to throttle/stop the spinning once a certain acceleration is detected. I recall that one washing machine I owned did exactly that: it would stop the spinning, rotate back and forth a few times, then try anew. Hence I could wash and spin, say, a heavy blanket just fine even though the machine was surprisingly light.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: "Exploding"?

        "One wonders why there is no mechanism to throttle/stop the spinning once a certain acceleration is detected."

        Because that would cost money and eat into their profit margins.

      2. Jason 24

        Re: "Exploding"?

        "I recall that one washing machine I owned did exactly that: it would stop the spinning, rotate back and forth a few times, then try anew."

        My current samsung (front loader!) eco bubble does that if it finds the load is unbalanced, swishes round a couple of times to try and level it before going hammer and tongs on the spin cycle. A couple of times with a big heavy sheet it's refused to spin.

      3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: "Exploding"?

        One wonders why there is no mechanism to throttle/stop the spinning once a certain acceleration is detected

        A good old-fashioned governor would do the trick

    2. AndyS

      Re: "Exploding"?

      RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) is the correct acronym here. Take note Reg. Vague enough to be entirely correct, but most often associated with massive (and very real, supersonic-combustion-of-explosive-material type) explosions.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: "Exploding"?

        I prefer Forceful, Unplanned, CatastrophiK Equipment Disassembly.

        1. Vinyl-Junkie
          Go

          Re: "Exploding"?

          Expanding on the above, how about Forceful Unplanned Catastrophic Kinetic Equipment Disassembly?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: "Exploding"?

            Ah, that was it. Kinetic. I couldn't recall what the K stood for. I thought it couldn't be Korean, surely.

            Maybe their company motto is:

            Samsung; Manufacturers of Korean equipment & fine instrumentation. Reliable exports.

  6. BongoJoe

    I had one of these top loaders explode on me when I was living in Norway. It turned out that the spring on the door of the stainless steel drum failed causing the inner door to open when on maximum spin cycle.

    Needless to say the bits from the drum catching on the inside of the external box at full speed wasn't at all healthy for the washing machine as a whole and 'explosion' is a good description of what happened next.

    Though it was purely mechanical in nature and nothing to do with expanding gases; other than of mine as I was about two feet from it at the time...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flood

    I was living in a flat over a hairdressers shop and our front loading W/M was leaky so we always got complaints. So I fixed it with silicon and stood the machine on plastic sheeting. That seemed to work for a while! Then the woman from downstairs was at the front door saying that water was dripping down. My partner said that was not possible because the machine was empty and not in use. To prove the point she opened the door. It wasn't empty, it was 100% full of water, so much that it was impossible to see so. She slammed the door shut but a sock had been swept half out and the entire drum emptied through the floorboards and into the downstairs shop. It was very funny to watch but our lease was not renewed after that.

    Lessons learned:

    1) Never buy a Hotpoint

    2) Never buy a machine that has an aluminium back to the drum. At the joint with the drum it get corroded away. (maybe by Electrolysis). Hence the original leak

    3) Never buy a Hotpoint

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flood

      You "fixed" a broken machine then it broke more and you blame the machine?

      If you purchased it new I'll let you off as they will break down. If it was there when you moved in I'd suggest refusing it.

    2. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Flood

      > 1) Never buy a Hotpoint

      Ah, crap. My landlord's just kindly spec'd a complete refit of my tiny galley kitchen (mostly as a pretext to bumping the rent up £250, so I'm already not too thrilled about it, especially as the existing stuff is perfectly serviceable even if it IS 30 years old and a little worn.) Anyway, guess which brand of appliances they've gone for... /o\

    3. BongoJoe

      Re: Flood

      1) Never buy a Hotpoint

      We've got a Hotpoint clothes drier. We're on the list to get it repaired because the model we have tends to catch fire.

      Our date for when the engineer comes around is March of next year so either they have millions of units to fix or they're not taking our safety and well being as strongly as they claim.

      Anyway as long as he doesn't come during the Cheltenham Festival week then that will be fine.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But..

    I have a Hotpoint.

    Any ideas, other than "Spend $$$ on another machine even though it works fine" ?

    It seems OK for now, I have a science degree so am fully aware of the dangers of rapidly spinning things going into spontaneous disassembly, it happened (once!) at Uni where some eejit loaded an ultracentrifuge with the wrong sort of test tubes and it demolecularized with extreme prejudice all over the lab. They also had a near miss when someone decided to "accidentally" load test the big power transformer outside by putting a pneumatic drill bit through one of the phases resulting in the mother of all repair bills and many fried boards on the nCube.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: But..

      > ...and it demolecularized with extreme prejudice all over the lab.

      I have another example from the department of the spectacular creative.

      Apparently restoration of paintings needs oxidizer for cleaning and (later) some wax-ish stuff for protection. The latter is also apparently warmed up before usage. Here comes the brilliant idea: why not do everything in one go? Fill up a pretty large pot with that wax, add the oxidizer, and crank up the heat. Result: wall blown out in fiery boom. And, yes, one creative person was removed from the gene pool.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: But..

        Painting restoration isn't usually considered a high risk occupation, so that's doubly impressive.

        Re: Samsung - I bought one of their combi microwaves last year. It's crap. Hasn't exploded yet, but has overheated and cut out a few times. And the oven struggles to get anywhere near the maximum temperature, when it's not overheating.

        Would not buy again.

        To be fair I haven't tried running a wash through it, so I don't know if it would be any better at that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But..

          Sounds like a dodgy magnetron, I had that happen also with a Panasonic.

          Took it apart (insert Darwin Award icon here) and found that the cause of the problem was a cracked magnetron magnet which sadly meant it was unrepairable.

          On the flip side, its guts are now doing hard labour as a drive unit for some intrepid Tesla Coil enthusiazzzzzzzzzzzts project in the UK or so I heard.

          Those inverters are seriously cool, the IGBT array can handle close to 60A peak assuming it hasn't blown the secondary return which is also a common failure mode.

          In other hilarious news, some EmDrive folks are now hacking used microwave inverters as they are a lot safer and somewhat easier to power due to the lack of requirement for AC mains.

          The ferrite magnets can also be replaced with neodymium iron boron ones of the correct geometry although they are very sensitive to heat as one researcher has discovered.

    2. King Jack

      Re: But..

      The best washing machine is a direct drive LG. No belts to replace (common fault on most machines). Mine is going strong 8 years on. It just works silently. It even chimes when it has finished.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But..

        "The best washing machine is a direct drive LG. No belts to replace (common fault on most machines). Mine is going strong 8 years on. It just works silently. It even chimes when it has finished."

        Samsung's better washers are direct drive too (mine says 10 year warranty on the inverter.) But if it ever chimes again when it has finished I think my wife will take a hatchet to it. Both she and the dog dislike beeps and chimes.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: But..

          Why in the name of $deity do manufacturers thing that we need beeps to tell us that a wash is finished? Recent changes to our life-style meant that we wanted to do more washing at night, but the ridiculous racket the washing machine made at the end of a cycle meant that was not really feasible. Fortunately, there is a way to switch the beeps off (Bosch Classixx), but it is far from easy (pressing odd buttons in exactly the right way within a very short time limit - several attempts were needed). It is as if the manufacturer doesn't want anyone to switch off the noises - again, why??

          1. fajensen Silver badge
            Terminator

            Re: But..

            It is as if the manufacturer doesn't want anyone to switch off the noises - again, why??

            The organic parts of the machine needs feeding, the nocturnal beeping attracts the prey ....

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: But..

        "The best washing machine is a direct drive LG."

        In the top loader segment I've been very pleased with the Miele we bought some time ago (no room for front loader). It's incredible silent. Of course it did cost 3-4 times more than the competition but I'm ready to pay for Quality and comfort.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But..

        Bought a direct drive front loading LG in December. We're thinking about replacing it with a 5 gallon bucket and plunger. This supposedly efficient washer uses more soap and water than our old one (also a front loader), has a filter that needs cleaning every two weeks and required the installation of water hammer arrestors to prevent bursting the pipes (those efficient valves open and close so quickly they *will* burst pipes without water hammer arrestors). And then there's the electronic controls. Total crap. With real knobs when you set things on, say, permanent press and cold water, the machine stays that way which is good for us as we don't tend to change the wash settings very often. Set it, forget it, yippee. With the damn electronic controls we have to set the controls *every* time we do a load and we have to put up with that damn beepity-boopity noise too.

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: But..

          With the damn electronic controls we have to set the controls *every* time we do a load and we have to put up with that damn beepity-boopity noise too.

          You make a good point. We used to have Dyson CR01 Memory. It let you store (3 if I recall correctly) programs. So you could just press one of the memory buttons follows by start button and job done. Dyson's service on it was impeccable. The few times it had issues their engineer fixed the issue and replaced whole bunch of other bits as apparently they had improved them. Naturally they reflashed firmware on every visit to the latest one. Sadly, eventually the drum rusted (the split drum was not a good idea in practise and it was appartently the only part that was not manufactured by them so they had no more spares for that.

          tldr; If Dyson managed memory settings for programs nearly 20 years ago, why don't current machines with electronic control panels allow you to store at least few programs.

    3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: But..

      I have a top of the line hotspot washing machine.. inherited from the previous owneer of the house.

      It is crap, and the axis is bent. I will wait for it to fail, but no more hotpoint for me sir.

  9. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Has anyone every tried washing a full load of dry ice? Just wondering.....

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Yes, I have. In the lab.

      You get a massive plume of vapour from the powder drawer. Like a smoke machine on speed.

      1. Your alien overlord - fear me

        Re: Yes, I have. In the lab.

        You need to seal all available holes - like the powder drawer and exit pipe to be as effective as I hope it would end :-)

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Yes, I have. In the lab.

          Just fill it with pieces of flint and carefully place a large beaker of nitroglycerine in the drum before setting the delay wash start and getting as far away as possible. And remembering to set up the GoPro of course.

  10. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Happy

    Ahh...

    Some IT techs/sysadmins may recall that some (if not all) Samsung IDE CD-Rom/DVD-Rom drives tend to have a high failure rate. This was before the death of IDE/PATA.

    We own a Samsung top loader, can't remember when we bought it, but it's no more than 3 or 4 years old. I'll have to go online and check the particulars for this washing machine, then donate it to one of our useless politicians should it be one of those exploding jobbies.

    Seems Samsung's gotten too big for their britches and need to be taken down a few notches.

    1. simonlb

      I remember the platters in their early 120Mb IDE hard drives used to degrade rapidly and become unusable within 18-months. The model number SHD3062A is firmly lodged in my memory...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Seems Samsung's gotten too big for their britches and need to be taken down a few notches.

      Given that they seem to own a large part of the South Korea Government that's pretty unlikely..

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Some of its washing machines may halt and catch fire'

    I see what you did there.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the hat trick

    They don't have an aircraft engine division do they?

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: For the hat trick

      Samsung will get their fingers burned.

    2. Sealand

      Re: For the hat trick

      > They don't have an aircraft engine division do they?

      Not that I know, but Samsung Heavy Industries is into both shipbuilding and offshore.

      Surely there must be some potential.

  13. jms222

    Flying back to Luton Tuesday was amused at the announcement that Note 7s must be switched off

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      came back from Tallinn on Sunday - airside at both Tallinn and Helsinki "Passengers with Samsung Note 7 devices must make themselves known to Gate and On-board staff.", and there was also an announcement at the security check, directing people to a specific line for 'assistance' or be refused permission to fly, and then also telling them to make sure they told the on-board and gate staff.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "airside at both Tallinn and Helsinki "

        Helsinki, eh - former Nokia staff getting a bit of revenge in?

  14. MJI Silver badge

    So that is what the Norks have been using

    Smuggled in washing machines for their missiles.

  15. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Yay, another thing to worry about in life!

    Until I saw this article I'd never considered a washing machine catching fire as a real possibility other than a freak accident. When I was growing up, we had a machine that was at least 20 years old and the worst it ever did was eventually require a new transmission. If unbalanced it would either shake around a bit and deal with it or stop and start again. It apparently had a sensor for just that--and it was ancient. Of course it was made of steel with very few plastic parts, so I can't imagine a fire would have gotten very far anyway.

    Have we somehow not perfected this technology that's been around since at least the early 1960s?? I guess it's just another example of things not being built like they used to. Next you'll hear of anvils being recalled I suppose..

    1. Shades

      Re: Yay, another thing to worry about in life!

      "Until I saw this article I'd never considered a washing machine catching fire as a real possibility other than a freak accident"

      I'm guessing you're not from the UK then?

      http://www.itv.com/news/central/2016-05-16/fire-chief-warns-of-killer-washing-machines-after-254-fires-in-one-year/

  16. hi_robb
    Flame

    Good on Samsung

    Buy a washing machine, get a free tumble drier.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    our washing machine is Siemens and is pretty good but not as good as the Siemens one it replaced that last 12 years and came with a 10yr Warranty, the only thing that need to be replaced, after about 9 years was the pump, and that's because one of the wife's bra wires got stuck in it!, I think the new one is 5yr. The build quality of the new one is no where near as good as the old one, even the plastic its made of has a thin cheap feel to it.

  18. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Disappointed

    How could you run this story without a picture of Ann Margret drenched with baked beans?

  19. Number6

    Is it controlled by an old MC6800 CPU? that even had an opcode for HCF.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is it controlled by an old MC6800 CPU? that even had an opcode for HCF.

      I thought it was the MC68000. Early steppings had an opcode which turned on one set of internal bus drivers high and the other ones low. I seem to recall seeing one in plastic 64 pin package that had a blackened, raised lump over the cpu area. I recall 555 timers doing the same thing if you managed to bias the inputs wrongly.

      The funny thing is that those CPUs only used about two and a half watts, which today would be considered mobile phone territory.

    2. Neoc

      @Number6: You beat me to it

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halt_and_Catch_Fire

    3. Down not across Silver badge

      Is it controlled by an old MC6800 CPU? that even had an opcode for HCF.

      Not exactly. As I recall HCF was fictional instruction on S/360. Motorola's 6800 did have the DD instruction that read all memory addresses in endless loop (which I think some people referred to as HCF, others as Drope Dead). It was quite useful for debugging hardware. Its been a while, but IIRC it was actually not officially documented as HCF.

  20. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Just a video of rapid washer disassembly

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dq6T5BojXc8.

    I run Electrolux- 1 repair shortly after purchase (under warranty) and both washer and dryer have been stone reliable for at least 4 years since. Prior to that, I always ran old fashioned Maytags (second hand purchase of olde 1980s era machines) because they are so basic and simple to repair.

  21. harmjschoonhoven
    Facepalm

    The real thing

    One of my uncles ran an industrial washing service for 5* hotels etc. with rows of ~4 meter long W/Ms (and an in-house steam engine). They were switched on by pressing 2 buttons simultaneously at either end of the device by two men to prevent it chopping off a finger. Of course my uncle frequently found one of the buttons taped down.

  22. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    Nobody has asked the obvious question yet...

    Are Samsung washing machines battery powered?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody has asked the obvious question yet...

      I thought the obvious question was, why do people keep buying Samsung products?

  23. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    We have a Hotpoint WMD

    Is the manufacturer anticipating something?

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