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LG Intello Washing Machine

Submitted by Peter on Tue, 2004-10-05 00:00

LG produce a wide range of goods from DVD drives to washing machines. One of their washing machines makes me have second thoughts about buying their computer products.

In the past I recommended their monitors and CD drives because they were the best of the economy brands and more reliable than most of the cheap imports. Now there are a dozen other brands at the same price with equivalent reliability and in many cases a wider range. LG has dropped from producing a few good products in a small number of product ranges to being just another company that sells everything and stands out in none.

Their washing machine was sold as the Intello with the emphasis on intelligence. I fail to see anything intelligent about the machine. There is one minor feature that might be of use in Korea, LG's home territory, but is of no use in Australia, where I tested the washer. Their Intello washing machine has a wide range of features that are the exact opposite of intelligent in this environment.

The front of the LG Intello washing machine.

I will start with the one advantage of the LG washing machine, model WD-8074FHB, over my previous machine. The LG washer is quieter than it's predecessor. The LG machine is not noticeably quieter than the other brands I looked at before buying the LG. The decrease in noise is common to many new machines.

Save Water

I have promoted water conservation since 1977. Now Australia has realised how little drinkable water we have and everyone is jumping on the water conservation bandwagon. I thought that this time around I would buy a washing machine with the highest water conservation rating.

The LG Intello washing machine had the highest water saving rating available at the time of purchase. About half the brands had at least one model with the same water saving rating. I decided to buy the LG because it was the lowest price reliable brand within the highest rating.

Bah! Humbug! The water conservation rating system let a fraud through. The LG is absolutely useless at saving water. The LG has a normal setting, an economy setting, and options to add extra steps to the wash cycle. The normal setting used less water than the normal setting on my previous washer but the clothes come out unrinsed. The clothes are stiff, scratchy, and cause typical detergent irritation. To get the clothes clean, I have to switch on extra rinse cycles and that makes the LG washer use the same amount of water as my previous machine. I bet the triple A water rating was made without testing the quality of the wash.

Faking Tests

You can make tests show anything you want. There is a multi billion dollar industry built around making test results show anything you want. You say that you want a certain result then the testers build tests to show that result. Effem Foods Pty Ltd, the local manufacturer of the Mars bar, sponsored university research in to cocoa. Guess what the researcher found. Antioxidants in cocoa. Of course you would expect that because cocoa is a plant material and all plants contain some antioxidants, however small. The press release to the major media replaced cocoa with chocolate to suggest that highly refined, heated, and sugared chocolate might be healthy.

You do not have to be brilliant to fake test results. I was able to do it in chemistry classes when only 14 years old. Our science teacher implemented exacting standards to teach us the highest quality chemistry. He rewarded us for accuracy but was suspicious of anyone who could produce 100% accurate results. I coached my fellow students in how to produce natural looking test results with slight random variations. We did exactly what we were told but, due to my detailed calculations and meticulous approach, could produce any result we wanted even if the experiment failed. If a 14 year old kid can fake results, imagine what a billion dollar company can do.

To fake low water usage, replace normal fabrics, especially cotton, with plastics such as polyester and microfibre. The plastics absorb less dirt, less water, and less detergent. You can start your wash with less detergent and use far fewer rinses.

Electronic, Not Intelligent

The LG Intello washing machine has electronic controls. That does not make the machine intelligent. There is nothing in the washing machine that could not be done in the 1950s using relays. The first electronic computer, invented in the early 1940s by the British, had far more intelligence. The electronic washing machine has a counterpart of equal intelligence built by Heron in Greece 2000 years ago using wood and string.

A really intelligent washing machine designed for Australia would use our off peak hot water. When we use off peak hot water, we save energy, which both saves money and saves the environment. That reduced energy use leads to lower air temperatures in our city, less need for air conditioning, and higher rainfall. The flow on effect from using off peak hot water in hot dry Australia is to save water. The LG intello washer does exactly the opposite.

The LG washing machine control panel.

The stupid LG washer loads the machine with cold water then heats the water using expensive peak electricity. The environment then suffers all the flow on effects. I called LG to complain. They said you have to set the washing machine to an extra hot setting, 50 degrees or above, to make the machine use hot water instead of cold. Stupid! There is no warning about the design error on the washing machine or in the instruction manual. Stupid, stupid. The LG washing machine is a stupid choice for Australia.

Extra Expensive

Most of Australia is warm enough to use cold water for washing. When you do need a few extra degrees, you only need a little off peak hot water. You cannot do that with the LG. You are forced to shovel expensive peak electricity through the washing machine. Most machines designed for Australia do not have an electric heating element because the electricity going in to the washing machine is 300% dearer than the electricity used to heat off peak water and around 500% dearer than the natural gas used to heat water in many homes.

I estimate that for our small household, if we were living in the colder parts of Australia where you cannot wash in cold water, it is cheaper to throw the LG washing machine in the rubbish bin than to keep it running on peak price electricity.

Gimmicks

Instead of something useful that is normal on washing machines designed for Australia, LG give us some weird clock to make the washing machine switch on in the middle of the night when it will wake everyone. The clock might be useful overseas where they can use off peak electricity direct in to a washing machine. We do not need the clock here, we just need an intelligent washing machine that uses our low cost, low impact hot water.

Lint Filter

My clothes come out covered in lint because the LG washing machine does not have a lint filter. The lint filter that is mentioned in the operating manual keeps the lint out of the drain pipe. Big deal. There is no lint going down the drain because it is left on the clothes. We want a filter to keep the lint off the clothes.

Get a washing machine with a lint filter for the water in the wash. There is no point buying an economical washer if it does not clean your clothes. You do not save money or time when you have to wash some clothes twice.

Lint filters need a little extra water in the wash to wash out the lint. That extra water also rinses out the detergent. If your washing machine has enough extra water to wash out the lint then you use fewer rinses which in turn saves water. The LG's wash is so bad that I often have to wash clothes twice, which a real waste of water.

Error Messages

OE

July 22, 2005

M. G. of the United Kingdom asks

I have a LG intello washing machine. Product code is:wm-1090fhb. I am having problems with it when I try and do a wash it only does half a wash it wont spin or drain the water and it comes up with a error code on the main display the code it comes up with is: OE. I have lost the manual and would be very grateful if you can help.

The manual from my washing machine says

Drain hose is kinked or clogged. Clean and straighten the drain hose.
The drain filter is clogged. Clean the drain filter.

Small square access panel

The drain filter is behind the access panel at the bottom left hand corner. You open the access panel by inserting a coin or similar thin device into the small slot at the top centre of the access panel. Press up on the coin to flip the cover out and down.

Access panel open showing the filter on the left

The filter is the large circular device on the left. Turn the handle of the filter counter clockwise about a third of a circle then the filter should pop out with a gush of water. you get about half a litre of water on the floor. A towel will soak it up. If your machine stopped during a wash, the whole wash load of water, detergent, and dirt might leak out over your floor.

drain filter containing lint and coins

Clean the filter out every few months to stop the filter clogging up during a wash. Our machine needs a clean once per year. Your filter might contain coins and other valuable lost property. We made a fabulous 15 cents during one cleanout.

Model wtr801

A. F. of Australia says

I have been struggling with my Lg machine (also stupid!) for 3 years, so was delighted to see I'm not alone! My machine, model wtr801 has fuzzy logic -very fuzzy!! Every time the machine gets off balance when spinning (which happens a lot), the machine stops, and refills with water, in an attempt to rebalance the clothes. It rarely achieves the rebalance, so gets filling and unfilling with water in vain. Its the most stupid design. When I complained to LG, they just said to keep getting it serviced - the service guy said it was just the pump, and they break all the time(??!!) I then went to Dept of Fair Trading, and I am finally getting LG to replace it with another model (wtr852-hopefully you haven't heard anything bad?). I also don't like the electronic controls - they switch off if you pause the machine while you are having a shower- so you have to start the whole cycle again - bring back the old-fashioned controls!!

Temperature

November 17, 2007

John asks

Can someone tell me what all the bloody numbers are around the dial - it has like a degrees 'C" in the top right - but 90degrees C seems like a little bit too hot

The temperature display on the washing machine.

On the right is the temperature display from my LG washing machine. 90 degrees is valid but is not hot enough to kill tuberculosis. 60 degrees kills the same bugs as 90 degrees and makes bleach work as hard. On my machine, 50 degrees is the minimum temperature required to use the hot water from the off peak water supply but 50 degrees too hot for many types of washing and is hot enough to destroy the enzymes used in some laundry powders. 40 degrees is the hottest wash you can have without destroying the enzymes but, in this LG washer, is created by using peak electricity to heat cold water. The cold setting works all year round in temperate Sydney and does not use electricity to heat water.

It might be a design fault only on some models of LG washing machines but there is no 20 degrees setting. 20 degrees is the minimum temperature to make some chemicals and enzymes work at full power. You need 20 degrees when the tap water is nearly freezing. 30 degrees would be acceptable if the machine did not have the other design fault, the inability to produce 30 degrees without heating cold water. If I washed a lot of clothes in the colder parts of Australia, I would save money and the environment by throwing out this washing machine and buying one designed for Australia, a washing machine with a 20 degrees setting that uses mixed hot and cold water.

Other LG Products

I used to buy LG CD drives. In the current LG range of DVD drives, there is only one dual layer writer. The LG has exactly the same specifications as a Samsung drive and the Samsung is cheaper. The Pioneer equivalent gives you more speed for the same price. LG should focus on making a smaller range of products so they can spend more time getting the design right.

Conclusion

Buy any washing machine except LG. Ignore the AAA water rating as it appears to be the result of irrelevant tests. The design is inappropriate for Australia. Check if the design is appropriate for your country. Be wary of all their other LG products in case their other products have the same inappropriate design.

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