Washing machines exploding

Danger This is an updated article about washing machines “exploding”, which was previously published in mid 2011 on my original site Washerhelp. (If you are looking into exploding door glass – you need this article instead door glass exploded).

If the drum has exploded out of the washing machine then continue reading.

Hotpoint Indesit & Hoover Candy washing machines exploding

I’ve been following and collating people’s experiences of exploding washing machines for a few years now, which started abroad. The first reports were mostly of Hoover & Candy washing machines (see links at bottom of article) but for some reason focus has shifted to Hotpoint and Indesit washers even though I have over 20 reports of Hoover or Candy washing machines doing the same thing.

Manufacturer’s first assured us that UK washing machines were not affected, which turned out to be untrue. Then they decided there was no need to warn any customers with an official safety notice, which was heavily criticised by Which? Then they assured BBC Watchdog that only two models were affected, which again turned out to be untrue and gave a false sense of security to many.

Last night BBC Watchdog did a second feature on this story (the first being in November 2012) and both Indesit and Hotpoint have now accepted they need to issue a proper safety notice, and have done (links below).

What’s happening?

The inner drums of these washing machines are coming undone at the seams or splitting on spin, which is causing the laundry and parts of the metal inner drum to burst through the top of the (plastic) outer drum and through the plastic lid and control panels.

Due to the strong centrifugal forces involved on high spin the washing machine mechanically explodes throwing debris across the room.

Sensationalist headlines

Exploding washing machines reported in the press My original article was picked up on several months ago and made headlines around the world, many of them sensational.

However, it does appear that washing machines with this potential to explode are in use all around the UK. Manufacturers all over the world typically try to mitigate safety issues by quoting how only a very small a percentage of the hundreds of thousands built have been affected. Whilst true, surely the only thing relevant is the potential consequences, not the percentage?

Taking their argument to its logical conclusion, if a child was killed by a product with a known design or manufacturing fault a manufacturer would try to say it’s only one child but there must be a million children unaffected. Therefore it’s not the frequency – but the potential danger and seriousness that should drive this sort of thing.

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What if you have one of these washing machines?

Hotpoint and Indesit have issued statements saying

The incidents outlined has been identified as a technical issue with a very small percentage of washing machine production during periods of 2007 to 2009 could be affected. [sic]   ”

Official Hotpoint & Indesit Safety Notices

Please let me know if any of the above links stop working

The faster spinning washing machines appear to be the problem, particularly 1400 or 1600 rpm I’ve commented many times before on Washerhelp that in my opinion many modern washing machines spin too fast for their quality of build. Plastic outer tubs (or drums) also play a part in allowing this sort of thing to happen, which couldn’t happen when we had metal outer tubs.

Spinning at such high speeds puts a lot of stress and strain on a washing machine and involves powerful forces. Do manufacturers increase the quality of motors, drums, suspension etc. when they make them spin much faster? As far as I’m aware, no they don’t.

If you are concerned, you need to check your model number using the above links. If your model number isn’t officially affected but you don’t trust that it’s guaranteed to be safe the best thing you can do is –

  • Make sure people stay out of the room the washing machine is in when it’s spinning – especially children. Pets also.
  • Stop letting your washing machine spin at full speed by changing the wash programme, or preferably if you have options to reduce the spin speed of the final spin reduce it to 1000 rpm or as near as they will allow. If you are seriously concerned maybe even down to 800 rpm. Logic dictates that the faster one is spinning the more likely and the worse an incident could be.

I can’t guarantee these tips will prevent any incident, and some may argue it’s an over reaction to even follow these steps. People have to make up their own mind. It is true that statistically it’s very unlikely to happen to any specific washing machine, presumably even ones with affected model numbers.

The main thing to bear in mind is to limit people’s exposure to them whilst doing a load. As with all washing machines and other appliances like dishwashers and tumble dryers my advice is to never leave them on totally unattended or when in bed.

PREVIOUS COMMENTS TRANSFERRED: I’ve decided to copy and paste all previous comments that had been added to this article when it was on Washerhelp for reference. Therefore the first few pages of comments below will appear to have come from me.

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95 thoughts on “Washing machines exploding”

  1. I have a 3 year old Hoover washing machine model WMH 168D that danced around my utility room before the reinforced concrete came apart around the drum and exploded inside. There’s dents on the front metal panel where the concrete has bashed it from the inside. There’s concrete al over the inside and black charring from the friction when the drum came apart. I called Curry’s and Hoover who didn’t want to know as I didn’t have an extended warranty. Hoover refused to take it any further until I paid them £190 extended warranty cover for an engineer to come out and see that it was irreparable. I will take it to Trading Standards and and independent health and safety inspectorate. Thank god my two daughters weren’t in the room, it would definitely have been fatal!!!

  2. Hi I have a candy 8kg 1600 spin machine on the 9th may 2015 it was on. I had just walked back into my lounge when there was an almighty bang. I went back into the kitchen to find smoke bellowing out the top of the machine. The washing machine had exploded and was still trying to spin. It had blew up wards and out wards. The metal drum had flung in self apart. It was under my worktop next the dishwasher and a row of cupboards. The dishwasher has a big dent in the side, the worktop has been split in two places and it blew the row of cupboards along by two inches and the end of the cupboard fell off it even split the carcases. The shelf in my cupboard had all my mugs and glasses on and below was all my plates. The draw where you put the powder in was 2 meters away at the other end of kitchen. The control panel was blown off. Even my neighbour came round to see if I was ok ad he thought I’d had a gas explosion. Candy hoover sent an engineer out to do a safety inspection lol. They have replaced the washing machine free of charge of course and said to get three quotes for the work needed to fix any damage done. I am still waiting to hear from there claims department. We’re living out of cups in a box and plates on the other worktop. I just want my kitchen back. If a small child is stood by one of these machines when this happens it will kill them. The delivery driver that bought the new machine said he was only in this area a couple of months ago picking up a washing machine for the same thing. I live in rented accommodation and the landlord says it’s candy that need to pay for all the damage. If the landlord does the work they will pursue candy in court for the bill. Also home contents insurance doesn’t cover kitchen cupboards as they are fixed to the building and come under buildings insurance. Which you don’t normally take out if you live in rented accommodation. So thanks to candy and there dangerous washing machines that are bombs waiting to go off I still have an Un functional and many other people have bombs just waiting to go off in their homes.

  3. My hotpoint machine exploded today. I was sitting right next to it waiting for it to finish its 1600 spin so I could put the washing on the line before work. I thought a bomb had gone off. Some of our clothes are stuck in the machine wrapped around the drum. Other items have huge holes in and one pair of joggers have half of one leg missing!! It was so frightening. Fortunately the glass didn’t shatter otherwise I dread to think what could have happened. The machine is full of twisted metal and shards of plastic. The machine is about 5 years old. I’ve phoned hotpoint who advised that my model is one of the faulty ones and that someone will call me back within 24 hours. Not sure what Hotpoint will be prepared to do due to the age of the machine. I’m disgusted the machine wasn’t recalled. After reading these posts it seems only a matter of time before someone get hurts. Shame on these manufacturers putting profits before safety using poor quality metal in a machine that spins so fast and could be lethal.

  4. This just happened to me this morning. I was washing bedding (on the “bedding” cycle, of course) and loading the dishwasher, which is close to the washing machine. All of a sudden, there was a violent exploding sound and the washing machine jumped about three foot forward, spinning and the entire top of the washer flew off behind it. I was so startled that I tripped over the dishwasher door! I’ve never seen anything like it and it was extremely violent! Thankfully no one was hurt but the entire row of cabinets next to the washer are destroyed and my dryer is dented pretty bad. I have been in contact with Samsung and am waiting to see what will be done to remedy the issue. The model is WA48H7400AP and was purchased 8 months ago.

  5. sat 9th jan 2116 my hotpoint washing machine exploded shattering the granite worktop to pieces, i had just walked away from it, it was quietly spinning at the time so no clue as to what was going to happen. £2000 to replace worktop + the cost of a new machine and clothes. a friend sent me an email with a link to this site or i wouldn’t have know about this happening to so many others.

    1. Hi
      This happened to me a couple of months ago. Although my machine was quite old Indesit replaced my machine and compensated me for all the clothes that were ruined. Have you contacted them? Anita

  6. Hi, just had the biggest shock of my life tonight! My indesit washing machine that I’ve had for less than 5 years has literally just blown up, worktop smashed etc etc, didn’t know what was going on as I was in bed and heard an almighty bang and glass smashing, etc, water gushing everywhere. At first I thought my house was been burgled until I went downstairs! I wasn’t made aware of the problems had with these washers when I purchased it and only came across your website due to surfing the net to find a solution to what had happened. I wish I had have known about this problem upon purchase, as i certainly wouldn’t have bought it! Just glad that nobody got injured!!!

  7. Bought my indesit washer 2 and a half years ago it’s always been loud but at the weekend it started going crazy banging of sides and walking through kitchen then I start smelling burning plastic so I switched it off after a while and not so nervous anymore I took the clothes out only to find what looked like alot of grated plastic inside the drum and the smell was awful, I contacted Hotpoint only to be told id have to pay 110 pound for engineer and then costs for work and parts there after, I was totally shocked as this is obviously a faulty machine, we had a friend of our look inside only to find the suspension leg had ripped off the metal inside

  8. Hello Anna. If your washing machine’s drum has come undone at the seams and burst through the top of the outer drum it is likely to be suffering from the “exploding” drum fault as described in this article. To check, you should take off the lid and see if the outer plastic drum is in tact or not, and carefully examine the inner drum to see if it has split.

    If it hasn’t then it’s a different issue. It would depend on how it’s been used, but if the drum bearings have failed it might be possible to claim against the retailer under the sale of goods act if it is in effect beyond economical repair. It does depend on how it’s been used though, so for an extreme example, if the machine was on twice a day 7 days a week it might be argued that for what they cost and the build quality they are it isn’t surprising it’s completely worn out. Conversely though, at the other end of the spectrum if it was only used by a little old lady twice a week it would be fair to say that 2 and a half years is far too short.

  9. This is appalling. (Luckily I’m unaffected as I have a relatively well-made washing machine not made by any of these companies.)

    I suspect that this needs/deserves/justifies a class (or ‘group’ in UK) action lawsuit.

    I’m almost certain you can sue the manufacturer and that this could possibly be done either under general principles of negligence / failure of duty of care or under product liability laws. They might settle out of court to avoid yet more embarrassing publicity. However, I suspect those affected would receive a lot less in the UK than the USA, where the rules of the legal system favour the small consumer versus the giant multinational.

    Just search and you find useful sites e.g. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/product-liability-and-safety-law

  10. I can’t believe what happened tonight (around 18.15) looked and sounded like a bomb had gone off in my kitchen my Hoover Aristocrat has just blown up the machine is in bits like all others it was on a fast spin the metal draining board took most of the force and is ruined why is this still happening manufacturers have to recall these machines. Will be contacting Hoover very soon.

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