Sunday, 22 May 2011

AQUALTIS 9D SPIN PROBLEMS

THE BANGING NOISES ON SPIN CYCLE WERE ALARMING!
We bought a Hotpoint Aqualtis 9D 69U washing machine, after extensive customer reviews research, but only a few weeks after the 12 month warranty expired, it started to make the most scary banging noises when in the spin cycle.
It has never been the most quiet of washing machines, but the sudden shaking and banging that now ensued was sufficiently alarming for us for us to stop using it. Luckily, we thought to ourselves, we had taken out an extended warranty when we purchased the Aqualtis 9D, so we contacted Hotpoint and arranged for an engineer to attend.
It took about a week for the engineer to first attend and, after some investigation, he advised us that the front counterweight, (one of the heavy concrete weights that helps to supress vibrations), had 'crumbled' and he commented that he had never seen anything like it before. He said that he would have to order a new counterweight AND a new drum, because the drum had also been 'damaged'.


After the engineer had left, I had a look for myself. The picture above shows one of the prutruding  'lugs', (which is part of the outer drum), upon which the concrete counterweight is normally located.  There appeared to be THREE of these lugs, and the counterweight would have been located on these and held in place with three bolts.
However, it was clear that the bolts had vibrated loose, and had fallen out, allowing the concrete weight to fall off the mountings !!!


The picture above, shows the smashed counterweight lying at the bottom of the washing machine!! Concrete dust everywhere.
In the course of the weight 'dropping off' the mountings, it had completely snapped  the locating lug on the left hand side. (Not suprising bearing in mind the considerable weight of this counterbalance mechanism!!!)


This picture shows the lug that snapped off.
Because this lug is part of the outer drum moulding, the machine now requires a completely new drum assembly!!!
The picture below, shows the broken lug and smashed counterweight. You can see the hole where the securing bolt goes through the counterweight, and the snapped lug above, where the counterweight SHOULD be!!!!!**!

This information has been posted solely because, after thoroughly searching the Web, there were virtually no sites that indicated why the Aqualtis was making so much noise on spin. Yes, there were questions about noisy Aqualtis washing machines on a couple of Forums, (so other people are experiencing the same problem), but no real answers.

We have been without the washing machine for over two weeks now, (the engineer is coming at the end of this week), and Hotpoint have taken a very 'laid back' attitude towards the inconvenience of being without the facility and the considerable costs of having to use the nearest Launderette 10 miles away, even though the washing machine is only a few weeks out of warranty.  Be warned, with Hotpoint, 12 months warranty means 12 months, and if you're not happy about that, Hotpoint will tell you that you will have to make a formal complaint if you want to stand any chance of reclaiming any interim 'laundry' expenses .............  even more time and inconvenience. 
Even though we purchased a 'Premium' price washing machine, in the hope that we were paying for a greater level of quality and reliability, this looks very much like a manufacture problem.....  were the bolts done up properly at manufacture? ......  is there a design or manufacture weakness in the concrete counterweight?.........  or were we just 'unlucky'?

If your Aqualtis 9D starts to make loud banging noises in the spin cycle it's probably too late and the damage is already done, but at least you might now have some idea as to what's causing it.

(FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PICTURES, SEE MY FOLLOW ON STORY " Hotpoint Aqualtis Noisy Spin Damage Revealed", WHERE THERE ARE MORE COMMENTS FROM VIEWERS)

52 comments:

  1. we are waiting on an engineer coming on monday but we also have the same issue and the machine is 16months old. is your repair holding up?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Anonymous.
    I hope the repair all goes well for you on Monday.
    16 months old eh? It's appalling really... nothing's made to last these days. This is starting to look like a very common problem, and all because Hotpoint seem unwilling to rectify the counterweight manufacture failings.
    Anyway, the repair is 'holding up' at the moment, but I'm touching a very large bit of wood whilst typing this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cheers for this, our Aqualtis AQGMD 149 started banging on spin and all we could find was that it was unbalanced, after looking here and then under the washing machine we found lots of concrete dust, the counter weight and the lug lying on the floor!
    There is an engineer coming out next week so finger crossed he can fix it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Johnny -
    Thanks for leaving a comment - It's good to know that my blog is being of some help.
    I'm sorry to hear that you've encountered the same problem, but glad that my post helped you to finally establish the cause of the 'banging'.
    I hope that the drum is undamaged and that the engineer can do a simple replacement of the counterweight.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Smugdane,
    I have the same problem but luckily I found it early. My AQXGF149 started making the loud banging during spin. The front counterweight is cracked and the telltale concrete chips and dust has gathered under the machine. I say “luckily” because the weight is still attached to the drum and the lugs on the drum seem to be intact. So I plan to buy a replacement weight and fit it myself (Torx key size 40 needed). This washing machine is 2.5 years old but the counterweight should last longer than that (surely). One point in its favour is that you can reduce the spin speed and at 600rpm, for me, the banging is not present. We have had many Hotpoint appliances over the years and they have always been reliable.... until now...
    Originally I thought it was a faulty shock absorber and I spent £30 buying a replacement. That didn't help !!
    I didn't spot the concrete dust and I think that I may not have identified the fault as being a cracked counterweight without your very useful blog. Thanks very much.
    Regards,
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter - Thanks for leaving a comment.
      I'm sorry that you have suffered the same counterweight problem but I'm equally glad that you've identified it before it caused irreparable damage to the drum.
      The fact that my blog about noisy spin on the Hotpoint Aqualtis has now attracted well over 1,400 hits does tend to suggest that there are many other people out there sufferng the same problem.
      Shame on you Hotpoint is what I say !!!
      Regards - Smugdane

      Delete
  6. Hi we read your comment last year and realised that was what was wrong with our machine. We had it replaced under the extended warrenty but it has again cracked and damaged the drum. I was fighting for a new machine but the say that the rerpair is economical!!! wonder how long it will last this time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maureen - Sorry to hear that yet another counterweight bites the dust.
      It's all very well Hotpoint saying that the repair is "economical"..... it might be for them, but that's not the point, it's the darned incovenience that it all causes for people like you and me and the others, (the customers), - having to use friends or the launderette, waiting in for the Hotpoint engineer etc etc etc.
      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to post a comment and I hope that the repair will last for you this time.
      Regards - Smugdane

      Delete
  7. Hi Smugdane,
    I'd like to let you know that I bought a replacement counterweight. I fitted it 3 weeks ago and it has been running quietly since then. Like I said before: I was lucky to have caught it early... before the drum got damaged. I have seen Maureen’s post (and others on the internet) saying that newly fitted Aqualtis counterweights destroy themselves (and the drum) very quickly. I would like to suggest that, when fitting new counterweights, the securing bolts(Torx key size 40) are tightened to a very high torque setting. Any slackness in these bolts will allow the counterweight to move around and destroy itself very quickly. If you lay the machine on its back then you get the best chance of gaining access to the bolts that secure the counterweight. This means that you get the best chance of checking that the bolts are tight enough to secure the counterweight firmly against the drum.
    Regards,
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter -
      Thanks for the update and helpful 'technical' information. I'm sure that this information will be extremely helpful to anyone attempting to change the counterweight themselves.
      Regards - Smugdane

      Delete
  8. Hi Everyone, I have the same problem with my Aqualtis and waiting for the Hotpoint to repair it for the 3rd time in 2 years! Last time repaired with the same fault - in January 2012, the newly fitted couterweights lasted just over 2 months!
    Very disappointed with this w/machine!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Vita
    Thanks for leaving a comment. From the feedback that I keep getting, concerning these defective counterweights, it is becoming more and more evident that this is a widespread problem with the Aqualtis.
    All I can say is 'buyer beware'!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. HI,
    Weve had our Aqualitis for 2 years and have been waiting for nearly 7 weeks for our second counterweight & drum to be fitted in 6 months, the inconvenience is a nightmare. Spent a bit more for this machine wish I had stuck with a cheaper one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous -
      And so the list of counterweight problems goes on......and on........
      It's such a shame really, because when it IS working, this is a pretty good washings machine, but I feel that we've all bought a Reliant Robin dressed up, priced and sold as a BMW !!!!

      Delete
  11. HI,
    In january our counter weight crumbled in our hotpoint aqualtis washer dryer which I bought 2.5 yrs ago for over £400....following a week of error codes. Drum and counter weight replaced, errors continued stopping machine from working and more noises.Several visits from hotpoint engineer and we discover the drum suspension has been fitted up side down. Machine begins to leak and more phantom codes and a machine that doesn't always finish a wash. several further visits unable to fix faults...Leak develops...engineer cant find leak....then hair line crack discovered in drum.... hotpoint return a week later and attempt to install another drum unfortunately new drum is broken (told leak was dangerous and previous engineer should not have allowed us to use it since leak occurred )... and now we are waiting for new drum to be fitted nearly two weeks later.... We also need new computer and sensors(again) Hotpoint have visited us at least nine times. With four different engineers Its now May.......The engineer states we are only entitled to a new machine if they can not find a part after six weeks and so we have to continue getting it repaired....perhaps this is a job for watch dog.....thanks for the great blog and contributions. Will bookmark and return to see if this discussion gets longer... i think it will.. Owl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous - Thanks for the post.
      Oh Boy!! What a diary of disater!
      After receiving so many comments from other Aqualtis users, all suffering the counterweight problem, I wondered if Hotpoint may have just had a bad batch of counterweights two years ago, and that all contributors to this blog had just been the unlucky ones to have had one of the faulty batch counterweight machines.
      I was thinking to myself, "..perhaps Hotpoint have now resolved the problem with their counterweight suppliers, and all current Aqualtis machines should be OK".... but NO, it's clear that even new/replacement counterweights are falling apart, so the design or manfacture problems clearly haven't been resolved.
      More horror stories to come I think!!

      Delete
    2. Hi,
      Now into 11 weeks awaiting repair to machine, warranty company useless they sent enginer today with new drum & counterweight, counterweight took out off packaging in two pieces.
      Have plan b though posted a negative comment on Hotpoints facebook page & within an hour customer services contacted us & sent senior engineer out, so have two repair engineers booked, one has failed, lets see if Hotpoint can deliver.

      Delete
  12. Hi anonymous - Interesting update........ now the counterweights ARRIVE broken !!*@@*"!?*.
    If I had suffered the extent of delay and frustration that you have encountered, my Aqualtis would have had 'flying lessons' weeks ago!
    Very useful tip about posting on the Hotpoint Facebook page though. Perhaps others reading this blog can take a lesson from you on that one. If that's what it takes to get action, then Go For It everyone.
    Do keep us posted..... Will Hotpoint finally deliver? Place your bets now !!!!!!!
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  13. Add me to the list. Had a feel around from underneath and one of the holes in the concret block is big enough to get several fingers through, explaining the pile of dust underneath

    How do you gain access to the drum and weight to see if it is repairable and is it a big operation? Wondering if it is repairable with something like chemical metal or maybe a welded on bracket or something. Part of me wants to look into making an aftermarket replacement from metal rather than concrete...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi BSix -
      Sorry to hear that you may be another 'victim' of the dreaded exploding counterweights.
      Unfortunately, I wasn't present when the engineer took the machine apart, so I can't really answer you question concerning 'access'. However, after the engineer first came, he had unclipped the flexible/blue seal between the drum and the door, and I was therefore able to see the problem through the open door, (see 1st picture above), but even then it's very tight to get to the counterweight.
      I SERIOUSLY doubt that you could possibly repair the concrete counterweight. I'm a DIY fanatic and I just know that I'd be wasting my time in trying to do a repair. Also, any 'imbalance' caused by a repair could lead to 'alternative' component damage. I'd concentrate your efforts on making a metal replacement.... I'd buy one!!!!
      Good luck

      Delete
  14. I have just ordered a counterweight - http://www.ransomspares.co.uk/parts/washing-machines/hotpoint/front-counterweight/142025.htm?m=380850

    Going to fit over weekend. I effected an emergency repair by using a few bungee straps to stop the weight having free rein to thrash about and its a lot better. Weight is shot though,so needs replacing. I will do a video of the process and post on Youtube for other victims of this sub standard washer.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi again B Six -
    Thanks for getting back to the blog, and good luck with fitting the new counterweight.
    If you do manage to do a video I know that it would be very helpful to many 'Grumpy Gits' readers so, if you upload it to YouTube please get back to me with the link and, if your happy for me to do so, I'll add your YouTube link to this blog.
    Once again, thanks for adding valuable information for the benefit of other 'sufferers'.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have this exact same problem. The washing machine is 6 nearly a year old though. It was having problems for months and the first engineer said it was nothing he could do then a month later it got too much and when we moved it the counter weight was crumbled all over the floor =l

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for adding to the statistics Claire - Another one turns to dust!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I had the exact problem We bought the aqualtis washer dryer and within a year and a half the weight went four times with the engineers repairing the machine 3 times on the 4th time they agreed to replace the machine with a newer model. Had the machine for 6 months now the same has happened again. Awaiting for Hotpoint to get hold of us AGAIN. Was told we could get compensation for laundrette bills as cost were near £300 and to write to head office. We did so and heard nothing back. Was also promised 12 months cleaning product from customer services nothing turned up. (That would have probably been faulty anyway).

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for that information Anonymous.
    Hotpoint Customer Service ???? Words fail me..... they just don't care do they.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi i Bought Hotpoint Aqualtis Model Number AQ9D692U ON 7/6/2011 , It started being noisy about 3 months ago until yesterday when it started banging & clicking
    i phoned Hotpoint to be told warranty had expired & i had not taken the extended warranty
    Anyway on investigation i discovered the front counter weight had disintegrated taking one of the lugs with it, We only had to tilt the machine forward to see this, So at the moment im stumped as to what to do next, After reading other comments on here i think i will drop in on the Facebook page of Hotpoint and see if that gets me anywhere thanks for the head-up Les

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Les - Sorry to hear that you're another victim. I swear that these counterweights are programmed to self destruct shortly after the warranty runs out !!
    It'll be interesting to see if a complaint via Facebook has any positive result, (like it seems to have done for some other readers). Keep us posted as to how you get on.

    ReplyDelete
  22. We've had this problem more times than I can remember. First machine failed within the first year and was replaced under warranty. Replacement machine has had at least 4 replacement counterweights and a new drum when the mountings sheared. Just broken down again - bottom counterweight in bits on the floor and mountings broken again. Sent link to this string to Customercare@indesit.com - awaiting reply!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi anonymous - Thanks for your post - Your story is the most horrendous ongoing disaster of events posted on this blog to date, and I feel for you, but it just goes to show that there really is a serious problem with these machines that Hotpoint are turning a blind eye to.
      If you DO get any response from Indesit Customercare, it would be very interesting if you could post this for the benefit of all those other readers that have have taken the time to leave 'comments', (and the hundreds of other readers who have visited the blog but have not left a comment). The number of hits on this story, and my follow up story "Damage revealed" indicates the sheer scale of the counterweight fault that Hotpoint are ignoring.

      Delete
  23. We to are old hands in experiencing this problem a six year old machine and we've had 2 new drums and just started rumbling from the bearings. Son said....does that mean it will stop ripping clothes?? Hotpoint quoted 125 for a fixed price repair buy seriously thinking of saying farewell to hotpoint once and for all.

    ReplyDelete
  24. i have the problem of banging in the machine when it starts to fast spin. Have checked the counterweights and they seem fine. The drum assembly looks to have dropped as the centre of the drums are lower than the centre of the door opening. Has anyone had this problem and did they get over it by replacing thew springs as they seem to be the only thing that could cause this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter,
      I don't think that I can help on this one as I'm not totally familiar with how the drum is secured and/or suspended. Personally, I can't think that suspension springs would suddenly become elongated to this extent, and my gut feeling is more along the lines that either a top suspension spring has become dislodged, or that the spring connection 'lug' on the drum has broken.
      Unfortunately, I think that this is one for other more experienced readers or, (dare I say it), a Hotpoint Engineer ! - Good luck.

      Delete
  25. I thought I would add to your saga. About 5 weeks ago, my machine was banging, and as I pay for extra warranty, I rang the insurers. The engineer rang me that night, and after explaining that I had concrete on the floor, he said I needed a new drum, and counterweight. I waited over a week for this to come, and eventually, the engineer came and fitted them. Having used my machine about three times over the next week, the banging returned. I rang the engineer, he had put 2 suspension springs on wrongly. He sorted that out, then about 4 days later when washing, the banging returned, yet again. I rang the engineer, and he has just visited me this morning(a week after ringing him) and the counterweight is in half again. He now says it will be another week before he can fit it after ordering again. I am not impressed with this machine at all. The first 2 years of ownership were ok, but now I wish I had never bought it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Anonymous - Thanks for adding your comments. I have total sympathy and fully understand your feelings towards the machine, (along with many others who feel the same way).
    I just wish that Hotpoint would put their hands up and admit that there is a problem! Good luck with the next repair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ..... And us. Started well. Quietest machine we could ask for. The 9kg boast is a con though and you don't find out until you can open and read the instructions. You can only use 9kg for a couple of specific programs. No good for daily use. About 18 mths in it started knocking on the spin cycle. Through the window the drum looked as though it was spinning out of sync. Called engineer on extended warranty. He said no fault and left. Machine is now banging loudly and rocking so violently it's ramming the kitchen units either side. Have levelled it, pulled it out, pushed it back in. Tried wedging kitchen clothes down the sides to stop the rock. Getting worse by the wash so I looked up the Internet and found all these similar complaints. Calling engineer back tomorrow to get a solution. Can't believe I let engineer walk away last time.

      Delete
    2. Good morning Toucan, and thanks for your comments: - I'd be interested to know the result of the Engineer's re-visit......... please do update this blog when you find out what's wrong with your machine. Shall we start taking bets now?

      Delete
  27. My washing machine (Ariston brand) also started making loud banging noise a few days ago. I suspect the problem is similar to what is described here. Planning to go in for a new washing machine. Recommended brands (within reasonable price range) seem to be LG, Zanussi or Bosch.

    ReplyDelete
  28. hi guys thought id get in on this myself

    have also had this happen once since owning my hotpoint AQGD169SUK and the machine has been great

    but ive now got a new issue

    ive got an almighty noise coming from the machine under spin
    and there is a lot of play in the drum

    so im guessing its bearings this time

    any ideas guys ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jason - As I've said in earlier replies, I'm not a washing machine engineer so I'm not well placed to answer your query, but from what I've learned from previous 'research', if there's a lot of play in the drum it's almost 100% that the drum bearings are shot. Sorry, but this sounds like a job for a Hotpoint engineer, (or a new washing machine!).

      Delete
  29. thanks smugdane for the reply I have been in touch with hotpoint its definutly the drum bearings have gone as there is play and a lot of noise dureing a spin

    they have quoted me £106.00 for the drum its self but that's for me to install it they want £85 on top of that for them to fit it so im going to just buy the drum replace it myself and see how I go :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for the update Jason - And good luck with the drum replacement. For what it's worth, there are some really helpful videos on Youtube and it's worth having a trunk around before starting the replacement.... simple things like videos of how to remove the front casings etc can make the whole thing a lot less painful!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. just to add, same fault AQGD169SUK. I think hotpoint should send out new ones of these, I've never even seen this fault on old machines 20-30 years old!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Same issue here, broken cement everywhere and rubbish service by hotpoint, certainly put me off buying anymore products from them, it also says on the engineers laptop that there's a known problem with this and to fit modified screws, the moment I tried to take a picture of this warning with my iphone he got all sheepish and hid the machine, hotpoint you suck!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for the heads up Anonymous.... This is the first indication that Hotpoint are acknowledging a problem, (albeit secretly on the engineers laptops!). How I wish you'd managed to take that photo of the engineer's laptop screen.
    Let's hope a 'modified screw' will keep more people happy!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have a AQM8D 69 washer drier that i bought off ebay, apparently it was "banging" well you guessed it the weight had disintegrated. I all ready had a broken machine so swapped the weight. Now I've done up a few bolts in my time and I'm pretty sure these were done up to about the correct torque for their size. 3 weeks later "hang on the drum is vibrating" so i checked everything out again and found all 3 bolts had shaken loose again! I've got the machine running outside now and will leave it out there for a few weeks to see if they come loose again, if so I will be using screw lock and shake proof washers. The shaking had made the motor rear bearing move up the shaft which in turn had knocked the sensor off the back! I swapped to the spare motor and have managed to pull the bearing back on the first one after removing the 4 cradle bolts so hopefully this original one will still work.
    I will report back in a few weeks to let you know if the bolts have shaken loose again!

    Regards
    Stuart

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous - An amusing description of this frustrating old problem. If it wasn't all so annoying, and waste of time, I could have had a good laugh at the detailed description of your tale of woe. But for those of us that have experienced this design fault, it's just another nail in the Aqualtis coffin!! We'll all be interested to know if you manage to stop your nuts shaking loose!!!!!
      Thanks again for your input.

      Delete
  35. Angery Hotpoint customer23 September 2014 at 20:36

    Hi same thing as all u guy's Hotpoint Aqualtis have it 5 years I think it was never right from the start was always very noisy so have now ordered new weight . Why hotpoint has never acknowledged any of us is a disgrace. I will never buy hotpoint again and I will b letting my friend's know of this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mr Angry! Thanks for your post - What more can I say... join the Angry Club!!

      Delete
  36. Same here sick of trying to fix it so many times... Who ever says that this machine is washing good has not had a good washing machine before. Just to add my mom has hotpoint dryer and fridge freezer and guess what they are rubbish.. All iv heard so far is complains about them.. Avoid this brand it is not worth the risk and hoping it will work as it should...

    ReplyDelete
  37. had machine for 5 years no problems
    then came the noise .........
    checked concrete block its intact
    bearings at a guess as oil under machine
    around back where pulley arm turns
    also little spray of oil inside machine
    sealed drum so gotta pay 106.99
    then fit it myself those of you that wish to tighten
    concrete blocks just take the front off

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous - good luck with the drum replacement.

      Delete