Don’t Make a Meal out of a Miele


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At approximately 5 o clock one midwinter’s morning, the dawn of a reclusive Tuesday that shall remain unnumbered. I  reluctantly rose from my possessive pillow, lazily lowered both feet to meet a tiled surface of mild beige, and swayed dazedly down  the passage that adjoined my cave of slumber to a room inhabited by appliances whose service we exploit and sickness we scold. Our culinary command central, the kitchen.

One particular corner of my own was nobly furnished with a handsome, hygienically inclined pragmatist. One who patiently observes, crazes, phases and fashions evolve, revolve, and devolve without passing a single caustic comment. A titanic, Teutonic, masterful machine of the cloth, my majestic Miele WT 2780 washer dryer.

Recruited at great expense in 2012, it was within days of celebrating its third birthday and the previous evening, had completed its routine high intensity spinning session, followed by a revolutionary form of hot yoga. Contrary to what many may suppose, this was not its keep fit routine, nor a novel means to maintain a sleek drum lined with well-defined metallic honeycomb. Ironically, it was rigorous rotational dedication to ensure my self-prescribed physical disciplines did not undergo disruption.

Imagine my perplexed disappointment when, after pressing the bevelled orange button marked “open” and hearing a cooperative clunk I was presented with a frigid receptacle of soaking fabrics. What on Pluto?  I swear I requested a full service, “Express 20”, wash and dry, same as yesterday and the day before, last Sunday too. I don’t use “Dark Garments” any more, its a waste of water and energy and the wash cycle by itself takes twice as long. I kneaded several pairs of jeans, yes, it was definitely residual H20.

A quick canter across the internet revealed nothing of use. Despite astute search terms such as.

“miele dryer” AND fail

“miele dryer” AND “not drying”

“miele dryer washer” AND “dryer not heating up”

“miele washer dryer” AND “wash still wet after drying”

Plenty of matches, but no solutions, only aggravated acknowledgements of the same issue or rants relating to different models whose talents were limited to washing. I’d been forewarned about the erratic nature of these hybrids. One especially taciturn rep in my nearest branch of an autonomous appliance empire had stated;

“All dryers in combos all have to be condensers. In principal that’s not bad and very often, it’s the only option for flat owners who can’t have their dryer close to an outside wall or window. But they are prone to fail more frequently than vented dryers because they use water as a part of the drying process, and H2o and electricity don’t mix too well.

“They seem to get on fine in washing machines”  I might have quipped had I felt atypically confident…or facetious. But battling to justify this monumental investment against my own conscience as well as the informed views of a perfectly helpful “utilitarian” meant I could only muster a vacant stare, followed by a vapid nod and the mindless utterance

“Thanks, do you do next day delivery?”

Back to agitated Googling and finally a ray of logic lit up a grey lobe. The previous night, as I’d been dutifully bathing the last pile of plates amidst a potent crimson haze of Campari, I had, moments before retiring to my own dominion of dreams, been distracted by a shrill string of beeps emanating from the larynx of my one drum launderette.

Initially I had thought it was a certain chilly cupboard insisting that its door should promptly be closed lest my entire supply of condiments be turned into slush, but not so. My fridge’s distress signal equated to that of a reversing truck, one pronounced tone after another at approximately one second intervals. The Miele’s song was more a sophisticated affair, clusters of beeps in swift succession and thrice at a time, strongly suggesting a repertoire of Morse code inspired phrases attributing to a plethora of errors.

As the echoes of what plainly hadn’t been a nightmare persisted to pervade my thoughts, I recalled I had glanced at the machine’s LCD and noted an auspicious and offensively dismissive message. “Fault 55, call service”. Several things bothered me about it.

Firstly, It offered not the vaguest clue as to its origin. Second, it all but guaranteed the existence of 54 additional faults, each of which may visit me at the loss of a sock and lastly, my own white goods were instructing me to seek assistance on their behalf, run for help, solicit accredited expertise from more accomplished individuals, imbued with greater knowledge and armed with a broader array of longer, metier tools than I, an apparently incompetent master. As a result of my reluctance to dignify such snobbery by attending to the Miele’s arrogant request, I had not spared it a second thought before crashing out for the night. Now all was clear as the , a spontaneous aversion to drying was the apparent consequence of fault 55.

“Oh my dear Miele” I ruefully lamented. “Little provokes a gentlemen more than to demand his concession to branded authority when confronted by an ambiguous technical hindrance, especially in the age of the search engine….

“fault 55” AND “miele wt2780”

WT2780 AND “not drying” AND “no heat” AND fault

Two returns. One from a spurious site, spewing spyware and claiming this was a “windows related” error but the other looked promising.

A cry for help from a domestique in a similar quandary – gender not disclosed – and an evidently straight forward solution.

The problem was said to relate to the machine’s thermostats, which comprised part of the heating element and had likely caused a trip on its circuit, reasons as to why this anomaly remained ambiguous. I theorized. Improper installation? Poor accommodation? Insufficient clearance for heat dispersal?  My kettle had never grumbled over having to administer a certain amount of thermal persuasion to perform its appointed role, nor indeed had my toaster.

I had assumed that effective temperature management and the ability to sustain function under an abundance of degrees were amongst the prerequisites for a utility whose career revolved around the art of accelerated evaporation. Could a tumble dryer really be Fahrenheit phobic?  Never mind the sarcasm, practicality beckoned. The suggested fix involved removing the Meile’s rear access panel and resetting the heating element via a trip switch.

I was inspired by the apparent simplicity of a cure that might well have cost me dearly, and hurriedly began harvesting tools. My arsenal was a modest one, mostly purchased  to indulge my hobby of computer construction. Three flat-heads of varying proportions, a pair of wire cutters fit for little more than a spot cable tie pruning, a curious instrument with one broken prong, designed to retrieve wandering nuts from crevices, a yellow test tube with no apparent purpose, my faithful Philips family of four, whose amplest member was sculpted to  swivel standard and “posidriv” screws and  an atypical array of Allan keys, accumulated from several several sets, none complete to begin with, and a trio of mismatched oddities, long, longer and longest, all worryingly thin, that had somehow survived the heat sinks and cases they’d originally served to secure.

Not by any twist the most suitable army for man-handling what I suspected would be some of the most tightly wound security my frail wrists had ever attempted to surmount but even though my palms bore calluses of their making, they were my friends, straight, sturdy and powered by nothing other than gritted teeth, raw elbow grease. I was determined it would be they and I who triumphed over formality, who remained unperturbed by the traditional notion that official sources provide superior resolutions, who prevented a supposedly infallible company from drawing profit through exploiting what was beginning resemble, at the very least, a convenient oversight.


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