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Cumbrian family's lucky escape as Hoover washing machine explodes

A mother-of-six has spoken of her family’s lucky escape after their washing machine exploded in their Carlisle kitchen.

Exploding washing machine photo
Rachael Coupland at her home

Single mum Rachael Coupland said her daughters were outside playing when they heard a loud bang coming from their house, at Chestnut Grove, Cumwhinton.

They went back to the house to find the kitchen filled with smoke and debris.

The family’s Hoover washing machine had exploded and burst apart, causing damage to the kitchen and smashing plates.

Rachael was shopping when it happened last Wednesday. Her eldest daughters Clarissa, 17, and Anastasia, 15, were at home looking after their sisters – Eliesha, 11, Lucinda, 10, Kristiana, eight, and Tahlia, four.

Clarissa said: “I was halfway up the road when I heard the bang. It was really loud. We thought the cupboard had fallen off the wall, then we saw smoke coming out of the window. It absolutely stank.”

The girls peered through the window to survey the damage. They then turned the power off and called their mum, who was stunned to see how much damage had been caused.

Rachael said: “We are very lucky nobody was in the kitchen at the time.

“At first I thought they were exaggerating and it had just blown a fuse or something, but the kitchen was full of smoke and there were pieces everywhere. The sides of the machine were bulging and the drum must have burst because there were clothes coming out the top. The explosion even broke the micro-wave.”

Rachael was shocked to hear it wasn’t a one-off accident. A national newspaper reported another family had a narrow escape after a Candy machine – owned by the same firm as Hoover – exploded.

A Hoover spokesman said: “A tiny fraction of washing machines produced before September 2009 have experienced a failure of the drum.

“The manufacturing issue was identified and resolved in September 2009.

“The likelihood of failure of any machines produced before this date is very, very low. We of course very much regret that this has happened to Mrs Coupland and have done our best to resolve the issue.”

Have your say

Watchdog tonight 8 May 2013 refers to Hotpoint and Indesit drums coming apart at 1600 rpm spin and fracturing the plastic casings and flinging concrete damping into the top with frontage blown out accross kitchens etc

Posted by Geoff Parker on 8 May 2013 at 21:16

Hi I have just read you report on Hoovers exploding washing machines with great interest.
Over the weekend I experienced a similar problem with our washing machine a Hoover oph 714ds which was purchased in October 2008.
On Saturday evening whilst my husband and children were in bed, a large explosive bang rocked the house.
The fuse box was tripped, and on entering the kitchen there was a distinct smell of smoke.
On first appearances the washing machine drum appeared to be on the floor of the washing machine and pieces of plastic were found strewed across the floor. The filter has also been blown off and hence the kitchen floor flooded.
It was difficult to assess what damage had initially been done as plastic, metal and cloths were all entangled.
I have a service contract with British gas, so the following Monday (18/02/2013) the engineer came to assess the washing machine.
He stated he had never seen anything like it before, the inner metal drum had pealed back like a can and the inner drum was resting on the floor. The outer drum (plastic cavity) was smashed and there was pieces of plastic and springs just dangling into the drum from the top of the machine. He didn’t even bother checking the electrical components as he stated the washing machine was irreparable.
Luckily he did manage to pull out some of the cloths, but a lot more are still tangled in the metal drum.
My children have been traumatised by the whole incident; my nine year old daughter is having nightmares of the house burning down and explosions outside the house. I cannot believe this could happen in what is supposed to be a safe and secure environment, my home. I am just very grateful nobody was hurt.
I would be grateful if you could advise me if other customers who have bought a hoover washing machine have experienced similar problems with drums exploding.
I have contacted Hoover today, with who the washing machine is still under a five year parts warranty. I was informed that they would come out if I paid a one off fee of £119 for or £167 for an annual contract. I agreed to take the annual contract thinking if they were unable to fix the machine, which they would replace it with a new model (as I was still under the 5 year parts warranty).
However, I was informed that if the machine was irreparable and it was not my fault (if it was my fault I would have to pay the price of not only parts but labour) then the contract would be cancelled and any monies paid by myself returned!!
What is the point of having a warranty if the warranty could be cancelled by the company at any time if it was going to cost them money?

Posted by christine lewis on 19 February 2013 at 22:17

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