Talk to me about the Miele T98xx dryers

rima_waJanuary 27, 2012

Hi all, it's been eons since I posted here but I just got the Miele W4842 washer after my F&P ecosmart gave up the ghost.

I'm really enjoying the washer and am considering getting the matching dryer. How do owners of the pair like their dryers? I am concerned about the apparent lack of flexibility in settings on the dryer as I often toss damp things in for 20 minutes to dry (I have young kids and you know how that goes.) I also really like the display on the washer and wish the dryer had that too. Is there a next generation dryer coming that I should wait for? My dryer works fine, but it's going on about 15 years old.

I can go either gas or electric. We put in a stub behind the dryer for gas in case we wanted to go that route, or I can stick with electric. Any thoughts about what is better? I'm sensing reading the posts here that electric is better.

Thanks for sharing any thoughts and experiences with these dryers.

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No takers on these questions... I am a bit impatient as I can get a floor model for $1199 right now, a bit of savings, and I am trying to figure out what to do.

How do you find the dryer works for things you throw in damp? Or if you forgot to take the clothes out and left them in the dryer all night? Do you just run that 45 minute timed cycle with a wet washcloth thrown in to de-wrinkle? Does that even work?

I am concerned about dropping $1200 on a dryer I don't need yet, and not really being happy with it. Are my concerns unfounded?

Thanks for any responses.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Get ELECTRIC. While the newest version of Miele gas dryers have improved, Miele sells electric dryers, to like 95% of the world. They make excellent electric dryers. Also, the electric versions have more reverse tumble action, from start to finish...resulting in less wrinkles, fluffier laundry and sheets and towels not "balling" up. I LOVE my T9802!!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:27AM
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thanks larsi
Does the tumble work well enough so that king-size sheets and duvet covers will not ball up? I have that problem with my current dryer, but I unwad them and put them back in for a timed cycle to dry them the rest of the way.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 2:27AM
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King size sheets DO NOT ball up even the tiniest bit. They come out fluffy, wrinkle free and perfect!!

I do not have a duvet cover, but that would be less than a full set of king size that should be fine.

I dry 99% of all my clothes, towels, sheets, jackets... on Normal Dry with the Gentle feature activated. I do have my dryer set (Miele must do this, cannot program yourself) to make the Normal Cycle a little warmer than factory set & to make the machine do an extra 10 min extended, reverse tumble cool down at the end.

If you do not do this, you might need to use Extra Dry + Gentle. Miele's Normal Dry program is made to leave a little residual moisture in the fabrics, to prevent overdrying of materials.

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE my T9802 electric dryer. I do love my W4842 washer, but I think I could live with an LG, Electrolux or Bosch washer. I could not live without my reverse tumbling, Miele electric dryer! Good luck! :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:06AM
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"Does the tumble work well enough so that king-size sheets and duvet covers will not ball up?"

I have the electric dryer T9802 and like it. There was nothing wrong with our 16 y/o Whirlpool dryer, but I wanted 'matchy-matchy.' ;-)

We have a queen-size bed. Sometimes one corner of the fitted sheet will ball up, and this past week I washed the duvet cover and one corner balled up and was still rather damp. Like you, I generally unwad and run the 45-minute Warm cycle, and set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes, then check the damp parts.

Some items are occasionally still damp when a cycle ends and I knew this from researching posts here in the Laundry forum, before we bought the dryer. The sensor doesn't let things bake unless it's on the 45-minute Warm cycle, or with "Turbo" feature engaged when it should not be (as in wrong application for your load).

When a cycle is complete and items are not removed immediately, the dryer does a short tumble every few (not sure how many) minutes to help prevent wrinkles. This definitely helps with certain type loads, like towels, to complete the drying without baking on a separate cycle.

You can not use dryer sheets in this dryer, due to the design engineering, unless you safety-pin them to something heavier, like a dedicated washcloth. It is still better to avoid them, because the lint screen is like a very fine scrim type mesh and could clog up easily from the residue.

Lint tends to collect at the bottom of the well in which the lint screen sits in. Apparently it's not a perfect 'seal' down there and perhaps it's not meant to be. (?) Could be a design error. You'll want a very long brush, or a small canister vac, to remove that stuff so that it won't travel into the vent hose.

All that said, I am still glad I upgraded to this dryer. Slight learning curve, but not as much a learning curve as with the FL washer; maybe more of an "adaptation" curve.

Tip! --> Be sure to personally supervise the installation of the vent/ductwork. Our Miele installers used that shiny silver tape, and the duct hose came off at the dryer end, after the machine was moved in order to access the washer for a small repair. @livebetter had the same problem, twice I believe, if you search the topics here. Professionals love that tape and sing its praises, but I am NOT impressed. I had them come back and use good old-fashioned clamps at both ends when they had to fix the problem. The machines (on pedestals) weigh too much for me to move.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:17AM
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thank you both for your comments, larsi and cavimum. I am leaning toward getting the dryer. It will be nice to have both appliances new with the hope that we don't have to deal with a failure for a long time. My old washer died right before our big snowstorm here, so I was without for over a week and what a pain that was. Plus it will be the first time I've ever had a matching set, and that will please me to no end! LOL.

Points noted on ducts, lint filter, and softener.

It's good to know there is a bit of a work-around for the lack of timer. I think that it's nuts that they don't have one on there. Is there any signal for how far into the cycle it is? On my current dryer, the dial moves along and you can see about how done it is.

Larsi, do you think I can get the guys who install the dryer to make those temp/timing adjustments or will that involve a service call? If it would be a call, I think I'd wait and see if I'm not happy with normal as-is.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 12:14PM
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@rima_wa - There is a sequence of lights that tell us how far along the cycle is. It is a 'reading' of the moisture level. Go to the Miele usa web site and take a look at the owners' manual for the dryer. I don't know if the link below will work or not. On page 12 there is an illustration of the different 'levels.' The light moves toward the bottom as the moisture removal progresses.

Here is a link that might be useful: manual

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Cavimum, thanks for that info. That is very helpful for me to know. I have been having trouble viewing the miele site, and realized that I should try another browser (back to internet explorer vs google chrome) and now I can see it, after struggling all evening. I'll be giving that manual a good look.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:16AM
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No trouble accessing Miele's site with Firefox.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 10:45AM
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@ rima_wa

I have the T9802 and I am happy with it. However, Miele could have done a better job in terms of programming flexibility for the user. If you can't use one of the pre-set programs, you only have a 45-minute timed dry or 15-minute air dry option. If I'm throwing in damp items, I still use the Normal program as long as the items are damp enough for the sensor to read the moisture.

Regarding increasing or decreasing moisture level, extending tumble time, etc. as Larsi stated... this does NOT require a Miele service call. You can program it yourself using the hidden service/program menu in Miele's machines. Send me a private message here in Gardenweb and I would be happy to email you the service manual which outlines the procedure.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 10:53AM
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sshrivastava, I sent you an email. Thank you.

I read over the manual and along with everyone's suggestions, I think we'll like the dryer. I wish I knew if any new models that might be more flexible were coming out in the next year or two, because my current dryer is working and I could wait. That info does not seem to be available, so we'll take the plunge now.

I find it funny that they use "rotary iron" and "hand iron" as dryness indicators. The Germans are obsessed with ironing - my sister lived there for 7 years and is married to a German. Her MIL irons absolutely everything - jeans, underwear, bedsheets. My sister felt a lot of pressure to conform to that while she was there (with 3 little kids no less.) I think if I lived there, I'd have one of those rotary irons. Here, I use my iron about once every two years or so, mainly for sewing projects. Those dryness descriptors mean nothing to me!

I noticed on both the washer and the dryer there is a button that says "PC". What is that for?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:28AM
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I believe "PC" is for updating the firmware inside the machine's computer. It would take a service tech call to do it. This is not limited to washers/dryers. I have a computerized sewing machine with the same feature.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:56AM
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As someone who is obsessed with ironing (I'm not German but have a British background)... I do appreciate those settings.

While I don't own the rotary iron (it is on my most wanted list) I do own a Rowenta hand iron. The hand iron setting leaves just enough moisture in the items to be beautifully pressed.

I think it speaks to Miele's commitment to fine fabric care - the thoughtfulness of these options.

I own the T9822 gas version and have no complaints about its performance. I did have some install issues that seem to have been fixed. Miele's service (in Canada) during that was outstanding (even giving me free care products each time they came out). I am in love with their Miele detergents now ... but I digress ...

It does reverse tumble (although not as often as electric) but I've never had an issue with items being balled up.

@Larsi always talks about how Miele make electric dryers for the rest of the world (I've never checked to see if they make gas for anyone else) but gas and electric are not that much different. One uses an electric element to create heat and the other uses a gas burner. I prefer the heat generated by gas (it has a higher moisture content and dries nicer IMHO). I've never used a Miele electric so I can't compare directly.

I was told that the 45 min dry was for when you use the drying rack. I seldom use this setting as I find the temp to be very hot.

The Miele sensor is very sensitive. If you dry mixed loads you can expect some uneven drying. For example, I wash my kids' jeans with their other dark clothes (like t-shirts) and when I dry the load the jeans will always still be damp. Once the machine registers that the t-shirt are dry it stops. I just hang the jeans up and they dry pretty quickly.

I really appreciate the residual moisture left in items when using the normal setting as I can appreciate how much better this is for fabrics (not to overdry)- again, Miele taking the best possible care of fabrics.

If you find it too much moisture, you can select extra dry. I do this for loads where I have socks for example. The socks are always too wet dried on normal but come out perfect on extra dry.

There is a learning curve and you'll have to figure out what works for you.

There is a newer dryer in Canada (the IntelliQ) but feature wise it is hardly any different. I read a comment from someone that said they were told Miele is going out of the W4XXX series machines ... I don't know if that is true.

The light you are referring to is the Check Filter/Vent indicator (Indicates to clean the filter or vent). It says (PC) beside it. My washer says PC beside the sensitive button. This may have something to do with programming. The Miele techs can connect their laptop to the machine and do all sorts of things.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Bosch is getting out of the US large front load business, not Miele.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:21PM
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@sshrivastava, the Canadian who posted that said they were told specifically that Miele is. Nothing would surprise me anymore but I haven't tried to confirm that. I'm not sure Miele would be honest even if I asked them directly. I've asked them before about new products coming and they play dumb and wa la ... a month later there it is. They don't even tell the retailers when they are running a promotion here (they find out the day it starts). They keep everything close to the vest (as they say).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:27PM
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I find it funny that they use "rotary iron" and "hand iron" as dryness indicators.

That's the typical European system. Max dry, more dry, normal dry etc. generally isn't used over here. It's always Extra Dry, Cupboard Dry down to Rotary Iron Dry. Also, your Damp Dry Signal is a feature hardly found on European dryers.

Another reason for slightly damp clothes is energy conservation. A few minutes less per cycle could mean hours less per year. But one can, fortunately, always adjust these settings if desired.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Just wanted to post back that my new dryer was installed yesterday. Today (and tomorrow) DH is rewiring to put in surge protection and properly grounded lines in our 1950's home. The laundry room has never been rewired since then, and has not been to code, though other parts of the house have been. So after that is all done, I plan to run a few loads and try out the cycles and see what I think. Thanks for everyone's help in my decision process.

I will note that I dried one "normal" load of mixed kids' clothes and found them slightly damp but not too bad. It was mainly around elastic waistbands and cuffs on pajamas and leggings with knit fabrics. I'll see how it goes with other types of loads and may decide to change the settings as larsi did.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 12:07AM
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There in lies the issue with the Miele. In order to fully dry areas that are thicker (ie. waistbands), it would need to over dry the majority of the items.

In keeping the best care of your items it stops when the majority of the load is properly done.

You can choose extra dry and get almost uniformly dry but then you are over drying most of the fabrics.

It comes down to choices. For some things I opt or extra dry and for things I care about taking good care of I don't.

Good luck - let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:57AM
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