New Which? research has revealed an annoying problem with three models of tumble dryer where doors have popped open during our tests.
Tumble dryers from Candy, Hoover and Hisense all failed to complete our tests without the doors springing open and the drying being halted because of this.
The Candy and Hoover machines are both integrated and are very similar in appearance. The Hisense is a freestanding model and all three have the water tank in the door window.
Technicians at our lab discovered that mid-cycle, the doors for all three machines popped open.
In the home, this would be inconvenient as with any open door, the dryer will stop working and so the clothes-drying job will take longer to complete.
But it could also present a minor safety concern. The insides of a tumble dryer's drum can get very hot during drying.
All three of these machines are heat-pump models, which means that they tend to dry for longer and at lower temperatures.
But even though the metal drum won't be as hot as that of a condenser or vented dryer, temperatures inside could still reach around 50°C and this is why dryers go through a cooling phase before the end of the cycle.
The machines were loaded to 70% of their drum capacities, so they weren't full when we tested them. We do this to match how tumble dryers are used in the home.
Even with this reduced load drying inside, the doors still failed to remain securely closed throughout all of our tests.
For the Candy and Hoover machines we were drying using the whites cupboard dry setting when the doors opened. For the Hisense model, we noticed the problem when using the cotton cupboard dry setting.
All three models of dryer include a transparent water tank in the door window, rather than being located above or below the drum.
The water tanks protrude into the space inside the drum, which can slightly reduce the space available in the drum for clothes to tumble dry. But having this feature means that you can see when you need to empty the tank.
At this stage it's unclear what might be causing the dryer doors to pop open.
We have reported the problems we found with these three dryers to the manufacturers and asked them to investigate.
We've explained what happened in our tests and we've provided the serial numbers for the machines to help with their investigations.
Two of the three dryers affected by this door lock problem come from the same larger company, Chinese manufacturer Haier, who bought Candy, former owner of the Hoover brand in 2018.
Fascia detailing aside, as you can see in the image above, the Candy BCTDH7A1TE and the Hoover H-Dry 300 BATD H7A1TCE-80 appear to be very similar models and could be using the same components.
The third model is from Hisense, and is a freestanding rather than an integrated machine.
We shared our findings with Haier (for Candy and Hoover) and Hisense.
Haier told us:
'We haven't seen this in our tests or in reports from consumers. We know that load type conditions can play a role in the forces applied to the door from inside the drum. For example, clothes getting twisted might increase the pressure.
'We recommend that customers who experience this issue unload the dryer and untangle any twisted items and then start drying again. Customers who repeatedly experience the door popping open during the cycle should contact our service team to arrange a service visit.'
Hisense hadn't provided a comment for publication as we went to press.
Here's a quick look at three of the machines recently tested.
Heat-pump tumble dryers aren't famous for being affordable, but this Bush model breaks with tradition.
For £320 you'll get an affordable dryer with an A+ energy rating and room inside for 8kg of laundry.
This heat pump Bosch tumble dryer only costs around £40 a year to run.
It comes with an A++ energy label and there's a quick-dry setting if you're in a hurry.
This is a condenser dryer, so it's going to use much more energy than a heat-pump machine but the trade-off is that it will dry clothes quickly. Condenser machines like this Sharp model are more affordable to buy if not to run.
Prices correct as of 31st August 2021.