Thread Number: 37708
Miele W1986 draining very slowly
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Post# 560952   12/3/2011 at 12:16 (4,390 days old) by Lee280zx ()        

Hello--I have a Miele W1986 washer. A couple of times recently it seems as though it's taking a bit longer than the time shown to run a load. Today I noticed it read 30 minutes remaining, and then a few minutes later it still said 30. I pulled the drain hose out, and the water was barely trickling out. I'm not sure, but it could have been at the end of the draining. All I know for certain is that it stayed on 30 minutes remaining for a few to several minutes.

I did unscrew the drain/lint trap thing at the bottom left of the front of the washer. A cup or two or so of water came out when I unscrewed it, and It was clean. I never even checked that thing until a couple of months ago. I don't remember why I checked it then. Maybe it was a warning light. The machine has never backed up or spilled on the floor (if that is even possible). I don't think it's doing anything else wrong, except that it was showing over-sudsing a few times about a month ago. I think that was my detergent.

I bought my W1986 new in 2004 and have never had to service it. I live alone, so it saw lighter-than-normal usage for six years, but, in the last two, I've been sitting pets and it's seen noticeably heavier usage. I shake things out, but I'm sure more than a little dog hair goes through.

I'm thinking one of several things is going on: (1) nothing is wrong and that just happens sometimes; (2) there is a clog somewhere other than that lint trap/drain thing (and I wouldn't know where); (3) the pump is going out and that's causing the machine to drain slowly; or (4) it's something I don't know anything about and can't even guess.

My W1986 has always done a good job. The door on it is slightly loose, so I no longer "slam" it shut in recent years. I just push it closed with my knee until it latches. Other than that, there have been no problems. I've never had to disconnect or move it, either (so maybe there could be something in the hose?).

If it needs servicing, I gather it is probably worth fixing. I imagine it could cost a few hundred dollars or so for a repair. I'm the type that is more likely to replace than fix an appliance as it gets older. But I think a Miele washer is supposed to have a very long life, and maybe that would be equivalent to replacing a car the first time it needs new brakes. Thoughts?

Do any of you have any suggestions/advice about what could be causing this problem? Any similar experiences?

(I just ran another load. It's a 190 degree wash with the extra rinse (sensitive skin or whatever), and it was supposed to take 54 minutes according the the readout at the beginning. Now it's 49 minutes later, and the machine shows 21 minutes remaining on the wash. Even with my extremely poor math skills, I know that can't be good.)

Post# 560993 , Reply# 1   12/3/2011 at 14:18 (4,390 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

There is a built-in 17 minute delay when heating to 190F on the 1986 that does not show in the time remaining. It brings the wash time to 47 minutes, just like in the W1918 when it is set to 180 or 190F. What has probably happened, if your machine is draining slowly, is that the animal hair has wrapped around the pump impeller. The timer will also hold if the machine is trying to distribute a load prior to a spin.

Post# 561000 , Reply# 2   12/3/2011 at 15:02 (4,390 days old) by Lee280zx ()        

Thank you, Tomturbomatic. I just removed the supply hoses and cleaned the inlet filters on either end of both of them. I also removed the drain hose and replaced it. There was no blockage in the drain hose. The hot water hose inlet filter might have been a little blocked, but not significantly. When I removed & cleaned the lint trap, there was no blockage, and no pet hair. The impeller blade in there turned freely when I turned it.

I'm running an empty 140 degree wash right now. It started as 46 minutes. Now, 19 minutes later, it says only 19 minutes are remaining (so it is actually running 8 minutes fast). I know that the 46 minutes is just an estimate. So maybe it's running faster because it's empty?

I'm going to try to catch a drain cycle so I can see if the water is draining at a decent rate.

Post# 561002 , Reply# 3   12/3/2011 at 15:08 (4,390 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Yes, smaller loads get a shorter wash time.

Post# 561060 , Reply# 4   12/3/2011 at 22:34 (4,389 days old) by jerrod6 (Southeastern Pennsylvania)        

I have a 1986 and it drains into the laundry sink next to it.  I haven't seen any difference in draining speed, but I have seen my machine do the same thing as yours with regard to time.  What seems to happen is that if it senses the load is small it will reduce the wash time, BUT depending on what temperature you are using it may then increase the time if it needs to.


Last week I washed a small load of dress pants but at 120F.  After a few minutes I returned to the washer and it had 24 mintues remaing.   I knew this was wrong and that it simply reduced the time due to the small load size.  After several minutes I returned and it was saying 30 minutes remaining.  I have also stood and watched it and the time will move up several minutes when it finds that it must heat the water higher, OR in my case the incoming water has suddenly become cooler, so yeah the time may increase when water heating has to take place for small loads.


The time will also increase if it cannot do a good spin after the wash. In this case the machine will insert an extra rinse into the cycle so the time will increase to reflect the added rinse.


The machine is WORTH fixing.  I plan to fix mine until it can't be fixed anymore.  With it you get a good amount of water in the rinses, you can get an extra rinse, you can program the machine to give a water+ option, you can program it to provide suds cooling at temps over 120F,  you get the added benefit of reduced time for small loads(provided it does not have to heat the water an extra amount), you get the fine rinse option which gives two high level rinses with the last rinse water taken through the FS dispenser,  you get the heavy soil option which starts with a tap cold prewash which is heated to warm followed by a wash of whatever temp you select(kind of like a profile wash), you get to select a soak time based on how many times you press the soak button,  You can cause the machine to skip to the next part of the cycle by quickly turning the program selector to "END"  and then back to the current program selected, you get delayed start,

you get the Extended option which gives you the longer European cycle good for very soiled loads, or you can just use the normal 41 to 49 minute cycle which does a very good job on normal soil.


And if you need a repair and you use a Miele tech he can connect his laptop computer to the machine and it will instantly show him the part that is in need of repair.  The inside section of the machine is instantly displayed and the part is outlined in red. -----no guessing about what is wrong.


So yeah you bet I am repairing and keeping mine  for as long as I can.



Post# 561063 , Reply# 5   12/3/2011 at 23:25 (4,389 days old) by PeterH770 (Marietta, GA)        

peterh770's profile picture

Interesting.  I have been using my 1926 for 2 years now and never saw the time change.  Prior to that was the 1918, always completed in the time displayed without increase or decrease.

Post# 561238 , Reply# 6   12/5/2011 at 01:19 (4,388 days old) by Lee280zx ()        


Thank you for the information. As described below, I now think my W1986 has been functioning fine. In fact, the only real problems I've had with it are the door going out of alignment and the control panel cracking around some of the buttons. I have the white version, and I think that the control panel cover, where all the writing is around the buttons, is fragile. I probably pressed the buttons too hard. They don't have a very good feel and response to pressing. I can live with the cracking.

I'm glad to hear you think it's worth keeping and fixing (when it does finally break, as all things eventually do). You list a lot of things the W1986 can do (I hardly do anything but change the setting between cotton 140 and cotton 190). Do you list those because they are things the newer Miele washers don't do?

Anyway, here's where I'm at: I finally had time to run my W1986 and stand right by it until it drained. I ran it on the "Fine rinse" program. When it started draining, I pulled my drain hose out and stuck it in my laundry sink. The flow was little short of massive. Having seen it, I don't think it could drain any more any faster than it is. I don't think there's any way it could be said to be draining too slowly.

I think there are two reasons I noticed this now:

First, like I said, I've been using the washer a great deal more now since I am sitting pets. That's caused me to start worrying about wearing the washer out.

Second, I almost never used to use the 190 degree cycle. It damaged most things. But now that I am pet sitting, I bought a very high-end (commercial grade) steam cleaner. It uses very plain 14" x 17" cotton terry cloth towels on the end of a floor attachment to clean floors. I have all tile floors, and Swiffers weren't cutting it when it came to cleaning up after the pets. The steam cleaner is fantastic, but I'm always washing those terry cloth towels (I use dozens to clean my whole house).

Those towels are filthy after steam-cleaning the floors, so I'm washing them on the 190 degree cycle. And I also fill the washer compartment full with them. From what I've read, I think a very full load slows things down, too. I guess I should probably wash fewer at a time?

Anyway, so now I'm thinking nothing is wrong with my W1986. I think the draining was going slowly when I happened to look because it was either near the end of the drain cycle, or because I had stuffed the washer too full with the cotton towels.

(As a side note, and I don't know if this matters, I read the owner's manual this morning and noticed I skipped a step when I recently cleaned the washer's lint trap. The manual says: "After cleaning: Run the "Fine rinse" program. This step is necessary to activate the ball valve." I didn't do that, but I had run the washer dozens of times since then. Maybe somebody could tell me if that might have caused problems that lasted through dozens of washings?)

Post# 561317 , Reply# 7   12/5/2011 at 15:02 (4,388 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        
That's caused me to start worrying about wearing the was

ronhic's profile picture

Miele's are designed to be used...and used often.


There are hundreds and hundreds of small, private laundry services all over Europe that use non-commercial Miele machines to do their 'bag wash' (wash/dry/fold) services for a reason - these machines are designed to take heavy use and are as close to commerical machines as you can get, with the possible exception of Speed Queen front loaders.


...and nothing needs to be 'pushed hard' on a Miele to get it to work.

Post# 561324 , Reply# 8   12/5/2011 at 15:57 (4,388 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
True, True

launderess's profile picture
Miele's 1900 series amoung others are routinely used by dry cleaners and laundries here in the states.

Not only is the build quality fantastic but the various settings and range of textile care options Miele presents on domestic washers aren't normally found on commercial units until one spends several thousands.

Post# 561338 , Reply# 9   12/5/2011 at 17:50 (4,388 days old) by Lee280zx ()        
Problem with W1986 door being loose


I looked, and it wasn't the panel on the washer that cracked around the button. It was the panel on the matching dryer (the T1576), around the start button (the lowest button). It's just cosmetic, kind of like a small crack in a windshield.

That's good to know about the durability. I'd like to keep the washer and dryer for a long time. When I bought it, I was under the impression that they are meant to last decades.

Having determined there is no malfunction, the only problem I am experiencing with my W1986 is with closing the door. This is my first front-loader, and when I got it, I found the door hard to close. My mother was visiting, and I believe she showed me a place in the quick guide that came with the washer (not the owner's manual) that said you have to swing the door closed hard to get it to latch. That's how I closed it for about five years, but then the door became loose and doesn't quite line up.

It seems that the hinge of the door is mounted to the body of the machine in two places (top and bottom). I'm guessing that there are threaded bolts built into the hinge that secure on the other side with nuts. The hinge is loose at the top, so that you can move the door up and down a little when it is open.

Since then, I push the door closed most of the way, and then press my knee into it to get it to lock closed. This works, but I wish the door was still lined up properly. If I was willing to take the front (or maybe the right side?) off the washer, I'm sure I could tighten the hinge fairly easily. But I'm reluctant to do that because I don't know how difficult it would be to get to the nut that needs tightening. I kind of figure I can just use it like it is and have that tightened some day when I need a service call for something that can't wait.

Have any of you had this issue with the W1986 door becoming loose? Do any of you know if it would be hard to fix? Thanks!

Post# 561339 , Reply# 10   12/5/2011 at 17:51 (4,388 days old) by Lee280zx ()        


It's "Bouquet," darling. It's French.

Post# 561346 , Reply# 11   12/5/2011 at 18:47 (4,388 days old) by mrx ()        

The majority of European front loaders, including Miele machines, don't have lint traps. They have filter, the sole purpose of which, is to prevent anything large enough to damage the pump from passing through.

It's relatively unusual for the filter to become blocked up with lint, and most good designs are basically self cleaning. Lint and small debris e.g. shirt buttons will pass through the filter and pump down the drain, while larger items that might damage the pump impeller will lodge in the filter.

It could be a damaged pump impeller or a problem with the pump motor. Or, something like a sock stuck in the sump!

Post# 561386 , Reply# 12   12/5/2011 at 21:27 (4,387 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        
swing the door closed hard to get it to latch...

ronhic's profile picture

That, I would like to see.....


You wouldn't do that to the front door at home, and I would suggest that it shouldn't EVER be done to a washing machine.


If it said something along the lines of 'Swing the door closed and press firmly', that would be more accurate rather than giving a wind-up to slam it in one hit....


Pushing the door to and then clicking it shut with your hand over the catch is the ONLY way any front loader without a lever-style handle should ever be closed.

Post# 561399 , Reply# 13   12/5/2011 at 21:42 (4,387 days old) by Lee280zx ()        


I'm pretty sure it said something along the lines of swinging it shut hard, all in one motion. My mother had put some clothes in and did that, and I reacted badly. It was brand new at the time, and it seemed a rough way to close it. But then she whipped that quick start guide out and showed me where it said to do that.

Post# 561439 , Reply# 14   12/5/2011 at 23:10 (4,387 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

ronhic's profile picture

As I said, 'that I would like to see.....'


If you can find that booklet, it would be interesting to see a copy of it.....If you have followed the instructions and the door is now out of alignment, you could argue that it is Miele's fault, not yours.

Post# 561448 , Reply# 15   12/5/2011 at 23:33 (4,387 days old) by mielerod69 (Australia)        
As I said, 'that I would like to see.....'

mielerod69's profile picture
Just reading this Miele instruction manual and I have 2 Miele machines. This is the way I close the doors on my machines.

"Shut the door with a gentle swing."


Post# 561449 , Reply# 16   12/5/2011 at 23:54 (4,387 days old) by Lee280zx ()        


I just looked everywhere that guide is likely to be with no luck. I didn't find my Miele owner's manuals, so I might still have it with them. I know I kept the main manuals, and likely kept it, too. But it will be some time before I find them. I'm in the process of going through everything I own and getting rid of junk, so, if I find it, I'll come back here and post what it says.

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