The new Servis W814FLHD is an 8kg washing machine that comes in either black or white to suit a wide range of kitchens. Servis isn't a widely known brand, but this keenly-priced sub-£400 machine is available in Argos and a few independent retailers.
It has a few interesting features, too. Servis’s HydroDrive system uses two nozzles to inject water and detergent into the wash simultaneously which, Servis claims, results in a more efficient wash over a shorter time period and the machine auto detects the load an adjusts accordingly just like more expensive machines from bigger brands.
Other highlights include a superfast 12-minute quick wash for truly high-speed laundry and a night wash. This innovative mode completes the wash cycle without the spin and then pauses for up to 10 hours until you are ready to complete the wash. Used at night on an Economy 7 electricity tariff, this could more than halve you annual washing machine running costs.
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The Servis W814FLHD aims to be user-friendly and it achieves this with aplomb. The large chrome dial on the fascia selects the main program with a clear LCD display beside that informs you of program parameters such as temp and spins speed. The only slight niggle is that the programme indicator on the dial was not that easy to spot, being just a raised bump. A blob of contrasting paint on the selection bump would not go amiss here.
The wide opening porthole should prove easy to load and the door sports hefty double-glazing to reduce noise from inside the drum. The display will also show the countdown time of the wash and has silent touch control buttons for program tweaks such as extra rinse, delay start or prewash. After all the button bleeping symphonies of the Japanese brand washing machines, the Servis is rather more peaceful to program.
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There are certainly plenty of programmes to choose from with this top of the line Servis. Apart from the standard cotton, eco-cotton, easy care, mixed and woollen wash modes, there is also a baby care program with additional rinse, and a hand wash program designed for extremely delicate clothes. Whether anyone with precious hand wash only garments braves a trip in the washing machine for them is another matter.
For the sporty and time pressed the Servis W814FLHD offers a sports wear program for modern synthetic fibres, a daily 60-minute quick wash and a spectacularly rapid 12-minute wash. This is one of the fastest washes on the market and certainly the quickest of any machine we have tested so far.
Another nice feature is the Easy Iron option, which gently rotates the clothes after spinning to loosen the fibres and lessen the wrinkles on completion of the wash. All this together with separate rinse and spin options makes this a feature packed washing machine.
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Not very is the quick answer. Good insulation, top quality traditional motor and the door double-glazing brings the wash noise down to just 56dB. At maximum spin with a full load the Servis measured a very respectable 75dB. These are very good figures for a machine costing less than £400 and actually even better than Servis’s own claimed noise figures of 58dB and 78dB respectively. Result!
This result compares very favourably with other machines we’ve tested. It’s the same as the excellent Samsung WF90F7E6U6W Ecobubble, and is actually quieter than the similarly priced Panasonic NA-148VG4.
For our tests we ran three different wash cycles; a 40°C cotton wash with a 6.4kg (80%) full load at 1400 spin speed, a 40°C cotton wash with a 3.6kg (40%) load at 1400 spin speed then the same wash but this time in the cotton eco mode. The choice of an 80% load is more in tune with a genuine load as very few people stuff their washing machine to maximum capacity. We included a test stain strip in the first wash, stained with dried on ketchup, coffee, blood, red wine and engine oil. We used a major brand non-biological detergent washing powder.
Timing proved not to be the Servis’s strong point on full load. The first wash was adrift by over an hour and took 3hrs 9mins as opposed to the 2hrs 2mins originally indicated. We expect washes to take a little longer than quoted as UK ambient water temperature is lot lower than the EU’s test standard for middle-to southern Europe, but not an extra hour!
However the Servis redeemed itself by being remarkably accurate on the second and third test washes, taking 2hrs 6mins verses the 2hrs 2mins stated and 3hrs 13mins verses 3hrs 18mins in eco mode.
Once again, the wash results were all visually identical with all the stains removed from our strip apart from the engine oil, which no machine is going to shift without biological detergent. This consistent result across most of the machines tested so far is proof that the EU directive that all machines must be A-rated for wash performance is working well. We really haven’t found a dog for wash performance yet!
The Servis went on to deliver excellent spin results for a 1400 spin machine. Water weight left in the first load wash was 2.2kg (34%) from a 6.4kg dry starting weight, which is above average. However with the second and third washes, using a dry weight of 3.6kg of clothes, the weight of water left behind was just 0.8kg (22%) or 1.1kg (30%) respectively – some of the lowest figures for remaining water we have recorded to date. This will speed up drying time on the clothes-line or significantly reduce costs for those moving their clothes straight to a tumble dryer. Impressive stuff from Servis.
While the Servis is certainly not an energy vampire its electricity consumption is not the lowest on the market, particularly while running a half load. The full load wash used a market average 1.32kWh,or roughly 20 pence, to complete the wash. To put that in perspective, if your old washing machine is more than 10 years old it will be using over four times that amount of electricity for a much smaller load! Water consumption at 60litres for the full wash is about market average, albeit a small lake of water less than an old machine.
Running a half load with the same wash program used 75% of the energy (1.01kWh) used for a full load, indicating that this is a machine best run when you have plenty to wash. However engaging eco mode at half load actually used slightly more electricity (1.06kWh), rather defeating the object. This is not an unusual result as most machine’s eco mode is designed to make full load washes most efficient, but its worth bearing in mind – not least as the eco mode takes over 40 minutes longer with a half load.
Based on an average UK household use (200 x 40°C 80% max load and 40 x 40°C 40% half load with a 50/50 split on normal and eco programmes), the Servis W814FLHD’s annual running cost is a pretty reasonable £45.91. Specific figures for power and water use are listed at the bottom of this review.
The Servis is a value packed, well-built machine with a large capacity and a superb choice of programmes. It looks good, especially in the Henry Ford approved colour of black (not pictured) that we tested, spins well, washes well and it is extremely quiet for a sub £400 appliance. It’s fairly frugal with water and electricity if kept well-loaded and comes with a 2-year guarantee as standard.
All of which means it comes highly recommended, particularly as in Eco mode the Servis W814FLHD leaves less water in your clothes than any machine we’ve tested. For a £400 washing machine that’s seriously impressive.
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|Test||40°C 1400 spin 80% load||40°C 1400 spin 40% load Norm/Eco||Annual *|
|Running costs @ 15p/KWh||20p||15p / 16p||£45.91|
|Water consumption||60.6 Litres||40.2 Litres /41.0 Litres||13,744 Litres|
|Time to complete wash||2hr 47mins||1hr 33mins / 2hrs 14mins|
|Noise wash (C-weighted)||56dB||56dB|
|Noise max spin (C-weighted)||75dB||74dB|
|Moisture after max spin||2.2kg (34%)||0.8kg/1.1kg (22%/30%)|