Top positive review
46 people found this helpful
Great steam generator - but still has the 'scaling' issues of earlier models
on 12 July 2013
I bought this steam generator when our previous Tefal unit developed a terminal problem. We have been impressed by the Tefal steam generator range and would not be without one now.
So, what do we like about it it?
1. The unit feels reasonably sturdy and robust with the 'fold over' protect hood to cover up the iron and hold it place when not in use. The handle seems sufficient to carry the weight of the unit. It is at the larger end of the size range for these products, but that is reflected in its' steam generation capacity and ability to remove the most stubborn of creases. (5/5)
2. It has a power cord rewind and storage facility (more on this later). 3/5)
3. There is storage for the power and steam supply cord to the iron itself which at ~1.75m seems reasonable in length. (5/5)
4. The extra steam boost function is great for those stubborn creases. (5/5)
5. There is an auto shut off if not used for a period of time. Sensible, but if you plan use the iron without steam for a while (i.e the laundry is damp enough to not require steam) you need to use the odd shot of steam to prevent the cut off actuating.(4/5)
6. This is an excellent unit for everyday ironing tasks, or those marathon sessions when you have let the ironing basket build up to overflowing. Has proved brilliant for the vertical steaming of work suits that are dry clean only and need 'refreshing' between trips to the dry cleaners. Also, it has proved gentle enough for delicate blouses. We have to say that creases just seem to disappear with little physical effort. It has proved great for the fiddly areas like sleeves and trouser legs. There seems to be no risk of 'scorch' or 'shine' to the fabric (assuming that you have read the manual and got the steam/temperature settings right!!) (5/5)
7. The catalytic, self clean and easy glide sole plate has performed well, but remember to avoid metallic or abrasive surfaces that could damage the coating. Generally, this needs no more than a wipe off with a damp cloth to bring it back to pristine condition. (5/5)
So - What's not to like?
1. The rewind mechanism is not brilliant on the power cord, a persistent failing in our experience, on all Tefal products and I suspect it will not prove to be reliable in the long run. It is not smooth and often needs 'encouragement' to rewind the power cord completely. So, a nice to have, but does not instil confidence. Also, the power lead is maybe a little bit on the short side, at 1.75m
2.The 'biggie' for us is that despite the Tefal claims, there is still a real issue with scaling/calcing and the ejection of brown scaly deposits when using the product. This is despite the claims of Tefal for their new 'anti-calcing' system. We live in a medium hard water area, but often seem to have problems with scaling deposits being ejected onto clothes when steam ironing. This has been a continual problem for us, when using steam generators and we rather naively hoped that things would improve with this model . We tried following the instructions in the manual, but kept on getting the problem and the anti-calc warning lamp only came on well after we had encountered an issue, duh?? - A bit late, as the garment had already had to go back in the wash to remove the horrible brown scale marks!!
I did start rinsing out the boiler with cold water after a few uses and things got better, as I was amazed at the amount of scale that came out of the unit. It was just as much as we had found on previous models, so where was the improvement I wondered??
I contacted Tefal to complain about the issue and they did supply me with some more advice on how to improve things further (just a damn shame that they had not thought to include this in the manual in the first place!!) We have encountered far fewer problems since, but we seem to need to clean the unit on a far more regular basis and more thoroughly than I would have expected. Oh, and do not even think of using proper distilled water in this unit - according to Tefal it has not been designed to cope with this and will do more harm than good - go figure that one!!
The overarching view of this product is that it is very good, but has a couple of issues that mean 4* is as good as this review gets. If it was not for the 'high maintenance' issue of having to do a thorough clean / descale after every couple of uses, we could probably ignore the power cord rewind point and give it 5*.