Review: the Rinnai RD-600CG gas clothes dryer
We bought the Rinnai RD-600CG gas clothes dryer when we first moved in to our new home. What first drew us to it was the fact that it uses gas, and not electricity, to heat the clothes for drying. If you haven't yet read our guide to whether you should buy a clothes dryer, as well as the advantages of using gas over electricity, you can read it here.
Read on to see our review of the Rinnai RD-600CG.
- Dimensions: 68.4cm (height) x 65.0cm (width) x 53.0cm (depth)
- Gas consumption: 16.5MJ/h (approx. 4,583W)
- Weight: 32.4kg
- Standard capacity/load: 6kg
- Standard drying time: 60 minutes
- Electric consumption: 280W
- Safety devices: Flame failure sensing, Drying drum overheat switch, Electric motor overheat switch, Drum Belt safety switch, Door Switch, Blocked filter warning, Electric Fuses
The Rinnai RD-600CG does its job well as a clothes dryer well. Our typical load for 2 people over 2 days (about 3kg when wet) usually dries within 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
Auto-timing and shut off function
The Rinnai clothes dryer has sensors to detect clothes volume, moisture content and drying progress continuously. This allows the dryer to automatically stop drying the clothes when it detects that the clothes are dry. This is extremely useful and very important - spinning clothes around the dryer after they're dry will damage the clothes. This function ensures your clothes don't unnecessarily get damaged.
The auto-shut off function is also great because you don't have to monitor the clothes or set a timer for the clothes to be dried. They dryer will beep when its done. If you remove the clothes immediately and stretch them out, most of them will iron themselves out.
Otherwise, if you don't remove the clothes after they're dry, the dryer will spin the clothes (but without heat) every 5 minutes or so to keep the clothes soft and fluffy. This works out really well.
The Rinnai RD-600CG has 3 modes - normal, thick or delicate - and an additional sub-mode - extra soft.
General: During the 'General' mode the gas dryer operates at full drying capacity. The general mode works well for ordinary loads.
Thick: During the 'Thick' mode the gas dryer operates for longer than in the general or delicate modes. The thick mode works well for a large load of towels or bed sheets.
If your thick garments "clump" together before they're dried, you might find corners of them still moist after the drying cycle is done. I try to separate bedsheets using wool dryer balls to prevent this, and it generally works well enough. Otherwise, you might have to air dry the moist garment (which is usually quick because it's already mostly dry). You can also opt to dry the moist garment again on timer mode in the dryer, although I tend not to do that for fear of damaging it.
Delicate: During the 'Delicate' mode the gas dryer operates at approximately half the drying capacity. This is useful for more delicate clothes like thin T-shirts. It's still not recommended to actually dry your delicates in a clothes dryer. I don't usually use delicate mode unless I have a very small load of clothes, because the clothes might not fully dry out (the dryer shuts off earlier to prevent damaging the clothes).
Extra soft is a special mode that can be applied in conjunction with the general or thick mode. Gas isn't used during ‘extra soft’ operation. When selected, the drying function stops intermittently. The drum stops rotating and cool air is blown into the drying drum momentarily for 12 seconds every 4 minutes for a total cycle time of up to 120 minutes.
This results in fabric that feels softer - it works really well and our towels are fantastically fluffy. There's nothing better than using a warm and fluffy towel fresh out the dryer after a shower on a cold evening.
The Rinnai RD-600CG also has a timer function. In timer mode, the user selects the duration for drying in 5-minute intervals and the dryer will operate for the selected period regardless of whether clothes are dry or not. The remaining drying time is indicated on the digital display. This mode isn't recommended unless you're certain you only want to dry the load of clothes for that fixed period.
The dryer has a sensor to detect when the door opens, and automatically turns off the heating function. It also has a variety of other sensors to shut off the machine if there's any danger of catching fire.
Venting moist air
One of the better features of the Rinnai RD-600CG is its lint filter - it prevents lint and dust from being expelled together with the moist air. This means the air that's expelled is just hot and humid, and won't dirty your house or cause a sneezing fit.
Still, you would want to vent the hot, moist air out of your house. As an experiment, we have closed all the doors and windows in our kitchen (where the dryer is located) and used the dryer. It caused condensation on the glass doors and windows. And, of course, the air got really hot and humid. Not exactly ideal.
Because of this, we used aluminium foil (used for cooking) and wrapped it around the vent to extend it, and vent the moist air out the window during drying. This keeps your house dry and cool.
On occasion, though, we have deliberately vented the air out the clothes dryer into our entire house. We do this when the house smells like food after a particularly smell-laden cooking session. The remnants of the nice-smelling clothes detergent on our clothes deodorises the house. To do this we open all our windows to prevent the house from getting too humid.
Cleaning the lint filter
The lint filter, which really does wonders with keeping the air free from lint and dust from the clothes, has to be cleaned regularly. The manual advises cleaning it after every drying cycle, although I usually get away with doing it after 3 or 4 cycles. If the lint filter isn't cleaned, the appliance will eventually stop operating and an error code will show on the digital display.
Cleaning the filter is a simple process - just pull out the lint pocket, separate it from the filter, vacuum or brush out the lint, and you're done! You'll also have to clean the back filter inside the drum behind the lint filter. We usually just vacuum it out. Simple enough.
Inlet air filter
The Rinnai RD-600CG also features an inlet air filter to prevent dust from being introduced to your clothes. This is great, but because our house is clean enough, we find that it doesn't really trap dirt, so we don't really have to clean this air filter.
Set up and mounting
One of the disadvantages of a gas clothes dryer is having to supply gas to the dryer. You need to place the dryer in a place accessible by your gas pipes.
Because the air inlet for the dryer is at the bottom of the dryer and it vents out the moist air out of the top (it's actually a very intelligent and efficient design, keeping the dryer relatively small), the dryer needs to be mounted at least 30cm above the ground and have about 24cm clearance from the ceiling.
You can choose to wall mount the dryer, or have it stand on a rack that's drilled into the ground. We chose the wall-mount our dryer beside the washing machine, underneath the window in our kitchen. This layout works out well.
What it doesn't do
When we bought the Rinnai RD-600CG dryer, the showroom demonstrated its shoe-drying function by placing a shoe drying rack in the dryer. However, when we bought the dryer it didn't come with a shoe drying rack accessory, and we haven't been able to find one available for purchase.
This was just as well though, since the heat will damage your shoes. If it contains leather or synthetic leather (like PVC), the material will crack. The glue in the shoe will also melt, and really it's not a good idea to dry your shoes in the dryer.
The dryer also isn't a miracle worker - delicates like socks and underwear should not be dried in the Rinnai RD-600CG. They may get damaged or shrink. Read our guide to using a clothes dryer, where we discuss what not to put in a dryer, here.
The Rinnai RD-600CG is a great clothes dryer. It dries your clothes quickly, has an auto-shut/timer off function to minimise damage to your clothes and uses a good lint filter to prevent dust from being expelled.
The fact that it uses gas for drying the clothes is just an added bonus. This helps you save money in the long run and perhaps also helps reduce damage to your clothes (because the clothes dry faster, they spin around less in the dryer). If you have a gas supply, you'll definitely want to consider the Rinnai RD-600CG if you're looking to buy a clothes dryer.
Do we enjoy the smart life with this? The time savings make the clothes dryer one of our most useful household appliances.
Who should buy this? Anyone who needs a clothes dryer and has the requisite space and a gas supply.
Who shouldn't buy this? Anyone who doesn't intend to use a clothes dryer, maybe because most of their clothes are delicate/made of delicate material.