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Rowenta iron

becksnyc | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have a Rowenta iron that leaks the entire resevoir of water, from the bottom, when off. After only a few months of use.
Has anyone had experience with any of Rowenta’s repair centers?
I’ve read that you should empty the iron after each use. That is ridiculous for a “professional” iron that is used daily.
And comments?
Becksnyc, now becks in OHIO (and how I miss the fabric stores!!!)


  1. starzoe | | #1

    Take it back to the store. Some time ago I had to replace a 20 year old Rowenta and had such a bad experience (had to return two to the store) that I eventually bought another brand. I don't think their reputation is up to what it used to be.

  2. ljb2115 | | #2

    I purchased my last three Rowenta's at JoAnn's when these were on sale.  One died almost from the beginning.  Fortunately I had the box and the sales slip (taped inside the box).  The manager at JoAnn's was very helpful - I returned the dead one and brought the new one home and it has been working since.  I iron a lot - sewing and I like pressed bedclothes. 

    I keep some spare R's, but I don't think I would bother with a repair center.  If it isn't working, chances are it will never be the same and it costs to return, etc.  I also have doublt about the new R's being as good as before, I check the boxes and if MADE IN CHINA is present, the box goes back on the shelf.  Probably Black and Decker, etc are made in China, but this irritates me when a name like Rowenta has cheapened itself.

    Another thing I discovered.....the new super Gingher rotary cutters are made in China.  Guess what ----- I use my Olfa's.  I may sound a little grumpy, but I am sitting here watching all the local jobs (automotive parts industries), go down the tubes and now the Big Three are going to make more cars in China.  I will not purchase any "cute" jewelry items or plastic novelty dishes for the grandchildren as all are made you know where and I am leery of lead paint. 

  3. jjgg | | #3

    buy a different brand of iron. Rowentas went down hill several years ago. They used to be really great irons, now....you see the results.

    Edited 6/4/2009 9:30 pm ET by jjgg

    1. ohiostar | | #4

      I think Rowenta's reputation was ruined with the irons that were manufactured in Mexico. Those persons that I know who purchased irons that were made in Germany, did not suffer the problems that others whose irons were manufactured in Mexico. After buying 3 Rowentas in the late 80's and early 90's, I switched to Black and Decker Pro Glide Series. These irons are heavy for dressmaking, with plenty of steam, and the best part, they can fall to the floor and still work like new. I used to have a cat that liked to JUMP to the ironing board from the floor or from another table clear across the room. Next thing I knew I would have a dead Rowenta iron. But the Black and Decker outlived the cat. Fifty dollars that's all! BTW, the cat died of old age.jann

      1. jane4878 | | #5

        My sewing machine dealer said the same thing about Rowentas.  The higher end German-made Rowentas are in the sewing machine dealerships and crappy Rowentas for the same price are at Linen and Things, Walmart etc.  She has a fairly new Rowenta in her shop and it's amazing.  It gets a ton of use--she teaches apparel sewing and quilting.


  4. Sunshine | | #6

    About 2 months ago, I bought a Reliable Corp V95 Digital Velocity steam generator iron, and I think it's GREAT! After reading many comments about Rowentas, it seemed that too many people had problems with them, basic problems that shouldn't be happening.  Although I'm far from being an expert seamstress, I wanted something that would produce a fair amount of steam at different temperatures. I don't have the room or inclination for a gravity-fed iron, and didn't want to spend more than $125.  What I really like about the Velocity is that it heats the water to steam with a separate heating element, not the sole of the iron. This gives you several different temp's for ironing, with all the steam you need.  I have only used it on the low steam setting---the higher setting would probably steam me out of my sewing room!

    It is heavier than my old (cheap) Black & Decker, and I need to refill the water tank more often since it makes a LOT of steam.  I'm getting in the habit of turning off the steam output as I adjust my fabric, since it steams in the vertical position also. I'm also getting used to the auto-off feature---a little annoying sometimes, but no big deal really.  I would have preferred a teflon or ceramic sole rather than stainless steel, but the old B&D is now the designated "fusing iron". 

    I would definitely recommend/buy this iron again.  I got mine from Allbrands.com for $99, with the extended 3 year warranty.  Check it out here: 


    The "R" name for quality is "Reliable" -- not "Rowenta"! If anyone else has experience with this brand, we would all love to know............


    1. starzoe | | #7

      I too turned to the Velocity. It does have great steam capacity, is heavy (which I like) but the dinging and the auto shut-off drive me mad. On the other hand it probably saves electricity by turning off when not in use, but it takes such a long time to heat up again.

      1. gingerink | | #8

        I bought a Rowenta  couple of years ago for around $125--loved it for its steam capabilities, and NO AUTO-OFF!!!  [I hate to be sewing and need to quickly press a seam...and find the iron gone cold.  Then the "quick press" triples in time, having to wait for the iron to heat up.]

        Then my blessed mother-in-law used my iron...with spray starch, and it hasn't been the same since.  No more steam.  And it leaks if I use the surge of steam too much.  So I pretty much keep it on the "clean" setting where it steams vigorously and continuously...and usually!  But it still spits sometimes, and it's still tempermental.  Just realized I could run a vinegar solution through it, which I plan to do one of these days soon.  Hope it helps.

        1. jjgg | | #11

          Hi Ginger,
          I doubt it was your MIL, I bet it was just the time for the Rowenta to do it's bit of going belly up, she just had the misfortune of being their coincidentally :) I hope she is still your MIL, tell her you forgive her for all you (unpleasant) thoughts.Please, I am saying this with a smile on my face, I'm trying to be cute and nice, not mean, it's sometimes hard in just words to get the right expression across.

          1. gingerink | | #12

            Thanks, Judy---and yes, she is still my dearly-beloved mother-in-law, and I never even told her there was a problem with the iron after she used it.  It was new at the time and had worked perfectly until she came, so that's why I thought the spray starch was probably what did it---especially the literature that came with the iron recommended against using spray starch!

            The bottom line is that when the Rowenta works well, it's very good...but it seems to be very temperamental and touchy, easily messed up.  Or so it seems to me.  ; )


          2. ljb2115 | | #16

            I am a tad confused about not using spray starch with a Rowenta.  I use this on a non-stop basis and the only time my irons die is when they are old.  Except for the one which leaked water over night on the ironing board.  This is the one I returned to JoAnn's.  Since then - no problem. I use my is on all the time.  I do use a fabric finisher, Mary Ellen's Best Press which I purchase at quilt shops.  It is horribly expensive, but I dilute it 50/50 and it makes my pillowcases look and feel like satin.  I purchased an inexpensive spray bottle for the dilution.  Just spray, then iron.

            I am ready to do some heirloom sewing and spray starch and steam is needed for this.  I will use the Mary Ellen's finish, as it does not flake off as some sprays seem to do. 

            As I have stated before, I look for the Rowenta's made in Germany.  Any others I would put back on the shelf.  China and Mexico are a no-go for me.  I still have an old Sunbeam in the cupboard and if needed I will use it.  This was made in the "good old US of A"! 

          3. jjgg | | #17

            I was thinking about the issue of using spray starch & Rowenta's while I was out hiking today - it's sort of like telling a cook pot not to use water!!!But seriously, for anyone who needs an iron, I can't say enough good about a gravity feed iron. You can buy one for about $100.00 (on up) mine is a lower priced one - I think it was about $100.00 I've had it now over 3 yrs and love it. the tank holds over 1 gal of water, it only gives steam when I press the button and then it gives tons of steam. It is not portable like a regular iron, it is heavy (they weigh about 5 lb) and the tank has to be hung from the ceiling, so you have to find a stud (the wooden kind unfortunately) to anchor the hook for the water tank. These irons are meant to be on for 8 hrs a day or more so they last and last.

          4. joanier | | #18

            What brand is your gravity feed iron?  I don't know that I've ever seen one that inexpensive.

          5. jjgg | | #19

            mine is a Silver Star
            here is a link to one for $100.00 - it's not a sliver star but just as goodhttps://atlaslevy.3dcartstores.com/Pressing-Finishing_c_3.html

          6. joanier | | #20

            Thanks, that's great to know.  I presently am on my 2nd Rowenta steam generator.  Can't complain too much because I really used the other one quite a lot before it died.  I've never had any real trouble with my Rowentas but had read a lot about gravity feed irons being such a good choice but had no idea they could be had without great expense.  I'll bookmark this resource.

          7. jjgg | | #21

            I've never had a steam generator. I've heard (even the industrial super super expensive ones) that you have to wait for the steam to build up in the tank, and if you are using it a lot, then you have to stop and wait for more steam to build up. Do you have this problem, or do you have constant steam when ever you want it?

          8. joanier | | #24

            Mine is a Rowenta.  After it heats up you pretty much have steam as long as there is water in the tank (and it lasts quite a while).  It is also on demand as described with the gravity iron.  If I just put the iron down on a surface I get dry heat unless I depress the steam button.  That part I like a lot.

            The only problem I've had with this steam generator is that water stays in the line even after it's turned off.  After it's first heated up you need to hold the iron in the air and depress the steam button to allow it to get rid of the water in the line that is not quite hot enough.  Otherwise, the iron spits water on the fabric.  After this is done I pretty much don't have any problems. 

            The Rowenta's are more expensive than the gravity iron you speak of.  I got mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% coupon and I think it was still around $150-160.  If this one wears out I may give the gravity iron a try.



          9. sewornate | | #22

            I have a sewing room with a low ceiling.  Is there a requirement for the gravity feed irons on how high the water tank must be over the ironing surface?

          10. jjgg | | #23

            I think there is - but I don't remember how high, it's been a while since I put it up. You could probably email the company (Atlas Levy or Banasch) and ask them. I have no idea where the instruction booklet is that came with my iron - I know I have it, I don't throw stuff like that away. Or, perhaps if you google it you can find a manual on line somewhere

          11. sewslow67 | | #25

            Thanks for the link, jjgg; lots of goodies there!  I'd love to have a steam generator like yours but have also been "dreaming" about one of those larger steam presses (not sure of the name), that would be helpful when attaching large pieces of fusible interfacing, i.e. for jacket pieces.  My hesitation is that I don't normally use the fusible as I prefer underlining all pieces with silk organza and then using sew-in interfacing.  How does your steam generator work for attaching large pieces of fusible, i.e. for jackets etc.  Can you do it fairly quickly?

            Pattern Review is sponsoring Patti Palmer for a chat on interfacing next Monday, and I'm very interested in hearing what she has to say about some of her favorite products.  I understand that the topic discussion is all on interfacings.  I got to know her a little bit while living in Portland for so many years, and really appreciate her knowledge and sharing her skills so effectively.  And her patterns are great ...esp with the cup-size now part of many of her patterns, which is most helpful.

            PS:  Forgot to mention:  I actually have a Rowneta "Sew and Press" iron, and I've used it a lot for years ...with no problems whatsoever.  I love it!

            Edited 6/18/2009 1:29 pm by sewslow67

          12. jjgg | | #26

            I have a gravity feed, not a steam generator, and I have a rather wide ironing board, so when I have to press/fuse large pieces it's not too difficult. just pick up and move the iron, move the iron etc. then if I have to move the entire piece of fabric, I wait for it to cool.I think the better thing to get would be a vacuum board (ironing board) they are fabulous as it pulls the steam down into the fabric. Biggest problem with them is you can't use pins on the board, and I am forever pinning into my ironing board.

          13. sewslow67 | | #27

            Wow; I Googled the vacuum board and nearly fainted at the prices.  They are way beyond what I could afford, but I looked at the gravity feed iron too, and it looks like it would be just fine.  Also, I too like to pin to my ironing board, so that would work better anyway - and the price isn't out of line for an item to put on my (upcoming) birthday list ...along with a needle punch machine.  ;-)

            Thanks again for the information; however, until then, I'll have to stick with my little Rowenta "Sew and Press".  It's been a loyal little piece of equipment, but more steam for those jackets would sure make the process go faster.

            Edited 6/19/2009 12:18 am by sewslow67

          14. jjgg | | #28

            I can't afford a vacuum board either. I think my ironing board is a rowenta though. If I remember correctly, I bought it at Sam's Club. I've had it for quite a few yrs now, it's very stable, sturdy, doesn't tip any. and very wide. I love it (I have several others in the closet that are useless)

  5. PattyP48 | | #9

    Yes, I did. I purchased a pricey Rowenta many years ago and when it malfunctioned, I had to deliver it to a warranty repair center several hours away. It was repaired but prematurely died not long after. I decided it was just an anomaly and purchased another one (given all that I had heard/read about the performance and quality - fool me). That one performed about the same. I now own an inexpensive Sunbeam which has worked very well. I don't think I'm asking for much--controllable heat w/ lots of steam. When it goes, I get another one. The recycle bin doesn't know the difference between a Sunbeam or Rowenta but my wallet does. Hope this helps.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #10

      I always loved the two Sunbeam irons I had. Looked everywhere for one to replace the last one. Getting hard to find. Where did you find yours? Cathy

      1. PattyP48 | | #13

        I purchased mine at Costco but I see they are available at Target, Amazon and other places. I just checked the internet.
        Good luck,

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #14

          I will check out Costco up here then! Our major retailers here in Canada no longer seem to carry many Sunbeam products. Thanks. Cathy

          1. Vick | | #15

            I found my dearly reliable rowenta at a Tuesday Morning closeouts store. I seem to be lucky that it works just fine. It's an upper end rowenta and I'm pleased it works perfectly. So, no they are not all bad.

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