I've had ongoing problems finding a good steam iron. I had a much-beloved T-fal that stopped heating up about a year and a half ago. I replaced it with a Rowenta that started leaking out of the handle after about a year. I liked the amount of steam the Rowenta produced so I bought another one to replace it. Well, that replacement is also leaking and keeps shutting itself off. It is supposed to have an auto-shutoff, but it will only run about 3 or 4 minutes without being used before it turns off, which is a total pain. I can hardly sew a seam and turn around to press it before the iron is off again. Then I have to get up and reset the power strip to turn it on. Also, it started dribbling water around the "shot of steam/spray" switch on the handle. The same place the other was leaking.
Fed up, I got on Amazon this morning and ordered another T-fal. I don't know if they're still as good as my old one was, which lasted for, what, seventeen years? But I figured they were worth a try. I ordered a cheaper one since I was through spending good money on irons with no lifespan.
However, I hadn't thrown the old malfunctioning irons away. I just shoved them in the linen closet. I was going to clean out the closet this morning and throw them away, but before I did I thought "Let's give them one more shot."
And darned if the T-fal didn't heat right up and start steaming and working! I put it on the ironing board and I've been using it for several hours. Perfect. And it has an auto off, but it doesn't turn off very quickly and if you've left it sitting for quite a while to restart it you don't have to unplug and replug it, just tip it down to horizontal and it clicks on again. It heats up so fast that it's not an issue anyway.
I filled the old leaky Rowenta, plugged it in and set it on a towel to check for leakage. And after two hours, not a drop. NOT A DROP. This was the iron that if I turned it off and went out of the sewing room for an hour or two to do something, when I returned there was a wet spot on the ironing board cover the size of a dinner plate. And it wasn't shutting itself off after four minutes like the newer Rowenta.
Speaking of the newest iron, it failed its' test this morning utterly. It was leaking like a sieve and wouldn't run more than three minutes undisturbed before shutting off. So it's history.
But what to do about the one I ordered? I talked to husband who thinks the problem with the old T-fal was that the auto-switch had hung up and wouldn't let the iron turn on . Why sitting in a closet for 18 months fixed it, no one knows but he assumed that it will mess up again and it's probably a good idea to just replace it now. It was making some disturbing clicking noises when I first plugged it in this morning; that was probably the relay on the circuit that had the problem.
Until the day my old faithful T-fal goes to the Big Scrap Heap in the Sky, I will continue to use it, though, and keep the new one in reserve when it arrives. The leaky, pesky Rowenta is history. The older one that redeemed itself is on probation. It makes a lot of steam and is good for pressing backings and steam-shrinking fat quarters and charm packs. But I've got my eye on it. Hasn't re-earned my trust yet.