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Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
4/27/11 6:24 a.m.

Mine is 15 yrs old this month. It is also filled with soapy towels that should be clean and spun dry but aren't. The transmission has had it.

What new washing machine can I buy today to avoid this problem for another 15yrs?

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte Reader
4/27/11 6:30 a.m.

No such machine exists today. You r time would be better spent looking for a Unicorn.

JoeyM
JoeyM SuperDork
4/27/11 7:24 a.m.

you can send me the sheet metal

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
4/27/11 7:25 a.m.

We bought a new one 18months ago when we moved into our new house.

We went to Lowe's, found the cheapest one and told them to deliver it.

It's not a fancy front loader, just a white top loader. I assume it works because the wife hasn't told me that it doesn't. My clothes end up clean and smelling nice.

I'm sure someone will be in here soon to tell you that a $1k washer will get it 4x as clean as the $250 on in my garage.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
4/27/11 7:30 a.m.
z31maniac wrote: We bought a new one 18months ago when we moved into our new house. We went to Lowe's, found the cheapest one and told them to deliver it. It's not a fancy front loader, just a white top loader. I assume it works because the wife hasn't told me that it doesn't. My clothes end up clean and smelling nice. I'm sure someone will be in here soon to tell you that a $1k washer will get it 4x as clean as the $250 on in my garage.

We did the same thing nearly 4 years ago. It's all crap. It doesn't end up being good no matter how much you spend. If doing it again with more time, I would compare water usage and electricity usage with the costs and the expected lifetime and buy based on that, though.

alex
alex SuperDork
4/27/11 7:57 a.m.

^^ We did the same thing a couple years ago. Balanced energy usage against purchase price without paying much attention to brands, although we did end up with a...name brand I can't recall, but which made me feel a little better about the remote possibility of servicing it.

Ooh, don't forget about that 10% coupon Lowe's puts in the USPS change-of-address packet. I think you have to ask for one at the PO nowadays.

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/27/11 8:28 a.m.

I rebuilt the transmission in my machine for $35.00

Josh
Josh Dork
4/27/11 8:37 a.m.

My Fisher & Paykel has a 10 year warranty on the Direct Drive motor. They're not that expensive compared to most of the (now common) front loaders, comparable efficiency, and they don't stink if you leave the lid shut. I paid well under $500 after rebate for mine.

Duke
Duke SuperDork
4/27/11 8:38 a.m.

I don't suppose it really gets the clothes any cleaner than a base model toploader, but I will tell you this: our 16-month-old Whirlpool Duet front loaders get some damn laundry done. I can do a week's laundry for a family of 4 in about 4 hours, compared to 8 hours our old Kenmore toploaders used to take.

If you value your time and have a bunch of laundry to do, it's worth it.

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/27/11 8:43 a.m.

We just bought a Fridgidaire Affinity washer/drier. They were reasonably priced for a front load and get good reviews. They work great and we bought them at the local appliance shop that is who Lowes/Menards/Home depot would call to have your service done. We paid about $100 total more than @ L/M/HD but it came with a 5 year service contract from the appliance store. They have a service department with real parts and everything!

I was pleased to get a High Efficiency front load for ~2.5x the cheapest W/D combo I could get. They stack so they take up less space and are very quite which is nice. We've had them for a whole 2 weeks and no problems yet!! I can't imagine them lasting 20 years though.. But they use ~20% of the water that my old ones used, and the elctricity use of the drier is much lower because of the speed that the washer uses (Towels dry in 45 minutes!)

And to reiterate the frontload get the laundry done. You can cram the washer FULL! and it will clean the clothes. My wife loves it. She still divides clothes up into the old piles that looked like a load for the toploader and she just sticks two piles in at a time.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/27/11 9:02 a.m.

$50 buys you a pretty sweet Kenmore or Frigidaire on craigslist these days. Small investment, who cares if it only lasts 5 years?

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
4/27/11 9:05 a.m.

High Efficiency TOP LOADER, not Front Loader.

They use the same water, but actually get your clothes clean without the mold & mildew smell the front loaders impart.

Because the front loaders don't allow the drum to dry out like a top loader coupled with the small amount of water used it leaves a coating of detergent on the drum which ends up growing mold and mildew.

Just google any front loader model or brand out there and see all the complaints. Here's part of an article from one of the many google hits -

"What Causes Mold, Mildew or Unpleasant Odors?

Because of the low water level, wash residue such as grime, dirt and even skin flakes, along with water softeners and detergents do not always fully drain out of a front-loading washer. Using cold water for most loads can also add to the problem. Residue can build up in the rubber door gasket, soap/softener dispenser or other parts of the washer and over time, mold can begin to form or the washer can take on a smelly disposition.

Tips for Preventing Mold & Smelly Problems:

Always leave the door and dispenser unit slightly ajar after the laundry is done. Front-load washers and the detergent/softener dispenser drawer must dry out.
Never leave a wet washload in the washer overnight; remove it when the washing cycle is complete and leave the door open.
After a load is done, always rotate the drum with your hand to see and remove all items. Some could be sticking to top or sides of the washer drum.
Use softener sheets in the dryer instead of liquid softeners in the washer.
Liquid detergents may leave less residue than powdered formulas which may not dissolve properly.
Use less than the recommended detergent level for your load. Too much detergent can cause a residue build up. Experiment until you find a minimum measurement that delivers a clean wash. This is also a money saver.
Occasionally wash some loads such as whites, linen and towels in warm or hot water to help flush out wash residue.
Always clean your washer as per your product manual. High efficiency front-load models have a cleaning cycle and it's imperative that you periodically run this cycle as directed.
Check the gasket just inside the door opening and remove any visible debris. You can also wipe it to speed the drying process.
Always use HE detergents with high efficiency front-load washers. Specially marked HE laundry detergent is low sudsing and is recommended for these low-water washers.

If You Already Have a Front-Load Washer Mold/Smell Issue:

If your front-load washer is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement. You may need to take a firm stand with your dealer or manufacturer to ensure they remedy this problem.
If your warranty period has expired, your first line of attack is to try and clean the washer to remove any offending mold. Some consumers have had good results with products such as Affresh® which is designed to clean high-efficiency washers. However, some have had no success with such products.
If the gasket appears to contain mold, replacing it may solve the issue.
Read what other consumers have tried and learn what has worked for them.
    Whirlpool Washers - Reader Views
    Reader Comments 
There have been legal class action cases regarding such issues and some may still currently be before the courts. For this reason, it's difficult to get definitive answers from manufacturers. Contact your Consumer Protection Branch to log a complaint. Inquire if there are any legal proceedings for your particular brand of washer. You may be able to participate in such a claim and receive a settlement.
    Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "

In other words it's a lot of extra work to even begin to keep a front loader operational.

You can walk in a crowd and tell the people with front loaders, they stink! I have a friend who swears her washer doesn't smell, but all her friends say it does. She's just gotten used to the smell. To attempt to control the smell you will need to run empty loads thru to clean the drum. You'll run loads thru with just bleach and you can also buy a special detergent that used not on your clothes, but on the empty washer. Lots of extra work!

The smell is only one issue. A front loader is inherently off balance so it takes longer for the clothes to wash as the drum has to keep stopping and resetting itself in the spin cycle. I can wash (OK, my wife can wash) 3-4 more loads of clothes a day in the top loader.

Between me and my daughter we've been through 5 sets and not a one was better than another. We've both finally gotten top loading HE washers and love them! They are much better and cheaper to boot.

Duke
Duke SuperDork
4/27/11 9:18 a.m.
carguy123 wrote: In other words it's a lot of extra work to even begin to keep a front loader operational. The smell is only one issue. A front loader is inherently off balance so it takes longer for the clothes to wash as the drum has to keep stopping and resetting itself in the spin cycle. I can wash (OK, my wife can wash) 3-4 more loads of clothes a day in the top loader.

Once a month I throw one of those fizzy tablets in it and run a clean cycle. I leave the door open a little between loads. That hardly qualifies as "a lot of extra work" in my book.

This thing actually does so a better job cleaning my clothes and it really did double my throughput. It never "stops and resets itself" during the spin.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
4/27/11 9:40 a.m.

I bought the cheapest Maytag washer and dryer at HD. Since I bought them I see them adevertised about $50 cheaper than I paid. I've had them a little over a year and they've been great, though the lint trap seems to collect about a tshirts worth of material every load. Maybe that's where missing socks go.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
4/27/11 9:46 a.m.

I have a 10-year old Maytag that we are currently beating the piss out of. It's still going strong. Back when I bought it, the Maytag design was different from the majority of machines in that the pump did not sit directly on top of the motor, but was instead driven by the drive belt. This mattered to me, because my old GE washer had the pump leak. I replaced the pump. A few weeks later, the motor was smoking. Out it went.

+1 on Lowe's as the right store to buy appliances.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit Dork
4/27/11 9:48 a.m.
Josh wrote: My Fisher & Paykel has a 10 year warranty on the Direct Drive motor. They're not that expensive compared to most of the (now common) front loaders, comparable efficiency, and they don't stink if you leave the lid shut. I paid well under $500 after rebate for mine.

My Inlaws have one of these, along with a dryer, and love it. I think the next time we go shopping these are going to be at the top of the list.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
4/27/11 10:36 a.m.

is it a kennmore or whirlpool direct drive? if so, the guibo has likely had it, and you're about to spend 500 bucks to fix a $20 problem. i nearly did the same thing almost a year ago

i found this guy, and did the repair myself in under an hour: http://www.thisoldappliance.com/howto/Motor_Coupling.htm

good luck!

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
4/27/11 10:42 a.m.

I'd like stackable front loaders (our washer/dryer reside in the garage) purely from a space standpoint.

Just can't bring myself to spend THAT much on W/D.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
4/27/11 10:43 a.m.
Duke wrote:
carguy123 wrote: In other words it's a lot of extra work to even begin to keep a front loader operational. The smell is only one issue. A front loader is inherently off balance so it takes longer for the clothes to wash as the drum has to keep stopping and resetting itself in the spin cycle. I can wash (OK, my wife can wash) 3-4 more loads of clothes a day in the top loader.
Once a month I throw one of those fizzy tablets in it and run a clean cycle. I leave the door open a little between loads. That hardly qualifies as "a lot of extra work" in my book. This thing actually does so a better job cleaning my clothes and it really did double my throughput. It never "stops and resets itself" during the spin.

If I did that I'd have kids in my washing machine in like 4 seconds.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
4/27/11 10:58 a.m.
Strizzo wrote: is it a kennmore or whirlpool direct drive? if so, the guibo has likely had it, and you're about to spend 500 bucks to fix a $20 problem. i nearly did the same thing almost a year ago i found this guy, and did the repair myself in under an hour: http://www.thisoldappliance.com/howto/Motor_Coupling.htm good luck!

It is the drive itself. The guibo is still in-tact. It's 15yrs old... and its been acting up for a while. Sometimes it would run a whole cycle - sometimes it would just stop. Now it just sits there humming. I suspect the control switch/timer unit but the trans also used to clunk like a car hit it... so it could be that too. I barely looked in to it beyond thinking... "Damn - I need some clean shirts and that old bastard finally died". I am fine with the $$ for a good replacement - I just would like to find a "good" replacement.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy Dork
4/27/11 11:12 a.m.
Duke wrote: I don't suppose it really gets the clothes any cleaner than a base model toploader, but I will tell you this: our 16-month-old Whirlpool Duet front loaders *get some damn laundry done*. I can do a week's laundry for a family of 4 in about 4 hours, compared to 8 hours our old Kenmore toploaders used to take. If you value your time and have a bunch of laundry to do, it's worth it.

We got the same units. QFT.

akamcfly
akamcfly Reader
4/27/11 11:31 a.m.
Duke wrote: I don't suppose it really gets the clothes any cleaner than a base model toploader, but I will tell you this: our 16-month-old Whirlpool Duet front loaders *get some damn laundry done*. I can do a week's laundry for a family of 4 in about 4 hours, compared to 8 hours our old Kenmore toploaders used to take. If you value your time and have a bunch of laundry to do, it's worth it.

I like my duets too - but keep the washer door open.....

trucke
trucke New Reader
4/27/11 11:47 a.m.

We had the same dilemma a couple of years ago. They all seem to have issues with them - reliability issues. We opted for a Speed Queen Front Loader - $1,300. This is a home version of a commercial laundromat unit. If it can run all day in a laudromat for 10 years, it will last well over twenty years in our home. Everything is beefed up and no computer to fail. Unlike other front loaders, it washes a load in 30 minutes. Make sure you get the home unit, you won't need quarters. Had ours for over two years with no problems. The front loader get the clothes cleaner with less wear and tear on them.

If you want a top loader, those will last too! The top loaders are very popular in nursing homes. About $600 for a top load.

http://www.speedqueen.com/home/products/

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
4/27/11 11:51 a.m.
trucke wrote: and no computer to fail.

I'll almost promise that every washer out there has some sort of PLC control.

trucke
trucke New Reader
4/27/11 12:01 p.m.
tuna55 wrote:
trucke wrote: and no computer to fail.
I'll almost promise that every washer out there has some sort of PLC control.

True. The Speed Queen uses a simple circuit board which is less costly to replace if it does fail.

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