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Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

[Appliances] How to Choose a Washing Machine?

We will soon be looking for a new washer and dryer set. My question is for the washer.

We have a family of five, run the machine often, and more often than not with large loads. High water efficiency is desired since our city raised the cost of water 40% two years ago due to a years long "miscalculation" that they are trying to make up for. The usual government incompetence passed on to the tax payer situation.

We would like a top load washer. Have HE top load washers come along well? I remember reading a couple years ago that the top load HE models were not doing a good job at actually cleaning clothes. And what about quality? From reading online it seems no one makes a reliable machine anymore. But as always you usually only see the negative reviews online since rarely does anyone speak up when nothing is wrong.

Any opinions or comments?


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

1 edit
I have a top-loading HE washer made by Whirlpool. I like it, and it has done a good job washing clothes. I did need a warranty call to fix the tub- somehow something wasn't torqued correctly at the factory, but once repaired on their dime, it works great. I've had it for 4 years now.

EDIT: I would try to buy from a local shop over a big box in this case. My local shop price matched Sears, and they have techs that are local and consistent when service is needed. I've been trying to shop local lately when reasonably possible, and have been rewarded with good prices AND good service.


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma

1 edit
reply to Lurch77
Can't comment about the top-loader HE units, but I can give you some positive feedback. I agree that you generally only hear from people with problems.

In July 2006, I bought a first-generation LG SteamWasher HE front-loader with matching electric dryer. The only problem I've ever had with the set is the dryer needed a motor because the centrifugal switch went bad. That was five-years after I bought it. Now they have a new motor with an updated design that eliminates that particular failure. It was a $100 part and I did the repair myself with the help of some excellent instructions I found online. I've got 4 people in the house, and for a few years I had some extra family members staying with us. These machines have held up to my satisfaction.

We brought them with us when we moved from PA to FL and left the basic no-frills washer and dryer behind that we came with that house when we bought it. When we need to replace these at some point, I'll probably buy a similar set from LG again.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to SwedishRider
Thanks for the input so far guys.

said by SwedishRider:

EDIT: I would try to buy from a local shop over a bog box in this case. My local shop price matched Sears, and they have techs that are local and consistent when service is needed. I've been trying to shop local lately when reasonably possible, and have been rewarded with good prices AND good service.

I do the same. All appliances in our house are from a local mom and pop place. The washer and dryer will be from them, too, if they carry whatever models we end up interested in after research. They carry the Amana, Kitchenaid (but no laundry items for this brand), and Maytag/Whirlpool brand appliances.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to Lurch77
I can't speak on top-loaders, but I have a 7ish year old Kennore HE front loader, that's been great...

Only complaint I have is that I didn't get the bases - when I bought them, they were installed stacked, so didn't need the bases, now that they are side by side, they are a little low... Besides that minor beef, I wouldn't think twice about getting another one.


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

EDIT: I would try to buy from a local shop over a big box in this case. My local shop price matched Sears, and they have techs that are local and consistent when service is needed. I've been trying to shop local lately when reasonably possible, and have been rewarded with good prices AND good service.

Great advice! I saved a TON of money over Home Depot's price at the time by going to a local mom and pop appliance shop that my family has bought from for over 20 years. They only take cash or checks, but their prices and service make it worth buying from them if you can swing paying for it up front.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Lurch77
Just looked. My model is Whirlpool WTW5600XW0. I think they sell a newer model at this point, but you can use that number to cross reference or do research. Good luck!


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to Lurch77
We are eye balling this washer: »www.gendronsinc.com/en/catalog/p···TW5800BW

And this dryer: »www.gendronsinc.com/en/catalog/p···ED5800BW

Any thoughts on the models? Those links are to my local shop. But looking at the Best Buy site for reviews on them I see the dryer gets good reviews, while the washer gets mixed reviews. Those reviews seem to be the trend for just about all washer and dryers. It seems the washers get mixed reviews no matter the brand and model. That's what makes choosing a model difficult. On the plus side some of the negative reviews are from people that just don't like the amount of noise or control layout, etc, and not that they just don't work.


beck
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-29
On The Road
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Stablehost.com
reply to Lurch77
Since being exposed to a NEW top load Maytag washer, I know I will never purchase one. With that short agitator (whatever they call it), all it does is to move in a circle under the clothes. Kind of like rubbing your clothes on a scrub board. The clothes really don't turn over, so it's just one side rubbing and rubbing. If I don't put it on bulky, there isn't enough water to get the top of the clothes wet! I really want to wash some blankets, but I don't think a blanket will even get wet all the way, much less wash.

I am SO disappointed by this. Really. IMHO, get a regular top load or a front load.
--
Are YOU just a turkey voting for xmas?


CovMac
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Covington, LA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to Lurch77
I purchased this Maytag top loader back in the middle of December: »www.gendronsinc.com/en/catalog/p···VWC360AW

I bought it from, and had it installed by, Home Depot. I just checked their website, and it appears that it is no longer available. It is a little noisier than the 19 year-old Maytag that it replaced but performs just as well, and my wife likes that the agitator is smaller than on the old washer. And the spin cycle gets the clothes dryer, and so they spend less time drying in the dryer - also a new Maytag. No problems so far, but then it's only been in use for 2 months.
--
Mac


AzDragonLord

join:2003-10-21
Florence, AZ
reply to Lurch77
Try Consumer Reports to steer your decision. They charge for annual subscription, but for me it's worth it.
»www.consumerreports.org/
--
Praise the Gods, Do Good, Act Bravely.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to Lurch77
Curious why you're looking for a top loader?


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
Cabinets above the washer prevent elevating it much, such as on pedestals. I am 6'6" tall, and my wife is taller than average. We don't want to bend down more than needed.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Lurch77
Click for full size
I think those are the updated models of the washer and dryer that I have. I have the gas version of the dryer, but they appear to be the same otherwise. I give them a thumbs up for whatever it's worth.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Lurch77
Oh, and a word of advice. HE top loaders need to be loaded on the perimeter of the drum, leaving the middle somewhat empty. If you load that drum to the top including the middle, you will get a crummy result. Check the manual for specifics on how to load that model's drum properly. It still holds a lot of clothes per load.

PrntRhd
Premium
join:2004-11-03
Fairfield, CA
reply to Lurch77
The Cabrio washers are ok, but they may knot the clothes depending on the wash cycle selected. The impeller system does increase load size dramatically.


Booost

@optonline.net
reply to Lurch77
We have a Whirlpool-made HE top loader. Our water use went down by 2,000 gallons per month.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
That's what I hope. If it actually does a good cleaning job and stays reliable, a new HE washer will pay for itself in short order with the cost of our water.

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
Can't say for top loader HE's. But with a front loader it is important to make sure is is on a good solid floor and the machine is perfectly level. The surface of the floor needs to be something not slick and doesn't give, like concrete. If on any other type it can walk away from the wall while in the high-speed spin cycle. Putting thin rubber pieces under the feet can also help it stay put on other floors.


Booost

@optonline.net
reply to Lurch77
Had a shifter or speed sensor or something break which caused it not to spin. Was covered under warranty. I also bought the service contract. That's probably a good idea.

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to Lurch77
My wife works in a high volume appliace store, she sees what gets complained about. We bought a top loader HE 2 years ago and dont regret it one bit. The biggest problem, and it affects all modern washers is electronic failures. When they go parts are usually found to be made from unobtainium. We chose a top loader because she has seen the complaints from customers when the door seal fails on the front loaders, and sadly its quite common.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by telco_mtl:

My wife works in a high volume appliace store, she sees what gets complained about. We bought a top loader HE 2 years ago and dont regret it one bit.

What did you buy?

I've heard the same complaints as beck See Profile tangled clothes, wrinkled, water doesn't get to every thing.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
we bought a whilrpool, i had heard horror stories about the bearings but its the model the wife said had the least callbacks


linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink
reply to Lurch77
I bought front load Kenmore from Sears 2005. It was designed in Italy, made in Canada for Electrolux, and sold in US. It's been a dream set.

By the time I reached this decision I was tired of fighting the top loader and the little things like tangled sheets and frayed edges. I was also concerned about water usage. 17 gal front loader vs 38 gal top load water consumption sealed the deal.

You must use HE laundry soap as it was created for low water consumption products. I use a natural soap from Trader Joe's that is made in Canada due to a skin condition. I think it cleans better than Tide and I use 2 oz for most loads. You must not pack down and overload. There should be a hand with of space between the laundry and the inside of the drum. Overloaded washers do not clean properly.

I buy from Sears because no matter where I live in the lower 48, I am assured that service and parts are available. My first experience with a Whirlpool washer was my last.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside


Rojo_P

join:2001-10-03
Lancaster, OH
reply to Lurch77
said by Lurch77:

We are eye balling this washer: »www.gendronsinc.com/en/catalog/p···TW5800BW

And this dryer: »www.gendronsinc.com/en/catalog/p···ED5800BW

Any thoughts on the models? Those links are to my local shop. But looking at the Best Buy site for reviews on them I see the dryer gets good reviews, while the washer gets mixed reviews. Those reviews seem to be the trend for just about all washer and dryers. It seems the washers get mixed reviews no matter the brand and model. That's what makes choosing a model difficult. On the plus side some of the negative reviews are from people that just don't like the amount of noise or control layout, etc, and not that they just don't work.

When I was searching for a new washer and dryer a few years ago I was shocked to find that these things are generally not built very well today, with none standing the test of time as they did years ago. I believe you are smart to look for a reasonably priced but well rated product. You may not give Consumer reports much credit, but FWIW your choices of both washer and dryer were not only recommended but were best buy models. CR had this to say:

WASHER
Highs (Using the Normal cycle):
-Washing performance is very good.
-Energy efficiency is very good.
-Water efficiency is very good.
-Capacity is excellent.
-Vibration is excellent.

Lows (Using the Normal cycle):
-Gentleness is just good.
-Noise is just good.

DRYER
This Whirlpool full-sized dryer was Very Good in overall performance offers:
-excellent in drying.
-excellent in capacity.
-very good in noise.
--
There's nothing big I want to prove,
No mountains that I need to move,
Or even claim what's right or true for you.


Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto
reply to Lurch77
I bought this HE top loader from Sears last year (March). I've been happy with it so far. Just like you, damn city is raising our water rates as well .

EDIT: I know this is OT, but the city just implemented a mandatory 30% in water usage because the drought conditions this year. There has been very little rain so far.
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben


seginus

join:2008-01-30
Worcester, MA
reply to Lurch77
Just throwing my two cents in here since I have a different brand to recommend. We replaced our dead Kenmore washer with a SpeedQueen (don't recall model number but it was the top end one). Residential version of the commercial laundry mat machines. Still built old-school with very little (if any really) electronics. Does a great job but I don't have any idea as to the water efficiency.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to Lurch77
This has turned out to be an interesting and informative thread. Thanks for all the comments.

Brim77

join:2012-03-16
Lansing, MI
Reviews:
·Spartan-net
reply to Lurch77
I'm a (successful) former appliance salesman. I'm telling you right now, DO NOT GET AN HE TOP LOAD WASHER! You can only load them up to about 1/3 of the drum size and anymore than that the clothes will not get clean. No agitator = dirt getting stuck in between layers.

Front load washer have come a looooong ways. Leave the door open a crack and the inner ring won't mold up and smell. Manufacturers know this and even install magnets on the doors to help hold them mostly shut and allow for air circulation. They also use less soap, less water and do a VERY good job at getting your clothes clean, plus you can really load the entire drum with clothes.

My personal machine (which I made sure to get on my employee discount before I quit) is this baby: »www.sears.com/kenmore-elite-4.0-···1473000P This is seriously the Cadillac of washing machines. If I had to recommend a machine to change the mind of someone who is a die-hard top load fan, I would bet everything I got on this. Absolutely phenomenal.

I'd make friends with an appliance salesman (they get paid commission) and tell him to call you when the price is down to $799 in white. Also, skip the warranty and just buy it on a credit card that throws an extra year on for free. Sears pushes very hard on two things: Warranties and credit cards. Ironically, buying the washer on a Sears Mastercard (not the store card, there are two different kinds) you get an extra year warranty....for free!

One last thing, get direct drive. It might be a little more expensive than the old fashioned belt driven system, but they are very solid with ten year warranties. Considering how nobody anywhere offers any kind of guarantee on anything built anymore, a ten year warranty on the main drive system should tell you something.


mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

1 edit
reply to Lurch77
said by Lurch77:

We don't want to bend down more than needed.

Consider a front loader. You're still going to have to bend over when you unload the washer and load the dryer.