Washer and Dryer Advice?

ecf1216April 21, 2014

We need to purchase a new washer and dryer to replace our current Kenmore HE3 set, and I'm hoping to get some input from the experts here.

Our laundry room is located on our home's second floor and we're not happy with the amount of vibration the washer creates. It literally shakes our whole house! It's also very noisy... sounds like a jet engine when it's in the spin cycle.

Is there new suspension technology that will reduce/eliminate these issues? Is there a brand and/or model you'd recommend we look into?

We are a family of four, including two teenage boys, so we definitely see our share of dirty, stinky clothes. We're just looking for a quiet washer that will get our clothes clean without rattling the house.

As for the dryer, I'd like to find one that has distinct temperatures. It seems that our current dryer dries everything at the same (hot) temp, just for different amounts of time.

Of course, we want to purchase a washer and dryer that will be trouble-free. In the event of a problem, though, good service is also important.

Do any of you have a recommendation? Thanks in advance for your help.

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The consensus for 2nd floor applications is Electrolux.

They make the quietest washers with least vibration.

Look at Electrolux Wave-Touch Series EWFLS70JIW.

Not everyone agrees but that is the most recommended.

It does not rank at the top of reliability rankings by JD Power or CR but not off by huge number of defects.

BTW There is a forum for Laundry Only.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:08AM
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I agree with post above. I'll link to Gardenweb's Laundry Forum where this topic has been discussed a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry Forum

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:00AM
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About 5 years ago I was faced with the same dilemma. After reading several posts here and other sites I got a Samsung. It had an anti vibration system, a tube filled with oil and heavy weights is welded to the front of the drum. When it starts up the weights are shaken to the location in the tube that best counterbalances the load. It has worked very well for me and the washer is still running after 5 years. If it makes it past 10 I will accept the longevity too. It was expensive compared to the major US brands.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Thank you so mch for your input! It definitely helps to have a couple of starting points for my research. Thanks, too, for letting me know about the laundry forum.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 1:42PM
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I used to have Whirlpool Duet front loaders on the second floor in the previous house. When I ran the washer, it felt like there was a mini-earthquake going on.

Now I have Speed Queen top-load washer and front-load dryer on the second floor. They are wonderful. I think they are quieter than the Whirlpool. More importantly, I don't sense any vibration!

It could be that my current house is more solid-built, but I think the top-load mechanism makes a big difference.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 5:41PM
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First and foremost, you need to ensure whatever you buy is leveled properly. Even being slightly off (1/4") is going to cause major vibrations throughout your house.

The forces we are talking about here are fairly immense, 1300rpm with 10-20lbs of clothing is a big deal. All of the units today have incredibly good systems to deal with the shock and movement of a washer running through the process and they absolutely depend on the washer being installed right.

You need to check front to back and left to right, on all corners of your unit. You also need to use a straight edge to make sure the unit is perfectly aligned to itself, if it is tweaked, nothing you can to will fix it. I would check that on your unit now to see. Little changes make BIG differences!

Once done, all of the major brands are going to be pretty darn quiet as far as vibration forces are concerned. The next step is to lower the noise being transferred to the air. In this case it is all down to the pumps used in the units. Truth be told, if you can close the door on the laundry room, even the loudest ones are no big deal.

Mine went from shake the entire house where pictures might fall off to "wait, is it running?" with about an 1/8" change.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:06PM
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We have a Kenmore (Whirlpool) HE3t, one of the early ones built in Germany, and it has been excellent for about ten years but is very noisy. Recently, my daughter bought a new Whirlpool Duet, essentially the same machine but with updates. Her new machine is nearly silent on all parts of the cycle including the fast spins. The two machines sit almost side-by-side, as we share a duplex.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 1:45PM
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With respect...."leveling" is not particularly critical. Anything close will do. Equal or nearly-equal load-bearing on the supporting feet is the important thing.

Agree proper installation is important. This load-bearing check is what NONE of the installers do....takes too long to do it properly. They just level it by eyeball and leave, typically.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:13PM
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My name "shaking" is due to the fact that when I was in the market for a new washer I wanted one that wouldnt make my entire house rumble and shake. Electrolux had just come out with their new technology and was supposed to be uber quiet with the least vibration. Ummm wrong. Dont get me wrong I love my set but the shaking continues. They even came out to look at it and they too were shocked at the amount of power and shaking it did. It is very level and I often check it thats not the issue. I blame most of it on my builder. Now when its not spinning I can barely hear it and sometimes have to check to see if it stopped or something.

It is so important to know if your floor is constructed for such force of these machines put out. My home was built before these machines existed so of course my floor was not. I should have purchased the rubber mats to help with this and NOT have gotten the drawers under the machine. Those two things would have helped but how much Im not sure

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:06AM
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Thank you all for your comments.

I went to my local appliance store and spoke with a salesperson I've worked with before and like very much. He recommended the Maytag Maxima (I don't remember which exact model). He said it is made in the US, which I do like (but it's not a requirement), has a great warranty, and will do very well on our second floor. He said the Electrolux is built in Mexico -- is that a negative? -- and that it wouldn't perform as well on the second floor.

I'm curious, because none of you have even mentioned a Maytag and I respect the opinions of the real users on here.

Does anyone have any comments on the Maytag Maxima for a second floor laundry room?

Who knew this would be such a tough decision? After agonizing over ranges, ovens and refrigerators during our kitchen model, I thought it was past this! :)

Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:36PM
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I also meant to ask... As far as vibration goes, Is it a problem to have the washer and dryer on pedestals on the second floor? I was really hoping to be able to use them with a new set.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:43PM
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I also meant to ask... Will it be a mistake to put the washer and dryer on pedestals, in terms of second floor vibration?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:46PM
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I strongly suggest making an arrangement with your vendor for exchange/refund in the event you find your second-floor/suspended-floor situation doesn't work out with the machine. (The pedestals will add another layer of uncertainty.)

Many machines do just fine in such installations. However, it's almost impossible to reliably predict whether or not your particular installation will be troublesome. Too many variables, many of which are hidden from view or consideration. Slab floors don't have this potential. Suspended floors do.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:32PM
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When I posted about my experience with the Samsung washer I failed to mention that I strengthened the floor by adding 3/4 inch plywood over a 3x5 ft. area and screwing it down with 2 inch wood screws spaced about 6 inches apart. Then I added 1/4 inch cement board and tiles over the floor and raised area. That may have been why the machine was so stable.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:57AM
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