Anyone own a Speed Queen?

ludy-2009July 28, 2011

If you own a Speed Queen washer/dryer I would like your input. Which model do you own? Are you happy? Cons? Any experience with service? Tried the laundry room forum but no luck so I am hoping to get feedback from this more general forum. Thanks!

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We have two or three we use in our business. I am not sure what model but it has the full amount of water and is top load. we have never had trouble with it and it gets used a lot. We are buying another one for our son who is a plumber to have just for his clothes. It is key to remove bacteria/spores to have lots of water, along with proper chemicals and it is the only machine left with full water. I am also going to buy one for our home. We also have allergies and you can get one with double rinse. I can't address the dryer.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 6:36PM
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You can use lots of water to remove bacteria/spores or you can use soft water/softened water, heated correctly,using good detergent combined with extended cycle times.

The first is the old fashioned American way the latter the German-European way.

Both work.

Federal Regulators are making the American way extinct.

The German-European way is expensive to do correctly.

We end up with alot of half-assed efforts on both accounts.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:28PM
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Some bacteria and especially spores require more than than detergent, heat and soft water. You have to be able to remove gross contamination, apply chemicals and remove chemicals. The Speedqueen is the only choice right now. We've used other machines and the speedqueen is great. Some of the others don't even get everything wet.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:08AM
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I suppose all the clothes is Germany is contaminated with bacteria and spores because they don't have water hogs like Speedqueen?

What an enormous pile of $%#@

You don't have to buy "some" because you can buy effective machines.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:52AM
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deeageaux, maybe you can help.

American vs. European FL Technology

Many on this forum argue that Europeans do not have mold and therefore the FL mold issue is not the machine's fault. People who have had the mold are trying to understand why they (and so many others) have had the mold. I have read that there are three main differences between the "American" FLs and the "European" FLs --European FLs 1) have built in heaters; 2)longer wash cycles -- most two hours; and 3)smaller machines.

Many of the current "American" FL have heaters, but this was not always the case. (The household water supply does not get hot enough nor does the water stay hot during the wash cycle. Water must reach and maintain temperatures of 150-212 F to kill bacteria -- some can be killed with soap -- but otherwise hot water is a key ingredient.) In addition, even with those American FLs that have heaters, the user has to choose certain cycles to activate the heaters and often these wash cycles take longer (the wash water is heated in the drum and this takes time). If they never choose the hotter, longer cycle, they are washing in temperatures below what is needed to kill bacteria. I understand that most TLs do not have built in heaters and can also have mold issues, but the mold is not as visible because it is around the outside of the drum rather than the inside of the door.

The mold issue is separate and apart from other reliability issues. It seems that the introduction of the digital board has been problematical -- many fail (water plus computer? not sure) and it is a very expensive fix.

Also, the use of plastic parts combined with increased load capacity and increased spin speeds has been another problem -- the machines cannot handle the combination of increased weight (especially once water is added), increased spin speeds, and inferior parts.

Reading between the lines, it seems that Americans cannot have the bigger, faster, cheaper (compromising heat and metal parts) machines they want -- it compromises the technology behind the European FL.

In short, it seems that we should look for a front load with a heater and use it. Avoid digital boards (unless the warranty is great and customer service top notch) and be content with smaller capacities and somewhat slower speeds on the spin cycle. Also, look for machines with metal, not plastic parts.

I would love your feedback. I have read a lot -- but maybe some of these conclusions are incorrect -- if so, I apologize in advance and welcome your corrections. Most of us do not live in the "appliance world" and we are trying to come up to speed and understand the FL issues so we can find the right machine and use it properly.

Thank you in advance for your help.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:07AM
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deeageaux, You need to read about Clostridium dificile. (Google is your friend here for lots of info but the CDC has excellent info.) Trust me, you would not want to take any chances contracting this very nasty opportunistic infection, which has become rampant and very resistant over the last several years. It is especially dangerous for the those with a compromised immune system and the elderly. The pain and suffering is horrible and it often takes 6 mos of treatment to eradicate. This is very expensive, not to mention the environmental impact of the use and manufacture of antibiotics, doing lots more wash and other environmental cleaning and lots of (ahem)"flushing". We have researched this exhaustively, with an OPEN mind and this is how we can best reduce the chance for environmental contamination for our clients. One of the key things is that what you are cleaning must be submerged in the proper chemicals(bleach). Another consideration is contamination of the washing machine. You have to ask yourself why you have to clean low water machines. Why do many of them get odors? This is from bacteria or mold left in the machine. This may be just an annoyance with typical laundry but deadly for high risk groups. It is well worth a few extra gallons or (100 gallons if necessary) of water rather than take a chance that an item we are washing did not get treated adequately because it did not get wet and someone got an infection and died. If you read about hand hygiene, you will also see that for some types of bacteria, the hand sanitizers aren't adequate and you have to use soap and lots of water. It is the same principle.
As a family group, we have chosen to implement this type of wash in our homes because we have members of the family who have a hospital acquired infection, are high risk for this infection and others and those who are at risk to carry home infection(caregivers, healthcare workers and a plumber). Fortunately prior to this we had studied this for our business and know what to do and CAN do it.
I'm not sure how they wash contaminated laundry in Europe but it may very well be the same as here, especially with the rise of C diff.

"You don't have to buy "some" because you can buy effective machines. "

deeageaux, Can you name this machine and method that will eradicate C diff? For various reasons this would not work for our business but would be curious for day to day laundry.

I knew when this poster asked about âÂÂ¥SpeedqueenâÂÂ¥ someone would bring up the water thing. They also have models that use less water but thank the Lord, they still have the full water machines. The machines have been great with almost continuous use over 2 years.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:46AM
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wekick, I have read about Clostridium dificile. Thanks for raising these issues. I know water and a lot of it is helpful -- but I also understand that the water has to reach a certain temperature. Is this true? What can you tell me about this? I want to buy the Speed Queen TL but without a built in heater and with our home water heater not reaching the temperature necessary -- what is the answer? Can you help? When I was young, I can remember steam coming out of the washing machine at home -- no longer. My understanding is that dryers are not hot enough to kill bacteria. I am so grateful you have looked at this issue. Is it just the amount of water or also the temperature? Also, can you speak to the claims that TLs also grow mold? I would love your input as I am struggling to fully understand these issues. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:30PM
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Got it. C Diff is killed with bleach.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:43PM
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Another trick is to reset the thermostat on your hot water heater. We have two heaters in series with water heated to 120 degrees in the first and that goes into the second where it is maintained at 150 degrees (the maximum for our heaters is 160 degrees. If you want hot water in the machine you must run all the colder water from the lines down the drain before the fill cycle. We don't do that because we got suckered into buying a low water front loader. It has a "Sanitize" cycle that heats the water to 150 degrees and washes for over 2 hours. I don't think it compares favorably with a Speed Queen top loader that can fill to the top with plenty of hot water. Wish I had one.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Yes C diff and its hard to kill spores are killed by bleach. Sporulation of the bacteria increases in the presence of antibiotics so are more present when someone is treated. Most healthy people fortunately have the ability to ward off this type of infection on their own. It would not be an issue with most home laundry but it is nice to be able to deal with it if necessary. I suppose a dryer set on the highest setting and the steam it produces as well as the last in cycle dry heat would reduce most bacteria considerably, but spores would be more resistant. We typically don't use the highest setting because it is hard on clothes as are high concentrations of bleach, hence the larger amount of water and it's dilutional effect are beneficial. You can look at many tables that give temps for killing bacteria from restaurant dishwashers to cooking meat to autoclave temps and pressures. I suppose it depends on how hot your dryer gets.

Just sort of a crude indicator but my personal observation that seems adequate for most home laundry.

Low water machines-many complaints about smells. One of my kids has a FL and we have used them in various condos we have rented. We've had to make sure to put the load in the dryer right away or it goes sour quickly, bleach extends this time. Some posters here report not having this issue.

Full water machine-seems to go sour if left in the machine after 2-3-4 days, longer if load was bleached.

Draw your own conclusions.

I'm surprised nobody commented on this in the Laundry forum.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 1:38PM
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I used to get mold in my TL whirlpool all the time. Then I discovered the secret of the ages: LEAVE THE LID OPEN. That solved the mold problem.

I do the same with my LG FL. I leave the door and/or the drawer open. And I'm not afraid to use both bleach and HW on my whites.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 1:43PM
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We have had the AWN542 / ADE4BR for two years. They wash / dry great and are solidly built (i.e. all metal construction, stainless steel tub). To each his own, but I think they are great. However, if you are into gadgetry, these are not for you. They have simply controls, no computer or fancy light show. They do have a three year warranty, which I believe is the longest in the industry these days.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 9:32PM
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constantinople, thank you! Those are all the things I love about this washer /dryer set. Simple, sensible, well built, company seems to stand behind the product. Would you consider the wash cycle "loud?" Also, is your laundry first floor or second? Any trouble with vibration during the spin cycle? Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:53PM
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We are all on one level, so the laundry is on the first floor. The units definitely make some noise, but when the laundry room door is closed, it doesn't seem out of the ordinary to me, or bothersome. No problem at all with vibration during spin.

I think the top of their line, which we have, includes a few extras that you may or may not want like extended tumble, and some additional delicate cycling. When we bought ours, the price difference between the mid range and top end was pretty negligible so we bought the more expensive ones. It was definitely nothing necessary, so you could save a few bucks by getting the less expensive model. They are all built the same way, which is the whole point. You of course have to be satisfied with white! :)

In our new home we have two laundry rooms, so we just ordered two more - that's how much we like them.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 7:45AM
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Thank you, C. Very helpful. Our dealer only stocks 311 and 542 -- the price difference between the 542 and 412 (two models down and all we really need) is $50. I think we will also buy the higher model just to avoid the wait. Enjoy your new home and TWO laundry rooms -- wow. Very nice. :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 9:01AM
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The higher end one is supposed to have some sound proofing that the 311 doesnt have. Also 2 speed where the 311 is a single speed.

Also they have the best out of balance load handling of any top load machine/no shaking/walking/or bumping.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 3:54PM
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We have a TL Speed Queen and purchased it about 5 years ago, and with our new kit/mudd room/ remodel we re selling it for a FL so we can put a counter top over the W/D with a sink in the middle..I wish we could keep it b/c it is an awesome washer!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:23PM
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Love my Speed Queen I purchased a basic model in May For service advice, I was able to contact Speed Queen and they were extremely helpful and fast. To offset the demand of Washington DC policymakers, the washers will fill with less water than you might expect. Speed Queen assured me there was a fix for that too but they aren't allowed to do it. So now I have a REAL hot wash, not pretend like all other washers, and no computer to cause problems.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:47AM
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I am the owner of Camping La Fresneda Spain, in 2009 selected by Cool Camping as the best campsite of Europe.

The first week of August 2011 we decided to buy a new washing machine for our campsite. We selected the Speed Queen SWT911 because of short washing time, activation with a coin, reduced utility cost and reliable and convenient operation.

After weeks of trying to get in contact by email with speed queen (none of our e-mails were answered) we found a telephone number in Barcelona. They gave us a telephone number for the nearest distributor in Zaragoza, Spain. Applying for information through your web site doesn`t seem to work in Spain.

So by telephone we ordered a Speed Queen Topload Washer SWT911.

I am writing this email to you because 30 August we received a Speed Queen SWT911.

We ordered a Speed Queen SWT911, but what we received was disappointing.

1) In the place where we expected a coin slide we see two large holes, so we called our distributor immediately. He informed me that this was extra.

I checked your website again and when I go to Vended Loandry Top Load Washers Brochure/Spec I see only a coin slide where we see two large holes. The brochure says for Activation: coin/card-operated. I cannot see that this is an option! I expect a complete and working machine for this money.

2) This is a so called commercial washer for vended loandry, so why isn`t there an instruction in symbols which is understandable for everybody. I asked several guests on my campsite if they understand the symbols on the placard on top of the machine, none of them understand just a single symbol. I asked the distributor, and he had to look in the manual for explanation. And it only says something about safety issues, not how the machine works! I want to have a placard which says how the machine works. My guests are not going to read the manual.

3) The Speed Queen website is talking about �Reduced Utility Cost�. The machine has a water factor of 9,5 gallon per cubic feet and a MEF of 1,26. These figures seem to be one of the most unfavourable figures in the market if you compare them to other reduced utility cost washing machines.

4) Another thing is the noise level of the machine, I think it is the drainpump. If you consider that this machine is mainly designed to work on public sites you expect low noise levels. The speed Queen SWT911 makes a lot of noise. The local distributor admits it is very noisy, but says this is normal for this machine.

The way I feel now about Speed Queen is far behind the expectations I had when I bought the machine. At the moment I would not recommend Speed Queen to any other campsite owners.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 1:55PM
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I am debating which speed queen top loader to get. I am the only person in the home and I want a machine that will treat my clothes gently even if I don't wash on gentle cycle. Of course I will wash delicate fabrics (much of my clothing) on gentle, but I want all my clothign to last. I understand the gentle cycle leaves clothing pretty wet so I was thinking maybe I should get the 542 in order to be able to wash on other cycles for say, light weight slacks. Any suggestions on whether having the 542 is worth it. they are all pretty expensive, but I don't want to make the wrong choice.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:45PM
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