Help with New Washer Purchase

acehAugust 3, 2012

I'm about to purchase a new washer/dryer set. Which would be the better option...a Top Loader High Efficiency or Front Loader High Efficiency Washer?

Would a dryer with the "auto moisture" sensing be a good idea?

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There are two types of auto-dry systems: temperature/thermostatic sensing and electronic/moisture sensing.

Temp sensing infers the dryness by way of the exhaust air temperature. The timer advances only when the heat source (electric element or gas burner) cycles off when the target air temperature is reached. When the load is wet at the start, evaporating moisture keeps the exhaust air temperature down, so the heat runs longer and more often to maintain the target temperature. As the load dries, it retains heat longer, so the heat runs less and the timer runs more ... until it reaches cooldown and off.

Moisture sensing directly checks moisture via sensor bars in the drum. The clothes physically touch the bars to complete a low-voltage electric circuit across them ... which either triggers the timer to stall momentarily (mechanical timer) or an electronic control board to register a "moisture hit." The timer eventually runs out to cooldown and off, or the control board stops registering moisture hits.

Temp sensing auto dry can be affected in a detrimental way if the dryer is installed and run in an unheated/uncooled location, such as a garage or out-building. Wide variations in room temperature throws the temp sensing off-kilter (the machines are engineered to perform properly in normal climate-controlled indoor conditions).

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:25PM
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I much prefer HE TOP Loaders, more reliable, less problems.

I have the LG WT5170HV and love it.
Have the matching Dryer also, has auto sensing and it seems to work quite well.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Nice looking washer and features.
Is this the matching dryer - DLGX5171V - LG - SteamDryer 7.3 Cu. Ft. 14-Cycle Ultra-Large Capacity Steam Gas Dryer -Graphite Steell?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:41AM
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you should check out the laundry forum - lots more information there.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Thanks weissman, I hadn't noticed that forum.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:59PM
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I don't recommend a HE washer at all. I had a Maytag Bravos (top loader HE) for almost 2 years. The worst is that it damaged and wore out my clothes. Two sets of sheets ripped and the rest really worn out. That was using their sheet setting. The cost of replacing clothing and linens justified throwing it out.

I replaced that with a Speed Queen AWN542S. This is not a high efficiency washer. It is old technology. I have had it several months now, and my clothes come out perfect every time. That is the machine that I recommend.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:16PM
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I have the DLG5102V Dryer.

They are a very nice set, we have had them almost a year now without any issues at all.
The LG washer at least does NOT in anyway damage your clothes it is quite gentle and uses the "Waveforce" action to get clothes clean.
On certain settings the waveforce kicks in and as the clothes are spinning it pushes the detergent water into the center of the washer which then gets pushed through the clothes repeatedly.
Works like a charm.

It is very quiet, seems to be well made, has a glass top which is cool so you can see the clothes washing.
and plays a nice little tune when the clothes are done.

It uses just the right amount of water on all loads, then washers will weigh your clothes when it starts then adjust water level to that weight.
IF by chance you want a bit more water then you can add water twice by pushing a button.
You want the clothes just covered with water that way the washing action works properly.

Many HE washers do not use enough water and you can not add water.
This one does not have that problem.

However you will get 2 strong opinions on Top Vs Front loaders.
Those that love Front loaders swear by them and claim nothing is better and they never ever have any problems with them.
Same for those like myself that prefer Top loaders.

In my research which was rather extensive I found that most people in this country have and use top loaders, it is something around 80%.
Of the 20% that use Front loaders i noticed when you look at hundreds & hundreds of reviews you will see a pattern.
That pattern being that Front loaders are FAR more prone to Bearing failure, Far more prone to leaks and in general something happens to them within 3-7 years.
plus they are far more prone to Mold and Mildew problems unless you are very diligent about cleaning the front seal and leaving the washer door open, even then some models might still develop mold.

The way the drum bearings have pressure on them makes them wear out faster.
Only ones without this malady are the funky ones called a Staber Washer because they are TOP load but still side axis.

Most people in the Laundry forum will probably recommend a Front Loader.
So do not take my word for it, please look for yourself.

Compare reviews of the LG washer I mentioned here and ANY Front loader, look them all over very carefully then make your decision.
I saw WAY too may problems associated with Front loaders for me to buy one personally.
But you could buy a front loader and have it work problem free for 15 years, just roll the dice.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:52AM
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I live in a small space where full size "american" machines
won't fit. (We are a household of only two people.)
I installed The Bosch Axxis+ washer and condenser dryer over
a year ago. They are wonderful machines! They fit under
a counter in my master bath, use very little power and very
little water. Clothes are spotless and fresh. They have
many cycles (of course I tend to use just one) but this
gives you a lot of options when you do have something
unusual to wash.

I'll be moving into a house soon and while I've looked at
the larger machines, I haven't found any I would trade for
the Bosch. They do such a great job for their size.
I value the space I get back more than the odd instance
where I have something very bulky to wash. Also, it's
great to be able to have a standard height counter right
over your washer and dryer.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Nunyabiz1: "In my research which was rather extensive I found that most people in this country have and use top loaders, it is something around 80%.
"Of the 20% that use Front loaders i noticed when you look at hundreds & hundreds of reviews you will see a pattern.
That pattern being that Front loaders are FAR more prone to Bearing failure, Far more prone to leaks and in general something happens to them within 3-7 years.
plus they are far more prone to Mold and Mildew problems unless you are very diligent about cleaning the front seal and leaving the washer door open, even then some models might still develop mold.
"The way the drum bearings have pressure on them makes them wear out faster."

Nunyabiz1, you have been bragging (and bragging and bragging and bragging and bragging) about your "extensive research" on the subject of front-loading washing machines vs. top-loading washing machines on these forums for the past year, and yet the truth is, you never have done any research on your own, none whatsoever, but simply have bought into anecdotal comments of people just as uninformed as yourself as if the comments were handed down on stone tablets from atop the Holy Mountain.

Moreover, your "conclusions," which lack scientific discipline and rigor, are at variance with very large survey results (also unscientific, but with at least the benefit of large sample size and some controls to winnow duplications by prolific witnesses like Nunyabiz1, who post the same post over and over) by such organizations such as Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports).

There is no published survey of which I am aware that is based on rigorous scientific sampling of results in the field that shows any higher incidence of bearing failure in front-loading washing machines than in top-loading washing machines. Or vice versa, for that matter.

Conceptually, if one were to approach the issue theoretically and to formulate a testable hypothesis on the basis of the two general design parameters, the hypothesis probably would be that the bearings in top-loading washing machines would fail more quickly, because of: (i) the greater quantity of water that typically is used in top loading machines, which would increase the mass of the filled tub and thus -- if the bearing sizes were equal -- would increase the pressure per unit of area of the bearing; and (ii) the propensity of the agitators in top-loading machines to reverse direction much more frequently than the drums of front loading machines, which typically reverse the direction of rotation infrequently in a cycle. The stopping and starting in a direction change is a source of stress on a bearing.

Anecdotally -- I am providing a single data point -- my parents purchased an automatic washing machine soon after they were married in 1936. At that time, in the United States, "automatic washing machine" meant Bendix; there was no competition. Bendixes were front-loaders. Counting that 1930s Bendix, our family -- which practices "cleanliness is next to godliness" -- is now on only its fourth washing machine, all of them front-loading washing machines. As we purchased our current washing machine just one year ago, a little math will reveal that the previous three lasted, on average, a quarter century each -- and not one of them experienced a bearing failure (and we never have had problems with mold or smell). Our family's experience is only a single data point, but it is one to which I can personally attest, whereas you admit that you never have owned a front-loading washing machine, yet you pontificate about front-loaders endlessly.

Top-loading washing machines were a post-WWII innovation, and, like many "ideas of the future" of the late 1940s (X-ray machines in shoe stores to check the fit of your shoes, tearing out of streetcar tracks in big cities, DDT everywhere, etc.) the top-loading design was not an especially good idea. Progressive cities are reintroducing light rail transportation, DDT is effectively banned now, X-ray machines no longer are featured in shoe stores, and top-loading washing machines are thankfully becoming nostalgia items.

I seriously doubt that your conclusion that 80 percent of people use top-loading machines and 20 percent use front-loading machines is correct. Do you have any, like, you know, data to back up that claim?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 5:08PM
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I have a front-loading Bosch washer that I bought about 2 years ago. I've been very happy with it, and with all the other Bosch appliances and power tools I own, for that matter.

The washer is a "Nexxt 500 series". It gets the basics right: clothes get clean and it uses much less water than my old Maytag top-loader. It has lots of cycles, including a "sanitize" cycle that seems to work well (though I've only used that once or twice). It doesn't have the "steam" feature that a lot of models are touting, but I think that's pretty useless in a washer anyway.

I don't have any data on whether this washer (or any other front-loader) wears out clothes more than a top-loader does. I've never noticed problems, but I'm a software engineer so my "professional" wardrobe is mostly jeans and T-shirts. :-)

The down-sides are:

- The cycle times are a lot longer than any top-loader I've used. I think this is true of almost all high efficiency washers -- they use less water but slosh it around for a longer time to get the same amount of cleaning. They made the same tradeoff on Bosch dishwasher -- dishes get really clean but it takes over an hour

- It was expensive. I don't remember the exact price, but more than most other brands I looked at. After the Maytag died I decided to go for quality over price.

If price is important, you might want to look at LG. When I bought the Bosch the salesman said the LG about the same level of quality for a lower price. He said the down-side was that when an LG did break, they tended to be harder to repair than some other brands. But this was 2 years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.

Good luck with your decision!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Blah blah, the usual Front loader sycophants make their usual appearance.
Like I said, you will get people that swear by Front Loaders and as you can see defend them like they are their children being picked on at the play ground.

I have no such attachment to my washing machine and don't care one way or the other, I just go on the information that I found while looking for a washing machine.

I am merely stating facts as I found them over a hell of a lot of research.
Do it yourself and see what you come up with is all I can say.

If you go at it with a totally open mind without any bias you will soon see that in general front loaders have far more problems.
I found tons of problems with Bearings, Seal Leaks and Mold, WAY more than I did with Top Loaders.

I have backed up everything I have said several times however it never seems to sink in to some people and i flatly refuse to continue such nonsense.

My OPINION is my opinion, you don't like it, I could not careless, live with it and move on.

I did however make one mistake, went off my memory which was wrong.
Top Loaders make up 65% of the American Market not 80%.

But 35% of the washer market makes up seemingly 80% of the problems I see in reviews.
Since Top Loaders make up almost double the amount of machines you would think it would be top loaders that would make up more than double the amount of complaints.
Yet it is just the opposite.
That told me all I needed to know.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:21PM
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That post was not meant for lwerner in any way whatsoever BTW.

He/She makes perfect sense and all valid points.

Also in general a Front Loader is actually more gentle on clothes than the average top loader.
After all basically all they do is lift the clothes up about a foot and drop them into shallow water cant get much gentler than that.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:37PM
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