Replace old Maytag Washer?

ejr2005January 28, 2012

We have an 11 1/2 year old Maytag washing machine (MAV6000AWQ) that we bought really inexpensively when Circuit City was getting rid of it's appliance line. It's worked pretty well all this time, with an occasional part replacement.

We use Arm & Hammer for Sensitive Skin detergent because of skin problems. It worked fine until they made it more concentrated. Although we've tried to use less and less detergent, it often doesn't seem to get out of the clothes. Then the water doesn't drain well, and we have to rinse and spin again.

Thinking that the washing machine wasn't going to last much longer, I bought a Groupon so we could essentially get $200 off a washing machine purchase from a local company. As we've been researching though, I'm getting more and more confused and wondering if we should just stick with our old machine until it dies on us. The prices are really high, it seems they don't last as long, and there are more maintenance issues.

We'd like a washing machine that should last 10 years or so with minimal problems. We like clothes to get clean but aren't fanatical about it. The machines are in the basement so noise isn't much of a problem. It's just two of us and we do about 4 loads of laundry a week on weekends. We like our current 30 minute cycle and don't have the time or patience for 2 hour cycles.

We'd like to use less water as our water bills are pretty high, but in our part of the country at least water is not scarce. Our current dryer (Maytag Neptune MDG4000BWO) is gas and seems fine. We don't want to replace it. If we get a new washer they won't match, but that's pretty minor since they're in the basement.

We don't mind paying more if the washing machine meets our needs, but of course we'd rather not. We won't buy a Miele after a nightmare with a Miele dishwasher a few years ago (we now have FP DD's which we love).

Any suggestions, advice???

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Lasting 10+ years with minimal problems, less than 90 minute cycles.

I would go with a Top Loader for sure, in general they last longer with less problems (mold, seals, bearings)and usually have shorter cycles.

The one we got was an LG WT5101H Waveforce, only had it 4 months but so far no problems at all and love it.
Cleans great, huge tub, has a 10 year warranty on the motor.

We got ours for $728.00

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 10:52AM
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Nunyabiz1 - thanks for your recommendation. We are leaning toward another top loader - though many people seem to think that the FL's are great. Since TL's are all I've ever had and never had a problem with clothes getting stretched out of shape by the agitator, or wearing out early, or not getting clean, or any of the other problems I've heard about TL's, I guess we should go with it.

The LG you have sounds terrific, especially with the 10 year warranty on the motor. But some people have posted here about problems with LGs. Maybe that it's hard getting them serviced, or there's really no customer support. Do you have any info on that? We're near a big city so I would hope that wouldn't be a problem.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:59PM
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My brother and his wife got the LG 5101 just after christmas. They are not happy with it. It seems over senative to going out of balance, it is dead level and on a cement pad. I spent a whole night running loads for them and can see no reason for the seemly random balance issues. They called LG service and were told not the spin over the medium speed for larger loads. It does seem to wash well but it's nit very efficient if you can't use the high speed spin. At first I was thinking they were overloading the washer but after playing with it it seems the sweet spot for load size is the 7 to 8 kg range ( about 16 to 18 lbs ) of dry clothes. I was a little surprised it was that low since my old Bosch nexxt will wash that much but has a much smaller tub.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 3:20PM
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I assume your old machine is a top loader actually made by Maytag. If that is the case I would keep it and just get it repaired or DIY. I have had two Whirlpool top loaders. The first lasted 19 years. The second was a 1992 model and my son and his family are still using it. It has a plastic outer tub, and that was what failed on the original: the edges of the porcelain started rusting around the hose entries. Maytag also made great machines in their day. We gave away our old machine when we moved to a new house and didn't need it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 5:17PM
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I don't know if a bought in 2000 Maytag was actually made by Maytag. It vaguely seems to me that Maytag was bought around then. Don't know if the machines would have still been made the Maytag way.

You can see that I know very little about washing machines. I've only owned this one - the ones before were in apartment buildings or laundromats. Oh - I also owned an ancient one in a summer house - it also usually worked fine except for the occasional belt or rubber gasket thing that had to be replaced.

The less I have to know about them the happier I am....

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:26PM
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MAV6000AWQ is a "Maytag"-made machine, but it's what's sometimes called a Norge-tag (Norge washer design). It's NOT the classic Maytag of long-term reliability.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:45PM
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So do you think it's on it's last legs?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Don't know, there are no details in your posts thus far as to what exactly is wrong with it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 3:35AM
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I just did a wash to see how the washer was doing. My husband has taken over most of the laundry chores (after I turned his new plaid shirt pink).

I had a large load of jeans, towels, etc. which had a fair amount of clay in it (my pottery clothes). I had on extra large, whites, and extra rinse. Everything came out fine.

Since our laundry detergent became more concentrated we've had problems with clothes not rinsing well and then the water in the washer doesn't drain well in the spin cycle. We had someone come out to check on it and he told us what was wrong and recommended we use less detergent and use the white wash rather than the others. I think now when we have problems its because we used too much detergent. My husband is also questioning if we should be using the white wash all the time even when we have dark loads.

I think the bigger problem is that the machine is 11 1/2 years old and, as dadoes said, is not the "classic Maytag of long-term reliability." I had gotten the Groupon thinking it was time for a new washer and thinking we might want a front loader which I knew would be expensive. Due to my indecision, my Groupon has expired. But I still think it's time to at least start thinking about a new machine.

So I guess I'm still wondering if anyone has any idea of how long this machine might last - I'm assuming it's not 30 years but could it be 20?? Also, if anyone has recommendations for a pretty basic washing machine - simple to use, lasts a long time, gets clothes clean without destroying them. The less time and thought put into laundry the better for us.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:24AM
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I have no idea about service/repair because the machine so far has been perfect in every way.
We had one load which I think was about the second or third load we did that started to become off balance, the machine stopped itself, jiggled a bit, added more water, swished both ways really hard, then started back with the spin and corrected itself without any problem.
We have now done at least 90+ loads since we have owned it and that was the only load that even started to become off balance. All the other 89+ loads have been completely without issues and the spin is rock solid.

We just did a load this morning that was jam packed with towels to the rim of the tub and had not a single problem.

I too have never had any issues with TLs.

This one so far seems to be VERY good.

I think buying any kind of appliance today is basically a crap shoot, you just have to hope the one you get is not a lemon and EVERY brand will have a few lemons regardless if you pay $700 or $2000+ for it.
At this point if I had a do over I would still buy the exact same washer and dryer again.
In the 4+ months we have had them they have been perfect.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 12:28PM
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I'm happy with our WP Top Loader, 3.6 cu. We bought from Lowes and added extended warranty which to me is a bargin at 89 dollars. It is a simple machine. We replaced our front loader, WP Duet, which only lasted 6 years. It has a water senser so adjust water level to meet load.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Thanks for the info. I went thru Sears the other day and saw the LG Waveforce - looked really solid. Also saw the WP Duet - will avoid that one! Didn't have much time to get into it but at least I'm "tuned in" now and will hopefully have enough knowledge to get a good washing machine when we replace.

I'm wondering if water levels in washing machines will have a similar process as the low flow toilets - at first they didn't work so well, but now seem be pretty trouble free.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Came back from vacation and threw in a load of laundry. The machine died on the spin cycle. My husband found a belt just lying under the machine.

Not sure if it's time to buy the new machine. It's probably $140 + parts to repair. Again it's a 12 year old Maytag with the Norge design - not the long-term reliability one per dadoes.

We're looking at the Speed Queen 432 if we purchase which I think runs in the $800 range. Looking for a long-term reliable, no fuss machine.

What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:41AM
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I have similar problem although my 19-year-old Maytag is still working after minor repair just undertaken. I'm looking.

As nearly as I can tell the only TL "old-tech" similar machine currently being manufactured is Speed Queen. Everything else is "energy star"/HE design using longer cycles, less water, and different principals -- and quite a bit of controversy, as I'm sure you're aware from reading here. Recent research at various sites, CR among them, seems to show terrific acceptance and praise among among SQ owners/users very much at odds with the performance ratings given by the testing service. SQ does have the best warranty of anyone.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:52AM
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In answer to someone's question, Whirlpool purchased Maytag in 2006 (IIRC). Definitely after 2000.

OP, I have a Maytag Bravos set which I really, really like. The cycles aren't long(er) unless I use the washer's water heater. Even then, the longest cycle is 139 minutes -- this includes an extra rinse.

The Bravos is a TL and is larger than SQ's washers. I looked at SQ when in the market for a new washer, but their washers weren't as large, were expensive, and their spin cycles' RPM is lower.

So I got Bravos and couldn't be happier. I really appreciate being able to wash a king-size comforter and huge loads of other laundry. This saves me a LOT of time and energy too. There's a 10-year warranty.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:09PM
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