Washer recommendation? Top loader, no frills

linnea56January 23, 2014

After 27 my washer finally bit the dust (not a typo: 27 years for this ordinary GE washer. It was fixed once in its first year, and never again.) The snubbers that balance the tub just wore out. It still washes just fine: but someone has to sit on it while it spins.

I know appliances have changed a lot in the interim. We are looking for a basic top loader. No front loaders. We are empty nesters now, so don't need either great capacity, or lots of bells and whistles. Just permanent press and regular settings. I'd prefer something that has mechanical controls vs. using a chip.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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Why not fix it? Looking for new washers these days is a bit of a nightmare (in the process of it right now myself).

If you must buy new, the Speed Queen line is probably the closest to what you have without fancy breakable electronics. I am looking at one of these.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:47PM
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Lots of people love their SQ's. Simple, made in the US, heavy built.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Not sure if you can still get the snubber pads for the 70s and 80s Maytags and Speed Queens workhorses. If you can't get them from the OEM try Partsking or a like online supplier, they may have a source, but may not function as good as the genuine parts from the manufacturer.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 8:49PM
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Assuming you are referring to a GE Filter-Flo machine, here is a link to the YOKE CUSHION that probably is work down to nothing.


Here is a link that might be useful: EBAY Parts

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:15AM
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If it was just the snubbers I think we’d try to fix it. I asked my husband (engineer) to see what he could do. He looked and said they were completely worn out. But when he stood it upright again and we tried running it, now it leaks. We couldn’t see from where…but not the hose joints or anyplace obvious.

(FWIW : He had turned it over (or opened it, I’m not sure, I was not there) about once a year to adjust them, with no ill effects)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 5:38PM
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Like others have said, the I would recommend a top load Speed Queen. Build like a tank, trouble free for MANY years. Washes well. I own the front load version.

However, if I were to recommend a 2nd place washer, it would be a Staber Washer (google it). Made in Ohio. Top loading, horizontal axis washer. Minimal electronics. Used in some fire departments. Any thing that breaks on it is designed to be easily replaced by the owner.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:01PM
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With respect....Staber has come in for some pretty intense criticism on this forum and elsewhere over the years. In particular, their support and help to troubled customers has been pretty well castigated....which I think is not a good thing for a really small player in any market. I, myself, have been unimpressed with their responses to my telephone and e-mail inquiries which led my abandoning consideration.

On the other side, I found Speed Queen exemplary. The national sales manager answered his own phone and graciously directed me to several people and sources. The #542 I bought four months ago has been 100% as-represented. And, unlike Staber, they have actual retail dealers. For those seeking a simple "old tech" machine, I recommend it without hesitation. Too early for me to comment on longevity but everything else about it is exactly what I intended.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 7:49AM
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I looked at Speed Queen agitators, and the local dealer had them starting at ~ $ 800. Considering our light use, I don’t want to spend that much. We don’t need our washer to, er, outlive us. ;)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 1:27PM
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You may have to make a mental adjustment about prices.

When I began shopping (with intentions similar to yours) I was surprised by 1) how much everything cost and 2) the surprisingly poor quality of the lower-priced alternatives.

Like you, I about choked on Speed Queen's price for an old-tech top-loader. However, my opinion of the very few lower-priced alternatives was that they were unworthy of consideration at any price.

Good luck in your search. I would interested in learning about your decision when made.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:09PM
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If I have choice, I want all my appliances to outlive me. It would be a fantasy comes true that I would never worry about any repair and replacement of appliances.

Going through this forum you could find all types of headache associated with most washers, other than Speed Queen. Some European brands/models may have fewer issues, but they still have problems, both their selling price and repair cost are outranges.

We work in high tech fields; it is why we know better not to get a complex, high maintenance machine at home. We definitely do not have the time and patience waiting for repairman to trouble shooting problems that they may not even have solutions.

To us, reliability and time are most important. We want a simple, user friendly and reliable washer to clean clothes and save our time, nothing more, nothing less. So far Speed Queen has met our expectations.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 6:19PM
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From everything I'm reading, Speed Queen seems the way to go. Has everyone bought them at a local dealer, or ordered online? The dealer I went to had only one model on the floor (The AWN 412) , everything else was special order. I've never ordered any applicances online.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 11:37PM
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linnea, I bought mine from Appliance World and the 542 and matching gas dryer had to be ordered. It took about 2 weeks to get them. Am glad I went with the 542 with all the options. Don't think you could make a better choice. If you haven't already, you can go to the Speed Queen web site, there is a link to find a dealer.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 7:12AM
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I ordered the simpler model Speed Queen from a local dealer. Even the 412 has more options than my old machine. Their delivery and installation are really low, too, so getting the SQ only cost me about $ 180 more then the GE TL I was looking at.

When I told my husband about the 3 year SQ warranty, he paused a second, and said, “I guess they’re not planning on having to fix them, then.”

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:16PM
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Congratulations for getting a great washer! You made a right choice.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:59PM
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Love my speed queen. No drama, just does its thing. Feels like a tank. You will be pleased.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 12:18AM
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If you plan on living more than 3 years then don't buy an LG. We bought a top load 3 years ago and last week it fell apart, the top flew off, the drum ripped off and broke the supports and plastic brackets and actually put a hole in the wall. LG won't replace it instead they are going to repair it?!!!!! See picture. this is what met me at my laundry room door after loud crash.
After reading numerous reviews by actual owners we're cutting our losses and buying a Speed Queen, made in the USA and not out of plastic.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 4:00PM
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I'm sorry about your LG!

I see my old thread “woke up”. We bought our basic model Speed Queen a year ago this week. Very happy with it so far. Our use as empty nesters is light, though. When our daughter comes home from college she stuffs it and it manages just fine. Slightly louder than we were used to (might be the stainless drum), but all that means is we just don’t do laundry in the adjacent laundry room while we eat dinner. Cleans well. I like being able to do a long soak like I have always done, when washing really filthy things, to let the detergent have a chance to work.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 5:46PM
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There was a recall on that washer, did you ever have it done?

I think there was a misunderstanding somewhere, that machine looks like it would cost LG more to repair than to replace.

That said you can't go wrong with a new SQ.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 5:52PM
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Also recommend Speed Queen. The last quality top loaders left.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 7:20PM
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