Whirlpool copied Fisher Paykel for less$ ?

nordhavnFebruary 22, 2009

The Fisher Paykel thread is full. The last post, by Greg, said that he had been told that Whirlpool is making machines copying the Fisher Paykel design, and they cost about $200.00 less. I will add that he was told this by a repairman who had not inspired great trust. Does anyone know if this is correct?

I am suddenly (of course!) in need of a new washer and hate my dryer,(both 12 year old Amanas) so it is time for new machines. But what to buy???? I do not want front loading. Love what I read about FPs. If I can get the same for less money, sounds good to me. But can I?

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Just because they are copying the design (if they are) does not mean it will be the same.
Lots of designs for lots of products have been copied with limited success and limited value to the consumer.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:27AM
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The HE impeller toploaders Whirlpool produced first under brand name of Kenmore Oasis, then Whirlpool Cabrio, and now also Maytag Bravos, are based on F&P's design. Oasis, Cabrio, and Bravos use the same SmartDrive main motor as F&P, and their mechanical design of transmissionless direct-drive with floating basket. Whirlpool did make a few changes (for example, F&P uses one pump that reverses for recirculation and draining, Whirlpool uses two pumps). Whirlpool added agitator models shortly after the initial HE washplate-impeller machines.

F&P also then introduced their own HE washplate-impeller model, the AquaSmart, to the US market, after the Oasis and Cabrio.

F&P's current two agitator models are known as the EcoSmart and Intuitive Eco. The Intuitive Eco has a unique automatic fabric-sensing feature that sets the agitation speed. F&P agitator models have been on the US market much longer than Whirlpool's use of the design. ONLY the Oasis/Cabrio/Bravos HE and agitator machines are are based on F&P. Whirlpool worked with F&P in developing the machines, they didn't outright copy the design.

Whirlpool also still has their direct-drive/transmission agitator machine on the market under brands of Whirlpool, Kenmore, Estate, Inglis, and now Maytag, Amana, and Admiral. They were also sold under the KitchenAid brand from the late 1980s through approx 2006. These machines have no relation to F&P design.

As for pricing, F&P's EcoSmart is typically lowest.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 1:56PM
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Thanks, Dadoes. What is the advantage/ disadvantage of agitator models vs impeller models? As I mentioned, I hate the machines we have,which is an agitator washer and a dryer that either cooks everything or does not dry stuff, and ties everything in knots. I would LOVE a dryer that dries with just enough heat to do the job, and does minimal wrinkling. I want a washer that is as energy efficient as possible, but I also want to know that the detergent is out of the clothes, and that they are actually clean. I would like to be able to soak clothes for a while before the whole cycle runs. Over years of ownership, the few hundred dollars difference between one model and the other would not matter much, though I see no reason to spend money if I do not need to. When I went to the FP web site, I really could not decipher the differences between models. Which do you recommend? And do you think that FP is the best brand to get?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 4:53PM
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I don't know what they're using for price comparison, but the research I've done lately puts F&P about $200 cheaper than the COB (Cabrio/Oasis/Bravos). And the agitator models seem about $100-200 cheaper than the Whirlpools too. However the Whirlpools do have a larger capacity so that can make a difference if you need the added size.

The IWL at around $700 sounds like a preferable option at least for me over the Cabrio. And the EcoSmart at about $500-$550 seems like a real bargain in a washer.

Owners can tell you much more about the difference between impeller and agitator, but there's several people here who had the impeller and returned it for an agitator version. Sounds like the impeller is much more finicky on how it's loaded. Agitator is more a dump and run where the "higher tech" is a bit more fussy.

F&P is an impressive and innovative company to me. Definitely worth looking into.

Now for dryers, are you using gas or electric? I hear more complaints from gas dryer owners about baking clothes than electric owners. I'm hearing rumors that lately the dryers don't get as hot as they used to, which can be a good thing. My Whirlpool Gold has 4 heat settings (technically 5 with the "no heat" option), although I have used high heat all but twice since I got it.

A dryer should not wrinkle. Leaving the clothes in there too long so they wrinkle is not the dryer's fault. My dryer, as do many others, including the F&P topload dryer, gives the option of tumbling the clothes on and off as a "wrinkle preventer" if you don't get down and take the clothes out. If it's that bad, I turn it back on for 10 minutes and let it get someheat in there. That'll remove the wrinkles, then get the clothes out and on hangers or folded and no problem. Sometimes the washer is to blame if too high a spin speed starts to wrinkle the clothes.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:27PM
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I can comment on the agitator in the F&P IWL16. It does not have the big curved spines that come out from a typical TL agitator. They are much, much smaller. The TL opening is also much larger and the SS tub does not have as much of a rounded "overflow lip" so it's much easier to put large sheets, etc. in. You are not stuffing them under the lip and then down. The entire tub is open from above, in other words.

We have had ours about 8 weeks now and it's the best damn washer we've ever had! Deadly quiet, too.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 3:58PM
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dallasbill - how does your FP model compare with the Whirlpool Cabrio 6200 w/agitator? Do you have things get entangled in the agitator? Can you control your water usage? Thanks

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 11:19PM
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Sue, F&P's agitator is a different design than the Cabrio's. Similar in a way, but different enough that I wouldn't make a direct comparison. That being said, ALL F&P agitator toploaders have used the exact same agitator for 10 years or more. I have an IWL12, immediate predecessor to IWL16. I also have a GWL08, nine years old. No particular trouble with items getting entangled in the agitator has ever occurred.

All F&P toploaders on the U.S. market have both auto-sensing water level and manual selection (five choices). The IWL model goes further and has automatic fabric sensing. A few of the cycles have a preset agitation speed, but on most of them the machine varies the agitation based on the selected soil level (which changes the wash time), AND by sensing how heavy is the load through feedback on the motor via the agitator. IWL also offers a wide range of rinsing choices, including water-saving shower rinses. A couple of the specialized cycles (Muddy and Allergy) have extra rinsing. The Muddy cycle uses a TON of water, having a prewash, drain, shower wash, agitated wash, plus extra rinses. It's a *hugely* flexible and fully-featured machine. 1000 RPM maximum spin speed. About the only thing of note missing is a bleach dispenser and on-board water heating.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:32AM
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