Seeking workhorse dryer - doesn't need to be pretty!

chicagoansFebruary 9, 2011

(X post from appliances - realized belatedly that I should post here.)

I'm seeking an inexpensive (less than $500 if possible) dryer for our 'secondary' laundry room in the basement. We have nice, 2 y.o. higher end W/D in a main floor mudroom that we use for our regular laundry. The basement laundry is now used for things like cleaning rags, beach towels, and really mucky stuff (like when DS plays football in the mud.)

Our older dryer, a Maytag, konked out and we can't get a replacement part. (Tried, but it's a 16 y.o. dryer.) We used this dryer fairly often, every other week or so, so we want something reliable. But looks don't matter and bells and whistles aren't needed (like the little chiming song on my new LG.) The Maytag washer is also 16 years old, so we may replace it at the same time. (It works, but the lid has some rust spots, so we'll see if we can get a good package deal.)

So... any suggestions for a hardworking dryer that doesn't need to impress anyone but me and the cleaning rags?

If it matters, we have a gas hookup.


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What is the model # of the broken Maytag, and what part is needed?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 7:02PM
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Hi dadoes: we've already repaired it a few times and it's really ready for replacement, so I'm not going to pursue the replacement part any more. (But thanks for asking!)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 10:38AM
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chicagoans, you did not specify whether gas or electric. This will assume electric, but it applies as well to gas (with a different model number).

Whirlpool has made one model of dryer since dinosaurs roamed the earth; it has been sold by Sears under the Kenmore brand for all of that time, The Kenmore model number is 6120. It just runs. Parts for it are so ubiquitous, you probably can find them in the convenience aisle of your Kroger or Albertson's supermarket.

We bought one (Kenmore brand) in 1976; nineteen years later, when it got tired, we bought another (Whirlpool brand) in 1995, cosmetically different but internally the same; the latter is still chugging along like new.

A nice feature: it has a "hamper" (bottom hinge) door, one that catches your wet clothes should you drop an item while transferring it from the washer to the dryer. Everybody (other than Consumers Union) who ever has had a hamper door prefers it over a side-hinge door. (CU hates hamper doors.)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 9:10PM
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Well, I'm questioning whether the needed part really isn't available. It's surprising how many "old" parts can be found if one takes the time to look ... eBay and other online sources for example. I recently repaired my grandmother's 27-year-old refrigerator, and a friend's 25-year-old dryer. The needed part was available for both.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 9:46PM
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dadoes writes: "Well, I'm questioning whether the needed part really isn't available."

It would not surprise me one bit. When Whirlpool acquired Maytag, what it did with the old company's assets can be compared only to the way the Bolsheviks treated the Czarists after the Russian Revolution.

We had a Jenn-Air cooktop (Jenn-Air was a division of Maytag), only a very few years old, that needed a specific Jenn-Air-only part. When I contacted Whirlpool to inquire of parts availability, I was told: that Whirlpool had no inventory whatsoever of parts for Jenn-Air; that Whirlpool did not have a list of third party suppliers or warehouses who might stock Jenn-Air parts; that Whirlpool had no library of manuals, schematics, or part numbers for Jenn-Air products; and that Whirlpool did not even have a list of model numbers for Jenn-Air products. Old Maytags and Jenn-Airs were orphaned and, more than orphaned, abandoned, and Whirlpool wanted nothing at all to do with them; and wished that people would stop bothering the company about the former Maytag and Jenn-Air products.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 12:16PM
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That's not entirely true. Whirlpool has a library of Maytag service documents on their technical resource web site, which was open to public access until October 2010 when they changed to paid-subscription. I never looked there for Jenn-Air material so can't say about that.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 1:08PM
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Thanks for the tip on the Kenmore, herring_maven. I'll look into it!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Herring Maven,

Would you happen to know if there is a companion Washer to the Whirlpool you've recommended? I don't mean to intrude on this thread! Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 7:25PM
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How about double stack dryer 30lbs capacity for each pocket for a total of $550.00 plus shipping. Email me back if your interested :)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 7:42PM
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123Laundry - bad, bad, bad. No selling here.

From the Instructions:
No advertising is allowed in any of the forums.

Complaints are OK - ads are not.

Off to EBay for you..............

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:19PM
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Just to follow up (I don't want to 'post and run') -- we looked online, read some reviews, wanted to vist Abt (great eye candy, if you like cool appliances) but found good prices at a nearby HD that had appliances on sale. Bought Maytag Centennial washer and gas dryer, HE top load washer, both 'commercial' sizes. (They stick out ~ 3" farther than our old ones and I can see the difference in interior room.) Installed yesterday, look great (but who cares it's the basement!) and so far working fine. (They better be, right?) I think we'll appreciate the extra size and I like that the washer is HE (less water used, no agitator.) Oh, and we got both units, installed and the old ones hauled away, for just under $1k, which is what we were hoping.

I'm happy... no more washing the cleaning rags with our clothes!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:07PM
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happylady1957 asks: "Would you happen to know if there is a companion Washer to the Whirlpool you've recommended?"

I am sorry to be late replying, and further sorry that I do not know if there is a companion washer. When I saw the question, I simply visited, looked up dryers, sorted by price, lowest first, and looked for the first dryer that had the telltale door configuration and the trap-door covered lint filter on the top deck just below the push-to-start button on the control panel. Those two visual indications are a sure sign of the venerable well-tested Whirlpool workhorse.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 6:12PM
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The Kenmore model referenced by Herring_Maven likely isn't the only specimen of said Whirlpool mechanical design currently on the market. Roper, Estate, Admiral, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Amana, Inglis, and Maytag are all under the Whirlpool family umbrella. There probably are similar models under several of those brands. It's referred to in the industry as Whirlpool's 29" design. Whirlpool also has a 27" design (width of the cabinet) with lint filter at lower front inside the door opening.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:36PM
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