porcelain vs. stainless steel drums? also F &P, Whirlpool, Maytag

blue_jean_babyFebruary 10, 2010

Any preferences or problems? I have to get a new machine and I've only ever had porcelain/enamel drums. Not too sure about the stainless seam and the snag potential...

I had wanted and planned on getting the F & P IWL but they were discontinued before I had the money saved. Is the Eco better than the Aqua in the currently available line?

If I can't get the F & P, I'm looking at Maytag and Whirlpool,(I saw they are now one merged company) topload models in the $400 - $700 range, give or take. In particular I wonder about the top load Cabrio and the Whirlpool Centennial Commercial models.

I could really use some input!



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I can only speak of my experiences here. I prefer stainless steel drums, no worries about it chipping and rusting. As far F&P machines, I prefer the aqau smart, seems more gentle on clothes. If you are looking at HE Top loaders, Id check out the Maytag Bravos HE with the internal heater..850 series. Ive read some good reviews on this model. One thing to remember, when you read any review on any machine, models vary, and that does not mean all of them are good or bad. Most people do not include this in there opinion of the product. If my FL dropped dead tomorrow, Id have no issues with a Bravos 850 series. Convention toploaders are less expensive to buy, but you spend the savings in the water and energy usage.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 6:53PM
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I will never buy another dryer with a porcelain tub again that discolors like 5.25 year old Whirlpool Duet Gas Dryer. I see that their new Whirlpool Duet Gas Dryers now have a stainless steel drum. I feel stainless steel retains the heat better also so quickens up the drying time.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:59PM
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Your Whirlpool dryer drum is not porcelain. What kind of discoloration? It's common that they pick up a blue tinge if jeans loads are run a lot, but that's not to be considered damage nor does it bleed off onto other clothes. Keep in mind that a maladjusted gas burner can contribute to discoloration, as any combustion byproducts are passed through the dryer drum (and clothes) with the heated airflow.

PLASTIC insulates much better than metal. Hold a stainless steel bowl or pan in the palm of your hand and pour boiling water into it ... see how long before you drop the pan. Then do the same thing with a plastic bowl (that's sturdy enough to take boiling water) and see how much longer you can hold it. The metal pan gets hot because it's letting the heat OUT, not holding it in.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Sorry for the confusion - I see now I didn't specify WASHING machine. I've never had porcelain chip or rust. I also haven't had problems with laundermat equipment - always stainless steel - BUT the Maytags I looked at in the $400 - $700 range had a different type of seam and my concern is about clothes (potentially) snagging.

Frankly I would only care about discoloration if it stained or otherwise damaged clothes.

I'm not getting a set, just a washer - and I'd like it to last a few years, because they only get replaced when they die.

And Duets,Bravos, etc are out of my price range. I know F & P could be considered pricey (at least by me) but dadoes and others have made that my dream machine.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 11:52AM
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dadoes, sorry, I guess I am very upset that now that I have spent hours and the last few months cleaning all my venting going up into the attic up to the roof, my dryer is working worse than ever and took 2 hours and 40 minutes to dry one light weight bath towel, one hand towel and one small wash cloth. It is took 6 hours to dry half a load that had nothing heavy in it the other day. The discoloring of brown and now blue is getting worse. I never had discoloring until my 5 year extended warranty ran out and I am very upset since I spent a lot of money for this Duet front load washer and dryer set with the internal heater on the washer 5.25 years ago.

My washer just started two days ago to not spin as fast either so that is also not working so well. I had to use the drain and spin feature to get more water out of my sheets before putting them in the dryer and that took 4 hours to dry a few sheets.

So plastic is actually not so bad after all? I was always told that a stainless steel drum will be better like it is with a dishwasher since my stainless steel tub definitely is working better on my Kitchenaid dishwasher than that always stained (had to use the Tang method once month to get out stains) Whirlpool very old noisy dishwasher. I bought the Whirlpool Duet set since they were highly recommended by Consumers Guide and my other whirlpool appliances lasted so long but it always took a long time to dry and now it is not working. Could my venting problem have added to a problem? What could now be wrong. In my area, service calls cost $125 to say hello before the clock starts to tick and then their are the parts.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 11:25PM
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Call Sears 800 number for repair. I do not know if it does apply to WD but I had some repairs on my DW few years ago and I had an option to pay for the service call ( I think it was 75 bucks) and than the cost of repair or I could pay 175 ahead and everything was covered - even replacement if they couldn't fix it. I paid the later, got new motor, don't even know if it cost me more but I was happy. DW is still running. BTW it has plastic inside and no stains(12 years old). My LGs have stainless drums. I love them better, no rust etc. My past dryers had plastic and I had worn out the color and had stains from jeans etc. I had scratches too from metal buckles, zippers or whatever.
Anyway, Sears had some appliance protection back then too-now I wish I had it for my induction top. I think it's worth to call them to see if it might help you and what the cost is.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 5:09AM
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Porcelan in a washer is prone to chiping and eventual rust. Stainless will not rust or chip.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 5:25PM
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I once heard that a stainless steel wash drum actually gets smoother with age. They are much easier on your clothing.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 4:25AM
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In particular I wonder about the top load Cabrio and the Whirlpool Centennial Commercial models.

First, I do recommend the stainless steel drum over a porcelain drum, for the reasons others have mentioned. My Maytag Bravos washer, which I've owned for more than a year and a half, has a SS drum, and I've never had any problem with snagging -- not even when I wash delicates and sweaters.

You said you are interested in the Cabrio, but can't afford the Bravos? That's a bit confusing to me, because they are so close in price -- although I have been told by several repairmen and independent retailers that Bravos is the top of Whirlpool's HE TL line.

I have not owned a Maytag Centennial, so I can't help you there. Whatever you buy, I do recommend buying a washer with an internal water heater if you want hot water to be as hot as it was in older, traditional washers.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 12:29AM
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Thanks for the heads up about internal water heaters, Mara.

Somehow I had the idea that Bravos and Cabrios were front loaders so my interest was piqued when I saw a Cabrio top loader. Found my mistake when I tried to compare just now -they are both top loaders- but at Lowe's the Bravo is $100-$200 more (depending on color) than the Cabrio. I had thought Bravos were over $1000, maybe the price came down since I saw that.

My current (dead) washer has an enamel/porcelain tub and I've never had any problems; the well-used washer I inherited never had problems either. Maybe I'm lucky!

Thanks for the advice, everyone.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 2:16AM
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