Top-loading HE washer & dryer for us?

nelles_gwFebruary 10, 2013

My Whirpool washer/dryer pair are about 7.5 years old. The washing maching has been repaired once, just last Nov., because the switch to make it "go" needed replacing.
Now the electric dryer is running, but has no heat. It probably needs a heating element, but it could be 3 other things. DH doesn't feel comfortable trying to do the "fix", so we'll be calling a repairman.

Anyway, when it comes to replacing the washer/dryer, I "think" I want a H/E top loading set.

But I know how terribly expensive the sets are, and now I'm wondering if it's worth the investment for us.

It's just DH & me, and I do, on average, 8 loads a week. Nothing is too large. Right now, I go to a laundromat when I want to wash blankets and comforters.

We live in FL, where water is expensive. But I don't know how long it would take to recover the expense of H/E top loaders.

This is also posted on the Appliance forum.

I'd appreciate everyone's thoughts & opinions.


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Dryers are pretty simple for repairs. Heating elements certainly can fail, but it doesn't happen as often as people tend to expect.

Components involved in an (electric) no-heat situation include:

- A tripped breaker on the 240v circuit. If one of the two legs trips, the machine may run (the motor is 120v, needs just one leg of the circuit powered) but not heat (the heating element needs both legs for full 240v).

- Failed element. In some cases if the element shorts to ground (the element breaks and touches the metal frame), it'll heat continuously unless the power is disconnected ... which results in a non-resettable thermal safety fuse blowing due to overheating (element hot with no airflow).

- The aforementioned thermal fuse can blow due to overheating from causes other than a shorted element, such as obstructed airflow from clogged exhaust ducting. The cause of the overheating must be corrected along with replacing the fuse or the fuse will blow again.

- Element overheat safety thermostat, which is a companion to the thermal fuse.

- Bad operating thermostat, which cycles the element on/off to maintain the target drying temperature.

- Bad timer.

- Bad start/centrifugal switch on the motor. The heating element is wired through the motor such that the element can't get power unless the motor is up to full running speed. The element may not get power if this switch on the motor fails.

- Bad temperature selector switch on the control panel.

Note that there's typically another thermal fuse in the blower housing next to the operating thermostat, but the entire machine usually goes dead if that one blows.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:36PM
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