Would you buy a floor model Speed Queen?

alisandeFebruary 20, 2009

I've started looking at TL washers. Initially I had thought I'd get a Maytag to replace my old, reliable one. The local appliance store offers a $50 rebate plus a year's worth of Tide on the Centennial model. But I read on this forum that Maytags aren't what they used to be.

Consumer Reports recommends the GE WJRE5500G. Is CR worth listening to? I haven't looked at that model or checked prices. Reviews of that model rave about excellent water extraction and remarkable quietness.

Meanwhile, I see Speed Queen mentioned here with some frequency, almost always in positive terms. The local store has two Speed Queen floor models on sale. (Obviously, when they're gone, they're gone.) One, the AWS44NW, is selling for $539. I haven't found SQs for sale anywhere else, so I don't know if that's a good price or not. The unit looks fine. What do you think about buying a floor model?

BTW, the stats on that model specify "High Speed Water Extraction." Maybe they've improved on that score?



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think Consumer Reports is a joke. Has been for 20 years. Hardly worth lining a bird cage AFAIC.

GE TLs used to be solid units. They, like Maytag, went through a period where they really were junk. In the last 8-10 years GE has made dramatic improvements. Whether they're a top quality unit, I wouldn't go that far but for a low-buck washer, they may be all right. Still, for the low end market, Whirlpool's various brands are solid. They have the Roper, Inglis, Estate, some Maytag and some Whirlpool brands down there in price, probably some other names - they own a lot of names. For a $200-$300 washer, there's really no competition. If you don't do a lot of loads, it could work well. My cousin bought an Inglis a couple years ago, and another friend bought Roper shortly thereafter and both couldn't be happier.

Maytag is not what it was 20 or 30 years ago with the "Dependable Care" line. However, they're also not the piece of garbage they became 10 years ago or so. Maytag is now owned by Whirlpool and for the most part the units are Whirlpools.

Speed Queen's agitation stroke is 210 degrees and I see the Maytag Centennial is 100. I'm not sure what the rest of the Whirlpool line is, but that's not a lot of agitation IMO.

Speed Queen is noted for being well made and has a 3 year warranty. They have a spin speed IIRC about 710 RPM which is pretty good. Doesn't compare with the Fisher & Paykel 1000 RPM though. You might give some thought to F&P's low end unit in the $500-$600 range too.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a floor model. Actually I did. 30 years ago I bought a floor model JC Penney (GE) and it's still going strong. I figured that anything that could have been damaged being a floor model would easily show up under warranty. You might ask them to plug it in and demo it to prove all is well, but you could take it home first. I'm sure they'd take it back if there was a problem or at least get it fixed for you. Like I said, it should have a full warranty. Really, how much could be wrong? Scratches? My biggest fear was people cranking the controls the wrong way but I didn't have any trouble. And especially if it's a small shop, they probably keep an eye on the stock pretty well.

The price on the Speed Queen sounds pretty decent to me from what I've seen on the internet. I haven't priced them at stores though so do your homework.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 3:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a floor model. But, I would follow Cynic's advice above.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My homework is making me dizzy. :-)

Local appliance dealers are raving about the GE 5500 I mentioned above. No transmission, innovative agitation, etc. Selling price is $479 with a $50 rebate. Good savings (which I can certainly appreciate right now) over the Speed Queen.

But the consumer reviews I've read (mostly on the Sears website) are scary. Lots of breakdowns. I remind myself that people are more likely to post a review if they're unhappy with a product, but still . . .

One appliance dealer (who sells Speed Queen) says it doesn't make much sense for me to put the extra money into a SQ if I don't do a lot of laundry. I don't.

I guess my next step is to check out the Whirlpool option.

Thanks for your help!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Based on the last 2 GE washers I had, they are STILL JUNK! 1 lasted 3 years, then the second 1 1/2 years. I went speed queen , love it!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A SQ will cost $150-$200 more.

I would ask yourself how long you plan to keep it. It might not make sense if you are planning to move in the next five years and will leave it behind.

Otherwise, a broken-down washer is an incredible inconvenience and missing work for multiple service call is even worse.

It would be worth the extra money to me.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I''m convinced, and thank you all for that.

I ordered the Speed Queen this morning, and I feel good about that decision.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Congratulations! One thing you have to consider is that a cheap machine will become very expensive over time if it is of poor quality and needs to be repaired frequently. The adage, you get what you pay for is true.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Years ago (early '70s) when I bought my first washer/dryer, I bought GE. They were pretty good, not bad at all. Did what I needed them to do, lasted about 20 years. No complaints, though I liked the washer better than the dryer.

However, I've been hearing bad things about GE appliances in recent years, particularly washing machines and dishwashers. I had a GE d/w which was nothing but junk, ditto for a GE range.

I *do* have a very good GE fridge - love it.

I've never owned a Speed Queen, but I'd buy just about anything over a GE these days (fridge, only exception).

BTW - I *love* my Maytag Bravos HE toploading washer - it's the best washer I've ever had, by far. I hope you enjoy your SQ washer as much as I enjoy my Maytag. :-)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 6:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't help but chuckle when people make blanket statements like the one above about GE. Curiously a lot of people have good luck with Frigidaire-made GEs and a lot of people have good luck with the LG made GE Harmony... But then again Consumer Reports doesn't often mention that. They probably don't know! And since Maytag is now a Whirlpool product and the Bravos a Whirlpool (Cabrio/Oasis - NOT Maytag) design... LOL

It's difficult to get people to understand that you can't just go by brand names. I understand even Miele doesn't make all their appliances anymore. There's a lot of people commenting about not getting what they paid for from them too. Anything can and does break down occasionally. Contrary to what Archie Bunker says, paying more doesn't necessarily mean better quality.

alisande, I think you made a wise choice. Yes, you paid, what, $100 more, but then again you got a machine that retails in the $700+ range so if it's all it's cracked up to be, you should have a long and happy partner with your laundry needs. Frankly, you and I probably have similar needs in a washer. I'd appreciate if you'd keep us (or at least me) posted on your experience with the new machine. I'm trying to cut down some confusion for when I need to replace mine. I've looked at some front loaders too, but am almost convinced that a FL might not be a wise choice for me. My head spins at times. I've gone from thinking FL only, to F&P to SQ to the cheapest TL I could get and then start all over. I can't justify $1000 on a washer. And seeing issues with them, I have the same concerns that a lot of people have! Ah, decisions, decisions!

Good luck on the new machine and happy laundering!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks! I'm hoping to get it delivered a week from tomorrow, and I'll be sure to report in on occasion.

I see I didn't mention my dryer. I guess that's because I'm somewhat embarrassed to say I bought it two years ago, and the remodeling of the new laundry space took so long (it's a long story) that I'm just getting it delivered now, with the washer. The dryer is a Maytag. I chose it because my old Maytag had lasted so long, and because two years ago I thought they were still reliable. We shall see . . .

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bought a SQ for $750 a year ago and love it. In the last ten years, I have had two Whirlpools, two GEs and a maytag last only two to three years which is ridiculous. I usually have two machines at a time, which is why I've had so many. I also have a F &P in another house and can tell you that while it's cute - I love the noises it makes, so different from other machines - its low water level doesn't always get the clothes entirely wet, so therefore clean. I have had pillow cases come out with edges still dry. I would not buy another F&P.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with sunnyflies that I would also not buy another F&P. My reason is different though. I have found it is wonderful for everyday clothes and small stuff but you cannot do very large of blankets in in them. Also you must sort of balance the clothes in them otherwise they don't run and will just beep at you. Fine for everyday clothes but they do come out wrinkled. The toploading dryer does an awesome job get the wrinkles out though as well. Somebody must have noticed the problem and developed the dryer to do that. The dryer is much better than average but the washer I could do without.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 7:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I purchased a Speed Queen front loader and dryer six months ago. After installation and final foot adjustment to prevent walking, the pair have operated flawlessly. The washing cycle cleans clothes well and it takes very little time to dry clothes. I selected Speed Queen for its commercial quality build and components and its long warranty. How many other washers have stainless inner and outer tubs? This is one of the reasons why Speed Queen front loaders do not have mold/mildew problems. Detergents do not build-up on stainless steel tubs like they do on plasitc tubs. I fully expect the machines to last many years. If something does eventually need to be repaired, the parts should be readiliy availble since Speed Queen has been in business for a very long time specializing in laundry equipment.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

royaluser, my Maytag Bravos washer has a stainless steel tub, one thing I really like. Other washers made by Whirlpool do too.

Three things kept me from buying a Speed Queen: 1) I needed a washer with a larger capacity than any they make; 2) I was concerned about getting service in my area; and 3) I read complaints about them online. The main complaint I read was about them using plastic parts in recent models.

I ended up buying a Maytag Bravos washer -- huge capacity, made with commercial parts -- and couldn't be happier.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The saleswoman who described the Speed Queen to me said it was made with all metal commercial parts. I assume she was right, but right or wrong, I can report after four months that I am more than satisfied with my washer. It's fast, quiet, efficient, and does a great job.

I had read that the spin cycle might not extract quite enough water from loads of jeans or towels. I've found this to be true. The recommendation (from people who owned the washer) was to simply run it through another spin cycle. I've done this, and it works. It's no big deal. I am happy with this washer.

Somehow I don't have the same affection for my new Maytag dryer. It doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but I can think of a couple of things I wish it did differently.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Susan, I confess I love my Maytag Bravos dryer, LOL. It does things no other dryer I've owned has ever done.

This thread reminds me of mamas bragging on their children! It's a break from all the complaints normally seen here. :-)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mara, I'm sure your dryer is better than my dryer. (Which is not to say that your children are better than my children!) :-)

I've posted about my dryer saga.....I had an older Maytag dryer that had served me well, so when it died two years ago I bought another. Before it was delivered, I learned the models they were putting out at that time didn't exactly measure up to the older ones.

Also before it was delivered, I discovered that the area I wanted to set up as my laundry alcove was badly in need of a new floor and new plumbing. And new walls. And a new ceiling. And new wiring. Did I leave anything out?

In short, it was two years before I could take possession of the dryer. It is not a Bravos. I'm sure I would like the Bravos better. But it does dry the laundry. And (after two years of hauling wet wash to the laundromat) for that I am grateful.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 6:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So mara_2008, how long have you worked for Whirlpool?

Really, you're getting a little over-the-top. Take it down a notch or two.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 7:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Based on this thread and another I read, I have to say Mara's not being offensive. She's happy. Happy is good.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I think you hit the nail on the head. It's always been obvious to me that "Mara" is a shill for the Whirlpool Corporation.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or how about, Mara is the happy owner of a machine that has a bad reputation, so she wants to counter its reputation whenever she can. If her Bravos ever returns her gratitude by biting her, I'm sure we'll hear about it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mara 2008 mentioned that her Barvos has a stainless steel tub. Many washers are now made with a stainless steel inner tub. They look "purdy". Most washers do not have a stainless steel outer tub. In my opinion, if you own a front loader with a plastic outer tub, the washer is prone to mildew/mold problems.

Residue from detergents and fabric softener will adhere to the outer plastic tub above the water level. These solidified residues provide a proper media for mold to grow. Informed consumers should be wary of front loaders with plastic outer tubs. Ask your friends who have had a front loader for several years if they smell mold/mildew smells in the laundry room and in clean towels and sheets.
I mentioned in another thread that top loaders can have mold/mildew problems. I encountered this problem with a Kitchenaid top loader. The odor was from the fabric dispenser on top of the agitator. My clean towels and sheets smelled mildewy. I used a flashlight to look inside the dispenser. It was completely black inside. I filled the dispenser with bleach and pressure rinsed using a hose. Many chunks of black mold thick enough to pick-up with fingers were removed. The moral to the story is to clean the fabric softener dispenser occasionally if you have a top loader. If you predilute the fabric softener, it lessens the problem.

I placed my bet with Speed Queen. Although the pair was relatively expensive, I think I made the right call for the short and long terms. I would guess my machines will outlast most others. If something needs to be repaired, I should be able to handle it because the they were designed to be serviced and repaired easily.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

FWIW, here's a link to a source that says mold can grow on stainless steel, if nutrients are present. Is the Speed Queen's outer tub treated with teflon or something that would keep detergent and fabric softener residue from clinging to it? Certainly the stainless steel sink in my kitchen doesn't exactly stay clean by itself.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/buildings/basics/moldgrowth.htm

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mold can and will grow given the right conditions. Your stainless steel sink should stay relatively clean if you the rinse the soap/detergent residues and whatever else down the sink drain and let the sink dry. The part of the stainless steel sink that will grow mold is the sink drain which stays wet and has residue buildup.

My point was that a stainless steel outer tub is less susceptible to fabric softener/detergent buildup as compared to a plastic outer tub. Stainless steel stays cleaner. Given the choice, stainless steel tubs are the way to go. The commercial laundry equipment business has known the benefits of stainless steel for a long time. Many manufacturers lower their costs by using a plastic outer tub. Most consumers do not know the difference and will pay consequences when their machines have problems including mold and mildew issues.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good grief, mold grows under the right conditions. Cuts get infected under the right conditions. Treat/maintain the cut and you'll minimize infection risk just like maintaining the unit properly, whether top load, front load, stainless steel or a sponge is the key to eliminating mold issues. Colloquially, it's called "pilot error". If you don't maintain your car (check oil, antifreeze, battery, tires, etc), you'll have car trouble eventually. If you run a computer on the internet without proper maintenance, you'll have trouble. Pretty simple really.

There's a lot of things that contribute to mold growth and eliminating it including air circulation or lack thereof, temperature, whether something like bleach is used occasionally, and more.

Stainless steel certainly has certain advantages but to suggest that it's going to be maintenance free, as with the sink example, is just not looking at reality. And with the mold buildup in the dispenser example, just again shows what happens when you don't maintain an appliance. Many front load owners open or remove the dispensers to allow airflow so it'll dry out faster, again as part of maintenance.

People want to find something or someone to blame and often when they should just be looking in the mirror.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Susan, I'm not at all sure my Bravos dryer is better than your dryer. (And I'm very sure your kiddos are every bit as good as mine! LOL)

From all I've seen and heard, dryers are much more similar than washers. The main feature which seems to make a dryer really good is sensor(s) which keep laundry from over-drying. I needed a larger capacity dryer than SQ makes.

I appreciate your kind comments regarding me personally -- they were right on. I've had such a good experience with my Bravos washer/dryer, I am indeed very grateful for them. At the time I bought them, it was a real leap of faith, for I'd never owned an HE washer before, nor any Maytags. I knew about the '90s debacle, class-action lawsuit(s), and subsequent company failure which led to Whirlpool's acquisition of Maytag.

To those who speculate that I work for Whirlpool and/or am a 'shill' for Whirlpool, I can assure you that neither applies to me. And my Bravos washer/dryer are the first ones I've owned which were made by Whirlpool, AFAIK.

My career is in education -- the only field in which I've ever worked. Because I was so un-knowledgeable about current models of washers/dryers in general, I researched for months, both online and IRL, before making a decision.

I've seen many posts here from people who love/> their washers every bit as much as I love mine, but it's never occurred to me to accuse them of being an employee of and/or 'shill' for a particular company, or even to think of their posts as being 'over the top'. I figure they've just had as great an experience with theirs as I've had with mine.

suburbanmd, I do think if Bravos washers/dryers in general have a bad reputation, it's undeserved. My statement is based on the many positive reviews I've read at a number of websites, plus positive statements from independent appliance repairmen, plus my own experience, of course.

Yes, one of the reasons I post my positive experience here is for people who want to hear from someone who owns Bravos washer and/or dryer. At risk of being flamed (not from you personally), there does seem to be quite a bias in favor of frontloaders here.

And, yes, you are right -- if I ever have a problem with either of my Bravos appliances, I'll post it here. I've already been totally honest about my one and only disappointment with my washer (which also applies to all HE washers, AFAIK).

A guy has posted here a number of times, whose grandmother owns a Bravos -- an earlier model than mine. He too has said she gives rave reviews of her washer. For some reason his name escapes me, but I'm sure a number of you know who I'm talking about. He posted just recently.

I apologize for the length of this post -- figured I'd answer everyone in one message.

Peace to all. :-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Someone who constantly writes glowing over-the-top reviews of a product and whose only real complaint about said product is actually a design feature (and it's guaranteed that on a forum like this someone will take the bait and helpfully explain it away)...

If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hmmm. Not trying to attack, but for clarity if anyone is interested, every Speed Queen dryer I looked at was 7.0 cubic foot capacity. The non-steam Bravos I looked at were only 7.0 cubic foot capacity.

BTW, mara_2008, didn't you once say a DIL or someone had an Oasis? Thought I remembered that they had one and were happy with it but you bought the Bravos. I'm curious what their opinion is of it now that they've had it a while. I hear lots about the Bravos but nothing about the Oasis. Unless my poor weak memory has failed me again!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 11:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

curiousshopper - again, I've seen many posts here from people who love their washers every bit as much as I love mine, but it's never occurred to me to accuse them of being an employee of and/or 'shill' for a particular company, or even to think of their posts as being 'over the top'. I just figure they've had as great an experience with theirs as I've had with mine. I haven't seen you dissing them, nor do I wish to see you attack them.

cynic, your memory is not bad at all. A DIL does have a Sears Oasis Canyon Capacity washer. Most people think they are identical to Bravos, as they are both HE TL's built by Whirlpool.

The main reason I bought the Bravos over the Oasis (or Cabrio) was because I read and heard much better reports about the Bravos.

DIL told me later she had odor problems with her washer when using liquid detergent -- a problem I've never had. She switched to using powder only and says that solved the problem. I use HE powder and liquid detergents, depending on what type laundry I'm washing, and I've never had a problem with either.

When I researched Speed Queen washers and dryers, the biggest dryer I remember seeing at their website (I couldn't find a local dealer) was 6.5 cu ft. That was about a year and a half ago.

Because I bought the Bravos w/d set, I got rebates from both HD and Maytag. I have not regretted that purchase.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 7:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is an old thread but it was helpful to me since we are shopping for a new dryer. Our Amana finally bit the big one.

I found out that Speed Queen is made in the US if that matter to anyone. We are going to look at them tomorrow. I don't need anything special for the dryer besides efficiency. Our clothes are mostly work clothes so I don't need them to come out wrinkle-free or sanitized or what have you. Just, you know, dry. Cheers.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:49PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Magtag TL leaving white film on clothes
My Maytag has a selfcleaning filter, and I've had it...
Mystery holes in cotton knits
My husband and I have been perplexed for over a year...
Laundry room reveal
We just updated our laundry/mud room after years of...
Do you put powder detergent in dispenser in front loader?
I finally finished the big bottle of liquid detergent...
2015 washer/dryer
I just bought a new house and need a washer/dryer....
Jason Burroughs
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™