Samsung vs. Whirlpool front-loaders

sweetandrewFebruary 27, 2012

I am considering two front-loaders, the Whirlpool WFW94HEXW (phew!), a 4.3 cu. ft. 10-cycle washer, and the Samsung WF431ABP/XAA 3.9 cu. ft. 13-cycle HE steam washer, along with the "matching" dryers.

I realize it's a shot in the dark, but does anyone have first-hand experience or thoughts on these two models or brands in general? My eyes are glazing over from reading reviews on the web. The Whirlpool model is almost $200 cheaper (partly because it's white, not stainless platinum) and has slightly larger capacity than the Samsung, but its bad reviews are REALLY bad. (But in general its reviews are good.) What to do? What to do?

If not these models, other good ones in the $900-$1100 price range??

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Andrew -

All I can say is GOOD LUCK! I personally have a Duet but not that model. I love it and it's still going strong after several years. I glaze over too reading all of the reviews on the machines. Keep in mind how many of these machines are sold that are out there in operation (with no problems) vs the relatively few reviews that people write tend to be because they are upset. I can say that no matter what machine you buy, please plug it into a good surge protector from day one and not directly into the wall. Never overload the machine :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 5:36AM
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This might help. I'll try to find one of the Samsung as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: This might also help.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 7:15AM
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I am not familiar with the Samsung but I do have a whirlpool duet.

My opinion my not be too valid as I've only had mine for a month but I love mine! We don't have that exact model but ours works really well. Only thing I notice is it gets our clothes tangled up, which our previous frigidaire frontloader didn't do. But clothes have come out very clean regardless.

I think when all was said and done with ours we paid $1,500 all together, which included the extended 4 year warranty at $85 per unit. Ours were also on sale at menards and we got $65 back because when we got the washer unpacked there was a dent on the side of the machine.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 8:28AM
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This might help. I'll try to find one of the Samsung as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: This might also help.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Thanks so much for the quick responses! This is really helpful.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 10:22AM
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FWIW....I have seven-year-old Duet. Excellent performance and zero problems. My machine was built in Germany and is now two generations out-of-date so my experience may not be typical of latest models.

It is my opinion that Whirlpool has sold a vast number of these FL machines....many more than it would figure there would be more reviews for them. I also note that reviews of all machines tend toward love/hate...not too many in between. And those who are dissatisfied with any product do tend to howl into the aether having no other alternative.

I can say that among the bad reviews I've read and the reports here over the years, there have been very many where I can discern operator ignorance/error as opposed to machine defect. For example, the huge number of folks complaining about vibration quite obviously had a bad (typical) install where the machine's suspension components weren't allowed to operate as they were supposed to. I've personally corrected a number of those in-person and via internet forum advice. Cannot discern how many of the bad reports are actually faulty machines. Of course others have different opinions. All I can say is my machine is more-or-less exactly like all the others and it's been flawless.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 12:31PM
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My daughter has a duet, not sure of the model number , about 4 years old.
It required a major ($500 repair) after 2 1/2 years. She tried to get them to pay for the repair and they were resistant. Then she wrote about it on her blog and within 5 minutes of posting the blog, she had a message from them agreeing to pay for the repair.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Yea, I love my current duet and hopefully it will keep going for a few more years. I've always told myself if/when it goes I will get another Duet since I already have the Duet pedestals. I'm sure the dryer will outlast the washer. But after learning that they have downgraded their current warranties it makes me really apprehensive to get another WP or Maytag. What's the difference in getting a warranty straight through Whirlpool (more expensive) or getting one through home depot or lowes? I notice the home depot and lowes warranties are much cheaper than Whirlpool.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 3:23AM
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We got the Whirlpool Duet W/D set in 2003. We moved in 2011 and had no problems. The home we are renting has LG front loaders and they are horrible in comparison. Our next rental home, we will be buying a washer & dryer and storing their's in the garage.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 6:36AM
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@Mark we bought our warranties for our machines through menards. They came with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty and for $85 each we got the extended 4 year warranty. The menards warranty covers everything and even has a lemon clause where if the machine is repaired for the same thing 3 times they replace it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:47PM
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I am back here from 2004 because my Kenmore HE3 has just run into its first serious problem. Whirlpool made this front-loader, and Sears put their name on it.

I think all of these machines are trouble, and you got lucky if you get more than a few years out of them. Mine is suffering from bad bearings - and this model 110.44832 200 happens to be one of the few where you cannot just replace a $75 bearing set - you have to buy the external drum part that happens to have the bearings along with the drum.

The repair guys say the part alone is $400, so I am about to just go buy a new FL.

I see the part online for $260, on 'back order,' so I may get a new front-loader, order the part, and fix the old washer, and sell it off on my own time line.

Youtube has videos for a lot of these repairs if you are willing to try it.

On my HE3, the water pump died - I got the diagnostic code from the panel, and got on the internet, and figured that out - I went to a Sears appliance place and bought a replacement pump for maybe $50.

when I opened up that pump, which has a filter you should clean regularly, I found a tiny sock from one of my little boys. Yes, the washing machine allowed a tiny sock to get sucked into the water pump somehow. That clogged and killed the pump.

These HE3s and HE3ts have lots of notes on the web about the cast aluminum 'spider' bracket, which grasps the inner tub inside of the outer tub, decaying. I have not had that problem.

But this experience is worthless now as I go to shop again - those problems have probably been solved, and the currently available machines probably have even newer, more creative design flaws.

If Whirlpool had decided to stick with this HE3 design, and adapt design problems as they emerged, they could have a rock-solid washer we all wouold be raving about.

But no. While some allow you to simply replace bearings, my model cannot. The pump can suck up a little sock. The spider bracket is cast aluminum which corrodes. The drive pully is also cast aluminum and breaks.

I think I have avoided some of these problems because I balanced my front-loader so well. So, Mine lasted from fall 2004 to now, spring 2012. That is about as much as you can expect, America.

The repairs are incredibly expensive. They put you right on the edge of deciding to pay a lot for repair or to go buy new - that maximizes the money out of your pocket.

When this pile of metal was working well, it was great. Cleaned VERY well. Spun clothes so dry, you did not need to run dryer as much.

We have left the days of appliances that might last well beyond 15 years. We all have stories of washing machines, fridges, water heaters, and dryers that lived from 1950 or 60 or 70 up to 20 years. Not any more.

Have materials gotten worse? Are our engineers dumber? Do we lack comparison shopping ability? No. No. No.

All it would take is one company to decide to stick to one good design and eliminate flaws year by year. And buy market share by keeping repair costs low along the way. We would flock to it, and tell each other eagerly.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 1:19PM
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I worked for a company that produced major appliances. Many years ago some of us heard the rumor that top management had called in middle managers and told them that their appliances were made to last too long and that the profits were being hurt and that they were to redesign them to correct that "problem". I don't really know if the rumor was true. I stopped buying their appliances.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:30AM
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