Miele W1926 vs W1966 (which used washer to buy?)

lee676March 13, 2010

Hi, does anyone remember their Miele washing machines from a few years back, when they were still building 220V machines for the North American market? I have a chance to buy either of these at a low price and don't know the exact difference. I seem to recall that there were some gripes that the newer W1966 was "dumbed down" a bit, but it also seems to allow a faster spin speed (1600 vs. 1200 rpm) which is worth something. What else is different?

Also, I need a good source for a easy-connect kit for plugging a 240V/15A washer into a 240V/30A outlet and circuit. My dryer won't be using it.

Thanks in advance,

- Lee

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Hi Lee,
they are the americanized version of the W900 serie. I do prefer them rather than current ones. It's impossible to choose the wrong temp with them - unlike current ones, that allow "hurry-sourced" mistakes

Compare them on their manuals : the W1966 versus the W1926

Both of them have

- 1200 rpm max spin

- wetclean-like wool/handwash cycle as current models. Safe even with cashmere and with some dry-clean-only fabrics as loden wool

W1926 advantages :

- despite is round a decade older, its manual - unlike W1966 and current models- allows you to DIY in programming some features that today in the US only Miele service can do (e.g. ***1/3 glass door high rinse level***, ***5th rinse*** in cotton cycle, ***3rd rinse in case of "rapid wash"** option)

- more temp setting available for unusual requirement (e.g. a lace tablecloth can be washed on delicate 140F).

W1966 advantages

- it's round eight/ten year younger

- W1966 and current models have further cycles, anyway this is a fake advantage. These cycles actually are already existing programmes with some locked settings

e.g. "Jeans" is a permapress locked to 40°C/105°F without interim spins between wash and rinses.
"Silk" a similar variation of Wool/hanwash (lowest spin speed and no interim spins)
"Dress shirt is permapress + sensitive (waterplus) and no interim spin. You can have all of them on the W1926 just using spin speed selector and option keys

So there's no need to say my motto is "older chicken, better broth" :)


    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 2:48PM
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JUST 3 or 4 years older
guess W1926 is 1997/8
W1966 y2k

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 2:51PM
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Thanks Hidroman for your responses...

According to energystar.gov, W1926 was "active" Oct. 22, 1998 (and is no longer active, i.e. no longer made) and the W1966 is active from Jan. 11, 2002.

Somewhere I have the original brochures for these. I already downloaded the user guides from MieleUSA.com.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 4:47PM
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I have the W1918 washer, which was the 5Kg machine made at the same time as the slightly larger W1926, a 6Kg machine. I think if I needed to choose between the W1926 and the W1966 (assuming they're in similar condition), I'd go for the older W1926, just because I prefer the more versatile controls on the earlier machine. I can choose any combination of program options that I want, simply by depressing the appropriate buttons in conjunction with desired program selected with the rotary dial. The W1926 also includes a digital display of time remaining in the wash program, which is lacking on the W1966.

In addition, the older machine allows you to permanently alter programming to provide extra rinses by entering the changes via a sequence of button pushes outlined in the owner's manual.

Incidentally, as noted above, the W1926 has a maximum final spin speed of 1200 RPM. Only the smaller 5Kg models (W1918, W1930) had the option of a 1600 RPM final spin.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 5:58PM
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I have the Miele W1918, W1930 & W1986 washers with matching dryers. I prefer the W1918 & W1930 washers which are smaller versions of W1926. The W1966 also lacks a display for time remaining/delay which is handy. My W1986 is not as aggressive as the my other Miele's although the cycle times tends to be shorter. My other washers AEG 88840 & Asko 20004 run similar to the older Miele's.

I would go with the W1926..


    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 6:44PM
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I wavered on this for days, but I'm now the proud owner of a Miele W1926 that seems to be in nice condition and I got change back from my $200! Not bad for a machine that Steve Jobs got ''more thrill out of than I have out of any piece of high tech in years''! When the guy who masterminded the Mac, the iPod, and the iPhone gets more excited by a washing machine than by any recent gizmo, you know the thing must be darned impressive.

Since he gave that interview around the time the W1926 was the current top-of-the-line model, it's very possible I have the same machine as Steve does. How cool is that? I wonder if Mr. Jobs would be as enthusiastic about the dumbed-down 120V washers that Miele is hawking in the U.S. now...

Now for the hard part - getting a 250 lb. machine down the stairs into my basement. I'm not sure where I'm going to put it - it is deeper than some American-size washers (28-1/4") and won't fit where my old top-load washer is, since I now also need space to open the front-opening door which would hit a wall.

The owner's manual downloadable from Miele's U.S. website show it having a 15 amp circuit breaker on the specifications page (not merely requiring a 15A circuit breaker). Can any owner of a similar-vintage Miele tell me where this is located, or verify that it's even correct? I don't want to spend $280 for Miele's "easy installation kit" (a pair of 220V/20A outlets that lead to a U.S.-standard NEMA 10-30P or 14-30P 220V/30A dryer outlet). I already have a dryer on another circuit. Are there any online schematics or parts listing for Miele appliances?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 8:15PM
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lee676 wrote:
I wonder if Mr. Jobs would be as enthusiastic about the dumbed-down 120V washers that Miele is hawking in the U.S. now...As enthusiastic as he would be about "dumbing down" a personal computer into something almost Disney-esque, calling it an iPad and hoping nobody confuses it with a feminine hygiene product, and then selling it to the media as something "miraculous". Must we all keep falling off this turnip truck over, and over again?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:18PM
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Actually, the machine that Steve Jobs was writing about was the model W1918, the 5Kg model, similar to the W1926.

The specification for the models W1918 and W1926 indicate a 220V/15 Amp circuit. The machines will operate just fine plugged into a 30 Amp circuit, but that circuit won't afford the same overload protection as a 15 Amp circuit. If you're concerned about this, it would probably be less expensive to have an electrician change the circuit breaker on the dedicated circuit supplying the washer to a 15 Amp breaker, than to purchase the easy installation kit, which simply converts a 220V/30 Amp outlet into to two separately fused 220V/15 Amp outlets. The circuit breaker will be found in your house breaker panel, not on the appliance.

Be very careful moving the machine up or down stairs. If you don't have the shipping struts in place, don't even consider tilting the machine on a dolly and bouncing up or down stairs. You will damage the suspension. Miele washers should not be moved except for final positioning (e,g,: 2 or 3 feet on a level floor) without the shipping struts locked into place. If you don't have the struts, a replacement set can be ordered from Miele. They can be a bit tricky to reinsert, but Miele can fax instructions for opening the front of the machine, which will facilitate getting them back into place.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 2:20AM
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Guess that Mr Jobs would go crazy for the i-podesque W3985 Navitronic :)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 5:23AM
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@wa8b, I couldn't find any reference to which Miele model number Jobs owns anywhere online - a Google search on "Steve Jobs" and "W1918" turned up only this thread. Where do you know this from? Is there some picture or video online of his laundry room? Or have you actually been to his house?

I still haven't moved it down the stairs, but my intent is to have four people lift it, one at each corner, no bouncing hand truck. I don't have the original shipping brackets unfortunately, and hope it wasn't damaged in the car ride here (it was placed on its side, and I carefully avoided bumps or fast turns). I've transported several other FL washers this way without incident; hopefully this one survived ok.

@hidroman, the W3985 to me doesn't look all that different than older Miele washers to me except for the LCD (OLED?) display, but they've evidently figured out how to make the larger 6kg drums spin really fast (1800rpm), and also how to fit a 6kg drum in only 58cm depth. I like the LED tub lighting too. Now if I only a spare £1,500 lying around somewhere....

Does the W1926 have a brushless motor too? Are they really noticeably quieter?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 10:36AM
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To be honest, the navitronic is not the latest model (it's round five/six years old) and also it's the very only one to spin @ 1800 rpm. Go figure their small commercial machines have a max 1400 rpm spin : IMHO this means that "costs vs benefits" shows it's no worth to have higher speeds.

No wonder if more recent series W5000 and W6000 have a max 1600 rpm spin speed. The W3000 have a 53 litres /6 Kg drum, while W5000/6000 have a 59 l. / 7 Kg drum (some models eg W5983 even a 65 l. / 8 Kg one). But these machines are 61.5 cm deep

Brushless motor - I guess they started using it in residential market with some W3000 models

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:48PM
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A 1,400 rpm spin in a larger drum can have greater G-force, and therefore greater water extraction capability, than 1,600 rpm in a smaller drum size. You can find useful formulas for calculating G-force, drum volume, and moisture content here.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 1:10PM
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The interview with Steve Jobs that you've quoted appeared in the February 1996 edition of Wired Magazine. At that time, Miele only offered 5Kg washers in N. America. The model W1918/W1930 models (one with a porthole door, the other with a flat panel door) were the top of the line, both machines having the highest final-spin speeds offered by Miele, and the digital display. Model W1926, a 6Kg machine, didn't enter the N. American market until around 1999. Even then, the models W1918 & W1930 with their higher spin speeds and greater selection of spin-speed options, were still considered the top models. The model W1926 was introduced in response to requests from American Miele dealers for a larger capacity washer. While it shared most of the same features as the models W1918 and W1930, it had a choice of only 4 final spin options vs. 8 on the top models.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:17PM
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Sshivastava, you're right.

I had to be more precise, as I meant the Little Giants as little commercial machines.
They are 24" wide (same drum diametre) and have the very same drum size of current residential W5000 and 6000 7Kg euro models.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Just an update: It's here, sitting proudly just off my living room, which is not where I had hoped for it to go. Try as I did, it is just too deep (front to back) to fit in my bathroom where my old washer is. So it will go near my galley kitchen.

There's still alot of work to do to get it up and running. I need to add a 120-240V/15A circuit breaker (or a fuse or easy-install kit for the existing 240V outlet) and run new wiring. A means of attaching it to the kitchen sink to drink from and drain to. A Y-adapter to feed cold water to both the cold and hot inlets. (I've relegated most of my installation issues to this thread).

My dryer - an old, small GE ventless unit - is starting to become unreliable too. If I find a decent used condensation dryer at a good price I may get that too. But here I see I run into a problem - evidently Miele hasn't made 6kg ventless condenser dryers. They have lots of 5kg condensation dryers, but I don't think they can be stacked atop a 6kg washer like the W1926. Correct?

I'm in the dark about whether some sort of stacking kit is needed to stack a Miele dryer atop a Miele washer, and whether only certain combinations of W & D can be stacked. It appears it is although I can't find any references to specific model numbers and the stacked machines shown in their manuals don't seem to list any particular additional hardware, Anyone here familiar with this? And is stacking a non-Miele condensation dryer on a Miele washer verboten? Is there some sort of homemade mount you can build that will keep the dryer from sliding off? If I had a closet, I'd just build a shelf a few inches above the washer and be set.

I could reverse the old layout - washer near kitchen, dryer in bathroom. Then I could use any brand. I have a 120V/15A dryer now but can go to a 240V condensation dryer that should increase my options considerably. Miele and Bosch seem to sell for much more secondhand than Asko or other brands.

I'm also seriously confused about the plugs, outlet, and wiring required by the W1926. It's rated at 120-240V/15A, yet is fitted with a Hubbell NEMA 14-20P plug, the type normally found on a grounded 125V/250V 20A (not 15A) device. The electrical cord is a Carol 12/4 Type SJ (UL) (also listed as CSA Type SJ FT-2), with a sticker noting that the black and red wires are the L1 and L2 hots respectively, with a white neutral and green ground. Why not 14-gauge cable ending in a usual 240V/15A plug as Bosch uses? Further confusing things, the Miele owner's manual seems to indicate the plug is a NEMA 14-30P, the big ones normally found on 240V/30A dryer plugs. Could this not be the original cable or plug?

The new double-pole circuit breaker should clearly be 15A but should 14-3 w/ground or 12-3 w/ground NM-B (Romex) cable be run? (I lean towards the latter since that's what the washer cord uses).

I may have been better off with one of the 5kg Miele washers - it would have fit in my bathroom and I could stack a Miele condensation dryer over it eventually and save space. They are essentially alike only 4 inches shallower front to back, and with (even) higher spin speeds. But I hope to someday have a larger home and then I can take the W1926 with me and use any ol' normal vented dryer, and I'll be glad I have the extra space. The Miele really is nicely designed - very straightforward controls that tell you what they're doing - no "workout wear" or "kid's clothes" settings that leave you wondering what it's really doing. And of course, actual temperature markings, a rarity in U.S.-market washers. Can you imagine an oven that didn't show temperatures, just "cold", "warm", and "hot"?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:52PM
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Just bumping this up hoping one of you Miele experts can answer any of my questions from my last post....

I still haven't had the time to get this operational, although I've bought a double-pole (120/240V) 15A circuit breaker that's made for my electrical panel. I'm planning on moving it to the bathroom again - I'll need to move the sink first to make room for it.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:55AM
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