Fix or Replace TL Washer?

fleethartMarch 21, 2011

My Amana alw480 needs a new transmission. A new one costs between $150-250, plus elbow grease, sweat etc.

I have looked at new TL but am really disappointed. FL, ATC, He, and ES ratings are unimpressive. Is it worth it to go to Appliance Fix-It school and keep my old washer, or is there a TL that is computer free, built to last, uses a full tub of water, and costs less than $1000?

Conventional wisdom says replace when it costs more to fix than replace but I am having trouble locating a suitable replacement model. Sears has basic washers for $330, but I don't expect it to last very long and the salesman confirmed 5 years or so. I really don't want to be turning on and off inlet hoses to get truly hot water or worse yet manually filling the tub with hot water.

Has anyone else kept fixing their old washer?

If you bought new, what did you choose, and why?

Is there a way to circumvent the ATC, He and Energy Star regulations?

Is Canada any better than the US as far as solid, basic washers?

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I would recommend a Speed Queen top load washer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Speed Queen

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 3:08PM
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I am in a similar situation to Fleethart... I have a 15 yo Maytag top loader that has never required any repair (good OLD Maytags!), but I expect there will be a day when we need to replace it. We are constrained by the following: hall laundry room (closet really) where noise and vibration would be very undesirable. I am also scared off by the reports of smelly gaskets/laundry if the door is not left open... I won't be able to keep the door open for long since the door opens into the main hall of the house.

So I come to this site and keep a constant vigil for a TL with good reviews. What do folks here think of Consumer Reports' reviews? I have relied on them for my stand mixer, dishwasher, oven and microwave with good results.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 4:35PM
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I would say fix it if you love it, or look for a good used machine on Craigs List. I dislike the Energy star constraints. I have been a FL user for 10 years now, and would go back to a TL in a heartbeat. But not the current models. My mother has a 9 year old TL Maytag that needed its first repair last year-a brake-and I love her machine far more than my fancy new FL LG.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 5:32PM
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When I bought the Amana, I relied on CR. I thought it would last longer than 8 years. It has performed well, so I would say in 2002 CR was reliable. Recently while at the library, I noticed that all their ratings include energy use as a criteria which is not a performance indicator. Now that I am referring to CR again for a washer the ratings seem to be weighted in favor of a few models. They have jumped on the FL bandwagon and I feel like I am being railroaded into buying one whether it meets my needs or not.
Thus far their 2009 recommendations re KitchenAid dishwasher have worked for me, but my friend replaced her KA DW last year after multiple problems. Both of us relied on CR ratings.
So I have been asking people I know about their washers, watching the review sites and checking out showrooms. Speed Queen seems to be the hands down winner but I can't believe how few options are out there. There must be something I am missing, have I turned into an old geezer? "Why back in my day, washers actually used water to wash! These newfangled contraptions just swish and spit!"

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 10:46PM
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CR breaks down its' criteria - use the ratings you consider important and ignore the overall ranking that may reflect certain criteria that is not significant\pertinent to you. As I recall CR evaluations look at brand reliability separate from the performance of the machine.

How much water is required to get clothes clean? My FL seems to get enough.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 12:51AM
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Poison Ivy requires lots of hot, hot water and dawn.
Really muddy clothes I hose off then wash. Alternatively, dry, beat off mud then soak and wash.
Nappies soak, rinse, wash in very hot water, double rinse with vinegar.
Dyeing clothes needs a full tub.
Very delicate European lace gets soaked, then washed by hand in the washer tub. I don't have a big sink in which to wash the curtains.
Time: There are not enough hours in the week to clean and dry 30-50 loads of dirty clothes if it takes 2 hours per load plus drying time. 168 hours/week-(60 to 100hours washing+50 to 100 hours drying)= no life.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 10:36AM
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Back in 93' when we bought our Whirlpool TOL set we based our judgment largely on a CR review. What is strange is that this TOL all electronic washer is somewhat rare to find.
Why would CR test a washer that would be a rare model?
It has been a fine washer and if it breaks, we'll repair it rather than replace it.
After all parts for Whirlpool DD washers will be around for many, many years to come.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:04PM
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The belt on the dryer finally broke on Monday. For 3 months, I could hear it fraying as it slapped inside the machine. We have a KitchenAid bisque set with all push buttons from 1987. (TL washer KAWE800S & FL dryer KGYE800S) We picked because of the tub size & the ease to set buttons. Which most of the time, I never change & I only have to hit the start button! We did not consult CR. But we did get a free stand mixer when we bought the pair together. We got a free immersion blender & mini chopper when we got a KA dishwasher.

I looked last night online at what was on the market. I was not so impressed. Looks like all the new ones have knobs again. And the tubs are now listed in cubic feet instead of pounds per load. No more KA washers & dryers. Looks like bisque is out too.

For us, it is well worth a service call to replace the belt & clean out the lint too.

PS, our KitchenAid frig. died 2 1/2 weeks ago. No fixing it. It has been a big mess to get a new one. The delivery guys even broke our coach light too. Cost $70 to deliver plus $10 to take away the old one & the headache to get Sears to fix the coach light. The stove is the next item on the ticking time bomb list. It's got a computer panel that died once & came back to life. We are on borrowed time.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 10:01PM
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Those all-pushbutton KAs are rare and to be prized. They're actually Whirlpool, of course. Mechanical replacement parts (belts, motors, idlers, pump, clutch, etc.) are still readily available, but the unique timers are not.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 10:48PM
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Do the new Whirlpools use the old Maytag DD?
Are the parts as sturdy as they used to or is the new build lighter?
Do the DD model numbers start with LAT?

Dualref, is your machine a LAT model number?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Maytag DD?

DD usually means direct-drive. There were no Maytag washers of a direct-drive design ... until Whirlpool began producing the "new" Maytag agitator toploaders several years ago, which are/were the Whirlpool direct-drive design that they introduced in the early 1980s. I say "were" because Whirlpool is in the process of discontinuing that design.

Maytag LAT machines are belt-drive.

Dualref says his machine is a Whirlpool, so it would not be an LAT Maytag.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:15AM
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So DD is Whirlpool design?
Are the recent models sturdy or of a lighter build? Is there model code associated with that build?
Are the Maytag LAT models the dependable care line? Do they use the turquoise agitator?
Are there any publications where one can learn about these details?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 1:34PM
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You may not have this availability but it's something to check. When my washer died and the price of repair seemed daunting, I was told to contact the forclosure dept of a local bank. Sure enough they gave me the name/number of a local who cleans out homes being forclosed. I bought a washer for fifty dollars and it is still working.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 4:08PM
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My WP FL Duet has started a loud banging noise on the spin cycle which after a bit of reading is very common. I am pretty sure it is the part holding the drum and a common failure and beyond economic repair. I am going with WP WTW57ESVW, 4.0 cu, TL machine from Lowes. The size seems right and that is the largest one in a T/L machine. They have put in a water sensor to help get more efficient rating. I am really not too keen on the HE soap requirement with the new HE machines. I like to play around with the different laundry soaps to see what works, sales etc...currently use Tide HE caught on sale, but now Tide changed it's HE soap to improve them and a bit more expensive. The cost was not great 545 out the door with 4 year extended warranty, but I think it is a more simple machine and should, maybe last 8 years or so.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Yo, totsuka....

Totally off-topic plus a terrific example of your own personal lack of knowledge. Thanks for your non-contribution.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 10:09PM
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The Amana has been replaced. We could not find a reasonable priced transmission so I bought a matching Speed Queen set. They are gorgeous and I can't wait to put them through their paces!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:35AM
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They are not pink but they should last forever.

Here is a link that might be useful: Speed Queen

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Congrats on your stylish set!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:01AM
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