Best Top Loader for larger family

onecrazymammaMarch 15, 2012

We are in the market for a new top loader. We have four small children and needless to say, I do a lot of laundry.

We currently have front loader Kenmore in the home we are renting (and I am not thrilled), and are moving back to our home in Maine with older, low capacity w/d set and would like a larger set.

I have been reading a lot about the newer TP machines and nothing that I am overly impressed with.......water not hot enough, not enough water, etc etc etc.

At first, we were interested in the Kenmore top loaders (about 900 each), but I read just way too many negative reviews, so those are pretty much out the window.

Right now, we cannot decide between the:

LG: WT5001CW

Samsung: WA5451ANW/XAA

And then the coordinating Steam dryer to go with.

Any opinions regarding either one? Is there another reputable brand I should be looking at? Ideally, I would prefer to keep the cost well under $2000 - I don't need many bells and whistles - though want a sanitary cycle.

I appreciate any input you could give us!

Thank you :)

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A lot of people appear to be happy with the no frills Speed Queen residential models*:

Speed Queen Washer Top Loader Models
Speed Queen Dryer models

*I have not owned a Speed Queen washer or dryer.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Seems like they are rather small, no?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 2:29PM
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Seems like they are rather small, no?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Not huge capacity, but the AWN432 we have can do a set of queen sheets and a set of full sheets at the same time (both sets were flannel). Whites for all 3 of us go in one load with room to spare (socks, underwear, bras).

Very reliable so far - going on 2 years. As far as I can tell, this washer never goes off balance either.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 3:59PM
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"...want a sanitary cycle."

Requires on-board heater. Don't believe speed queen has.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Nope, no sanitary cycle on Speed Queen TL. Water is only as hot as your house water heater temp.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Is there a residential TL with a water heating element manufactured by any brand?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Surely. Several HE models (Whirlpool Cabrio & Maytag Bravos, LG WaveForce, possibly others) have water heating on specific cycles.

Deep-fill agitator toploaders, no.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 4:22PM
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The LG 5001 doesn't have a heater, the 5101 does.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 5:10PM
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Thanks Dadoes and ManitobaSky! Definitely something to ponder regarding any TL purchase.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Thanks!! This thread has helped me.
I'm swimming in brands, reviews, and prices.
Not any more.
Now, All I need to do is figure out which model of Speed Queen to buy.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 4:36PM
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There are no bad choices with the top load or front load Speed Queens. We bought the front load Speed Queen with matching dryer. We did not need a lot of whistles and bells in washers for our teenage crowd.

Wash loads are finished in 45 minutes or less. Dryer loads in the same time period. Washer NEVER gets unbalanced. True horizontal axis in the washer results in a even "patch" of water in the doorway (not a tilted front loader with dry clothes trapped in the front of the washer). The best part is that these are near unbreakable washers in a residential setting. I expect my 6 month old pair to last well over 12 years.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:29PM
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I don't think you'll find a deep fill traditional top loader with a heater. It's too much water to heat.

A top loader can easily have 16 gallons of water in it. That weighs 133 lbs. One BTU is needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree. If the inlet temperature from the water heater is 120 degrees and the desired sanitary wash temperature is 150 degrees, you need to heat that 133 lbs of water 30 degrees for a total of almost 4,000 BTUs or almost 1.2 kWh of energy consumed if there were no losses in the system.

The high efficiency washers use much less water so they can afford to heat it. It still takes a while. That's why the sanitary cycle is so long.

The Speed Queen washers don't do Automatic Temperature Control on the HOT setting. They will pull hot water straight from your hot water tank without mixing any cold water with it at all. You're HOT wash will be almost as hot as you run your water heater, however there are safety and economic reasons not to get too crazy with the water heater settings.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:41AM
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Perspective and disclaimer.....

Since acquiring my heat-boosted FL seven-some years ago, I've become a serious convert to actual-hot washes when I choose "hot". "Hot" now means approx. 127-132F in my machine. I like it. I think it produces superior results.

On the other hand, I was quite satisfied for the previous forty years with "hot" on my TL agitator washers which delivered "hot" of actual 110-115 in the tub. (Depending on water-heater setting, etc. No ATC...temps controlled by the valves on supply lines.) Machine at one location still works like that and everyone's satisfied with the results there, too.

IMHO, if one wants a "sanitary" cycle, there's no alternative but to choose a machine with a built-in heater. If the hot-button is more water rather than heat-control, conventional agitator design should satisfy. Up until the last decade and a 1/2, they always have.

Notwithstanding my own conversion/preference, I think there's a case to be made for old-tech....especially if reliability comes with it. That older machine at my other location is an 18-year-old Maytag....still working just fine. No maintenance; no repairs to date. If Speed Queen is like that, who could deny the appeal?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:42AM
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Working on 1.5yrs with the LG WT5101 and my wife is satisfied with the purchase. Top loader, Energy Star, sanitize heater, great warranty, and one of the largest tubs in the industry for a larger family.
I don't have an opinion, I just lay out the cash and facts.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:07PM
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just got the LG WT5170, the new version of the WT5101 and love it. highly recommend for large family. We have 4 kids, and the washer is huge!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Bridget Helm

Don't get the whirlpool Cabrio

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 6:41PM
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We have the Samsung WA456DRHDSU. It's huge, it does not have an internal heater but hot is hot..last white wash was 134 degrees. It's based on how hot the house hot water is set.

Never has gone out of balance. We are a fam of 4 so we have lots of clothes to wash. Saves time and water charges have decreased by 12 to 20 bucks so far.

It does a great job of cleaning clothes. We also have the matching dryer DV456 and it works great too.! Automatically senses when the load is dry and shuts off. More savings on electricity. Those elec. Charges have also dropped a few bucks per month as well. Dryer has the sanitize feature.

Speed Queens are excellent, but have no basket larger than 3.3 cu ft. Very small for a big family.

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by GregRod on Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 19:48

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 7:32PM
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