Urgent washing machine purchase advice needed

elyashMarch 11, 2012

My 15 year old washing machine broke about an hour ago and I doubt it will be worth repairing. I have read many posts in the last hour, but found the ones which recommended brands to be 2-3 years old. I don't have a lot of time to research this because I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel - research stage with a huge time constraint. I am unsure if I have room for a FL machine in my tiny laundry room - I will have to take measurements when I go shopping. So I would like recommendations for brands to buy and brands to avoid for both TL and FL. Whirlpool? MIele? Electrolux? Kenmore? Maytag? What brand makes you happy? What features should I look for? What features are not necessary? What are the advantages/disadvantages of steam? What are the pros and cons of the models you have? Prompt responses appreciated.

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JosephWilson is a spammer who doesn't know what he's talking about.

About washing machines.....Certainly do measure your space before you shop. No sense wasting time considering machines that won't fit.

Get one with a built-in heater and at least three cycles that utilize it. Otherwise you'll never get an actually hot wash. Find out in advance what the actual temperatures in the cycles are....the manufacturers have gotten a little nuts about what they consider to be "hot", "warm", and "cold".

Don't get excited about "steam" or spin-speed claims above 900 rpm or so.

Recommend local dealer who can provide service/parts if needed. Make sure competent install is part of the deal. Make sure replacement/exchange OK in the event of dissatisfaction.

Read the manual and do what it says. If your current machine is 15 years old, you may have to make a "mental adjustment" to the way the new ones work.

My personal opinion is that FL is superior choice in-general. However, my German-built Duet is several generations old already so I'm mentally distant from current offerings.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 9:28AM
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NO machine is, nor will be perfect. Either it will have pointless options, or not enough options. Use too little water, internal heater will not engage enough, etc, etc.

I 100% recommend Miele though. Most of their units will provide decades of use (although, of course they will need service).

They also do their own service, so you always get a factory trained technician.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:18AM
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As Asolo adverted to when purchasing a model that has an internal heater, purchase one where the internal heater can be used for several cycles. Samsung does have a model with an internal heater, but its sole use is for its Sanitize cycle.

Larsi makes a good point about service in that Miele does have its own service techs, but MieleâÂÂs business model is such that it needs said service under its purview. Reason: MieleâÂÂs proprietary software/firmware is serviced via their service techsâ laptops. Miele business model is aligning along AppleâÂÂs: user experience.

ASKOâÂÂs Designer and Family Size Laundry models (not their XXL Laundry) are made in Sweden and provide true 220V, up to 205 degree Fahrenheit water via their heating element. However, their capacity is not the standard US indoctrination and water source is only through your cold water tap only--where the heating element does the heating afterwards.

The boutique brands (Miele, ASKO) have a hidden a prerequisite related to proximity based service. If you do not reside near one of their service centers/providers then no matter how good the washer or dryer, you will pay the price when servicing is required. Read all the manufacturerâÂÂs warranty fine-print and do not purchase any third-party warranties when purchasing boutique brands. I highly recommend the purchase of the manufacturer's extended warranty for these brands.

There are means of better using models without internal heaters such as installing a dedicated pump-driven recalculation loop to your laundry room that can be activated through several means these days as to not waste energy when not required. There is also point-of-use water heaters (the future of heated water systems).

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 2:40PM
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I recently shopped for and bought a new w/d and my first bit of advice would be buy from a reputable dealer. As for brand specifics, there are good and bad models with all. The Miele is the best built large washer I looked at and the salesman had nothing but praise for their service and training.
As for features a heater is very important. Also, look for the manufacturer's specs on what the heater is designed to do. I looked at some models that had 140 degree wash listed as the highest temp and only claimed it accurate within 5 degrees. I also like to have a seperate rinse and spin. The electrolux selling point of an 18 minute wash was a huge turnoff for me but it was the fastest FL cycle I came across if that is important to you.

Good luck in your search!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 7:19AM
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"....only claimed it accurate within 5 degrees...."

FWIW....that's a perfectly acceptable nominal range of accuracy. You won't find better unless/until you get into commercial or laboratory-grade equipment.

IMHO, if the unit has a heater it should have a "sanitary" or "clean machine" cycle that is capable of temperature boost to 155-160F range. More heat extends cycle-times for those cycles that use the heater.

"18-minute wash" claim for any of these machines is silly. About as realistic as claiming the same for your dishwasher. Most of these machines when set on a "normal" cycle with the heater not used will do a load in 45 minutes or so. My own machine set on "whitest whites" (heat boost to 127F) takes about an hour and five minutes.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 10:14AM
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asolo - my point was that 135 is not very "hot" and as you pointed out different manufacturers aim for different temps and wash cycles aren't standard by any means either. Know what you need and verify that the washer has it before buying is all I was getting at.

On this forum there are many posts with owners complaining that their machine works as intended and jumping through hoops to get hot enough water or a better rinse.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 12:31PM
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We're on the same page. Didn't intend to be brusque.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 12:45PM
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To be fair, the Electrolux "18 minute wash" is specified in their manual to be only for small, lightly soiled loads. I interpret that to be instances when something was missed in the normal wash routine and is needed in a hurry--ie when your daughter needs her white shirt washed in time to perform in the choir concert tonight. I have also use it to wash new items that are not soiled at all, but need just a little touch up before wearing them for the first time. One does not always want or need a full on wash that takes an hour or more. I did not find it to be a turnoff at all, as there are plenty of other choices for cycles that are much longer and more thorough for larger and normally soiled loads. Most of the normal loads I wash take about 45 minutes to a bit over an hour, depending on the selections I've made. Sanitize takes much longer.

I've only had them for two weeks, but so far, I like this laundry pair very much. The washer does a wonderful job and I like the versatility of the machines. The onboard heater does come on in cycles other than sanitize.

I'd measure your space first, and then go shopping. If you're thinking about a front loader, be sure to get the measurement in front of the machines and account for door swing.

Good luck with your decision.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:22AM
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