LG he top load WT5170 - Some More Questions on Its Operation

sandys4259April 3, 2013

Hello All
I have read with interest the many questions and responses regarding the LG Waveforce 5170 top load washer. I recently purchased one and have some questions on its' operation that the customer support cannot fully answer. So...I was hoping someone here could.

1) I know that based on the new style of design that the hot water setting will not be as hot as it was on my old agitator style washer. I used the Bright Whites setting which has a heavy soil level and hot water setting, hoping this would work. At first, hot water did come into the washer, but only for a short time. THen cold water started and by the time the wash cycle started the water in the tub was quite cold - not warm at all. Is this normal operation? Is there another way to get hotter water without using the long sanitize cycle? (BTW - my hot water tank is very close to the washer so there is not really any delay in getting the hot water).

2) Alot of people say that on the extra high spin the clothes come out almost dry. I used the extra high spin on towels and they were surprisingly wet, almost more than in my agitator style. . Was this because it was towels as opposed to other type of laundry? Should they have been almost dry? Visually, the spin seemed to be quite fast/ Also, the load was not full if that makes any difference.

3)There seems to be alot of vibration on the spin cycle. The washer has been levelled carefully and rechecked a bunch of times and that all is OK. How much vibration is normal? It's not like various youtube videos I have seen, but it is at times more than I like. The load also appears to be balanced OK.

4) A minor thing - the time remaining indicated on the panel is almost always off by 10 to 30 minutes. I have monitored the time afew times, starting when the tub is full and the wash cycle begins, and it is always less than the actual time to do the load. I have really good water pressure in the house so it's not that the fill time for rinsing is being limited. Just wondering if anyone else noticed this.

Thanks to all for any replies.

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I can't respond to all your points specific to your model, but ...

The water temps are what they are, often referred to as "dumbed-down." No more is warm a 50/50 mix of incoming hot and cold. Selected hot temperature is limited by mixing in some cold. Reason is for EnergyStar qualification. Pretty much the only way to obtain a really HOT wash nowadays is getting a unit that has onboard water heating and a designated Sanitary cycle.

Cycle times are an estimate based on best-case conditions. Times may be extended or shortened depending on size of the load, selected soil level (wash time), and how many attempts the machine makes to get the items balanced around the spin basket to its satisfaction for the final high-speed spin.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 6:50PM
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How long did that Bright Whites cycle last? It *could* be - although I somehow doubt it - that the washer heated the water as the main wash phase progressed. Did you check the temp when the main wash was over?

About the extended cycle time and wet towels. That sounds like the washer couldn't balance the load and had to add time to re-balance and maybe have lowered the final spin. There are YT videos of cycles taking over two hours due to unbalanced load conditions. I wonder if you can check the spin speed as the spin takes place. The Brazilian (?) WaveForce has that ability. Unfortunately, the control panel is different, so I can't tell which would be the button to press on the US model.


Here is a link that might be useful: Spin speed display

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Thanks for your replies.

dadoes - It does have an on board water heater, but I guess it doesn't come on for the hot setting. Will have to just use the sanitize cycle even though I didn't want to use such a long cycle.(2.5 hrs).

whirlpool trainee- The bright whites cycle lasted 1 hr 55 min. I did not check the water temp near the end of the cycle, only the beginning. I will definitely do that to see if it heats up during the cycle. Never even thought of that.
My model (5170) does not have an rpm indicator. That's a neat little feature. I can just judge the spins relative to each other and this one seemed very fast. Though it did seem to start and stop during the spin cycle afew times - maybe it was adjusting itself like you said.

I guess it just takes abit of time to get used to.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Remember that this is a 120v machine. It does not heat the incoming water flow on-the-fly as it runs into the machine, that would require 220v and a VERY high-wattage heater (my whole-house electric tankless water heater can pull up to 28,800 watts at maximum output, for example). The heating process runs for the duration of the wash period, ramping the temp up slowly, which is why the sanitary cycle takes a lot of time. For sure check the temp at *end* of the wash period, not at the beginning.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:08AM
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I just did another bright whites on hot and at the end of the cycle the water was cool - not even warm, so its doesn't look like the hot water heater comes on. So I guess the hot water setting isn't really hot and the on board water heater only works for the sanitize cycle.

Just as a general question, instead of the on line water heater, why don't they just use the hot water direct from the tap, or is this related to being high eff?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Household hot water by and large isn't hot enough. The small volume of water these HE machines take gives up majority of its heat to the mass of the clothes and machine tub & basket. The only way to achieve HOT water (for so-called sanitary purposes) is to heat it in the machine.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Hm, maybe you should ask LG about this. Cool water for a whites wash doesn't sound normal - unless... the washer filled with cold water (cool-down) at the end of the wash and the temp you checked was after the cool-down took place.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:02AM
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You are right - I may need to ask LG about this and see their response. I will try one more load of bright whites and watch it like a hawk to see if maybe I was catching it at the cool -down phase.
Thanks again for your replies, dadoes and whirlpoop trainee

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:16PM
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I had a LG wave force washer. It sounds to me like your heater is not working in the bright whites cycle. I dont remember mine having a cool down in the bright whites, ony in the Sani cycle. I use to turn off my cold water valve when I wanted a hot wash, I got tired of the machine filling with warm water on a hot wash. It is even more stupid for the machine to do this on sanitary cycle. I had balancing issues with mine, and then it started to rip my sheets. I got rid of it, bought me a Speed Queen awn 542 and now I wash in true hot, warm water and the load is super clean and done in 35 minutes. I loved my front loading washer, had it for 10 trouble free years, hate the new HE TL. Ive used LG, Samsung, and bravos..all of them stink IMO, The internal heater in the bravos was a joke on the newest model out b maytag.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:42AM
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It is interesting that you got rid of your LG top load wave force as I had previously read your posts where it seemed you liked it (kinda).
I've had mine 1 1/2 weeks and I think I will return it - I have 30 days return policy.
Just did another whites load and the water started out at 109 F from the tap and filled about halfway to a tub temp of 102F, then it added cold water to fill tub and bring the temp down to 70F, and then the heater, which I don't think works, brought it up to 78F before rinse started. Why not just fill the darn thing with hot water from the start and forget about adding cold water?

I would love to get a Speed Queen but they are not available in Canada. And the newer agitator styles have all now changed so they don't work like the old ones did - my previous agitator style whirlpool cleaned great and in a short time, like you said about 35 to 40 min.
Not sure what to get now......??

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Huebsch = Speed Queen in Canada.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Yes i sure did love the LG when I first got it, inspite of the cooler washes and such. But what grew tiresome on me was how it would do a lot of "useless" spining in one direction and then the other during the wash cycle. It rarely used the wave force jets unless the load size, weight and water level was perfect on it. Spinning bed linning became a issue too, Id have to help it along due to UL codes. Most of the time if I just restarted it, it moved along fine, other times not the case. Right before it tured two years old, the drain pump gave out and flooded my laundry room. It took almost 3 weeks to get it fixed....I was over it! The ripping of the sheet was the last straw, it shredded the corners on a brand new set washed for the first time on bulky cycle. LG came up with every excuse in the book for it too. The Speed queens havethe same agitator as the old ones, just now they have a fabric softener dispenser on the top of them. So far I have washes everything including delicate curtains, with ease and no regrets, even some old ones that I didnt think could handle another wash without getting damaged. I love front loading washers, but I did not want to spend a fortune on a top of the line set, plus pay for pedistals too. I do not regret my SQ purchase and with 3 years of bumper to bumper warranty free of charge, I couldnt turn it down.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:55AM
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This is an old post, but I have this same washer and we have figured out how to run loads that need more water and straight hot water. It's a little bit of work, but for the size of the tub and other features of this washer that we like, we think it's worth it.

Here are the steps we go thru for towels (or anything we think needs more water and hot water straight from the tap):

1) Place towels in tub. Do not add soap or bleach.
2) Turn to towel setting, cold water and let fill up just enough until towels are soaked.
3) Put on Spin only and wait until water drains out, then stop it. Don't let it spin the towels dry - just enough for water to stop pumping out of drain and where you don't hear any water still sloshing in or under the tub.
4) Turn off the machine and wait 30 seconds. While waiting, add soap and bleach if desired.
5) Turn on machine, set to Sanitary. Push Start. Since the towels are now wet, they are heavier, so the machine will fill it with more straight hot water. Once the level of water is reached and the machine starts agitating, wait about 5 minutes.
6) Pause machine, change cycle to Towels, Hot water and whatever other settings you want. Push start. The water level will be maintained and the wash will be hot.

Sometimes, if it isn't a lot of towels, once you switch it over to towels, it may add more cold water. I haven't had it do this if I let the sanitary wash for at least 5 minutes before changing the cycle. I do large loads though, so there really isn't much room to add more water anyway.

We only have to mess it with when we want tap hot water. I have never washed an entire load on sanitary where it heats up the water. Mainly because our hot water is hot enough and I also don't want to wait 2+ hours.

Hope this helps the OP or anyone else that has this washer. We have been very happy with our so far. My MIL has the SQ, but says it agitates too fast for her delicates. Other than that, she loves it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 3:40PM
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Top load HE machines are a POS. I am so sorry you bought one and are having these problems. I hated my Maytag Bravos so much I sold it and bought front loaders. The person I sold it to ended up getting rid of it too in just a few weeks because it wasn't cleaning the clothes. Many times they weren't even getting wet all the way. It was gross.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:44PM
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