Speed Queen vs. HE washer

pegandkenApril 6, 2014

Hello, just a quick question regarding the cleaning ability of SQ compared to the HE washers. Is there a difference between the two washers (old school vs. high tech) as far as how well they clean your clothes? Are they pretty much the same or is one that much better at cleaning your wash compared to the other? Thanks for your time.

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My personal opinion...

Traditional top loaders (SQ) is an over all better cleaner than a HE top loader.

But I still think a front loader just makes more sense all around, especially if you can do a timed soak and or add more water.

Just look at any of the said machines on Youtube and see for yourself.
Top load HE machines don't move the clothes much.
Top load regular machines move lots of water through clothes and there's more turn over.
Front load machines plunge clothes through water (be it a small amount in today's water miser machines) and are a proven method of washing in a lot of countries.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 7:00PM
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I had old-tech Maytag TL at mom's. Had Duet 9400 (That's HE machine) at my own place. With the extended care-giving situation at mom's, my usage of both was constant. Both locations had soft water and were set at about 125 at the hot-water tap.

When mom's Maytag finally gave it up last September, I replaced it with Speed Queen AWN542 top-loader...essentially identical to the Maytag it replaced. Later, I took the SQ's for myself because they fit into my laundry closet better. Duet went to another family member.

So...to your question....I have always been satisfied with the cleaning performance of all of these machines. I liked the Duet because of it's larger unobstructed drum and because I could add heat to the tub if I wanted to. It was also quiet. I like the SQ because it fits my space better, is simpler, allows me to interrupt a cycle and continue again without starting entirely over, is easy for my guests to figure out, and does a load in about 1/2 the time of the Duet. Of course it uses more water...to be fair, a LOT more water....which, to be fair again, is my cheapest utility...and that water has to be heated and blah, blah, blah....subject for separate post.

Had zero trouble with the Duet in eight years of use. Have had zero trouble with the Speed Queen to-date, but it's only been about six months.

If shopping today, if I had more room, I'd go back to a high-end HE/FL machine. That Duet 9400 really impressed me. Given my space restriction, I regard SQ as the only choice....by which I mean to indicate I would not consider any HE/TL whether it fit or not. I regard the HE/TL designs as impossible attempts to remain even remotely viable compared to FL's given their water-volume restrictions. Basically, they can't do it. Their agitation method is quite demonstrably inferior. The FL's can still do the job but if the Fed's restrict them further I would have to re-think. The amount of water they use for the tasks they accomplish right now is so little that I can't imagine effective cleaning/rinsing with anything less.....but that's another post.

If I had bad water quality, I would fix that before I did anything else.

Back to your question...both machines washed and rinsed my clothes very well. If you want HE, you have many choices. If you want old-tech there's only one choice left...and the Feds may close that off before they're done. For now, it's still a good, well-built, commonly available machine. Their national sales manager tells me demand is strong.

This post was edited by Gwarstong on Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 19:40

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 7:04PM
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Great advice, much appreciated. After reading so many user comments on this forum, the SQ seems like a better built machine that will last quite a long time (hopefully). The newer HE machines on the other hand seem to have so many "computer" type errors associated with them that it just seems counter productive to own one. Granted the water usage on the SQ may make it more expensive to run but if it cleans just as well or better then todays hi tech washers then that's were I'm headed.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 7:17PM
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We love our Speed Queen AWN 432 that we purchased in January after our Cabrio died. That piece of junk was only 3 1/2 years old.

Repairman said even if we had the extended warranty we would still have wound up paying over $300 out of pocket.

The Speed Queen gets our wash much cleaner in less time that did the WP. Yes, it uses a bit more water, but don't mind that a bit.

What I do like is that fact that the clothes aren't plastered against the wash tub when they are finished, no twisting of sheets and pillowcases, and if I need hot water, I get hot water, not what the machine "thinks" is right for the load.

Lastly, for me, the machine is built right in the USA, not "assembled" here with part parts made who knows where. Think you'll like your SQ.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 8:57AM
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We also replaced our FL HE (Duet) with the SQ AWN432 around the first of the year. Not only are our clothes cleaner, they are much softer. We haven't used any LFS in SQ yet. The only downside is the slower spin speeds = longer drying times.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 9:58AM
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Have a similar experience to secsteve. Had a Maytag Bravos x that lasted only 2 years because of the faulty control board.
Bought a speed queen washer in march of 2013 model AWN 432. The speed queen dryer was bought a month later. Both still run very well. Think this old school belt drive washer was/is better than both DD washers I had previous to that featherweight bravos.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:37AM
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I would much rather have a machine that uses more water to wash and rinse better in 35 minutes give or take five minutes than over an hour with the supposed "HE' eco friendly non sense that is littering our landfills in a few years of use.
If I do have to go "HE" it will be a fl washer and that made by Speed Queen. Just hope they will continue to make quality machines.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Yo, kenz5....I would be interested in learning of your eventual choice and your reasons for it if you'd like to come back later.

This controversy has continued for some time and I'm always interested in the thinking and experience of others.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 5:37PM
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"Yo, kenz5....I would be interested in learning of your eventual choice and your reasons for it if you'd like to come back later. "

Will do. Right now my Kenmore washer is likely on its last legs and when that happens I will get either the SQ AWN412 or the 432 model, not sure which way to go.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:16PM
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With the AWN 432 Kenz5 you will get the convenience of an extra rinse switch. I have that model and it is worth the little extra you will pay.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:42AM
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That sounds pretty good as far as having that extra rinse cycle. Other then that I see no real difference between the 412 and 432.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:09PM
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The 432 may be quieter but not sure. At any rate whichever model you choose I believe you will be very satisfied. I don't think you can go wrong with any of their washers. May you be blessed with your purchase.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 11:51PM
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I see that Speed Queen also has model AWN 542, which seems to be different from 432 only in that it has an additional fabric selector switch for about $60 more.

Is the 542 identical in performance/reputation as the 432? Any concerns?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 7:27AM
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An extra rinse can be run on any washer that has a mechanical timer by two methods, although either way is not an automatic function as is the case when the machine has a specific Extra or 2nd Rinse switch option.

1) Reset the timer to the rinse phase when the complete cycle is finished.

2) If monitoring the machine, reset it to the shortest available wash time, after the first spin is complete (when the deep rinse fill begins).

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:35AM
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We bought the 432 only because they didn't carry the 542 which would have been special order. We have not had a single instance where we needed another type of cycle the 432 did not provide.

If I had it to do over again, I may have just gone with the 412 and saved a few bucks. Here again, we have not used the extra rinse cycle a single time and, as noted above, if we did need it a simple spin of the knob would work.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 2:34PM
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"If I had it to do over again, I may have just gone with the 412 and saved a few bucks. Here again, we have not used the extra rinse cycle a single time and, as noted above, if we did need it a simple spin of the knob would work."

That makes a lot of sense as a person could just reset the machine manually to get the extra rinse cycle if needed. Does anyone know for sure if the 432 is a quieter machine in comparison to the 412? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 7:32PM
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The top loaders are all build on the same platform - no difference in noise level unless you add insulation yourself.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:19PM
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One model may offer a two speed motor rather than single speed, ask retailer for motor speeds. Generally delicate is low speed.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:37PM
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Think they are all two speed now.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:50AM
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Just purchased the third SQ AWN542 in the last four years (long story, but for three different places). So, I obviously LOVE this machine, and recommend it to everyone. It (the first one) replaced a ridiculously expensive HE machine, that was nothing but trouble. A high-maintenance prima dona of a hunk of junk that I wished a premature death daily. When I finally couldn't take the errors codes, soapy clothes, tub that wouldn't drain and went off balance every time I put a towel in it, I went searching for an old-school workhorse of a machine that would let me fill up the tub, add bleach when I wanted, throw in a late-minute addition, etc. I figured if apartment buildings rely on SQ, I could too. Have zero complaints about these machines. Period. Would never go back, and hope I'll never have to.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 2:13AM
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My son and wife were on a low budget when they needed to buy a W/D a couple of years ago. They have one child and cloth diaper. I advised them to find a used SQ set at a local appliance shop. They're very happy with their set and just moved 300 miles to a new home. No problems with the W/D after the DIY move.

OTOH, my daughter just moved across country (full-service military move) and asked for help in choosing a new W/D for her family. Two children (one special needs) and cloth diapers for the new baby. Different circumstances and a much higher budget. I recommended a new TOL Maytag Bravos set with a service contract, same that I bought for my new home 4 years ago. She's also very happy with her new W/D, especially with the higher capacity loads she can do now.

Different choices for different budgets and circumstances. I'm the family laundry nut, so my opinions are sought and respected. As for the HE top loaders not using enough water - I do many loads on the bulky cycle which uses more water but not as much as a conventional washer. I've never had stains that wouldn't come out in my Maytag Bravos with onboard heater.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:52PM
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When I learned how to use my last HE washer it cleaned well, but then I don't get that dirty at all. There were some things about it that were frustrating though. Lid locks, lack of water level adjustment and the load sensor which was malfunctioning more and more.
I wanted to like these machines but continued frustration with water pumping out as it was supposed to go into wash mode and resetting it were a real pain. Only 2 years with that washer and it bit the dust.
if I could have afforded a higher end Bravos with the F&P motor I would have went with that. In any case I looked up Speed Queen and seen many videos of the wash action and all the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I went with SQ.

Thank the Lord there is one maker left producing a tried and true design that does what it is designed to do.Get our clothes clean and dried.
Thank you Speed Queen, please keep making these workhorses for a long time to come.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:38PM
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@ selectappliance, you wouldn't be going for free advertising would you? Funny you registered on April 13, 2014.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:39PM
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