Samsung vs. Whirlpool?

HNL83April 19, 2014

Hey all, I was fairly sure I was going to buy a Whirlpool Duet (likely the steam WFW86HEBW model), but went to Home Depot and that sales guy was trying to sell me on a new Samsung model (the WF42H5200AW). It was about the same price, if not a bit cheaper than the Whirlpool, and it had the vibration reduction technology and a self clean function. I was most interested in the self clean, since it seems easier to clean the junk and drain leftover water (with access to drain the water in the FRONT of the washer). However, I'm hesitant about Samsung since I've seen many bad reviews of Samsung washer/dryers. Also, since this model of washer is only about 2 weeks old, there are almost no reviews whereas Duets have lots of mostly good reviews. Thoughts? I'd really appreciate it!

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Do yourself the favor and go with the Duet.
Samsung is still having issues with service and parts.
They (Samsung) may work OK at first but you will need service eventually and it will be like pulling teeth.

If you can, purchase your Whirlpool from a mom & pop store instead the a big box store.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 2:06AM
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HNL83: "I'm hesitant about Samsung since I've seen many bad reviews of Samsung washer/dryers."

If you dig deeper into the nature of the bad reports, you will discover that the great majority of them are related to one (or both) of two end-user curable factors:

o An early failure of the electronic control board; or

o Musky smells reported by a dyed-in-the-wool top-loading veteran.

As to the first, it seems that Samsung does not fit an especially robust power supply to the electronics, which makes the circuits susceptible to damage by current surges and voltage spikes, either from outside of the building or from cycling refrigerators or air conditioners on the same house circuit.

Solution: Purchase an inexpensive (usually less than $10) surge/spike suppressor and plug it in at the electrical outlet where you plug in the washing machine. I give a link to the one that we use below. Note: inexopensive surge/spike protectors are based on MOV (metal oxide varistor) technology. MOVs offer "sacrificial" protection: that is, they take the bullet so that your electronics are spared; each spike it stops, an MOV is incrementally weakened, until after a while it turns into a pass-through circuit. If your area is hit by a particularly vicious spate of lightning strikes, it is a good idea to replace the protector, even though it seems to be functioning; it is also a good idea to replace a MOV surge/spike protector every three years or so regardless, in the same manner that you change the batteries in your smoke detectors before they die.

As for the musty smell issue, it is usually caused by lingering habits as to how much detergent or water softener is "needed" per load of laundry when washed in a top-loading machine (usually about double the optimal amount for a front-loading washing machine).

Solution: dial 'way back on the amount of detergent used and maybe eschew water softener altogether. It also is helpful to add a dollop of plain borax powder to the wash to aid rinsing the detergent out of the system, and to get in the habit, after removing the wet laundry from the machine, of not closing the washing machine door to the point when it clicks. (You need not leave the door wide open, or wipe down the door seals or clean out the detergent door: just leave the door open a slight crack.)

Bottom line: save money by purchasing the Samsung instead of the Whirlpool washing machine, but reserve about $10 to purchase an in-line spike/surge protector and a box of 20 Mule Team Borax. (Whirlpool makes some of the best clothes dryers, though: get one of the reliable hamper [drop-down bottom-hinged] door models that have been around in various guises for 50 years or so and just keep running and running and running.)

Here is a link that might be useful: A simple but adequate spike/surge suppressor

This post was edited by herring_maven on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 9:10

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:06AM
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If you're on suspended flooring, there's a reason to consider the Samsung. They really have done well with their VRT.

However, if you have solid floor any/all of HE/FL machines will do just fine if installed properly.

I'm biased. Had eight years excellent experience with Duet 9400. Machine now doing yeoman's duty at another family member's house. I have no personal experience with Samsung...only reading.

Both machines have drain-filter access from the front.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:04PM
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I would avoid Samsung like the plague. They have the foot in everything, yet do nothing great. Sears, Pacific Sales, Warehouse Discount Appliance....all told me Samsung can be very problematic. I like Miele, Electrolux, Kenmore Elite and some Whirlpools!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Some Kenmore washers and dryers are now made by Samsung. We were disappointed to learn that at Sears when we were looking for a new set and knew we would never buy Samsung again.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 3:01PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I absolutely love my Samsung front loaders, with the vibration control, and steam.
I have never had a single problem with them and would certainly buy them again. I always leave the door partly open and the detergent drawer open to dry and never had any odors. I never use any type of liquid other than bleach.
My machines are so quiet we have to go check to see if they are running. Extremely pleased with them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:40AM
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I have always bought Whirlpool but I hate my top loader whirlpool. There is only cold rinse and it is a water saver which means the water level barely covers the clothes. It automatically uses only a little water. It does not have a setting to change the level. If you lift the lid after it starts it will fill to the top so that is wasting a lot of water. Also it does have an agitator. Watch out for any machine that is a water saver with no manual level setting. The front loaders also are like this and you cannot open the door once it has started.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:08PM
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I used to love my Samsung set. They are pushing 5 years old (the 419's) and Im getting rid of them now. I've had so many problems! The drain pump has had to be replaced twice (nothing was ever stuck in it and the filter gets cleaned out monthly although its always empty and clean) The control panel has had to be replaced and the water pressure sensor as well. Even though the washer is perfectly level, it now bangs extremely loudly against the cabinet and nothing has fixed it. The matching dryer has been a huge headache. It's been through 3 heating elements, 2 belts, 2 high limit thermostats and a control panel. Im planning to try the LG mega capacity set with a speed queen on the side.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:59PM
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Anita35, sounds like you have one of the last revisions on the direct-drive design which added automatic water level detection in a last-ditch effort to make them a little more energy efficient for the last couple years on the market.

Some of the newer Whirlpool agitator models (and presumably Maytags, and some Kenmores produced by Whirlpool) supposedly again have adjustable water levels and fill to reasonable levels. Energy reduction is garnered by reducing target temps for warm and hot, and having the default rinse be a shower/saturation/extraction process with a deep-fill rinse optional (Softener Added option).

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Interesting to see people's comments on this.

The local appliance store (locally owned, been in business for 60+ years, does all of their own repairs) prefers the latest Samsungs over the latest Whirlpools. I've been buying from the same salesman for 10+ years, family has been buying from him far longer. We also buy from him for our commercial/multifamily properties as well.

Although, their general opinion is that most of the washers made today are junk. They think the gov't standards have completely crippled the current crop of 27" washers beyond being useful. They still think the Euro 24" washers are the way to go for absolute performance.

I'm replacing a 4 year old Whirlpool top loader/laundry center because the tub supports broke, which was a blessing -- I hated this machine since I first used it.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:40PM
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I have 2 washer/dryers, a Samsung steam washer and dryer that is about 4 years old and an older Miele, a Novotronic 1985. I've not had any trouble with my Samsungs. I wouldn't say that they are silent, they play music!. Like any other washer and dryer they get a little out of whack with loads of towels and especially towels and sheets together just because of balance issues, and make thumping noises during spin. My only real complaint is that the Samsung has no way to set an automatic second rinse, you have to second rinse manually.

Having the Miele for a few years before we got the Samsungs taught me a lot about using a front loader - thanks to the good people on this forum. I have never had any trouble with musty smells. Herring mavens recommendations are spot on.

When I first got a front loader, I washed all my towels and sheets and lots of regular clothes in just water, no detergent, in order to wash out the excess detergent. It was eye-opening how much suds were in the "plain water". I think that still holds true going to a front loader. I measured my detergent with a coffee scoop, and I now just use a small handful. The Samsung and the detergent manufacturers recommend more detergent, but I am very satisfied with the results with very little detergent. I use fabric softener very sparingly.

The cycle length on front loaders takes some getting used to, but the Miele was the first washer I had ever seen with a delay. I got used to washing a load at night, then I would have just enough time to dry and hang in the morning before taking the kids to school. The small size of the Miele meant I did about 14 loads a week while they were at home, now I have 2 washers, one big one and no kids!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:33PM
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@Andi2928--what did you buy and are you happy so far?

Think I am in the market for new set--
doesn't need to be front loader although I have one in vacation house in FL which needs expensive repair and main house in TX--different brands...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:20PM
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cangelmd: "I've not had any trouble with my Samsungs. I wouldn't say that they are silent, they play music!"

And not just any old music: Samsung washing machines play the 4th movement of the Schubert Quintet in A Major, D667 ("the Trout")!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fourth movement, with D. Barenboim & J. Du Pré

This post was edited by herring_maven on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 18:47

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 6:34PM
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I just now saw your post....

I ended up getting a Kenmore Elite 41072. It will be delivered tomorrow so I won't be able to say what I think of it for a few weeks or so but here's to hoping!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:04AM
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@andi2928: how do you like the 41072? We are looking at that also.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 6:16PM
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