Front Load Washers, please help

comom27April 13, 2012

I have looked at the historical posts and still would like to start my own thread, hope that's ok.

I am planning to purchase a FL washing machine. My research is making me want to tear out my hair! I go to three different consumer review sites and they have three different leaders (heck their top 5-10 seem to be different.

So, please help - I need large capacity, like the idea of some quick cycles, am undecided on steam. I have three kids and we do TONS of laundry - including lots and lots of baseball clothes (read much ground in dirt). I know that I want an on-board heater but am unclear if that automatically includes washers with steam cycle or if they are separate features.

From what I've been reading in this forum I am sort of leaning toward the Electrolux but then when I go look it up I don't find solid reviews and I have a dear friend that is less than thrilled with hers (says it is just ok). We have a Miele vaccuum so I appreciate their quality but I don't think the washer will have the capacity I need.

I see great reviews on the Samsung but then terrible reviews on their customer service.

Is there anyone out there that can help me untangle my mind around this. I do not need anyone to suggest a TL, we are going to purchase a FL.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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dave1812

I don't have any complaints with samsung service. Cleaning results are spectacular. You couldn't pay me to have a top loader again

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:32PM
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RoundRockMom

We were in the same boat. 4 kids, lots of basic laundry going in/out each week. We've had a bunch of appliances replaced in the past few years, many not that old and just failing. A high priority for me was that I wanted something solid and if there was a problem, the ability to get it fixed without runaround. I was willing to pay more for that reliability.

I also own a Miele vacuum and so, after reading all the same reviews you did, and going to a few stores and playing with the typical brand machines, realizing I'd easily spend close to $2k on a set with a high risk of failure, I decided to consider the Miele. I worried that it was just too much of a gamble that I'd be making a repair or replacement within 2 years on another brand.

Our washer agitator had broken so I didn't have a ton of time to consider the purchase. I spent probably 2 weeks reading and researching.

I did purchase the Miele W/D set. I'm about 85% satisfied.

I feel like the machines are rock solid. No noise, no vibrations. The capacity is very good. Perhaps others would have been a bit larger, but I feel as though I am getting the same size loads as before in there no problem.

I had a bunch of adjusting and tinkering to get the detergent levels right. I was seeing suds, and even with an extra rinse, still seeing suds come out in the rinse.

The manual doesn't tell me enough about the differences between the cycles to properly choose all the variations with water level, heat, etc. I've been doing a lot of trial and error.

My current issue is that the dryer seems to be taking an extraordinary time to dry - an hour, when at first it was always finishing before the washer. I clean that lint filter every use, and vacuum inside once or twice a week, but the lint filter design is poor in my opinion, and lets a LOT of lint get into the vent space that it should not be.

The washer, like all FLs, does take way more time than a TL cycle did, which took some getting used to after decades of a TL cycle. The high spin speed is getting the clothes pretty dry. I've liked some of the more gentle cycles for handwashables. I hate that baby socks and sometimes my boys' socks get stuck in the rubber gasket and then they don't get spun dry. I do have to leave the washer door open to vent dry after using it for the day. The door can be left open just a crack, though, unlike some other brands.

I like the flat top surface on the machines; I use one side to store the empty laundry baskets now and the other to stack/fold laundry. It's a work surface I never had before because the dryer got too hot and of course the washer lid was open/closed all the time.

Anyway, that's my opinion on the Miele W4842 washer and T9802 dryer. Owned it since New Year's Eve this past year.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:44PM
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knot2fast

I did MONTHS of research. Our washer wasn't broken, so I wasn't under the same time pressure.

Every time someone said they liked Model X, five people listed the reasons they disliked Model X. Same with Model Y or Model Z. There was no consensus on what brands or models were the best value, performers, or most reliable.

I think there are too many variables involved. The same washer gets installed on concrete floors in the basements, on slabs, on trussed floors in modern homes, and on bouncy floors of 100 year old homes. Sometimes it is stacked with a Dryer, other times on pedestals, and sometimes nothing. One person has vibration problems, another has none and there's no real pattern for why.

One person leaves the FL door open and has no mold or smell problems. Another closes the door and also has no mold. Others have mold issues, no matter what they do. All the same washer. People use widely varying detergents and amounts of detergent. Water hardness differs, so it isn't to tell if they're using too much detergent or if a different kind would help.

The only constant finding was that HE machines generally had a design lifetime of 8-10 years before potentially expensive repairs (bearings, spiders, boots) forced most people into new machines.

I finally decided to go for good performance, longevity, and something I could work on myself if needed. I bought one of the last old-school, non HE top loaders made that's worth a darn. I'm very happy with it, but I know my choice puts me firmly in the minority here. Maybe you'll have better luck than I finding a common winner.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:28PM
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wildchild

I'm very happy with my Samsung. No issues, no service nightmares. Plan to put Samsungs in the new indoor laundry room whenever it finally happens.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:45PM
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whirlpool_trainee

The Electrolux/Frigidaire washers seem to get good results despite their fast wash cycles. But forget about the steam function: what it does, as I understand, is drain and spin out the water after the main wash and then add a little water and tumbles the clothes as steam rises from underneath the drum. Much like you would steam vegetables.

Anyway: here's another poster's mud/dirt test performed in a 2011 Frigidaire

Here is a link that might be useful: Muddy, Greasy Test Load For New Frigidaire Washer

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:48AM
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georgect

If I had to buy a new machine today, I'd get the Electrolux.

From all the research I've done over the years, they seem to have very good reviews along with customer service.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:04AM
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georgect

Oh and the capacity on the Electrolux is excellent, one of the largest on the market.
(the newest front load LG's now claim the largest capacity washer & dryer).

I just don't trust LG with their top loaders having issues with literally breaking apart on spinning (saying it's due to user error).

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:12AM
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comom27

Thank you all for your responses so far, looks like I will end up checking out the Samsung along with the Electrolux. Thanks for the link to the grime test - yuk...& wow. LG's make me nervous for some reason. Looking forward to more advice.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 10:34AM
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whirlpool_trainee

I actually really like washerdryerinfo.com. They have reviews of some washers - not as many as Cunsumer Reports - but a nice selection. They also list temp reached during each cycle, which is scary in some cases, like 70 to 80F for a Normal warm wash!

Samsung: http://www.washerdryerinfo.com/content/Samsung-WF431ABP-Washing-Machine-Review.htm
Electrolux IQ: http://www.washerdryerinfo.com/content/Electrolux-EIFLS55IIW-Washing-Machine-Review.htm
Frigidaire: http://www.washerdryerinfo.com/content/Frigidaire-Affinity-FAFS4272LA-Front-Load-Washing-Machine-Review.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.washerdryerinfo.com/

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:04PM
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comom27

Thank you whirlpool trainee, I did check out the link and it gives me much to review. It is continually funny to me how all of these websites have different "top" machines, sigh!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 6:59PM
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cj47_gw

I've owned the Electrolux Wave Touch washer and dryer for about 6 weeks now, the 70 series. So far, I've been quite impressed with them. Of course, the capacity is wonderful. I feel that it uses enough water to get the job done. I have the option of adding more water when I'm doing a load of towels or a comforter. I like that there are so many options--I can pretty much program it to do anything I want it to, so it works for me rather than me having to tweak and jimmy it to do what I want it to do.

One of my favorite things about the set is the Shrinkguard in the washer and the Perfect Tumble in the dryer. You can also program the dryer to keep tumbling and cool down the load after it's dry. The result of using all three options is that my clothing comes out of the dryer pretty much wrinkle free--and it's cooled down, so it also won't wrinkle when I load it into a basket to fold elsewhere. I'm *really* pleased with that. I've not had any trouble at all with things like sheets and blankets getting twisted or tangled. Jeans come out of the dryer perfectly smooth.

I will agree with the others about the steam feature--I can't say I've noticed that it makes a big difference in the cleaning ability of the washer. The high temps that I can get when I use the sanitize or allergen cycles are more uesful. According to Electrolux, the onboard heater will engage on any of the wash cycles.

While researching, I contacted E'lux a few times and was always impressed with the prompt responses I received to questions. I have other E'lux products and have been happy with them, so I have some confidence in the brand. Electrolux runs rebates regularly and they are worth waiting for. If you have any specific questions about these machines, I'd be happy to answer them.

Good luck,
Cj

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:19PM
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Goldens1

I can tell you I've been very happy with my LG Tromm's. I've had them for 3 years now and going strong.

As someone who also does their homework I can tell you that you will always find bad reviews for any appliance when you google it. I always check Consumer Reports for reliability ratings but ultimately I asked a friend's husband who is an appliance repairman for a local appliance store; he initially recommend 2 higher end models that were totally out of my price range BUT when I asked him for more middle of the road recommendations, he mentioned LG.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:43PM
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tubeman

I haven't had my LG's for long but so far they are fantastic. I am going from an old style low efficiency TL. I paid $900 for the washer so it better be good! I agree with Goldens that you can find a bad review for every machine and usually it is user error.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:24AM
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comom27

@Goldens1, out of curiosity, what were the top two machine's your friend's husband recommended?

@ChrisPolk, while at Lowe's today it was suggested that the touchscreen panels on the E'lux washers can go out and that the repair price is almost the cost of a new washer, can you elaborate on that? Also, I was told that new models come out in May, is that true? We are not pressed to purchase at this time but would like to fairly soon.

Also, on the E'lux - can it accomodate a Queen sized feather comforter?

Thanks to all for your continued suggestions - the salesperson today prefers Samsung but they did not have any E'lux on the floor for me to check out since they said they will be getting new models in a month.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:21PM
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dave1812

comom27, I have a samsung 520 which was originally rated at 5 cu ft, and has been re-rated (new regs) to 4.3 cu ft. It can accommodate thick king comforters--either down or otherwise. so the Electro (the large one) should have no trouble at all with a queen comforter.

Repair and sales people (they sell electrolux) have warned me against the Electrolux, which was originally my first choice.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:38PM
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cj47_gw

Comom27, I'm sure your queen feather comforter will compress pretty substantially, so would be fine in any of the Electrolux models. My king sized comforter fits just fine in my Wave Touch washer. Where you would run into problems is in the dryer. My king comforter comes out a little wrinkled, because it expands a lot as it dries. Your queen, however, would probably be just fine. The Electrolux dryer is huge.

I would think that most of the newer washers have computerized boards in them, and that most would be fairly expensive to replace if they went out. In my research, I never heard that they were a particular problem for the Electrolux washers. If it is, then I'm also looking forward to hearing Chris Polk's response to your query.

Dave1812, I give up. Why your salesperson didn't like the Lux's is destined to remain a mystery. :-) Glad you like your Samsung and I hope it runs for 20 years.

Best of luck to you,
Cj

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:20PM
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dave1812

The same salesperson happily sold me a lux. Dishwasher That we love

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 1:33AM
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Goldens1

In answer to your question, the top machine that my friend's husband (the repairmen) recommended was Fisher & Paykel. I think he also liked Bosch's. I am personally a huge fan of Bosch myself and my dishwasher is a Bosch but I couldn't afford the Bosch machines. The LG's were still about $1400 for the pair, I just couldn't go higher than that:)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 8:33AM
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dave1812

oops. i composed the previous post on my phone. should have read: The same salesperson happily sold me a Lux dishwasher, that we love. I've nothing against Lux and just reported what I was told about their laundry machines.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:56AM
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piper101

comom27 - Thanks for bringing this up. I've just found myself burned on a 7 yr old FL Whirlpool $1200 at the time and the parts alone means it's not worth it to fix and quite frankly I just don't trust then regarding laundry since we only wash on average 3-4 loads every 2 weeks. So it wasn't abused.

All these reviews are maddening. Since I bought my kaput machine based on the top 3 Consumer Report machines at the time, that isn't fail proof either.

I am seriously considering the E'lux too. I just emailed the guy I saw here from E'lux with my questions regarding E'lux and Frigidaire as the sales person at my favorite appliance store said they are both owned by the same company. So I'll let you know what he says. And believe me, I asked him a ton of questions.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to skip the 'steam' as well. I had sanitize on my old machine and didn't use it all that much but the E'lux has that as standard and I think can be had on the Frigidaire.

If you found out anything else, let me know. I need to buy in the next week or less.

Thanks, Nicole

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:20PM
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comom27

Nicole, Thanks for your post and I'd love for to to update me when you hear anything, I was thinking of emailing the E'lux guy from here but haven't so I'll wait to see what you find out. I've also heard they are owned by the same company. So many times these companies are linked. Samsung owns LG - so funny bc I see many criticisms of LG but Samsung is supposedly one of the best FL's.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:36PM
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whirlpool_trainee

Electrolux owns Frigidaire and the washers and dryers share many parts. LG and Samsung are two different companies.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 9:46AM
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jewels04

I've had a whirlpool to for 3 months now. It is wonderful and works much better than our frigidaire, which I still loved that one too.

We got our whirlpools at menards I think it was $1,400 for the pair and the extended 4 or 5 year warranty. We have a family of 4 and it works wonderfully for us, we wash every other day or so. I personally love the sanitize option for whites, towels, and sheets.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:58AM
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dave1812

I never wash our good towels or sheets in hot water!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:36AM
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jewels04

Really? I never did either until I got the frontloader with sanitize wash. I haven't had an issues washing in hot. And with little kids who are constantly picking up bugs at school and everyone gets sick my hubby likes washing the sheets/towels on hot.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 3:27PM
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comom27

I've always washed sheets/towels in hot - towels for sure!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:00PM
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dave1812

comom27, have u ever looked at the care instructions on quality towels? Google the subject to see what is recommended.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 12:42PM
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vatmark

Not sure if you have made your decision yet but I saw at HHGreg yesterday that Electrolux is offering rebates on their machines when you purchase a pair and also on the pedestals when you purchase the pair. Good until the 28th.

Ann

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:27PM
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herring_maven

fahrenheit_451: "I see this as opening the door to others of the same ilk and both the quirky charm and interactions between GardenWeb forum members runs the risk of deterioration."

I, on the other hand, see it as a very creative ploy by an excellent and accomplished graduating college football player who was passed over in the first round of the NFL Draft last evening (Chris Polk, RB of the University of Washington) to enhance his chances of being picked in the second or third rounds this evening. See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video of the perpetrator in action

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:11PM
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cj47_gw

LOL herringmaven....

F451, I also respect your point of view, but I still don't agree. Other vendors have posted on these forums over the years (appliances comes to mind specifically) and it hasn't adversely affected the tone of the site. Spammers are normally just ignored and they go away. I still don't see what Chris posts from time to time as "marketing". As I said previously, I appreciated having someone to go to directly with my questions.

Agreeing to disagree,
Cj

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 1:04PM
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Sandy16

I don't own an electrolux but given the difficulty of obtaining specific info on models I welcome any and all reps willing to answer questions. Taylor from Charlie's Soap was a frequent poster at one time and I thought it was fantastic! However, it only works if he is willing to respond in the forum for everyone to read and learn from. If he isn't willing to do so then it's spam.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:30PM
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dave1812

I've got no issue with a mfgr's rep providing contact info. seems like a win/win to me.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 6:52PM
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