Looking for new Top Loader without Agitator

saphireApril 25, 2013

As you can see from my other post, it looks like my GE Harmony Washer purchased in 12/07 is about to become history. I really did like it and never had problems with it but my repairman (w/o seeing it) said a service call would probably be a waste of money. Will get my teenager and husband to look at it this weekend but I think it is probably toast.

So we need a new one. I do not want another GE (or LG, I think the models are related but not certain) because honestly less than 5.5 years is ridiculous! Also the repair guy seemed to not like the GE washers.

I do like the Top Loaders without Agitators. I tried a front load Bosch on vacation, despised it. Also used a Whirlpool front loader on vacation and that was good. However, I like the idea of being able to open the machine mid cycle, add clothes and water if necessary and with a kid who is potty training, like being able to wash comforters as often as necessary.

We are a large family. One thing that was a problem with my Harmony was that the water was computer programmed to a maximum of 110 or 120 and I could never get it hot enough from the tap unless I tricked it by putting it on a white cycle (used the heater) and then it took 2 hours as opposed to 50 minutes. Plus it seemed really silly that it would allow lukewarm water into the tub just so it could then heat it! I really do not want that again! I also want to be able to add water without having to use a bucket. I would consider Whirlpool Cabriolet, Maytag and other suggestions. I am ok with an onboard heater as long as it allows hot water into the tub without resorting to the heater. Bigger is better and I have no size limitations, it is going in the basement so do not care what it looks like

I do not want something super expensive like Electrolux or Miele.

I sometimes wonder if with our family of 7 a Speed Queen would hold up well. Can I wash comforters in it with the agitator?

Thank you for suggestions

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Sapphire, what made you hate the Bosch front loader? What made you think the Whirlpool front loader was good? Do you know the model number or anything more specific?

I am looking for a machine too (see the link below to my ongoing Top Loader Questions which has made me lean in favor of a front loader) and want one that will last more than 5 or even 7 years.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Here is a link that might be useful: Top Loader Questions

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 12:49AM
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In Fall 2009 we stayed in a couple of vacation places that came with washer/dryers.We were away for two weeks so I had to do laundry for the familyof 7 plus mother in law!

The Whirlpool was a relatively new duet front loader, probably with an onboard heater (I do not know that for sure but all the appliances in that condo were top of the line, wolf stove, sub zero fridge etc.) I had spent some time on this forum so was familiar with the features at the time although I could not tell you now. I remember thinking it cleaned clothes quickly and well. I had a potty trainer or two then also and it took care of the smell from clothes well.

From there we went to another condo that came with a small stacked Bosch set. Whatever the smaller units are called, Nexxis maybe? I did not have the instruction manual so I was probably doing something wrong but I could not get the thing to fill with enough water to really wash my potty trainers clothes. I had to wash his clothes in the sink before I put them in the machine to get the smell out!I was also not doing a ton of laundry as I had done most of it with the Whirlpool in the prior condo.

As for lasting more than 7 years, I do not think anything does. It may last longer in your house because with 3 people you do much less than we do with 7 people. Our house came with a 15 year old Lady Kenmore set which we used for a few years before replacing in 1998.with a Kenmore top of the line with matching dryer. I had to replace the dryer a couple of years later because a $12 fusekept going.We used to keep a stock of them!

I replaced the dryer with a Kitchen Aid which lasted until about 2011! So maybe 7 years, maybe less. I purchased the GE Harmony in 12/07 (I have the receipt in front of me),to replace the 1998 Kenmore washer (in basement so matching not an issue) which had been serviced at least 4 or 5 times. These days I am more inclined to pay less on the theory that it probably will not last anyway. So bottom line since the Kenmore I bought in 1998, I have replaced my dryer twice (do 3 dryers in 15 years) and will now be replacing the washer for the second time (so 3 washers in 15 years!)

Really very confused about what to get but need to decide quickly as laudry starts piling in my house very fast

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 2:46AM
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It seems to be primarily washers and dryers, I only recently replaced my 1995 Maytag dishwasher, we replaced the fridge the house came with in 12/2004 and it is going well and I would love to replace my stove from 1998 but there is nothing wrong with it!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 2:49AM
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A couple comments ...

One reason for a washer filling with lukewarm water and then heating it is for a profile wash. Different types of laundry soils clean better at lower or higher temperatures. Blood and proteins may be set by immediate exposure to hot water. Enzymes work best at warm temps (100F up to about 120F). Oxygen bleaches work best at hot temps. A profile wash starting at a lower temp and gradually heating allows best performance from detergent and other laundry aids on the various soils that may be in the load.

A dryer's thermal fuse repeatedly blowing is an indication of blocked or insufficient airflow through the machine ... typically caused by clogged or badly-arranged exhaust ducting.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Thanks Dadoes. I understand. The problem is there is no way to just get a hot wash with this machine! And with the white wash it took 2 hours. You could not throw your laundry in, let it fill with hot water and wash on any cycle! The lower model which did not have the heater did allow this based on what I recall of the research I did AFTER I bought it and was annoyed with the feature.

As for the thermal fuse, you are correct except the dryer vented directly to outside and was next to the outside wall.The hose was 8 feet long and did not have to turn any corners! We looked into it at the time. I think there was probably a problem with one of the sensors that allowed the machine to get too hot. However that piece cost hundreds to replace. I do always buy warranties on the dryers after that. Needless to say the one before the one I had now had no problems until it died a year after the warranty expired!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:28AM
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the dryer vented directly to outside and was next to the outside wall.The hose was 8 feet long and did not have to turn any corners! 8 feet is a long exhaust duct for a machine installed at an outside wall and vented directly through. If that 8-foot length was coiled behind the dryer, then it very well could been the cause of your trouble. Exhausting directly through an outside wall shouldn't require more than 1-foot of ducting, if even that much. See pic of my setup below.

You replaced the KA dryer with a GE Harmony dryer match to your Harmony washer? As I recall, the Harmony dryer's blower is run on a separate motor which provides higher-velocity airflow (not the main motor that runs the drum for tumbling).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:04AM
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good luck, I owned a LG, used a samsung, and maytag Bravos 950...all crap! Go front loader

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Dadoes, never owned a Harmony dryer. If 8 feet is too much then no one could ever put a dryer below grade! I checked it out at the time and everyone said venting was fine

After trying to repair the Harmony WASHER ourselves and finding the whole thing striped inside and all the ball bearings gone, I am leaning against a TL except possibly a Speed Queen

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 6:39AM
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Saphire, your dryer is a basement install? That explains the 8' ducting length to reach ground level.

Thermal fuses blow due to overheating. They don't auto-reset and must be replaced as a safety factor (thermostats do reset, thermal fuses do not) to insure that the cause of the overheating is corrected (if not corrected, the new fuse will blow again).

Referencing your KA unit, there would been two thermal fuses, one at the heating element and another that monitors the outgoing airflow. Insufficient airflow over the element causes it to run too hot and possibly blow that fuse. The airflow fuse would blow if the air passing through the drum gets too hot, which can happen if the thermostat fails to shut off which increases the internal temp above safety limits. The element fuse can also blow if the heating element shorts to ground, which causes it to energize continuously even if the dryer isn't running (unless it's unplugged from power).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 10:07AM
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