SQ vs Whirlpool vs Maytag

kalsMay 27, 2009

I have just suffered through two Kenmores which do not spin out adequately (one is 700 series, the second is 600 series). I finally realized that a design shift has occurred since I bought my first sturdy Kenmore, and am now seriously examining the alternatives. They are not pretty, because I want to control water temp., water level, agitation roughness (cottons vs delicates), and get a good spin at the end.

So my choices seem to be:

SQ: Not available in Canada, unless I pay almost double the US price to get the Huebsch, which is the Canadian SQ. I could follow in Kingstonian's footsteps and bring an SQ in over the border, but the retailer says there is no way to get warranty service here (how fair is that?). But I am thinking that if SQ is as good as it is cracked up to be, maybe my little general appliance insurance policy ought to cover me. ??

Whirlpool 5300 series: I gather from comments on this board that Whirlpool is one of the better TLs -- But, will the auto temp control prevent me from getting a genuinely hot wash going for whites? And, how does it spin? It's a direct drive, don't know if that is good or bad re spin.

Maytag 3.5 cf, 500 series: This also has auto temp control, so will 'hot' really just be lukewarm? And, this is belt driven -- better for spinning, or worse?

Any thoughts would be appreciated, since none of the retail people seem to know much of anything about anything!


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Unless there's something different going on in Canada than in the U.S., the Whirlpool 5300 and Maytag 500 are the same mechanism, both direct-drive. Who told you the Maytag is belt-drive?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:42PM
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Dadoes -- That's what the Sears Canada Maytag webpages says -- see url at


Quite a few machines being sold through Sears Canada seem to still be belt driven, especially GE machines. I gather that belt drives are cheaper to repair, but are they more vulnerable, and/or do they spin better/worse than direct drive?


    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:52PM
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Ahh. That's an error on Sears.

Unless your two previous Kenmores are VERY old (as in more than about 25 to 28 YEARS), they are the SAME direct drive mechanism as the Whirlpool 5300 and Maytag 500 models that you are considering. Whirlpool has been manufacturing that design since 1981/1982.

Whirlpool/Kenmore/Maytag (new Maytag, after the acquisition by Whirlpool) direct-drive machines are quite easy to repair. Changing a belt on a belt-drive Whirlpool/Kenmore is MUCH more difficult. The old-style Maytag with two belts is easy.

The fastest toploader spins currently on the market are the Whirlpool/Kenmore/Maytag Cabrio/Oasis/Bravos models, GE Harmony and equivalents, and Fisher & Paykel. Belt-drive Whirlpool/Kenmores were 500 to 525 RPM. IIRC, old-style belt-drive Maytag were about 640 RPM. Direct-drive models are also 640 to 650 RPM.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 8:10PM
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Kals, have you looked at the Maytag Bravos? It's an HE toploader. I bought a set last year and they are by far the best washer and dryer I've ever had. I've been very pleased with their performance, and the number of loads I wash and dry each week has been cut by more than half because the capacity is so huge.

Here is the Maytag Canada website. Whatever you choose, I hope it helps. Maytag appliances have been made by Whirlpool since 2006. From all I've read and heard both online and IRL, the Maytag line seems to be their top of the line. They are made with commercial parts.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maytag Canada

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 8:58PM
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Mara and Dadoos -- Thanks for the feedback. Funnily enough, the two Kenmores I am complaining about are all '09s.

The Kenmore 700, delivered earlier this year (to replace
my reliable but defunct 1995 Kenmore, belt driven): I was shocked at how sopping wet the clothes were, all cycles, all settings. The repair person said that it was a defective clutch, which was replaced under the warranty. It made no difference, so I took the store's suggestion and replaced it with a simpler model, the 600.

The 600: Same problem: sopping clothes, all cycles. Another repair person came, said that the slow spin wire was mistakenly connected to the heavy duty cycle spin controls, and fixed it. The heavy duty cycle does now spin acceptably, but the clothes are still sopping wet in the rest of the cycles. I have tried every combination of everything, trying to find the sweet spot, but can't get the clothes spun out unless I use the heavy duty cycle. Which is not great for many things.

So now the 600 is going back to the store, but what to get that is better, and a TL?


    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:56PM
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I'd avoid the Maytags personally unless you're getting an old school top-loader. The few people I know that have Maytag FL's have had several repairs each within several years of ownership with some repairs leaving the machine unusable for weeks at a time while parts are ordered (non-stocked obviously).

A local repair guy I spoke with about 2-3 years ago said that it was not uncommon to need to rewire Maytags fresh out of the factory due to poor QC at the factory..

Personally with your selection of brands I'd go SQ any day of the week, but I'm biased (against Maytag)!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 3:14AM
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oxsaddict, the OP is asking specifically about toploaders (TL). Also, the market changes quickly nowadays. What you've heard about Maytag frontloaders may no longer apply, since current models are Whirlpool. Maytag frontloaders in the past were of the Neptune design which is no longer being produced, and there was at least one model that was sourced from Samsung. Even so, I know people who have Neptunes 10 years old that are still running.

Kals, your 1995 Kenmore toploader couldn't have been a belt-drive. Whirlpool stopped manufacturing belt-drives in 1985/1986 ... unless perhaps they were available longer in Canada. If you decide against Huebsch or importing a Speed Queen, I'd recommend a Fisher & Paykel IWL16 for being fantastically flexible and having a 1000 RPM spin, but I don't know if they're available in Canada. Next choice, perhaps an Oasis/Cabrio/Bravos agitator (non-wash plate) model, but then you will have to deal with reduced temperatures.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 4:25AM
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Any comments on the newer Maytag bravos vs. Whirlpool cabrios TL W & D ? Thinking of buying. Please help

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:46PM
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bellavita2, I bought a Maytag Bravos MTW6700 in May of 2008. (That model has been superseded by the models now available.) As you may already know, it's an Energy Star HE top loader - no agitator, huge capacity (mine is 4.6 cu ft), very efficient when it comes to water and electricity.

I've not had any problem at all with mold, mildew, odor, or vibration. I do leave the top open after I've put wet laundry into the dryer; it's only shut when laundry is in it.

Because my washer is a top loader, it can go on either side of the dryer with no problem. It is unbelievably quiet; the only sound I ever hear is water going in or draining out. I like it that there is a chime (not a buzzer) which alerts me when the washer is finished. The chime can be set on LO, HI, or OFF.

ALL my experiences thus far with this washer have been excellent - far beyond good. There haven't been any cons to this point.

The settings are very easy to use. I like it that I can choose water temp (hot/cold - warm/warm - warm/cold - cool/cold - cold/cold), spin speed (HI, MED, or LO), stain (pre-wash) cycle, extra rinse if needed, fabric softener if desired.

I also really the selection of wash cycles -- Bulky for comforters, Sheets for sheets, Whites (the only cycle which uses the bleach dispenser), Normal (I use it for everyday clothes), Jeans/T-shirts, Wrinkle Guard (my favorite for our really nice church/office clothes), Delicates (for fine washables), Hand Wash (I use it for sweaters and some "extra"-fine washables). I really like the Soak cycle; I always use it on my guys' really dirty whites. I also like having a Rinse/Spin cycle and Spin cycle only. I use them more than I thought I would.

I like the detergent, bleach, and fabric softener dispensers. I use vinegar in the f/s dispenser when I wash towels, which helps to keep them soft and fluffy, as it strips all detergent out. (Fabric softener coats towels, which greatly reduces their absorbency.) I also often combine vinegar w/liquid fabric softener (about half and half) when washing clothes, sheets, and comforters.

I can wash many more laundry items per load in this washer (at least twice as many, sometimes 3x as many) than in the traditional top loader I had, which had the largest capacity on the market at the time I bought it. I can wash a king-size comforter in my washer with no problem.

Whereas I used to wash at least 7-10+ loads per week, now I wash 3-5 loads each week because I can wash so many things at once.

This washer gets my laundry much cleaner than any other washer I've ever owned, and it is gentle, even with the fast spin. I do use lower spin speeds on fine washables.

When I wash sheets, they do not tangle as they used to do in my old washer w/agitator, and they dry much smoother, too. I haven't had any problem with my clothes wrinkling -- I do shake out clothes as I put them in the dryer, something I've always done.

I usually get them out of the dryer when the chime sounds (it has a LO or HI or OFF setting) and immediately fold or hang them. If I can't get to the dryer immediately for some reason, I love the optional "Extra Time" setting (can't remember its exact name) which keeps tossing the clothes in cool air for up to 90 minutes.

I don't use regular laundry detergent, for I've read over-sudsing can cause damage to HE machines, as well as invalidate a warranty. An online article compared using regular laundry detergent in an HE washer to using regular dish detergent in a dishwasher. I'm sorry I don't have that link for you; perhaps someone else will.

I have a Maytag Bravos washer; my DIL has a Sears Oasis Canyon Capacity washer. Most people think they are identical, as they are both HE TL's built by Whirlpool (as is the Cabrio).

However, she had odor problems with her washer when using liquid detergent -- a problem I've never had. She switched to using powder only and says that solved the problem. I use HE powder and liquid detergents, depending on what type laundry I'm washing, and I've never had a problem of any kind.

I don't know anyone personally who owns a Cabrio. People have posted here (and elsewhere) about it in the past, both positive and negative. I've seen ads which say the newest Cabrio model has the largest capacity of any washer on the market -- 5 cu ft. Since my 4.6 cu ft washer holds our king-size comforter and huge loads of laundry, I'm satisfied with it.

I'm not convinced that Cabrio/Oasis/Bravos washers (often identified as "COB" here) are totally identical, though they are similar and are based on the same principle. Several sources, both online and IRL, have told me Bravos washers are built with commercial parts, are the top of the line for that type washer.

If I were buying a Bravos washer today, I would probably buy the one with the internal heater (which was not available when I bought mine) because I really like that feature on my dishwasher. However, I haven't had a problem with water not being hot enough, as some people here have had with other washers. Our hot water is good and hot, even more so in the summertime. We keep our hot water heater set at 140 degrees.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 12:07AM
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Oops -- I forgot to mention the Rapid Wash cycle (DD likes to use it when she's in a hurry and wants to wash just a few things) and the Super Wash cycle (I've used it a few times when washing very dirty clothes or towels). There is also a Clean Washer cycle.

I also forgot to mention -- there is a Delay Cycle on my washer. I can load the washer with laundry, choose settings, put detergent and any additives in the dispensers, then set it to start up to 10 hours later.

I think that's all. :-)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 12:23AM
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Yes, Fisher and Paykal machines are available in Canada. I've seen them at Lowe's.
I too was interested in a Speed Queen but could not find one anywhere in Ontario.

I have a Cabrio with agitator and I like it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 7:36AM
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Speedqueen in canada is called HUEBSCH just FYI

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:10PM
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