Washer died, need a new one -- advice needed!

gemmom24May 27, 2012

If I have to go to the laundromat one more time I will go crazy. $5.25 a cycle to shred my bras to bits!

But I digress. Decided on a top loader, as I have 4 kids and 2 stepkids. Most of them do their own laundry and I highly doubt any of them would wipe down a FL, much less leave the door open to dry. I had settled on the LG Wave series with the 4.7 cubic inch tub. I've read fairly positive reviews here and other places, but my husband isn't thrilled with its reviews on amazon (his bible.)

The other options are a Kenmore Elite (which I believe is made by LG) or a Samsung TL. Local appliance repair shops advise me to stay away from both LG and Samsung b/c it's hard to get parts and most of them don't know how to repair a Korean model.

I have local access to Sears, Best Buy, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

Going on 3 weeks without a washing machine in an 8-person household! Any advice/reviews welcome.

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Before you decide on the Wave be sure to check out the exploding LG washers on youtube, frightening. You will find many supporters of front loader washers here, but I'm with you about leaving the door open, smells, etc.

What I would suggest is that you visit several appliance stores. Try hard to find the most experienced and knowledgeable salesperson to help you. Unfortunately, most appliance salespeople know very little about the products they sell. Find several models you like, then go home and research each one: reviews, threads here on this forum, youtube videos, current rebates. You're already one step ahead because you know you want a TL machine.

Many on this forum recommend Speed Queen, these machines are the old-fashioned (reliable technology and washing methodology) design. When I bought 2 years ago I researched thoroughly, had the large appliance store manager as my salesperson (he did know what he was talking about and was really helpful). I bought a toploader Maytag Bravos WITH an onboard heater. I'm pretty happy with the Bravos but it took a lot of "learning" on my part to figure out how to make it perform the way I want. If you get one of the new low-water usage machines be sure to get an onboard heater, my clothes would never get clean without it.

Good luck and I hope you can find a machine on sale and with a rebate.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 1:53PM
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Your existing "old" washer may be fixable for a reasonable, or even very inexpensive cost, depending on what is the fault. I've seen people toss out a machine for a $12 to $50 part for not understanding that dire symptoms can be a simple/easy fix.

If repair is a consideration, cite the brand/model of your machine and the problem you're having ... perhaps someone here can assist with diagnosis and fixing.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 3:05PM
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^^ yes to what dadoes said.

Here is a paste from a post I believe sparky823 made on 2012 Consumer Report top load reviews:

Top Load best to less:
Wpool vantage wtw7990x-75
kenmore 2800-74
Wpool cab wtw5700x-74
Wpool cab he wtw6800-74
Wpool cabwtw 6300w-73
Maytag bravos mvwb300w-73
Maytag bravos mvwb750w-71
kenmore elite 2900-70
Wpool cab wtw5500x-69
kenmore elite 2947-69
LG waveforce wt5001c-67
GE prof. harmonyptwn8050m-65
That is the top 12 out of 41.
#15 LG waveforce wt5101h-62
The rest are GE Haier KM Maytag Hotpoint etc some are conv. top loaders.

Hope this helps you and your husband. I was just in your shoes but with a front loader WD need.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:02PM
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> Local appliance repair shops advise me to stay away from both LG and Samsung b/c it's hard to get parts and most of them don't know how to repair a Korean model.

These same repair shops probably won't know how to fix the new high-efficiency American top-loaders either (and BTW, some of General Electric's top-loaders are made by LG). Whirlpool only recently started building HE top-loaders, and they're already on their second design. Maytag washers are mostly rebranded Whirlpools.

Whirlpool and GE do have much more established parts and service organizations in the US than do LG and Samsung though. But both GE and Whirlpool used to go decades with the same basic washer and dryer designs until the foreign competition arrived, which made keeping parts in stock easier.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Thanks, all. Dadoes, the transmission blew out on my 10 yr-old Maytag (which was probably made by Fridgidair.) Not cost-effective to repair. I decided on the Kenmore Elite and hope I made the right decision. I did consider Speed Queen but there are no dealers nearby. I'm a little surprised at Consumer Reports, they rated Speed Queen very low and most reviews have been very positive. Starting to question Consumer Reports; they rated my Electrolux dishwasher pretty high and it stinks. We have to pretty much clean the dishes before they go in the d/washer or I'll get caked-on food. (As my 14 yr old daughter commented, "why do we have a dishwasher if we have to wash the dishes first?")

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 8:29PM
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CR obviously has an agenda at work.

I would refer you to their top-rated FL washer (Duet) which, at last check, had almost ninety owner/user reviews slamming the machine and questioning CR's rating. They gave it two stars out of five...with unusually vitriolic questioning of CR's rating.

Shift over to TL's where SQ was rated very low by CR. Among reviews by owners/users - almost 60 when I last looked -- the opinion among them was astonishingly high. On average for the group, 4.5 out of 5 stars. And they, too, rather pointedly slammed CR for the rating given.

I've not seen such a discrepancy in my four decades of subscribing to the publication. I don't know what's going on there but I am suspicious.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I'm a happy Speed Queen owner. I'd strongly disagree with the CR low rating if I was a member. I'm not and I won't be, given the way they rate washers.

Apparently, CR doesn't place much or ANY(?) weight on cycle length or rinse performance. Speed Queen conventional top loaders rock these areas. They talk about good expected reliability for washers that have one-year warranties and say nothing about SQ 3-year "bumper to bumper" warranty, 5-year motor and 10-year transmission warranties. If the manufacturers really thought their washers would have low failure rates, they'd offer longer warranties as a "free" (to the manufacturer) way to lure customers.

The CR wash performance is tilted toward deeply soiled or stained clothes. Fine, but that's about 1% of my laundry and I pre-treat stains for excellent results anyway. CR claims the SQ lacks certain features compared to other models. Big deal. I value the simplicity of electro-mechanical timers and manual (side-flow) bleach dispensers. They just work. There are no expensive computer boards to fail.

No Automatic Temperature Control means I get 127-degree hot water wash (measured) from my 130-degree adjusted gas water heater. If I wanted to adjust my water heater thermostat, I could get a hotter wash instantly. My bright whites are excellent at the current temperature, given the proper measure of good detergent. It doesn't "boil" the clothes, but I get excellent wash performance and the dryer gets the clothes hotter anyway if I was worried about nasties that need heat to kill (I'm not.) My HOT cycle is about 20-25 minutes, start to finish. I can do four loads in the time it takes some of the High Efficiency machines to heat its water to the 130-degree range for a single load. My hot water enters at 127-degrees and the wash finishes at 125-degrees. The thermal mass of about 15 gallons of water easily exceeds the mass of clothes and tub, so I don't lose much heat over the course of an 8-12 minute hot wash cycle.

CR cares nothing about spin drain vs. neutral drain. SQ is one of the few (only?) manufacturers starting the spin while the tub is full of water and allowing it to drain as the spin picks up speed. It leaves the clothes better spread out on the tub for the spray rinse or 300G final spin. Most TL washers stop, drain, then spin leaving the clothes bunched up in the bottom part of the tub.

SQ washers aren't for everyone. They're not for technology geeks. They're old school, but I'm among the group of consumers that appreciate excellent results from basic, well executed design.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:00PM
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... the transmission blew out on my 10 yr-old Maytag (which was probably made by Fridgidair.) Not cost-effective to repair. Yup, that answers that question. BTW, Frigidaire never made any Maytag toploaders. What you have probably is what's sometimes called a NorgeTag ... a (one-belt) mechanical design Maytag borrowed from Norge so as to get a super-capacity toploader on the market. Their classic two-belt machine could not be modified for more capacity to compete with other brands of the time.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:34PM
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knot2fast, how did you calculate 300G centripetal force? Using some formula on the Internet that I can't find right now, I calculated 600-and-something G for my Miele which spins at 1400 RPM. Since centripetal force varies as the square of RPM, either mine is higher than I calculated, or yours at 720 RPM is lower than you calculated. Also, it varies proportionally to the drum radius, and I think the Miele's drum has a larger radius than the TL Speed Queen's drum.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Thanks for asking suburbanmd. I was wrong about the G-force for my SQ top loader. There are several G-force calculators online. I linked to one at the bottom of my post. I incorrectly put in the tub DIAMETER when I ran the calculation.

My SQ top loader spins at a maximum of 710 RPM. With a measured tub RADIUS of 26cm, it is 150G.

Here is a link that might be useful: G-force calculator

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Interesting, I hadn't before checked it. Per the calculator linked above, Fisher & Paykel agitator toploaders -- basket diameter of 650mm which = radius of 325mm, spin speed of 1,010 RPM -- gives a G force of 371.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Hi again. I posted the 2012 Consumer Report TL list as I did find myself returning to it during my recent adventurous FL washer and dryer purchase.

Fwiw, I purchased the Speed Queen ATE50F.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:30AM
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To Knot2fast or any other speed queen owner. How are they on delicate clothing and clothing in general. I'm most concerned about the longevity of my clothing. Yes, I don't want to buy another washer soon, but if my clothes get messed up I'll be upset. Any comments? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:00PM
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