Roper Washers

jaywalkerJune 1, 2012

Our current washer is past its useful life (a Maytag Neptune we bought with the house) and we're looking for a replacement. I'll echo others who have said that it's frustrating to research these things, because people who've had bad experiences (or have an agenda) post most religiously, and these posts last forever in the web world.

Still, I'm seeing a theme that the new HE washers tend to have detractors, both on reliability and cleaning grounds, and I'd like to try something that isn't HE, while I still can.

Speed Queen is a possibility, but I'd have to order it from Amazon or some place, sight unseen.

Another possibility is the Roper from the good folks at Whirlpool who own the US market, and which is available at Lowes. It apparently has a direct drive for reliability (and Consumer Reports rates it highly there, but surprisingly did not include its tests in the December issue).

It has a variable water level control, but some other site on the web indicated the rinse level was set at one level, and I'd like to vary that, too.

I don't see much discussion on Roper in these threads. Is Roper a bad choice? If the rinse level is set, can I alter it?


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What is the specific model number of the Roper of question? Some of these units are 1-speed. Delicate cycle is obtained by intermittent agitation - agitate 10 to 15 seconds, then pause pause for 45 to 60 seconds, repeat for duration of wash period - with spin always high speed.

The rinse level is controlled by a secondary water level switch hidden inside the console. Some (all?) of them have two positions. Factory selection is low, about 5" water level for the rinse (even if the selected wash level is maximum fill) ... don't know how much is the "high" rinse position but suspect it's still lower than the highest wash level. Altering the machine for a fully-selectable rinse level same as wash would require either rewiring, or replacing the rinse level switch with a wash level switch and modifying the console for access to it.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 10:01AM
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We had one that came with a house we purchased. It is a low-end GE model. I can't remember the specific model number. A very basic machine. I did not have any service calls in the 4 - 5 years I owned it and it was still going strong when I replaced it with a FL. My local area utility company was offering a nice rebate when you got something more energy efficient and I wanted more capacity.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:13AM
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I don't think Roper has ever been of the GE brand family.

RCA was/is GE.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:27PM
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The model number of this Roper is RGD4640YQ, made for Lowes.

It's an interesting, basic machine, but we were able to find a Speed Queen dealer locally and instead ordered a Speed Queen AWN542 for delivery in a week or two. More questions under a different topic when we get it.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Sorry Dadoes if my info is incorrect. That's what I was told by the Appliance salesperson at Sears. Maybe is was Whirlpool or Westinghouse? Its been about 12 years, so I may have mixed it up. I should do a better job of fact checking.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 5:25PM
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I'm glad you got the SQ. The Roper has very shallow rinses. There was a post with pics on another forum and you wouldn't believe how LOW the rinse water was for a standard TL non-HE machine.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 4:42AM
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Thanks. I was leading up to a question about adjusting the rinse water level, but found the SQ dealer before I could get to it.

The SQ website had bad phone numbers for our local dealers and that, coupled with a dealer name that didn't inspire confidence (~scratch and dent company, approximately) led me to think we didn't really have one locally.

Still, it was an honest question, as Consumer Reports show Roper's repair record to be nearly half that of the next best brand name. It's likely they didn't test it because it uses enough water to clean clothes, though possibly not to rinse them properly.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 1:58PM
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The new edition of the Roper washer is no longer a direct drive design. Instead, it uses the same belt-driven motor that one finds in the lower end Cabrio & Bravos. When the last of the previous generation Roper got sold off the floor a few weeks back in my store, some of us wept....

My Whirlpool rep noted, "it's the end of a design that's been around for 31 years".

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 2:12PM
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> RCA was/is GE

RCA was at one point Whirlpool - the appliances in the house I grew up in (built mid-'60s) had appliances with both RCA and Whirlpool branding; at some point later the RCA part was dropped. GE bought RCA in 1984 or thereabouts and began building RCA appliances that were based on GE designs for several years, but that too ended awhile back.

Roper I think was an independent appliance manufacturer, but was long ago acquired by Whirlpool, after which it became one of their low-end brands.

My issues with basic Whirlpool top-loaders are the overly fast agitation which I find wears out clothes quickly (especially bulkier items), that it doesn't normally spin as it drains the water, and the spin speed is too low. They are reliable, though. The low rinse levels must be something new - the one's I've used that are a few years old fill to the top (adjustable if you open the lid and adjust the screw on the fill level detector).

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:01AM
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ken moore, thanks for the info. They recently started advertising that their new model was okay for use on upper floors, so it did sound like a design change. I wouldn't be interested in the new approach...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:13PM
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I bought a Roper washer and dryer set 12+ years ago. It was a VERY inexpensive set, and I was glad to find a low price. The washer had lots of settings, for many speeds, water temps, load sizes, etc. (Roper is made by Whirlpool, so I felt very comfortable buying it.)

The dryer went out after 6 years, but it was due to the vent (machine to roof of my condo) being packed with lint. So, really can't blame the machine, just lack of knowledge!

My washer JUST went, after 12 solid years of frequent use. I paid $500 for the SET, so you can bet I got a great buy, and years, and years of service from it.

In doing extensive research to purchase a new washer, I found that so many people do not read the directions for the 'he' machines. So, I was forewarned, and learned these 'he' washers are NOT your grandmama's washers! They have state of the art technology, and to KNOW them is to LOVE them!

I'm catching up on a big ton of laundry today, and couldn't be happier. I bought a Whirlpool washer, *he, for about $535, with tax. Just follow the *directions, and it works like a charm! I couldn't quit putting my face in the damp laundry, as I removed them. What a difference! Sweet smelling clothing, towels, and sheets, etc. And, due to the great water removal, they were SO quick to dry!

I know I'll be saving a LOT of money on my utilities.

Quick facts:
Pour the he liquid in the BOTTOM of the washer.
Then add the clothes.
Add softener to the softener holder/bleach to the bleach holder, if you need it.
Then, select which load you want (Heavy, light, etc.)
Select your desired water temps.
Hit the "ON" button, and ...
Walk away.

The washer make some 'odd sounds', but it is weighing, and balancing your dry close to start the wash. I read: "Get used to the different sounds, the washer is doing it's job."

And, so it has! Yipppppieeeeeee!!!! ;)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:24PM
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I forgot to add, about the detergent. I've always used Arm & Hammer detergent. For the mountain water where I live, it is remarkable. I was pleased to find 'he' Arm & Hammer liquid detergent for my new machine. It is the one with the SILVER lid. :) Got mine at the grocery store.

Many detergents are 'he'. You just have to look closely for a little 'ocean wave' or some symbol on the front of the package of the brand you like best.

Fact: If you don't use 'he' in an 'he' washer, it voids your WARRANTY. They cost the same as other detergents, no more, no less! Just VERY powerful cleaners, with regulated suds.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:39PM
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That's what I was told by the Appliance salesperson at Sears.

Remember salespersons are salespersons. These days they will tell you almost ANYTHING to get the sale. Do your own research before buying so you know what you are getting.

Pretty soon there won't be any water level or temperature controls on washers. We'll be washing laundry the way the government wants us to do it, not how we want to do it.

And finally, Thank god we are not getting all the government we are paying for!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Thanks for the advice. We bought and now have the SpeedQueen 542. It washes well. We have only two mild concerns about it. First, the local salesman was inaccurate as to his estimate of delivery time; his "a week or two" turned into five weeks and cost his shop credibility for future buys. Ironically, had he told us five weeks, we still would have bought it and would feel better about his store now. Second, there's a squeak when operating, perhaps a loose belt or pulley. If it continues we'll test the warranty. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:43AM
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