Having second thoughts on LG combo washer/dryer:

studio460June 12, 2013

Last week, I ordered a 2.3 cubic-foot, 24" compact LG combination washer/dryer (model no. WM3455HW), due for delivery this coming Saturday. Now, I'm getting cold feet. I just fixed our current LG dryer last night (worn roller-bearing sleeve), and noticed how darned quick our vented gas dryer works. On a small test load, it must've taken only about 15 minutes.

Note that the LG combo unit's dryer component is both electric (and only 120VAC), and ventless (a condenser-dryer), so it's not about to win any speed contests in the drying area.

I've read every review published on the LG combo unit. Most are, "We love it--now I can't wait to do laundry!" Typical wash/dry cycles mentioned were about 2.5 hours. However, a few complained that clothes were damp even after the recommended six-hour cycle. The positive reviews outnumbered the negative reviews by about 10:1 or more.

It would be nice to hear more independent reviews, but it seems that owners of combo units are still quite rare.

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I believe combo units are more common in other countries but in the US they are usually purchased by folks who can't have a dryer vent - like in many New York City apartments. These people are often willing to put up with the idiosyncrasies of the combo units, just so they don't have to use a common laundry room. They are desperate so they can't be too picky.

If you do a search in this forum you will find a few reviews of the combo units. Many reported long cycles, always damp clothes and the need to clean out the machine regularly - lint, I think. The capacity is smaller, too, because most can wash twice what they can dry, so you may not be able to do a full load unless you stop it and take something out.

Most Americans like their two pieces of laundry equipment. It is what most of us are used to. I grew up with a Father who thought dryers were a waste of money and power, so we hung our clothes in a damp, smelly basement in the winter and out in a pollen and bird-poop filled yard in the summer. I'll take a dryer any day.

Good luck with your shopping. I know it can be confusing. I decided on middle-price Whirlpool FL set and have been very happy. Especially with the dryer :).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 7:03PM
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I mentioned improving the flexible dryer vent pipe in one of your other threads and you responded with a reminder you had a ventless dryer planned. I missed that fact from previous discussion.

I was intrigued. I did a little of my own research about them. I barely knew they existed beforehand. I now understand better how the work. They aren't as inefficiently designed as I initially feared. But, they are clearly intended for a target audience. It's the same story with the combo washer/dryer. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs, but designed for a target audience.

The ventless combo W/D was designed for a single person living in a 700 sq. ft urban high rise apartment with no outside vent possibility.

As you know, the LG combo is like many other combos with a dryer capacity exactly half of the washer capacity. The convenience of a "one button" transformation from pile of dirty clothes to clean dry clothes is only available for half-sized washer loads. Since the washing and drying are serial operations sharing the same unit, you can't get regain any of that lost time by washing and drying at the same time. A single half-sized washer load must wash and dry the full cycle time before the next half-sized load can be started. And these aren't speedy cycles, even in the best case. The concept of saving a week's worth of family laundry to do on Sunday afternoon is a non-starter unless you're a single beach bum who doesn't own any socks.

Of course, this is old news to you. People buy certain appliances (or cars or houses, etc.) for all sorts of reasons beyond strict utilitarian requirements. There's a thriving forum here dominated by people who buy SubZero refrigerators and commercial style ranges to cook for their family. I get it. I do the same thing for certain hobbies or interests of mine.

It sounds like you have a pretty clear design idea in your mind about how you want the interior of your house to look and function. It sounds like it will involve some tradeoffs. In many ways, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater house wouldn't be easy to live in, but whoa... uber cool to own anyway.

Can you live with washing one smallish load of laundry most days? Can you get used to starting a load before you leave for work (and trusting no major water failures)? Or starting a load most days when you get home in the evening?

Can you have a secret capacity backup plan in a simple traditional washer and dryer in the basement for the times you return from two weeks of vacation with everything you own dirty?

These seem like workable tradeoffs for a one or two person household if you get into the right habits. Or it may become a drag and you can't wait to tear it out and install the noisy, low-tech Speed Queens that will last until you die. :)

Actually, I'm hoping you stick with your plan and give us regular reports on how it's working for you.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 8:06PM
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looks like knot2fast gave a great analysis of the pros and cons of combo units.

I can add to it the following: my brother and sister-in-law have owned a combo unit (in Europe) for probably ten years now and as far as I know they line dry 100% of their laundry. They tried the dryer a few times when they first got the unit but the length of time it takes to dry a load is not worth it for them. Also electricity cost in Europe makes it a hard sell. In any event, their comments were consistent with knot2fast's - you cannot count on drying a full load in the unit.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 9:57AM
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I had a Bosch Axxis pair with condenser dryer and it dried as quickly and as efficiently as my other vented dryer though it got hotter. It didn't take hours and hours as some seem to do. But this may vary from brand to brand.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 8:09

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:56PM
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The Bosch condenser dryer has two speed advantages over the drying in the LG combo W/D though - it runs on 220V, and it has twice the capacity (in general, dryers have twice the interior cubic footage as either washers or combos).

If you have room, you can stack the LG 220v electric dryer over the combo washer (I think it fits, but haven't checked), or to the side. Gas 24"w dryers are hard to find, though I think GE has one or two. Or you can use the not-too-huge low-end Frigidaire/Kenmore stackable gas dryer that's 5.7 or 5.8 cu ft., it's 27" wide and deep. Or keep the dryer you already have. With these setups, you can choose whether to wait a few hours but have the LG combo both wash and dry a small load of laundry in one shot, saving you the inconvenience of moving your damp clothes into the dryer halfway through. Or if you're time-crunched, you can use the full capacity of the washer and wash and dry simultaneously for faster throughput.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Thanks for everyone's thoughtful, and detailed replies! From re-reading a few of the available online reviews, the best I can estimate a moderate load to take is 2.5-3 hours, from start-to-finish.

As knot2fast suggests, I did in fact have a secret plan to keep our working LG vented gas dryer as a back-up. I thought this was a perfect "solution," and would easily resolve any issues caused by the low-capacity, ventless, condenser dryer built into the LG combo unit.

However, to my surprise, the GF is vehemently opposed to this idea (something about "too much crap in the garage already"). Also, I did forget the extra hassle of having to run a gas line to the garage, which is furthest from the gas supply.

Here's my stupid Plan-B: Is it possible to run 120VAC appliances outside? I know people in Hawaii which run 120VAC washer/dryers outdoors, typically placed against the house, under an overhang, or in a car port, often next to large outdoor laundry sinks. Won't the steel in the machines corrode outside?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 7:33PM
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I just called the GF. She now agrees to keep our current LG gas dryer as a back-up. If we cancel the LG combo order now (it's scheduled for delivery in two days), we lose $145 in savings (at current prices). While the LG combo unit is returnable for up to 90 days, the 24" GE washer-dryer pair we're considering as an alternative is not--it's explicitly stated in the product's specifications on the Home Depot site as "NOT RETURNABLE." Go figure.

We discussed our laundry habits, and she turned out to be very much a proponent of doing smaller loads, more frequently. I wasn't even aware that she air-dries a lot of our laundry already. She said, "People in Europe have these--and they have kids, and they're fine with it." I said, people in Europe are different--they're used to it!

At the end of the call, she talked me into keeping the order as-is, and re-locating our current gas-vented LG dryer (which works great) to the garage, or outdoors, where I would build a weatherproof enclosure for it (we live in Southern California where the weather is very temperate, and only rains 10 days a year).

This post was edited by studio460 on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 1:57

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:40PM
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I briefly lived in a timeshare that had a '70s-vintage GE combo (older model of same shown below), which was 30"w, i think 220v, and maybe vented, but was still quite slow. We just adjusted to its speed; since it does the whole thing, we just would throw a load of laundry in every night or two, rather than saving a basketful of laundry for laundering once a week. Despite having to wash & dry clothes more frequently, it felt like less work because you could just throw in your clothes and in a few hours it would be ready to put away. Could you imagine a dishwasher that made you take all the glasses and plates out after the wash & rinse cycles and put them in a second machine for drying? ( *yes, if you've worked in commercial kitchens BTW)

And always remember the golden rule: if you and the gf don't agree on something, always compromise and do what gf wants.....

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:33AM
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That picture's a riot! My mom used to have one of those tables! Funny, I keep telling the GF she should wear heels, a cocktail dress, and meet me at the door with a martini when I get home, but she just doesn't listen!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:18AM
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Ah ha! People do put washers and dryers outdoors:

Eclectic Patio by Other Metro Photographers Churreria Photography

This post was edited by studio460 on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 6:32

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:19AM
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Thank goodness, we happen to have a concrete pad--a former landing for a now closed-up kitchen door as part of the "kitchen counter-space expansion project". The pad is just large enough to accommodate our "old" LG gas dryer and a small enclosure. The beauty of this is, both gas and GFCI'd electric supplies are right there. Perfect!

I can build a conventional, wood-studded structure, including R13 (to prevent condensation), flooring, roof, etc. I can also install a sideways, horizontal "periscope" style, rigid-metal dryer vent which can exit to the appliance's rear-left (out of the little house). One step closer to "buying into" the combo LG washer/dryer unit . . .

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:28AM
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studio460, love the picture of the washer on the deck! With a view like that, who wouldn't want to do laundry outside:-)

Seriously though, I like your plan of keeping the current gas dryer as backup. I think you will really like the washer part of your combo unit and the condenser dryer will work just fine for smaller loads. And having a gas dryer seems like a perfect solution for large loads like towels or bed sheets on the weekends.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:15AM
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Okay, this one review from the LG site is both scary and suspect:

" . . . You must install it on a solid floor, leveled, on top of a drain pan that comes out a few inches in front of and around the unit and is connected to a working drain, since you will be cleaning the drain pump filter at least twice a month. Even though the drain pump filter has a drain hose, the water comes out of the filter as well."

In addition to that excerpt, this particular reviewer wrote extensively on the product. Overall, they were happy with its performance, and it's probably worth noting that their installation is in an RV. This is the only reviewer which mentions the necessity of a drainpan.

I do know that there are two reported issues with this product. You need to take apart the machine (not difficult, but inconvenient) to clean the lint out of the internal ducting since there is no lint trap. You also need to do something with that drain pipe periodically, where apparently, some water escapes in the process, possibly requiring a bucket during the process, or mop afterwards. It seems the bulk of the satisfied reviewers consist of new owners who may simply have not have encountered these maintenance issues yet.

This post was edited by studio460 on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 9:48

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Yeah, it's cool, isn't it? I think that's Barcelona.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:30AM
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yeah, everything about that GE picture is absurd - that pose that noboby in real life has ever struck, especially whilst doing laundry; the excessive number of neatly-stacked color-keyed towels, those liquid-filled bottle/vase things that will be knocked over and spilled within a week, and the fact that that cocktail table is in the bathroom, blocking access to and from the bathtub behind the curtain.

Is that a pool on that deck? The legal-warning pages near the front of the installation manual (usually downloadable from manufacturer's website in addition to being included with product) will include a warning if it cannot be used outdoors, or if it needs protection from the elements, or what temperature range the appliance can be used. I know they make special refrigerators, ice machines, and cooktops for outdoor use, some of which are designed for use either indoors or out.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Just make sure to keep the internal ducts clean. There are a bunch of videos out there on YouTube with clogged LG washer/dryers.


Here is a link that might be useful: http://youtu.be/8otFl-Lm8g8

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Well, it's here! It's exactly like a miniature version of our current stainless-steel finish LG washer/dryer pair. It's really pretty in white--a great cosmetic refresh! We have 90 days to figure out if it's gonna work for us. I just ran out to Target and bought some powdered Gain HE detergent to keep the dispenser drawer in pristine condition--now I just have to find a pile of dirty laundry to try it out!

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 13:14

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:29AM
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I believe that's a rooftop deck at a home in Barcelona. Yes, the elements are sure to destroy any non-weatherized appliance within a few months if left unprotected. However, if properly insulated from condensation, extreme temperature fluctuations, and UV exposure, non-weatherized appliances should do as well as if they were actually "inside."

Of course, all electrical connections should be code-compliant for exterior applications (e.g., outdoor BBQs/kitchens), using insulated conduit couplings, weather-proofed switches, and GFCI outlets.

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 13:34

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Yup, saw a couple of those duct-cleaning videos already--thanks!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:34AM
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The following images have been re-posted from another site. The site has some dead links, so I thought to archive these images here:

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:24PM
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Top of machine exposed:

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Cleaning the lint from the internal ducting:

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Our first load! Oddly, I didn't have enough laundry, so the first load is less than half-full--not the stress-test I was looking for:

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:16PM
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I selected "speed wash" (28 min.), and "60 min." for the drying time. The spin cycles are very quiet; however, the drain cycle was louder than expected (but brief):

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 14:25

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Initial impressions: 2.3 cubic-foot LG 24" washer/dryer model no. WM3455HW

1. There is no blue interior drum light. This must only be available on larger or older models?
2. You cannot cancel special cycles--there is no "reset" or "back" button. The manual is very brief on all aspects of the machine controls.
3. Wash/spin cycles: very quiet.
4. End-of-rinse water evacuation: loud, but short.
5. Condenser drying: see below.

The drying cycle generates repeated water-filling/evacuating noises--this happens frequently--more than once per minute. It sounds exactly like a very short rinse cycle filling, then evacuating water for a few seconds. Though short, and not particularly loud, this occurs incessantly, with great frequency--as if you're performing literally hundreds of mini-rinse cycles.

In fact, that begs the question, why are washer drains "open?" A closed, fitted drain would do a lot to suppress "drain burp," the most annoying part of the repeated evacuation (the pump itself is relatively quiet).

In addition, a constant, moderately audible "humming" noise from the condenser in the low-mid frequency range--almost like an electric motor "whine," persists throughout the cycle. This is less annoying that the "drain-burping" heard every 20-30 seconds or so (the frequency appears irregular). I know this is a condenser dryer, but I just didn't expect so much water activity during its "drying" stage.

People reporting that the machine is "quiet," I assume, are mostly referring to the wash/spin cycles--yes, those are very quiet. However, if I have to continue to listen to these non-stop, mini-rinse cycles for hours on end, I'll likely go mad. This means we'll definitely bury the outlet box behind the base cabinets, plus install some additional soundproofing material both around the washer itself, and in the cavity surrounding the outlet box.

But, overall, save for its endlessly repetitious "fill-drain cycle" during drying, I would give the machine relatively high marks. Minor nits: a bit short on user-interface control; the 2.3 cubic-foot drum appears smaller than I expected; no blue interior light (I was looking forward to that!). One more thing--the end-of-cycle musical tone is ultra-lame sounding. Yes, you can turn it off, but then you have no audible alarm.

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 17:43

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:36PM
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These condenser-drying, "mini-rinse cycles" are driving me crazy. And, I only have the dryer set to 60 minutes. Could the timer be "lying?" I'm already thinking of returning the LG for the separate GE units instead, just for this issue alone.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 3:28PM
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LG condenser drying time:

On my premiere half-load, I had set the machine to 60-minutes drying time, and at the end of the cycle, a Target Mossimo T-shirt (which is thinner than a Banana Republic fitted T-shirt) is still damp. Socks are mostly dry. The T-shirt would probably line-dry in 15 minutes; however, I'm never going to go to the trouble to line-dry my clothes (I typically do my laundry in the middle of the night).

I set an additional 30 minutes drying time (90 minutes, total), and at the end of 90 minutes, the single pair of jeans in the half-load is still too damp to wear comfortably (even after "shaking"). The Mossimo T-shirt seems no drier. So, now I re-start the dryer for another 30-minute cycle.

Finally, at a total of two-hours' drying time, all T-shirts are dry (however, I had also removed the single pair of jeans to test for dryness, and forgot to put them back in), but are more wrinkled than if coming out of a conventional dryer. I notice after a minute or so, if folded immediately, most of the wrinkles seem to dissipate.

I think many of the reviews I read are slightly biased: Extremely positive reviewers are either just happy to have any washer/dryer at all (e.g., NYC apartment-dwellers), and just relieved they don't have to visit a common laundry or laundromat, or simply don't mind the super-extra-long drying times, and ultra-small loads. Others are admittedly line-drying (what's point of that?), significantly ameliorating their long-drying times (and, perhaps, helping to rationalize their purchase). At the other extreme, unsatisfied customers are "overloading" the dryer--which is easy to do since the rated capacity is small. Even for a single person who washes frequently, an unvented condenser dryer is pushing it, in my opinion. Expect at minimum, two- to three-hour drying times (if not more) as the norm.

Now, if I went with the recommended automatic cycle time for the load given, the total time indicated was 4.5 hours (that's over four hours' drying time!). Had I given the machine the benefit to complete its cycle within the total recommended time (which, according to some reports is often less), this would have been a fairer test.

Though I knew much of this going in, it's still a shock to someone used to the performance of stand-alone, gas-vented driers. What would've taken about 15 minutes in a vented gas dryer is taking two hours or more in an unvented condenser dryer.

Note that if the hundreds of "mini-cycles," which occur every 20-30 seconds during the drying phase, weren't as annoying, the extended drying time wouldn't be nearly as objectionable. Although I do my laundry at night, I generally don't sleep at night--I'm typically up all throughout the night. Yes, the obvious "solution" is to start the load before I go to work (typically, midday to late-afternoon). I'll have the GF do some laundry this weekend, and see what she thinks.

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 19:50

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:14PM
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I just put the jeans in by themselves, and ran the dryer for an additional 30 minutes--now, they're bone-dry! Things are looking up! Maybe I'll "adjust" to this new machine as time goes on.

But wait, there's more . . . my jeans feel velvety soft, with no fabric softener or dryer sheets added. I read this is one of the benefits of condenser drying--your clothes haven't been "baked." Does this also mean that your colored fabrics are also less prone to fading due to the way condenser dryers work, versus conventional, heated-air, vented gas or electric dryers?

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 17:24

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 5:18PM
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I just folded the finished load--here's what I washed in the above "test" load (I don't sort my laundry):

1 pair of jeans.
7 cotton T-shirts.
4-1/2 pairs of cotton, ankle-length socks.
3 pairs of cotton briefs.

I used a 1/4-cup of Gain powdered HE detergent, and one measure (about 1/8th-cup) of a house-brand oxygen cleaner (sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate). Everthing seems "clean," although nothing was that dirty, (i.e., no heavily soiled "work" clothes).

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 18:01

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Ha! I just took out one of the T-shirts I just washed from the closet (after drying in the machine for two hours), and they're still just ever so slightly, a tiny bit damp. The good news--after being folded and sitting for a while, the wrinkles have disappeared!

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 20:23

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:17PM
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The whine you are hearing is probably the fan.

Condenser dryers can bake clothes just as badly as vented units. My Bosch Axxis gets up to 167F. However, clothes - thin or thick - all dry at the same speed as humidity is slowly extracted from the air. You could say a condenser dryer is more like a steam oven versus a conventional one.

The periodic draining is to drain condensate water that is continuously injected by the dryer somewhere into or along the air path to provide a cool surface for the condensation process. Currently, only Bosch/Siemens sells an air-cooled washer/dryer as far as I know. And, of course, not in the US...


Here is a link that might be useful: Siemens airCondensation Washer Dryer

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:05PM
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Very nice, Alex! Of course it's not available in the US (neither is the Miele combo machine). I wonder if it also dries faster? There sure seems to be a lot of ducting in that machine--wonder if they all collect lint?

I knew water was used in the drying cycle in the LG unit (and its resulting condensate), I just had no idea it would need to evacuate it every 20 seconds!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Second load: This time we set the drying time to "auto," and the machine indicated a total wash/dry time of 4.5 hours; actual time was only about about 2.5 hours. Though this is only a guess, since I forgot to check the time we started--I thought the machine would indicate the total time elapsed--it doesn't--it reduces the time as it senses the clothes' dryness. Plus, during the wash cycle, it only displays the time remaining to complete that particular cycle. Conversely, the last "6 minutes" (as indicated on the display) actually took about 15 minutes to complete. Here's the contents of this load:

1 fleece vest
1 pair leggings
2 pairs jean shorts
1 pair jeans
1 cotton hoodie
1 bra

This time, however, everything came out completely dry at the end of the cycle--as soon as the machine's silly-sounding musical alarm played, and its display indicated "Cd" (which stands for "cool-down").

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 23:54

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Did you ever consider the LG WM3987HW all-in-one washer/dryer? Given that you're keeping the big LG gas dryer, this machine would be a closer match sizewise - 27"w, 3.6 cu.ft. capacity, same price. Still only 120v/15a and condensation drying. Does claim a white LED tub light.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:27AM
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The GE combo unit is 220v, and they were all water-cooled condenser-dry units. They had VERY slow spin speeds (on the order of 200 RPM). Much larger drum than the LG of discussion.

All the major manufacturers had combo units in the late 1950s and into the 1960s -- Bendix / Philco, Maytag, Speed Queen, Norge, GE, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Kenmore, and others.

Maytag's unit was featured on Green Acres. (Remember the number formula Lisa Douglas had to follow for how many appliances she could run simultaneously on the one electric circuit?) They were fraught with so many problems that Maytag forcibly bought them back from owners to save-face (think of *any* manufacturer doing that today!). A couple or three are still in existence (one being in a Maytag museum). Westinghouse units also had design problems that led to early failure, I know of two that survive.

Bendix (& Bendix-Philco) was highly successful with their units in the 1950s and 1960s, having locked-in the patent on the suspension design to allow high-speed spin. Other manufacturers either had to pay Bendix a patent royalty for the suspension design, or forgo high spin speeds and find some other way to deal with garnering reasonable drying speeds in lieu of initial water extraction.

Kenmore combos (by Whirlpool) were very popular, available until 1974, longer than any other brand until the current mini-resurgence happening now. Whirlpool did a complete redesign on their unit at one point in the 1960s, coming up with a hugely complicated design involving water-ballast tanks that allowed high spin speeds without violating the Bendix patent. It was said the Whirlpool machines had more parts than a Volkswagen Beetle.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Load 3 total cycle time: 5 hours

2 regular bath towels
2 lightweight girlie sweaters
1 lightweight girlie hoodie (only as thick as a T-shirt)
2 cotton T-shirts
2 cotton briefs
2 pair ankle-length socks
2 small rags

Everything came out dry.

There is no current-draw information in the specifications for the dryer. So, without an energy meter, there's no way of knowing the energy costs of running the dryer (the "EnergyGuide" sticker indicates data pertaining to the washer portion of the machine only).

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Thanks for your suggestion, Lee. The reason we chose the smaller LG is because we're only considering machines which fit under a standard 36"-high counter (our current, standard-sized LG units are still working). The new machine is a purely cosmetic change (smaller, and in white, rather than stainless), to match a redesigned laundry area.

This is why the 24" GE units are still under consideration. We chose the LG unit instead, so we could add another 24" cabinet.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Very interesting, Dadoes!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 7:13PM
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GF did three loads in the LG combo machine today--she dried everything in our gas-vented, standard-sized LG dryer which is still connected. She's going to try another load in the combo unit exclusively tonight.

Basically, a load which took 25 minutes in the gas-vented dryer took five hours in the condenser dryer--a 10:1 ratio. If it only took 50% as long, or even twice as long, that might be acceptable. But, 10 times as long is a little much.

Running the condenser dryer for five hours at 1,000-Watts per hour (I'm only guessing, since no specs are given for the dryer portion of the machine) costs about $2.50 for us. If a vented condenser dryer does the same in say, half the time, the energy costs could be nearly as much, given the 240V supply. In contrast, the gas dryer probably costs only pennies per load.

So, unfortunately, the LG combo is probably going back to Home Depot. The GE 24" pair is on hold also. We're now looking at standard-sized, stackable units, since no one makes a compact vented gas dryer. This won't be nearly as pretty as the 100% undercounter installation I was envisioning, but it'll be literally ten times faster, and possibly, also as much as ten times less costly.

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jun 18, 13 at 0:08

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 12:03AM
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Keep in mind regards to operating cost that the heating source (electric element or gas burner) doesn't stay on 100% of the time during a run. It cycles on/off to maintain the target temperature. It will run for longer periods at start of a load when evaporating moisture keeps the air temp cooler ... then for shorter periods as the clothes dry and retain heat. The cycle ends with a cooldown of typically 5 to 10 mins depending on which cycle is used. I have no experience with condenser dryers so don't know what's the typical heating profile.

The model sticker/plate should state voltage and (maximum) amperage rating. Volts x amps = wattage draw. The stated maximum draw would be during the dry function when the heating element is operating (there's no water heating booster on the LG, correct?).

Regards to power cost ... utility companies bill for wattage consumption per hour (KWH), although in some cases there is a demand factor which is the maximum instantaneous KW draw that occurred during the billing period. Being that volts X amps = wattage, 20 amps at 120v for an hour is equivalent (discounting the demand factor) to 20 amps at 240v for a half-hour, for example.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 11:00AM
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We just sold our house that had this very same washer/dryer combo. We installed it & used it for about 3 years. Overall, it's a nice unit. But I can't understand why in Hades you would get one if you have room for a full-size washer & dryer? That's one of the HUGE perks of the new house we are buying, full-size & separate washer dryers. We are elated.

You posted the cleaning pictures above, but the thing is a beast to clean out. It's really not fun and there is no way to definitively know if you have gotten all the lint/debris removed. We had to do this cleaning about once every 6 months, but with less frequent laundry (and minus a lot of dog hair) it would likely need fewer cleanings.

FWIW, our water pump died right before the 3 year mark. The tech said that was pretty common with this LG washer. Not a huge repair, but kind of annoying when combined with all the cleanings.

This was a great laundry option for our small condo. But if you have the space, a full-size washer & dryer is the ticket.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:02AM
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Thanks for your reply, and that detailed report, xand83--in answer to your question, the house is fairly small, so we were attempting to sacrifice laundry utility for a larger pantry and a linen closet (since basically, we have neither).

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 3:05

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 2:52AM
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1. The LG combo unit is an excellent solution for those with no other option. The machine works as advertised, despite its rather restricted load capacity and extended drying times.

2. That said, we decided to return the LG washer/dryer unit to Home Depot today. The entire process took 30-minutes of Home Depot online phone-CSR discussion, plus another 90-minutes of in-store, employee-CSR-manager, back-and-forth. In the end, a full refund was issued, with no re-stocking fee, and no delivery charge.

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 3:17

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 3:03AM
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I said previously, "1. The LG combo unit is an excellent solution for those with no other option." Let me qualify that statement a bit. Yes, if you have no other option, you can have a compact, all-in-one unit that doesn't require 240VAC or a vent.

However, it's perhaps better stated, that, while it's a good-looking machine which otherwise functions very well, you should definitely expect 2-6 hour drying times--but, typically, 4-6 if you're a "normal" person. Reviewers which commented, "Most of my loads are done in 2.5 hours," must be washing extremely small loads. Perhaps, a few blouses, and some socks. Certainly no jeans or towels. Add a single pair of jeans to the mix, or a hoodie--and, bam--you're at 4-6 hours drying time.

Previous to our purchase, I read every review on the unit I could find. As I said earlier, positive reviews seemed to outnumber negative reviews by about 10:1. I had assumed the few negative reviewers simply overloaded the dryer, which is basically probably true. Knowing this, we thought we were willing to endure longer drying times in exchange for a much expanded pantry/linen closet.

But having a gas dryer still connected made the comparison glaringly clear. A vented gas dryer is not only far less expensive in energy costs, it dries clothes 10-30 times faster than an un-vented condenser dryer. For example, something that took only 8 minutes to dry in the gas dryer, took about 4 hours to dry in the LG unit--that's 30x longer. It's these kinds of numbers which are completely lacking in any of the reviews.

If drying a pair of jeans, a towel, and a few shirts takes 4-6 hours to dry, it's simply not practical for most people for two reasons: a.) energy costs; b.) the dryer makes its "drain-spin" noise at 20-second intervals, continuously for several hours. Again, we thought the "set-it-and-go-to-work," or "set-it-and-go-to-sleep" approach would greatly lessen the impact of the extended drying times. But, "set-it-and-go-to-sleep" simply doesn't work in a small house--it's too disruptive.

My recommendation? Buy this unit if:

a.) You have absolutely no other option.
b.) Your kWh rates are affordable (e.g., c.) You prefer line-drying some of your clothes.
d.) You're single, and wash extremely small loads.

This post was edited by studio460 on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 16:41

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 4:38PM
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