A Staber update.
Hello everyone, I haven't posted in a while so thought I'd add an update on my Staber. As you can see if you Search previous posts, I've had the Staber for several years now. A quick run-down, my ex-wife and I used it for a few years, it developed a mold problem, I took it out of service and put a new Fisher-Paykel in service and put the Staber in the garage for a year and let it dry. The mold dried-up, I ran Afresh through it and put it back into service for my daughter who used it a year or so with no problems, mold or otherwise. I got it back from her when she moved and put it into service for myself. It sits in a small building now out on my property back of my house. I run an average of about 5 loads through it per week. I use powder detergents mostly and vinegar or Purex crystals mostly for softening. The washer exhaust into an 18 gallon container which then is pumped out of the building it's in. I can look at the exhaust water and tell when I've done a really dirty load or not, believe me! Here are some things that are a bit different about the Staber and my opinion of it:
The Staber isn't for everyone, it works out well enough for me though. I'm not sure I'd buy one again simply because of the very high price, but for some people the feature-set is ideal and if they need the very low water usage and the mechanical simplicity it would be a good one:
1 - If you are a guy or gal that likes doing your own repair it's a good choice. It's easy to get the front panel off and everything is accessible from there (the motor, belt, water pump, bearings, etc.).
2 - The electrical controls are easily accessible from the top. It's designed to be easily worked on.
3 - Parts seem quite expensive to me though, but I can't say that I know what applicance parts run these days. But to get a new belt from Staber was going to cost me over $50. So I went in and tightened the existing belt a little bit more and now run slightly smaller loads so it doesn't squeal. It's the original belt that came with the washer believe it or not, I do plan to replace it but just am going to find one somewhere else if I can. It appears to be very similar to a cam belt used on a car engine or something. If I can't locate another one that works then I'll buy the one from Staber. No other mechanical repairs have ever been needed on this machine though and I'm sure it has done a couple or three thousand loads so far.
4 - The washer has a decent sized load capacity. I often hear it mentioned that the Staber load size is small, the tub is small but it is all useable. You can stuff the cloths in and pack them in a bit, something you can't do with machines that often have much larger tubs. I wash queen, and can do king, quilts in mine.
5 - For whites, I find a pre-wash is needed to get them really, really clean. Washing a load in 5.5 gallons of water just isn't enough for whites oftentimes, so two washes of 5.5 gallons does the trick. The Staber always rinses two times no matter what, 5.5 gallons of water for each rinse, and the rinse is always cold water as there isn't a choice on this. But, rather than the pre-wash, I will often wash my whites in hot water then turn the machine off mid-cycle and let them soak for an hour during the wash and this does a pretty effective job and can negate the pre-wash requirement for whites fairly effectively most times. But still using the two wash cycles for whites is best I think.
5.5 - About the pre-wash, when you run a pre-wash load the pre-wash can be done with powder detergent but then the regular wash must be done with a liquid detergent because the liquid is all you can put in the detergent dispenser cup which dispenses the detergent for the second washing.
6 - Back on the mechanical end, I've greased the bearings on the machine a couple of times over the last year and this is fairly easy to do once I figured out a system. I used a small plastic syringe that came from a "teeth whitening" product. I fill the syringe with white lithium grease and inject it into the bearings. There is a small plastic cap that comes off the top of each bearing housing and the small plastic end of the syringe fits right into it. Clean the syringe before using it for grease of course. The machine has two robust bearings, one of each side of the tub. For long-term durability I think this can be better than a single-bearing tub design unless the single-bearing design is made really well in which case it can be just as robust.
7 - It doesn't have any fancy cycles or any of that stuff, I find that I don't need any of that anyway. It doesn't have an internal water heater but that isn't something I need either, though I suppose you could put a little water heater in front of it specifically for it and get any temp you wanted (I think the little electric heaters are cheap, and the Staber only uses 5.5 gallons of water per wash load).
8 - I belive the Fisher Paykel I previously had got cloths cleaner than the Staber does, UNLESS I run a pre-wash on the Staber, then they are about equal. So you do have to understand how the Staber operates in order to get the best wash quality from it. For color cloths and jeans no pre-wash is needed unless they are really really filthy.
9 - The Staber is a bit loud on final spin. Wait, I mean a bit LOUD.
10 - I have 5 washing machines, 2 old Maytag automatics which both work, 2 old Maytag wringers washers which both work (although I need to fix the wringer on one of them right now), then the Staber which is my daily work-horse washer. All of these washers clean well and work very well for their intended purpose. All are very well built. I'm setting one of my wringers up on a porch outside and am currently in the process of doing this, wringers do a great job of washing and you have total control of them.
11 - I now have a cloths spinner that extracts water from the cloths after they are washed and before they are hung-up or go into the dryer. This thing spins at something like 3300 RPM and the cloths come out of it almost dry. I can hang a shirt from it inside for 3 hours or so and it's ready to wear. Also the cloths in the dryer don't have to stay in for very long until they're dry, I figure about one-half the time.