Loaded question: Good all around washer/dryer on the market today

bernseAugust 6, 2011

Hi folks,

I used to post here all the time back in the early 00s when I bought an original FriGEmore triplet set (Kenmore version). I am also one of those folks that game up with the bearing replacement procedure that was advertised pretty heavily in many appliance repair forms for repairing them for the infamous bearing failures (I'm the bearing guy).

ANYHOW, question to ask:

I've been out of the laundry "scene" for some time and we're looking to purchase a new set. There are so many new FLs on the market, I have a really hard time figuring out where to start. I've been browsing this forum again a bit lately and I'm really not sure what to make of some of the comments.

I want something with a capacity that is large enough to comfortably wash a queen size bed spread and king size duvet cover. I don't want something that has a horrible reliability reputation (like the early Neptunes and bearing failures on my sets). I also want something that has a gas dryer option and PREFERABLY a dryer that will rotate both ways to lesson the chances of clothes tangling into a ball/getting wrapped up in each other. Stackable is nice, but not a deal breaker, as would be a wrinkle remover for the dryer.

Where should I look hard and close? The Koreans like LG/Samsung? The new Electroluxes? I really have no clue as to what the "consensus" is for a good all around set nowdays and I would really appreciate input!

Thanks folks!

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lilyluv

About a year ago I too was reading this site looking for a good set to go into our new addition master suite's laundry center. After MUCH research, I decided not to go with the FL, because of the mold/smell problems (something I just could not risk having problems with). I chose the Whirlpool Cabrio set. It is a top loader without the middle agitator. It is just like the FL, only it loads from the top & does not have the same problems associated with the FL. It easily washes my King sized comforter, is energy star, is very quick on the wash & dry and uses the HE detergent. When I bought it, this new version had only been out a couple months or so, but had rave reviews. I absolutely love it! One year later, no smells, no problems, so easy to use! If I were to go out today, I would buy exactly the same thing! My husband & I STILL argue about who gets to do the laundry! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:46PM
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ken_moore

Bernse! I remember you from back in the early 2000's when I was last active here. I've just come back too.

ApplianceMagazine.com just posted an interesting article reviewing JD Powers rankings for customer satisfaction, which were just released for 2011. I think these ratings are much more telling than what one finds in Consumer Reports because they don't just deal with individual models which may or may not be available at the time of publication... I frequently wondered how there could be any validity in some of their ratings when they ranked two models that were functionally almost identical (same manufacturer under two different brands) so differently. Anyhoots, the vagueness and flaws with CR rankings could be its own entire post...

Suffice to say the #1 rated brand for customer satisfaction in washing machines was..SAMSUNG. Third year in a row.

They also got #1 in dryers. 4th year in a row.

-Ken

Here is a link that might be useful: Most Satisfying Appliance Brands.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:51AM
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Anceska

I just returned a new Samsung washer/dryer set model WF431. I was not happy with the machine at all. It looks good has variety Of features but it did not clean well at all. I think to solely rely on these consumer reports and ratings can be a big mistake.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 3:55PM
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livebetter

@Anceska, I think to rely on the word of a few people who take issue with an appliance may also be a mistake. That's what makes the whole issue of researching a purchase frustrating.

For every one like you there will be a handful of others who love their Samsung. My cousins have Samsung and love it.

Heaven only knows why they love theirs and you did not love yours. Maybe your machine was a lemon, maybe my cousins don't have high cleaning standards (hard to believe with two small kids), who really knows??

Clearly, many people are happy with their Samsung if they score the highest on customer satisfaction 3 years in a row.

I'm coming to realize that there is NO way to know ahead of time. You gotta' buy it and use to know if you like it. Sucks ... but true.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 4:34PM
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Anceska

I agree with you. I also think to really know is to use it and see how it fits our personal needs and expectations. I own Samsung TV and laptop and I love them so I am not saying Samsung is a bad brand. As you said, I could have had a Lemon, who knows. I am sure we all can agree that when we decide to spend money on a new appliance we want to be satisfied and happy with the purchase. that is what matters.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:53PM
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nerdyshopper

We have had a model 337AAW Samsung (one down from the top of the line) for over two years. While I have cried on this forum many times about how I wished the old top loaders that were not limited by government regulators were still available, I have to admit it is working OK. It is not easy to get it to wash well with the small amout of water it uses, and the instructions leave a lot to be learned, but it is working. I run with it set to heavy duty loads a lot because it uses more time to rotate the clothes in the small amount of soapy water. I also use the extra rinse for every load. If I really want to get all soap out I have to restart the machine in a rinse and spin cycle.
Those are the negatives. But the vibration control feature Samsung came up with still works well.
Chalk me up as almost satisfied and hoping the machine will last.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:31AM
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bernse

Hi folks, thanks for all the replies.

Ken! I do remember you too! Long time no chat!

I've considered Samsung and won't rule them out by any stretch at least not yet. Although, I do have a question.

Does anyone here have the new Maytag Maxima? I understand that Maytag went belly-up a while back (this is a good thing IMHO especially after the neptune fiasco) and now run by Whirlpool. I saw the Maxima at a local store and I must admit I like the look and the features. *Seems* to be good quality but of course appearances aren't everything.

@lilyluv,

I understand your concern about FL and mold/musty smells. I can honestly say that doesn't concern me in the slightest. We've had our set now for almost 12 years and it simply has never been an issue for us. I always left the door slightly ajar personally, although I doubt that's even necessary.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 12:03PM
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bonesoda

@bernse: Was in same boat as you... i think if one is not buying a miele the toss up be between a samsung/samsung branded kenmore or elux (someone linked that the new fridgidaires are elux machines).

Initially i wanted a whirlpool/maytag machine and have read a lot of plus and minus about them so decided to look elsewhere.

My other appliances would have been a whirlpool type too but people tend to complain about the whirlpool apps mainly because of lack of service and accountability on faulty and or design flawed apps.

For me a lot of folks complain that the samsung dryer bunches up the laundry and does not dry properly.

I have a thread about elux just a few lines down and im in the same boat about washer dryer based on just good overall cleaning performance.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 5:09PM
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bernse

What are the thoughts on the current Bosch offerings? Back in the day they were really well regarded. I noticed the ones I saw for sale @ Sears were assembled in the US which kind of surprised me.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 9:51PM
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livebetter

@bernse, Bosh is discountinuing their 27" line of laundry this year (FWIW). I noticed some retailers here are already advertising "last one". They have (apparently) said they will have parts available for 10 years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bosch to terminate 27

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 8:37AM
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bernse

Wow. Thanks for that info. I didn't know that. Would explain why they're hard to find.

I find myself seriously contemplating a Miele set as pretty much all the feedback has been universally high. That 4.0 wash basket seems a little small for stuff in the kind size covers/blankets. Is it an issue?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 9:26AM
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bonesoda

@bernse & livebetter: I was told bosch is getting out of appliance manufacturing.. not sure if its 100% or not.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 5:04PM
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livebetter

@jmith, they would be giving up their huge share of the dishwasher segment?

Thi article I linked explains how they plan to focus on the dishwasher segment to maintain their leading market share.

"Our New Bern facility is staying, we're staying in New Bern, we're actually planning on investing $50 million more on the dishwasher line," Hale said of the location. "The exact division of the money hasn't been decided, but definitely (it's going in) the dishwasher business."

Here is a link that might be useful: BSH closing production line, cutting 100 jobs

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 5:43PM
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mara_2008

I'm sure you'll get a zillion opinions. My Maytag Bravos set (washer is the 850 model w/internal water heater and huge 5.2 cu ft capacity) does a great job in every respect.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 5:28PM
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Cavimum

When I bought my Miele W&D set in April, I asked about the Bosches because my indy dealer had them for almost half the price of the Mieles. I was told that Bosch was getting out of W&Ds.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 12:48AM
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ken_moore

I heard from my Bosch rep that they have decided to exit the full-size laundry business in the US. They ran the numbers, and decided it just wasn't worth it. Too much competition, the guy told me.

The Maxima and it's Duet sister appear to be real beasts! Biggest tub out there and made in the USA.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:04AM
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sshrivastava

I've also read that Bosch has stockpiled 10 years worth of parts for their now discontinued 27" line. On paper, the Vision series can't be beaten - it literally has every feature any laundry nut would love. There are probably some great deals on Bosch right now, and with a stockpile of parts I don't think there will be support issues.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:12AM
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grapeleaves

I have a 4 year old Bosch which I'm happy with, however I really don't like the matching dryer. It's gas and dries fine, however, it rolls everything into a ball.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 9:01PM
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bernse

For what it's worth, I found a good deal on a brand new Bosch 27" set which brought the price down to about the same as an on sale Frigidaire set including a mail in rebate. Couldn't really pass it up. Knock on wood that they're somewhat reliable and have a parts supply in a worst case scenario. Only thing it doesn't have is a steam dryer but I think I can live with that for the price.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 1:27PM
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vala55

I don't know much about different brands because most of my appliance purchases have been made at Sears. That has come to an abrupt end. The last two have needed service calls right away. My washer was one of them and I didn't know I was buying a washer that was "sort of" an HE. I have no control over the amount of water. I have learned to wash my large loads in the "bulky" cycle because the tub fills completely on both wash and rinse. My washer cleans on a low water cycle but doesn't rinse well AND I am not using to much soap. The jean will practically stand a lone when dry because there is soap left in them and they irritated my skin. I started using the 2nd rinse and they are soft again.

While I was at Lowes a couple of days ago I checked out the washers. I did find a couple that allowed you to set the water level.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 4:38PM
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Anceska

@bernse, May I ask you where did you purcahse your Bosch and how much did you pay? My friend is considering to buy one from Best Buy outlet but the price still seems high...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 7:45PM
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bernse

I'm Canadian and ordered them @ Future Shop. Clearance items had an additional 15% off. Worked out to $1400... $300 less than a Frigidaire Affinity pre-rebate. Post rebate about the same.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 9:20PM
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bernse

Took delivery and installed the Bosch Vision 3xx series last night. So far, so good! Really like the capacity, washer is almost silent and work really well.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:13PM
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leti123

@bernse- is that the Bosch 5000 series? Was looking at it yesterday and it was on sale for $799-washer only and then a mail in rebate for $100. Had no idea Bosch was going out of washing machine biz.- just learned that here. I have looked at so many can't remember all names/numbers.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:18PM
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leti123

just read spec sheet and see it is the 500 series - model #WFVC6450UC which guess is not the same as @bernse. Anyone have any thoughts on this model? Reviews are mixed- as with everything. Very confusing so any help would be great!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:12AM
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bernse

Never even considered the 500. All the store has was the 800 and 300. The 800 was almost a $1K premium over 300 and it simply wasn't worth it IMHO. Built out of the same materials and the 300 had the "good" features that I cared about.

That said, I must say I am absolutely impressed with how this set washes and dries. I haven't used an electric dryer in years but it is way faster than the gas from our old front loader set. Pitty Bosch is/has cancelled their 27" sets. These things are great. Hopefully they don't break because I'm very happy with their performance so far.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 8:13PM
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jeffrow

Bernse,

I remember that thread........ I think I may have contributed to it. My drum was leaking due to improperly torqued bolts. Funny, my fridgemore finally crapped out last week. After several years of progressively louder spins it appears the bearing seal failed, trashing a load of whites with grease. I just replaced it with a german Duet. Hope it lasts longer than the 9 years of it's predecessor.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 2:37PM
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