Not much time for research for W/D

annie1971August 4, 2011

The last thing I want to spend time and money on right now is a new washer/dryer but must do so sooner rather than later. My Kenmore Elite FL washer (about 7 years old) is scaring me. Repair man says I can still use it until it "freezes up", but it sounds like it's going to spin through the roof, leaving all kinds of metal pieces behind. I'm a laundry room snob and must have matching W/D, even though the drier is doing well. I have had no other complaints about the Kenmore Elite and have been very pleased with the washing performance (until the bearings went). I'm considering another set of Kenmore HE Elites, but have been looking at reviews of the LG's as well. Any opinions out there one way or another. DH thinks I shouldn't consider Kenmore again as the washer didn't last all that long, but I know that manufacturers make adjustments every year and products change.

Also, I would be interested in any opinions on paying extra for the steam features. Frankly, I can see the benefit occasionally in the dryer, but wondering about why in the washer.

We (me and the dog) have allergies; we have year-round down blankets that I wash and dry and can see the benefit of steam heat to kill dust mites and allergens. But beyond that, is the extra expense worth it in your opinion?

Have to shop/buy this week end or hit the laundromat.

Thanks for any advice.

Annie

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livebetter

All current Kenmore washer/dryers are made by either LG or Samsung. Not sure who would have made your Kenmore (7 years ago).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:44PM
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dadoes

All current Kenmore washer/dryers are made by either LG or Samsung.That's not true. I see topload models on Kenmore.com that are made by Whirlpool. Frontloaders are not as easy (for me) to determine without direct examination. The full model number tells the tale, the first three digits (before the period) indicates the source manufacturer. Kenmore.com typically states a catalog or stock number which omits the telltale leading digits. Whirlpool-sourced laundry models usually start with 110.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:26PM
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annie1971

The repairman seemed to think the Washer was made by Whirlpool 7 years ago; but that's neither here nor there right now. I need to know what people think of current models and manufacturers.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:47PM
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itguy08

We've had a Kenmore 4044 with steam since the end of April along with the matching gas dryer (without steam). We like it - it replaced a 6 year old LG 2277 that we lost in a flood. It has all the features, steam, heater, sanitary and is around $800 now.

I think the steam does work a little to help get rid of stains and the refresh cycle does work to get rid of wrinkles.

Almost all Kenmore's front loaders today are made by LG and LG seems to have a good track record the past few years. We had no real complaints with our 2277 except a flood took it out in April. Would have gotten another but the Kenmore was cheaper for similar features.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:20PM
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herring_maven

annie1971 writes: " My Kenmore Elite FL washer (about 7 years old) is scaring me."

Fine. Accepting that proposition as true, why are you considering replacing the dryer? Is the dryer, also, scaring you? If you replace only the washer, your budget might accommodate a much better replacement washer than your budget would accommodate if you are determined to replace a perfectly good working dryer with another, not better, but just different, dryer.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:44PM
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livebetter

@dadoes, sorry I didn't specify. I was talking about front loaders and unless things have changed that's what Sears told me.

I'm in Canada so maybe things are different than the US.

It's obvious to me which manufacturer makes which Kenmore FL just looking at it (I can tell LG vs Samsung just by the looks).

@herring_maven, the OP said in her first post that she prefers her machines to match. I'm sure she has enough common sense to know if she only replaced the washer she might have a larger budget but that's not what she wants to do.

@annie1971, I researched for a year before I decided to get my Miele W4842/T9822. I had narrowed the search down to Miele vs. LG (WM3885). I read a lot of good things about LG. I still think the Miele is a better machine (it does things most others will not) but I think the LGs are good.

I know several people who own LG and are very pleased with them. No issues so far (around 4 years now).

LG is #1 in front load laundry sales (4 years running).

I like the "concept" of steam in the washer (helps to remove stains and sanitize) if it works as stated. LG (I believe) is the only make with a "true steam generator". It produces actual steam and not just hot water. I actually prefer steam in the washer than the dryer but I'd take it in both if that's how the set came. I mean, the dryer is for drying so it's seems strange to me that you'd introduce water (in the form of steam).

Good luck and let us what you get.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:01PM
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bonesoda

From my research i found that LG's seem to have lots of problems... I also found samsungs were good but the dryers fail at sheet washing...

So far i have been gathering the electrolux seem to be a good alternative to miele.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 2:32AM
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livebetter

@jmith, LG was voted most reliable several years in a row.

If you are basing that statement on complaints you've read online it's not really scientific.

LG is the #1 brand in front load sales (4 years running). If you consider a failure rate of 5% for ANY brand it is obvious there will be more LG problems as there are WAY more LGs around.

FWIW, Electrolux didn't even make my short list. I thought the components felt cheap, the "push to open" doors were annoying and it didn't score that high on Consumer Reports for cleaning ... but that's me.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:18AM
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annie1971

I trudged into HD yesterday (as I stated earlier, this is not my most enthusiastic/desirable thing to do -- I REALLY WANT NEW CAREPTING!). But I looked at the LG's because they are on my short list. I asked why the white machines seemed inferior to the others. "Because they're the bottom of the line and the others are superior". I said that I understood that the "superior" machines have more features, but why wouldn't the basic structure feel the same quality? And why is it that only the top model offers the option of rinsing on anything other than cold water? I am probably one of the only people on planet green earth that does not wash or rinse in cold water. That's a whole other thread, but if I pay 1K plus for a washing machine, I expect it to let me think for myself on occasion. And rinsing in cold water is something that I just don't do very often. Salesperson stood there slack-jawed, looking and reading like she saw the machines for the first time! I had to leave. I cannot stand to be buying major appliances from people that just want the commission unless they know what they're trying to sell. I will continue my quest tomorrow. Meanwhile, I managed one more load of towels from the washer without spinning shrapnel through the roof. I appreciate your thoughts and input.
Annie

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 7:48PM
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Anceska

Annie! you are so right! Isn't it awfull that we have to do all this extensive research because most sales people really have no knowledge about the products they sell??!
Last month when I was shopping around for new Washer/Dryer, I went to Sears and the sales guy was a complete moron, had NO idea about anything and the only thing he was pushing was Kenmore. I got so frustrated and annoyed I had to leave!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:37PM
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itguy08

I gave up on salespeople a long time ago. Maybe back in the day they were useful but since most places did away with commission there is no incentive for them to be good. Since they all get paid the same, there is no incentive to be better than the other guy so they make more.

Most know nothing more than what's printed on the tag or whatever. I got tired of either correcting them or generally knowing more then they do.

For most things I research online and either purchase online or go and tell them I want model XXXX. Works out good for us.

For our current W/D I researched online and ordered them from Sears' website. A couple days later they were delivered and we are happy. Can't beat that.

Anne, bearings often sound worse than they are. Yes, they are going but the howling is the warning that there is an issue. It may howl for a long time before it lets go. And it won't send shrapnel anywhere. What will happen is the bearing will fail, the inner drum will crash into the outer drum. It will be loud, it may make a mess (water leakage) but there should be nothing flying across the room as the cabinet should contain it all in place.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:59PM
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livebetter

@annie1971, the bearings were going in my previous Frigidaire FL too. That's why I got new machine in February. I sounded awful. I managed to get new machine in before the old one "gave way". I did use it in that failing state for quite awhile though. I too was afraid of the big "bang".

I don't know about HD in the US but here in Canada ... forget about it. I wouldn't recommend anyone get appliances there.

I send most people who ask me to Lowe's (marginally better than HD) or a local appliance shop that carries a lot. Lowes' here actually carries many models on the floor so you can really see what you're getting. Lowes Canada is even selling Miele now (they have laundry and dishwashers on display).

I also dislike Sears. Their focus is on Kenmore.

I don't know why sales people are so dumb. I guess most consumers are dumb too so it all works out. OK not dumb just disinterested in all this minute detail. Throw in something dirty - get something clean. It's just us few detailed people that get frustrated.

I've read that the only machines that allow such control of temps are the European machines.

You will need to do your homework before you head out again. Look up what models do warm rinses etc ... I found this thread for you re: models with warm rinses.

I thought I had read that the Frigidaire Affinity has a warm rinse but I can't find the info. Maybe you want to download the manual and check. I also just read that this is a simplified version of the Electrolux and could be a nice machine.

http://www.frigidaire.com/products/home-appliances/washers

Here is a link that might be useful: Any washers with a warm rinse?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:04PM
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ken_moore

:::I don't know why sales people are so dumb. :::

We're not all dumb. Some of us have quite a bit of knowledge. I don't think it is fair to lump all of us with that label.

Me, I'm interested in educating my customers about the differences between models, and let them make the buying decision. I rarely "sell".

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:40PM
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livebetter

@ken_moore, I think I clarified that statement by saying not dumb just uninterested in minute details. I assume that's because most consumers do not demand sales people to be more on "their game". Congrats to you if you are different. It sure would be a welcome change.

The other issue with depending on sales people is they are "people". They have their opinions like everyone else. They may not be in the same mind set as the person shopping so consumers really need to do their own research ahead of time (if the details are that important to them).

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 1:56PM
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weedmeister

Chances are that your machine will not explode with shrapnel. More than likely it will leak generously when the bearing seals finally let go.

The problem with LG is that when the bearings go it is a b!tch to replace then, requiring pretty much a complete disassembly of the machine to get them out. Something like $500 of labor for a $50 part replacement.

The other thing about the LG (and this is not unique to them) is that the 'spyder' (the metal thing that supports the drum) is made out of aluminum. Aluminum + water = corrosion. About 5-7 years it turns to mush.

I own one. 6 years old. Just started with the creaking noises.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 6:47PM
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annie1971

Thank you, Weedmeister for your comments. They seem to be right on with the repair guys -- $600 parts + labor = buy a new one. I've been looking, and researching and I'm haunted by purchasing price and ending up with something that is going to cause even more issues. I'm struggling with maybe it's better to just repair! My machines are Kenmore Elites about 7 years old, not LG's. But I'm not sure that makes much difference in your assessment of them. The noise isn't whining -- it's like rocks flailing around and just waiting to release into my laundry room. Hubby asked if I could wash "whites" tonight. I said "sure", but I'm thinking "OMG more noise and scary stuff in the laundry room"!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 8:17PM
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dianne47

I have nothing to add to this discussion except the observation that if I had a machine ready to implode, with the distinct possibility of leaking all over the floor, I would not still be thinking about what to do five days later. And I would definitely not be using the noisy washer.

I would have already gone to Sears and 1-2 local appliance stores, done research online, and bought a new washer. You want a matching dryer. Put your current one on craigslist and move along before you have a disaster in your laundry room.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 8:38PM
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annie1971

Thank you 47 for offering up your fears; I'm not as paranoid, however. If we spin out of control and flood the laundry room, I'll let you know; but I'm not rushing to Sears quite yet. And what I do with my dryer is not at issue.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 10:05PM
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suburbanmd

In college physics years ago, I learned that a spinning object, such as your washing machine's drum, possesses "rotational kinetic energy". The heavier the drum and the clothes inside it, the more energy. And the energy increases as the square of the RPM's.

This energy is safely under control as long as the drum keeps spinning on its bearings. If the bearings fail during a spin cycle, the rotational energy will be dissipated somehow. Maybe the drum will stay inside the case, and cause the whole machine to shift in such a way that it breaks a water or gas pipe. Or maybe the drum will fly out of the case, and hurt someone unlucky enough to be in the room.

I wouldn't take the chance. If you're not so paranoid, and the machine does fail during a spin, please post pictures :-)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 10:54AM
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vejoan

The last machine set I bought was GE Profile. The Dryer has fallen apart and sounds like a jet engine so I hang dry for now. The salesman told me the set was quiet when I purchased 5 years ago. Of course the extended warranty I bought ran out just before the dryer broke. The washer is not quiet and I was mad about that because we built an indoor laundry room & moved the set inside. In the garage it made no difference. However, he lied to me. You can't test washers before you buy them so I believed him. Now its time to buy again & what a headache because I cant trust what salespeople say, I have to research myself. I'm looking at the Maytag Bravos. Any opinions about them?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:57AM
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sshrivastava

@ annie1971

I don't mean any offense, but why did you have such a reaction to dianne47's comments? Look at what you said in your original post... "My Kenmore Elite FL washer (about 7 years old) is scaring me."

"it sounds like it's going to spin through the roof, leaving all kinds of metal pieces behind."

"I'm a laundry room snob and must have matching W/D, even though the drier is doing well." Given the alarming, dramatic statements you made originally, and assuming they are true, I would have to concur with dianne47. If the machine is in such bad shape, you are taking extraordinary risks with your family's safety by continuing to use such a machine.

Also, the reason dianne47 told you to put your current dryer on Craigslist was because you were the one who stated that you were a laundry snob and must have a matching washer/dryer pair. But when someone says something you don't agree with, you get snippy. I think everyone is here trying to offer helpful suggestions, even dianne47. If the situation isn't as dire as it would appear, maybe next time you can choose your adjectives more wisely and use less colorful language to describe your situation more accurately.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:20PM
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mara_2008

vejoan, I own a Maytag Bravos 850 washer (5.2 cu ft capacity, with internal water heater) and absolutely love it. I can wash huge loads of laundry (even a king-size comforter) with much less water than my former standard washers used, and they come out beautifully clean, with no wrinkling, tangling, or other issues. If you need more info, let me know. :)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 5:17PM
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davidro1

The more the forum is deemed the place to come to for answers, the more the forum is vulnerable to the weird psychology known as "troll" behavior. AND the more the forum will be flooded with people who do similar things.

sshrivastava, it is troll-like to be snippy and fightful.

One post alone is enlightening. It contained more than a dozen self-centered statements.
" ... I REALLY WANT ... I asked ... I said ... I understood ... I am ... I pay ... I expect ... I just don't do ... I had to ... I cannot stand ... I will continue ... I managed ... I appreciate ...
"

And it contained this comment too, among others.
".... one more load of towels from the washer without spinning shrapnel through the roof ..."

People who need answers fast should pay for the answers they get. It is very self-centered to post "Not much time for research ..."

--

To the nice person sshrivastava, please beware, be wary, be less helpful.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 5:33PM
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suburbanmd

This is a very stable and sensible forum, I think. Hey, no one has taken your repeated bait about washing in cold water with no detergent :-)

Are you saying that the OP of this thread is posting just to cause trouble? That's implausible IMO. Maybe they are a bit histrionic. We all know people like that in real life too. "Drama queen" seems a more apt description than "troll".

None of the Gardenweb forums I visit have been disrupted by trolls in any significant way. Can you cite any that have?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 6:40PM
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annie1971

I'm ignoring some of the above comments as not being very helpful and certainly not worth commenting on. Sorry if I ----ed any of you off. I'm not a drama queen; I'm a writer and so the drama appears on occasion. Anyway, my not so old, and trusty washer died tonight; it locked up with DH's underwear inside with 2 minutes to go. No flooded floor, no flying metal parts and no one was hurt. I finally managed to trick it into releasing DH's underwear and all is well.
Today I looked at and am seriously considering the Samsung machines, in spite of some earlier reservations.
Thanks to all of you for your helpful and insightful comments.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 7:21PM
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sshrivastava

@ annie1971

I'm glad your machine died quietly and without incident. I'm sure your DH is thrilled that he didn't lose his underwear to a hostage situation! While I'm personally not a fan of Samsung washers, my parents have a silver care model from a few years ago which they absolutely LOVE! I've heard good things about LG, and at least on paper the top line Bosch Vision machine has specifications which are pretty hard to beat. Bosch has discontinued it's 27" washing machines but have stockpiled a 10 year parts inventory. You may find a great deal on one of those.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 9:04PM
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