Front loader w/o heater but reasonably hot wash cycle?

amsunshineSeptember 21, 2010

Hi all:

I'm looking to exchange my Samsung washer for another that has a reasonably hot wash cycle without a heater. I'm on a budget, and a heater seems to shoot the prices up too much for us. Any suggestions?

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I haven't shopped for 5 1/2 years so I'm not up on current offerings. However, I suspect all or most of them will have "ATC" which, you've just learned, is apparently subject to rather capricious and ridiculous programming. Inasmuch as the manufacturers seem still to require direct questioning before disclosing what their versions of "cold", "warm", and "hot" actually are, I see no alternative but annoying/painstaking research among those choices which may interest you.

Of course you can ask the salespeople, but I would not trust what they told you without verifying with manufacturer.

Or, perhaps the kind folks here can set you straight right away.

I feel badly for your trouble. What you described earlier, I regard as a travesty. Samsung has apparently sacrificed even common sense in order to achieve their conservation rating.

If you could see your way clear for another couple of hundred, I would strongly urge your consideration of a unit with a built-in heater. I'm not a big fan of "sanitary" cycles but at least these machines will typically offer at least one cycle (my Duet's is "whitest whites") which will give you a 125-130F hot-in-the-drum wash when you want it. Having a built in heater in the machine is the only way to get it -- ever. Bosch/Siemens used to offer the only machine available to guarantee selected temperatures in every cycle chosen. Don't know if they still do.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 4:00PM
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Thanks, asolo. I will be doing some more research and thinking.

It's frustrating, though, when a mfr has temps they describe as hot, warm, or cold, and then they don't even comply with those! How does the consumer really know what to believe without having to go through the trouble of buying the washer, having it delivered and then testing it?

I have a feeling I'm not going to find what I'm looking for without a heater. It's worth a shot, though. The GW folks are always so knowledgeable.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 4:09PM
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I have the Whirlpool Duet Sport HT which has a heater. The new version is called the 9150, which as far as I can tell has a heater. The 9050 does not appear to have a heater. I am very happy with my machines. I don't use the heater very often but it does come in handy. They may not impress your relatives but they get the clothes clean and were much cheaper than the others out there at the time. You can get good deals on the machines from what I have heard - far below the list price. They also have good vibration control. Mine was the first to have the 6 point suspension system that was later put on all Whirlpool FL's.

Good luck with your shopping

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 4:21PM
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Thanks -- I don't know why but the current 9150 (according to whirlpool) does not have a heater. I'm going to have to double check that again. This is maddening.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 4:43PM
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asolo, have you measured the in-the-drum temps in your Duet 9400 for hot and warm?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Yes....with a full-load of laundry (about 78F ambient) and with 130F hot water flowing in from the first drop, actual wash temp when set to "hot" (no heater activation; hot water hose only opened) is about 105F.

When I set "warm" it's about 95F....if I remember correctly.

"Cold" setting about 75F...which is approx. tap-cold of my supply.

"Whitest Whites" and one other setting (heater activated) gives 125-130F

"Sanitary" (which I seldom use) gives 150-160F.

I posted all this stuff with precision some years ago and my memory's a little foggy but I think I'm remembering closely enough for your purposes today.

My Duet purchase was 5 1/2 years ago. From reading here over the years, I'm suspecting that the factory settings may be different now.....but don't know. Your report of the Samsung's settings amazed me. Wondering if other manufacturers have diddled with their settings also.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 4:18PM
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I take it as a given that current washer models will use cooler temperatures, compared to the equivalent model of a few years ago (with the exception of Miele and perhaps other European-style machines which are explicit about their temperature settings in degrees). My story: In August 2008 I bought an LG washer. I quickly returned it because of temperature related issues, including water mixing issues like amsunshine's, and heater activation issues. I'm convinced that these were new issues at the time, because of two things: 1) The printed manual shipped with the washer differed from the online PDF in one way, namely the omission of a box containing temperatures for cold, warm, hot; 2) LG customer service had assured me that the machine would use the heater as required to ensure proper wash temperatures, but that wasn't the case. I believe that customer service erroneously gave me information that applied to earlier production units. So, it seems that something changed in LG sometime before August 2008, and other manufacturers would be subject to the same influences.

As I said in the "Reason(s) for not putting detergent inside drum?" thread, manufacturers get a $250/unit tax credit for meeting certain energy and water standards, and at least some of them meet those standards by degrading performance to unacceptable levels. Assuming that the tax credit is here to stay, the only solution is for consumers to be informed that manufacturers are voluntarily selling underperforming machines. I tried very hard to get Consumer Reports to include this in their washing machine reports. I also wanted them to advocate for manufacturers to offer the option of "buying down" the tax credit, in exchange for a machine that uses plenty of water at the right temperatures. At first they didn't believe what I was saying was true. Once they realized it was true, they said they didn't want to get involved in tax incentive issues.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 6:45PM
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Thanks for this post, surburbanmd. I had no idea things had gotten this bad.

With respect to mfgr's, engineers, and environmentalists....I will be the one who decides exactly what is a "proper" wash temperature in MY own (expensive) machine, for MY own laundry, in MY own home. Your description of the state of affairs fills me with resentment.

Even 5 1/2 years ago when I bought my Duet, I had to call Whirlpool directly in order to learn what they meant by "cold", "warm", and "hot" because this basic information wasn't printed anywhere. I've learned to make the machine do what I want and it works well and I've been satisfied. However, I think its kind of silly to be required to pry this most basic of information out of any of them. So much for the idea of an "educated" consumer.

I very much resent this obvious/intentional obfuscation.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 7:21PM
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suburbanmd: your description of having a different manual shipped with your unit than what was online matches our experience exactly. That paragraph about water temps was omitted from the printed manual that came with my machine, but when I called Samsung, the rep referred to the online page "36" that has the temps. I couldn't find it in my manual, and then she directed me to the pdf. Sure enough, there it was.

I suspect your assessment of the situation is sadly true. I thought about involving Consumer Reports, as well, but hearing your efforts were in vain discourages me. I actually filed an online complaint with the Federal Trade Commission yesterday because I think this is false advertising implicating health and safety due to potential mold problems, etc. It probably won't go anywhere, but it made me feel better.

I'm still searching ... I have a couple weeks to look for a new unit. However, today, I paused a cycle and put about 1/2 gallon of hot tap water in to raise the wash temp a couple degrees. :-)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 8:55PM
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amsunshine, it might help if Consumer Reports heard from more people about this. Please send me an email through gardenweb, and I'll tell you whom to contact at the magazine.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 9:43PM
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FWIW....Consumer Reports has NEVER said what THEY THEMSELVES regard as "cold", "warm", or "hot" in their own testing of washing machines. They've never described the quality of the water they use in their testing. I've called them on this MANY times over the years via letter, e-mail, and their own site-response system. I've never gotten a meaningful response.

If you are successful in breaking through, please come back and tell us.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 11:07PM
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Consumer Reports is biased toward energy and water efficiency when it comes to washers. Most users rely heavily on the numerical "ratings" and rankings. The total score includes washing, gentleness, energy, water, vibration, and noise IIRC. Since so much of the score comprises water and energy usage, this virtually guarantees that traditional top-loaders and even HE models that use more water and/or hotter water will be lower ranked.

So basically, CR's priorities are similar to the government's.

asolo, I recently bought a Duet 9400 partly on your recommendation, but I'm realizing it may not deliver the same temps. For Costco to have such a good price on it, and a manufacturer's rebate of $200, suggests that WP has programmed the machine to be eligible for that tax credit.

I'm not sure how to measure the temps, though. The door locks and won't open pretty soon after the load starts.

The Sanitary cycle heats the water to "super hot." But it is a very long cycle (1:50) which I think can be hard on fabrics. The only other cycle that says the water heater MAY be used is "Heavy Duty." I don't know what the target temperature is. Since the heater "may" be used, and is supposed to be set to deliver 120-degree water, I infer that target temperature is probably close to 120. Cycle time is 1:25. "Whitest Whites" says that it uses hot water, but does not mention that the heater could be used. Maybe that cycle uses tap hot water? Also, the manual mentioned "stepped cleaning" in the intro (starting with lower temp and increasing), but does not indicate which cycles might use it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:34PM
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I recall being annoyed that the manual did not tell me actual temperatures. However, I was pleased that the service-tech phone line people disclosed them to me without bucking about it.

On cycles where the heater is not used, the door may be opened at any time, so checking those temperatures was easy enough, as I recall.

In order to check what the tech told me about higher-temp cycles I interrupted the cycles -- those where the heater is used and door will not allow itself to be opened -- by canceling the cycle entirely. No rinsing done. The machine just drained and stopped and I was able to open the door and measure the temp of the wet clothes. Kind of a nuisance, but I'm a bit anal about this stuff and was pleased to find the temps I measured did, indeed, match what I was told by the tech.

I don't know if later 9400's were programmed for different, perhaps lower, temperatures. Assuming the techs are as cooperative now, as then, I would suggest calling the number in your manual. Upon describing your particular machine to them (serial number, etc.) I'll bet they'll answer your questions as they did for me. If they won't, I would be interested in learning about that change, too.

Clearly there has been a change because my "whitest whites" cycle does employ the heater where yours does not. Because of that and the other things you said, I suspect there have been other changes, too. I would be interested in learning what they are.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 2:26PM
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May I ask the most basic of questions?

Is there any machine available in the American market today that will allow me to select a wash temperature that it will actually provide? Believe Miehle and Asko and maybe Bosch may once have done this. Don't know anymore, but these posts have been discouraging. Clearly the consumer is being hoodwinked.

I've bulled by the euphemisms my 5 1/2-year-old Duet provided so that I've learned how it works and how to get what I want from it. It cleans wonderfully and has been as reliable as a stone. I really do like it....but I've had to wrestle to obtain the information I wanted. It surely would be dandy to think that for the price one is compelled to pay these days one might be allowed to decide for themselves what temperature they want to wash at without having to figure everything out on their own.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 4:53PM
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I just washed a load on the Normal cycle and chose "Hot." ("Super hot" is not available on the Normal cycle.) I had planned to open the door and check the temperature during the 8 minutes supposedly allowed for the "Add a garment" option. But the "Add a garment" option disappeared before even 5 minutes had passed.

On this machine, you CANNOT open the door after the "Add a garment" light goes off, on any cycle. So I canceled the cycle and waited 2 or 3 minutes for it to drain and allow me to open the door. I stuck my super-accurate Super-fast Thermapen into the middle of the wet clothes, and to my shock read

84.3 degrees!!!!!

I poked the thermometer into a number of different places and got readings mostly between 80 to 84 degrees.

I know my Thermapen is accurate, but I disbelievingly felt with my hand all through the load, and it was barely lukewarm. I would call it "cool" myself. This is the temperature I would use to hand-wash the most delicate, shrinking, dye-running item imaginable.

On my next load, I meant to check the temp on the same settings, but first run the water in the adjacent sink until it is hot. Our water heater is a looooooong way away from the laundry room, so I have to run the water for awhile before it runs hot. BUT, to my surprise I heard the machine spinning, ran in to check, and with only 13-14 minutes elapsed since I started the load, it had begun spinning and then switched to the Rinse indicator with 36 minutes remaining. So I did not get to check the temp on that one.

However, at this point I am pretty sure that "ATC" does NOT sense the water temperature and heat it till it's "Hot" except for Sanitary and Heavy Duty cycles. The whole "6th sense" description had me thinking it would, which would be good for my situation where the water heater is far away. The manual says,

"The 6TH SENSE Technology control electronically senses and maintains a uniform water temperature. 6TH SENSE Technology control regulates incoming hot and cold water. 6TH SENSE Technology control is automatically turned on when a cycle is selected..."

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 4:59PM
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This is soooo interesting. So, perhaps the fact that a washer has a heater is no guarantee of a reasonably hot wash for a normal cycle (especially more recently manufactured models).


    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 5:14PM
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Check the water temp at the drain hose when the machine drains at end of the wash period.

Regards to ATC, 6th Sense, etc. ... unless the machine has a mechanism to shunt the initial incoming water flow on a hot fill to the drain until it reaches the target temp and then switch to filling the tub, there's no way to assure that a warm or tap-hot wash will in fact be warm or tap-hot when a long-distance run between water heater and washer is involved. Shunting to drain would destroy any EnergyStar or water efficiency criteria. Running the hot tap at an adjacent sink is a workaround. If one knows how to access the diagnostic tests on the machine (to manually run the hot water valve and drain pump), that's another way to do it, but it'd have to be done before loading-up the dispensers.

Keep in mind that these machines are 110/120v units, so onboard water heating is not very fast, usually about 1°F per minute. My DishDrawer seems to heat a tiny bit faster than 1°F per minute (with an approx 650-watt element), but it takes only 0.8 gal per fill. Assuming the washer can heat 1°F/min, heating 84°F incoming water to 150°F would take at minimum 66 minutes, which I imagine is why heating is used only on selected cycles such as Sanitary.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 5:35PM
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You know, what makes this so frustrating is that no one tells the consumer that this is what he/she is getting when they purchase an "energy efficient" washing machine. It will say "hot" wash, but unless you think to question it, you would never what you are really getting is "cold". I've read so many complaints about how people loved their new fl's at first, but then noticed their clothes didn't seem to be getting clean, or their whites were getting greyed. No wonder!

Don't these units already save heating costs indirectly because less water is used in them? Why on earth would ATC not allow for an occasional tap-hot wash when it is needed, and the consumer chooses it as a result? I mean, I wouldn't feel so bent out of shape if the temps allowed by ATC were at least close to what they should be, but they aren't even close!

My machine should be relabeled with "cold, colder and coldest" for the regular wash cycles. For the quickwash, it should say "lukewarm".

On my old top-loader (may she rest in peace), I could actually choose between using ATC or not. I rarely had a problem with what the ATC gave me on that old machine, so I used it most of the time. I never would have guessed ATC would turn to the dark side. :-P

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 6:03PM
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I have several washers (yes, I'm a collector), but no frontloaders. Two of my favorites are machines that are often disparaged here, a Fisher & Paykel and a Whirlpool Calypso. Both have ATC, but allow full tap-hot. Actually, my F&P IWL12 targets 115°F incoming for warm, with the resultant temp IN the tub being around 104°F. I have a tankless water heater that can be set at any temp between 50°F and 140°F. I've been primarily using the Calypso for the past two years, always set the wash temp at hot (it allows hot on all cycles) and adjust the exact temp I want on the water heater. For being washers that are so often put-down here as junk, both of them work very well.

To be sure, my F&P is 6 years old, so I can't say that current models have the same ATC characteristics. The service manual (dated Feb 2008) I have for model GWL15 indicates it's the same as my older IWL12, but GWL15 has been since been replaced by newer models. An AquaSmart service manual (dated July 2008) indicates slightly lower target temps but still 140°F for tap-hot.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 6:37PM
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ATC worked fine on the old TL's that had 20-30 gallon fills because the volume of water was enough that it actually had something to regulate. With low-fill-volume HE machines, there isn't enough water used for the ATC to be much more than a deception -- an illusion of a feature. Considering the mass of drum and clothes which will bleed heat from whatever hot water does flow into the machine there is precisely no way you will ever get an actual "hot" wash out of any of these units. Unless you have an on-board heater and choose a cycle that uses it.

I've yet to speak with any salesperson who has a clue. CR ignores it. Consumers are on their own -- and they're being intentionally deceived.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 6:41PM
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I just measured the temp for a Heavy Duty cycle. ("If the water temperature is lower than needed for this cycle, the heater will warm the water to the optimum temperature.")

102 degrees

This is a few minutes after the water is no longer flowing into the tub, while the clothes are tumbling. It took 2.5 minutes to drain the tub before I took this temperature.

dadoes, I will ask my husband about taking the temperature at the drain hose when he gets home. He has it strapped in there so I will let him mess with it. Are you suggesting that the washer will heat the wet clothes right there in the tub? I had assumed that it would only heat the water before shooting it into the tub.

amsunshine, the Normal cycle is your WORST bet for hot water in any efficient machine, because I believe the government testing is done on the Normal cycle with the default settings. I actually changed the temp to "Hot" (default is "Warm" I think) for my test.

I think if you get a new high-efficiency machine right now, you are not likely to find a good deal on one that gives you hotter water, because I bet that the lower prices are the ones that are getting a big govt credit, and they do so by strictly limiting the water temp.

For example, I compared Whirlpool Cabrio and Maytag Bravos models. They are said to be the same machines and probably share the same design and mechanicals. However, their programming is different. The Cabrios use ATC that mixes cold with the hot tap water. The manual clearly states that "hot" and "warm" will not be as hot as in a traditional machine. For the Bravos, though (except one model), "Hot" at least gives you tap hot. (Keep in mind, though, that it still uses a lot less water than traditionals, and the clothes and drum are cool, and because the water runs cold at first, it's still not going to be as hot as a high-water load in a traditional machine.) Also, the Bravos 850 has a heater, so I was especially interested in it. However, the Bravos were not "on sale" like many of the others out there, and I bet it's because there's no govt tax credits to be had unless cold is mixed with hot for "Hot" water. There are no state or water district rebates for it, either.

So bottom line, I bet that you will have to fork over more money for hot water in a new HE machine. Or go with a new or used traditional model. If you want a new traditional TL, get one now, as I've heard that it probably won't be possible to buy them by sometime next year.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:10PM
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asolo've got entirely the wrong idea about this.

If you measured the water temp right after the fill-valve shut off, the heater inside the machine hasn't had time to do anything. It does NOT heat the water "before shooting it into the tub"! It heats it sloooowly after the tub has been filled until it reaches the specified temperature. That's why all cycles that utilize the on-board heater add so much time compared with other cycles.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:21PM
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andersons -- which model of the Bravos does not give tap hot for hot cycles? If I exchange for the Bravos, I'll want to avoid that one. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:24PM
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OK, that's good to know about how the heater works! I was wondering. How do you guys find out this stuff? None of the mfg literature explains it, none of the salesmen explained it...

So I need to at least take the temp of the Heavy Duty cycle near the end of the wash tumbling. That's gonna be tricky because I have no idea when that happens. I hardly have a dirty item left in the house now...LOL.

amsunshine, the Bravos models 300, 450, 750, and 850 seem to use tap hot for hot. You might want to verify by checking the manual and/or calling the mfg. The 700 model has a notably different manual, just like the Cabrio models, and makes it onto CA's rebate list (along with 500, 550, and 600, which I didn't encounter but might be found at different retailers). It mixes cold with hot and warm.

The 350 is very basic; 450 adds a soak and Power wash cycles (and 1 other), fast spin, warm/warm temp option, some sound insulation, and an adjustable buzzer. 750 adds nothing except color and glass door. The 850 is a huge step up IMO with the heater, stain treating/clean boost option, one more temp (super hot?), an oxi dispenser, one more soil level (controls time), and delay start.

Keep in mind that ALL Bravos still use very little water so it's not going to be that hot in there without a heated cycle.

I'm disappointed the Duet 9400 is now so stingy with heat. asolo's probably cleans better with the higher water temps. It's a shame because I think this is a great, well-designed machine with great build quality. It's solid. The stainless drum is fabulous. The dispenser is sturdy. The door and hinge are amazing. It rinses great, maybe even better than my TL. If I could only hack the programming to give me more water and hotter water, it would be awesome. On a positive note, though, all my "normal" and delicate loads of lightly soiled colored, casual, and business casual clothing come out fine.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:06AM
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There are NO household washing machines on the market that heat the water flow directly as it fills. They ALL heat the water in the tub after fill is complete, even the Euro-brands such as Bosch, Miele, and Asko. Heating the incoming water flow would be equivalent to an on-demand, tankless-type water heater and that would draw a large electric load while heating, much more power than a 110/120v Duet or even a 220/240v Miele can draw. My whole-house electric tankless water heater runs on three 240v 60amp circuits.

That's why I suggested you check the discharge water at the drain hose at the end of a wash period, so you'll get a reading at or near the full-heated temperature the machine achieved.

I was talking a few days ago with a friend who works for Whirlpool. He told me that most of these HE TL and FL washers can reach a reasonably/acceptably high temperature, whether tap-hot (long-distance plumbing has an effect, of course) or boosted-heat in the machine, if the proper cycle and options are selected. Heavy cycle, maximum soil level, Power Wash, Stain Treat, Sanitary, or whatever is available on the individual machine.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:45AM
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"How do you guys find out this stuff?"

We're born brilliant plus we get better looking as we grow older. At least dadoes does.

"None of the mfg literature explains it, none of the salesmen explained it..."

Very true. Sales literature and manuals seem to be written for 12-year-olds. Lots of fluff and very little meaningful information. Pretty annoying. Salespeople don't explain it because they can't. In my experience, many/most salespeople memorize features, but they don't really understand the machines. In particular, this "cold", "warm", "hot" thing and the difference made by a long run of pipe from the water heater.....they don't know what you're talking about. Their comprehension of ATC and how it works (or doesn't work, actually) can be comical.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Maybe this is naive, but if the clothes are coming out clean, perhaps high water temperatures aren't needed like they were in the old days. I have a new Samsung with the heater. I don't see any steam on the glass as the clothes wash, nor does the glass feel warm, so I suspect the water temp isn't very high. Still, the clothes are coming out much cleaner than they did from my old top loader.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:39AM
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With a heater, your water is probably getting hotter than mine without a heater. I can't comment on how clean your loads are coming out, but I think it's common sense that things like cotton linens should be washed in very warm to hot water to truly extract the body oils deposited on them. Warmer water makes oils flow, while oils tend to be more "hardened" (for lack of a better word) when cold and are therefore harder to get out without the application of heat. There are just certain laundry loads that require hotter temperatures. Not to mention the fact that regular hot washes keep mold and mildew to a minimum in the washer.

With my machine, at least, a normal cycle "hot" load only reaches about 85 degrees, with my hot water heater set at 140. 85 degrees is "cold" water, in laundry terms. However, there is nothing in any of Samsung's literature which tells the consumer that when he/she presses the button for a "hot" wash, he/she will really get what is generally accepted as a "cold" wash.

That's the crux of the problem, as I see it. Why have options/buttons for a "hot" wash, when it isn't really hot? Why not just tell the consumers exactly what they are going to get?

Anyone can save energy by using only cold water for their laundry. If a machine is truly "energy efficient", it should be performing similarly to older machines, and using less energy to do it. In other words, the output should be comparable with less energy input, if that makes sense. In the case of my machine, that isn't the case -- it doesn't perform similarly because the water never gets as hot in as my old machine. Sure, it uses less energy, but that doesn't make it "efficient".

My machine should have been labeled an "all cold wash" machine. Then, at least I would have known what I was getting into before purchasing it. If some people are happy with all-cold washes, that's great. They would have no problem with this. I have a problem with what I think is consumer deception on Samsung's part. But this seems to be an industry-wide problem with all the new washers, too. So, I'm at a loss as to what to do. (Other than rant on this!)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:47PM
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Next I suppose they'll be offering cold-water dish-washers.

Personally, I don't know how anyone with a brain can characterize water temperatures of less than human body-heat as "hot".

awm03...."naive" may be correct. You don't know what your actual temps are so you don't actually know if it matters to you or not. Or whether or not your machine is operating as it should. Glad your clothes are getting cleaner than your old machine.

For myself, if I choose a cycle that days "hot", I would expect more than bath-water temperature....wouldn't you? Wouldn't anyone?

The idea that someone would collect the amount of money they charge for these new machines and then inform me later that I don't "need" some the features their dials and manuals and advertising say they have is irksome. If the dial says "hot", I think it should deliver a "hot" wash...."hot" meaning something above 120 or enough that I can't hold my own hand in it. Otherwise I might as well just take a shower with my clothes on.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:54PM
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"... I think it's common sense that things like cotton linens should be washed in very warm to hot water to truly extract the body oils deposited on them. Warmer water makes oils flow, while oils tend to be more "hardened" (for lack of a better word) when cold and are therefore harder to get out without the application of heat. There are just certain laundry loads that require hotter temperatures. Not to mention the fact that regular hot washes keep mold and mildew to a minimum in the washer."

Yes, that's all true. But oils also are dissolved by solvents so I think the detergent & an additive plus the additional cycle time & agitation could compensate for lack of high temp. In the past I've like adding Pine-Sol & Borax for oily loads. I've yet to try something in the new machine like a really soiled pillow case, so will be interesting to see if "the theory" works in this new, presumedly lower-temp machine. As for mold, mildew & bacteria, I use bleach frequently & dry the machine when finished. Hope that will be effective in keeping my new washer mold free. Anyway, I've been happy with the cleaning results so far. We are a family of athletes, so our laundry is primarily sweaty cottons & nylons. No one's complained of perspiration odors yet.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 2:40PM
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Soon, dryers will adopt this mentality. Drying on high heat will be at 90 degrees. It will take 3 hours to dry a load of clothes. Marketers will boast how much faster their clotheslines are at drying laundry and eventually we will all go back to hanging out our washing.

Then, cooking will become greener by adding a chemical solvent to food to kill the bad bacteria and jump starting the digestion process. We will begin to eat more foods essentially raw, but because of the digestion chemicals, we wont need our teeth anymore.

What a wonderful world! LOL!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 2:58PM
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Speaking of bleach, I thought I read somewhere (maybe this forum) that the use of bleach degrades the "aluminum spider" or something like that. True or false...anyone? (I confess I don't know much about this topic, and need to educate myself some more about it....I don't even know what an "aluminum spider" is. Sounds ominous.)

awm03: Again, I'm pretty sure I've read on these forums that the Samsungs with heaters actually maintain some semblance of heat even on cycles other than the sanitary cycle. I think on normal, someone was able to confirm a temp of around 105 degrees for a hot wash. Not ideal, and really more of a "warm" wash, but still much better than 85 degrees. So your machine will probably perform much better than mine. Warmer water helps detergent work better.

Truly, if its so wonderful and energy efficient to wash in cold water, why do the manufacturers have "hot wash" options at all? Why not just call it what it is?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 3:36PM
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asolo, I totally hear what you're saying about Consumer Reports' unresponsiveness to questions about testing methodologies. andersons, I agree that they're biased toward energy and water efficiency. But my point has nothing to do with their testing, or their ratings priorities. It has nothing to do with my or anyone's opinions of the tax credit regulations, either. I just want CR to correct an information imbalance, and hence a power imbalance, between the appliance industry and their customers. This certainly seems consistent with CR's mission.

Now, it's easy to assume that CR won't cover this issue because it tends to undermine their environmental priorities. That doesn't really make sense, though. I think vehicles use much more energy than laundry, yet CR doesn't try very hard to discourage people from buying large vehicles. If anything, their reviews legitimize it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 4:14PM
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"My water heater is on the other side of the wall from my washer and is set to the next to highest setting."

Fine. Exactly WHAT does that mean? How hot is that degrees F? Please?

"I have a basic GE FL. No internal heater ..."

Fine. Also useless info. What machine to you have? What is capacity of that drum? What's it made of?

I have no doubt at all that you're losing exactly as much heat as everyone else....unless the laws if physics work differently "in your part of the world."

Man, it's like pulling teeth!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:02PM
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There are some seriously rude people on this forum. If you weren't so insulting asolo I would probably actually have made an effort to find the information you want. Oh well.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:34PM
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And if you weren't so thin-skinned, perhaps the rest of us could learn something from your experience.

Oh well, indeed!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:15PM
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awm03: Exactly. Cold water DOES NOT CLEAN effectively, so you MUST compensate with more/stronger cleaning chemicals (detergents, solvents, and/or bleaching agents) and more mechanical abrasion (agitation).

That is an inferior way to get clothes clean because it is much harsher on the fabrics. Use stronger chemicals + more agitation and I guarantee that your fabrics will wear out much sooner. I do NOT want to replace a little bit of heat, generated by an efficient natural gas water heater, with more cleaning chemicals and abrasion.

If you're getting cleaner clothes because you now use Pine-Sol and borax, don't attribute the cleaner results to your new front-loader.

120-degree water cleans much more effectively than 85-degree water, and with minimal additional stress to the fabric. Period. Nothing is ever going to alter the physics and chemistry of this fact.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Very hot water doesn't put any stress on any kind of laundry?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:30PM
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Cleaning a load of laundry is a function of three very basic variables: length and intensity of agitation, water temperature and detergency. If one or more of these variables is reduced, you must compensate by increase the remaining variable(s). So if you reduce the amount of detergent, you will need to compensate by increase the temperature and/or agitation. There's no free lunch here.

For the most part, front loaders are as easy to use as top loaders. But you have to keep a few things in mind. First, front loaders use a lot less water. This means that without an on-board heater, this small volume of water will lose heat quickly because there is a low thermal mass. Second, if the temps are too high you risk having your colors bleed. The effects of color bleed are much more pronounced in front loaders because you end up with a much higher concentration of dye in a smaller volume of water. You also need less detergent due to the smaller volume of water.

Trial and error goes a long way. If what you are doing doesn't work then change your technique. Rinse, lather and repeat. Keep experimenting until you get the results you desire. After getting my XL Miele, I've retrained myself into washing at lower temperatures. I haven't suffered any ill effects and my clothes actually come out cleaner from the Miele. Whatever works, right?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 4:44PM
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You also need less detergent due to the smaller volume of water.However, in regards to this point ... for a load of the same size (or in some cases larger) as would be done in a non-HE machine (TL or old-style non-HE FL), the concentration of laundry soil is also higher in the smaller amount of water ... so there must be sufficient detergent to handle the "dirt" ... flush oily soils out of the clothes and keep them from depositing out of the wash solution onto the tub and drum.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 5:38PM
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An update -- I gave up looking for a washer w/o a heater. I exchanged my machine today for the WF220, which has a heater as well as a sanitary cycle. Best Buy was very nice about the whole process and made it very easy for me -- they honored the sale price for the new washer as of the date I purchased the washer I have now. It was only $75 more and I felt it was totally worth it to put my mind at ease! I'm so grateful for everyone's input on this forum. Thanks to all!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:05PM
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This is great news! I think Best Buy may have earned a few new customers today. Seems to me they really treated you right. I would have expected a couple hundred extra plus some argument about total replacement. Nice going.

Now do a few loads and come back and tell us what you think.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:35PM
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Will do.

It won't be delivered until Monday, but I'm saving a couple loads of laundry right now so I can put it to work immediately!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 7:20PM
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patann, I have never found hot water to be damaging to most of my fabrics. (120-125 tap hot, not 160.) For years, I got meticulously clean laundry with no fabric damage using hot water. The main danger is that hot water may pull a little more dye out of fabric than cooler water, so I separate colors. But the hot water never caused any thinning, holes, or tears, which end the useful life of the fabric much more so than slightly changing the color.

On the other hand, detergents now have reduced phosphates and increased enzymes for cleaning power. Enzymes are much more dangerous than the old phosphate-built detergent. You could throw any amount of old-fashioned detergent in the laundry, and the worst that would happen is not all the suds would rinse out. Enzyme detergent, though, can eat away at the fibers. You get premature fabric thinning, tearing, and holes. 120-degree water doesn't cause that.

This is an annoying problem because it takes time to notice it. For awhile, you just are happy your fabrics are getting clean. You might not even notice you are not getting as much use of your sheets before they tear, or t-shirts before they get little holes, or towels before some of the loops have torn out or disappeared.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 8:20PM
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Yo, amsunshine....hope you got this right. Been poking around the web's Samsung sites and I'm finding zero info about heat on this machine except for one single "sanitary" setting -- and even that specifies no particular temperature. Samsung's website is the usual travesty of obfuscation and euphemisms. I've seen this before. I am suspicious.

I STRONGLY urge you to explore this machine's number of actual heated cycles and specific temperatures applied before accepting delivery. I've been frustrated in my search and have no more time for it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 8:38PM
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I have a tankless heater positioned right next to my washing machine. I like to crank the heat up to 130-140 for dishtowels and sheets. On my current toploader, the water is steamy as it is filling the tub. I have been hoping to get a FL soon (so I can have a counter over it for more workroom). Are you saying the hot water from the water heater doesn't get into the washer? What if I were to close the cold water tap going into the machine?

This is a really fascinating discussion.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Hi andersons,

"If you're getting cleaner clothes because you now use Pine-Sol and borax, don't attribute the cleaner results to your new front-loader."

I used those with my old top loader too.

The new fl machine accommodates large loads better, & I'm probably using a better quality detergent (Tide HE). All that agitation & soaking during the long cycles helps too, though.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 10:35PM
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Yo, lightlystarched...........

This particular discussion has been going on for more than five years. If you use the search function, you will find sufficient to occupy you for weeks. I'll skim it here one more time.............

Basically it's like this....YES the hot water from your water heater certainly WILL get into the washer. (Duh...Thanks for making me start earlier than even square #1....jeez!) But the metal in the machine and the load of laundry will bleed LOTS of heat of that inflow. As an example, my own 5+ year-old Duet has a capacity of 3.8cf. I can run water from a nearby tap first so the the first drop that enters the machine is 130F. However, by the time the mass of 18lbs of clothes and the inner and outer SS drums of the machine bleed heat out of my five-gallon fill, what I'm left with is about 105F.....and that's apparently what Whirlpool regards as "hot".

Your results will be exactly the same. If you want a hotter wash than'll need a machine with a built-in heater and cycles that utilize it to raise the actual temperature inside the machine to your desired level. One cycle that does this in my Duet is "Whitest Whites" which boosts my inside-the-drum temperature to approx. 127F. In order to achieve that temperature with the arrangement you've just described, you would have to either pre-heat the entire machine and load or raise your water-heater's output to about to 160-165F to compensate for heat-bleed. If you wanted a "sanitary" load of, say, 165F, you'd have to start with 200-210F from your heater.

This is why people buy machines with built-in heaters. Consistent temperatures (other than cold) inside of these machines are more-or-less impossible without them.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 10:50PM
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The "Reason(s) for not putting detergent inside drum?" thread just established that, on some machines, a hot wash fills with a mixture of cold and hot water. In that case it's far worse than asolo described.

With a tankless domestic water heater, there's also the "cold water sandwich" effect to consider, if you get a washer that fills in very short bursts. LG used to do that, don't know if it still does.

Sadly, the presence of an internal water heater is no guarantee that it'll really heat the water when you need it. Depends on how the machine is programmed. Why would they program it so a perfectly good heater is rendered nearly useless? Not to obey a government mandate or to meet Energy Star standards, rather to qualify for a $250 tax credit (which goes to them, not you).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 12:01AM
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asolo: I actually have the printed manual for the wf220 because Samsung issues the same manual for both the 210 and 220 models. In the manual I have, at least, it says the water is heated to 150 degrees on the sanitary cycle. The washer also has what is called the "pure cycle" which is a tub cleaning cycle. There is no specification about the temp on this cycle, but the manual states no bleach or other additive is needed. Further, it advises against putting clothing in during this cycle.

I think these options will work very well for me. (Famous last words, I know....) Of course, I will try everything out to make sure the machine is doing what it is supposed to do, and I'm very curious to see what temp a normal "hot" cycle turns out to be!

I'm just thrilled to pieces to be getting the sanitize option to use for my sheets, towels, rags and mopheads! And I'm thrilled to get the pure cycle, too. As I said before, we are on a tight budget and although we only had to pay a little more for this machine, we are still pretty stretched. This is literally the best machine we can get within our budget. I checked out the Bravos models, per a previous poster's recommendation, but they were much too pricey for us.

Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that our 13 year old dryer can hold out until Black Friday....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:44PM
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Oh, amsunshine....

I don't know, but I think you've just described to me a machine that will provide no options between 105 (est. max. Probably more like the 85-90 from your own experience) and 150. I encourage you to think about this and be certain it is acceptable to you before taking delivery. I would call their service number first thing in the morning and get confirmation. Don't trust the manual.

If that's how it actually is, it would be unacceptable to me. I am, once again, astonished that ANY vendor would market such a machine.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 5:57PM
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Yes, I'm well aware that the contraints of our budget (in combination with the way washing machines are manufactured these days) will mean that what we'll be getting is less than ideal.

If we win the lottery, it will be Miele for me. :-) Until then....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:03PM
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end of Heavy Duty cycle = 130-133 degrees

And WOW! The sheets and shirts came out BEAUTIFUL. Much brighter and fresher-smelling than the previous time I washed them (same detergent of course; only temp is different).

I am very glad I have the option to wash at this temperature.

And interestingly, the inside of the washer is DRY. Bone dry. The door, the tub, everything. Only a few drops of water on the rubber seal, that's it.

Now, I think my next step in my laundry obsession is to call Whirlpool regarding 84 degrees for "hot" in the Normal cycle. I am very envious of asolo's 95-degree "warm" and 105-degree "hot."

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 5:35PM
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So I called Whirlpool.

The WP rep, Chris, stated that the 84 degrees I experienced for "hot" is "not that far off" from the target temp, which is 90-100 degrees.

He said, "Today's detergents dissolve better in cold water." I did not argue this statement, but it's NOT true. Nothing dissolves "better" in colder water. This is a principle of physics that's not going to change.

I pointed out that the temperature I got when selecting "hot" in this machine with "6TH SENSE technology" was not by any stretch of the imagination even warm. He suggested that if I want hotter water, I should turn up my hot water heater. Well, THAT suggestion made me mad! I said, "Do you realize how WASTEFUL of energy it would be to turn up the hot water heater, especially my tank heater, and have unnecessarily hot water running in every tap in my house, just because your washer is designed to mix cold water with the hot?!?"

He also said that a technician could come check the machine, but if it is working "as designed," I would be charged for a service call.

All along I have sympathized with asolo's annoyance, but at this point I am even more annoyed than he is.

I was so annoyed I forgot to ask what the target temp is for "warm." I mean, the cold water in my tap right now is 77 degrees! The description of ATC "6TH SENSE" gave me the impression that it works in a much more sophisticated way than it really does. It sounded to me like the machine senses the temperature and adjusts the hot and cold inflow. But it seems like it simply draws from each tap in some proportion, which has changed recently to favor more cold.

So I did some more experimenting.

I turned off the cold intake to the washer. I then ran the hot tap in my laundry sink till it was hot. I had to run OVER 2 GALLONS before it ran hot. I immediately started a load choosing "hot" as the temp. The wash cycle ran just fine. Toward the end of the wash cycle, however, the machine tried to draw water from the cold, and when it couldn't get flow, stopped and flashed "F 20" error code. I turned the cold back on, but had to cancel the load to get out of that state. It took a few minutes longer than usual to cancel the load.

So bottom line, "6TH SENSE" or no, I get MUCH HOTTER in-the-tub temps if I run the hot tap first, and close the cold intake during the fill for the wash cycle. After the fill, I reopen the cold intake so that it will be set to rinse. The fill takes only a couple minutes, so this isn't too bad.

(Disclaimer: This is how my CURRENT model of the Whirlpool Duet 9400 functions; there's no guarantee that other makes, models, or vintages will function the same way.)

I would not be surprised if a few years from now, the govt requires the manufacturers to program the machine not to work if it can't draw from the cold intake.

All of this experimenting has reconfirmed something I had learned in the past with my old top-loader:

Hot water cleans much better than cold, with NO additional wear or damage to most fabrics.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:06PM
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In the section "The Case for Cold" in this link, two of the manufacturers turn thumbs-down on using cold washes for everything. They're Miele (as you'd expect), and GE.

Here is a link that might be useful: 61st Annual Laundry Appliances Report Playing with Water

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 10:03PM
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"He said, "Today's detergents dissolve better in cold water." "

Probably best he was talking to you and not me. This is such total nonsense. As was the "hot" being 100F or less. Such stupidness shouldn't be allowed to pass.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 10:40PM
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Hi all:

I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm so excited to report I've done my first load of laundry in my new WF220 with heater, and it was super! I didn't have a lot of time to babysit it, but I noticed it did a mostly hot tap fill for a heavy duty hot cycle (I was back and forth b/w laundry and kitchen, so I'm not sure if it started out with a little cold). All I know is, it filled with a heck of a lot more hot tap water than the wf210 did.

I was a happy camper when I saw the glass was steamy during the wash. I was able to pause it twice to check the temp. The first time was approx 10 mins into the cycle. It was 105! The second time was approx 20 mins into the cycle -- it was 110! I'm pleased to see the heater appears to be working on a cycle other than the sanitary or the pure cycle, which is consistent with what another poster on these boards found with a predecessor model (wf218).

That's all I had time for today, but it looks like I'll be very satisfied with the temps on this machine for the price we paid.

Once I get a chance to do some more laundry, I'll report back! For now, life is good! :-)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:30AM
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This is good news. Glad your glad.

Still supremely annoyed, however. Why should customers and prospective customers of ANY of these machines have to spend a week and 58 back-and-forth posts in cyber-space to have these simple questions answered? Seems to me this kind of info should be in the first few lines of every spec-sheet out there in print or on the web-sites. Instead, all we're allowed to see is pretty pictures and meaningless ad-speak.

Why does everything have to be such a bloody secret? Thoroughly honked-off in concept. Even though the problems aren't mine personally, I did get the leading edge of it back in '95 when I bought mine. Obviously much worse, now.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 1:08AM
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I think he meant "Today's detergents dissolve better [than yesterday's detergents] in cold water."

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 8:06AM
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No doubt....however still a dodge-answer and the motivation is still the same. The person is trying to pacify a righteously dissatisfied customer who has called in amazement upon learning the manufacturer's idea of a "hot" wash in her expensive new machine is 84 degrees!

Are you saying an answer like that, understood as you just described, would satisfy you?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 8:54AM
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"Still supremely annoyed, however. Why should customers and prospective customers of ANY of these machines have to spend a week and 58 back-and-forth posts in cyber-space to have these simple questions answered? Seems to me this kind of info should be in the first few lines of every spec-sheet out there in print or on the web-sites. Instead, all we're allowed to see is pretty pictures and meaningless ad-speak."

I know -- I feel the same way. It's a very frustrating state of affairs.

The icing on the cake? I wrote a review on Friday for the Samsung website detailing the fact that the wf210 doesn't have truly hot or warm washes. Yesterday, I got an email from Samsung saying they couldn't post my review because didn't comply with their one or more of their "guidelines". I read through the "guidelines" and can't figure out exactly which one it didn't satisfy.

Why am I surprised?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 10:44AM
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Umm, no, I'm just pointing out that the statement isn't scientifically nonsensical. I think I've expressed my views on dumbed-down temperatures on this forum. I returned the LG and got the Miele because the LG wouldn't give me a hot wash.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 10:50AM
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@suburbanmd & asolo: He SHOULD have said, "Today's detergents are formulated to dissolve better in cold water than older detergents."

But he specifically said, "Today's detergents actually dissolve BETTER in cold water than in hot water." Those were his EXACT words, and the statement is wrong. Molecules move more slowly in colder temperatures, so nothing dissolves (OR disperses) better in colder water than in hotter water. Period.

He probably believes his own statement because he was taught something like suburbanmd's statement but didn't fully understand it.

@awm: Yes, changing detergents can make a big difference. Back in the days when I experimented with laundry in the top-loader, I found that Tide cleaned much better than other, cheaper detergents. Current CR ratings of detergents show much better cleaning, on average, for HE detergents than conventional. And certain Tide formulas still top the charts. (CR ratings are not always useful, but I think these probably are. The ratings do mirror what I've found in my less formal testing of some of the products.)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:39PM
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