FL on the right -Duet 97hex vs. LG WM3875 HVCA vs. Miele 4842

eastcoastmomSeptember 8, 2011

Well, Hurricane Irene took out my 14 yo Kenmore 90 series top loader. I wasn't too upset, because I have been looking forward to upgrading to a new FL, anyway. However, the old machines are plumbed and vented for a washer on the right and I am told this makes the selection of a new FL more of an issue. Some Qs:

Does anyone have a washer with left side hinge ( all of them but Asko, Miele and Electrolux from what I hear) who also put the washer on the right? How much of a pain is it to walk around the door to transfer clothes to the dryer? Would a platform make this any easier?

Anyone reverse the order of the machines and cross the pipes and vents? Was it a big deal? How much farther out did you have to pull the machines to accomplish this? I'd also have to move an electric switch if I got platforms.

I like the good reviews on the LG WM3875 but one dealer told me some people wait a long time for Korean parts. True or hype?

Two places were really pushing the Miele - they say the 4842 is much improved over the 4840 and that it will last 20 plus years. The door issue works best for us, but is it really worth shelling out big bucks to avoid walking around? No doubt the build quality of Miele is in another class. Not sure that translates to performance or reliability, though.

I'm also looking seriously at the Whirlpool Duet 97HEX and another LG, the Studio ( two year warranty). Both would involve the previously described walk around the door OR pulling out the machines in an already tight area. Could possibly move things around, though.

Lastly, as far as replacing the five yo dryer, one guy tells me the old dryers use more wattage than needed for the more efficient dryers and that clothes can shrink as a result. I was considering replacing for steam feature, ergonomics and esthetics anyway, but is this true?

What would you do? Thanks!

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eastcoastmom: "Lastly, as far as replacing the five yo dryer, one guy tells me the old dryers use more wattage than needed for the more efficient dryers and that clothes can shrink as a result."

Think about that. Generally, when a machine is inefficient, it is because some form of useful energy has been converted to less useful heat. For drying clothes, however, heat is the useful form of energy. Dryers produce heat; that is essentially what they do. That is why there are no EnergyStar certifications for dryers.

Perhaps what the person was referring to was the balance between temperature and air flow. With a higher air flow, the clothes can dry in about the same amount of time at a lower temperature. But (excepting Bosch, which made high airflow an advertising claim, but which is exiting the full size laundry appliance market in the U.S.) there is not much difference among brands on the amount of airflow, and there has been no significant change in the past five years, either.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 6:36AM
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@herring_maven, I believe my Miele T9822 has more air flow than other units. I know there was much discussion about venting it do to it's "high cfm". I was also told it is noisier than others due to this high air flow. That's part of Miele's "thing" that the dryer is kinder to fibres as it dries with more air and less heat (although mine does seem like it gets hot).

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 9:29AM
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Seems to me use of laundry basket would be easy solution....allow right/left door hinge consideration to disappear. Empty washer load into basket; slide basket over to dryer door; put wet laundry in dryer.

Pretty easy. I would certainly do that before I'd settle for a machine I didn't want.

Agree important consideration, though. You'll likely be living with your arrangement for a long time. Worthwhile making it as convenient as you can.

If you've got the bucks, go with Miele.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 10:08AM
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Thanks for the responses. One correction, I meant to say that the dealer told me the old dryers can get too hot for the newer washers ( not dryers) which spin out a lot more excess water from the clothes. I don't see why you can't just use a lower heat setting or shorter time setting in that case though.

Anyone with experience in crossing the vents and the plumbing?

Laundry basket to transfer would work, of course, and may not be a big deal once I got used to it .

Anyone want to weigh in with opinions on reliability, service and parts availability for LG vs. Whirlpool vs. Miele?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:12AM
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The dealer is trying to sell a new dryer to you. Keep your 5-years-old unit if there's nothing wrong with it and your aesthetic sensibility can live with a non-matched set. :-)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:08PM
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@ eastcoastmom

My W4842 is set up opposite to the connections in order to have the washer on the right, dryer on the left. I can't imagine using it the other way and having two doors butt up against each other. It's awkward and impractical - I wouldn't recommend it. As far as "crossing the vents and plumbing", it's not a big deal. The hoses that come with the W4842 are long enough and you can run rigid ducting a couple of extra feet without problem.

@ livebetter

The T98X2 dryers have an airflow rate of 200 cfm. That's comparable to a typical kitchen fan hood. I don't know how this would compare to other dryers on the market. This rating is taken directly from the service manual - it is not an advertised specification.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:52PM
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sshrivastava, Did you have to pull out your machines 4-6 inches further from the wall to do that?

Miele would certainly be easiest to install for us, with the doors opening up the right way, and no need to pull out in limited space area. Any word on the 4842's reliability so far?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 3:59PM
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My W4842/T9822 are also installed opposite to original plumbing. I really contemplated that vs. doors opening to eachother. VERY glad I did properly (opening to each other). It was no trouble for Miele to do it.

My machines are out from the wall slightly to make room for the dryer vent. Previous dryer vented out the right side and directly into wall. New Miele vents out the back and runs behind the washer and into the wall. It worked out just fine.

Watch this video for some real Miele information.

I think they are designed to be very reliable. Of course, there are always lemons but we hope we don't get them :)

I like the LGs best of all the other brands available but I'm very happy with my Miele. It has features other brands do not offer (ie. heater keeps temps accurate in all cycles not just sanitary or extra hot). All but the "normal" cycle will use the heater.

It has many other little "nuances" that make it a great machine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele - The Art of Laundry Care

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 5:08PM
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"Anyone with experience in crossing the vents and the plumbing? "

Raises hand .... and its no problem at all. Our old dryer stuck out anyway for the duct vent hose thing and we had the washer pulled out flush to the front of the dryer. Our new Miele W4842/T9822 stand out the same distance as the 16 y/o TL Whirlpool former W&D we had.

FWIW, this new dryer is a lot quieter than my old one. It's all relative.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Everyone is different but I wouldn't underestimate the impact of ease of use in on your level of satisfaction with your choice. I bought the least expensive compact pair available in our market (Canada): Samsung DV665JW & WF-1254; which were still a huge upgrade from what I had but the feature I am most grateful for day in day out is the reversible dryer door.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 10:02AM
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@ eastcoastmom

The T98X2 has vents in the rear and on either side of the machine. Unused vent holes are covered with a plastic insert to prevent air from escaping. The machines will need to sit back from the rear wall, if venting through the rear exhaust, to allow enough room for the air duct. My machines sit about 5.5 inches from the rear wall.

I've had my W4842/T9802 pair for 18 months and have had no issues so far (knock wood). Works like a champ! One thing to be aware of - the door opening on the W4842 is not as large as other 4 cuft capacity machines on the market. As a result, at first glance it may look smaller than it really us.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 1:22PM
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Good to know that reversing the machines may not be a big deal. It makes sense that some of you had to reverse the piping for Miele. In our case we'd only have to do that if we went with LG or Duets, Samsung etc. They may require additional vent pipe, but the installer should be able to provide that.

A new question. Can anyone help me figure out the relative capacity between these machines and my old one? The inconsistency iin the way capacity is reported is driving me crazy! For example, Miele says they are a 4.0 cubic foot, so I was thinking that's just a drop smaller the 4.2 LG cu. ft. or the 4.3 Duet. Am I comparing apples to apples there, or is the correct comparison to the Department of Energy scale , ie 3.07 cu. ft.?! That would be a much bigger difference than I thought.

My old TL Kenmore 90 is supposedly 3.2 - is that by DOE standards? If so, does that mean my old TL is actually bigger than the Miele? Is is the effective capacity larger ( ie 4.0) because there is no agitator? Very confusing! Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 1:34PM
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"It makes sense that some of you had to reverse the piping for Miele.""

@eastcoastmom - I did not have to reverse the piping for my Miele. The water hoses are plenty long enough.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Thanks. A couple of people told me that I may need more clearance behind the machines to do that. They are already out from the wall about 9 inches, so that may be plenty. However the machines I am looking at are deeper, too. I have reduced access if they get pulled back by too much.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 5:11PM
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@ eastcoastmom

I believe the ratings for LG, Samsung, Whirlpool/Duet, Miele, etc. are all IEC capacity - so you are comparing apples to apples. If you want the DOE capacity, click on the below link and look up the makes and models of interest to ensure you are looking at just DOE capacity and efficiency ratings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Energy Star Washer Lookup

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 8:17PM
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ACK! After hours of research, called appliance store to order my new washer/dryer and find out that the Miele only can be installed with washer on right. (How did I miss that?) My question for you all that have cross-installed is, did you have a floor drain for the washer? If yes, how did you handle that part of it?
Also I understand you needed about 6" extra depth for the cross-installation but did you need any extra width? My space is only 56" wide so it's pretty tight already. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 2:55PM
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@cuisinemom- My Mieles had to be installed opposite of the previous TL W/D and didn't require any additional extra depth. Main reason here was that the dryer duct/vent pipe always ran behind old dryer to wall next to dryer. Your 56" of width will be fine; it'll give you a good inch on either side of the appliances.

My measuring of depth "on-the-fly" with dryer vent/duct pipe running behind washer, is approx 34 - 36 inches from wall to apex of the convex door.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 4:57PM
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I don't understand why it would be an issue to "cross install" a washer and dryer. Most suburban homes can handle this. The water hoses are long enough, and running a couple of extra feet of duct behind the machine is not a big deal at all.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 11:23PM
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@sshrivastava, I think it depends how your dryer vents more than anything.

If you have a very custom laundry room with built in cabinetry and your machines there would be little flexibility to vent your dryer differently.

You know, this type of set up with counters over the machines.

I have cabinetry around my machines but no counter over them. I was able to pull the machines forward a few inches to accommodate the switch but if there were counters I think it would not have worked.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:38AM
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@livebetter brings up a very good point about countertops.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 2:21PM
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Perhaps I'm being especially dense today, but why would counters and cabinets impede your ability to swap locations? The only problem I can foresee is if your dryer vent is immediately to the left or right of your dryer, limiting your options that way in terms of depth. However, if the vent is in the rear then the location of the machines is interchangeable. With a rear vent, the dryer still needs to sit forward approx. 6 inches to accommodate the ducting, and the washer will sit forward the same distance to remain flush with the dryer. Swap the locations and you still have the same scenario.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 3:42PM
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I don't know what you mean about 6 inches to accommodate ducting?

If it's a custom set up the duct vents straight into the wall (ducting is built into the wall). Like in above image - those machines are almost flush with the cabinets.

My previous dryer did vent out the right side directly
into the wall (I had my basement laundry room custom done to suit me machines). I cannot see any ducting - it's all in the walls.

When I installed the Mieles, they had to vent the dryer out the back, immediate elbow right and straight behind the dryer to the wall vent. This brought the machines forward several inches (I'd have to measure but more than 6 for sure).

I happen to have custom cabinetry to the left of my machines but opted for pedestals and no counters.

If I had counters positioned for the old machine, the new set up would have the machines sticking out far beyond those counters and I think it would look wrong (aesthetically).

Even if it vented out the back straight into the wall, I think you'd have the same issue when swapping spots.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 6:35PM
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Hey east coastmom,

Speed Queen front load washers hinge is on the right. That should work in your situation. That is a bit cheaper than paying Miele money for the same appliance longevity.

In fact, I am buying a pair next week.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 7:49PM
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FWIW, Consumer Reports ranks the Speed Queen pretty far down the list. Top brand scores an 87 - Speed Queen scores a 52. Washing is only good and vibration is fair.

There's more than longevity to consider when buying an appliance. Although longevity is nice.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Consumers Reports is not the "last word" on appliance evaluations in my book. If my memory is correct, they had the Whirlpool Calypso as a top rated washer at one point. We all know how that one played out in reality. Owners comments carry more weight, to me.

My decision to buy a Speed Queen front load pair was based on their comments and having a true horizontal axis washer. I've seen many front load washers that had some clothes trapped in the doorway, spinning for an hour with very little water in that area because the washer drum is tilted back. Those clothes don't always come clean.

In addition, the standard Speed Queen 3/5 year warranty says something about the expected longevity - even in a commercial application. I have heard that Miele parts and labor (out of warranty) can be shockingly expensive. Anyone care to comment? Of course I can't afford a Mercedes and its parts either. So I'll just leave it those things to the ones with "deeper pockets" than me. Wish me luck on my purchase!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:20PM
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@ livebetter

If your laundry area is so specifically designed to accommodate a dryer vent for a specific brand/model, then you have bigger problems if that machine breaks down. You will never be able to replace it with anything but the same brand/model since your design is so specific to that model. I'm talking about the positioning of your rear ducting to allow both machines to be pushed all the way back so as to be flush with your counter. Most likely any other machine, even if vented to the rear with the proper door swing, will not fit due to the specific ducting location of the previous machine.

I live in Arizona where most homes are tract homes. Out here, swapping locations is simply not a concern because the vast majority of laundry rooms don't have custom cabinetry or counters built above or around their machines. My last set was an Asko and I was tempted to install a counter above them in the laundry room. If I had done this, well the design would have to be ripped out and re-worked for the larger Miele machines. Whatever you design for your machines, remember that you won't always have those particular models. Keep some flexibility in the design.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:51PM
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