I've reached my limit...

cork2winSeptember 20, 2011

I never imagined I would hate an appliance, but I can honestly say I hate our wash machine. With a passion.

We bought an Amana "commercial quality" cough cough top loading Washer about 8 years ago. It still works so I can't complain about the durability of the washer (I actually wish it had broken, about 7 years ago).

My problem is that I'm the one in the house that washes all the large items. Sheets, comforters, blankets, dog beds, etc. Our washer is CONSTANTLY off balance when washing these items. I load it evenly. If I have sheets, I wash even numbers so I can distribute evenly. Two dog beds, two blankets, whatever. This washer can NOT keep an even load. During the rinse it walks itself all over our floor. It makes a helluva racket. Last time it nearly ripped the hoses out of the wall before I caught it. That would have been fun.

We've had issues with it going off balance with small items too. It's defective. We never had these problems with our old machine. At least on our old machine if it really went off balance it turned itself off. I'd be OK with that if I can't find a machine to work the way I want it to.

I finally told DH I'm done. New washer research time. So, now I need to know what is TRULY a commercial quality washer. One that can handle large, heavy loads without going off balance. Or at least a washer that can keep small loads on balance. Speedqueen is looking like a commercial washer but I'm just beginning my research so I'm not sold on anything.

I don't need special gadgets or heaters or 15 different wash cycles, I just want a simple truly heavy duty washer that I won't want to throw through the window after a week.

Do front loaders have better balance control? How do front loaders even handle balance? Any suggestions appreciated!

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@ cork2win

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, you can't go wrong with Miele. The W4842 is solidly built and handles everything I throw at it. With an IEC capacity of 4.0 cuft, it is certainly not the largest machine out there, but it isn't the smallest one either. It is critical that the machine be properly leveled, otherwise there will be vibration issues. Recommend installing downstairs, preferably on a concrete foundation.

If you're willing to spend uber cash, check out Miele's commercial line. I doubt you'll find better designed and manufactured machines anywhere in the world. A Little Giant pair will set you back a cool $6 grand. That's the same price as a Cybex 750AT Arc Trainer, an Elite 70X5FD 70" LED TV, a used Toyota something or other, or a 3.5% down payment on a $170,000 home. Just to put things into perspective. :)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:30PM
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I'm wondering why you think you need a commercial quality washer. I HATED my top load machine because it was always off balance and I was constantly readjusting loads, etc. similar to your situation, only to realize that it was indeed off balance and only needed to have the feet balanced. Since then, I have had front load machines that are large capacity and that's really all we need, with king size bedding, including down blankets and comforters and dog beds and pillows, etc. We had good luck with our old Kenmore Elite and I really am happy with my new Samsung machines. No need for commercial machines. If you have a special need for commercial machines, I suppose the internet would point you in that direction, or maybe you need more than one machine. I sometimes think I could keep two washers and two dryers going with just our small household.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:30PM
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If you really want/need a commercial washer, it might be worth checking with your local Miele dealers. One appliance showroom in Scottsdale currently has a great deal on their Little Giant floor models.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 12:59PM
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@cork2win......may I assume your machine was properly positioned with its feet firmly planted and equally weighted on a firm floor? Your description makes me suspicious since it appears to be performing ok except for this single anomaly. I would satisfy yourself that the machine is, in fact, properly placed in this way before abandoning it.

No machine will hold it's place properly during a loaded spin unless it's able to bear solidly on its mountings. If you say it was/is properly mounted and has still shown the behavior described, then its internal suspension components are compromised in some way. Otherwise, it should have been able to better control itself.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Yes, the machine is level on a concrete slab so that's not the issue. I think it's a design issue. The husband has torn it apart and look at the stuff that's supposed to hold it in balance and it's all in tact, it just doesn't work worth a crap.

I don't need commercial, I just figured that would be the only way to go to get a good quality, large capacity machine. If I don't need commercial that's fine too. Our two major requirements are stainless steel tub and large capacity so I'm sure there are probably plenty of non-commercial machines out there like that.

Thanks so far to those who have answered. Any further comments welcome.

I'm not looking to spend thousands on a machine. we're looking at speedqueen and even at around 1300, that hurts, but we'll spend it if it's good. I probably won't go over 1500 though.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Got the concrete slab and level part. Didn't see anything about contact of the feet on that floor or weighting of the feet. That was the nub of my question.

Equal or nearly equal weighting of the feet can be the entire ball game. Over the years on this forum there have been MANY machine-walking problems solved by attending to this. Making final adjustments to the feet during a fully-loaded spin has turned many an almost-rejected machine into the good-operating device it was designed to be.

Don't want to belabor the point but if you're sure you've covered it but if you want to consider it. I can tell you what to do.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:25PM
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I am going to take your word for it, that your Amana top loader is level and equal weighted on all four feet.

I am about to purchase a Speed Queen front load washer/dryer pair. According to other owners, that washer does not spend 1/2 hour trying to decide if it is balanced or not, doing nothing. I read about many washers that annoy their owners doing this. With the Speed Queen front loaders, you can expect the load to be completed when you come back in 45 minutes. I saw the Speed Queen cut-away showing the 4 automotive sized shock absorbers and I knew that balance problems would not be an issue. The washer itself weighs a good 50 lbs more than most other washers (250 lbs). With the standard warranty being 3/5 years, that is quite a bit longer than most residential washers.

I got a good deal. Washer + Dryer + 2 -10" pedestals for under $2100. Speed Queen is supposed to be the old Maytag regarding appliance longevity. I chuckle a bit whenever I hear someone say you have pay Miele money to buy a commercial washer.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:45PM
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What's the model number of your Amana macine? It could be one the dreaded Amanatag machines.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 5:57AM
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