Did you buy a TL or FL? Why?

kris680October 3, 2010

Still sorting through this forum and other online sites trying to determine the best washer and dryer for me. I'm struggling w/the decision of TL or FL. Why did you choose what you did?

I'm looking for a machine that: cleans well (tough stains and gentle washes), doesn't take a year and a day, and is relatively quiet w/low vibration.

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Always had a TL and just bought the LG Wave set a few weeks ago. I don't care for the look of the FL and have read too many unhappy customers feedback comments about them. They appear to be more expensive too, but I could be wrong, since I've never focused on the price due to non-interest.

Another reason is that our laundry area is narrow and I don't need any more doors than necessary opening into that narrow space especially if someone needs to get to the powder room which is through the LR. If I'm in there working with appliance doors open AND the powder room door, it could present a problem. In addition, I find it easier to get the laundry out of a TL (I'm 5'4") without having to practically stick my entire self inside a FL to get things in the back....not to mention the bending....my knees aren't in great shape. We have cabinets above our washer/dryer so the right height is important and those pedestal accessory units would make them too high for our space. The added cost of the pedestals can jack up the "package price" a great deal.

So far, I love my TL LG set. The capacity is huge. For the first time I was able to wash ALL of my throw rugs from the entire house (a colonial) in one load with space to spare. The count was 7 (1 was a good size) plus 2 toilet covers. Came out beautiful.

I can say it seems like the newer, larger capacity washers have a longer wash time. For instance, the normal cycle on my old Kenmore was 45 minutes while this new machine is 54 minutes, BUT it uses less water and detergent and still does a fine job. It's super quiet in the wash mode, but certain parts of the cycle are always going be noisy no matter what. It's just the way it is with any machine, IMO.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 10:26PM
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I chose a FL because we are facing a future of water shortages in our area (Atlanta, GA) and because we were remodeling & to re-do the laundry room we decided to "stack" the units.

I am so glad I made the change. I use so much less detergent & feel my clothes are definitely as clean & maybe cleaner -- during our remodel (included kitchen) I would get access to the W/D on the weekends only. Since time was limited I began "throwing" the clothes into the washer without pre-treating (I would use "heavy soil" setting). I was/am amazed how many of the stains came out (85% to 90%) without the time & effort of pre-treating. I am amazed how it cleans with so little water.

Now to your "wants": to me the washing cycle "seems" longer. I usually wash full loads & definitely add "max" rinse -- makes clothes softer; about 50% of loads are "heavy soil" (I have 2 boys -- 9 & 10 years old). The washer usually takes 1 hour 20 minutes. Now I never timed my TL, but this seems longer. There is a quick wash capability I guess I should try sometime.

For vibrations I think it is less than my TL when spinning, but there seems to be some vibration.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 10:41PM
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I chose a TL Maytag Bravos because of space restrictions and like debi, I don't have the space for swinging FL doors. I also didn't want to have to leave the door ajar to prevent mold and moisture build up. The Bravos is very tall and holds a large amount of laundry and it never vibrates (although I can definitely hear it spinning like a tornado). Just not an option in my home so I never investigated the FL at all.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:14AM
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Both of my locations have slab-floors and no space restrictions so my considerations were open that way. More than 5 years with FL in one locaton (Duet 9400) and I'll never go back to TL. When existing TL in other location breaks, I'll replace that with FL. I think it simply washes better in addition to being more convenient.

Huge capacity (about double previous TL's, although latest TL's are big, too.) , quiet, gentle, excellent results. Takes longer but my pattern is to turn my machines on and walk away so no particular issue for me. I've saved a ton of money by being able to wash larger items that I used to have to send out.

Discouraged to learn that new HE machines of both types continue with deception/obfuscation of their water temperature controls and specifications. If buying to today I would be very wary of that and research it carefully.

Whatever you decide, get one with a built in heater. If you don't you'll never get a wash temperature on any cycle above bath-tub warm regardless of how your water heater is set.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Ditto what susanelewis said about Maytag Bravos -- keep in mind, this is not a traditional TL with an agitator (I couldn't tell what type of TL you had in mind). It uses FAR less water and energy like FL's, without problems FL present.

My Bravos capacity is 5.2 cu ft, which means I can wash huge loads of laundry in one load, and they are spun out so well, they dry more quickly.

Whereas I used to wash 10+ loads of laundry per week, now I wash 3-5 loads in a given week. We saw a noticeable decrease in our utility bills after getting this washer.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 5:40PM
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Just to clarify - if I go the TL route it would probably be either the LG or Maytag's Bravo. I know the one Bravo has the internal heater as I've seen it mentioned a few times in various posts. I believe the LG also has an internal heater but haven't clarified that.

For those of you w/the larger TLs (and it seems like those are the ones w/the internal heaters?), how happy are you w/your machine when you're running small/medium loads? Does it handle the smaller loads as nicely as it handles a large load?

Debbie - what made you select the LG? I have read good things but am wondering if there was something specific that made you go that way.

Thanks for all the feedback coming in - it's extremely helpful!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 9:05PM
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A little story leading to why I bought the LGs...

My intent was not to go with an all electronics unit since my old electronic Kenmore was continual problem. I researched extensively on the Web for washers and wanted a basic knob model. Problem was that all the knob units I found I didn't like (v. small lint screen or bad placement of it, didn't have features I wanted, quality looked poor, etc.)

I took all my research notes for only knob TL machines to some stores to look in person. I did not look at ANY electronic washers in the first 2 stores I'd been in.....until the 3rd store.....I spotted the LG set sitting in front of me as I approached the appliance area. They were too cool looking to not stop. So, I asked questions, got prices, and went home to research on the Web. These units are compared to the Maytag Bravos & Whirlpool Cambria, both of which had many negative comments (but in their defense, they have been on the market longer). I didn't find any negatives on the few dozen comments about these LGs. I went to another appliance store to compare their prices and check the units out again. Since I had already good pricing from another store, I negotiated for less and couldn't resist the $660 each offered for the Model WT5101HW and matching dryer. What a bargain!!!!

The specific things that made me buy the washer was everything it has to offer. It appears to be a solid machine and is well thought out. I like the huge capacity for comforters and such, the 10 year warranty on the motor, using less water and detergent, True Balance system, a true slam proof lid, I could go on and on.... LG has become a leader in appliances in the past 5 years so I figured why not?

I still continue to research for new feedback on the LG units and have found many new ones, all positive. Hopefully, over the long run, these machines prove to be all that I hope they are.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 10:52PM
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For those of you w/the larger TLs (and it seems like those are the ones w/the internal heaters?), how happy are you w/your machine when you're running small/medium loads? Does it handle the smaller loads as nicely as it handles a large load?

My Bravos is one of the larger washers, and it does have the internal heater, although you can also buy that capacity washer without the heater.

My washer does an excellent job on small/medium loads. My DD has used the Quick Wash cycle several times when she needed something right away, and her laundry came out just fine. I've also washed medium loads a few times, and they came out great too.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:24PM
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I wash small loads all the time since it generally just my husband and me and then my college son on weekends (who brings home his laundry to Mom when he has a perfectly good washer in the basement of his duplex..lol). Anyway, no unbalanced loads and the hand wash cycle is gentle enough for my bras (which they say never to wash in a machine).

One more thing about the Bravos is the customization you can do with the cycles. It remembers the last options you used with the cycles. It also has an Oxi dispenser to inject the cleaner at the perfect time in the wash. It also has an Affresh cycle to clean the washer. It notifies you when it is due with a small light on the panel.

Debi, good job on the price you got. That washer retails for over $lk! I didn't get quite that deal on the Bravos despite a generous rebate.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:32PM
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I just took a quick look at the LG machine you bought, debi. I have to admit it does have one feature I really do miss...adding a soak to the beginning of the wash cycle. My last Maytag had it and my current Bravos has a separate soak cycle but cannot be added to the front of a normal wash cycle (like the add another rinse option). The Water Plus feature looks interesting as well.

I would miss my Oxi dispenser, tho. I love that on my Bravos.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:44PM
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"....how happy are you w/your machine when you're running small/medium loads? Does it handle the smaller loads as nicely as it handles a large load?"

Mine (Duet 9400) is utterly indifferent to load-size. Strongly suspect this would be non-issue in any FL you may consider.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 11:25AM
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debi_2006: For those of you w/the larger TLs (and it seems like those are the ones w/the internal heaters?), how happy are you w/your machine when you're running small/medium loads? Does it handle the smaller loads as nicely as it handles a large load?

She asked about TOP Loaders, not FRONT Loaders.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 11:35AM
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I've ran a few smaller loads and they came out just fine. No complaints.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 1:02PM
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Another option would be the GE Harmony which is made by LG. I would think the new LG may be a modified version of the proven Harmony machine but haven't investigated it to be sure.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 11:14PM
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I don't have the same laundry issues that many posters do. I live in a dry climate with no basement and tile floors. We have a hot water recirculating pump (like we EVER have cold water, lol) and I do a variety of loads.

Water usage was our biggest concern so we went with Whirlpool Duet frontloaders with risers. My last set was Whirlpool and we had those for over 17 yrs so I had good experience with that brand.

We have five cats that seem to shed and puke constantly so laundry is a daily issue. My FL's handle the kingsize blankets, mattress covers and comforters. They don't 'walk' and I have no idea about the noise as I'm hard of hearing but nobody else complains so guess they're quiet. Got them a little over 2 yrs ago. I wipe them out with a paper towel and make sure I don't overuse detergents or other additives.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 8:59PM
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I just bought the Cabrio set. I'd never buy a front loader. They just aren't for me. Plus I don't have the room to leave the door open on the washer, so it doesn't mildew. My friend had the LG, and she has had a ton of issues with them.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 9:49PM
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lynne: which LG? The front load or top load?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 9:05PM
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In response to the TLs not having an internal heater and you not getting a hot wash.... did you ever think of turning off the cold water at the intake valve ?? Of course, then you would have to remember to turn it back on for the rinse cycle.
The LG WT5001CW I bought yesterday doesn't have the heater but I think it will do fine. Let you know next week after it's delivered.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 11:00PM
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I currently have a 9 year old HE3t FL. The only issue I had with it is the water pump went out on it while it was under my 5yr warranty. That was my fault for not taking the time to clean out the sump basket like the owners manual tells you to do. It washes all my clothes great. I do not use anything but detergent, and favric softener. No bleach, oxy clean, or clorax2. I never seen where all these additives made any difference anyway. My white cannot possibly get any whiter than they currently are. I use the white cycle for them. I never had any problems with mold, mildew and I do not whip the door seal or leave the door open when I am done with the machine. I have friends and family who own LG FL and they have no issues with their machines either. Mine has an internal heater which I feel is a must in any HE washer, just my opinion on that.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 4:41PM
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