front loader vs top loader

kellycalOctober 20, 2010

We are purchasing new washer/dryer as part of our home remodel.

Any recommended front loader models??

What about top loaders? Are they better working?

Where do I start?


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There are too many variables to mention here.
You'll get a lot of personal opinions here I'm sure.
My two cents...get a front loader (that has a onboard heater).

Traditional top loaders are no longer the same as years ago. The government has stepped in and said they have to be more efficient, so they've cooled down the hot and warm wash temperatures. Speed Queen may still offer a traditional true hot wash but I'm not positive on that.

There are HE (High Efficiency) top loaders but some people love them and some hate them. Personally, I don't think they're all that great.
Everyone has had trouble at one time or another with front load brands but you may have better luck with Miele, Electrolux, Whirlpool along with better customer service.
I've heard Korean brands as LG, Samsung and the like have not so great customer service if anything should go wrong.
Do lots of homework and good luck.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:08PM
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kellycal....I see you're new here. Advise using the search function at the top of the page. This topic has been discussed extensively over the months and years. You'll find enough to keep you reading for weeks.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:22PM
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This is a controversy all right, they both have good points and both have weaknesses. There are consumer complaints for both. You have to make your decision based on what features you want, energy use, your laundry habits and so on.

Personally, I think that top loading machines are fine but don't offer some of the features of front loaders. It is true, that you will save energy with front loaders. The question is how much?

Here is a link that might be useful: What Kind of Washing Machine Should I Buy?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:23PM
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I can tell you whatever Front loader you choose, get one with a internal heater. I washed my clothes one night, and we had a brown out. The power to the house was reduce to the point where the exhaust fans in the bathroom barely ran, but guess what, My front loader was still running and washing. I was shocked and surprised by this. Many people question how a front loader can take longer to wash and save electricity? It due to the fact that the moter in them are so much more effiecent than a traditional top loader. SO even if the run on the longest wash cycle, they still use less power than a normal TL on its longest cycle. Another advantage is that the FL does not beat up and weat out your clothes like a TL with a agatator. I have clothes that are 10 yrs old that I wear all year around and they still look like new.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:09AM
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I think that the top loaders of yore were great clothes cleaners. The concern for our energy use producing greenhouse gas and global warming has ended all that. I do want to say that the Samsung front loader we bought uses a computer to limit the amount of water to a bare minimum that just wets tha clothes. If I put a folded handkerchief in, it comes back out completely folded after a two hour plus Sanitize cycle. And Washcloths will cloud up a wash basin full of clear water after they come out of the dryer no matter how little soap I put in. That is the price you have to pay for "energy efficiency". I'd look into the Speed Queen TL. Or else go to a repair shop and try to find a good model made about 5 yearrs ago for sale used and repaired with a warranty.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 1:44AM
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I agree, nerdyshopper. I don't think a front loader compares to the cleaning ability a good top loader will give you. The reason is uses way more water than a front loader. More water means cleaner clothes. I washed with a front loader, and the work clothes came out with dirt streaks on them when the load was done. I knew then..that a front loader machine was not for me.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 9:56AM
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Personal observation is great and all but those encouraging you to understand how the manufacturing of these appliances (regulations, materials, design, etc) have changed in the last decade is the best advice. Start there.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 11:02AM
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FWIW...switched to FL 5 1/2 years ago. Duet 9400. Like most folks had TL's for decades, in my case three decades. Notwithstanding all the gripes on various forums, this machine gives the best laundering results I've ever had; is quieter; is more convenient; has larger capacity; and has had NONE of the HE/FL issues people have posted about over the years. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

However, it's already two generations old. I'd have to research all over again if buying today. I would certainly be buying some version of FL with a heater.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 11:19AM
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Do they still make top loaders with the agitator? Beware the agitator. I still get nightmares of my clothes being swirled around by the agitator in my parents washer.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 6:20PM
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I just bought the LG TL WT5001 last month... The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of hot water.. I'm using the HOT wash COLD rinse water temp for all the cycles. I must admit that the clothes are coming out clean.. A towel cycle using the fabric softener setting (I use vinegar instead of fs) and an extra rinse takes 1:17 min.. The longest cycle on my old agitator Whirlpool, 24 yrs old, took like 45 minutes. I do like the choice of spin cycles and using the high spin cycle the towels spent less time in the dryer but I wonder if the agitator wasn't doing damage to the clothes ?? I can see that the way the LG washes it is gentler on the clothes. My clothes don't get filthy anyway and I continue to pre-treat. I had a repair on my Bosch diswasher last month and the repairman, the only repair people that a large appliance dealer in my area (Warehouse Discount Center in the L.A. area of California) uses, says that he doesn't like the front loader washers.
So, I figured since he fixed my dishwasher and gave me some good tips about maintaining it....he's the guy who fixes them so he should know..

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Chelliep, just wondering why you didnt buy the LG with the internal heater since you enjoy washing in hot water. The thumb down temps in the LG machines and others out there is a downfall in my opinion, yor washer uses 120 for hot 85 for warm, and 66 for cold according to LG, the heater model would at least hold the bright whites cyclce at 120 and sanitary at 158 degrees. I am really intriqued with the LG machine, it may be a replacement for my old FL

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 10:42PM
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I just purchased a Speed Queen AWN 412 top loader. 3 year parts & labor, 5 year motor & 10 year transmission guarantee.

Uses about 25% less water than the old TL's.

Lot less lint than my old Whirlpool TL. I even washed sweat pants w/ jeans & there was very little lint on the sweat pants.

Higher spin speed than the old Whirlpool.

Several water level settings, so the water level is more customizeable compared to just 3 choices w/ the Whirlpool.

Because it uses less water, I can wash an X-Lg load without running out of hot water from my 40 gal H2O heater, unlike the Whirlpool. 'Hot' water ended up being warm--our 'cold' water is very cold so the incoming cold water in the tank diluted the 'hot'.

So far, I like this washer a lot.

Chose a TL because the SQ has no electronic controls to flash error codes, because I'm familiar w/ the TL's and do most of my own repairs, our clothes get very dirty & I like to stop the washer & let them soak in plenty of water and, for less dirty clothes that I don't need to soak, the load is finished in much less time than a FL. Yet another reason was because my local Craigslist is loaded w/ non-working front loaders for sale. That was telling me something, something that has been confirmed by appliance repair people.

Oh, and Speed Queen is made in the USA, right here in Wisconsin.

Think it was the transmission that went out on the Whirlpool. (Plastic parts in the tranny.) SQ is all metal & has only 6 moving parts in the transmission w/ confidence to offer a 10 year warranty on it.

If you're shopping 'used' Speed Queens, make sure to get a newer one mfg'd by Alliance Laundry systems. You don't want a Raytheon one from what I've read.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 8:27AM
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