Whirlpool Duet or other? Please recommend FL.

cmm6797November 8, 2011

Like many others, I need to make a quick decision on a new FL washing machine and a new gas dryer. I've read as many threads as I can find on here and don't see a strong opinion on certain brands like I did on the appliance forum where kitchen appliances were discussed.

I'm hoping for feedback on whether those of you who have a Whirlpool FL are happy with it.

How many cubic feet is enough for a family of 4 and the occasional washing of a quilt, etc.? I do not need to wash 14 pair of jeans at a time.

As far as dryers go, not sure what to look for so any insight there would be helpful.

Also, are the expensive pedestals really necessary? Yes the washer and dryer do seem pretty low to the ground in the store...but those pedestals are so expensive!

Thanks in advance.

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6 1/2 years with my pair. They've been perfect since day one and still are. However, that was 2-3 machine-generations ago. Don't know what they're doing these days. My nominal capacity is 3.8cf and still seems huge to me. Believe they're a little larger, now. Get one with a heater.

I have slab floor and soft water. Pedestals would be nice but would raise my top too high to be useful. I don't mind bending over....have always done that with dryers anyway so seems like no biggie to me.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Is there a particular reason you require a "Front Loader"?
Or is it just personal preference?

A HE Top Loader would most likely cost less and is easier to load and unload unless you are under 5' tall.

We went with a 4.5Cu.ft HE Top Loader, you would have no problem washing 14 pair of jeans.

We bought ours at Sears last week for $1730.00 counting delivery, install, hauling away the old dryer carcass and tax.
Was an LG WT5101H washer and the matching Dryer.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 8:54PM
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Asolo-thanks for the input. Good to know the expensive pedastals aren't necessary.

Nunyabiz-I don't even remember how I decided to shop for a front loader instead of a top loader. But as I was doing more research online, I had just decided to look into some top loaders as well when I saw your comment. I guess I had assumed that FL machines were bigger. And actually the top loader works better with my space configuration. I will check out the LG that you mentioned.
One thing I find frustrating is that there does not seem to be a consensus on brand reliability. I'm starting to think we should buy the least expensive with the features that are important to us, since all of the recently produced models appear to have a whole slew of complaints, from mildew odor to not enough water etc., in the front loaders anyway.

Thanks for the feedback.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:55PM
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cmm6797, your topic line asks about washers only, but the body suggests that you are looking to purchase a dryer also: "As far as dryers go, not sure what to look for so any insight there would be helpful."

The first thing you need to ask yourself (and only YOU can provide the answer) is how important is it to you that the styling of your dryer matches the styling of your washing machine? Because dryers are uncomplicated, you can save a lot of money getting an inexpensive dryer that does the job rather than an expensive one the chief selling point of which is that it looks like the washing machine.

If styling is not a big deal to you, see my October 26 posting in this thread: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg1022261727885.html?76

As for washing machines, you will get a lot of advice on this forum, mostly helpful. On-board water heaters in washing machines are a feature to seek out, as you will be told.

My two cents for consideration is that there is real value for high spin speeds, which extract a lot of water from your clothing and thus reduce the time and temperature required in the dryer. But when you spin clothes at high speed, threads from the clothing get sucked through the same holes that the water exits, damaging the fabric. Miele came up with a way to minimize the suck-through problem, and called it a "honeycomb drum." It is not a gimmick. Samsung copied the feature for washing machines selling at a much lower price point, and called its version a "diamond drum." For us, when we purchased our most recent washing machine, Samsung's diamond drum was a tie-breaker and that is what we bought.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:06PM
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Well all I can say is I checked all sorts of Top Loaders, read hundreds of reviews, Consumer reports, repair sites and so forth and I came up with the LG as my choice.
It appeared to me to have all the good attributes of a Front Loader without the draw backs.
We don't get it until Friday, so cant even really comment on it from personal use yet.
If a Top Loader fits better with what you need then I would stick with a top loader, there is no real advantage for a front loader.

From what I have seen many of them seem to have more problems than top loaders do "in general".

I have seen very few complaints about this model of LG washer, in fact out of over 250 reviews I have read I have only seen like maybe 6-10 at most and most of those were actually dingalings that complained about an HE machine not putting out HOT water into the tub.

The LG like most HE machines be they FL or TL has an internal heater that heats the water after it is in the tub.
supposedly 122 degrees for HOT and up to 158 degrees for the "Extra Hot" Sanitize cycle.
It is just warm going into the tub.

So "real" complaints are very few and far between and this model has been out over a year so that is about long enough to start seeing lots of bad reviews starting to pile up IF it was a dud machine.
That is a good sign anyway.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:30PM
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@cmm6797, FL and TL HE machines wash the items differently. I would do your homework on each before you decide.

High-efficiency top-loading washers
These use a variety of methods to lift and tumble the laundry.

Front-loading washers
They clean clothes by lifting them to the top of the tub and dropping them back into the water.

The best front-loaders clean better and more efficiently than the best high-efficiency top-loaders, without necessarily costing more.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:01AM
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I think this is a good and comprehensive thread on this Washer from right here on GW.
Has several owners of the machine discussing it for a period of 10 months.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Web LG link

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:52AM
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The pedestals aren't needed but they do make unloading the washer easy. my new LG FL on its pedestal is actually easier to unload than the TL it replaced since i don't have to reach down inside the tub and its door it at chest level, thanks to the pedestal. The pedestal also usually has some sort of storage drawer, which has some usefulness although i wouldn't store powder detergent in it. Are they worth the extra cost? I'm still trying to determine that in my case.

As far as difference between FLs and TLs the main one that I can think of is that FLs use less water during the initial wash cycle so the detergent is more concentrated. HE TLs require water to move the clothing around so they use more water upfront which dilutes the detergent. TLs also still have balance issues at times, the HE versions try to rebalance by wetting the clothes again so it can move them around, with a decent amount of success. FLs depending on your wash habits might require a bit more maintenance to keep them clean. If you wash always in cold and never use bleach make sure you use the tub clean cycle once a month with either bleach or a machine cleaner. If you wash in hot and / or use bleach you can probably slack off a bit.

When you do your research make sure you're reading information about current models. The web likes to hang on to old out of date information so its easy to read something you think it current but its really a horror story from 15 years ago. Also look at the website below it lists the washers by their CEE ratings which is a composite score of water usage and energy usage. Currently a CEE Tier 3 is the highest rating.

Here is a link that might be useful: CEE Ratings

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:40PM
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According to that CEE rating our Top Loader we just bought has a Tier 3 rating.

The HE TL that uses a bit more water also uses a tiny bit more detergent so the percentages are basically the same not diluted.
There is very little if any difference in the cleaning power of todays HE TL Vs FL.
In fact I think some of the TL like the LG probably do a better job by forcefully pushing the water through the cloths as opposed to just lifting them up and plopping them down over and over.

I actually prefer the Energy Star site, seems a bit more comprehensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Energy Star

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:15AM
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"In fact I think some of the TL like the LG probably do a better job ..."

LOL ...

Wow ... Nunyabiz1 the engineer at work again.

How about actual information and not just what you think. Who the heck are you and what do you know?? You've never even owned any of these machines.

I know, I know ... hundreds of reviews can't be wrong.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:44AM
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Thanks for all of the comments. It was difficult to find any overwhelming positive reviews online so I decided to go back to the local appliance store, where I trust their opinion and where I can turn for service help if need be. They recommended the Whirlpool Duet and promised me there wouldn't be any mildew problems if we left the washer door ajar slightly. Two friends also have the Whirlpool Duet and are very happy with them so that's what we'll try.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 3:25PM
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Just common sense is all.
Sounds to me like forcing water through the clothes should work better than simply picking it up and letting it drop a foot over and over.

But I forgot, you know everything and trust nothing said by anyone but you.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 3:32PM
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I find it unforunate that Nunyabiz does not live up to his or her name and take his or her opinions somewhere deserving of their importance. CR, perhaps. Clearly we are not worthy. There have been many lively discussions in this forum in the past but we don't need any insults and condescending rants - especially from someone who doesn't even own the type of washer being discussed.

I vote for the Whirpool Duet, also. I have the slightly smaller Duet Sport set, 5 years old, with a heater and have been very happy. Don't use too much detergent, do leave the door open and you will be fine.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 5:28PM
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@cmm6797, I believe that is the #1 selling FL. Are you getting the newest 5.0 cu ft one? Please come back and update us when you get it.

Yes. Leave your door open/ajar after use. I also pop the detergent tray out (or leave it open). You need air to circulate.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 5:48PM
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I have a LG HE TL, and I came from a first generation HE3T set. My current washer uses ALOT more water than a FL, and I can even add more if I want too. If I choose the bedding/bulky cycle, it uses as much water as a old fashion conventional washer. I thing the Whirlpool/maytags HE TL are more stingy on water, from what I have seen in Video, but since i havent personally used one I cant say for sure. I am happy with my washer, but to be honest when it comes time for a new one, I will replace it with another FL for various reasons, non of which are bad, I just think FL are better, and I have owned both

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 1:56PM
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Can NOT endorse Whirlpool or Maytag. (also made by Whirlpool.) they are a far cry from what they used to be. don't waste your time or money. you will be extremely disappointed in customer service. almost non existent.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 3:28PM
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