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Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Posted by borngrace (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 5, 08 at 13:57

When we redid our last house I switched from top loader to front loader. In this house I now have an old top loader.

We are doing an addition that includes a laundry redo.

The front loader I had was 2003(ish)
--I didn't like not being able to soak items with Oxyclean.
--I didn't like not being able to add all the random items I found after the cycle started because it locked.
--I didn't like that my clothes developed a musty smell that seems permanent - at least in towels.
-- always seemed to be water in the drum sloshing.

I liked that the clothes were so dry coming out of the spin cycle that dry time was very quick.
I liked how they could fit in spaces.

It would make the room more workable to have FL - but I don't want to be unhappy again.

The room is roughly 6 x 8 with a door one of the short sides. It also has a nook of 4 x 2 on a long side - which they have drawn a counter with a sink in which I hadn't planned on but now I think I should keep.

I want to be able to fold.
I want to have room for my ironing board and drying racks.
plus storage space/shelving
I want a place to hang up clothes.
and a place to store laundry baskets.

I don't know if all that will fit in this room anyway.
Could I get advice please and pictures of similar sized rooms so I can feel it more?

Thank you


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I think you need to do what works for you.

My wife and I have had front loaders since the middle nineties and wouldn't want to go back to a top loader.

I do know at least one front loader I have seen has a setting that you can put oxygen bleach in (oyclean?)

The Whirlpool Duet we just bought does let you add clothes in it for the first ten minutes of the cycle.

We leave the washer door unlatched so that mold doesn't grow in it when it isn't in use so we don't get must.

If it were me, I'd go with the Maytag Epic or the Whirlpool Duets and stack them -- then you'll have all your laundry in a 3 foot square space, but you must do what is right for you. You could also put frontloaders and dryers under a counter so you have room to fold.

I hope you find a good unambiguous solution that works for you!

Nate


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Can you stack the whirlpool duets even though they don't say "stackable" in the description?


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

As has been pointed out several times, the payback on water savings for a FL are so far in the future, the washer probably won't still be working by then (what with virtually all machines not built to last more than 8-10 years).

We got the F&P TL W/D, and like them a lot. I love being able to throw the clothes in and let the machine set the water level, since we do a lot of half-loads. I've noticed a reduction in our water usage since replacing the old Kenmore with the F&P - but let's face it, even with the high water rates in the SF Bay Area, we're still only talking a few dollars difference overall on a monthly basis.

And like you, I'm always forgetting something and need to run in and add it to the wash!

Speed Queen is also very well liked as a TL, on this forum. There is one quirk about the F&P that I don't know if they've fixed on newer models (I have the GWL11) - the top is curved. So when I take clothes out of the dryer and start stacking them on top of the washer, too many and they start sliding off! It's the one annoying thing about the design I don't like, LOL.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Whirlpools are stackable. There is also the option of the HE TL machines on the market... I don't know a lot about those, but they are there and maybe worth your time to look at.

I have Bosch, not stackable. I can open them (as long as the water temperature is NOT above a certain point) to add those "found" items. It does have a soak cycle, basically it fills and then tumbles and stops and tumbles and stops for the whole time. If you wipe off the ggaket, and leave the door cracked open and the detergent door open the residusl water dries out and then you don't get the musty smell (at least I haven't so far!)


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

The payback in water savings is not only water, but water and sewer. When I lived in New England, I paid about $20 per 1000 gallons of water for water and sewer. In the 10 years I lived there, I more than paid for my top loader in savings in water alone. So I would say it depends on where you live, and what your personal preference is.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

never had a front loader, but wouldn't want to have to leave the door open to air out because I have cats that go every where. Personally, I never understood how the front loaders hold any clothes, they look so small inside, even the double loaders at the laundrymat seem small. we have always had top loaders.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I have a well and septic

I also have 4 kids and am always either doing laundry or avoiding doing laundry and then forced to do marathons of laundry all at once -- well, sometime I just go buy new underwear instead :-)

I'm just not sure how everything will fit in the room without going to front loader (and having a counter on top) or stackable and shelving to side?

Anyone else have this size room? How is it configured? Pictures??


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

The members of this forum are generally more interested in the machines and their function than the arrangement and redecorating of the actual laundry room. Many of us (like me)don't even have laundry rooms! You will never get any agreement on top vs front loaders here. That decision you must make for yourself after you have done your research. Both are OK when used correctly. Many of the problems are caused by users who don't read the manual and won't adjust their laundry habits. I have had a FL set for over a year now and would never go back to the "old" way.

You might get more remodeling help on one of the other forums. There are some serious remodelers on those forums.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

It is not a mistake to get a top loader if that is what you like. Get what you want and what works best for you. I wouldn't let the room design dictate what kind of machine you get if ultimately you may be unhappy with it. I would say decide what you want and then design around that.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I have the GE Harmony which is an HE top-loader. It doesn't have a traditional agitator so there's lots of room in the washer. I had some limited experience with a FL and I prefer a TL. Personally, I would pick my washer and dryer and design the room around that. Having everything you want in the room won't seem so great if you don't like your machines. I didn't get the counter space I wanted because I went with a TL but I love my washer.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I also have an HE TLer, the Whirlpool Cabrio HE. It holds a lot more than the Bosch FLer I had for a short while, and rinses much better (without having to use a large number of rinses so my loads end up taking over 1 1/2 hours to wash). Cycles are about 45 minutes, on average. And you don't have to worry if you will have vibration issues, your laundry room does sound like it will be on on of the main floors. Mine does have a soak cycle, but for stuff I want to soak in oxyclean I usually just soak it in my laundry sink (which is right next to my washer) and then toss it in the washer. That way I can be doing other loads of laundry while the stained items soak. For the ground in mud my son sometimes gets an his pants I let them soak for six hours. He never tell me about the mud, just throws them in the hamper so I find it on laundry day.
I can't really picture what the setup for your laundry room will be like, I'm not sure how the nook fits in on the one wall. My laundry room is 5 1/2' by 8' with the utility sink next to the washer and dryer and there is still room on that wall for a small set of shelves. Maybe you could use the nook for the ironing board and put the sink next to the washer and dryer? Or you could hang a folding board on the door, or on the wall next to the washer and dryer (mine are huge and the take up less than 5' across the long wall). Maybe you can post a picture of the drawing?


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I measured my laundry room but couldn't get any decent pics. It is the same size, 6X8. I hadn't realized it was that big! Anyway, mine seems to be opposite yours, I have the door at the end of one long wall. On the long wall with no door I have the washer and dryer and a small, one cabinet sink. We also have 2 cupboards on the wall above the W/D units. They hold more than enough. On the short wall opposite the door, I have 3 wire shelves on the wall with a hanging bar on the last one. They are about 30" long. Right next to the door I have a rack on the wall for hanging mops, dusters, etc. Baskets nest in a stack in front of the dryer. The trick with a laundry room this size is to look for unused space and get creative. I believe you can buy an ironing board that fits into a cabinet on the wall. It a room that size though, I don't know how comfortable you will be trying to iron. It may be a little cramped. Also, you may want to install a pocket door if that's possible. I wish I had because in a room that size the door takes up a lot of room.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I have a small laundry room also. It is a single room, 9x6, with a door in the middle of one long side. You enter and to your left is a 3x6 foot pantry area and to your right is a 3x6 foot laundry area. I have a TL now but plan to get a front loader. I will have a 6' span of counter over the w/d and 3 6' long shelves over the top. The shelves hold all my cleaning supplies. On the back wall, between the laundry and pantry areas, I will have a fold down bar for hanging clothes, and a wall rack to hang the ironing board. Our iron is only used a few times a year so I didn't need a big space for it.

I think your space is do-able for what you want if you use your vertical space well - lots of shelves and hooks.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I appreciate everyone's suggestions. I have heard so much about FL (and haven't bought a new machine in 5 years) that I wasn't sure what the options really are - could you still get a top loader/have the musty smell issues been solved etc. I also don't know what an HE is and am off to figure that one out.

For me a priority is how the room functions because (so much of my daily life does not fuction well in the house as it is currently)I am not so concerned with a lot of bells and whistles on a washing machine. I want it to work well and be reliable but I don't need a lot of speciality features/cycles etc.

So . . . I think I be happy with either a FL or a TL in the space. Our original plan was just to keep our old machines until they die and then replace them. But if the room functions better with a TL configuration then I need to decide that now.

This is not a new build so the walls are staying where they are and I have to work around the odd angles. The door could be a pocket or it could become outward opening (which is what we have now) Current washer and dryer are in same space but have door right up against them in a closet that is right behind my dining table (and so I can't get into without moving the table blah blah blah. Plus it also functions as my only closet at that end of the house/pantry etc - overstuffed and things falling out all over me everytime try to do wash.

laundry room

Thank you for describing your rooms to me -- it does really help me decide how to make the everyting work together.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

HE means High Efficiency. It uses less water and energy to run. An HE TL will still use more water than an FL but less than a traditional TL. I have the Harmony and I do leave the lid up to let the inside dry. It not a big deal since it's a TL. I always thought that leaving a FL door open seemed like a pain considering where the door is located. The nook in the picture is great, what an awesome use of space!


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Wow! I love your laundry room!
OK, if that was my laundry room (I wish!) I would plant my ironing board right in front of the window! I love to look out the window while I iron. The natural light is also good for seeing what you are doing when you are doing detail work. I would also like the sink moved to one side or the other if it was my room, to give a larger usable space to fold laundry. Are you going to put cabinets on the wall over the washer and dryer or will that not work? I would also add some hook on the walls beside the washer and dryer to store cleaning supplies (mop, broom, dust pan, those sort of things).

As for the HE TLers, here is a link to what I have. They use less water than a basic TLer, and can wash larger loads since the agitator is gone. Mine uses a wash plate. I got the model with the glass lid and I still watch it wash amazed that the little plate can move the laundry so efficiently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whirlpool Cabrio HE


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Hi borngrace,

How are you? Maybe I can help a little? :)

#1:
You can place clothes in the machine after you start the machine. (Hit PAUSE, and wait a few moments) Although, the longer you wait, the longer the machine may take to unlock.

You have to realize that they do this for a reason. Front Load machines wash differently than Top Load machines, and use MUCH less water. So, because of that, the manufacturer's want to make sure that your clothes get as clean as possible during each cycle. So, if you wait 10-15 minutes to place another article of clothing inside the machine it probably won't come out as clean, because you placed it inside the machine too late.

But, it can be done.

#2:
You can use Oxiclean. (Nowadays) The new Maytag Epic & Whirlpool Duet models allow for this. They have a specific cycle for Oxi Wash.

You probably could have used OxiClean before....Just by adding it before the wash started. I have done this on occasion.

#3:
The "sloshing water" that you were hearing was most likely the outer tub making the noise. Some front load machines had/have a saline solution inside the outer tub, for balancing during the spin cycles. It's unlikely it was actually residual water. I'm not saying it's impossible for water to have been "in" the tub, just unlikely.

#4:
The musty smell....Yeah, it was a complaint, and an issue. Sometimes still is. But, leaving the door open a little while after each wash, can & will certainly fix this problem. Something I do every time I'm done washing a load. Or, use the "Clean Washer" cycle. Simply add a little bleach, and let the machine run it's course. Funny, I have never even had to use this cycle! I have not run into this issue, myself. Even after 3 years.

Personally, I will never go back to Top Load machines. I have been selling & repairing appliances for over 20 years, and FL's are simply the only way to go, if you ask me. Top Load machines are just fine, and they do work well. BUT, I have a well & a septic system, and I certainly love the fact that I'm only using 8-17 gallons of water, instead of 50 gallons (PER LOAD in a top load machine) That's a LOT of water! Plus Front Loading Washers simply clean better, no lint, clothes last longer (no agitator), 65% less water, quiet, 68% less energy..... etc etc

Take care!
Chris


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Hi borngrace!

I would also recommend a high-efficiency TL as ebear1271 and Jcrowley99 did if what you are seriously considering is TL configuration. Another HE TL that you may want to consider is the Maytag Bravos. It is very similar to the Cabrio. My grandmother has the Bravos and absolutely loves it! This model also has an impeller/wash plate just like the Cabrio. Fisher and Paykel models are also worth a look as well.

However, if you are desiring a conventional TL model, a lot of people here seem to swear by Speed Queens. I do not think that there are many bells and whistles (which you seem to indicate you don't need) and I hear they are built like tanks, although I have no experience with one. Perhaps owners would like to chime in on their experiences

As for FL models, I've heard many great things about the Whirlpool Duets, Bosch Nexxt, Samsung FL's with VRT technology, the Speed Queen FL (seems as if that is also built like a tank), Miele, FL models, the Kenmore HE2t and now the Kenmore HE5t.

If you are looking for a simpler FL model, I would definitely look at Frigidaire FL models. There's the Affinity model and the model that is a step down from that ( forget the model #) and I've heard mostly wonderful reviews on both models.

Just my 2 cents. Hope this info. helps! Good luck!! :o)

Kevin


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Hi ctbosox,

Actually, front loaders have a much larger capacity, even though they may appear smaller inside. It's an optical illusion.

"Most" standard top load machines have only 3.2 cu ft capacity, while most front loaders start at 3.3, and go up to 4.0 cu ft.

There is no agitator inside a front loader. The agitator takes up a lot of space in a top loader. Also the reason why laundromats have mostly front load machines. Because of the large capacities they can handle. And the massive abuse that customers give them.

In a 3.5 - 3.8 cu ft capacity front load machine, you can actually wash a king-size comforter. (and your sheets too). I would never advise that in a top load machine. Too much strain on the motor, the agitator & the transmission.

Chris


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

It's not a mistake in my opinion to get a TOP LOADER. I just bought a brand new washer, and it's a top loader...again. I still say it cleans better than a front loader, because of the large amount of water in it versus a front loader's water capacity.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Chris, depends on your TLer. I have a Cabrio HE, I think it is 4.2 cu ft. I did have a Bosch FLer (3.8 cu ft) for a couple weeks and the Cabrio HE holds a lot more than the Bosch did. It rinses better too. As someone who has spent years struggling with skin allergies, I can tell if detergent is being fully rinsed. My old Kenmore did an adequate job with a double rinse, the Bosch did an adequate job with three to four rinses, the Cabrio HE does a good job with a single rinse. I tried washing my king size comforter in the Bosch, I could barely fit it in the machine, I don't think it did a good job washing it, and I had to rinse it 5 times to get it properly rinsed after using only 1 TBSP of concentrated detergent. It could not spin it properly either. The Cabrio handles it like a dream, and has no trouble balancing to spin.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I appreciate everyone's ideas. I have gone and looked up info on all the suggested models and then I waffle back and forth. I think I would like to get a FL for the water usage, for the best use of space, for the reduced dry time etc. But I get the feeling from reading all these posts that a lot of the things that I had a problem with last time have not been resolved and they are still more trouble prone than a TL -- I want a good machine that works and that I don't have to think about.

So I think I will look at the HE top loaders in person and figure out which one works best for us.

I will add cabinets above the W/D for storage, move the sink to one side of the nook for more counter space and maybe get a fold down/up table mounted to the wall to use for folding/ironing etc. I luckily have a broom closet that I can store cleaning supplies in and all the other misc. junk in our current room should fine proper homes once we do the addition.

thanks again


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I've now done about my 10th load in my new HE GE Harmony Set...and so far I like it. Its very quiet, certainly compared to my old top loader - just hear the water going in and out and don't know if things are cleaner, but they definitely are clean. Another very important thing is that even when I've done towels or sheets -- the machine doesn't 'walk' at all -- a must have for me. Another reason I didn't select a front loader -- besides the musty smell (I don't leave the lid up and my washer drys completely), it seems that most of the FLs do alot of moving. Didn't study your new laundry room in detail....but one thing to take into account if you have cabinets above your machine and you decide on a top loader......the Cabrio has a very large (high) door....I was thinking of that set first, but wouldn't have been able to open the lid very far! Lastly I purchased my set from Lowes just in case I didn't like my choice and they are supposed to have the best return policy. So far haven't had to use it. Good luck in your decision and thanks to all on this board for helping me with mine!


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

RE: Another very important thing is that even when I've done towels or sheets -- the machine doesn't 'walk' at all -- a must have for me.

I am amazed how smooth my Speed Queen AWS51NW TL is during the spin cycle (710 rpm). I can barely feel any movement when I touch the cabinet. SQ TLers have an Automatic Balancing System (ABS).


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I think someone mentioned before the problem with opening the lid on the Cabrio with overhead cabinets. I have standard size cabinets over my washer and dryer (they are the same cabinets mounted over my counters in my kitchen) and I have no trouble fully opening the lid on my Cabrio. I have the glass lid model, but the one with the regular lid did not look any different.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I've had both top load HE (Cabrio) and Front Load Maytag Neptunes (two different models). We liked the size of the Cabrio, and it's easier to load, but miss the Sanitary cycle, and are having a new set of Duets with Steam delivered Monday. We've also had water come out from under the machine a few times on the Cabrio after a load of towels or the "Clean Washer" cycle.

If OxiClean's something you like, consider the Maytag EPIC 9800 set, which is built on the reliable Whirlpool Duet platform and has a special OxiClean soak cycle. These can be stacked.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I'm not understanding the need or allure of a specific cycle and dispenser for using OxiClean or other such oxygen-based booster. I've been using such products for several years in my F&P (and other) toploaders by simply tossing it in at the start with detergent, and don't seem to be having any serious problems occurring.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

dadoes -- basically just soaking in the machine prior to washing is what I meant originally about using oxyclean. I just want to be able to fill the machine with water and a high dose of oxy and just let it sit sometimes -- and I prefer to do it in the washing machine rather than the mop sink.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

We bought the Fisher&Paykel .These are both top load for the washer and dryer. Uses only the water needed and the clothes are never wrinkled out of the dryer, even when you forget to get them out. I will never go back to a front loader or a Maytag. So If you haven't checked these out please do. They are the best on the market.
Former Maytag washer and dryer owner for 29yrs.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

borngrace

It is not a mistake to get a top loader if that is what you want.
I have a Cabrio with agitator and I like it.

I would think that you can soak in any top loader by filling the tub and pausing the wash cycle.

A word of caution: the Cabrio's are big machine's.

Good Luck with your layout and whatever machine you choose. To me as long as it cleans - that's what is important.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

It is possible to soak things in oxiclean in a FL. Many FLs have either real soak cycles (for example the two-hour soak of the Bosch Nexxt) or a pre-soak option (like the Duet and its siblings.
I have used the soak cycle on my Bosch with great success. I have gotten stains out of a white baby comforter that has been through the washer and dryer (both FL and TL) several times. I thought those stains were permanently set in, but some direct pretreatment with oxiclean followed by the soak cycle with oxiclean and then a hot wash did wonders. The comforter is white and clean again.

Personally, I'd always go with a FL over a TL, but I guess the HE TLs are a good compromise. They use less water than a traditional TL and should be gentler on clothes due to the lack of an agitator.

I have read a lot of comments about the poor rinsing performance or wrinkling of clothes in a FL, but I can't confirm either one. The only detergent I have found to result in poor rinsing is the liquid Tide HE. No problems with the Sears powder or liquid HE Woolite. The clothes are somewhat wrinkled when they come out of the washer, but I shake them out before throwing them in the dryer. They are not wrinkled anymore when they come out of the dryer. There is no need to iron even shirts and blouses when I hang them up as soon as they are done drying.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Of course, you should get what you will be happy with, so no decision is wrong for you.

I have a Kenmore FL washer and am buying a regular Whirlpool dryer. I've read on Consumer Reports for the most part, a dryer is a dryer and there aren't huge differences, except for sensors. There's no Energy Star rating for dryers, since they all use the same amount of energy. I'm not hanging out by the washing machine, so I don't care if they don't match.

I like how dry the clothes come out of my FL. I can dry them in half the time compared to my old washer! I like how it saves water. It seems that you would save energy, because of less drying (if you use a dryer and not a line), and less hot water to heat if you wash with hot or warm water. If you line dry anything, they dry fast too. The washer looks sharp too, with that neat door!

I got the FL because I couldn't stand the musty smell my top loader gave the clothes- yes, the top loader! It was old (I mean OLD!) but all the clothes smelled gross after a while and I couldn't stand it! No amount of bleach, peroxide, you name it could ever get the musty smell out. I haven't had any problems with the FL and musty smell, and I leave the door open between washes. Sometimes the towels are still a little musty, but I wonder if it's just that they have soap still in them.

Soap- AVOID TIDE! Avoid it like the plague if you use a FL. It totally suds up and even the techs who came out to work on my FL said Tide is notorious for lots of suds (I had a leaking problem at first but it's fixed and is fine now)

My cat doesn't bother with the washer or go inside.

If you do a FL, it would be cool to have a counter over the machines. You could also buy a skinny rolling rack to put on the sides of the machines for more storage next to the washer, or maybe situate the machines off to one side so you could put one of those rolling hampers under the counter, like the ones that have the compartments for sorting- they're really useful! Also, a fold down ironing board is great if you have a good place for it. They're real space savers. Cabinets over the machines is a good idea too.

Regarding missing clothes when you do laundry, that used to get to me until I realized I'm going to do laundry in the very near future, so I could just wait until the next time, unless it was a uniform or something you need in a hurry. Just remember when you find that pair of undies after you've started the washer, it's not the last time you'll do laundry! (that's when that hamper comes in handy) Actually, I can add things to my FL for a little while after I start washing- it's got a button to do that.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

As others have stated go with what works for you. Looks like you can do either. We stayed with a top load (F&P IWL16) due in part to space constraints. Great little machine, ours has the agitator so is 3.7 cu. ft. capacity but the new models (Aquasmart) do not.

BTW Whirlpool has a TL with a 4.5 cu. ft. capacity.

Only negative is we have overhead cabinets and washer lid doesn't clear them.(knew this would be the case before we purchased.) It created some access issues, but solved the problem with a rolling cart between washer and dryer.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I too have the Cabrio w/o agitator. My laundry room is small and I like to fold my clothes on top of the washer and dryer. If they were FL's on pedestals I couldn't do that. If they were w/o pedestals they would be too low down for me. I have a lousy back and it is easier to take the clothes out of a top loading washer (one hand on the washer, one hand grabbing the stuff) than it would be to lean forward and pull things out. I can hit the pause button and unlock the top at any time to add an item or a product. Plus the door would open the wrong way in my particular laundry room. From what I've read, the Cabrio w/o agitator is the largest capacity, home use washer including front loaders. It is "Energy Star" rated. It uses only 10% more water than a front loader. If that 10% difference allows me to save my back and fold my clothes in the laundry room, I'm all for it. I've had it for over a year and am very pleased. Get the washer that works best for YOU.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I am personally taking a break from FLs. My first one was the famous Neptune 3000 and I was happy with it up until it started breaking and smelling - that was within 3 years. My second washer was a LG Tromm with heater and it worked better than the Neptune and it looked better too...until I Sears replaced the pump, the motor and the control board (twice!) and the top (started rusting from beneath. Lucky me I had the 5 yr extended warranty and Sears "bought it back" for $850.00 Canadian. They pro rated the value based on a life expectancy of 10 years for the LG model. The sad part was that I had to spend the $850.00 to buy another washer from Sears. I bought a Kenmore TL 3.0 Oasis in order to take advantage of the $850.00 credit but the machine is in its box in my garage and is listed for sale. I instead drove to the USA and bought a Speed Queen TL from the friendly folks at Rowlands Appliance (Watertown, NY). I made this seemingly backward move simply because the accumulated frustration of dealing with up Service and warranty departments (probably 30 calls over the last 10 years), the ever bad timing of being without a washer and the realistic fear that one day the warranty would be out and I would have to pay for a control board out of my pocket.

Granted, I dearly miss the sanitary cycle, the low water usage, the near dry laundry after the last spin and the look of the LG. If I could have afforded the big Miele, I'd have bought it on the spot.

For now, the TL Speed Queen (model AWS51NW) is indeed welcome in my laundry room as I enjoy the reasonable belief that it will break down relatively less often, will likely be cheap to repair and is easier on my bad back to unload.

I intend on keeping the Speed Queen until an affordable and reliable FL is produced or until I can afford the large Miele machine. Hindsight being 20/20, I likely would have saved and continue to save money had I bought a Miele insted of the neptune 3000. Oh Well... Good luck but I would suggest you consider reliability fairly high on your must have list. You need a broken washer as much as a fish needs a bicycle. Cheers!


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I am personally taking a break from FLs. My first one was the famous Neptune 3000 and I was happy with it up until it started breaking and smelling - that was within 3 years. My second washer was a LG Tromm with heater and it worked better than the Neptune and it looked better too...until Sears (trying to fix the LE Code problem)replaced the pump, the motor and the control board (twice!) and the top (started rusting from beneath). Lucky me I had the 5 yr extended warranty and Sears "bought it back" for $850.00 Canadian. They basically pro rated the value based on a life expectancy of 10 years for the LG model. The sad part was that I had to spend the $850.00 to buy another washer from Sears. I bought a Kenmore TL 3.0 Oasis in order to take advantage of the $850.00 credit but the machine is in its box in my garage and is listed for sale. I instead drove to the USA and bought a Speed Queen TL from the friendly folks at Rowlands Appliance (Watertown, NY). I made this seemingly backward move because of the accumulated frustration of dealing with Service and warranty departments (probably 30 calls over the last 10 years), the ever bad timing of being without a washer and the realistic fear that one day the warranty would be out and I would have to pay for a control board out of my shallow pocket.
Granted, I dearly miss the sanitary cycle, the low water usage, the near dry laundry after the last spin and the look of the LG. If I could have afforded the big Miele, I'd have bought it on the spot.

For now, the TL Speed Queen (model AWS51NW) is indeed welcome in my laundry room as I enjoy the reasonable belief that it will break down relatively less often, will likely be cheap to repair and is easier on my bad back to unload.

I intend on keeping the Speed Queen until an affordable and reliable FL is produced or until I can afford the large Miele machine. Hindsight being 20/20, I likely would have saved and continue to save money had I bought a Miele insted of the neptune 3000. Oh Well... Good luck but I would suggest you consider reliability fairly high on your must have list. You need a broken washer as much as a fish needs a bicycle. Cheers!


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Electrolux has introduced the Water Aid Top Load Washer. Unfortunately, I believe it is only available in Australia today, but it demonstrates another direction that TL washers are heading in making energy efficient strides.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

fahrenheit 451, nice machine, interesting concept and decent spin speed. If it's affordable (looks like it should be) and reliable, Electrolux should do very well with this. Thanks for sharing


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

It's interesting that Electrolux advertising puts so much emphasis on saving water, and not so much emphasis on saving energy. Especially since they really don't save all that much water. I think that the Fisher & Paykel Aquasmart, and the Whirlpool Cabrio actually do better.

Also, the main element in their system is a wash water recirculating system that pumps the wash water from the wash tub sump up onto the clothes in the inner wash tub. This actually isn't new. In fact, I think pretty much all HE rated top loaders have this same kind of system.

What is new however, is the fact that the inner wash tub in this washer seems only to have drain holes at the bottom and at the top. This is obviously what lets them fill the inner tub up faster than it can drain out. This is a system that should work well, but only for saving water, because without drain holes in the sidewall of the inner wash tub, the rinse water isn't going to spin out properly during the spin cycle. This means that the wash cycle will finish with more residual rinse water in the clothes, and more energy will be required in the dryer to remove it, which explains why Electrolux isn't making claims about energy benefits.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

washer_man,

If you look in the gallery, you will see a picture of the drum. It also looks that this system might be easier on your clothes. Although we were happy with our F&P washer, the lint difference with our new FL is substantially less. Until, TP's resolve that issue we will stay with a FL.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Front Loaders are the gold standard as far as being easier on your clothes and not generating lint. I think the new HE top loaders are definitely quite a bit better in this regard than the old "egg beater" agitator top loaders, but I think a good front loader will always do better. However, there is a subtle difference between generating lint, and removing lint, and the irony here is that even though an old style top loader will generate more lint than a front loader, it will also be better at removing this lint once it has been generated because of the deep fill rinses that these old style washers use.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Washer man you are absolutely right. I am now back with a TL and the lint filter on my dryer can hardly keep up. That is a bit scary because lint equals fabric wear and at this rate, I will be replacing clothes like nobody's business. That's something I had not well considered in my decision to switch to a TL.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

washer_man,

There are certain aspects of a TL that we miss: Easily spray spot remover onto a stain over the washing tub, and simply drop it in; ease of loading and gauging the load; the fact that our son crammed the entire tub to the top with all his clothes (whites, colored, etc.) and upon our arriving home and hearing a gawd awful racket only to be greeted by a son in complete denial that he overloaded the washer, as we stood in a puddle of water from the washer overflowing to reduce the load into the nearby laundry sinkhe was caught doing this twice (who knows how often he did it before). However, much to F&P's credit, and only two slight outward dents on the front fascia of the washer from the drum trying desperately to maintain control from my son's antics, the washer worked like an absolute super champ for eleven years with no service calls.

Now that we are empty nesters (hallelujah) we wanted something different as my wife has too many clothes, and our local cleaners love to collect the bill each time we show-up.

I believe that a growing family will probably be much happier with a TL just for the sake of time, and the reality that you children are racing through different clothing sizes as they are money.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

The top loaders that are the biggest offenders by far, for lint generation, are the old style direct drive washers built by Whirlpool. This is because the agitators in these washers have very fast, short strokes that do a great job of getting dirt out, but they can be tough on fabrics. That's why with these washers you want to avoid the real low end models that have a limited number of wash cycles, because these low end models only have a single agitation speed, whereas the higher end models have at least two, full speed, and a slower speed that's not as tough on clothes.

Also, it's important to differentiate between these old style washers, and the new style HE top loaders. The new HE top load washers all have variable speed electronic motors that drive the agitator or impeller much more slowly, through a much longer stroke. This is much, much easier on clothes, while at the same time still giving excellent cleaning performance.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Of course it is not a mistake to get a top loader. Though, don't take my word for it - just follow the link. Click on 'Laundry' and 'washing machines'. Don't be turned off by the fact that it is an Australian (business) website. Much of what is discussed is relevant in the US and Canada. There is a lot to read and the tone is sometimes subjective, largely because the author feels passionate about some of the issues that he raises. Most importantly, his assessments are on the money and raise some interesting questions regarding mandates on washer efficiency standards and the use of public funds to direct consumer spending towards certain (government approved) products.

Cheers

Turbo

Here is a link that might be useful: Lanfax Laboratories


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

What all this points to is the importance of avoiding getting trapped into focusing on only one or two characteristics when making a choice between washers. The reason for this is that when you look at optimizing a sibgle characteristic, it's very rare for this characteristic to be independent of other, perhaps equally important charateristics, and usually you can't improve one without making the others worse.

For instance, water consumption is usually considered important, but if a washer uses too little water, it runs the risk of reducing its ability to rinse out particulate soils, and pet hair. Both characteristics are important, so you don't want to focus too much on one without considering the other.

Another example is washer spin speed. The faster a washer spins, the more water can be extracted, which saves energy, and drying time, but if you extract too much water, and you squeeze the clothes too much during spin, you run the risk of drying in wrinkles before you can transport the wash load to the dryer, where they can tumble while they dry and get the wrinkles all ironed out.

Vibration is the classic trade-off. Front loaders all spin and tumble with the wash tub in the horizontal direction. This is what provides for the very efficient tumble wash action in front loaders, but this also means that offbalances during spin are directed right into the floor. which gives them the best opportunity to shake your house apart with vibration. Top loader wash tubs are aligned so the spin axis is perpendicular to the floor. This means that vibration forces run parallel to the floor, not perpendicular to it, and so there is much less opportunity for your house to get shaken up with vibration.

Then there's the mold and mildew problem. Front loaders are generally sealed much tighter than top loaders, because top loaders have the top of the wash tub completely open underneath the washer lid. This means that top loaders generally don't have the kinds of mold and mildew problems that front loaders have, especially if you typically keep the door on your front loader closed between wash cycles.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Washer_man says:"Front loaders all spin and tumble with the wash tub in the horizontal direction. This is what provides for the very efficient tumble wash action in front loaders...."

Is the tumble wash action really "very efficient" in overall terms? True, horizontal axis washers generate less lint and lint transfer, but that issue is resolved through proper laundry sorting in top loaders. The differences between TL and FL cleaning performance and wear on laundry, when assessed by a CR agency, are usually expressed within a relatively narrow percentile range (at least that is the case here in Australia). Hence, such differences in final outcomes are actually not that significant in real terms. It is also important to acknowledge that front loaders don't out-rate top loaders by virtue of their tumble action either. Here in Australia the overall performance of many different makes of top loaders rate higher than front loaders.

It takes front loaders significantly longer to remove dirt from laundry. Agitator machines usually achieve the same cleaning outcomes in half the time. Front loaders do not offer the same load flexibility and cleaning ability decreases with partial loads as well. The smaller the load the less actual cleaning takes place in a front loader. Front loaders are much less forgiving when it comes to sorting mistakes of colorfast and non-colorfast items and one can't intervene by simply opening the lid and removing the offending bit.

As I see it, the only real efficiency of modern front loaders is related to water consumption and that is only one 'characteristic' of a more involved process. Tweaking water consumption to the lowest levels of feasibility and ramping up spin speeds to compensate for this, is not creating more effective/efficient appliances.

After weighing up many of the pros and cons I can't really see how horizontal axis technology is 'very' efficient. I would only define it as 'efficient' in that it does its job and has proven itself as another effective way to clean clothes. Though, it certainly is not perfect or superior when compared to modern top loaders.

Therefore it is not a mistake to get a top loader ;0)

Cheers

Turbo


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I'm really hesitant to step between the gunfire on frontload vs topload but after reading the last couple posts, a couple things come to mind.

I have no real experience using a frontloader but am considering one to replace my 29 year old toploader if and when the time comes it needs replacement.

Now as far as cleaning efficiency being the same, I'm not sure I'd agree. "Efficiency" would take in a number of criteria and not to get overly longwinded on it suffice to say that the efficiency of the tumble action seems to be better, and certainly a heater to bring up the water temp to help clean whites is a demonstrated advantage and using less electricity and water are undoubtedly advantageous and certainly leans toward saying that many FLs are more efficient than TLs.

I'm a bit hesitant on a frontload when it comes to cleaning pet hair given the probable advantage of the deep rinse, however there's a lot of FL owners who have pets, so it probably is more hype than reality, just as the claim of topload agitator machines being so hard on clothes. Fer cryin out loud, I have clothes I've been washing for over 20 years that are still in serviceable shape and I don't believe a frontloader would make them last longer so that "clothes shredding" contention is dubious to me, and not the case here.

Will I recoup costs on water and electrical savings by buying a FL instead of a TL? I doubt it. But I think that the heater and faster spin speeds would be nice features to have available for certain applications.

Will I buy a front loader? I don't know. The price is a factor. The longer cycle times on a FL are a concern, but not a big one since I don't do that much laundry. After all, I generally wait until the load is dry before putting in another washload anyway so I'm thinking that might not be a real concern. Another factor is the ease of loading and unloading a top loader. My physical problems would require a rather high pedestal for a FL or use a TL. I decided against the TL dryer based on cost and went with a homemade pedestal to raise the dryer for ease of loading and unloading. So, was I a betting man, I'd say the odds are 60/40 in favor of me going with another topload machine (which could include a Fisher & Paykel, Harmony or Cabrio) but I'm intrigued by the possibility of a FL.

So in the end, there's pros and cons to each style. There's radical views on each side with near-hysterical claims that need to be sorted out. Each person and their need is different and contrary to what some claim, both styles will clean my clothes just fine. I need to decide what's the best value for me and give me the features I need most.

There's nothing wrong with getting what you're comfortable with and what you want, as long as you can afford it.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Actually look at the new Cabrio, it's CEE Tier 2 energy compliant. So it uses about 20 gallons of water per use.

I'm entertaining the F&P newest unit and the new WP Cabrio, that's the 6700T , the 6600S is only Tier 1 complaint, Tier 3 being the best... so they have made improvements for the water usage.

My experience is with the FL he3t, for three years. I'm on raised floor and it vibrates alot when running and also have to leave the door cracked. I'm also on septic but no well, and look at water use. The he3t needed to have additional rinse to get close to no soap residue so where's the 10 gallons of use now? 15? i'm not sure, but the new TL HE units are getting there, the two i mentioned above are the only ones i could find in the tier two category. The other TLer's are water pigs in my opinion.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Other HE TL washers you may want to consider that are also Tier 2 energy compliant are the Maytag Bravos MTW6700T and the new Kenmore Oasis HT. There pretty much the same as the Cabrio but may also be worth a look. HTH! :o)


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

I'm giving serious thought to getting a stacked TL unit. The choices are limited; Frid, WP, Sears,MT and GE look to be the same units. My question is the hot water temp. Rumor has it that TL will dumb the Hot down to save energy. When I called WP the answer I got was that if "your hot water heater is set at 120, the water temp will be about 110 in the washer". When I asked what would happen if my water heater were set at 140, I got no answer. Can anyone give me some ideas? I will miss the heater in my Danby but it's on its way out and I'm getting too old for the fl style.


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RE: Is it a mistake to get a top loader?

Personally, it wasn't a mistake for me to buy a toploader; it's been my best washer, by far.

I bought a Maytag Bravos MTW6700 in May. It's an Energy Star top loader with the HE advantage - no agitator, huge capacity (4.6 cu ft), very efficient when it comes to water and electricity.

I've not had any problem at all with mold, mildew, or vibration - problems commonly cited with frontloaders. I do leave the top open after I've put wet laundry into the dryer; it's only shut when clothes are washing.

Because my washer is a top loader, it can go on either side of the dryer with no problem.

ALL my experiences thus far with this washer have been excellent - far beyond good. There haven't been any cons to this point.

It is important to me to be able to soak clothes, and I can do this in this washer with no problem.

The settings are very easy to use. I like it that I can choose water temp, spin speed, everything. It's unbelievably quiet, even when spinning.

I can wash many more clothes or laundry items per load in this washer than in the traditional top loader I had, which had the largest capacity on the market at the time I bought it. I have washed king-size comforters in my washer with no problem. Whereas I used to wash at least one, often two, loads a day, now I'm washing less than half that many loads each week because I can wash so many things at once.

This washer gets my laundry much cleaner than any other washer I've ever owned, and it is gentle, even with the fast spin. When I wash a load of sheets, they do not tangle as they used to do in my old washer w/agitator, and they dry much smoother, too. I haven't had any problem with my clothes wrinkling. I do get them out of the dryer when the chime sounds (it has a LO or HI or OFF setting) and immediately fold or hang them.

Because we're on a septic tank, it's been a big help to use so much less water than my old traditional toploaders used.

I hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Info about Maytag Bravos HE toploading washer


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