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What happened to Staber prices???

Posted by andalee (My Page) on
Tue, May 18, 10 at 19:55

Last I checked (which was a few years ago), Staber machines were somewhere between $500-$700 . . . now their base model is $1299. Am I remembering wrong, or has there been a huge hike in price?

And, are there any Staber owners out there who have had their machines for years, and can tell me how they hold up over time?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

I believe you're remembering wrong. The few times I've looked at Staber, I don't recall them ever being below $1K.


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

Staber doesn't have as many machines out there as some other manufacturers so they don't show up too often here. However, if you google "Staber reviews" or "Staber complaints" or something like that you'll find quite a bit of testimony.


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

Thanks for the reality check dadoes. :o)

I've just been reading at consumer something-or-other, asolo, and it has been a good source of info, both from really unhappy and very happy customers. It's good food for thought . . .


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

FWIW, the smaller volume and lack of heater knocked it out for me in the early going. Also, when contacting them directly about the heater, I got a snotty reply. "We don't need one." They said. I thought an interesting response considering the amount of substantial-guage SS they gloat about in their inner and outer drums -- which was exactly what I was asking them. And I was talking about MY needs, not theirs. I was unimpressed.

However, I have no actual experience with the machine.


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RE: Staber customer service . . .

I haven't yet called the company (we're a ways out on buying a new washer, fwiw), but it sounds to me like they have someone either inexperienced in customer service, a relatively new hire (reading troubleshooting sheets, not knowing much), or a company evangelical . . . which tends to really offend customers who don't align themselves perfectly with his/her deified view of the company.

Customer service is so vital . . . a satisfied (and even exceptionally happy) customer will tell 5-8 people how great a company is; but an unhappy one will tell at *least* eleven (a marketing-guy-friend of mine quoted the study to me). Your CS desk is your front line . . . the face of your company, and the one that you need to make sure is courteous, and literally makes as many callers feel respected, valued, and understood.

I remember a few years ago (well, maybe five or six), when I was researching my last washer purchase (Kenmore HE4T, the dog that it is), there was a poster here who owned a Staber, and did all of his own maintenance. Anyone remember who he was?

In my research today I feel like I'm getting a pretty balanced view--some washers are great, some not so great--which is a good thing. It's powerful motivation to know the exit strategies well if I do decide to go with a Staber. I know it doesn't have the same monster capacity that some front loaders do . . . but with the other advantages (mostly the simplified mechanics and efficiency), I can deal with that.

Otherwise, I think I'll go with a Bosch. They haven't gone downhill have they?


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

asolo: I thought that only happened to me. Glad I wasn't overreacting. They responded to my query about the lack of a heater with the exact same snotty response. So...I fired back with a stern message that I would be the first to buy one of their machines when they learned the four basics of washing: time, temperature, mechanical action, and chemical action...and put a heater in their machine. And I put in a big "HELLO???!!!" since they seemed to think they knew so much.

Well...I got a response from a Staber family member stating that detergents in the US are specifically formulated to wash in temps less than 140 degrees F and that they clearly understood (NOT!) the four prinicples of washing clothes. HA! Idiots!

I think they have a great machine...but it NEEDS a heater. It irritates me that we don't go w/ 220 V in our laundry rooms. Then...if we go back to the four principles and use enough water...anyone, regardless of laundry knowledge, can have sparkling clean clothes in very little time (although a small bit of common sense is still required).

andalee...the poster was Mihi. He had a Staber. Ironically...after a number of years...he developed a mold problem. Once again, it shows that you cannot simply wash in cold water using liquid detergents and fabric softners. No machine will ever be made that can do that and never develop mold over time. Greases, sebum from our bodies, and anything oily will simply cling to the plastic outter tubs in the machines and be food for mold because detergents with cold water simply cannot completely get rid of these compounds. And...waxes in softerner exacerbate the problem. Mihi put the machine out of commission for a while and bought a Fisher Paykel to replace it. I believe he cleaned the machine once all the mold dried up and died and gave it to his daughter. The last I read from him it was still in service at her house. I think he developed a cleaning regimen for the machine.

I have a Bosch 700...and LOVE the machine! Best machine I ever had. Virtually all my clothes are cotton...and I wash almost everything at 150 degrees F and some things at 170 deg F. I am one of those "weirdos" who will never give up HOT water washing...especially since my machine heats the water. I don't use the dryer though...I line dry everything. I LOVE line dried clothes. Here in South Florida it would be a shame for me not to line dry. I have tracked my savings for about a year now...and it amouts to somewhere between $10 and $20 per month on average. Dryers are electricity hogs! Now, if only I could get rid of my air conditioner...my electric bill would be next to nothing! LOL!


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

"....wash in temps less than 140 degrees F ..."

With all that stainless steel used in their inner and outer drums -- "heavy guage" as they're proud to advertise -- acting as a huge heat-sink, I would be interested to know what their actual wash temps during the cycle may be.

Most folks I know keep their water-heaters at about 120F these days. Add 15 lbs. of laundry and the mass of the metal and room-temp and guess what happens to your wash temp. I keep my tank at 130. Without using a heated cycle, my Duet gives a "hot" wash of 100-105F...which is about hot-tub temperature....what I call "warm". It would be quite impossible for the Staber to be any different.

Whatever brand you choose.....get one with a heater.


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

The heating option is why I chose the Kenmore HE4T I currently have . . . but the inflexibility of the cycle options has frustrated me to no end. (If I want the really hot water, the cycle is two hours long . . . which makes washing for seven people take a reeeeeeealllllllllllly lllllllllooooooooooooooooong tiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmme. Sigh.

I've been leaning towards Bosch due to the experiences of folks I know, but the simpler design and top-loading features of the Staber are still strong draws, to the point where I would be willing install an inline water heater to get the water hot enough to get a really good, hot, wash. The fact that people in the US have been indoctrinated to keep their water heaters at 120 (child safety, conservation, yadda yadda) has been really detrimental to our health. Nothing is killed in the wash cycle (mold in towels, bacteria in kitchen rags and underclothing, etc), and buildup is a serious problem.

Fwiw, we don't use fabric softener (liquid or sheets), and stick to Country Save detergent (which has no brightening or other additives and leaves no residue). We've got chemical sensitivities around here, and just couldn't live with buildup in our laundry.

As for your electric bills, srswirl, you might look into some of the new photo-voltaic films to put on your roof. :o) You could run your A/C for a lot less each month, if you couldn't pay for it outright. (I know A/C's are energy hogs, but it would bear looking into. ;o)


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Heaters and buildup . . .

The heating option is why I chose the Kenmore HE4T I currently have . . . but the inflexibility of the cycle options has frustrated me to no end. (If I want the really hot water, the cycle is two hours long . . . which makes washing for seven people take a reeeeeeealllllllllllly lllllllllooooooooooooooooong tiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmme. Sigh.

I've been leaning towards Bosch due to the experiences of folks I know, but the simpler design and top-loading features of the Staber are still strong draws, to the point where I would be willing install an inline water heater to get the water hot enough to get a really good, hot, wash. The fact that people in the US have been indoctrinated to keep their water heaters at 120 (child safety, conservation, yadda yadda) has been really detrimental to our health. Nothing is killed in the wash cycle (mold in towels, bacteria in kitchen rags and underclothing, etc), and buildup is a serious problem.

Fwiw, we don't use fabric softener (liquid or sheets), and stick to Country Save detergent (which has no brightening or other additives and leaves no residue). We've got chemical sensitivities around here, and just couldn't live with buildup in our laundry.

As for your electric bills, srswirl, you might look into some of the new photo-voltaic films to put on your roof. :o) You could run your A/C for a lot less each month, if you couldn't pay for it outright. (I know A/C's are energy hogs, but it would bear looking into. ;o)


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Please forgive the double-post . . .

When you get a server error page--it doesn't mean your message didn't post. Argh . . .


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

Almost all home-install washers sold in the US operate on 110/120v. It's REALLY hard to heat water quickly using that voltage. That's why your dishwasher and these heater-on-board washers have to increase cycle times to give hotter wash temps.

I would be surprised if any in-line heater could accomplish the task for you any more efficiently or more quickly.

And, it isn't the incoming water temp that's the problem. It's the mass of the low-volume fill compared with the mass of the metal in the inner and outer drums and the clothes bleeding the heat away. With a 30-gallon fill in an old top-loader, that heat loss is far less than with a 5-gallon fill in a larger drum as with the HE/FL's. The only way to overcome the heat loss is to re-heat it in the machine with the on-board heater -- which takes more time.


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

andalee...you're right about solar, of course. I had done some relatively detailed research several years back...and, when all was said and done, I'd have had to invest about $20,000 to get the house running on solar and feeding back into the power grid. While I could have probably gotten some tax credits...it would have still taken me over 10 years to break even on the system based on my average electric bill and the expected savings. Not a horrible investment...but I didn't have the $ and would not have been able to recover the investment if I sold the house (without the market having crashed, of course). I think some more advances have been made even since then, so it might be something I need to cost out again. I do wish I could live off grid entirely.


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

You can find inline 6-gallon tank heaters that run on 120V. One model goes up to 155degF. Of course, holding 6 gallons of hot water entails its own energy cost.


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Veering off into solar power . . .

Thanks, suburbanmd, for the tip. Now I have some idea. :o)

srswirl, the extent of my most recent solar research was an article in Mother Earth News about developments over the last five years in pv films. It's fascinating stuff. I also just read about what's possible with a 1kw wind turbine on a 100' pole. (There's a family up in the wilds of Ontario that gets 99% of their power from one of those and pv panels. They even use electricity to do a fair bit of cooking. Impressive.)

We're planning on having a setup that would allow us to live without electricity completely without too much discomfort (we'd have to tote water, of course, but other necessities would be independent of the grid and use as little propane or LG as possible), so if it's necessary, we're not dependent on it. Where we live the power goes out on a regular basis, and I just can't see installing a hugely expensive generator system when I like things like olive oil lamps and wood heat. ;o)


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RE: What happened to Staber prices???

Here is a latest update from me on the Staber I have.

I did originally develop a mold problem after maybe 2 or 3 years of use. We originally used the "Our" detergent that Staber recommended, it was a liquid too, but it turned out to be not such a good detergent. When the mold problem began, I learned to use powder instead, in order to alleviate some of the mold problems in the future. So I only use powder now in all of my machines. We also quit using softeners for the most part.

My Staber sat for a year or so, open, in a garage. When my daughter needed a machine I brought it back into service, ran a couple of cleaning cycles through it, and it did not have the mold smell anymore. My daughter used the machine for over a year, then personal circumstances caused her to move and I had to store the machine once again. I did this and have it at my small farm right now in an out-building. It sat still for about a month or two. One month ago I started using it again. It works great. I run a hose to it and an electrical cord. I let the exhaust water run into a tub that I then empty by bucket (I have no exhaust drain in this small building). For hot water I let the sun heat the water hose, the water gets hot as h*ll too, in July anyway! For cooler washes I run the machine in the morning before the water in the 100-foot hose heats up.

I wash about 3 loads on average in the Staber per week. It works great. I will tell you that on its final spin though it is a loud machine. I am using powder HE detergents and on most occasions a softener. I'm not big on using softeners, I think they add to the mold problem, but the water I now have is so hard I usually do use it.
My Staber is about 5 years old (I think) and it has never had one mechanical problem. I think they are very reliable. I did go in and grease my bearings for the first time this summer - it was very easy to do I find.

I love the mechanical build quality of the Staber. It washes pretty good too I find. I'm not interested in having my washer heat the water, so that wasn't an issue for me, I use the hot water I have from an external source.
But, if someone asked me what washer to buy, I'd likely recommend a Fisher Paykel, the least expensive model. It's a lot cheaper in price, does a great washing job, spins out the cloths a tad bit better than the Staber. If its a man who is washing, the Staber is great, you can fix it yourself, etc. and deal with it easily. My ex-wife lost her love for the Staber, but my daughter really liked it. Go figure. I do think the Staber will still be working long after most other washer's its age have bit the dust. Bye


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