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Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

Posted by ncage (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 11, 11 at 21:36

Got a great deal though you don't hear about GE front loaders that much. I decided to go with this deal though because of the great savings. I got a GE GFWH2400LWW which is selling for about 900 at sears/best buy and and at lowes on clearance (776) for 578. Its 4.1 cu. ft. which should be awesome for bed sheets.

Anyways, i digress. This is my first front loader so i have questions.

I've heard about the mold problem. I don't know if this is still a problem with the newer unites or not. I just told my wife that after she is down washing she should wipe out the interior or the washer until its dry. Is this all that's involved or is there more? Anything else i need to be aware of?

Second, i hear most people say that top loaders are in general less reliable and are more costly to fix. Everyone has their own opinions but you hear bad things about every brand from Samsung to LG To whirlpool. Should i buy the extended warranty? I end up getting the washer from lowes because they price matched so they have a 2 year extended for like 70 and i believe a 4 year extended for like 109. Seems like a descent price. There is also square trade where i can get a 3 year for $99 (and there is always 30% coupons off out there). The advantage of the lowes extended warranty is that they add it onto the end of the manufactorer warranty rather than the total time you own the appliance. So if you buy an 2 years from lowes you get 3 years of total warranty. What is your guys opinions?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

I don't know anything about GE front loaders. I have a Samsung FL. I think you will hear proponents of either FLs or TLs here. I have heard that Lowes does a good job honoring their warrantees, so I think you did well to buy from them versus Sears or Best Buy. I also think you do need an extended warrantee for modern FLs. About preventing sour smells, we just wipe all folds and sides of the door gasket after we are through washing, and we always leave the door open for a day to let it dry out inside. There are areas inside the case where water may stand too but you can't control that. I'd leave he door open all the time if you can. Also you can do a run with chlorine bleach occasionally to go after stagnant stuff. Some advocate running a water softening agent too to get the soap residues out. Good luck.

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

ALWAYS, ALWAYS just leave the door ajar after each use, and when the machine is not in use. I also just do a super quick wipe to soak up any water around the folds and sides of the rubber door ring/gasket.

DO NOT do solely cold washes. Wash as much as you can in Warm, Hot and Sanitize cycles. Most clothes can handle at least warm. Cold washes are the breeding grounds to mold & mildew.

1-2x a month, I run my Clean Machine cycle with Bleach or Tide machine cleaner (DO NOT mix the two!!). If your machine does not have a clean machine cycle, do this on the hottest cycle or sanitize if you have it.

I have had a front loader since the early 1990's...and I have NEVER had mold, mildew or smells!!

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

Buy an instant-read thermometer so you can measure the ACTUAL temperature of your wash during the various cycles. GE -- like most others -- fills their manual and web-site with euphemisms, obfuscations, and buzz-words so that the customer cannot find out any actually useful information.

Call their help-line and ask them what cycles utilize the heater. Ask them what the boost temps are on those cycles. You'll be living with the machine for a long time. I think you'll want to know what the machines's idea of "cold", "warm" , and "hot" actually are.

For example, with my 6-year-old Duet, if I set the machine for "hot", I get an actual wash temperature between 100-105F. I call that "warm", not "hot". If I want my own idea of "hot", which is 120F+, I have to select a cycle that uses the internal heater. In my machine, there of two of them that boost to 127F. I had to call the mfgr to ask what the temp-target was. It isn't in the manual.

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

@ ncage

Lots of good advice being dispensed here. The most important, I believe, is the need for hot and/or sanitary washes on a regular basis to keep the mold away. Overuse of liquid or non-HE detergents, fabric softeners and exclusive use of cold water washes seems to create a perfect storm for mold. Use only as much detergent as you need - experiment with this and adjust as needed. If you are adventurous, find out your local water hardness and use that information as a starting point - dose less for soft water, dose more for hard water.

You don't want to see suds piled up inside the machine or by the porthole, that could be a sign that you're using too much detergent. In my machine, I see a few small stream of bubbles washing down the door, but not enough to accumulate or see in the tub anywhere. Use your washer's clean machine cycle, if you have one, according to the manufacturer's recommendation. If you don't have such a cycle, run the longest sanitary cycle with bleach in your bleach dispenser once a month.

There are undoubtedly a lot more tips that people will share, let common sense and good judgment be your guide. :)

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

Your GE washer is one of the most efficient out there due to it's miserly use of water. Be very careful not to oversuds it.
The other posters advice here is spot on, just make sure the gasket is dried off when you are done doing laundry and I'd leave that door wide open if possible between wash days.

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

I wouldn't dream of buying any washer or dryer without an extended warranty. Manufacturing has gone to h3ll the past few years. Even if you only have ONE service call after the manufacturer warranty, you've way more than paid for the service contract. Be sure to find out WHO is going to be the servicer, do your research. Some servicing companies are lousy, see reviews online.

Be sure to wipe out the gasket, all the folds, after each load AND leave the door ajar - as suggested above.

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

I have a basic Kenmore (Frigilux) FL machine that is five years old. Most reviews of the machine are negative, due to reliability issues, and I knew that when I purchased it (I made the decision to purchase the machine because of finances and product offerings at the time). I do, on average, five loads a week, with the last three always hot water washes (used to do cold water washes for my cottons, but have switched to warm washes). With the exception of a four week experiment (infatuation) with liquid fabric softener, I don't use the stuff. While I have a "stash" of different detergents, both liquids and powders, the last hot water washes are always powder. I use Sun's version of Oxyclean as an add-in for my whites.

After all of the above, I dry the door gasket and pull the dispenser drawer, rinsing it and allowing it to air dry. The drawer remains out and the door fully open over night, then the drawer is replaced and the door remains open a tad through the week. It all sounds obsessive (I do live with mild OCD, ahem) but these last procedures only add an extra minute or so to the laundry procedure.

The outcome? I've never had a mechanical problem with the washer, and there is no mold or funky smells in the machine. The machine smells sweet and clean.

While some reliability issues seem to be out of one's hands, I am a firm believer that the use of hot water and simple weekly care keeps the nasties from developing.


RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

I would advise anyone who just purchased or is contemplating the purchase of a front loader to google front load spider failure. For those who would like to watch a video from 2007 showing a disintegrated spider assembly and other quality issues on a GE/Kenmore machine. After seeing the horrifying GE build quality in this video, people should think carefully before buying a GE washer.

One school of thought regarding spider corrosion has to do with alkaline residue. Aluminum corrodes much more quickly and easily in a highly alkaline environment. Guess what? That's exactly what detergent does - it creates an alkaline environment inside your machine to facilitate cleaning. When you have a sudsing issue, the suds can rise up and settle onto portions of the spider assembly that may not ever get rinsed off. If this happens, you will have highly concentrated spots of alkalinity on the spider which can cause a very localized corrosion that can spread throughout the aluminum structure. This is also why better detergents contain some sort of corrosion inhibitor, often in the form of silicates. Natural detergents often don't contain these corrosion inhibitors but still create an alkaline environment inside the machine. Draw your own conclusions.

This is also why, if your washer has a clean machine cycle, the water level is so high and the water highly agitated. This mechanical action tries to get rinse water into all the places where suds can settle, evaporate, and cause localized corrosion. Once your spider suffers from corrosive pitting, it's only a matter of time before the whole thing falls apart. The best practice, in my opinion, is to avoid it from happening in the first place. That means you should dose detergent appropriately, ensure every load is properly rinsed, and run a clean machine cycle on a regular basis as a check.

Another preventive measure is to acidify your rinse with vinegar or citric acid. A lot of people here in Gardenweb already add vinegar to their final rinse. At least in theory, this could help prolong the life of your machine by neutralizing any remaining alkalinity in the rinse. There is no proof that this is actually the case, since no studies have been performed on this sort of thing, but it can't hurt.

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

My sister has a Kenmore 2T front loader that she has owned for at least 5 years now. She always washes in cold water, uses liquid detergents and fabric softner BY THE CUPFUL and leaves the door shut at all time (her cats will use the washer as a litterbox if she doesn't)and yet she has never had a mold/mildew or odor problem with her machine. I once sent her a large bottle of Persil Bio liquid and she said the bottle was only enough for two loads! It was a 1.5L bottle of Persil!

On the other hand, I had a cousin who had an early build Maytag Neptune FL machine, read the manual, used it properly and her house smelled like a sewer after 6 months with the machine.

I can't figure it out either!

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

@dualref - all I can think of is the old saying, "Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction."

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

@ dualref

Maybe your sister has very hard water and needs to use increased amounts of detergent and FS in order to get the same results as someone who lives in an area with softer water? Water quality, specifically hardness, has a lot to do with what happens inside people's machines.

RE: Just bought my first Front Loader and need help

".....large bottle of Persil Bio liquid and she said the bottle was only enough for two loads! It was a 1.5L bottle of Persil."

That's nut's. Surely you misunderstood or she mis-spoke.

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