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Thread: ISO recommendations for washers & dryers

  1. #1
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    ISO recommendations for washers & dryers

    This morning our 20-year-old washing machine started making a funny noise in the spin cycle. We are deciding whether to gamble that it can be repaired for something reasonable (hopefully less than $150) or buy a new one and a dryer as well. We've only owned three sets in 44 years (and the first was inherited!), so we don't have much experience buying new ones. If you have a washing machine and/or dryer that is less than ten years old that you have been happy with, I'd be interested in your experience.

    Consumer Reports says that washing machines come in three flavors -- regular top loading washers, high-efficiency top-loading washers, and front-loading washers. Since we are 67, I'm inclined toward some sort of top loader, which I assume requires less bending, but am interested in any input. Running time is of importance to me.

    With regard to a dryer, our laundry room is set up for a gas dryer. Once again, running time is an issue for me.

    For both, we are interested in reliability.

    Thank you for any and all input.

    Kay

    I thought of one more thing. We do home exchanges and occasionally relatives visit when we are out of town. The controls should be intuitive enough for guests including teenagers and older children to use without having to consult an owner's guide.
    Last edited by Kay Henderson; 02-26-2013 at 11:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Just wanted to post that I'm interested in the feedback as well as I'll soon be in the market for a new washing machine. I'm leaning towards the top loader, one that is more efficient and uses less water than what I have now.

  3. #3
    My parents who are in their 70's bought front loading machines and put them on pedestals and have found that they are much easier to get things in and out of than their previous top loaders.

    I have ASKO brand washer and dryers. I really like them, but I would only recommend them if you have someone nearby who will service them. I have had very few problems, but very few repair people have experience with them. My parents have a Whirlpool that they are pleased with.

    I have bought most of my appliances over the internet. I have never had to pay shipping or sales tax. I have found the prices out of New York to be the best.

    I would recommend going over to gardenweb.com and reading some reviews.
    Cheryl

  4. #4
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    Wow, you've been very fortunate to have machines last as long as they have. That was once the standard, but has changed for most of us.

    Bought a new set when we added a laundry room in January 2008. Both are Maytag. Washer is a traditional top loader. Very easy to use. I had one front loader and didn't want another. Washer is a little noisy, but closing the laundry room door helps.

    http://www.maytag.com/Laundry-1/Laun...50+4294965766/

  5. #5
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    A few months ago we bought a GE and it lasted a week. We then replaced it with a Samsung and love it! Almost every washer we've had "walked" on us, especially when it was loaded with a comforter. This washer hasn't moved since the day we got it. It doesn't get unbalanced on the spin cycle.

  6. #6
    We got the Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer about 2 1/2 years ago. I got the top loading because I knit and wanted to be able to felt in the machine and when you felt you need to check whatever and so you have to open the machine with water in it.

    No problems with it. No agitator so I can get a lot in which is nice even with 2 of us. I do wash the king size comforter and dry it too. That's about the limit for it.

    The only slight annoyance and it's slight, is that the clothes get really spun in the washer. It's nice because a lot of water comes out. I do have to shake things like jeans and pants especially before I put them in the dryer because if I forget, they don't always come out of the dryer smooth. Sometimes they are still twisted and damp.

    It isn't a problem with tshirts or other clothes, they smooth out in the dryer. Oh, sheets, pillowcases do need the shake too.
    Carlin
    website:www.chefcarlin.com

  7. #7
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    I have a Samsung front loader. It's 4-1/2 years old and running fine. I got the pedestal so I don't have to bend over so far.

    The matching Samsung dryer has already had to have the thermostat replaced. Not sure if that is early for that kind of repair, but the repair guy didn't seem to think it was. We are on top of keeping our duct work clean, but did find an area we missed. That *could* have led to overheating. Not sure.

    HOWEVER.......we had on going issues with our 9-month old Samsung refrigerator and I can tell you. . . their customer service is absolutely the WORST!!! Luckily, our local retailer stepped up and replaced the defective fridge immediately at their expense. We did not get another Samsung. We went with a GE French Door and have been very happy with it.


    (In case you need the info. Our fridge door hinges kept failing. Samsung service tried to repair it three times, but finally admitted that the door was warped. Because it was white, they were not making replacement doors and could not repair the one on there. The electronics also went bad --- probably because the repair man did not ground the door properly on one of the repairs and it blew out the circuit board. The water line on the back of the fridge also *water hammered" whenever I would shut off the kitchen faucet. Samsung's solution was that we should cut six inches out of the cord, take off the serial number plaque and photocopy it. Send these to Samsung and they would decide in six to eight weeks how much of the purchase price they would refund. As you can imagine, that was NOT acceptable to us on a fridge that was less than one year old.)

  8. #8
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    Even though I get a GE discount, I will NEVER buy a GE washer/dryer...went through too many and finally got a maytag at our old house in wisconsin.
    We currently have the kenmore super quiet front loaders (previous owners) and we hate them.

    The gardenweb people rave about the Miele...pricy but supposedly to die-for.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  9. #9
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    Kay, I am assuming that your washer does not have an electronic panel. My repair man told me not to get rid of any machine that does not have an electronic panel because when they go out it's very expensive to repair. My stove's electronic panel would cost $300-400 to repair. My washing machine was 25 years old with one repair that DH fixed after ordering the part for $30. There's a story attached to my "new" washer and dryer, but it's kind of long and it does not have an electronic panel. I have top of the line Whirlpool W&D. Find out what it will cost to repair yours.

  10. #10
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    GardenWeb is my go-to resource for appliances. They have a dedicated Laundry forum http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/laundry/

  11. #11
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    I have LG front loaders on pedestals and they are definitely easier to load and unload than the top loaders. I only wish I had bought them sooner. The washer does run longer than I was used to unless you use the quick wash, but the newer machines also have a turbo wash that shortens the wash cycle time. The fact that they hold huge loads reduces the number of loads we do, so it all works out and I don't think we spend any more time doing laundry than we used to. If you count all the pre-treating we used to do because the boys were younger and messier then, we spend a lot less, but I can't give the machine credit for that. Overall, the LG are the easiest to use washer and dryer I've had (DH and the boys can run them ) and they clean as well or better than anything I have used.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth View Post
    I have LG front loaders on pedestals and they are definitely easier to load and unload than the top loaders.
    How can a front loader be easier to load than a top loader? When loading a top loader all you have to do is open the lid and turn your laundry basket upside down and let gravity do the rest.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vbak View Post
    Kay, I am assuming that your washer does not have an electronic panel. My repair man told me not to get rid of any machine that does not have an electronic panel because when they go out it's very expensive to repair. My stove's electronic panel would cost $300-400 to repair. My washing machine was 25 years old with one repair that DH fixed after ordering the part for $30. There's a story attached to my "new" washer and dryer, but it's kind of long and it does not have an electronic panel. I have top of the line Whirlpool W&D. Find out what it will cost to repair yours.
    I didn't want a machine with an electronic control panel for that reason. Basic knobs suit me fine. My only real criteria was a stainless steel tub.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbeaux View Post
    How can a front loader be easier to load than a top loader? When loading a top loader all you have to do is open the lid and turn your laundry basket upside down and let gravity do the rest.
    I can't say I ever did the dump method. I'm sure I'd have managed to be picking half the load up off the floor. With or without an agitator, I would distribute the weight of the items fairly evenly around the agitator so the load is balanced. That's more of an issue for some loads than others. A front loader tumbles them and all you need to do is toss them in. Taking them out, you can see items and reach almost straight in (with the pedestals) rather than having to bend way over and reach in to get those last socks or other small items. And the dryer is easier to take clothes out and fold as I go too, probably because of the height on the pedestal and the fact that I'm tall. I also like the controls and detergent dispenser on the front of the machine. Little things and it surprised me, but we find them easier to use. Not that doing laundry is that difficult.

  15. #15
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    We have a Kenmore front-loader at home. I don't remember how old it is - probably 7 or 8 years. We have had no problems, and the the runtime for a typical delicate or normal load ranges from ~35-40 min, as I recall. We have a 2nd home in which a Whirlpool Duet Sport was already installed. The runtimes are very long (50+ min) in that one unless you use the "Quick Wash" option...which I think defeats the purpose have have a lot of options.

  16. #16
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    We have Whirlpool Duet Sport washer and dryer, and we've had a few problems with them, but the servicemen were quick and never left me having to go to the laundromat to finish the laundry. I'd buy them again. They are front-loaders, on a pedestal, and I don't have to lift anything -- everything is at waist level. They do take longer to run--up to 81 minutes for a load of whites, with an extra rinse, but they use less water than top loaders. It's really a matter of personal preference, and the availability of repairmen -- it's a rare machine that doesn't need repair at some point!

    ETA, my DH prefers to buy things made in America, so I don't think I could have an LG...
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  17. #17
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    For the record, you can get a top loader without an agitator.

  18. #18
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    I have a Kenmore Elite high efficiency top loader. It does not have an agitator. This is basically a rebranded version of the whirlpool cabrio Home Chef mentioned. With 2 teenagers my machines work hard, and I have not had any trouble. I have had them for about 6.5 years and been very happy
    Claire

    It doesn't matter what you think, just that you do.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbeaux View Post
    For the record, you can get a top loader without an agitator.
    I had one, and I liked it until it died an untimely death. And mine was one of the longer lived ones. With that experience, I wasn't brave enough to try the Cabrio and not sure I wanted to buy anything Whirlpool (I was very unhappy with my dealings with them and their extended warranty service) -- and they weren't getting consistent reviews for bulky things like comforters the boys' sleeping bags that we needed to wash. We went with the front loaders we weren't brave enough to get in the first place and wished we had gotten them sooner. I'm glad others have had good results with Cabrio.
    Last edited by Beth; 02-28-2013 at 05:32 PM.

  20. #20
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    I love the front loader

    I have the Kenmore Elite front loading washer and dryer on pedastals. I have disc disease and arthritis in my lower back. Using these is far easier on me than my old washer and dryer. Getting the clothes in the washer wasn't the problem, it was the act of twisting and bending to transfer them into the dryer that caused me pain.
    Avril

    There's always a reason to bake.

  21. #21
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    I thank all of you so much for your input. We purchased a Samsung high-efficiency top loading washing machine and a Samsung gas dryer, both of which will be installed March 2. I'll be leaving for a home exchange (in Hawaii!) on March 9, so I won't be using it many times before I leave. When I get back, and have used it for a month or so, I'll post a report on this thread.

    Thanks again and have a good weekend, everybody --

    Kay

  22. #22
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    Great! We really love our Samsung.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by clairea View Post
    I have a Kenmore Elite high efficiency top loader. It does not have an agitator. This is basically a rebranded version of the whirlpool cabrio Home Chef mentioned. With 2 teenagers my machines work hard, and I have not had any trouble. I have had them for about 6.5 years and been very happy
    The two that I narrowed my search down to at Lowes yesterday were both top loaders without agitators. I felt it'd be easier to load, especially our comforters. Niether have an electronic panel (determined from this topic that I didn't want that). One was a whirlpool, the other maytag. One had a 3 3/4 star rating, the other 4 star rating on their website, with over 300 reviews each. The only machines that had higher ratings had less than 20 reviews it seemed.

    Anyhoo - a few coworkers said that it wouldn't get the clothes as clean without an agitator, but would you disagree with them?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shugness View Post
    Anyhoo - a few coworkers said that it wouldn't get the clothes as clean without an agitator, but would you disagree with them?
    I would disagree with your coworkers. Our Samsung has a glass top that allows you to see the action. You can see all the clothes constantly "swishing" through water with great flow-through rather than those just near the agitator. One thing I hate about agitators is that often they will wrap long sleeves and other clothes together which stretches the seams and necessitates untangling the clothes before you can remove them from the washer.

  25. #25
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    I like my front loader and would buy one again, but if for some reason I needed to get a top loader, I'd get one without an agitator. The essence of a washing machines job is to move soapy water through the fabric over and over so that they can break down and move out soil and stains. Tell me why a piece of plastic in the middle of a machine, typically a solid piece of plastic at that, moving fabric around it should do a better job of moving water through fabric (rather than impeding the movement of water through fabric) than a plate that lifts and moves the entire load (non-agitator top loader) or a drum that tumbles it all back and forth and may have water jets squirting at the same time. I don't think an agitator does a better job of cleaning, but it does create more wear and tear on the fabric. That and water efficiency were the reason I went to the no-agitator top loader in the first place, but some people can't give up the ideas they are used to.

  26. #26
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    I'm doing research on kitchen appliances and noticed this in an article that I had downloaded:

    from JD Power & Associates Reports Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study; July 2012

    (based on a 1000 point scale)

    Clothes Washers Samsung rates highest in consumer satisfaction with clothes washers for a fourth consecutive year, achieving a score of 824. Samsung performs particularly well in three factors: performance and reliability; price; and styling and appearance. Samsung is followed in the rankings by Kenmore Elite (816), LG (814) and Electrolux (797)

    Clothes Dryers For a fifth consecutive year, Samsung rates highest in customer satisfaction with clothes dryers (822). Samsung performs particularly well in three factors: performance and reliability; ease of use; and price. Following Samsung in the ratings are LG (818), Electrolux (799), and Kenmore Elite (798).


    I am currently using a Sears Kenmore stacked washer/ dryer that we bought in 1987. The belt on the dryer drum has been replaced twice, but it still works great. I dread having to find another!
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  27. #27
    Hope you like your Samsung. We just got a Samsung top-loading (without agitator) and the matching electric dryer in January. So far we love them. My clothes seem to be perfectly clean and I can fit more in it, plus I found the agitator to be rough on my clothes. I like the the hot water seems to be HOT..my old washer didn't really seem all that warm/hot.

    For the person who said they just turn over their basket and dump...I've always had top-loaders and have never done that, ever. But even so, it seems like it would not be easy for a 70 year old to lift a whole basket that high and flip (which is different than carrying it).

  28. #28
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    Off topic, but since you mentioned it! Have fun in Hawaii! Our daughter and son in-law went there on their honeymoon, in December,and she found her 2nd. favorite place, in the entire world, where she would love to live.
    Italy is her first.
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  29. #29
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    Something to consider is whether a front-loading machine will fit into your available space. My sister recently purchased a new machine, and her laundry room could not accommodate the additional depth of a front-loader without impeding the movement of the adjacent door. Her house is only ~13 years old, but old enough to be designed for the standard footprint of a top loader.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meganator View Post
    Something to consider is whether a front-loading machine will fit into your available space. My sister recently purchased a new machine, and her laundry room could not accommodate the additional depth of a front-loader without impeding the movement of the adjacent door. Her house is only ~13 years old, but old enough to be designed for the standard footprint of a top loader.
    Definitely something to consider. We didn't BUT, we cleared the door by 1/4". WHEW!

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