A Man and His Maytag
misinterpreted to lead people to think the washer is not worth fixing if left
out for pickup. It well may be. Indeed, the advantage to fixing up an old washer
may sometimes be greater than the advantage to refurbishing older dryers, since
washers tend to have been cheapened and lowered in quality more than dryers.
Here, in an obscure corner of his website I discovered only by
accident, is one knowledgeable Maytag buff's defense of the classic
Maytag toploader. I have to say I have always had a healthy respect for
Maytag, although I was trained primarily on Kenmore/Whirlpool
equipment. Back then it was widely conceded a Maytag washer would run
without repair longer than a Kenpool, but the differential cost as well
as parts prices favored the Kenpools-at least the old belt drive type,
if you weren't averse to changing the belt, a job relatively simple on
Maytags but a major pisser on Kenpools. I worked there at the very time
the beltdrives, mechanically largely identical to ones sold when
Eisenhower was president, were phased out in favor of the direct drive
Kenpools. They were thought of as throwaway machines by more
experienced techs then, and I don't know what fifteen-plus years of
experience has provided since I've been away from appliances that long.
That aside, Maytag made an impression on me growing up two ways. One
was in the really well done exhibit in the Chicago Museum of Science
and Industry, with it's "world's largest washing machine" (it wasn't,
of course: it was not really a washing machine but a museum exhibit,
and besides, linen and diaper services used bigger machines, though not
of the agitator style, routinely). The other, was allied in my mind:
the ancient (to me: in reality it was probably not older than me, and
certainly not made before the late fifties) Maytag wringer washer my
grandfather posessed, which we usually wound up running a load or two
in if we were visiting for very long, also in Chicago. Both are now
long gone, I'm sure.
As to his comments on frontloaders vs. toploaders, I have to admit I go
both ways-on washing machines, that is. Frontloaders ARE more
efficient, and get clothes cleaner. It's as simple as that. But they
are more expensive to buy, more expensive to maintain (as he says,
front seals are a recurring necessary expense) and have a statistically
higher rate of water retention failure-in short, likelihod of flooding
the laundry area- than toploaders. And for European preferences, I'll
defer to my friend Gwen, a female laundry and sewing machine tech whose
mother is a lay midwife, who says that "routine hospitalization for
childbirth, nonreligious circumcision for baby boys, and top loading
washers are the defining moments of American idiocy". (Besides,
Renaults may suck, but Citroens were pretty cool-at least the few which
could get out of their own way.)"<<
I heard a joke about some folks in Kentucky who won a Maytag washer in
a contest in 1950, and "it's a still working"!
They didnt have running waterexcept in the creek, so they made a still
out of it and it works just fine:)))
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