Are ALL front loader washers junk?!!

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Here is my story:
In the year 2000, I bought the Kenmore 417 front loader washer and dryer. Front loaders were just coming out then and I should have known better I guess.
The dryer was fine... as it is conventional.... but I had nothing but trouble with the Frigidaire built Kenmore FL washer!! Vibrated terribly no mater what I did.
after 7 years it just plain wore out. I took it apart to find that the main seal and bearing had failed, slinging grease everywhere inside the unit. It eventually seized up and just stopped. the seal and bearing could NOT be replaced by itself. you had to buy a whole new inner tub assy at abt $350 or so! Pure junk not made to be repaired. I hauled it of to the steel scrap yard last summer and have been doing laundry in laundromat since which is a BIG pain
Anyway.... I've been pretty sour on front loaders since then and swore Id never buy another one.... would go back to top loaders as I live alone and only do laundry once/twice a week.
However...... water rates, electricity, sewer rates have all gone up locally and I thought maybe I should "consider" front loaders again. BUT..... I went to you tube and did a search on "front load washers" only to find a TON of videos of all diff brands/models FL washers that people are having serious problems with.... vibrating, breakdowns, etc. I'm having second thoughts again abt a FL washer of ANY brand!!
Bottom line.... are all front loaders junk? Wont last more than 7 years or so? I can't see paying anywhere from $600-$1200 for a FL washer if its NOT gonna last minimum 15 years or at least can not be repaired!!
What is your advice and what would YOU do given my circumstances?
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Um, front loaders were around and common a whole lot earlier than 2000... or 1990... or 1980... or 1970...
What was coming out around 2K is the tilt drum front load washers.

If you had serviced it earlier when vibration problems were evident, it probably wouldn't have failed.

Eeeew!
I have a Maytag Neptune Superstack tilt drum washer / dryer that I got in 2003. I've not had any issues with it running it a couple times a week on average. I also love the stack configuration which is much more space efficient.
As for serviceability, pretty much all units can be repaired. If you don't like the fact that they sell parts in assemblies vs. individual bits and pieces to contain the spare parts inventory, that's your issue with cost, not an issue of serviceability. Also for some of those assemblies, they are sold as an assembly due to the fact that when one component in it fails, it damages other parts in the assembly and replacing just the obvious failed part without replacing the more subtly damaged parts will just lead to another failure in short order.
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the high initial purchase price, plus the high cost of parts and service means what you save on water and sewer will never save you any money.
a buddy of mine has a appliance repair business and reports the same thing.
top loaders are less efficent but actually cost less to operate over a lifetime.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thats because the US appliance companies copied quality comes last ford/gm etc on their entry into the market and sold total junk with maytag being the most notable. Newer units are better and foreign makes such as lg are even better.

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I'm beginning to "see" that above cause my unit didn't last long enough to recoup that premium initial cost!
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 09:01:35 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

People that report their front loaders as being non problematic should wait a few more years and see what they think. About a year or two ago I replaced my GE heavy duty top loader with another more modern version of the same GE heavy duty top loader. The original GE was still working but the transmission became noisy because it leaked all the oil out. It ran this way for about five years before I decided to replace it.
That original GE was bought in 1979. I figure my third GE heavy duty top loader will need to be purchased around 2031, maybe 2040 if I keep oil in the transmission.
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

My first generation Maytag Neptune (with mechanical controls) is 12 years old and going strong. How many more years should I wait? -- Doug
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wrote:

Until it dies. If it was a conventional, maybe 25 years.
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On Thu, 13 Mar 2008 04:45:55 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

If Doug's front loader at an average of four loads per week saves him roughly $200.00 per year on utility and detergent costs and maybe another hundred or so dollars in avoided dry cleaning expenses and extended clothing life, he's some $3,500.00 ahead of the game at this point is he not? Assuming he paid a $400.00 premium, say, over an equivalent quality top loader, his accumulated net savings still exceed $3,000.00. And for a family with a couple kids those savings might come in at double that.
Cheers, Paul
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Paul M. Eldridge wrote:

If his goal was to save money, true. However, the little woman is more concerned with getting the clothes as clean as possible, so she's always gonna use even more detergent and run the "Large Load" with "Double Extra Rinse" setting thereby INCREASING the on-going costs.
If saving money is the goal, disabling those settings on the existing washer will do the trick. Also turning down the water heater temperature to "Tepid" or "Above freezing" saves money.
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I use regular liquid Tide (not the more expensive HE version) and if I use more than half the amount recommended for a top loader I have problems with excess sudsing. My machine doesn't have a "double extra rinse" option, just a single one which I do use; even so, I still save some 60 to 75 litres of water per load compared to a conventional top loader, plus I can wash larger loads (no bulky agitator to steal space).
In terms of cleaning abilities I have no complaints and I suspect one of the reasons why clothes often do come out cleaner even though less water is used is that there are four or five separate rinses as opposed to just one; in effect, multiple cracks at the bat.
With regards to water temperature, I tried washing in cold water but since our water is literally just a few degrees above freezing it never worked out. Most folks don't realize this but even the so called "cold water" formulated detergents are designed to work at water temperatures of 15C and above and my cold water comes in closer to 4 or 5C.
Thus, the following:
"Most detergents are geared for warm water that is 90 F, but the industry standard for very cold water is 60 F, says P&G senior engineer Michael Orr.
Coming up with an effective cold-water detergent was a challenge because the stain-fighting power of the ingredients in conventional detergent formulations decreases *by an order of magnitude for every 10 F that you decrease the temperature,* says P&G senior scientist Donna Wiedemann, who formulated Tide Coldwater over the past 2 years.
Source: http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/sep/tech/rp_detergent.html
I also understand the only effective way to kill dust mites is to wash sheets and towels in hot water; i.e., 60C or higher.
Source: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20070521/hot-water-removes-allergens-best
Cheers, Paul
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"Paul M. Eldridge" wrote:

Largely the same here. I almost never use the "additional rinse" option on mine, I use about half of the top load amount worth of regular Tide detergent, and for water selections I use warm/cold in the winter when the cold tap water temp is low, and the cold/cold setting in the summer when the cold water is about 70F.
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Paul M. Eldridge wrote:

But you're not the "little woman."
Look, if you ask your average woman to name ten "sensuous" things, somewhere on the list is a bubble-bath (preferably with 83 candles burning, making the tub look like some kind of religious shrine).
Ask the same thing of a man (with a suitable replacement for the word 'sensuous) and, after reflection, you'll get "a week in a hunting lodge with no shaving").
To a woman, things can't be too clean; to a man, it's not that big a deal.
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clipped

My daughter's LG toploader has very cool lights and switches. In the dark, it looks like the space shuttle, ready to blast off. The average husband would probably have a beer and sit and watch it for entertainment :o) It is more interesting than TV programs my hubby likes. :o)
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I don't profess to understand the inner workings of a woman's mind (nor a man's mind or God knows even my own for that matter), but are you suggesting women generally believe top loaders clean better than front loaders? If so, I'd like to know how you came to this conclusion.
A personal opinion, for sure, but my understanding is that ignorance and intelligence are shared equally by both sexes, although if there's any imbalance I expect women to hold the upper hand. Some of us will give little or no thought to this type of purchase, but the smarter ones among us will do their homework and talk to trusted friends, neighbours and colleagues about their experience, then draw their own conclusions. Most -- but by no means all -- the reviews and buzz I've read about front loaders has been decidedly positive and if there's widespread dissatisfaction with their cleaning abilities, I've somehow missed it.
I've used front and top loaders and although I find front loaders clean better, I'm willing to call it a draw. My biggest problem with top loaders is that if you cram too much into the machine the agitator can't properly pull the clothes through the water and their cleaning performance is seriously compromised; with a front loader you can stuff it full and everything still comes out clean.
I can tell you a good quality detergent and washing in warm or hot water will make a difference whichever type you use and that pre-treating grease stains helps considerably (that and ensuring all the pizza lands in your mouth and not on your shirt). I've also learned to cut back on the amount of detergent I use so to avoid excess residue build-up and, again, this applies to both. Beyond that, all I can say is that I've been using front loaders exclusively for the past fifteen years and haven't had an ounce of trouble and that I won't ever go back.
Cheers, Paul
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Agree above
I've even occasionally washed clothes and towels in water ONLY.... just to make sure soap residue is out
Anyone else do that?
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wrote:

Yes, with EVERY load in my ~20-y.o. Maytag top-loader.
It's called the RINSE CYCLE.
--
:)
JR

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And people who use non-HE (ie non low sudsing) deterent in a front loader are short changing themselves. They end up cutting back so much to keep the suds down that they lose the cleaning and suspension capability of the detergent.
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Rick Blaine wrote:

I've used both the HE and non HE Tide in my washer and I've not had any problems with either. I just get whatever Sam's has on sale in the mega size when I run out every other year.
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wrote:

Hi Rick,
That's likely true. I use either Tide or Sunlight concentrated liquid and have never tried the HE version of either due to the added cost. Overall I'm pleased with what I'm using now, but might try the HE stuff if it goes on sale.
Cheers, Paul
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