Best washing machines for reliability & DIY repairs?

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I have to buy some washers - one in the next few days, and would like opinions about what brands are best, not only for reliabilitly but also for ease and cost of do-it-yourself repairs.
I'm looking for low-mid priced models, nothing fancy, i.e., no electronic controls or front loaders. I'm familiar only with Whirlpool belt drive models, although I'm certainly no expert.
I know Whirlpool makes Roper, but Ropers seem to have different mechanical timers that can turn in only one direction and make a ratcheting sound when turned manually. This concerns me because the very old Whirlpool timers were like this and several failed on me (metal fingers wore, often causing washer to stop mid-cycle), but the replacements made by Singer, which didn't ratchet, never did.
How good is Whirlpool's direct drive for their top loaders?
How does GE stack up?
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You want cheap and reliable, doesnt work that way, reliable is commercial grade. I had one for 35 years, my new cheap had problems in 6 months.
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My experience with repairing things is that Whirlpool is reasonably priced, and that GE is "Generally Expensive".
My personal machine is a Whirlpool, which the last owners left behind. It has needed the motor oiled twice, and the timer cleaned out and reoiled, once.
Not sure that 11 years later, they are the same quality, but i'd buy anothr whirlpool.
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Christopher A. Young
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I believe this is a no answer question, in as much there can be good and bad in the best of brands. Personally I had a MayTag which ran for 29 years before having to change motor due to lightning strike. Now I see that a lot are finding fault with MayTag. Apparently time changed the quality of the product and I think that holds true with all. I tend to think thay mfgs will put out a product of good quality until it gains a good reputation, then they start cutting quality by putting cheap parts a piece at a time until finally it becomes a piece of junk and sales plummit . This is what I think has happened to MayTag. Today I think Whirlpool is the leader with Kenmore close behind. But isn't Kenmore built by Whirlpool? Jack
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Not quite. Business exist to make money, so they will put out the cheapest product they can and still make money. Now, some companies make quality products because they want to charge more or they have a reputation.
Quality is mostly a competition driven. We didn't have reliable American cars until the Japanese forced us to.
Mike
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upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Except for some between - and including - the Model T and the Jeep.
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HeyBub wrote:

The Model T is hardly a good example since it was the first car produced on an assembly line. Which, by the way, was done to cut costs. All other cars were "hand-crafted". And, it was one of the very first cars. And it was hugely mass produced. And...How many miles where they being driven and how fast?
As for the Jeep are you talking about the WWII, government contract Jeep?
I'm not saying all American cars were junk until the Japanese came alone, but quite nearly so. And we're much better off for it.
Mike
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Try looking at what consumer reports says. They do the testing and are non-profit.
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snipped-for-privacy@homeimprovementsuccess.com wrote:

According to CU, Roper makes the least troublesome washer. As I opined earlier, that's because they have the most basic designs.
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wrote:

I've had a basic no frills GE washer and Roper dryer for three years. No problems, no complaints. The more fancy stuff you put on them, the more there is to go wrong, no matter which brand you choose.
Bob
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True in theory, but practially, difficult to do in the real world. Unfortunately, those fancy frills tend to get bundled with higher quality parts that do matter. Things like a stainless steel tub instead of a plastic one, motors rated for greater loads, etc. Also unfortunate, because unless you tear down models to compare or know one of the GE manufacturing engineers, its difficult to find out which things do matter.
My rule of thumb is to go for the mid or mid-upper-range unit. Avoid the budget line as those are built to an extreme price point and pennies are shaved everywhere. Avoid the top end, because its a marketing truism that those are aimed at people who believe that spending more gets you a "better" unit and money isn't as important to them.
Am running into a related situation with hot water heaters. There are 3 generally available grades of water heaters these days - 6 year warranty, 9 year warranty and 12 year warranty. With the exception of paint trim color, all three have the same tank, burner (BTU rating), T&P valve, & thermostat. I.e., all the operating parts. The only difference between them is about $50 difference in price.
Unfortunately, I want a tank with 2" of insulation around it instead of one. R16 instead of R8 - it goes in an unheated garage. Guess what? Only available on the $100 more expensive model with the 12 year warranty.
Or, I could do what I did with the previous heater - buy a tacky looking insulation jacket for $5. Oh well, it is in the garage after all.
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Hey Clark If its a money saving water heater you want go with one of thos tankless jobs. I bought mine and installed it during construction of my new home and its the bomb. Takes up no space. runs only when you need it and only uses a fraction of the gas my old tank style heater used. It was well worth the triple cost over the standard heater. If you buy off a site like EBay you can get it much cheeper than a retail store.Just my opion. Steve
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Thanks. Am very familiar with tankless heaters. Unfortunately, in most situations (especially retrofit ones like mine), they don't work out economically.
For anyone else who is interested in tankless, State Indistries (a major water heater manufacturer in the US) used to publish a good whitepaper on the economics of tankless heaters. For some reason, they seem to have pulled it, but you can still find it at the author's web site:
http://www.rwco.com/tankless_whitepaper.pdf
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Clark W. Griswold, Jr. wrote:

I have found that nowadays most U.S. headquarted consumer companies are shaving pennies everywhere, regardless of the price point of the product to be sold. Such is the nature of a price-sensitive hardgoods marketplace.
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Yes... and that's why I've invested in 2 Kenmores, with no regrets. :) My first one lasted 27 yrs., with 2 minor repairs. Present one, I've had for 3 yrs., no problems to date. Got my fingers crossed for continued good luck.
I guess I should add though, I don't buy their cheapest models, I buy the mid-range priced models in hopes of better durability. bj
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I know that Kenmore furnaces are made by Heil / Tempstar. so, washers by whirlpool sounds right.
The problem with Kenmore stuff, they require a lot of parts to be "off spec" so that you have to use Sears parts. A Tecumseh flywheel won't work on a Sears mower. That kind of thing.
How's Ginger doing?
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Christopher A. Young
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It may be made by Whirlpool, but it could be Frigidaire and lesser quality
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On 22 Dec 2005 07:02:53 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

I think it is pretty clear from those Public Service Announcements that Maytag repairman have very little work to do. The just sit around the office most of the time. The machines must be reliable.

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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wrote:

them. ==
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Dick Cheney wrote:

Roper is the most reliable brand, most likely because their washers are mechanically simple.
That would be my recommendation, the timers notwithstanding.
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