Desperate for front-loading, top-loading washer advice

Greetings all!
When my wife and I bought our home around 8 years ago, we inherited my mom-in-law's 20-year-old washer and dryer...presumably, so we thought at the time...as a stop-gap measure until we bought our own. Well, the truth is, these old Kenmore appliances worked great, and were very capacious and never harmed clothes, so we just kept them. But my wife has always been waiting for the point when one broke, so she could buy us a fresh set.
Well, she finally got her wish. The dryer stopped working, and though I reckon I could fix it (or have it fixed), this event signaled the moment at which we commit to getting a 21st century washer and dryer.
After some research on the matter, I am frustrated and stumped. The wife really has coveted a side loading washer for ages, but as soon as we started researching them, all kinds of negatives appeared. Can anyone address any of the following?:
(1) Putting holes in clothes. A search on the web suggests that lots of people seem to have had this experience. My old Kenmore, with the old-school agitator, has never harmed a single garment. I think if I got one hole per thousand garments, that would be one hole too many for me. I have zero tolerance on the whole hole issue.
(2) Water spilling/leaking out of the front. That's a deal breaker too.
(3) User-overide of preferences? I love Best Buy, and this is not a slam at them, but the person I spoke with on this matter had absolutely no idea about the products he was assigned to sell. They seem to market these front loaders as having all kinds of presets -- for instance, the washer adjusts the amount of water for the amount of clothes I put in; also, somehow the washer monitors the dirt in the water and keeps running until until the dirt presence is sufficiently low.
Suppose, JUST SUPPOSE, I want to wash one sock with the maximum amount of water the washer can hold. I am not saying I would do this...but CAN I tell the washer I have put in a huge load, even if that means I have to lie to the robot?
Also, we do loads of wash with dirty, junk towels we use for cleaning up dirt in the basement, etc...and we don't really care that these towels get ultra-clean. I don't want the washing machine to continue washing these nasty towels for hours trying to reduce the dirt presence to zero.
What side loading and front loading washers do people recommend. I am very keen on high capacity washers.
If anyone just wants to tell me what to buy, please do...I have had to make a million important household decisions over the last 8 years, and one million is apparently my limit. I'm spent. I feel like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca..."You think for me, Rick."
Chuck
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On 20 Aug 2005 21:44:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Honestly, I think you should let you wife decide with just some gentle help from you. She probably wants front loading and will not be happy if she doesn't get front loading. My sister got a set of front loading Whirlpools and seems to like them. They do use a lot less water. She compared a couple brands and thought the Whirlpools had the best options. We used them while visiting and they worked fine but not really any better or worse then our top loading Kenmore at home but at a couple hundred buck premium per machine !!
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On 20 Aug 2005 21:44:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote Re Desperate for front-loading, top-loading washer advice:

Check out
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--
To email me directly, remove CLUTTER.


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For the few extra real benefits of a front loader I would not spend over double what a top loader costs. On average a front loader will not last any longer than a top loader.
Front loaders hold more clothes and bigger comforters or bed spreads. Front loaders use less water---water is cheap in most areas so you are not likley to see much if any difference in your water bill. They say your clothes will last longer. I don't see it with my front loader?
A front loader will not save you enough money over it's lifespan to recover the extra cost over a top loader, but it might get you an extra night of romance with your wife :-)
When our front loader wears out I will nudge my wife towards a top loader again.
cm

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I have had a set of Neptunes for 2 years now. Never a hole in the clothes. I would like to see the documentation on the hole issue.

Olden days the front loaders did fill above the bottom gasket. Now days the drum is angled and the water level does not go up to the lower gasket. Not including slashing. Sure it is possible for the gasket to leak. So can the gasket in your dishwasher.

Mine are the bottom of the line Neptunes. The settings did take a bit of getting use to. Select heavy soil and it runs for ~65 minutes add in extra rinse and it goes to ~73 minutes. I always use max extract so the clothes are dryer when they come out.
Monitoring the dirt in the water. I wonder what that would cost?

My washer will do a king comforter with out any problems. That is the max it will handle in my opinion
Your post full of negitativity. Listen to your SO. Who washes most of the clothes in the home? You can LEARN to use the washer that she likes.
I recommend the stand that they sit on to raise them up.
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Many of them offer a platform as an option, so you don't have to stoop as far to load and unload them, but it does add to the higher cost of the front loaders.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Never been my experince in 39 years of Maytag and Amana ownership.

Never experienced that either.

Then don't go to Best Buy. YOu can get as good pricing from the local dealer. Most belong to buyers co-ops like Brand Source and compete on price and outdo the big stores on service.

I can do that on my Amana top loader.

Hours? We do have an extra time, but minutes, not hours.

We've had two Maytags and now have an Amana and they have been very good. The reaso we bought Amana was the dealer did not have one in stock (on a Saturday) and he could deliver the Amana within the hour. It had all the features we wanted and a very large capacity. First Mayatag we left inthe house when we moved. Second one lasted 21 years and I chose not to repair it.

I'd do what I already did. Buy Maytag or Amana. Very satisfied with them. Top loaders are nice, but rather expensive for what you get.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




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Some notes from Consumer Reports:
On some top-loaders, an automatic lock during the spin cycle keeps children from opening the lid. Front-loaders lock at the beginning of a cycle but can usually be opened by interrupting the cycle, although some doors remain locked briefly after the machine stops. Front-loaders and some top-loaders set water levels automatically, ensuring efficient use of water. Some top-loaders can be manually set for four or more levels; three or four are probably as many as you would need.
Front loaders Pros: Best washing and largest capacity. Use least water and energy. High spin speeds reduce drying time. No risk of loads becoming unbalanced. Gentler and quieter than many top-loaders. Many are stackable. Cons: Price. Many cost $1,000 and up. Fewer brands and models. Cannot soak laundry. You must stoop to load and empty laundry. Work best with special detergent.
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Mine has a soak cycle. Kenmore brand.
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We paid about $1600 for our Maytag Neptune dryer and washer at Lowes
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Sacramento Dave wrote:

I paid a little less than $600 for a Frigidaire frontloader a couple of years ago, and immediately got a $100 rebate from the power company. There was no need to get a new dryer; you almost don't need a dryer with a frontloader if you use the hi-speed spin cycle.
Bob
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We just bought Maytag Neptune front load Washer and dryer. For one the washer dose hold allot more, uses about 1/4 the water, suppose to be gentler on your cloths and clean better.They also said water level never goes above door. Now as for energy saving compared to a new top load well, I guess the only savings would be on water and gas to heat water.( I don't think that will be a greet dereference) The dryer (gas) is pretty nice works great, it's a dryer. They both have more settings than I need to know about but that's the new way and we all love those little LED lights. Are old washer and dryer were Amana and about 10 years old. 10 years pretty sad. My wife can't believe how nice the set is so I would say thumbs up. I would say get away from Best buy , they always throw in " wear not on commission" But I bet they get a bonus for high sales. In this area they gone in the craper. We bought at lowes, lady was knowledgeable, Next day delivery ( try that at best buy, next 3 days until we load the right one) rebate on delivery $00.

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One US DOE study found a 56% energy savings with horizontal axis machines.
Nick
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The Fisher and Paykel top loader combines the best of both worlds. It's typically more expensive than most top loaders and less than most front loaders. In 2004 the going price was $600.
The normal wash cycle starts with slow tub rotation while the machine fills with just enough water to saturate (not submerge) the load. Then soapy water is recirculated through the load to cut through the dirt. Then it fills with more and cooler water and goes through shorter and gentler agitation than a standard washer. Then comes a high speed spin followed by a three shower and spin rinses. The high speed spin extracts more water from the load so not as much drying is required.
The physical design is much simpler than that of a typical top loader. The Fisher and Paykel uses a variable speed DC direct drive motor. When the tub fills with water it floats up about half an inch disenganging the agitator from the inner tub. So there's no transmission.
The Fisher and Paykel top loader also has the top Energy Star rating. I was able to get a $125 rebate from the electric utility. Also, the cabinet is slightly smaller than most top loaders giving an advantage where space is at a premium.
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