I've had plain old top loaders for years. I know the front loaders
are supposed to save water and soap but it seems like all I read about
them are horror stories of endless repairs, almost mandatory yearly
servicing's, etc. What's the real story on these? My top loaders
seem to last for years and years without ever needing service.
We've used our Kenmore front-loading washer constantly for twelve
years, and other than my having to clean out the pump ONCE (my wife
had washed a few new heavy quilts with frayed seams) it has been 100%
fault-free! Even after a 3,000 mile move across the continent.
As advertised, it uses less soap, MUCH less water, and is almost
silent. One of our best purchases. I figure most of the critics who
put down front-loading washers have never used one ... the same goes
for those who put down tankless water heaters and Macintosh computers
(we've enjoyed tankless water heaters problem-free for twenty-one
years and Macintosh computers problem-free for twenty-two years).
- - - - -
Soap's cheap and water is free (nobody MAKES water, you just pay to have it
harvested and delivered). Silent is usually good.
Macintosh compuers are much like the Celtic warriors long ago employed by
the English Kings. Dependable as hell, the few things they do (e.g., kill
people) they do extremely well.
You just wouldn't want them to actually RUN things...
Still, front-load washers, tankless water heaters, and Macintoshes are all
much more expensive than their more pedestrian counterparts.
You need to get out more. They exist and are unpopular due to the
fact they cost up to twice as much as two separate machines. Few
people feel like shelling out an additional thousand dollars so that
they can avoid dragging clothing from one machine to another and most
people prefer keeping the ability to pipeline -- to do a wash while the
previous load dries.
LG was and likely still is making them, they were a couple years ago.
my sister in law worked for a realty company that installed over 600
in apartments. unfortunately she got a better job so i never found out
long term results
Hi AC. It was discussed to some extent here on 2/20 "What brand of
top-loading washer..." but so far I haven't found out how much water they
actually save. When looking for info to repair my top-loader I kept coming
across stories of front-loaders with bad drums and door seals. No doubt
some are better than others. I did some math one time and the electricity
savings came out to about $12/year. I finally decided to repair my old
Kenmore top-loader (made by Whirlpool) and keep it for the rest of my life.
Kinda like my '91 Explorer ;-)
My experience with a front loader has been positive. We have had it
about 5 years and so far it has been trouble free. The biggest single
factor is the spin cycle drying the clothes before the dryer ever gets
them. Between that and a dryer with a moisture sensor, we have cut our
laundry costs to the bone. My propane man walks away in disgust every
time he come by to fill the tank. I don't know that I particularly
like front loaders for any other reason, they require special soap,
they make funny noises, they require some sort of odor fighter like
baking soda in the mix. However, I wouldn't willingly go back to a top
I agree with you except the soap thing. They Do NOT actually require
the HE soap. We've used the plain old wash detergents in ours since
we've had it. You just use less. And anyone who says they don't use
less water is just jealous they can't afford one. Ours paid for
themselves in less than two years in water savings alone. 14 gallons is
a hell of a lot less than 55. And that's the difference in the old
machine we had and the new one. That high speed spin does leave the
clothes nearly dry so the dryer only works about 20 minutes. So, that's
a third of the electricity in the dryer also.
The HE soap works better and is easier on the seals etc, and is NOT
that much more expensive overall.
And they sure do use a LOT less water. They run a lot longer to do a
load - but the load can be bigger and still come out clean - and it
uses less power when running - and yes, it does take a lot less drying
time - not to mention the clothes come out dry enough you can hang-dry
them in the laundry room or basement without dripping on the floor.
We bough a Samsung pair and my wife loves it.
I use my machine to dye fabric at least once a week. You can't do that in a
front loader because the fabric has to be added to the machine while it's
agitating. For me, a front loader is simply not an option.
We used a front loader in the Middle East. Found it used very little
water, had limited capacity, and also took a longer time to wash each
load. Result was that a couple would probably have to wash clothes
every night or at very least each couple of days, probably five loads
Whereas here (North America) we wash one or two large loads per week,
including towels etc. for two people. And some loads can be washed in
cold or lukewarm water.
We had one front gasket door leak in some 3 years. The washer IIRC was
Italian made. Controls were a little too complicated; IMO.
We also found that the European style dryers were inadequate and were
not supplied with our accommodation anyway. Outside (well everywhere!)
it was very dusty. So over there we bought a North American style 230
volt (full size) dryer and vented it outside. That and the low air
humidity meant that clothes dried pretty quickly.
Presumably North American 'front loaders' have more capacity?
Back here: Have to agree the old style North American (Sears, Kenmore
etc.) washers (and dryers) are pretty robust and reliable. For example
We are still using the first and only one 'automatic' washer that we
have bought, since 1960. Purchasing it around the mid/early 1970s when
our original agitator washer with a wringer failed. Even when we used
a well water supply (now on municipal water supply) we had no
The current washer has had timer switch work twice (Pitted contacts!
Repaired by self. A replacement timer would have cost about $70) and
was also fitted with the tub out of a another discarded washer, some
six years ago, when it started to leak! It will probably last another
four of five years by look of it? For a total life with say, four
repairs in approx. 40 years. BTW do recall replacing one washer belt
some 10 years ago! And one dryer belt some 15-20 years ago.
We have a couple of dryers; the one have been currently using for last
5 to 6 years cost a dozen beer, provided we took it away promptly that
day! I hope the gentleman and his wife who gave it to me have had as
good a service from the 'new washer/dryer set' they were having
delivered, as we have!
With so many used appliances available at present and based on what we
found with the front loader it is unlikely we will be changing
anything for quite a while. We estimate our washer plus dryer annual
costs (not including electricity etc.) to be of the order of;
Capital/amortization costs, less than $1000/40 = $25 year.
Self maintenance (Keep used parts on hand btw) Maybe $250/40 = $5 per
Total somewhere around less than $40 per year. Over 40 years.
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