Front loading washers - any good?

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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.
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the high upfront cost and long term repair expenses will elminate any operating savings.........
top load cheaper to buy and easier and cheaper to repair
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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).
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12 yrs old its Made In USA, today, its china crap so who knows.
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borealbushman wrote:

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.
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Daughter has used a front load Miele for years without a problem. It's quiet and efficient. T
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We have front loaders. I would never spend the extra $ again. They last no longer than a top loader and cost 3 times as much. Water and soap savings are minimal.
cm

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Ashton Crusher wrote:

I remember back in the 1950's somebody made a front loading washer/dryer combo machine. It washed and dried in the SAME machine. What happened to that idea?
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Van Chocstraw
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On Thu, 26 Feb 2009 09:46:19 -0500, Van Chocstraw

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.
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I remember those. My parents had one. I'm not sure if that is what caused them to drink excessively but I do recall sudsy water all over the place. I was about three or four at the time.

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wrote:

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
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im dealing with a horror story as we speak!! stay away!!!! stay away!!! stick with the ugly old ones!!!
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We used our 1961 Whirlpool top loader until 1998 then gave it to our son and he is still using it. WW
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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 ;-)
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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 loader.
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Mine was terrible!!
Had one for seven years and it finally quit.....very little use
Went back to a top loader GE Hydrowave and love it
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Eric in North TX wrote:

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.
steve
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On Thu, 26 Feb 2009 18:06:57 -0600, Steve Barker

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.
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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.
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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 a week?
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 problems.
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 year Total somewhere around less than $40 per year. Over 40 years.
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