I've been out of the loop when it comes to repairing washers and dryers
since for the past 30 years I've purchased only commercial machines for
my own house and for one rental townhouse. These machines "never" break
under normal residential use since they're designed for laundromats and
everything about them is heavy duty from the motors to the tubs to the
internal plumbing. They're also serviceable from the front if anything
ever breaks. They have only a two knobs for choices for washes:
hot/warm/cold and normal/permanent press/delicate.
Yesterday my wife asks if I'll look at the machine in her mom's garage
in San Francisco which is leaking water on the floor. Removing the back
of this Whirlpool was a nightmare of plastic spring clips and electrical
connections. I saw that the drain hose was leaking, an amazingly awful
cheap, thin, flex plastic hose. Everything inside that could be plastic,
I ordered a drain hose and a pump hose on Amazon for $35 or so. I dread
trying to replace these.
I have a sister-in-law that must love buying appliances. This washer is
only about three years old and it replaced a much better, still
functional, washer. When I asked why they bought this she said that it
was because it was "energy efficient and water-efficient." Well for
washing machines, which use very little electricity, this really means
that it's designed to sense the size of the load and reduce the amount
of water, which is a good theory but rarely works in practice.
Back at my rental unit, the tenants decided that they wanted fancy new
front loaders which I told them that they were welcome to buy, but I
wasn't going to buy them. That meant I had to sell my precious Speed
Queen commercial machines since I had no place to store them. To buy
those machine new today would cost me $2000. They are about 15 years old
and I got $350 for the pair.
They bought LG machines. The tenant (an Apple software engineer) and me
(a hardware engineer) spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to do
a wash. There must be 1000 combinations of choices you can make.
We have a Whirlpool Cabrio washer/dryer set bought about eight years
ago. The washer is a top loader but has a huge tub and a very small
agitator. It's probably been serviced four times since we've had it.
The control panel buttons don't make good connections, there have been
error codes, and the latest one was a cracked inlet receptacle at the
top of the tub that had been leaking for a long time and rusting the
inside of the frame. We never noticed it because it sits on an
elevated platform inside the garage.
These two units replaced two standard GE units we owned for over 20
years. After the heating element in the dryer died the wife insisten
on getting new units. She now wishes we had kept the old ones.
Even the commercial stuff is crap. We have 4 commercial Maytag
frontloaders in our laundry room. They break down constantly and the
damn things do not empty all of the water from the last wash load, so
a certain amout of previous wash water sits in the bottom of the
machine and ferments/stinks if the doors are not left open.
I sympathize. I had an older GE washer/dryer and parts were
plentiful/cheap and both were easily repairable. Killed me when I
moved and hadda sell 'em, as they really did get clothes very clean.
The new stuff is junk and doesn't really clean clothes. Consumer
Reports did a buncha tests on washers a cpl yrs ago and concluded
newer washers don't get clothes clean fer dammit.
My #1 daughter swears by Speed Queen. Says it's the only "real" washing
machine brand left.
But I don't think she has commercial grade and does not have lot of
money... so I suspect that Speed Queen has an affordable line of
That is correct. The Speed Queen commercial line is owned by Alliance
Laundry Systems. You can only buy these machines from distributors that
sell mainly to laundromats and other commercial accounts (multi-unit
housing, etc.) but they'll sell to anyone.
Avoid any of the other commercial laundry brands where they essentially
stick on a coin box and call it a commercial machine.
And it's worth pointing out that commercial machines used in a
commercial setting where they are doing 10-20 loads per day (and likely
being abused as well) do occasionally require service, but they are very
easy to service plus the design doesn't change very often so parts are
easy to get. In a residential setting, where the machines are doing just
a few loads per week versus 100+ loads per week, they very rarely will
Could you expand on your "rarely works in practice" statement? Are you
saying that the high efficiency washers don't actually use less water or
that they can't actually sense the load size or that they don't do either?
The amount of water used by these devices is minimal when averaged over
the number of times they are used so the difference between high and low
efficiency is minimal. The biggest use of water is in irrigation.
Your daughter is VERY intelligent. Speed Queen 'Home Models' are built
like tanks. After searching AND searching, finally found a simple top
loading washer. Speed Queen AWN311, or was it AWN412S ???
It's 'robustness' so far outshines what other manufacturers tout as
'commercial' is incredible. The size of the opening, the ease to get
something in and back out, all incredible. Plus, mechanical switches that
allow you to CONTROL this machine, not just get some list of arbitrary
push button settings that no one in their right mind would want, nor make
What I really liked was that both washer/dryer looked like easy access
work. Everything intuitive to get into. The outsides are plain, but the
insides are solid. They put their money where it counts.
Oh, I had to disassemble to retrieve electrical screws I dropped down
inside. Only complaint is that screws should have stopped at the access,
but fell on through so I had to remove ALL panels to retrieve them [could
have bought more, but as you people have noticed, I'm terminally cheap]
But while I had it apart, I got to admire the inside structures and parts.
and how easy in the future it will be to do any work on it. Even 'roomy'
Two years now and looks like new and NO service calls.
from Number1Direct out of Missouri, $598 came with 10 year warrantee no
shipping, no tax.
I suspect that is the point of Maytag commercial frontloading washers
not emptying all their wash water between loads, to reduce overall
consumption of water and decrease water costs to laundromat
businesses. Unfortunately, the consumer pays with stinky old wash
water, and believe me, in the Winter when less ppl are using the
laundry, that water can get pretty damn rank. It's really gross.
I'm not sure how that answers the question that I asked sms.
sms was talking about consumer grade high efficiency washers (not Maytag
commercial washers) and how the practice of measuring the load to determine
water usage only worked in theory, not in practice.
I'm curious as to how why he made that statement.
JUNK. We bought Samsung front loaders 6 years ago > I wasn't sure how
they would work out, so I took the "can't lose" 5 year warranty which
gave a store credit for the value of the warranty if nothing went
wrong in the first 5 years. Nothing did. Got some BarBQ accessories
with the warranty refund last summer.
No problems, my wife likes them - get clothes clean and require a lot
less drying time either in the drier or on the line because they spin
out so much better than the old toploader did. The toplader set was30
years old when I replaced them. I'd done several repairs to the drier
and one to the washer previously - but when the pump on the washer
gave out, I just hauled them off to the scrappies.
I'm not sure what to say, SMS.
I bought three pair of Maytag top loading washers and Maytag dryers back
in 1994 to replace my old 1960 vintage Speed Queens. (Amana is marketed
as Speed Queen in Canada.)
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE between a Maytag residential washer and a Maytag
commercial washer is that the commercial washer will have a coin drop
mechanism and a coin box to receive the coins. Ditto for the Maytag
commercial dryers. Other than the coin drop mechanism and coin box, the
residential washers are identical to the commercial washers and same
goes for the dryers.
I'm not sure what you mean by that. So far these three pair of Maytag
machines have lasted 20 years with 21 households all doing laundry in
I expect a single tenant wouldn't do quite as much laundry as a family,
How do you know this? (You stated you've been out of the repair business
for 30 years.) Have there been reports/are there repair statistics that
indicate that the load sensing mechanism gets flaky? I'm just asking
because it's not something I've ever heard of as being a complaint. I'm not
saying it's not true, just wondering.
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