What's a good older washing machine brand/model?

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I'm probably going to have to get another washing machine since my ancient Hotpoint has munched a seal and lubricant is leaking out.
A local appliance shop has a number of refurb'd top loader washers of various brands - Roper, Maytag, Kenmore, Kitchenaide, Whirlpool, RCA, GE. The ones they had on display ranged from decent in appearance to virtually new looking. Supposedly they've all been gone through. Probably ranging from 5 - 20 years old. Those that had model names visible were Kitchenaide Quiet Care, Superba. Kenmore Quiet Pak Plus. Whirlpool Ultimate Care Heavy Duty.
What's a good older brand or line within a brand that's known for tough, dependable construction and also being repair friendly? Any to definitely avoid? Any features that I should look for? I tend to go for simple, on the theory that there's less to go wrong.
Thanks for all input.
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No electronic parts to fail. Minimal moving parts to fail. Only a rock has a lower MTBF.
http://makeashorterlink.com/?V2A131D0E
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Doc wrote:

I've had no problems with Kenmore Heavy Duty models; in fact the pair I had that were 11 years old were going strong when I gave them to a young/needy couple. I fell for the lure of high energy efficiency in a Kenmore He3 pair (plus no payments/interest for a year...which I paid off beforehand of course). But I'm figuring Whirlpool heavy duty models would be fine, too. Best bet is if you can find some young guy or couple who didn't have kids, bought a house and decided to sell the w/d that came with the house (new of course) because they wanted to "upgrade". Check Craiglist in your area, you might see a pair like that.
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HUGE problem with that approach. There is no brand name "Kenmore". Kenmore LABELLED washer/dryers are made by many different manufacturers. Some are good, some are not so good. So buying Kenmore is very much risky.

No argument there
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<snip>
Kenmore IS the Sears BRAND even though it is manufactured by someone else.
Also in response to your other anti Kenmore post, if you have a knowledgeable salesman at Sears, he can look at the model number and tell you which company manufactured the unit in question.
My parents have always bought Kenmore and *never* had problems within the first 20 years or so. My in-laws always have bought Kenmore and have never had problems. They have a large family and the appliances do get abused there. My wife and I have been buying Kenmore and we have never had problems as of yet. We have a Kenmore washer, dryer, refrigerator and an upright freezer. After 13 years, we have never had anything other than PM's performed on the washer and dryer and not a thing done to the refrigerator or freezer.
We rent our home and the landlord installed new Frigidaire dishwasher (in an earlier post, I said it was a Whirlpool by mistake), stove, oven and refrigerator. The dishwasher is junk, the oven temperatures are off by about 20 degrees. We have the refrigerator in the garage and seems to be working ok, but we have our trusty old Kenmore in the house.
You don't like the band name Kenmore, then buy something else. Kenmore has a good track record as far as I am concerned and will continue to by them.
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If you like Kenmore, that's great. To call Kenmore a brand however, is (at worst) a bald-faced lie, and at best very misleading. To say that Kenmore is a brand of appliances is like saying that "Geo" was a brand of automobiles. If I tore off all the Ford emblems and stuck a "Mikey" sticker on my car, would that mean that my car was Mikey brand??? Heck no. That's why it's ridiculous to state that Kenmore is a brand of appliances. For about the thousandth time, there is no company called "Kenmore" that manufactures appliances. Never was, probably never will be. -Dave
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I never said that there was a company named Kenmore, did I?
OK... I'll bite... Why wasn't Geo a "brand"?
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Because there was no manufacturer named "Geo", and there was no single company that was manufacturing automobiles under a dba "Geo". The cars and SUVs sold (by GM dealers) as "Geo" were made by various car manufacturers such as Suzuki and Isuzu and Toyota (that I know of), and maybe other manufacturers as well. For example, just about everyone in the known universe is aware that the Prism (labelled Geo, later labelled Chevy) was actually a Toyota Corolla. Fewer people are aware that the much-maligned Geo Metro was actually A re-badged Suzuki Swift. Suzuki and Isuzu both made other vehicles which were labelled "Geo" and sold at GM dealers. But "Geo" was just a label, NOT a brand. The brand of the Geo Prism was Toyota. The brand of the Geo Metro was Suzuki. And so on.
In the same sense, "Kenmore" is just a label, it is NOT a brand. If you can find a company called "Kenmore" which makes appliances sold by Sears, I will eat my words. But no such company exists. There is no single company with a dba of "Kenmore" that makes appliances for Sears, either. Therefore, Kenmore is not a brand. It is a label.
The most you can say about Kenmore is that if you find something labelled "Kenmore", it was purchased at Sears or K-Mart. If I purchased a pick-up truck labelled "Craftsman", nobody would be stupid enough to think that my pick-up truck was actually manufactured by Sears, or by a subdivision of Sears called "Craftsman". Yet many people believe that "Kenmore" is a division of Sears that manufactures appliances under the "Kenmore" brand. It's idiotic in the extreme.
Even worse are various consumer groups that proudly proclaim that their research indicates Kenmore is the best brand of blah blah blah . . .
(if anyone should KNOW better) Sheesh. -Dave
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So, Linclon/Mercury isn't a brand? Pontiac isn't a brand? Oldsmobile isn't a brand?
While I agree with you that many people probably think that Kenmore makes the Kenmore brand, I still believe that Kenmore is a brand name.
This isn't worth arguing about. It's not going to solve the worlds problems. You think that you are right and I know that I am right! :)
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Lincoln/Mercury is a brand. You know it's a division of Ford. Pontiac is a brand. You know it's a division of GM. Oldsmobile? I think they used to be a division of GM. They were definitely a brand.
For Kenmore to be a brand, Kenmore would have to manufacture appliances, OR that they would have to be a division of a company that does manufacture appliances*. Neither is true. -Dave
*For example, Frigidaire is an appliance brand, as they are a division of Electrolux, and Electrolux manufactures appliances.
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Whatever....
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Mike T. wrote:

owner of a brand name does NOT have to manufacture that product.
Do you believe P&G manufacturers all their own products?
Do you believe Liz Claiborne manufactures (any of) their clothing line?
Do you believe the gas at your local Exxon station was all manufactured / processed at an Exxon refinery?
And do you really believe Coke is made using the same formulation today as 50 or 100 years ago?
There is NO reason a brand has to be manufactured by the owner of that brand name or by any specific set of conditions / formulation.
Hint - most companies subcontract the manufacture of many of their products and make changes in suppliers, formulations, etc - all the time.
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Mike T. wrote:

Confused about Frigidaire. For example one of the Kenmore front loaders, a Frigidaire front loader and a GE front loader were all pretty much identical. I think all made in the same factory owned by White-Electrolux. Kind of similar to Kenmore for that one.
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Mike T. wrote:

So using your line of thought; my Chevy Luv wasn't "really" a Chevy since it was made by Isuzu? Regardless Kenmore is a "Sears" brand that can also be bought at other "Sears" companies such as OSH and sooner or later at K-Mart. I know that in the past the Kenmore washer/dryer sets (and refrigerators) were made by Whirlpool; pretty positive the washer/dryers still are (seeing as how the He3 is identical to the Duet).
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Seerialmom wrote:

bingo! and the ford courier was made by mazda. the dodge D50 was built by mitsubishi.
now, the tables are turned, and the mazda, isuzu, and mitsu trucks are now rebadged AMERICAN vehicles! what a crazy flip-flop.
toyota and nissan still make their own "small" trucks, but small is a relative term now.
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SoCalMike wrote:

That's probably why I bought a Ford "Festiva" (a Mazda/Kia/Ford venture) and before that a Ford "Fiesta" (the US one that was here from 77-81 I believe, not sure what that was actually...thought it might be an Audi though); I knew they weren't really Fords. I do think a company should think long and hard before they put their name on a product they don't produce; it could lessen the value of that brand if they put the name on anything and everything (Sunbeam...are you listening...you don't make wooden spoons!).
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Mike T. wrote: But "Geo"

Well... actually the Corolla was a NUMMI built vehicle sold by Toyota(Brand) as the Corolla(Marque).
Rob
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C. Massey wrote: > ...I never said that there was a company named Kenmore, did I?

It is/was is a brand, w/ it's unique VIN, of NUMMI & Suzuki vehicles sold by Chevrolet dealers.
Rob
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C. Massey wrote:

different companies and sold under one "brand name".
the geo metro was a rebadged suzuki sprint the geo prism was a rebadged toyota corolla the geo tracker? a suzuki sidekick geo storm? isuzu impulse
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Mike T. wrote:

names - None are a particular product, particular manufacturer, particular formulation, etc.
While you are quite correct in stating Kenmore does not define a particular manufacturer, set of manufacturing requirements, etc, that is true for all brand names.
To use your example, Ford can substitute any products they wish within that car / manufacture it anywhere they wish and still call it a Ford. They could even have Honda make a car for them and call it a Ford, if they so choose.
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