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Old 07-15-2013, 04:35 PM   #21
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Now that it's mostly the two of us, I doubt I'd see savings from water efficiency over the cost of a new machine
+1

I needed that high efficiency, hot water saving machine 20 years ago when my kids did a load of laundry every day! Each!
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:30 PM   #22
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Crazy? Not in my book.

I attempt repairs whenever I see a shot. I also frequently buy necessary tools instead of buying service labor. A laptop in the garage is used for pdf repair manuals, google and youtube. I just lay a sheet of saran wrap over the keyboard.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:30 PM   #23
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Crazy? Not in my book.

I attempt repairs whenever I see a shot. I also frequently buy necessary tools instead of buying service labor. A laptop in the garage is used for pdf repair manuals, google and youtube. I just lay a sheet of saran wrap over the keyboard.
Agreed. My father taught me that even if my repair failed I still learned something that would probably help me in the future. He was right.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #24
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Ship it to the curb. You'll make those recycling dependent trash haulers very happy. If its that old it's certainly not energy star and cost hundreds more each year to operate than a new one. My newer washer uses about one third the amount of water and soap as a washer from the 80's. Why spend half a day reviving that dinosaur only to have it break again in a year?
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:48 PM   #25
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ERD50 - Congrats on another good repair!

Our Kenmore (made then by Whirlpool) clothes washer is 25 years old. Over the years I:

- Replaced the plastic "dogs" at the top of the tub shaft (ratchet & pawl concept so drum agitates one way). A 5 minute job from topside.

- Replaced fill valve after many years, one side would not turn ON all the way, backflushing it while ON would not clear it, so replaced it.
A 10 minute job, once washer moved far enough from wall so I could get behind it.

- Replaced the water pump a couple years ago, looked like the seal went, allowing water to creep into shaft bearing, eventually rusting bearing, causing bearing race to spin and wear through plastic pump housing, hence water leak into floor drain, which was the clue something was wrong.
Pulled machine out of the lineup and took it outside to get working room, took housing off to get at pump.
Used hand truck with a piece of cardboard for paint protection, and a rope around machine and truck to create an appliance truck (some call them "dolly").

Simple stuff.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:35 PM   #26
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The following applied to me, when I tossed out my washer about 5 years ago.

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Our 27 28 YO Maytag (Model A482) Kenmore wash machine was purchased when it was just DW and me. It has washed every load of clothes for our growing family (three 2 kids)...
So, don't remember what the problem was (I used to remember every little thing like this, but old age obviously creeps up on me, even as I often show off here about my superior memory), but maybe it was not pumping out all the water at the end of the cycle.

So, I hauled it outside using a handtruck like Telly did, turned it on its side to look up its bottom. I had revived its sibling, a Kenmore dryer that I bought at the same time when we were newlyweds, by changing the drive belt, so I was going to attempt to repair this the same way.

Uh oh! What's this thoroughly rusted bracket that fell out as I turned the machine over? Took me 10 seconds to realize that although that mounting bracket might have nothing to do with a broken belt, the fact that the machine internal mounting points had deteriorated meant that it was beyond hope.

Should I get a new-fangled front loader? Nah! I read about them having terrible failure rates that cost a lot more than what they save in water. My sister also discovered the inconvenience that she could not throw in an extra item or two once she started a cycle.

At the nearest Sears outlet, we walked among dozens of machines that were new, but left over from clearance sales and end of production runs, and such. So many to chose from...

Eeny meeny miny moe! I take this one. It's got: water level selection, agitator hi/lo speed, run duration, a few different cycles. What more do I need?

Took it home, and placed it next to its elderly relative, the senior Kenmore dryer, in the utility room. Hmm... Colors do not match, but if that does not offend the missus's sensibilities, does this geek even care?

Anyhow, I've always thought that it's basically the detergent that does the cleaning, as long as one gives the wet laundry some sloshing action. What's with all these fancy schmancy high tech washers?
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:03 AM   #27
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That is a long time for one washer! You must have really put some love into that machine to keep it working for so lone. That being said, we have had high efficiency washers for quite some time now and they work really well. We never have sour clothes and we save on detergent too.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:14 AM   #28
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That is a long time for one washer! You must have really put some love into that machine to keep it working for so long.
I am not sure if you were referring to me or to the OP, but we share the following philosophy.

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... I never, ever, not even one time, performed any maintenance on the washer (I have replaces/tightened the hoses, and cleaned the filters in the hoses).
No, wait. I don't think I had replaced the hoses at all. It was indeed a bit tough to remove the hoses after all those years. Amazing these things lasted that long, but they did.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:22 AM   #29
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We put in a new energy efficient Kenmore washing machine when we built our house 3 years ago. Put it this way, now we are looking for a used old-fashioned washing machine in good condition!

In my opinion, the new machines are built for people with clean clothes - not for those with heavy duty dirt to deal with.

Good for you, ERD50 for fixing the old washer!
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #30
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Ship it to the curb. You'll make those recycling dependent trash haulers very happy. If its that old it's certainly not energy star and cost hundreds more each year to operate than a new one. My newer washer uses about one third the amount of water and soap as a washer from the 80's. Why spend half a day reviving that dinosaur only to have it break again in a year?
I'm not sure if you are serious or joking/satire?

I'd love to see you do the math on that 'cost hundreds more each year'. There's the two of us now, and our water costs ~ 7 cents to pump 100 Gallons out of the ground, I spend maybe $15/month on salt for the softener, but that is for all our indoor water needs.


Hmmm, to save even a single $100 in water a year would mean using 2,000 gallons less a week! We could grow flowers in the desert with one of those modern machines! Just plug it in and more water comes out than goes in!

So @ 1/3 the usage, to save 2,000 G water, I'd be using 3,000 G/week now. My pump would need to run non-stop for about 7 hours to deliver that much water, and we'd need to be filling the washer tub that whole time! That obviously is not happening, the wash is done far sooner than that, and filling is only a small portion of the overall wash time (sorry, couldn't find specs on water usage on my washer). But it is obviously a small fraction, maybe 1/10th of that? So $10/year water savings?

OK, so there is the heating of the water cost - I do have the energy sticker it came with. NG heater, sticker says 8 loads a week is less than $30/year at current $/therm. So that might save $20/year.

And maybe some savings in the dryer, the new ones supposedly wring them out drier. But saving a couple hours of drier use isn't going to add up to much either.

Seriously, do the math for me, maybe I made a mistake, I'm on my first cuppa. Include the cost of funds, and the estimated life of these new washers. I will not be surprised if this unit outlives any replacement I would buy.



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By the way thanks for the link to the Lepai LP-2020A - been looking for an amp for my camp where most everything runs on 12VDC and solar panels. This should do for playing tunes via Ipod and drive a pair of speakers.
It's a nice little unit. It will play loud, but of course, don't expect too much from it. But it plays cleanly for a reasonable output, and is a real bargain, IMO.

If you need more, the other one I linked will kick out quite a bit more power. I've got it hooked to some high quality bookshelf-sized monitors (some B&W demo units I got at a good, but still $$$ price), and it really delivers Hi-Q sound. It takes 24VDC though (I'm using AC adapters with both of these), but if you have two batteries to series, you could do that. It's on sale now for just $69. But I'm sure the smaller one would fit your needs, if you just want some nearby, normal-level music (not rock concert levels).

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Old 07-16-2013, 09:46 AM   #31
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Just had to repair our Maytag (guessing age 20+). It's the "new" style front loader (more water efficient, energy efficient, easier on clothes, etc.) Must have been just when they started to make such machines. So... Considered replacing it as I am not handy at all. Also, it is a stack unit so even more difficult to get at and under. BUT, the two repair guys I called (yep, the Maytag Repair Man - my favorite was Gordon Jump of WKRP fame) said the "old' ones are not only repairable, but BETTER than anything now offered new. So, if you can keep an old one going (by yourself) it's probably time/money well spent. One of the repair guys suggested the old ones will last as long as one can find parts. Not sure of that, but I can tell you that all of our newer appliances (stove, fridge, etc.) are junk right off the show-room floor. Sad, really.

As always, YMMV.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #32
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For reference, there is another repair that I'll probably skip.

I've got a Craftsman Lawn Tractor that is in its 12th season. I have an acre of lawn to cut, so this has seen quite a few hours (~400?). It's got a 17 HP B&S that starting using oil last season, and now I need to top off ~ 6 ounces every time I cut (it's 8 oz from 'low' to 'full'). And that is with a bunch of that Marvel stuff in there. I pulled the plug recently to replace it and I couldn't believe it was still running, it was so fouled. But it seems to run fine with normal power.

I thought about pulling the head, but I see notes about special tools required (OHV). I'm leaning towards seeing if I can get thru the season, and then replace it in the Fall or Spring. I don't know if the Fall close out deals are better than the competition sales in the Spring.

My previous tractor lasted 10 seasons, I get the relatively cheap ones (~ $1000-$1200 IIRC), so I guess this is about all you can expect from these. I look at this as saving about $100 for every year I can postpone a new purchase (just amortizing the cost over 10-12 years), and I'm guessing repairs could start hitting $100/year, even doing the work myself. Plus, I've never been that happy with the quality of the cut (and I'm not that fussy).

I'd really like to do more research on a replacement. I kind of like Sears, as there is a parts outlet nearby that has saved my rear a few times when I've had a belt or cable or pulley bearing go out on a Saturday. I don't know if parts are as available for other brands? Any good links for customer reviews for these things?

-ERD50
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:44 AM   #33
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Nope ship it to the curb and save yourself the eventual hassel when you have a sopping wet floor and half cleaned clothes. If you paid water and sewer rates as high as mine and washed 5-6 loads per week ( I got boys lots of em) the math proves big savings.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:11 PM   #34
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I'd love to see you do the math on that 'cost hundreds more each year'. There's the two of us now, and our water costs ~ 7 cents to pump 100 Gallons out of the ground, I spend maybe $15/month on salt for the softener, but that is for all our indoor water needs. ...
Nope ship it to the curb and save yourself the eventual hassel when you have a sopping wet floor and half cleaned clothes. If you paid water and sewer rates as high as mine and washed 5-6 loads per week ( I got boys lots of em) the math proves big savings.
I guess you are not a big fan of actually answering questions, are you?

Again, I'd love to see the math - 'lots of kids' and 'proves big savings' are just unfounded, non-mathematical opinions. And I used an 8 load a week number for the energy costs, more than your 6 and probably high, and that's less than $30/year - so I can't save more energy than that. What are your sewer/water costs? At any rate, I'm not paying them, so why should it enter into my decision?

From what I've been reading about this washer (apparently a real classic, a gem of durability), and the lower quality of the new ones, I think it's reasonable to expect a new one to spring a leak before this old horse does. If it has gone 27 years w/o a repair, I'm betting the next repair will be out a ways also. Not enough data to calculate a meaningful MTBR, but it's at least pointing that way.

Does the "ENG" in your sig stand for 'Engineer'? I ask, because all the engineers I know are much more number/fact oriented. Seems like a disconnect to me, so I'm curious, that's all.

-ERD50
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #35
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Seriously, do the math for me, maybe I made a mistake, I'm on my first cuppa. Include the cost of funds, and the estimated life of these new washers. I will not be surprised if this unit outlives any replacement I would buy.
Don't forget about potentially more expensive repairs with the new washing machine. Buying a brand new washing machine doesn't absolve you of maintenance needs forever.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:10 PM   #36
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I'll fix most stuff, but when our first washer starting having issues, it looked like the transmission/gear box thingie was just plain wore out and would cost a lot even with me doing the work, so I replaced it.

Thankfully dryers are simpler... I have 2 30+ year old dryers, each has had minor repairs, belts, thermostat, heating element, that sort of thing. One is the original I got, the other was from a friend about 12-14 years later, he was moving and it had a noise and didn't want to deal with. Gave it to me as long as I picked it up. Cost me more to put in a second outlet than to repair the dryer. DW has grown accustomed to having the two, and with our older washer that wasn't efficient it helped overall throughput. Now we have a newer more efficient washer and the need for dryers is less... Maybe I'll never need to buy one... Plus when one goes down, NP, I have one available until I get the other fixed...

On a different appliance note, I have an 18 year old GE stove that has a touchpad for the oven and timer controls (knobs for the burners). Couple of years ago I noticed some cracking around the locations you push, and then recently a little piece actually fell out. No problem, get a new pad, right? First thing I find out is the replacement pad is made with the entire control set, retailing for hundreds. But it didn't matter, they quite making them 3 years ago, it's NLA. Can't find one anywhere. Fortunately I found a touchpad with the same control locations and picked it up for about $25. I hope I'll be able to dismantle and tape it on over the old one so no more pieces fall off, and it will look better. Thanks GE!
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:31 PM   #37
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Couple of years ago I noticed some cracking around the locations you push, and then recently a little piece actually fell out.
The "push-buttons" on our refrigerator (select crush ice, "cubes" or water in the door dispenser) started to crack within 2 years of purchasing the appliance. It was the plastic sheet over the small mechanical switches that was cracking. Before it got too bad I put a small clear "bumper" of the kind used for cupboard doors over each touch point. It doesn't look bad, it has completely stopped new cracking and covered up the ones that were already cracked. The switches operate just fine through the added "bumpers".
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #38
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My husband has fixed our washer twice. Both times it was the belt. The unit is about 15 years old and runs like a champ. I still have kids in the house so it's about 5 loads a week.

It may not be as water efficient as the new ones- but I don't worry about it too much - we graywater the output into the yard irrigation. So we save that irrigation water bill.

As far as it not wringing out the clothes as much - no biggy, I dry a lot of our clothes on the line outside. So dryer cycles are "free" except for the labor of hanging the laundry... and I enjoy that time in the fresh air. It helps we live in sunny San Diego...

Environmentally it makes sense to continue to repair and reuse an existing appliance since the energy cost of manufacturing, shipping, etc on a new one is a big ticket to overcome. (We feel the same way about DH's gas guzzling 18 year old pickup... he works from home so it makes sense to keep it running and not replace it.)

As far as new appliances having more things to break, that's a big pet peeve of mine. We recently redid our 1960's era kitchen. We made a point of getting an electronics free range/oven. No clock, not even a thermostat. (We hang an old school oven thermometer inside.) If the power goes out we'll need to use a match to light the stove or oven- but our range and oven will still work. It's an awesome range - but it was pricy.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:48 PM   #39
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On a different appliance note, I have an 18 year old GE stove that has a touchpad for the oven and timer controls (knobs for the burners). Couple of years ago I noticed some cracking around the locations you push, and then recently a little piece actually fell out. No problem, get a new pad, right? First thing I find out is the replacement pad is made with the entire control set, retailing for hundreds. But it didn't matter, they quite making them 3 years ago, it's NLA. Can't find one anywhere. Fortunately I found a touchpad with the same control locations and picked it up for about $25. I hope I'll be able to dismantle and tape it on over the old one so no more pieces fall off, and it will look better. Thanks GE!
OK, thanks to this thread reminding me about my oven issue, I got on it this morning. Pulled the stove out for rear access (been several years, what a mess!) and got in there. Turns out the old touchpad peeled off and the new one fit exactly. While the button location/function on the new pad match, the printing is not identical, minor differences.

Bottom line is GE is selling the part I needed, but for another oven, and it doesn't show up in the computer parts reference thingie. But it's on, it looks great, and I'm out the $25 and not shopping for a new stove as GE would've liked... Feeling fortunate that I spent the time going through a searchable set of touchpads WITH PICTURES so that I could find the one I needed... Wouldn't have found it otherwise...
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #40
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Update:

Belts came in the mail yesterday, replaced them this AM, and did one load with front cover off to check things, then zipped it all back together (all two screws!), and DW has run a few more loads. Good as new! I plan to be proactive on this for the next go-around, and have marked my 2038 calendar for a belt replacement, whether it needs it or not ! I'll enter an inflation adjusted $15.31 expense into FIRECALC to plan for this.

Of course, since it was open, I could just not leave well enough alone. I did another once-over to check for loose screws, worn/tired hoses, and a general check-up. Horrors, I see what looks like a hairline crack in the metal housing of the transmission!! Uh-oh, this could lead to big problems.

So I take a brush to clean it up and get a better look, and that apparent hairline crack was.... a hair (or thread?). Whew, dodged a bullet!

-ERD50
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