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Excellent Washer!
Old 08-01-2005, 08:04 PM   #1
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Excellent Washer!

There are few consumer products that excite me, but we've owned a Fisher & Paykel Ecosmart washer that has worked flawlessly for the last 5 years. It developed a problem today, and I was able to diagnose the problem from info on the net. This machine has excellent built-in diagnostics and self-tests that the user can invoke (if you find the secret instructions hidden inside the control panel).

I was able to determine that the problem was in the diverter valve, manually correct the problem, and order a new part from a local supplier. This thing is reliable, well designed, and easy to work on -- a very rare combo in my experience.
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-01-2005, 11:54 PM   #2
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Re: Excellent Washer!

I dread the day when my washer or dryer break, both are loaded with high technology



..... yes..... I bought them because they have touch screens and can communicate with each other using a serial cable..... I hope to hook them up to a web server so the WORLD will know that I have 2.1kg of cotton briefs in the dryer using the 'heavily soiled' mode.... oh, wait, bad idea.... :
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 12:40 AM   #3
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Re: Excellent Washer!

I remember seeing Fisher and Paykel in some CU writeups. Expensive!

My favorites are Whirlpool, or Sears Kenmore made by Whirlpool. Our present Kenmore washer and dryer are 16 years old now. Washer = zero repairs. Dryer, I pulled the drum out of it a few years ago and replaced the glued-on drum to back panel fabric seal, they eventually wear away. Replaced the belt idler wheel (went sqeaky) and put a new belt on it when I replaced the idler wheel. Parts are cheap, I order them up @ searsparts online or pick them up at a*Sears service parts center.

This spring I picked up a Whirlpool extra large capacity washer and dryer set at a house sale. They were about 10 years old. Got them for one of our kids. Did some cleanup work inside-outside, replaced the washer's lid hinge bearings and lid interlock striker, and replaced the lint filter on the dryer. The handle on the lint filter was broken off. That was the most expensive part, $20. Took the top off of the dryer to do some spot-sanding then repainted it with epoxy appliance paint. The lady who had them used the top of the dryer for storage, and there were some surface rust spots. With a new set of hoses, they are in use now and working well.
I like Whirlpool stuff (or the Kenmore named equiv.). They are built like tanks, the internal layouts make sense to me, parts are rarely needed, and reasonably priced when they are. Whirlpools FSP division makes replacement parts for many appliances of other makes too. Whirlpool never needed a "Lonely Maytag Repairman" marketing campaign to boost their sales.

I have heard that the early Whirlpool horizontal axis washers were not as reliable as the tried and true vertical axis washers. Following the Maytag Neptune series, I guess. Knew a few people that bought the $$ Maytag Neptune in their first year or so. They had problems, repeatedly, and all of them got new Neptunes as part of the eventual fix.* I think the Lonely Maytag Repairman was deceased by then.* :P
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 07:44 AM   #4
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Way to go Telly. You're my kinda guy....diy

I've been cursing KitchenAid disposals for awhile now. It would turn on sometimes. Otherwise just sit there and hum until the protection circuit tripped. Finally replaced the disposal and the new one did the same thing! Yep, you guessed it. The wall switch was giving out. I returned the new disposal and replaced the old one and installed a new heavy duty wall switch...not the .49 jobs



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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 11:06 AM   #5
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Bum,
I think most of the appliances made in America are made by a few manufacturers using many different names.
A friend of mine who does appliance repairs said that the stuff made today has a shorter life than the ones from years ago.
JOE
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 04:16 PM   #6
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
I bought them because they have touch screens and can communicate with each other using a serial cable.
Damn, you have out-geeked me, Marshac. The F&P is pretty high-tech, but it is not on speaking terms with the dryer. (What do yours talk about?)

Another plug for the F&P: it has a brushless DC motor that should last forever, directly drives the tub (no belt or tranny), spins as fast as a centrifuge (the clothes are essentially dry when they're done being washed), and it makes cool sounds too.
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 04:57 PM   #7
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Re: Excellent Washer!

My Hotpoint set (~$700) is 10yo and still works...

I have no talking appliances, though...
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 05:09 PM   #8
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Re: Excellent Washer!

I like the goldfish swimming in your laundry room
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
Damn, you have out-geeked me, Marshac.* *The F&P is pretty high-tech, but it is not on speaking terms with the dryer.* *(What do yours talk about?)
I haven't had time to get in there and monitor the 'conversation' yet, but I do know that it sends data about the size of the load, fabric type, etc... the dryer then adjusts the heat/drying time accordingly (presumably saving power in the process). The washer 'knows' these things through automatic detection of the load size (and adjusts the H2O level accordingly), and through a few prompts the user inputs on the LCD screen prior to wash (garment type, stain type, etc).

Someday I would like to build my own house (i'm thinking straw-bail) and have it be off the grid, so as cool as the washer and dryer are, they probably won't function well off the grid. Look for my manifesto in the NY times sometime in Oct 2013
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: Excellent Washer!

If you're getting back to nature, who needs clothing?? 8)
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 06:51 PM   #11
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Re: Excellent Washer!

We recently bought a Kenmore front loading 3.5 SuperCapacity (also sold under the Frigidaire name). It's amazing. It uses so much less water than our old washer (14 gallons instead of 49ish) and cuts down on the dry time. It cost a few bucks more than the top loading, but I think it's going to be worth it.
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
We recently bought a Kenmore front loading 3.5 SuperCapacity (also sold under the Frigidaire name). It's amazing. It uses so much less water than our old washer (14 gallons instead of 49ish) and cuts down on the dry time. It cost a few bucks more than the top loading, but I think it's going to be worth it.


I once did a calculation that went something like this:

Cost of water: $0.10/1000 gallons = $0.0001/gallon

$0.0001 X 35 gallons = $0.0035 saved/load washed.

$250 (additional cost for front-loader)/$0.0035 = 71,429 loads of wash I'll have to do to break even.

10 loads/week* X 52 weeks/year = 520 loads/year.

71,249/520 = 137 years to break even.

I think I'll be pushin' up daisies or the washer will break before then.

Of course if I use HOT water (who does that? ) I'll save some more on energy costs.

YMMV - A LOT!

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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 07:45 PM   #13
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
If you're getting back to nature, who needs clothing??* 8)
My job has this thing about requiring me to come fully clothed....
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-02-2005, 08:46 PM   #14
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
My job has this thing about requiring me to come fully clothed....
The Nudist On The Late Shift ruined it for everyone...
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-03-2005, 02:30 PM   #15
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Re: Excellent Washer!

I've had a Fisher & Paykel washer and dryer for about 4 yrs now. Love, love, love them.

I'm making a mental note to go on-line for "fix-it instructions" if we ever develop a problem. Thanks.

And I don't know if they've increased in price alot over 4 yrs but they were much less expensive than the Maytag Neptune or the Whirlpool equivalent.
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-03-2005, 03:43 PM   #16
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Thanks, BUM!*
D-I-Y has been a significant contributor to my ability to EER. Every dollar I save by not paying someone else is, well, another dollar I don't spend!* And let me tell ya, we're talking about some really big dollars over the years. D-I-Y is another method of DCA'ing into your investment fund.

Fisher and Paykel - Wab, I remember Consumer Reports mentioning about how the clothes were spun almost dry. Seems they used a small amount of water, too. They mentioned they might be a good choice if you were in a very expensive water area. Seems they were small-capacity machines, but I may not be remembering it all correctly.

Horizontal axis washing machines, and or washers and dryers with electronic keypads, etc. - I avoid the top-end whiz bang feature laden machines. For higher initial purchase price, and down the road higher repairs. I'm one of the most likely to be able to understand and repair such creatures, hell, I could design them myself, but neither do I want to. Any circuit board or specialty electronically commutated motor in a appliance is big parts dollars, and is the part most likely to go obsolete first. And most likely to get blitzed by lightning. If John Galt is reading this... I admit it, I have Luddite tendencies in some areas, particularly if it is going to be with my money!*

Patrick's type of quick payback analysis is spot on for me!

Far be it from me though, to actively lobby others not to buy top-end whatevers. Like SUV's, that is where the manufacturer's highest profitability is. I'm sure I have some stock in them via M-F's somewhere*

I DO lobby people NOT to buy the "builder quality" junk that is made by vendors for new houses, or sold by quick installers. Even the best vendors had to get into the builder market to defend their lower end over time. I still haven't figured out how they think that doesn't hurt their name when somebody who bought a new house and went with the builder quality junk has an appliance die after 2 - 3years.
I knew a guy who bought a just-completed house. Within 3 years or so he was replacing appliances. He works on his own stuff, when he took them apart to fix, said they were all junk, not worth putting $ into just to have the next part break. One by one he replaced them with good stuff.
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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-03-2005, 10:39 PM   #17
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Re: Excellent Washer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454
Bum,
I think most of the appliances made in America are made by a few manufacturers using many different names.
A friend of mine who does appliance repairs said that the stuff made today has a shorter life than the ones from years ago.
JOE
Hi Joe!

You're right. Private labelling and house brands, even universal parts are being made by fewer companies. I don't doubt that today's major appliances have a shorter life than those of yore. Don't blame parts and assembly costs necessarily. Years ago it was routine to "call the man" when service was needed. Now-a-days people just chuck it and get a new one. Who can blame them. A $150 repair bill on a $300 - 500 item is nuts. Today, chuck it id s real alternative.


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Re: Excellent Washer!
Old 08-04-2005, 09:10 AM   #18
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Re: Excellent Washer!

I had a regular appliance repairman when I had apartments. One of the obvious differences in new as opposed to older units was the construction of the motors. He noticed that all the newer electric motors had plastic bearings and bushings. Whereas, the older ones had brass. Big wear difference according to him. He also said that because of the labor/disasembly costs, he usually just replaced the entire broken component rather than replacing a bearing and seal. It was easier and quicker. The manufacturer made more money on components that way (instead of just selling bearings). And this was slowly squeezing him out of business because he made his money hourly.

To be fair to the manufacturer: They were just producing more of what sold better--cheaper product.

We have a fridge out at our shack that is about 60-70 years old that my uncle oils once per year--whether it needs it or not. Never a problem to my knowledge.

--Greg
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