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Old 12-04-2007, 05:32 PM   #21
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I'll be getting a front loader this summer, so this is all interesting.

What gets me, is when I see a front loader in the store, I see a $700 dryer next to it. First, since the front loader spins so much water out, do you even need a better dryer? And are they better? Why are the dryers so much more than the ones I see next to top load models? Or are they all this expensive, and I just haven't been looking at the other ones?

I got a real cheaper washer about 7 years ago when I wasn't sure how long I was staying in the house. I want to replace it because it doesn't do that good of a job. But the dryer seems fine. Any reason not to kee the old dryer, other than a mismatch in looks?
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:43 PM   #22
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I kept my old dryer. I recall reading in Consumer Reports that the only reason to update the dryer along with the washer is if the dryer doesn't have a moisture sensor mode.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:08 PM   #23
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We have a GE Profile front loader. We replaced the old top loader when it started leaking oil. Second the comments that we kept our old dryer and that you should leave the door open when you are done so it dries out.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:16 PM   #24
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Bought a front loading Kenmore H2 about 2 years ago and love it. Really spins clothes almost dry, takes large loads, versatile modes. Made by Whirlpool.

We leave the door open so it doesn't develop odor from small amounts of retained water.
Do you use the special detergent?
We've always had Kenmore washer/dryer and few problems. Washer is 8 yrs old and gas dryer is 19yrs. Now thinking about 'splurging' on new high end set primarily for energy savings and ease of loading, etc. When we went to Sears, the clerk was very insistent selling us on their (low-sudsing or whatever) detergent. He also mentioned complaints about vibration on some units without the risers.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:31 PM   #25
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A high sudsing detergent can cause the pump to suck suds when dumping the water, and that cavitation can theoretically damage the pump over time. I think that a lot of the newer models dont have that problem because its not quacked about as much anymore.

I had one of those original Neptunes too...left it in my mcmansion when i moved. Sort of a drastic approach to dump a troublesome appliance, but it worked.

I've used some "HE" detergents that blew more suds than a regular detergent. Seems that the plain old Costco detergent is fine. Just add it until you get a little suds and stop.

All three front loaders I've had did fine with about 2 tablespoons of detergent.

As far as the units having less vibration when you buy the $200 "risers"...ummm...BULLSHIT! (I owe Al $5)

What CAN be a problem is if your laundry room floor is rotted or poorly supported. Front loaders are heavier than top loaders and with a high RPM spin, if you've got some rotted floor supports you're gonna know it.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:00 PM   #26
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Do you use the special detergent?
We've always had Kenmore washer/dryer and few problems. Washer is 8 yrs old and gas dryer is 19yrs. Now thinking about 'splurging' on new high end set primarily for energy savings and ease of loading, etc. When we went to Sears, the clerk was very insistent selling us on their (low-sudsing or whatever) detergent. He also mentioned complaints about vibration on some units without the risers.
I use Kirkland "HE" powdered detergent. Most brands have a HE variant.

It is true that if you place these front loaders on a wooden floor (vs concrete) they can shake the floor if the load is off balanced.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:04 PM   #27
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Those of you that have front loaders...did you get the pedestals that allow less bending over when loading/unloading? Do they help?
No, I decided to wait and see if it was an issue. If it was, I was going to build a plywood box to set it on. The pedestals are, IMHO, outrageously priced, like the "matching" dryers.

I don't find bending over an issue - same as the dryer, now.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:19 PM   #28
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I was gonna do the plywood box thing as well. Cheapest I've seen the pedestals for is $99 with a dent in them in the back of the store. Funny, but you can get a whole toploader washing machine for <$200. But a couple of chunks of stamped steel with no innards costs the same?

Not to mention a lot of the pedestals only bump the height up 9-10". You're still going to be crouching or bending.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:19 PM   #29
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Where is SamClem to sell up his Staber?
I'm on it! I can't believe you guys started a washing machine thread without me!

WanderAlot, you should really check out the Staber machine. It is like nothing else. It has the vertical axis you want (like a front loader, so your clothes tumble through the water--they are very good on water). Moreover, the axis of the drum is supported on both ends (front and back). Think about it--in a typical front loader the drum s supported only at the back and cantilevers off of that axis--plenty of bending stress on that bearing. And, there's no door that is submerged in the water to leak, no gasket to catch water and get gross. (This also enable you to open the washer and insert items at any time without spilling water n the floor). Finally, all the parts on the thing are built to last for many years, and to be easily replaced when they break. And, it costs less than the "oh so pretty but full of breakable plastic doo-hickey's" front loaders.

The machine loads from the top, but you load the clothes through a trap door into the vertical axis drum. Very slick.

Okay, that's the short version.

Here's a link to the company's web site.
Energy Efficient Washing Machines, Dryers, and Laundry Detergent by Staber Industries

Here's a link to a very well-written (by me), insightful Epinions review of the Staber washer.
Staber Top Load Horizontal Axis HXW2304 Washing Machine Review at Epinions.com
Buy one and own something really well designed and built.

About dryers: I think they are all about the same.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:42 PM   #30
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SamClem, I think you nailed it in your review. The Staber isn't as popular because it isn't pretty.
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:15 AM   #31
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Bought a front loading Kenmore H2 about 2 years ago and love it. Really spins clothes almost dry, takes large loads, versatile modes. Made by Whirlpool.

We leave the door open so it doesn't develop odor from small amounts of retained water.
We have the Whirlpool models of these and agree that keeping the washer door open until it dries out does help keep down the odor and mildew. Also, don't forget to vacuum out the dryer once a year or so. I did mine today and it was pretty full of lint.

We have the pedestals on ours. It makes it much easier to get stuff in and out of them and also gives you some additonal storage space in the drawers.

We see wrinkles mostly with sheets and T shirts. Most everything else comes out fine. The dryer is a bit "cool" and it takes a while to get the towels dry. We love the large capacity.
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:50 AM   #32
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Those of you that have front loaders...did you get the pedestals that allow less bending over when loading/unloading? Do they help?
I have one at my old house, and my laundry room here at the apartment building also has front loaders. They are the cheaper low to the ground models. I would think that unless you have some orthopedic or functional impairment, that amount of bending would not be noticeable.

Ha
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:56 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I'm on it! I can't believe you guys started a washing machine thread without me!

WanderAlot, you should really check out the Staber machine. It is like nothing else. It has the vertical axis you want (like a front loader, so your clothes tumble through the water--they are very good on water). Moreover, the axis of the drum is supported on both ends (front and back). Think about it--in a typical front loader the drum s supported only at the back and cantilevers off of that axis--plenty of bending stress on that bearing. And, there's no door that is submerged in the water to leak, no gasket to catch water and get gross. (This also enable you to open the washer and insert items at any time without spilling water n the floor). Finally, all the parts on the thing are built to last for many years, and to be easily replaced when they break. And, it costs less than the "oh so pretty but full of breakable plastic doo-hickey's" front loaders.

The machine loads from the top, but you load the clothes through a trap door into the vertical axis drum. Very slick.

Okay, that's the short version.

Here's a link to the company's web site.
Energy Efficient Washing Machines, Dryers, and Laundry Detergent by Staber Industries

Here's a link to a very well-written (by me), insightful Epinions review of the Staber washer.
Staber Top Load Horizontal Axis HXW2304 Washing Machine Review at Epinions.com
Buy one and own something really well designed and built.

About dryers: I think they are all about the same.
What a great advert. If I wouldn't have to put it in my living room, I would buy one tomorrow. Maybe I will go down to a store and act like I have a house and need one, just to be in the room with such a remarkable peiece of equipment. And this has to happen just when I was getting adjusted to apartment living!

Ha
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:20 AM   #34
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samclem - thanks for the Staber review - I had never heard of them.

At first I was a bit shocked at the price ~ $1200, I'm seeing front loaders starting to come down into the $600 range. But, after reading how some of these other front loaders may not last so long, and all the issues with water seals, bearings, etc, the Staber sounds like a good investment. I never even thought about some of these faults in the standard front-loaders.

I totally appreciate that the thing is made with common parts and designed to be serviceable. So many things get tossed these days for the lack of availability of what should be a ten cent part - but you can't buy it because it is 'special'. Or, they just cannot be serviced, due to (lack of) design.


BTW, I have also done the plywood box on my washer/dryer. Just 4", not so much to raise them, but to further stabilize the floor. They are right next to a ceramic tiled floor, and I didn't want all that vibration transferring through, so the plywood and 2x4 box is very sturdily built. I could easily add another story to it to lift them higher.

-ERD50
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:24 AM   #35
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Thanks for the replies about the pedestals. I really would like to get a new front loader and a new dryer but I'm hoping mine will last another couple of years until my daughter is launched. When we built our house we had a galvanized drip pan, for lack of a better word, built that the washing machine sits in....in case of leaks. It might interfere with a pedestal but I think I might like them.
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Old 12-05-2007, 01:35 PM   #36
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. It looks like I can get a pretty big rebate from my water company so it'll be a lot cheaper now.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:25 PM   #37
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I just bought my parents a Whirlpool Duet. It cost a good amount of money. There is a a Lowes coupon you can request online. It either comes to you through email or snail mail in a few days.
LowesMoving.com

That might be useful if you were shopping there. We picked it up prior to Black Friday and they had a 10% off sale.

She says she loves the washing machine, but im not sure bc its really good, or bc I gave it to her as a gift and she wants to like it. I hope she does, bc it cost ALOT of money.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:50 AM   #38
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You can buy those lowes and home depot 10% off coupons on ebay or other sources for a few dollars. IIRC they're good for up to a $2500 purchase. Discovercard also gives high rebates for HD purchases on occasion. Taking out a home depot credit card also gives 10% off the first purchase during some promotions.

I went hog wild when we bought the materials for the house rehab we did 3 years ago. Bought several of the HD ebay coupons, got two of them in the mail using the movers package from the lowes web site and from the USPS moving kit, used the discover card for an extra 5% off, and then got an HD card at the end for the last batch of stuff.

Very worth the minor hassle for large purchases.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #39
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By the way, for the military folks...AAFES frequently has great prices on these appliances, and IIRC on Dell computers as well.
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:40 PM   #40
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Well, we did it. We bought the Kenmore HE2t. It came out to about $600+tax. We also get a $300 rebate from our water company, so it's pretty cheap. I'm guessing we'll recoup our costs in reduced water bills in less than 5 years. It's amazing how much laundry a baby generates!

For those interested, the HE2t is basically an upgraded Whirlpool Duet Sport 8500. It's actually made by Whirlpool. According to some, the Duet 8500 isn't being made anymore since it came with the heater ("sanitize" cycle) and this was cutting into sales of the higher end Duets. It also has a better suspension.
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