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Front loading washer
Old 12-04-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Front loading washer

Our top-loading washer has been leaving clothes still wet after the wash cycle. It's a 8 year old bottom-of-the-line Maytag. Since we recently had a baby, the amount of laundry we need to do has gone up astronomically. So, instead of fixing the washer (or just dealing with), I'm thinking we should upgrade to a front-loader for all of its benefits. Our dryer is working fine and we have no great desire to make sure they match.

Now, there seem to be bunch of very expensive $1000+ front loaders. There's a Kenmore for about $600 that looks like a good value.

Any recommendations for cheaper front loaders?

Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:33 PM   #2
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We have an LG and I love it.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by WanderALot View Post
Our top-loading washer has been leaving clothes still wet after the wash cycle. It's a 8 year old bottom-of-the-line Maytag. Since we recently had a baby, the amount of laundry we need to do has gone up astronomically. So, instead of fixing the washer (or just dealing with), I'm thinking we should upgrade to a front-loader for all of its benefits. Our dryer is working fine and we have no great desire to make sure they match.

Now, there seem to be bunch of very expensive $1000+ front loaders. There's a Kenmore for about $600 that looks like a good value.

Any recommendations for cheaper front loaders?

Thanks.
we had a great Asko and have an ok cheapy Danby. Works fine for the 2 of us, but if you're doing mega loads you are liable to be washing 'round the clock. Check cycle times vs. your topload, which will hold a much larger load.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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I just bought a new LG front loading washer and dryer and love them both. I've used a top loading washer in the past. I don't really see much of difference in performance, except the front loading is easier to unload and load.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:35 PM   #5
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We bought a Kenmore front loader about 6 years ago, and I absolutely loved it. Compared to my parents' old top-loader it's much easier on your clothes. We did have to replace a part on it a couple of years ago, but otherwise it's been fine.

We left the dryer with our house when we moved, but only because our new place has only electric hookups and this one was gas. I would definitely buy another one. And I have to say, prior to buying that one I wouldn't have guessed I would care very much one way or the other.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:39 PM   #6
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There's a Kenmore for about $600 that looks like a good value.
Any recommendations for cheaper front loaders?
We have a Kenmore Energy-Star 417.43042300 front-loader (no idea where they get those descriptive model names). We bought it used (Craigslist) for $300 so it's probably 3-4 years old.

It's been a real trouper, and the spin cycle practically dries the clothes on its own. We don't run the dryer for more than 30 minutes a load, even a full load of towels. It's cut out a big chunk of our monthly energy use.

Craigslist sellers tend to get rid of their appliances for the most trivial upgrades-- new kitchen/garage décor or the latest technology/styles. Prices are 50 cents on the dollar, although we once scored a $50 dishwasher.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:54 PM   #7
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It's been a real trouper, and the spin cycle practically dries the clothes on its own. We don't run the dryer for more than 30 minutes a load, even a full load of towels. It's cut out a big chunk of our monthly energy use.
Our LG is amazing in how much water it can spin out. It has three spin speeds. It also is a large capacity machine. I wanted something big enough to wash blankets. I washed a big old sleeping bag in it and it didn't blink.

Where is SamClem to sell up his Staber?

Wash machine wars!
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:57 PM   #8
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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?
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:02 PM   #9
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How do the super-spin front loaders do when it comes to wrinkling your clothes? Our top loader spins so hard that it puts serious wrinkles in things like jeans. Even after going through the dryer they are still severely creased...in the wrong places.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:09 PM   #10
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Our top loader, Energy Star, super washer not only spins the clothes dry it irons them and put stuff on hangers
GE Energy Star don't know what they cost as the builder "gave" it to us but it does a very good job.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:12 PM   #11
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How do the super-spin front loaders do when it comes to wrinkling your clothes? Our top loader spins so hard that it puts serious wrinkles in things like jeans. Even after going through the dryer they are still severely creased...in the wrong places.
You can set the spin speed on ours. But I generally use the fastest speed and have not had a problem with wrinkles. I have avoided the fastest spin speed for light clothes because I worry that they will come out too dry and thus wrinkly. The clothes don't tend to twist or wad up as much as they do in a top loader, which helps.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:33 PM   #12
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Remember one thing about front loaders -- you can't add more/remove clothes once you close the door and turn on the washer.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:36 PM   #13
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Remember one thing about front loaders -- you can't add more/remove clothes once you close the door and turn on the washer.
You can with some models.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:43 PM   #14
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Yes, our LG has a "pause" function, which lets you put stuff in or take stuff out.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:51 PM   #15
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The clothes don't tend to twist or wad up as much as they do in a top loader, which helps.
That may be the main factor in the wrinkle wars. And you thought it was age...
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:06 PM   #16
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Make sure to check all the potential rebates before you buy. Some water companies and utilities offer tiered rebates depending on the efficiency of the model.

The $1100 Bosch unit we bought, after manufacturer rebates, Lowes rebates, money back from the electric company and the water company...cost $450 delivered.

Some of those cheaper kenmore models have pretty small payloads, and a variety of them had a bearing problem that allows water intrusion and failure at about 7 years of regular use. Many of the Samsung models were built by Maytag before Whirlpool "fixed" the Maytag line, some of those were just recalled for catching fire. Some of the newer maytags are whirlpool models rebadged, so check that out...the whirlpools are pretty dang good. Costco and Sams Club frequently have good prices on the front loaders, but you might also frequent the back of Home Depot and Lowes to see what display models, returns or other stuff are hanging around, or the Sears Clearance Center if you have one near you.

Check the extended warranties on the different models too. Some of them are cheaper than others. At the time I bought, most of the warranties on the front loaders were too expensive to consider. I bought a 5 year warranty from Lowes on the Bosch washer and dryer, and a samsung refrigerator for under $300 for the three of them...ten years on the fridge compressor. Salesman I was talking to who seemed to have a pretty good clue about his business said the repairs on these units are almost non-existent, hence the decent price.

The spin is hard, but without an agitator your clothes should last a lot longer and there shouldnt be any more wrinkling problems than you'd get with a top loader.

Cycle times ARE a bit longer on the wash, but shorter on the dry. If you do a lot of laundry buy a bigger unit. A 3.5-3.8 unit will wash an awful lot more than a 2.8.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:37 PM   #17
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Our maytag washer quit about 4 months ago, ( Only about 5 years old, and both the motor and pump went out. Not worth fixing, so we looked into a new washer. I checked out the 2007 models at Consumer Reports, and, in a nutshell, they said DON'T buy a 2007 model top loader, because the new federal energy and efficency standards that went into effect Jan. 1, 2007 have crippled the washing ability of the top loaders. The new standards don't allow them to use enough water to get the load completely clean. The reccommendation was to fix what you have and wait until the manufacturers get the bugs worked out, or buy a front loader. My son in law works for an appliance dealer, and he confirmed that they can't keep up with the complaints from people with new toploaders who complain that the new machine "won't fill up" and "doesn't wash well". He recommended an LG front loader, and we couldn't be happier. (Other than paying for it...) Huge capacity of 4.0 cubic feet, doesn't use much water or detergent, and gets our clothes noticably cleaner than the toploader......
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:47 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:12 PM   #19
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We have one of the original Maytag Neptune washers (and matching dryer), purchased about 10 years ago. We bought it because it was highly touted as using less water and detergent and for its much quieter operation. Ha! I have memorized the phone number of the local appliance repair place because of this piece of junk. No wonder Maytag went bust.

Unfortunately this particular model has had dozens of problems, including being recalled..and I'm just waiting for it to finally die so I can buy something else. It's had a new motherboard, pump, 2 or 3 door seals, door lock, drum, motor...and on and on.

The door lock had to be replaced when the door would not unlock after the cycle ran. For two days my clothes were held captive in the locked machine. Aughhhhh!

The last problem was that the drum wouldn't spin out the rinse water, so I had a sodden mess of heavy wet clothes. The last repair replaced the motor...so now the drum spins like a jet engine on a heavy 747...and the machine sounds like it's about to take off (Seriously. You cannot stand to be in the laundry room when its running.) When its in the final spin cycle, anything left on top of the washer falls off from the vibration -- but the clothes do come out really clean and almost dry, after you peel them off the walls of the drum.

Oh yeah, you do have to leave the door open when it's not in use or the next load smells like mold as about a gallon or so of water is left in the bottom of the outside drum.

I guess this is what I get for being an early adopter. Hopefully the newer front loaders are more reliable and better designed.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:17 PM   #20
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My 13 year old Matag started leaving grease on clothes so I got a LG at Home Depot for about $500 after all of the tax rebates, etc. So far I love it, less detergent, less water, less dryer time, large capacity and a great 'hand wash' cycle.

Perhaps the only negative is the bending down and sticking my head in to make sure I haven't missed any small pieces of clothing sticking to the top.
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