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Old 01-18-2006, 10:39 AM   #1
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Home appliances

We will be moving into our new house in April and will have to purchase all new appliances. We will be buying front loading wash machine, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, gas and electric stove the whole works. Need recommendations on all home appliances. Does anyone prefer one brand to another?
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: Home appliances

In theory, I prefer Kennmore (Sears) appliances. I do some of my own repair work and find their parts are fairly easy to obtain in most major metro areas.

In actual practice, I buy whatever I believe to be the best value at the time... we have a Kenmore dishwasher, Maytag washer and dryer, Amana refrigerator, GE electric oven and cooktop.

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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: Home appliances

I've bought a couple of house's worth of new appliances in the last couple years (for me, a rental house and others in my family). I bought the cheapest appliances possible, and have had no problems with reliability or performance so far. Not a lot of bells and whistles on the models I bought, but they "git-r-done".
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 12:29 PM   #4
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Re: Home appliances

Been there done that several times. Consumer Reports is a good place to check out frequency of repairs on the brands you might be intersted in. I have found them to be pretty accurate most of the time.

The brand will depend on what you want; basic white function or stainless steel sleek design and high end options. If you want basic day to day performanc at a good price; then Sears Kenmore is hard to beat. They have sales all the time and if you buy several at once they can give you even more off the deal. Just ask them. I had Best Buy and Sears bidding against each other on very similar models. Sears eventually won the war and I got free delivery too.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Home appliances

Couple of years ago the dryer died the weekend kiddo was born : Not having time to shop around and looking for a quick, cheap solution, I bought a Costco/Kirkland brand dryer. Basic, but includes a moisture sensor and does the job. Cost me all of $200 installed, and was no-hassle. Still plugging away in the basement.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 12:43 PM   #6
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Re: Home appliances

Costco for their kirkland or whirlpool (whirlpool makes many of the kirkland appliances); most kenmores are also whirlpools and also recommended...usually a few bucks less than the equivalent whirlpool.

I asked our appliance repair guy which brand to buy and which to avoid. He highly recommended whirlpool, saying he doesnt get many calls on them and the company 'bends over backwards' to help when theres a problem. He didnt recommend maytag or general electric. Those are the bulk of his calls and his experience (along with mine) is that the company will not go the extra mile should you have a serious problem. For example, GE couldnt fix the refrigerator I bought while it was still under warranty, so they wanted me to pay them a hundred and something bucks to replace it.

Sears almost always has some sale or other going on, or does a '1 year no interest no payments' that doesnt have any bad catches to it. In fact, its another 4 months before I have to pay for our new whirlpool fridge I bought from sears.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 09:02 PM   #7
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Re: Home appliances

I echo the last post that Kenmore and Whirlpool are good choices and hard to beat. Have had good experiences with them.

On the other hand, can say that GE sucks. We hae had many issues with their SS Profile models of dishwasher and micro in our latest home. Repair guys don't much like the GE stuff either. All reinforced by Consumer's Reports.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 09:24 PM   #8
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Re: Home appliances

One last comment...if you really like the styling of some of the GE stuff, LG makes a lot of their appliances for them. LG's equivalent models sell for quite a bit less than the GE stuff. Usually 25-30% cheaper.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-18-2006, 09:56 PM   #9
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Re: Home appliances

GE does suck. I've had good luck with Kenmore and Frigidaire. I personally dont like the stainless steel look. It seems too cold and commercial. My repair guy says if possible avoid too much electronics. Stay instead with mechanical timers and controls as they are easily and cheaply replaced compared to expensive electronic modules.

Also Lowes (and probably others) charge a $60 delivery fee no matter how many appliances are delivered. Sometimes that fee is rebated.

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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-19-2006, 02:35 AM   #10
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Re: Home appliances

Kenmore ... we usually buy one level down from top of the line. Bought Elite lately, based upon Consumer Reports ... that web subscription is well worth the money.

Good luck.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-19-2006, 09:52 AM   #11
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Re: Home appliances

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUM
My repair guy says if possible avoid too much electronics
Amen. Short story. My old GE fridge's problem is that the refrigerated section never got cold enough...about 42 was the best it could do, but it wandered. The way the thing worked was all the cold air was generated in the freezer, and a set of three sensors in the fridge would detect the temperature and open a little door between the freezer and the fridge, and a fan would blow some air up into the fridge until it was cold enough, then the door would close. Big problems were the sensors 'took on moisture', the door would get stuck, the motor that opened the door would break, etc. By the way, the 'door assembly, which was a piece of plastic about 8"x2' with some styrofoam on it, and a little plastic door, cost over $350 for the part alone.

Basically, all these complex electronics werent opening the door often enough or long enough.

So I unplugged the connection to the door, which left it open, and then blocked all but one of the eight air openings with packing tape. Fridge stayed a perfect 37 degrees. In the summer when its warmer I might have had to take off another one of the pieces of tape.

All that technology and moving parts when a pair of air openings and a 'summer/winter' switch to open and close one manually would have sufficed.

And mine worked better
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-20-2006, 09:38 AM   #12
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Re: Home appliances

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerr
We will be moving into our new house in April and will have to purchase all new appliances.* We will be buying front loading wash machine, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, gas and electric stove the whole works.*
Lemme step back for a minute and ask a dumb question: why?

You're gonna have plenty of new-house & moving hassles to overcome in April (& May & June &...) and new-appliance warranty service can only enhance the intensity of that experience. Buying a whole house full of new appliances pretty much guarantees that you're gonna have that experience, and it might be more than once.

I know it's the American tradition to move into your new home carrying only a toothbrush, but you could move the old appliances to your new home or buy used off Craigslist. If you're not a hurry you could cherry-pick what you want for the next few months and have it sitting in the garage waiting to load into the truck. In our three-week Craigslist fridge search we were able to choose the size, color, & style among dozens of acceptable choices for only $175. (If the fridge wasn't for my MIL the search would have only taken a week.) BTW I think Craigslist has really put a spotlight on our consumptive society-- we're pretty confident that our kid can furnish her entire first apartment (including carpeting & kitchen-cabinet contents) for under $1000.

If you're gonna look at front-loading washers, take a really hard look. There's a huge number of unhappy Kenmore & Neptune owners who've had to deal with mold, mildew, and burned-out components. You can find tons of pissed-off feedback just by Googling the model you're contemplating. Despite their lower water use & better washing features, we've decided that the front-loaders aren't quite yet ready for prime time. But I hear that GE is going to ask TH to test one of their latest "skunkworks" models.

I'm pretty sure that no one offers top-loading fridges & dishwashers. But I could be wrong...
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-20-2006, 11:19 AM   #13
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Re: Home appliances

You can indeed get "top-loading" dishwashers, if you want to go the $$$ Sub-Zero-type route. Extractable drawers one on top of the other let you do small loads, but the cost of each "drawer" seems about twice the cost of a full-height dishwasher. (!)

I have a front-loading washer here in Italy and I hate it. It does seem to have problems with mildew smell (so I assume water retention somewhere) unless you crank up the temperature, which then anulls the energy savings. It takes over 2 hours to do one load (which is "normal" here).

I loved the Maytag I left behind, and my mom has had an excellent experience with Kenmore (prob. 1973 vintage by now, so can't vouch for the newer models).

If cost is an issue, why not go the used route until/if one craps out, especially if you are talking about free-standing units. An under-counter dishwasher I might spring for new. I adored my Asko.. silent as a ghost, energy-efficient and cleaned just fine. I had dinner parties and no-one knew the dishwasher was even running.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-20-2006, 12:09 PM   #14
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Re: Home appliances

Ok, the truth about front loading washers.

My last three have been front loaders, loved every one of them.* Over a period of about 9 years.

A maytag neptune, and a pair of (probably whirlpool made) kenmores.

When the one we have drops dead some day and I cant fix them, I'll buy another one.

I have had no problems with mildew.* You do your whites with bleach as your last load and then leave the front door slightly ajar for a few hours for it to dry out.* Otherwise you've sealed a nearly air and water tight 'system' with moisture in it.* Of course its going to mildew a little.* Most of these have a flexible folded rubber seal between the drum and the door assembly.* You can also solve the mildew problem by drying this seal after you're done using the washer, or once a week wipe it with a paper towel that you've sprayed a little bleach/water solution on.* Takes 2 seconds, if this is a big problem.* Its worse with some models and non existent in others.

With my old top loader, you couldnt take a shower while the washer was running.* It took roughly 8 gallons of water per wash/rinse.* The new one takes under 2 gallons per wash/rinse.

I use literally a couple of tablespoons of detergent and maybe a tablespoon of bleach per load.* The limited water use means you get a much higher density of soap/bleach so dont need to dump a lot in there.* A large costco sized laundry soap and a large clorox bottle last me almost a year.

The latter two things mean a great deal to someone with a septic tank rather than sewer...reduced water and reduced soap/bleach increase your pumping intervals and improve your leach field life.

My clothes last virtually forever due to the gentle rolling approach rather than the agitation. I used to get a couple of years out of stuff before they'd start to get some subtle wearing and fading from the agitation washer.* Unless I tear something or pour ink on it, its going to last.* I have some shirts that are probably at least 8-9 years old that still look pretty good.* I think the front loaders wouldnt do as good of a job on really, really dirty clothes, so if you work as a mechanic it just might not do as good a job.* Cant say for sure 1st hand though, even my dirty stuff comes out good.

There are extensive reciprocated diatribes on whether the cost savings of water/electricity/soap and so forth justify the higher cost.* Depending on how much your consumables cost, you might make up the whole cost of the washer dryer pair in 5-7 years or you might save nothing at all.* If you're on a well with septic and you make your own soap, its not such a deal.* If you live in california, just about anywhere, you'll get a payback.

For me, the longer clothing life pays for the washer 2-3x over.

Loads do take longer.* My front loaders take about 40-50% longer on a wash cycle than my top loaders did.* If you do a lot of laundry, this is a consideration.* The good news is that even the smaller (2.8-3.1 cu ft) front loaders, due to lack of an agitator, can take more clothes than even a super capacity top loader.* My wifes old ~3 cu ft basic model could take a cal king comforter of some boofiness with no trouble.* So if load cycle time is a problem, buy one of the 3.7-3.8 cu ft washers.* Those can take something like 20 bath towels at a pop.* The good news is that due to the high speed spin on the front loaders, your clothes come out almost dry so the dryer cycle is very short.* Guess which uses more energy...your washer or your dryer...mmm hmmm....

Fix-it wise, the models I've had were similar in makeup.* Two control boards, one tied to the controls and one tied to the motor and pump.* One motor with a belt tied to the drum.* One pump with a hose coming in and a hose going out.* Everything held in place with a bolt or two or three, and a plug-in wire harness or two.* Something stops working, its not going to take much rocket science to figure out what isnt working, and maybe 15 minutes to replace it.* Whether you can get a good price on parts to make the repair economical vs buying a new one is debatable.* From a reliability perspective, the genre has gotten a bad name from the maytags.* They were and are price fixed and expensive, the worst performers per consumer reports, and have the most problems.* A lot of the 'european' models are good performers but also suffer from reliability issues.* Whirlpools and Kenmores are highly rated, can be had on sale cheap often, and dont have a lot of reported widespread problems.

The bottom line is if you're my dad and you wash one load of colors and one load of whites every 6-9 days, get a cheap washer and dryer.* Costco frequently has a decent basic set for under $300 for the pair, you take them home with you.* If you have 2 or more people and do 5-10 loads of wash in a week like we do, and/or you have clothes that are worth keeping around a little longer, and/or you have a septic system...you might seriously consider a front loader.

Two other sources of good appliances.

Sears closeouts.* They keep dropping the prices until they sell out.
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Note that on hot items that sell fast, they'll often give you a confirmation of order and pending ship, then cancel a month later or never tell you anything at all.* Fine service as usual.* Not like you could do this with a computer or anything.

Or go to the sears web site, click on store locator, and look for sears appliance outlet stores.* These are sprinkled around most major metropolitan areas and sometimes elsewhere, and have all the returned/dented/floor models/etc.* You can get a brand new or nearly new appliance with a full manufacturers warranty for usually 1/3 to 1/2 off.* Sometimes quite a bit deeper if the dent is in the door.* I've occasionally found appliances with a dent in the rear or on the side in back where its not even visible, otherwise brand new and in perfect operating condition.* Considering that Sears has usually tried to deliver me a dented appliance on their first visit, there are plenty of these.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-20-2006, 03:57 PM   #15
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Re: Home appliances

Dang, I was hoping REWahoo would fix that link...
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-20-2006, 04:09 PM   #16
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Re: Home appliances

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Dang, I was hoping REWahoo would fix that link...
Nope. One of my New Year's resolutions.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-20-2006, 04:16 PM   #17
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Re: Home appliances

One of lifes little pleasures...gone...just like that...
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-25-2006, 11:47 AM   #18
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Re: Home appliances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute fuzzy bunny
Big problems were the sensors 'took on moisture', the door would get stuck, the motor that opened the door would break, etc.
TH, have you seen the GE Moisture-Related Refrigerator Class Action Settlement Web Page?

Here's the 6 o'clock news version.

BTW do you know how stupid it feels to type the phrase "Cute fuzzy bunny" into this site's search box? What's up with that new name?
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-25-2006, 11:51 AM   #19
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Re: Home appliances

Maybe our Cute Fuzzy Bunny will end up with yet a third refrigerator.
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Re: Home appliances
Old 01-25-2006, 11:55 AM   #20
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Re: Home appliances

Thats for side by sides, mines a bottom freezer (dont touch that one).

Besides, last thing I need is another refrigerator...or TV.

I hadnt thought about that beneficial aspect of the new name Nords. Its simply part of my campaign to soften my image and make me appear less staid and more playful.

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