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Old 06-07-2017, 07:23 AM   #1
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Latest Info on Washing Machines

We are in the market for a washer and a dryer.
This is for our lake house, which has a self contained septic holding tank, which, when full, costs money to have pumped out. Consequently, water usage is a factor, but not the only factor.

About 10 years ago in our regular home we researched front loaders which were all the rage, but looking at reviews, it seems that they don't last long enough to warrant the extra expense. I haven't found a single model that didn't have enough terrible reviews to make me feel good about the purchase.

I have heard that there is a relatively new technology (probably only new to me) that is basically a return to top loading, but high efficiency and no agitator.

You guys are savvy when it comes to technology and "bang-for-my-buck", so please educate me.

thanks.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:40 AM   #2
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A top loader will always use more water than a front loader. FL technology is not new - Europe has used FL for many decades. There are plenty of reliable FLs out there and since this is for your lake house (so probably not used daily), chances are that the FL will last for a very long time.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:48 AM   #3
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I've read many good reviews on Staber washing machines.

Energy Efficient Staber Top Load Horizontal-Axis Washing Machines
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:29 AM   #4
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I would look for a pre-2010 Whirlpool set and pay no more than $200 for the pair. The older machines are very durable and actually wash the clothes. Front loaders are notoriously unreliable and many have mold issues. Newer top loading machines save water by using load sensing systems that fail. The defect rate on all of the new machines is quite high. Have some fun reading the reviews by angry, frustrated customers at Lowes and Home Depot.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:42 AM   #5
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I bought a high efficiency top loader LG washing machine and matching dryer from Sears (online) when I moved into this house, in the summer of 2015. The model I chose is for oversized loads, and although it was expensive, it has been great. There is no reason to want to conserve water here although I suppose that being He it does do that. Water in New Orleans is cheap and plentiful though.

I love that it gets my clothes really clean, cleaner than my old 2002 GE agitator-style washer ever did. Also it has a heavy duty cycle to use if needed, and a dozen other cycles that I seldom if ever use. To just do a regular cycle, all one has to do is push the button and that is what I usually do. Overall I am very happy with it and see no down side other than the initial expense.


Edited to add: That said, I am 5'9" tall. If you are very short, you might want to see this model of washer before buying it. The oversized LG washer that I chose is very deep and you might find it difficult to get clothes out of it. At my height it is not an issue.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:00 AM   #6
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We have had a high capacity front load HE washer and dryer set from Sears for over 13 years. Works extremely well, especially with kid/teens and sports laundry. Never had a problem with mold or smell--I use 1/3 cup baking soda in each load and once a month run a load of towels with baking soda/vinegar/hot water. Considering getting a newer, even more efficient one, but with only DH and I at home now, not worth it. And these are still working fine.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:11 AM   #7
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The trick to preventing mold in front-loaders is just to leave the door open between washes. Granted, this works better if your laundry area is tucked away in an disused basement...
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:21 AM   #8
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You couldn't give me a FL washer and dryer. Bought a top of the line LG set about 8 years ago. They literally ruined hundreds of dollars of our clothes. I finally walked into the managers office at the Sears where we bought them and dumped a huge box of my ruined clothes on his desk. The next day Sears came and got the FL set and brought me a top loader washer with a matching dryer.

I contacted LG numerous times and they didn't even have the decency to get in touch with me. I'll never spend a nickel on anything that has "LG" on it again!

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Old 06-07-2017, 09:25 AM   #9
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I've read many good reviews on Staber washing machines.

Energy Efficient Staber Top Load Horizontal-Axis Washing Machines

at 1700-2300 bills they should be. I think at that price I could afford to send my laundry out.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:25 AM   #10
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I've read many good reviews on Staber washing machines.

Energy Efficient Staber Top Load Horizontal-Axis Washing Machines
I like mine a lot. Cleans great, uses little water, built like a tank, is easy to fix. Search this board for "Staber" and you'll get sick of my posts about it. At $1700, it would be more than I would want to spend for a vacation home used only occasionally, but if the place is well off the beaten path the easy serviceability of the machine could be a big plus to you (if you are at all handy, you can maintain it yourself).

"Self contained septic holding tank": Does that mean it has no leach field? If the system has a leach field, I wouldn't think the water used in washing clothes would make a lot of difference to how often the tank needs to be pumped, since there are virtually no solids in the water from the washing machine.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I bought a high efficiency top loader LG washing machine and matching dryer from Sears (online) when I moved into this house, in the summer of 2015. The model I chose is for oversized loads, and although it was expensive, it has been great. There is no reason to want to conserve water here although I suppose that being He it does do that. Water in New Orleans is cheap and plentiful though.

I love that it gets my clothes really clean, cleaner than my old 2002 GE agitator-style washer ever did. Also it has a heavy duty cycle to use if needed, and a dozen other cycles that I seldom if ever use. To just do a regular cycle, all one has to do is push the button and that is what I usually do. Overall I am very happy with it and see no down side other than the initial expense.


Edited to add: That said, I am 5'9" tall. If you are very short, you might want to see this model of washer before buying it. The oversized LG washer that I chose is very deep and you might find it difficult to get clothes out of it. At my height it is not an issue.
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Originally Posted by wrigley View Post
You couldn't give me a FL washer and dryer. Bought a top of the line LG set about 8 years ago. They literally ruined hundreds of dollars of our clothes. I finally walked into the managers office at the Sears where we bought them and dumped a huge box of my ruined clothes on his desk. The next day Sears came and got the FL set and brought me a top loader washer with a matching dryer.

I contacted LG numerous times and they didn't even have the decency to get in touch with me. I'll never spend a nickel on anything that has "LG" on it again!

Mike

Hence, my quandary.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #12
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DS and DIL have one of the new top loading Samsungs. It plays music etc but DIL (who is an aerospace engineer) said "I wish you could buy a washing machine that just washed clothes".
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:26 AM   #13
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About six years ago, we replaced our 25 year old washer with a new front loader (along with a matching dryer) and have not been impressed. The models we selected were highly rated by Consumer Reports and JD Powers, but the washing machine simply doesn't clean as well as our old top-loader, even though the wash cycle times are MUCH longer. My wife has tried various detergents and wash cycle settings and none seem to really work all that well. Also, the dryer rarely gets everything completely dry; we often have to sort out damp items and return them to the dryer for additional time, even though the dryer is supposed to monitor and adjust drying times automatically to avoid this.

If and when we replace these, I don't think we will go with a front loading washer again.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:13 AM   #14
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The issue with the FL HE washers is that the "American" manufacturers don't have the technology mastered. I have a Samsung set I bought at Lowe's three years ago, still working well. I chose them over LG just based on consumer reaction at both Lowe's and the manufacturer's websites. Clothes get cleaner, and they dry faster.

I have never had a problem with mold, as long as I wipe down the gasket on the inside after each wash and leave the washer door ajar until the whole unit is dry. I also wipe out the tray that holds the detergent/bleach/softener as it retains about 1/4-1/3 Cup of water after each wash.

Yearly, I empty the drain at the bottom of the washer, and this washer also has a reminder for running an empty load to clean the entire unit.

It will not run, however, if you don't have the hot water turned on (it heats the water, but needs it to be a certain temp from the tap before it starts). So for the OP, if you normally turn off the taps when you leave, make sure they are back on and the water heater is on before starting a load!

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Old 06-07-2017, 11:23 AM   #15
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In 2014 I bought a GE brand High Efficiency top Loader. It took me a while to get used to the water level sensing as it never looks like there is enough water. That's because I was comparing it to my old top loader. The new ones use far less water. The new HE detergents don't get sudsy. The cycles take longer and the spinning goes longer than my old machine. So I had to learn to trust that this new thing was working as designed and give it a chance.

I've been very pleased with it! Our water usage decreased enough to notice in the bill, the clothes get nice and clean.

The longer, higher speed spins are great for shorter times in the dryer. Be aware that if you hang your clothes to dry they will have wrinkles from the high speed spins. I de-wrinkle my things that have dried on the line by putting them in the dryer with a damp towel for a few minutes and then hanging or folding.

The comment about being tall enough to reach inside is true. I am 5'5" and can reach the bottom of the tub but shorter people may need a stool or a pair of tongs to get something out of the bottom.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:48 AM   #16
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DS and DIL have one of the new top loading Samsungs. It plays music etc but DIL (who is an aerospace engineer) said "I wish you could buy a washing machine that just washed clothes".
I'm all in with this sentiment. The more "features" they add, especially if they require a "computer", the less likely it is that the machine will work well for a long time.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I bought a high efficiency top loader LG washing machine and matching dryer from Sears (online) when I moved into this house, in the summer of 2015. The model I chose is for oversized loads, and although it was expensive, it has been great. There is no reason to want to conserve water here although I suppose that being He it does do that. Water in New Orleans is cheap and plentiful though.

I love that it gets my clothes really clean, cleaner than my old 2002 GE agitator-style washer ever did. Also it has a heavy duty cycle to use if needed, and a dozen other cycles that I seldom if ever use. To just do a regular cycle, all one has to do is push the button and that is what I usually do. Overall I am very happy with it and see no down side other than the initial expense.


Edited to add: That said, I am 5'9" tall. If you are very short, you might want to see this model of washer before buying it. The oversized LG washer that I chose is very deep and you might find it difficult to get clothes out of it. At my height it is not an issue.

+1 on the LG

I left a set behind when I moved and bought new, including a small pedestal washer that sits under the main unit. It's an agitator-less top load, useful for small loads. Does a good job on my cycling clothes.

Had front loaders for over 15 years. Very unhappy with the first one, a Whirlpool/Kenmore, but haven't had a single problem in 4+ years with the LGs.

Seriously consider a pedestal with any front loader. In addition to depth, bending over to pull out the clothes is a pain.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
We are in the market for a washer and a dryer.
This is for our lake house, which has a self contained septic holding tank, which, when full, costs money to have pumped out. Consequently, water usage is a factor, but not the only factor.
thanks.
Does your lake house community have any grey water restrictions? If not, you could just divert the washer output to a garden area and avoid filling the septic tank.

We have an Amana top loader washer, mechanical timer, very basic features, which has been running maybe twice a week for the past 20 years, No problems. It's a washing machine, not a fashion statement.

Same brand basic electric dryer. It's only used a few times in the "winter", as here in the desert we can dry clothes nearly year round outdoors. No issues with this puppy either.

Just one POV.


_B
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:54 PM   #19
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we have this Whirlpool Duet 4.4 Cu. Ft. Front Load Washer In White - WFW9450WW - Abt (we have 2 washers and 2 dryers), this thing rocks. Lake house? wet moldy towels? no problem,wet smelly towels? there is a button that takes about 3 hours and boom they are sanitized and whamo they dont smell anymore even when wet. My brother in law has a pool their towels were sort of funky, i grabbed a few and tried the sanitize option (then i dried them on the sanitize option of the sister dryer). They were like new, Yes we leave a washcloth in the door so it doesnt close all the way and keep the detergent cup slightly open. Our other washer is a top loader , i also leave the lid open in that, and when i wash the comforters i use the front loader no agitator its huge. i took a 10 year extended warranty on all my appliances as i spent more than 5 figures on them. The only item that gave us trouble so far was the top loader washer, its a lemon (that one is a maytag).
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:50 PM   #20
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About six years ago, we replaced our 25 year old washer with a new front loader (along with a matching dryer) and have not been impressed. The models we selected were highly rated by Consumer Reports and JD Powers, but the washing machine simply doesn't clean as well as our old top-loader, even though the wash cycle times are MUCH longer. My wife has tried various detergents and wash cycle settings and none seem to really work all that well. Also, the dryer rarely gets everything completely dry; we often have to sort out damp items and return them to the dryer for additional time, even though the dryer is supposed to monitor and adjust drying times automatically to avoid this.

If and when we replace these, I don't think we will go with a front loading washer again.
Ditto for dishwashers as well. They get good marks for energy usage because they only heat up a quart of water and then recirculate it forever. When I see "high efficiency", I know it's secret code for "this appliance consumes so little energy that it can't perform its primary function".

We had two apples from that barrel from an appliance maker whose name rhymes with Ram Stung. Won't make that mistake ever again.
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