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Washer/Dryer Recommendations
Old 03-30-2009, 07:44 PM   #1
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Washer/Dryer Recommendations

After years of having a washer/dryer included in our apt. rental we are finally moving to a place where we have to provide our own. I thought it would be a simple task to select the required units but I find myself totally overwhelmed by the choice - I think some of this might hark back to the prices they want. I looked at some side by side units which looked fabulous, but then it turns out on top of the $699 for each piece there's another $215 per pedestal plus another $26 that does something in the drawer, then another $99 for the extended warranty. Of course that is for the white unit, if you want the stainless steel that's an extra $100 per unit, and blue and red paint must be highly valued as that is more again.

So surely someone out there must have done the research and know what works and what doesn't. Does anyone have any personal experience of certains brands which would cause you to recommend or avoid?
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:53 PM   #2
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We have had an LG Tromm set for the past three years -- front load washer/gas dryer, on the pedestals. I recall that we did a lot of comparison shopping and picked that brand. We have been quite pleased.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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I'd recommend Consumer Reports.

"What happened? As of January [2007], the U.S. Department of Energy has required washers to use 21 percent less energy, a goal we wholeheartedly support. But our tests have found that traditional top-loaders, those with the familiar center-post agitators, are having a tough time wringing out those savings without sacrificing cleaning ability, the main reason you buy a washer."

Edit: I have an LG Tromm dryer too. It works great. My washer is one of the early front-loaders.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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We bought a front loader washer and dryer (and pedestals) about three years ago. Ours are Whirlpool. I love them. They are definitely worth the extra purchase cost. My cloths get very clean and they seem too be very gentle on them. No wear and tear showing on things that have been washed repeatedly for those three years. They use less water and electricity.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
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Yea! Another chance to extol the virtues of the Staber washing machine! It loads from the top, but through a "hatch" into a drum that rotates like a front loader. Unlike a front loader there are no door gaskets to leak and the drum is supported by bearings on both ends. I've written a lot about mine in these threads, we like it a lot. Here's a link to an epinions review I wrote. Very low water use, it's designed to be easy to fix, and it is gentle on clothes (like a front loader). Not cheap--about $1000. Designed to last for decades.

Dryer: Save your money and buy one from Craig's list. The only feature the new ones have that is worth the money is accurate dampness sensors, and i think they can be had on low-end models. Ask yourself: How many cycles do you really use? (Same with the washer--does anyone really use 22 different cycles to wash their clothes?)

Stainless steel? Red? I guess I would do that if they were sitting in my living room.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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I agree on the dryer. Selling washers and dryers as matched sets is a huge rip off. Get a newer one through Craigslist.

I have a Sears He2 front loader made by Whirlpool and it has been great so far (2 years). Maytag Neptune sort of ruined the reputation of front loaders, but I think other brands have overcome the initial problems.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
After years of having a washer/dryer included in our apt. rental we are finally moving to a place where we have to provide our own. I thought it would be a simple task to select the required units but I find myself totally overwhelmed by the choice - I think some of this might hark back to the prices they want.
So surely someone out there must have done the research and know what works and what doesn't. Does anyone have any personal experience of certains brands which would cause you to recommend or avoid?
I was just going to mention SamClem's Staber. If you don't hold out for one of those then pick just about any ol' EnergyStar frontloader off Craigslist. The EnergyStar logo will be on the machine and its model number will be listed on EnergyStar.gov. You will see the difference on the average electric bill.

We lurked on Craigslist for about six months before buying Sears Kenmore models 417.43042300 (washer) and 417.83142300 (dryer). You can tell by their cool names how wildly popular they are on ePinions & Consumer's Report. (FUEGO note: This is sarcasm.) They're five years old and they've been flawless. Every frontloader you buy needs to have its door left ajar so that the rubber gasket dries out without mold/mildew, and that's the source of many consumer complaints. We also learned that the early Neptunes had a lot of gasket & electronics failures.

We have a water conditioner, so between that and the front loader we use less than one-half of one ounce of HE detergent. That's less than one tablespoon per load. The machine spins the clothes hard enough that we could dispense with the dryer and hang a line in the garage for an hour. With a teen in the house, those savings add up fast.

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... on top of the $699 for each piece there's another $215 per pedestal plus another $26 that does something in the drawer, then another $99 for the extended warranty.
You may not care about the pedestal, but if necessary you could build your own out of 3/4" plywood for a fraction of that price. Or for a real cheapskate approach, just get a few concrete blocks...
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:32 AM   #8
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I am against the front loader... but since the wife insisted...

Yesterday I got a new towel and it smells... this is a common complaint... my wife does what you are supposed to do, wipe the gasket dry after every wash, keep the door open to also let dry... but the towels continue to smell..

Now, the old top loader always had FRESH smelling towels...

Are they clean I think so, but where is that NICE FRESH SMELL

My suggestion is to find a scratch and dent store... we got our maytags for 1/2 price... but did not buy the pedestals
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:22 PM   #9
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Bought the GE washer that was number one rated in Consumer Reports last year. It is a top loader. No complaints, works well.

The extra spin works well, I leave it on at all times, cuts down dryer time a LOT!!

My towels are always fresh............
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:05 PM   #10
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Have you questioned the need for a washer/dryer?

I go to a laundromat once a month - cost under $10 - time no more than 1.5hrs includes travel time of 20 minutes & folding. Take a book with you or brush up on your Spanish with the other customers. I have enough clothes to last that long so no big problem at all.

Also, consider the cost and hassle of a W/D
Water
Electricity
Increased moving expenses
Opportunity Cost of buying
Repairs
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:33 PM   #11
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I have a washer (top loading, ~16 y o), never got around to getting a dryer.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:35 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your input.

Interestingly enough I learnt something about myself during this process, and that is I can still be distracted by things that look good rather than serve any purpose. I must admit I was shallow enough to think it would be good to get the red matching pair. However, once I actually thought about it, I realised I don't even like front loaders so I don't know why I was even thinking about them.

I ended up purchasing a top loader and dryer from Sears, but the basic standard models without all the bells and whistles. If I had time I probably would have gone the second hand route via Craigslist.

Dex, as far as I am concerned life is too short to spend it at the laundromat. I have been doing that the past couple of weeks and I hate having to spend the time there. I much prefer to have machines at home so I can throw them in and take off and do what I want without having to think where the machine is in the cycle.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:57 PM   #13
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Have you questioned the need for a washer/dryer?
When you take them from my cold, dead hands...

It's nice to throw in a load here and there, rather than waiting until every last thread of clothing you own needs laundered, like I was prone to do when I used a laundromat.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:29 PM   #14
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My experience with laundromats is like a glimpse of hell.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:01 PM   #15
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My experience with laundromats is like a glimpse of hell.
You must be going to the wrong places. The one I go to is run by a elderly Korean man - speaks Spanish, no English. Telemundo is on the the TV.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:23 AM   #16
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If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't buy the whirlpool frontloader. Oh, it cleans the clothes, and they smell fine....when it decides it wants to work. The electronics on ours are very, very finicky, and we can't always get it to come on. I found, completely by accident, that if I turn the breaker off and turn it back on a couple hrs later, it will work. Unplugging the bugger would probably work but we can't reach the plug without moving the machine, so we hit the breaker. Interesting thing is that once we get it going a few times after sitting idle in our US home, it works fine for the rest of our stay...first few loads are problematic though, and if I had time when we are there at home I'd get someone out to fix it. I wouldn't buy one again though.

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Old 04-01-2009, 06:32 AM   #17
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............The electronics on ours are very, very finicky, and we can't always get it to come on. ..............R
Not sure this is related, but I just invested in a bunch of surge suppressors for all my electronic stuff with expensive circuit boards - furnace, washer, TV and of course computers and printers. If my research is correct, hundreds and thousands of internally generated (i.e. not lightning) voltage spikes take their toll on solid state devices over time. I also installed a hard wired surge suppressor on the main service box.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:22 AM   #18
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When we moved in 2002 we bought a new washer and dryer from Sears. The dryer died after 18 months and the cost of repair for a circuit board was going to be half the price of a new dryer. We bought a Maytag dryer. I guess major appliances are disposable now.

And we've had a whole-house surge protector from day one at this house.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:30 AM   #19
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My experience with laundromats is like a glimpse of hell.
Ditto. I used laundromats for 12 years but haven't been to one since 1978, when I finally got my first washer. Oh glorious day!

Speaking of washers, I have always thought of the ideal washer as a relatively cheap, big white top-loader with few bells and whistles and a decent recommendation in Consumer Reports. I have never had any problems. They always get the clothes clean, and I have never had one break down.

The price of my present GE washer divided by the weeks I have owned it (so far) yields about $1/week, and the usage of energy and water is imperceptible on my bills as there is only one of me. All of my monthly water bills in 2008 were the minimum so use of my washer cost me $0 in water. My winter electric bill comes to about $5/week, but that is not all due to the washer. I think I used to spend about $5/week at the laundromat back in 1978, but even if laundromats were free the savings in time and aggravation is worth the money to me.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:59 AM   #20
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"I much prefer to have machines at home so I can throw them in and take off and do what I want without having to think where the machine is in the cycle"

Dangermouse--I hope you are not leaving the house with either a washer or dryer running. Many home fires originate with these appliances. I personaaly know two families who were displaced to hotels for months because of fires. In dryers they start because people allow lint to build up in the exhaust. Never ever leave children alone in a house asleep while you run out to get the newspaper with one of those running.
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