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Old 05-06-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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washing machine

The washing machine is about 16 years old and has had several safety bypasses to keep it going.

I feel the end is near: it is leaking (probably a rust hole).

What is a cheap minimalist reliable brand/type?

I know I could get a fancy front-load whatever, but I don't do all that much laundry and I will probably be leaving the house in 5 or so years.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:12 PM   #3
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Oh yes, the bypass you did last year. I replaced mine about the same time too. Being a cheapskate, I went and bought the same brand to replace the Kenmore that broke. That one lasted only 28 years! A discontinued model at a nearby Sears outlet set me back less than $400.

DW and I were not bothered by the fact that the new washer does not match the widowed Kenmore dryer, which was bought as a matched pair with the deceased washer.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:47 PM   #4
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In 2002 I bought a discontinued GE supersized, white, toploader model on sale. Like NW-bound I paid under $400, and it has done a good job for me. Bear in mind that I don't use most cycles, bells, and whistles, so I have no idea whether or not it has them all.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:28 PM   #5
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I think we paid about $900 for one of the fancy-shmancy front-loading washers that are supposed to save you money by saving water, electricity, gas, etc. Something is wrong with the electronics though, and we haven't been able to figure it out. If I turn off the breaker and wait a few hours, then turn it back on, it works, and will finish the load no problem. But if it stays plugged in with power to the circuits, sometimes (most of the time) it won't come on when we want it to.

So my advice on these fancy-schmancy deals is "fuhgeddaboudit". Get the least expensive "manual" (analog) model you can find.

My two cents, fwiw...

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Old 05-06-2009, 10:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
In 2002 I bought a discontinued GE supersized, white, toploader model on sale. Like NW-bound I paid under $400, and it has done a good job for me. Bear in mind that I don't use most cycles, bells, and whistles, so I have no idea whether or not it has them all.
Same as the cell phone and digital camera: many functions of which I use very few.

Will have to drag my butt to the appliance store.

Any reason not to go to Sears (closest)?
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:15 PM   #7
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Sears is just about as good as anywhere, and you can often find display models for cheap.

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Old 05-07-2009, 06:33 AM   #8
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Like others have said, sears outlet if you have one, rows upon rows of discounted washers because of cosmetic damage still warrantied.
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:09 AM   #9
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Find Product Reviews and Ratings from Consumer Reports

The library will have back issues if you don't want to pay the $19/year for full access to the web site.

I'll never buy a Kenmore appliance again. We bought a washer & dryer for the new house and the dryer died after 18 months - the fried circuit board alone was going to cost half the price of a new dryer so we replaced it with a Maytag, which, although noisy, keeps chugging along. Of late, Maytags haven't been rated all that well either.
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:27 AM   #10
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Could try Craigslist.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:49 AM   #11
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New will give you a warranty, as opposed to used off craigslist. I bought a new washer last August. It is a GE, and was the number one rated top loading washer in Consumer Reports. I think it was $400.

The washer is awesome, it doesn't have a transmission to go bad, and the Hydrowash agistator is easier on clothes and they come out cleaner. Our previous GE washer lasted 28 years total, we got it from DW's aunt when it was 17 years old. I guess I am a GE homer with regard to appliances........
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:56 AM   #12
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Avoid all models with electronic touch panels. Look for the old fashioned turn and pull cycle activators.
Food for thought...
You have said you don't own a dryer. There may come a day where you don't have access to or want to mess with a clothesline.
Rather than go for a full size washer only, consider that the mini stackable apartment sized washer/dryer combos may be a good look ahead purchase. They are also easy to have installed on your current ground floor if you have a water feed and drain vs down the stairs in the basement.
They are lightweight, meet your low laundry volume spec, and could be transportable to your next abode (apartment?).
See pictures of various brands as examples:
http://www.stackablewasheranddryer.com/brands.aspx
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #13
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If you're going cheap and don't care and will be leaving it behind in a few years, then Craigslist as Martha recommends. It's amazing how many appliances are sold for renovations, relocations, and just general "it's two years old, I like new" consumerism. Lots of $100 bargains.

I like the idea of a matched washer/dryer set, especially if your house is likely to be occupied by someone who doesn't have a lot of laundry or a big family. It's a cost of marketing the residence.

Otherwise Sears might offer free delivery and disposal of the old one, and Memorial Day sales will be here in a few weeks. But you never know who'll want your old machine. We once sold a 28-year-old washing machine for $50 and the customers were practically fighting over it.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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IIRC, the Lowes and HD stores around here offer 10% discounts for veterans over the Memorial Day weekend.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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We purchased from Sears as they had a much better range available than did HD. Also they offered free delivery and installation and they could deliver the next day whereas with HD delivery was a week out. We did take the extended warranty with Sears as it also offers the option of having someone come out and service the machine even if there is not a problem. I also found the sales assistant at Sears much more informed than HD.

Agree with others, keep the machine as simple as possible. My brother in Australia has a business where he refurbishes washing machines. He can not keep up with demand. He did say that it's amazing how many of the fancy machines full of electronics he takes away with something simple wrong like a circuit board, but the owner is done with the problems and just wants the good old press and pull models.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:45 PM   #16
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I've got a 10-year-old washer in the basement. Works fine, but we replaced both washer and dryer at the same time in December. Drive on over and pick it up for free. I think you're only around 520 miles from me... ;-)
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
We purchased from Sears as they had a much better range available than did HD. Also they offered free delivery and installation and they could deliver the next day whereas with HD delivery was a week out. We did take the extended warranty with Sears as it also offers the option of having someone come out and service the machine even if there is not a problem. I also found the sales assistant at Sears much more informed than HD.

Agree with others, keep the machine as simple as possible
. My brother in Australia has a business where he refurbishes washing machines. He can not keep up with demand. He did say that it's amazing how many of the fancy machines full of electronics he takes away with something simple wrong like a circuit board, but the owner is done with the problems and just wants the good old press and pull models.
Absolutely agree with simple. Present machine has 3 (push & pull) cycles, think I've only ever used 1.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:18 PM   #18
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Maybe this would be an attractive alternative-- EnergyStar-eligible, healthy, social, and even a cheap way to stay warm...

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Old 05-07-2009, 04:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
If you're going cheap and don't care and will be leaving it behind in a few years, then Craigslist as Martha recommends. It's amazing how many appliances are sold for renovations, relocations, and just general "it's two years old, I like new" consumerism. Lots of $100 bargains.

I like the idea of a matched washer/dryer set, especially if your house is likely to be occupied by someone who doesn't have a lot of laundry or a big family. It's a cost of marketing the residence.

Otherwise Sears might offer free delivery and disposal of the old one, and Memorial Day sales will be here in a few weeks. But you never know who'll want your old machine. We once sold a 28-year-old washing machine for $50 and the customers were practically fighting over it.
That is a consideration; but I don't like dryers, and am seriously considering having the house torn down when I leave.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:26 PM   #20
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..........We bought a washer & dryer for the new house and the dryer died after 18 months - the fried circuit board alone was going to cost half the price of a new dryer .................
Slightly off topic, but anything with a circuit board should be plugged into a good quality surge protector. The local Costco has a two pack for, I think, $16 - good quality, too.
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