Asking for, y’know, a friend
Tuesday August 11th 2015, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Life

One of the toilets started running nonstop over the weekend, necessitating our cutting off its water but thus giving the plumber something to do after he’d ascertained that the washer had flooded because of the washer, not the line. I described how it had been having a harder and harder time getting any cold water into it–at that setting it filled v e r y slowly.

The washer, he affirmed again. Those pipes? (pointing at the wall.) They’re copper. They’re good.

So I have been learning about High Efficiency, Front Loader, and Top Agitator types for hours. And looking up repair places.

But what I’d love to know is if anyone anywhere still makes one that doesn’t have electronics behind the controls–in our experiences with dishwashers and ovens, those always, always fail quickly.

So. Washing machines. One Consumer Reports high-rated High Efficiency-type model had reviews from multiple people saying it won’t open after you start unless you start the whole cycle over, and yet they have to to stop it at times to rearrange heavy wet clothes away from the center so the cycle can continue. That makes me want to go with the less efficient traditional agitator model. California requires all those manufactured as of March and sold in this state to be more efficient and I don’t know if that means I should buy what will clean well fast while I still can?

What do you have that you like or don’t and why?

7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

My Kenmore bought when we bought our house in 1980 had a total of two service calls until we left it behind two years ago. One to replace the spin belt, and one because the water level shut-off sensor got blocked. Our friend who repaired machines at the time told me to choose the simplest model with the best available agitation design. Electronic boards were rare in washers then.

It could be worth looking for an older machine…don’t know. Morgan’s experience with a front loader was that he had to discard it after only a couple of years, but they’re making them smarter now. I have a friend with two systems, she loves her Electrolux and Samsung. Roseanne seems to have a good one, (forget the brand) check with them. Good luck!

Comment by Marian S. 08.11.15 @ 11:56 pm

I’ve had front loaders for years and the BIG problem I have is they are so “water efficient” I have to add water! Yes, I add 10litres at the start, and 10 litres at each rinse, and sometimes have to run a separate rinse cycle (and no, I don’t use too much soap.) They also get musty, have to leave door and drawer open and still use a cleaner every few months. I say for convenience and clean clothes, stick to the inefficient top loading agitator.

Comment by LynnM 08.12.15 @ 12:38 am

I have a GE cheap top loader because our machine died with a full wet load in it and my husband ran out to get a new one. Being the frugal type that he is, he bought the cheapest he could find, a top loader with center agitator. The clothes wrap around it in a tangled knot in every load! I hate it! And because it’s “efficient” you can hear water sloshing around in the tub when there is none. I called repair to ask why and was told it’s in a chamber that is sealed (some story about balance and stuff). I learned quickly never to cover the lid when it’s empty because then the house fills with the smell of mold. I pour vinegar in the empty drum often to counteract the odor. I would never buy another one like this. But I’m told even the expensive, efficient ones have the mold smell. I wish I could have my old one back again!

Comment by Jody 08.12.15 @ 5:15 am

We just replaced our failed washer with a 3yr old Whirlpool top loader and we’re very happy with it. I’ve heard that some front loaders are so water efficient that the clothes come out with dry spots (and still dirty). Check your local “scratch & dent”.

Comment by Joan 08.12.15 @ 2:08 pm

We had a repair person tell us to keep repairing our 1986 Maytag top loader washer (and the electric dryer we bought at the same time, not Maytag) because they just don’t make them as well any more. Sigh. I use it to spin water out of hand knits all the time.

Comment by Susan (sjanova) 08.12.15 @ 5:27 pm


My old reliable 25 year old Kenmore died a couple years ago and we replaced it with another top loader. (We ended up with a GE brand, which I would not get again. AT all. Ever. ) I would get another top loader. I heard of issues with clothes not getting as clean with low flow. Not being able to wash knits and control the cycle was also a problem. The absolute deal breaker for me was that the front loader efficient models HAVE to be cleaned out because they don’t get enough water in all the time to wash the residual dirt and gunk out. A very large part of the problem was that they were recommending cleaning it with a strong solvent, which is just bringing in more non-environmental friendly problems. And, oh yeah, I am SEVERELY allergic to solvents. My advice: stay with the top loader if you can.

Comment by Lisa 08.12.15 @ 6:47 pm

I don’t know the brand, but 2 years ago, a friend’s brand new (3rd load of laundry) front loader stopped shortly after the start of the cycle. Nothing would get it started, and the safety lock preventing opening of the door when water was present could not be fooled. It was Saturday, emergency calls to repair shops weren’t returned until Monday, and then service couldn’t be arranged until Tuesday. Repairman managed to get door open, but clothes were permanently spotted by undissolved detergent resting on them for 3 days. And she had to wait a week for the part. I still believe in top loaders.

Comment by DebbieR 08.13.15 @ 6:39 am

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>