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Daox 11-22-10 12:54 PM

Looking at a new washer/dryer (washer/dryer bought & installed)
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Our current washer/dryer we bought with the house. They're high capacity and roughly 12 years old. I've had to fix both of them once in the two years we've owned them. We've also remodeled a nook upstairs this summer for a washer and dryer since my wife wanted 1st floor laundry which is understandable considering the dungeon like ambiance of our basement. :)

So, today I went to the local appliance store and looked at washers and dryers. As with the efficient TV list I made a while back, I did the same with the washers that ranked them by water usage (since electric usage is very similar). I printed out the first page o the list, took it with me to the store and showed it to the salesman to help find the units I was interested in. The list is attached.

I've narrowed the results down to two models of washers:
Maytag MW6000XW
Frigidaire FAFS4474LW

Price wise them plus the dryer is very similar as are the features. They're also very high up on the energy star ratings. In fact, the Maytag is the top unit. It is also CEE Tier III certified.

I did look at the LG vent less / heat pump dryers. We've had horrible luck with our LG appliances and we would rather not invest in the companies products. Unfortunately, they are the only ones making the vent less units. My wife also does most of the laundry over the weekend, and having a washer/dry does speed things up so the two units does make a little more sense. Although I really love the idea of one machine doing everything. It just makes sense to me.

strider3700 11-22-10 01:16 PM

where did you go to get that info? when I went to the energy star website it didn't give me the annual water use or active columns even though they are in the legend...

Daox 11-22-10 01:24 PM

If you go to the link below, click on one of the "Qualified Clothes Washers" links on the right side. I downloaded the excel file and it had exactly what you see above.

Daox 11-30-10 07:30 AM

We ended up going with the Maytag washer and a gas dryer. They'll be arriving on Friday. That means I have until then to get the gas line hooked up and new dryer ducting run. Yay.

Daox 11-30-10 08:15 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Tonight I did some of the prep work for having the washer and dryer installed upstairs. This summer we remodeled our bathroom so we could move the machines from the basement up to the first floor. When it was done we moved our washer upstairs with plans to eventually get a stackable washer and dryer. Well, that day has obviously almost come, so I need to get things ready downstairs.

Tonight I did the work for the dryer venting. This is what I had to start with. The blue/red PEX lines on that go off to the left is where the vent comes down and the spot on the right is where the dryer vents.

While I was at it, I checked the damper to see how clogged it was. This picture was taken after some cleaning. I did take some more time and clean it more. However, the flap does not fully close. I am thinking about getting something like this to replace it. If anyone has experience with these please let me know how you like it.

Here is where the dryer vent comes through the floor. Not exactly a ton of room to work with, and this was after moving the electrical and PEX lines out of the way.

With a few of the turnable elbows and a couple straight pieces, I got the vent down into an open area. I'm guessing it would probably be a good thing to tape up the joints?

From there, I used flexible aluminum pipe to get over to the wall. I'm not a big fan of this stuff, but the path would be really annoying to do with rigid pipe. If anyone has suggestions as to what might be better I'm all ears.

Daox 12-06-10 07:50 AM

Over the weekend I got the washer hooked up. The guys who were supposed to deliver and install it said it wouldn't fit... Well, they were wrong. I also found out I need a stacking kit so I can put the dryer on top of the washer. I was not aware of this and need to get one.

I also still need to hook up the gas line for the dryer.

Anyway, the wife did use the washer over the weekend and is VERY happy with it so far. Its really amazing how dry the clothes come out. I'll have more comments after I have a little more time with it.

One thing I am looking forward to trying is the 'fresh hold' option. The washer has a fan on it that vents moisture and every so often turns the clothes over to keep the clothes fresh. However, the manual and stickers on the washer kind of make it seem like this can actually be used to dry the clothes too.

RobertSmalls 12-06-10 12:57 PM

I had never heard of a combination washer/dryer, or a ventless condensing dryer, but they sound really cool. Too bad it's $1300. It's hard for anything new to compete with my $100 washer + dryer, which have been reliable so far. But maybe I'll spring for the next generation of combined washer/dryer when the price comes down.

Daox, are you going to insulate the laundry closet for noise reduction?

Daox 12-06-10 01:05 PM

The laundry closet is actually in my bathroom. So, the walls already have insulation in them for noise reduction. However, the new machine is quite a bit quieter than the old one.

Daox 12-07-10 07:18 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Here are some pictures of the machine and the install so far.

These are the units as the delivery/installers left them since I did not have the stacking kit. I waddled the washer inside (they're not light!) and started hooking things up.

This is part way through the install. Sorry for the close picture, there isn't a ton of room in the bathroom.

Here it is installed in the nook and ready to go (actually it is going). Yeah, those are the wife's feet as she watched the machine work for the first time. :)

This was also a pleasant surprise to see. I didn't know this, but apparently this washer is designed, engineered and assembled here in the US. I'm sure a good deal of the parts are made overseas, but its good to see an attempt to keep work here. I also like the idea that I'm supporting keeping work in this country.

gasstingy 12-07-10 08:56 AM

I'd make one change, if it were me. The way I did it a few years back when we ran our dryer vent out under the house {and used the same PVC for ducting} was I added a cleanout at both of my 90 degree turns. As you can tell from your picture, at some point in time, the airflow will be restricted to the point where you have to clean it out. having the PVC cleanouts in place just makes it a much easier job. ;)

Daox 12-07-10 08:59 AM

Hmm, thats a great idea. I did think about cleaning things out after doing it and thought "that will be a pain". I didn't know PVC was rated for the exhaust temps that a dryer puts out? I've only ever seen metal exhausts used.

Daox 12-21-10 11:26 AM

I got the dryer installed this weekend with a bit of help from my step father. Then, I realized I had not turned the water back on to them (dryer has a steam option and needs a water line)! So, I had to get some help from my cousins to pull it out and push it back in again. NOT light stuff!

First time trying out the dryer gave me an "AF" code. This means there is too much restriction in the exhaust. I don't know if I have a crunched exhaust vent behind the units, or the run is too long with too many bends. However, I stopped it and restarted it and it seemed to run just fine. I'll have to keep an eye on it. I might have to build the platform it sits on out another inch or so to allow it to not be quite as tight as it is now.

I'll get pics up soon.

Daox 12-21-10 09:22 PM

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Here they are all hooked up and working, yay.

gasstingy 12-22-10 09:19 AM

Hey, I used the same trim as around your w/d opening when I trimmed out our house! I liked the idea of using straight cuts and the rosettes instead of trying to make perfect 45 degree miter cuts. :p

BTW, the install looks like it belongs there, which is how it should be. Good job. :thumbup:

Bmello 02-26-11 04:22 PM

I wanted one those LG all in one washer/dryer, yet $1300 to save energy would costs years to recoup. Thats if the machine was still working in ten years.
I measured the power consumption of my top loading washing machine and it used about
.26 kwh. We do about four loads of laundry so that amounts to 1 killawatt a week.
The dryer on the other hand can't be measured because of the three prong plug. I looked on the back it was 5000 watts. So the dryer is the culprit. I have started to run the spin cycle on the washer one more time after the wash is finished. I pulled the hose from the back of the washer and held the hose into a bucket while the spin cycle was in motion.
I was able to draw a few cups of water out of the laundry just by running the spin cycle again. This seems to help not having to run the dryer as long.

strider3700 02-26-11 07:13 PM

one advantage of the new washers is they usually have insanely high spincycle speeds. the amount of water removed by them makes a huge difference in drying time. The only advantage a new dryer has over an old one is it should have a moisture sensor and will stop when the clothes are dry rather then sit their cooking them if you pick too long of a cycle.

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