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Old 12-09-09, 11:29 PM   #1
Ryland
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Default Looking for a new washer.

My room mate and I are looking in to buying a new washer, we've never owned one, the last time I lived with one it was an old wringer washer.
I was thinking about a Staber because people with off grid houses seem to like them, altho they are looking like they might be a bit dated and altho they used to be rated well they don't even look like they meet energy star standards any more.
So far our top pick is a Speed Queen, partly because they are made in Wisconsin but also because their home unit has the same guts as their commercial unit and the one laundromat owner we talked to said they have the fewest service calls on speed queen, they are also listed at 184kwh per year (counting hot water use), a high spin speed to spin the water out of the cloths.
I'm open to other models I'm also looking for comparison charts of energy use.

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Old 12-13-09, 08:34 AM   #2
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Hi, I dont know that much about washers but I will share my experience, having always had one in the home, even as a child.
As far as quality and breaking down, I dont recall ever having a lot of troubles with washers or dryers. They are all pretty much built to last a long time. Since having my own home, I have always taken "hand me downs" from other family and friends that bought new equipment but their old stuff still works. Everyone I know that buys a new washer and dryer simply does so because the new ones are more efficient or they moved and there old dryer is gas and the new home is equipped with electric or something like that.
I havent owned EVERY brand out there, as a matter of fact, only a few brands because they are so trouble free so I would read reviews and stay away from any brand that does have negative feedback.
Now as far as washing goes, the new front load style is the type I own now. I love it! It uses LESS energy AND LESS water. Also, it gets the clothes a LOT cleaner and the extra g-force in the spin cycle means you dont have to use the dryer as long so you are saving energy there too. As an added bonus, when you remove clothes from the dryer, you can fold and place them on top of the washer without covering up the door.
I cant think of one thing about my old top loaders that I liked better.
I currently have the Kenmore Elite series.
Oh, if you are gonna wash boots and sneakers, do some research on that because that is the only thing I can see that would put more wear and tear on these machines than normal use.
I hope this helps.
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Old 04-29-10, 09:30 PM   #3
NeilBlanchard
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I've just bought a new front loading washing machine -- it's an LG (brand) WM0642HW (model), and it is supposed to use just 25% of the water, and 28% of the electricity of a typical machine. And it is able to wash larger loads, and get them cleaner, too.

Our 17 year old washing machine just stopped agitating and spinning -- it just filled with water and then drained...
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Old 04-30-10, 06:04 AM   #4
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Sounds nice. Would you mind writing a review of it in a couple of weeks Neil?

I too am looking at new washers/dryers. I've been thinking about the ventless condensing LG units that wash and dry in the same machine.
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Old 04-30-10, 07:08 AM   #5
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My wife was advocating for an all-in-one machine, and we may yet get one -- you put in the laundry and leave it and come back to clean dry clothes. We have room in the first floor half bath to fit one; or even a set of compact stackable units.

But the capacity is not all that big, and with a standalone washer, you can use the solar powered clothes dryer in the yard (the clothesline) or you can stick 'em in the dryer. Also, if something breaks, you don't lose it all.
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Old 04-30-10, 07:41 AM   #6
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The only other down side I can see to a combo unit is it can slow down wash day. If you aren't line drying your clothes, you can't wash the second load until the first one is dry.

IMHO, a front loader is the only way to go for a washer. Even if you don't buy a matching dryer, your dryer will finish drying faster because the clothes are spun drier from your washer.
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Old 04-30-10, 07:42 AM   #7
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True about the breaking thing. You can set it just to wash and rinse though. It doesn't have to go through the drying cycle if you don't want.
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Old 05-28-10, 08:13 AM   #8
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Default LG WM0642H Front Loading Washing Machine

Okay, using the LG WM0642H is pretty nice. It is easy to figure out -- my 12 year old son Nicolas picked it up right away, and it is very quiet, gets the clothes very clean, and they are barely damp at the end of the cycle. So far, we have used just the normal cycle (~1hr) with tap temp, and the default high speed spin cycle.

You select on of about 8 different cycles, and then you can change any of the settings. You can save one custom cycle, which is the one that we will use almost all the time.

You are supposed to use a special (low suds) type of soap called "HE", but we have to use a soap without any perfume or dye (my wife's skin reacts with many soaps), so we use All "Free and Clear" concentrate -- you just have to be careful not to use too much. I do a four-count with the spigot going straight into the soap tray on the top of the machine. This save you from having to rinse out the measuring cup -- which would be very hard to do with this or any front loading machine. The door locks when you start the machine, so you cannot rinse out the cup and dump it into the machine without using water from a sink.

This machine has a new water temp setting that I have not seen before: Cold/Cold (Tap) which seems to be straight tap water. Maybe the Cold/Cold setting actually warms up the water a little by mixing in a small amount of hot?

The energy estimate is $14/year if you have an electric hot water heater, and $10 if you have a gas fired hot water heater. I'm guessing it will be even less if you use the Cold/Cold (tap) water?

It does draw phantom power when it is sitting there (all the controls are electronic). It draws ~1 watt continuous, but the power factor (PF on the Kill-A-Watt) is horrible at ~0.14. (Close to 1 is best!) So, the volt-amp (VA on the Kill-A-Watt) is ~7watts which is significant. The work around for this is to use a power strip or to unplug it.

The peaks during start up is ~60watts, and the PF during operation is ~0.5-0.6 though this fluctuates a lot. Again, this is a pretty poor power factor, and it increases the effective power use. So, 130watts (during parts of the wash cycle) is effectively 250VA.

The total power usage for a normal load is 0.12kWh (100wH), so the cost to run a load of laundry is tiny -- about 2.3 cents per load with our local electricity rates.

Last edited by NeilBlanchard; 05-28-10 at 11:48 AM.. Reason: added title
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Old 05-28-10, 11:22 AM   #9
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Default Fisher and Paykel

If you like top loaders, I've heard good things about these machines. I've never owned one (yet), but I think they are a little pricey for a top loader. They have some nice top loading dryers too.

http://www.fisherpaykel.com/product/...EAF489D230B351

They use a direct drive permanent magnet motor and are quite energy efficient. The 1000rpm high speed spin lowers the amount of energy needed to dry the clothes. I think some other brands (LG) use the same technology in some of their units too.

Last edited by jwxr7; 05-28-10 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 05-28-10, 11:46 AM   #10
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Yes, the LG model I have is direct drive.

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