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Which Washer Should You Buy?  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Tue Mar 27th, 2007 12:13 am
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Scottthewolf

 

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OK, I need to explain this better.  Both Speed Queen and Amana used to be owned by Raytheon.  When Raytheon sold the entire appliance division, they sold it to Goodman Holdings.  Then Goodman Holdings sold it to Maytag.  Maytag bought the Amana name and the washer and dryer platforms. Then, in an effort to save Speed Queen's commercial and coin op laundry, the same company that owned Heubsch Commercial Laundry Equipment (Alliance Laundry Systems LLC)  bought the Speed Queen name and their older platform design of their domestic laundry.

Now, with Maytag being bought out by Whirlpool, the Amana (Model #s beginning with NAV) and the Maytag (Model #s beginning with SAV) have been discontinued and the plant where they were manufactured is now closed.

However, the old style Speed Queen washers and dryers are still being manufactured by Alliance Laundry Systems LLC. These are not the best washers on the market, you need a ton of special tools to repair them.

 



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 Posted: Tue Mar 27th, 2007 04:56 am
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AceOfBirds
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Funny- Whirlpool Canada told me Speed Queen is now a subsidiary of Maytag, and then when I started calling Maytag dealers, one of them claimed that they actually can't even use the name Speed Queen in Canada- it's possibly an entirely different tangle up here, but I can't get them anyway, nor the Huebsch, though at least they supposedly sell those here somehwere (I see areview of one from some guy in Ontario.)
The same guy told me that Amana is being made by Whirlpool here now; it's goofy that the name would even mean anything, since the original Amana commune only made refrigerators (and maybe a microwave, I forget)- my mother-in-law has one and it's stupidly reliable/durable.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 27th, 2007 09:19 am
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Budget Appliance Repair
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AceOfBirds wrote:
original Amana commune only made refrigerators (and maybe a microwave, I forget)- my mother-in-law has one and it's stupidly reliable/durable.


Your mother-in-laws microwave, was that one of those nice heavy chrome fronts with the door that opens down instead of sideways? My mom has one of those, it's got to be at least 25-30years old and still working with never a problem except the dial light going out, and maybe one interior light at one time.

Also on this Whirlpool/Maytag/SpeedQueen/Amana thing.... I just saw the first Whrilpool top load direct-drive washers and matching dryer with lint filter on top with the Maytag name on them in this Sundays Sears ad.

That's going to be strange, going out to work on a Maytag and find that it's really a Whirlpool, much better then going to work on a Maytag and finding that it's that junk MagicChef or Amana machine hiding under the Maytag name badge.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 27th, 2007 12:52 pm
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AccApp
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I just saw a WP Cabrio disguised as the Maytag "Bravos" at Home Depot.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2007 04:04 am
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AceOfBirds
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Actually, she has one of the refrigerators- great hulking almond-coloured thing that cost twice as much as a regular fridge (1500 or so in the seventies, they can't really remember), but hasn't had a problem until now, when it's freezing in the fridge compartment intermittently and the repair guys are telling her she'll need a new compressor ($300 repair, and her husband is saying "aw, we could just get a new one for a little more than that!" . . .little does he know. . .)

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 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2007 10:48 am
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Keinokuorma
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AceOfBirds wrote: it's freezing in the fridge compartment intermittently and the repair guys are telling her she'll need a new compressor ($300 repair, and her husband is saying "aw, we could just get a new one for a little more than that!"
Would you know, it isn't very likely to be the compressor at fault. If it was falling apart, the fridge would be getting warmer. If the freezer works fine, and the fridge side tends to get too cold, it is most probably air distribution, like the circulation vents occasionally jamming open. Shouldn't be a $$$ fix.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2007 04:10 pm
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AceOfBirds
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Would you know, it isn't very likely to be the compressor at fault. If it was falling apart, the fridge would be getting warmer. If the freezer works fine, and the fridge side tends to get too cold, it is most probably air distribution, like the circulation vents occasionally jamming open. Shouldn't be a $$$ fix.
Funny you should mention.
While I am but a lowly grasshopper who does not presume to diagnose long-distance, that was also my first thought, and I mentioned it to her, and she was all "oh, no, these guys are our friends and they know appliances and they've been out to look at it twice. . ."  (She *is* talking about professionals and not just buddies- her husband's an electrician)
I wonder if the service manual for that machine even exists- I could look at it when I'm out there for Easter. . .

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 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2007 07:14 pm
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Keinokuorma
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that was also my first thought, and I mentioned it to her, and she was all "oh, no, these guys are our friends and they know appliances and they've been out to look at it twice. . ."  (She *is* talking about professionals and not just buddies- her husband's an electrician)

One other reason why the fridge side would occasionally freeze up, is if the thermostat isn't turning the comp off when it should... Any problem related to the compressor, start relay, or sealed system, will NOT make it colder.

Well, as the techs are friends to your in-laws, they can try and rely on friendship and trust... and tell your in-laws to shell out $300+ for a repair that doesn't make the fridge any better... and they will buy that, or shell out some more and buy some crap.

And not to mock your FIL, I must say that when my class graduated from professional school in 1995, 16 electricians were discharged... but there were a few who weren't mechanically inclined. I myself couldn't call myself a professional mechanic in any sense, but the basic function of the standard refrigeration system was familiar to me before I went in, and yet there were many who had no idea of the concept when they got out.

Look for the service manual. Also look for the circulation vents, check them for frost blockage etc... this might originate from a slightly growing defrost trouble, but even that should still be a cost effective repair.

Last edited on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 07:44 pm by Keinokuorma



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 Posted: Mon Apr 2nd, 2007 03:38 pm
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ZooKeeper
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We've been very pleased with Speed Queen so far.  Awesome warranty.  I think the only problem we've had so far was a bad timer.

 



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 Posted: Sun Jun 17th, 2007 12:53 am
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WayneSB
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Crouching Tiger wrote: You can buy a frontloader and save yourself some money on water consumption and hydro by decreasing the amount of time your clothes spend in the dryer, but I would definitely get the extended warranty.  The money you save in energy costs will be spent on repairs that are costly, (ie - control board).  You can get a basic direct drive Whirlpool washer for less than half the price of most frontload machines.  Besides even though topload machines use 3x the amount of water, how long will it take to recover the cost of buying a FL machine.  The main advantage I find with the frontloaders is that if your on a well their worth the money otherwise I would think twice.
I've done the math on this, and if you're paying for water, you will more than make the money back on your machine. In the course of ten years (because it seems little lasts much longer than that anymore), most HE machines will pay for themselves twofold. Given that you don't use as much water, you don't need  as much detergent. Most people don't take that into account.

At the local area where my store is at (yes, I sell the things), the water isn't cheap. A Fisher Paykel GWL15 for example will pay for itself nearly three times in my area.

As for the extended warranty. It depends on the cost of the warranty and the cost of the product. Of course, it always helps to use surge suppression. Many people don't think of that for appliances. People will buy a $700 computer and spend $50-100 on surge suppression, but then they'll buy a $1,500 refrigerator and not even put it on an el cheapo power strip. As much as I like my computer, I could survive for a week or two without it. Not having a refrigerator would be much more difficult if you ask me.

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 Posted: Sun Jul 8th, 2007 02:40 am
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BaileyTC
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I, too, am in the market for a new washer/dryer set, as I'm about to close on a new house. I've never bought laundry appliances before--just lived with whatever came with the house I was renting or buying.

I've been to the big box stores, I've browsed this forum and others, searched the complaint sites, etc., and I'm overwhelmed with choices and information. So I'd love to get a recommendation from the professional appliantologists here.

I'm looking for a front-load washer to go on the first floor over a crawl space. Dryer (electric, not gas) doesn't have to match. I want models big enough to handle a king-size comforter, which I'm told would have to be at least 3.7 cubic feet. Other than that, I don't usually do big loads of laundry; I'm more likely to do frequent small- to medium-size loads.

I live in a major city (Atlanta), so I figure that finding a repairperson to service a particular brand shouldn't be a major problem. I intend to buy the longest extended warranty available from whatever store I buy from.

Anecdotally, I've heard good things about the LG models, except that they vibrate excessively, even the ones with a lower max RPM. I've heard less-than-great things about the Whirlpool Duet.

After looking at various machines in the stores, I'm interested primarily in the new Samsungs with the VRT (vibration reduction) technology, the LGs (not necessarily the super-duper steamwasher models), and the Fisher-Paykel top-loader that looks like a front-loader (has a 2-year manufacturer's warranty with free parts and labor, while most other brands only offer a 1-year warranty). I know some pros here like the Duet, but the Duet didn't feel as solid as any of these others, particularly the door-latch mechanisms on both the washer and dryer.
  1. I'd appreciate any recommendations/warnings on these specific brands. If you had to go into a store and buy a new washer & dryer for your own family, what would you buy and why?
  2. Can anyone speak to whether the front-load models with the controls in the rear are more/less reliable than the models with the front controls? They appear to usually be lower-end models.
FYI: A Staber is not an option for various reasons.

Thanks for any help and guidance you can give!

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 Posted: Tue Jul 10th, 2007 03:43 am
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Scottthewolf

 

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LG's are just ok, not many service companies will repair them.  Don't even THINK about a Samsung, there is a huge recall on them right now. 

Duets are very relaible machines, just remember to empty out your pockets and do NOT get the optional pedestals, the pedestals will just add more vibration problems.

Frigidaires are not very reliable machines, and neither are the GE front loaders.  

Fisher & Paykel top loaders still have an agitator, so don't wash your comforters in them.  They are just ok, but they are very expensive to repair when they do break down.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 13th, 2007 02:35 pm
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BaileyTC
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Scott, thanks for the reply. A couple of follow-up questions:
  • Why won't many repair companies work with the LG machines? Are they difficult to work on, is the company difficult to deal with, etc.? Is there little training available? Just trying to figure out the reason behind this.
  • The Samsung machines that were recalled were not the new VRT machines. They were older models sold from April 2005 through August 2006. The model numbers of the recalled machines and the new machines are different. Are you aware of issues with the new VRT machines?
  • Are there any issues you're aware of with stacking the machines? Does it help to reduce vibration?
  • Can I assume that you would buy Duets if you were buying a new front-load washer and dryer for your own family?
I'm also in the market for a new fridge. I prefer side-by-side to the French door bottom-freezer models, and I have to buy a counter-depth model so it will fit through the ridiculously narrow kitchen doorway of the new house. I like the KitchenAids the best. Any recommendations?

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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2007 02:46 am
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Scottthewolf

 

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Not many servicers will repair LG products. The company is hard to deal with and hard to get parts for and their appliances are not very reliable.

I advise AGAINST stacking the dryer ontop of the washer, because sometimes you need to do a repair on a washer that involves removing the dryer and will turn in  to a 2 person job.

If I was to buy a front load washer, I would definitely chose a Whirlpool Duet.

I totally dislike side by side refrigerators because you really cannot fit much in them, most of them you can't even fit a pizza or a turkey in them.

A Kitchen Aid refrigerator is THE best refrigerator you can buy for your  money.  A KitchenAid is just a Whirlpool with fancier features and a longer warranty. For 20 years straight, Whirlpool has had the best reliability record in the industry.

 

 

Last edited on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 02:50 am by Scottthewolf



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 Posted: Tue Aug 7th, 2007 07:01 pm
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I recommend Whirlpool.   They make great machines.
 

LG is simply a tough brand to work on.  Their components are brittle and weak which causes customers to call back within the guarantee period after the repair.
   The electronics are expensive to replace and normal appliance parts distributors don't carry LG parts.
 
 



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 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 03:13 am
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I've seen a couple of you guys bust on GE, so I'm afraid to ask...

Have you people seen the new GE top-load that has no agitator?  It's a HE, and it seemed to be built like a brick s**t-house.  Any thoughts?

I currently have Frigidaire front-loads, and am ready to throw them in the trash.  The control board on the dryer has gone out twice, and the washer never has stopped vibrating so bad that it walks across my basement floor.  They are only 2 years old.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 1st, 2007 04:34 pm
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I, too, can't load the podcast.  I've got that POS front loading Kenmore that has sucked me dry.  I am near tears thinking about how much we paid for it not six years ago and then the $200 plus repair I did 5 months ago that has also failed.

Have well and septic so I LOVE idea of less water using front loader but I'm afraid to buy ANYTHING at this point.:?  I  see 2 votes for the Whirlpool Duet.  Anything else?

 

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 Posted: Sat Nov 3rd, 2007 11:40 pm
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Keinokuorma
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I hear that there is a top loaded tumble action machine of rather sturdy design and easy D.I.Y. repair... I hear that the Grand Master himself will stand up upon the mention of the name... STABER.

Last edited on Sat Nov 3rd, 2007 11:41 pm by Keinokuorma



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 Posted: Sun Nov 4th, 2007 12:29 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Keinokuorma wrote:
I hear that the Grand Master himself will stand up upon the mention of the name... STABER.

Normally, ya sure, ya betcha. But, at present, Staber is having big production problems sourcing the motor control board for their washers. As a result, shipping times are in excess of 8 weeks! So, unless someone want to wait 2+ months for their new washer, I recommend that people either limp along with what they have or look at something else.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 4th, 2007 01:34 am
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Keinokuorma
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Guess they would have no problem sourcing them from a Chinese sweat shop... but that would mean they would have to source two or three per unit manufactured... and deliver a spare board with every unit sold.



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