View single post by dbiberdorf
 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2005 03:43 pm
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Joined: Sun Apr 17th, 2005
Location: State College, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 145
There are lots of good points being made here. I'll speak as a current front-loader owner. I've got the LG WM1812CW and its matching dryer. They are stacked at present, although we're considering unstacking them, simply to arrange our laundry room differently. (The LG dryer does not overhang the washer at all. There is full access to the detergent drawer.) I have a family of five, including three young kids. We make a lot of laundry here, doing 1-2 loads per day.

Energy savings and water use:
I agree with the Samurai that, assuming you're buying a washer anyway (or your existing one is quite old), it's really unconscionable to buy a unit that uses more water than it needs to. As he said, water is often sold at less than cost. On top of that, more water use means more infrastructure requirements from your municipality or municipal utility district (or your own well/septic). More water also means more detergent, in order to maintain sufficient concentrations of the cleaning ingredients. All that detergent is discharged in the wastewater.

Front loaders also extract noticeably more water from clothes on the spin cycle. This allows shorter drying times (less electricity and gas usage) in the dryer, or, even better, on a clothesline or drying rack. We dry the majority of our clothes on a drying rack. Even in a humid climate like Houston (where I live), a full washer load dries in six hours inside the house. My electric bill is certainly the better for doing it.

Durability of all new appliances is in decline. Samurai has documented this elsewhere on his site. The washer that costs $800 sure sounds like it costs a lot, but it's not much different than paying $400 or $500 a decade ago, in constant dollars. To really compare a top-loader to a front-loader in terms of durability, you should compare machines of recent vintage.

Wear on clothes:
No one really talks about this. Having used a front-loader for 6 years now (first in Germany, then upon my return to the States), I can attest that the front-loader is gentler on clothes, and cleans them better, than any top-loader I've ever used. This means replacing fewer clothes due to pilling, abrasion, and all-around wear. I have hand-me-down play clothes for the kids that are now going on the third or fourth go-round, and they look awesome. I'm an Orthodox priest, and I'm willing to wash my cassocks in my front-loader, knowing that they will be washed VERY gently, while still coming out clean. This saves quite a bit of money compared to taking them to the cleaners, or having to hassle with washing them by hand.

This thread is about FLs in general. However, I'm very happy with the LG pair I have so far. An under-reviewed aspect of this equation is the dryer. I must say that this LG dryer is simply awesome. Its capacity is huge, and it dries an entire load of towels in 40-45 minutes. I was told by the salesman that LG designed their dryer to have drying times to match or beat the washing time, so that the process doesn't get held up by a slow dryer. That's not a big concern for us, but the dryer is still the nicest one I've ever owned.

Overall, I wouldn't change out a recent vintage top-loader for a front-loader, unless I did a LOT of laundry. But if I'm in the market for a machine, there's no doubt in my mind that the front-loader is the way to go unless you simply can't use one (e.g. frame house or whatever). I was a skeptic before I went to Germany six years ago, but I'm certainly convinced now.

Last edited on Wed Nov 16th, 2005 03:46 pm by dbiberdorf