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Energy Eff. Washers

Post in 'The Green Room' started by StackedLumber, Mar 6, 2010.

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  1. StackedLumber

    StackedLumber New Member

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    Since the government is now trying to get us to get rid of our old machines and get into new ones, we are seriously considering "upgrading" ours. With us, the wife does laundry almost every day and our current machine is one of those "top loaders". I really don't know much about the front loaders except for their claim to be super efficient.

    I'm sure someone out there has changed recently from a top loader to a front loader. Are they really all that efficient, to where you noticed a smaller hot water, water, electricity bill? What makes them more "efficient" or is it a marketing ploy? I noticed you have to have a special detergent . . .is the detergent more efficient (need less)or eco friendly?

    Just looking for some answers before I sink some money into one-b/c they ain't cheap!

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  2. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    Worth getting 1 just to watch it go forward & backward [computerized] & spin like a jet turbine which results in big savings when the clothes go into the dryer. A front loader is gentler on clothes , especially quilts & delicate items.
  3. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Yes, they save a lot of money, and they are worth the price due to that, and other reasons also.

    Here is where the money is saved:

    1. They use about 1/3 of the water that a normal top loader would use. If you are married to a normal woman who believes that clothes must be washed in warm or hot water, this will add up to a lot of hot water that costs you a lot of money to heat. If you have somehow convinced your wife to wash with only cold water, the savings will be minimal.

    2. They spin water out of the clothes super-efficiently. This means that your dryer works less, using less energy. It will only take about half the time to dry your clothes as before. If you hang your laundry to dry, then there is no savings here except for a lighter load to carry to the line.

    For one load of laundry done a day, that would mean a savings of roughly 10 gallons of hot water if you washed all your loads in warm. That is 8000 BTUs of energy/day to heat the water. If you heat water with electricity at $0.12/kWh, then you'll save roughly $10/month in hot water heating costs. You might save even more depending on how you heat water (e.g. if your hot water is via an inefficient old oil boiler, you might save 2-3x that). That's not counting the drying time. A typical dryer uses about 5 kWh/hour. One load dried a day for a month is 150 kWh. If you can cut that in half, you just saved 75 kWh, at ~$0.12/kWh, or about $8.50/month.

    So you'll pay about $400 to $600 more, but you will probably save $100-200/year in energy costs (hot water, drier). After 3-4 years, all the savings go directly to your pocket.

    I don't use the special detergents. I just use about 1/3 of the normal amount of regular detergent. By doing this, I just have to clean the door/gasket seal every few months - no big deal.

    These front loaders are more gentle on your clothes and clean the clothes better in my opinion.

    Your wife will really like it if you treat her to one of these.
  4. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    That's about right. 40 gallons vs 5 gallons. Cothes last longer. A lot less electricity to dry clothes, maybe 1/3. My normal washing cycle is about 50 minutes and the typical drying cycle is about 15 minutes FOR TOWELS!!! If you've got a well you have to pump that water out of the ground, then pray it doesn't foul your leach field. If you have public water + sewer, you will save money there as well. Where we are sewer is now 2x the cost of water! The soap isn't anymore expensive, because you use a lot less of it. I've got a Samsung with the VRT thingy and its much quieter than our old top loader (Maytag neptune). I got a deal for a washer/dryer combo at about $1000 w/3 yr warranty. After rebates, tax credits, ect. I figure payback is about 4 years for me if I count the TVM. A bigger deal for me was putting about 12,000 gallons/yr back in our well and out of our septic. Just the electricity for the pump is about $20/yr. I can't think of a good thing about top loaders, other than your kid being able to stick his/her arm into one and have it ripped off.

    A little tidbit no one seems to think about is the fact you can SELL a working washer, but have to PAY to get rid of a broken one. I sold my old washer for $200 bones towards the new one!
  5. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    We switched last november. Seemed to knock about $20.00/month off the electric bill (family of five). We use half as much soap (tide works great). Clothes get cleaner! Definitly worth it to me.
  6. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    For just me and my wife, we didn't feel like spending the outrageous price of a front loader. My brother has one and the cycle is much longer and we don't think it does as good a job. We went with an Ecosmart model by Fisher and Paykel, a top loading energy star rated washer. It lets you set the water level, which front loaders do not. My work clothes get pretty filthy and it does a great job. It also cost about half of any front loader. Just an option to look at if money is tight.
  7. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I have to agree the front loaders do get expensive in a hurry. I'm also curious why they stopped making front loaders in America and went to top loaders. Probably cheaper but there seems to be a consumer preference towards them as well. Maybe less stooping.

    Front loaders don't need to set the water load, because they have a sensor that tells them when the clothes are saturated. It can tell automatically how much water is needed. My parents are stuck on using an extra rinse, which I guess is fine. However, I found out the reason they use it is because for 2 years they were using a front loader with regular soap, and the suds were not coming out!

    The key for me and these kind of purchases is to be proactive. Buy before there's desparaiton, and the old equipment may be worth $omething. My front loader was a package deal. Washer for $649 and dryer for $351.

    -$50 energy eff rebate
    -$50 tax rebate
    -$200 for sale of old washer/dryer.

    In the end the combo ended up costing me about $700 after rebates, ext. warranties, upgraded hoses, some new shelving and a bucket of soap. My wife and I are not the dry-cleaning type so I didn't opt for Steamy or silvercare or a matching set of $400 pedistals. My friend saves about $10/week drycleaning so I'm sure it's worth it to some.
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Consider a Bosch. It was one of the few we found made in the USA. We like ours a lot.
  9. StackedLumber

    StackedLumber New Member

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    Semi, your the second person this week that has recommended a bosch to me. What is it about it that you like-besides the USA part. (which is huge in my opinion, if true)
  10. Deere10

    Deere10 New Member

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    Just my 2 cents. We got Samsungs last Oct. n love them. The only thing I found is if you let the washer set for over a day or so it gets a litlle musty smell in it,possibly some water left in the tub somewhere. We just leave the door open a crack to solve the problem. Another thing to consider is a top loader w front load technology<(i know it sounds funny). I know Sears carries them and I am sure others do too. But it is your basic top load style but uses same amount of water as front loaders,and there is no adjatator in the middle of tub. Friends of mine have them and love them,you can really load them up with clothes. Personal preference I guess.Just another tidbit,you wont need the pedestals for top loaders,unlike front loaders that you may want on pedestal mounts to get them up off floor,not having to bend over to load and unload....I will get off my Soapbox now(anyone get the punn in there?)
  11. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    There has been much talk about using the HE detergent, we do not use it we use Arm and Hammer like always and it works fine. However, if you use a cheap, cheap brand they often make more suds and then you get an error code on the washer.
  12. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    Our top loader is pushing 20 yrs. old and I've been hungering for a front loader for years now. How many of you who have them have set them up in pan with an overflow to protect against inadvertant leaks? We live primarily on the second floor ("the apartment") to capitalize on gravity to drain waste water to the raised septic system. The husband thinks I'm nuts to insist on that addition ("we've never had a problem before...").

    I've worked in two laundromats where a sock caught in the door resulted in a breached seal and the mess and inconvenience was considerable. I agree that front loaders use a lot less water, less detergent, and generally are more efficient to operate... that's why I want one.
  13. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I like the Samsung we bought. It was the 3rd front loader we've owned (we kept moving and just buying new) and by far the quietest, but that may just be the setup/flooring ect. It has ball bearings that counter-balance the load so even heavy towels don't make a ton of noise. I don't sweat the leaks. Most leaks in a house happen from burst hoses or backed - up drains.
  14. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    If you are worried about water leaks, just buy the reinforced hoses for the water supply lines - a burst hose is where your leak will come from.
  15. kartracer

    kartracer Member

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    We bought the samsungs when we built our house last year.Knock on wood,they have been great.Kust be sure and leave the door and the soap drawer open when you finish-we have never had trouble with the sour smelling clothes some talk about.If you're on a well or even if you're not,they use a lot less water.The prices have come down a fair amount from a year or two ago.Also,as others have stated your clothes last longer before the edges tear,etc..Bosch is a German company,but may have a manufacturing facility in the US,I really don't know.
  16. charly

    charly Guest

    Check out "Staber" washing machines. Top load, but works like a front loader. No transmission, variable speed motor, goes back and forth, high speed spin, belt drive, 15 gallons of water, no more than 1 ounce of soap. Works great! Great customer support. Low power consumption. They are also used on the Subs in the Navy, from what their web site states. Greaseable tubb bearings. Plain and simple built. Easy to service parts, if ever needed. Ours is 7 years old, and still runs fine. Even the drive belt is still fine.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We've had a front loader for the past 12 years. Frigidaire brand. Quiet and efficient, it has worked out well for us. We're now on our second generation. Watch the sale and shop hard. We paid about half of retail and got a rebate too.
  18. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    I put the $12.00 plastic pan under mine
  19. ChillyGator

    ChillyGator New Member

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    Another Samsung user.....4.0 capacity. Washes bigger loads cleaner than my old one.
  20. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Its efficient with power and water, quiet, and so far, troublefree. It cleans well too even with cold water. My only gripe is that it beeps when done and doesn't seem to give you the option of turning it off, a minor complaint. Its Energy Star certified so we should get a rebate.

    I spent quite a while shopping washers at Lowes and Sears and this was the only one I found made in USA. Maytag, Samsung, and other mentioned here were made in Korea, Germany, Mexico, or elsewhere. Interesting that a German brand would be made in USA while the American Maytag brand washers I saw were made in Germany.

    Also worth a look if you really want a top loader is the Fisher and Paykel brand made in New Zealand. Their design is quite cool and very simple. What amounts to basically a stepper motor direct-drives a top loading tub. There is no transmission.
  21. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    I, also have a Bosch, a Nexxt 500. To turn off the beep/signal :

    1) Select a program (wash cycle)

    2) Press and hold 2 Option buttons until a short beep is heard. (Option buttons = Bleach; Rinse Plus; Heavy Duty)

    Don't do this during a running cycle - don't know why, that's what the manual says ;-)
  22. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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  23. charly

    charly Guest

    Blimp,
    Think there's a small amount of water that ends up sitting in the hose going to the pump. Usually it's not a problem.
  24. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    Check out Fisher Paykel top loader ECM drive machines, available through Loews and Sears last I knew.

    These are bona fide high efficiency units.

    No transmission, low water consumption, 1000 rpm high-speed spin, auto out of balance correction.

    No gasket stank, because no gasket and no door seal.

    No cantilevered drum.

    And proves that sometimes a substantially less expensive option can sometimes be a substantially better machine.
  25. ChillyGator

    ChillyGator New Member

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    Tide makes a product that you run through the washer to remove any smells. My washer had that smell early on, I used one tablet of the Tide product and the smell went away and has not returned. I try to remember to 'dry' the inside of the door and the seal after each use, I actually accomplish this about 20% of the time.
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