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Energy Saving and Best Clothes Washers

Post in 'The Green Room' started by elkimmeg, Sep 10, 2006.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Vacation is over and the clothes washer is put into service. Except today Mine leaked. ITs about 12 years old the normal life expectancy. I know this has been discussed before but what is the price point break for standard size front loaders. Suggestions welcome experiences brands vs brand vs cost. Something I have not researched yet. Potential savings water consumption energy ect Thanks in advance. MSG can you let this run a few days here before booting it to the green room? I hoping for a larger viewer paticipation?

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  2. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We have a 10 year old Frigidaire (Electrolux of Sweden) front loader, model FWT449GFS1. Still love it. Quiet, economical and reliable. Does a good job of cleaning and the clothes are spun very dry. It looks like Frigidaire no longer makes this model, but it is similar to the FTF530ES. Sears sells a version of it for about $599, $549 on sale, model #44102.
  4. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I have essentially the same model - very simple boxy front loader and well tested over a long period of time. We bought it back in '97 when the City of Austin had great ultility incentives on top of bulk purchase program. Not as fancy and doesn't have a huge loading door, but they are full size and can be stacked due to boxy design. Gives us lots of room for ironing board and hanging area in our laundry room. Sears sells the same model rebranded as Kenmore. Gets the job done well and is probably the cheapest front loader around these days.

    I have heard that some of the newer washers have had major problems - Calypso? Forget the exact one, but be careful with some of the big $$$ models out in the past 3-4 years.

    I think if you can find one < $600, it's a no brainer. However, I think the $1000 models may be a harder case to make for ROI. Of course depends a lot on how you make your hot water, and what type of energy you use to dry. If you have an electric dryer, you will save a good bit of money on the dry cycle as well since the front loaders spin much faster and drier than top loaders.

    -Colin
  5. Retired_Ted

    Retired_Ted New Member

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    We did a lot of research and found Sears had the best stats according to ConsRep. Bought a front loader - spins the clothes so fast you wonder how they hold together. They take much less time to dry in the dryer and the water consumption is about half what it was in the top loader we had for 20 years. My understanding is that Whirlpool makes Kenmore according to Sears' specs. So far, after 3 months, we are quite satisifed with the front loader. I can give you the model # if interested.
  6. Tendencies

    Tendencies Member

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    We went with the Fridgidaire front load model (about $650), the energy savings right off the bat were incredible, the way this thing spins the clothes on final is unbelieveable, our drying times were literally cut in half, as for water, most top loads use approx 41 gal per load, a front loader is 10 gal or less and believe it or not your clothes will be cleaner and last longer, we have City water, 3 months after we got the washer the City came out to see why our useage was down so much!! Oh and a final tidbit, my wife is rather short (maybe 4' 11") make sure you get the stand that the washer sits on or it's really too low to load!

    T
  7. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    I have has this one for 4 years now- not a hiccup from it.

    Sears item #02644102000 Mfr. model #44102

    It uses about 15 gallons of water per load, has energy star rating and lets you choose between your water's temps coming into it or it can aoutmatically adjust the water temp to the desired wash temp by self mixing the hot and cold water.

    The only drawback is that large blankets won't fit well. Other than that it's worth the money.
  8. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Howard County, MD
    We bought a Kenmore Elite HE3 front loader shortly after we purchased the house.
    I got to tell you I love this thing!! The other posters are right on with the good front loader reviews.
    IIRC we paid less than $800. And with the energy star rating there was no tax. The unit uses half the water of the old top loader, which was important for me as I'm on a well. Also you can pack that sucker full...probably twice the load a top loader will handle. The cloths come out cleaner and they are damn near dry after the spin cycle. My unit has 6 different cycles (3 levels each) and you can manually control water temp, spin speed, pre rinse, extra rinse, extra spin, etc...

    Oh...and definitely pony up for the platform that gets the unit up off the floor. I didn't and my wife will not let me forget it.
  9. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    I think I have the same unit. In fact I'm on my second one since 2000. We left the first one with the house when we moved. We liked it so much, we didn't have much thinking to do when we moved into the new house.

    Do your research and watch out for Maytag. An infamous Maytag front loader was left with the house we moved into... I have no wonder why. There was a class action lawsuit over these. Maytag's design leaves a little water in the tub between washes. It reeked of mildew in short order and no amount of cleaning would fix that faulty design. I chucked it within weeks.

    Victor
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I ususlly research everything to death but the piles of clothes from vacation are sitting in my dinning room.
    So I picked up the Sunday Adds. Best Buy Fridgidaire $599 3.5 cu ft capacity done deal free delivery setup and take away the
    old one. One other incentive a Best Buy card offer $25 coupon and no interest for 18 months. Really I did not need to program it a month in advance throw the cloths in and turn the dials works for me and the wife
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The way you feel about Home Depot just multiply by a factor of ten and you have my feelings about Best Buy.

    I hope those three kids in the tinkle yellow shirts enjoyed standing there watching me lift that washing machine into the back of the Suburban by myself.

    I know they didn't enjoy the butt chewing that followed.
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    best buy just happened to have the price range I could swing now. Really no fan of that store either but at times we make compromises.
  13. wtyamamoto

    wtyamamoto New Member

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    We have the Kenmore HE3 front loader as well, and it works great. The kenmore models (HE3 is no longer made - they currently offer HE4 and HE2 models) are the same german source manufacture as the the whirlpool models and have gotten good ratings fairly consistently. The newer offerings from Korea like Samsung and LG look really good - but really expensive.

    In my research, I have seen too many negatives about the Frigidaire front loaders, algthough they do have their fans. I have heard nothing but bad about Maytag, but they recently revamped their line so I'm not sure about the current stuff.

    No matter which way you go, today's front loaders can be EXPENSIVE to fix out of warranty - especially the electronic control boards. Normally I don't get extended warranties, but after researching repair costs, I did get one on the HE3. Sears does really well with them and include free annual check-ups and cleanings.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Read the directions first, front loaders are different. And be sure it's installed correctly and level.

    What type of washer is this replacing? We'll expect a complete report in a week.
  15. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Hmm... I guess the HE3 is a popular model. We ended up with the HE3T, which if I recall the only difference is the HE3T can boost the temperature of the water if you want called the "Sanitary" cycle whereas the HE3 can not, the HE3T also adds a faster spin cycle (1200 rpm's vs. 900).

    The clothes come out spotless. We started lowering the temperature of the water, didn't require as hot to get clean clothes, and ended up even on tap cold clothes come out spotless. So, we now wash everything on tap water cold, and cleans better than our old on hot. It has an extremely fast spin cycle so you don't have to pay for the heat to dry your clothes as much, we use constantly as well. After getting it, and having cleaner clothes on tap water cold, we no longer use hot water for washing clothes and a reason we knocked our oil bill down, I can't say how much electricity we save either with the super fast spin cycle so clothes don't stay as long in the dryer, and as a bonus not having clothes stay in the dryer getting beat up makes them last longer as well. Too late to help you now, but maybe someone else. We love our Kenmore HE3T.
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    We've had a Fridgidaire front loading washer and dryer for about 6 months now and really love them. Something that struck me was that although the washer was priced nice, the dryer, which is much less complicated, was priced high I thought. Another thing is to pay attention to the way the doors swing and whether you can change the direction. You want them to open from the middle so you can move the close easier. Thing is, I think most top load washers used to mount on the right, whereas on the Whirlpool it's on the left, and you can't change the way the door swings on that washer anyway. So, you might be stuck if you want to keep your existing hookups. I found the more visible crossing hoses not too objectionable.
  17. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I noticed the same thing on the dryer price - rather high. But if you want to stack it, oh well...

    Worse for us, we had the gas model dryer in Austin for 2 years. Then moved to NY, and had to go buy an electric - another $400+ for that one, even though our gas unit was practically brand new!

    If anyone is ever looking for the matching dryer in gas for the cube-like Frigidaire/Kenmore models, PM me... would part w/it for a fraction of retail price and it's hardly been used.

    -Colin
  18. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Anybody with the HE3's need to be careful about leaving nails/screws in your pockets. I left a screw in my jeans, it made its way between in the inner and outer drum and it punched a hole in the plastic outer tub, causing a big water leak.

    Other than that, great machine.
  19. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Looks like I'm too late to influence your decision, but here's my experience with a Maytag Neptune front loader (top of the line with the lcd programmable touch display).

    I bought mine (or Mrs. Mo Heat's) about 6 years ago. We loved it for the first 4 or 5 years. Then we got a notice in the mail about a class action suite. It was as though someone put a spell on our washer. It immediately started molding and mildewing and smelling. I read the class action letter complaint about mold, went to the washer and looked for it. Saw none. But just weeks later, it appeared. They must put some sort of sanitizing chemical on the rubber stuff that wears off in a few years. That's when the mold starts.

    The class action also mentions wax motors that burn up, but that hasn't happened yet. I have a fire extinguisher sitting in the same room in case it does.

    I didn't do a lot of research. This was Maytag's top of the line after all. But unless they've radically redesigned this washer, I'd skip it for the above and the below reasons.

    It also wears out our clothes much faster than any top loader does. It twists them so tightly that it's like untieing knots before you can put things in the dryer. And the dryer still runs a long time. Longer than I would have thought. The dryer does have a moisture sensor cycle, so maybe the heat isn't on the whole time. Dryness utilizing the More Dry, Less Dry, etc. moisture sensing settings is hit and miss depending on the type of clothes or other articles being dryed (like blankets, pillows, etc.).

    The washer has its own water heater. I thought I needed it because of the long water pipe run, but I've since turned it off to save electric. The hot water gets hot quickly enough to wash most of our stuff (we do almost everything with warm wash and cold rinse).

    I was pretty dissappointed with this washer. The dryer is ok and I also have one of those super quiet Maytag big tub dish washers that we still like, although I'm still waiting (2 or 3 years now) for the plumbing pipes inside the tub to break. They are mounted to the bottom of the upper rack and must be speared into the back water outlet each time you push the rack into place for the upper sprayer to work. I don't remember this type of design on previous dish washers, but maybe they are all like this.

    I expected more from maytag. I'll probably buy from Sears next time if things remain as they are when mine go down.
  20. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Anybody tried/know anythng about the "all in one" machines - front load washers and dryers?

    Wife saw one somewhere and thinks that's the ticket to an upstairs laundry.

    Steve
  21. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

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    Steve,

    We looked at the LG WM3677HW but it is pretty expensive. We found the space we were going to use for our laundry area in
    our new house had enough room for a dryer so we ended up getting the LG 2277HW and matching dryer which with coupons
    and rebates wasn't a lot more than the combined unit. I looked at the Equator all-in-one, and it was small and also not
    well-reviewed.

    Some people have had trouble with the LG, ours has been problem free and we love it. Although if I were going to get a new
    washer I would get a Fisher and Paykel GWL11 top loader. This has almost all the benefits of a front loader plus a good pre-
    soak function. They're much cheaper and pretty quiet. Friends have one and they love it.
  22. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    You don't have room to stack the cube style front-load washer/dryers? They are full size machines and not more than 7' tall - could fit in a lot of closets.

    At ~$1000 for the combo, may not be much more than a new fangled type and of course you will get twice the throughput of clothes. Nicest advantage I can see to the built in dryer would be you don't have to go transfer it, as long as you don't mind doing less loads in a day.

    -Colin
  23. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    We have the whirlpool duet sport, frontload, we have had it about 6 months. So far it has been great..clothes cleaner and dryer...it is slightly smaller than the previous full size, electric has gone down..

    We did a good amount of research..Maytag is not anywhere near what it used to be, my mom is only on her second machine the first one lasted 35 years...second one is 15 years old.. different people said that you will lucky to see 12 -13 years out of the higher end units now..

    The bosch is supposed to be the best, looked like a toilet seat hung on the refrigerator to me..salesman did not appreciate my 2 cents....

    We also bought one of the Fisher Paykel fridges, that is a very well made unit..we are impressed with the functionality, and the ease of cleaning. electric has also gone down.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's the second time I've heard this about the Neptune. We've haven't had this problem with our front loader. As to mold, maybe they sent you some spores in the envelope that had the class action notice :eek:hh:

    The large rubber door gasket on these units can trap a lot of moisture. About once a month my wife wipes it down with a little bleach water. And she always leave the door open a bit when the unit is idle.
  25. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    My experience with the all in one washer-dryer is that it washed fine and dried almost not at all. Mind you this was 13 years ago when we spent a summer in Paris, France. The washer-dryer (yes, one appliance) took so long to dry anything that we just draped stuff around the apartment to dry, and didn't even try to dry things in the device. We learned to only wash the sheets before going away on short trips, because the best place to dry them turned out to be draped over the kitchen table (impedes eating!) When we lived in England just before that, our flat only had a washing machine, but came with a wooden drying rack. I am not sure about now, but back then most Europeans hung up their laundry to dry, that is considered normal over there. I know the Germans sure hung up their clothes, of course they even had city compost pickup back then, they are so far ahead of the U.S. on environmental issues. I don't mean just grass and leaves, I mean banana peels and egg shells and so on.

    Found the remarks about newer washing machines saving on drying time and hence greener to be a bit funny. The greenest thing to do is to hang up your clothes to dry. Hubby and I have been doing that for the past 15 years and much of the laundry before that as well. It is only a problem in the fall and sometimes in the spring, when there is a lot of rain. Clothes dry fast outside in the summer, and inside in the winter due to the low humidity in the house. We have a dryer that we got free but haven't used it. We store things in it. :)

    Marcia
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