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Washer Woes

Old 11-28-16, 10:16 AM
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Washer Woes

Hey, we have a front-loading Whirlpool Duet WFW9150W. We got it in 2010. At the time we were happy to get $285 in rebates for switching to a water-saving washer and recycling the old one, but the whole time we've owned it, it has been a clothes shredder.

There's a gap of at least 1/4", probably closer to 3/8" between the drum and the plastic rim that the bellows attaches to that clothes get stuck in and then torn when they get yanked around by the agitation. And the damn thing seems to know which articles of clothing we care about the most and targets those.

We had to replace the bellows once a few years ago, and now the bellows is leaking again, so I bought another one to replace, so I'll be opening it up soon to take care of that.

Anybody else have/solve this kind of problem? Is there any kind of adjustment where I can nudge the drum out to narrow that gap? Or any products that can sit in/over that space to prevent clothes getting in there, but not impede the rotation of the drum?
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Old 11-28-16, 10:49 AM
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You could put all your clothes in mesh bags so it's the bags rather than the clothes the gasket tries to eat?

Our front loader is dying a thousand deaths per run, the bearing is shot. Apparently cannot be replaced for much less than the price of a new one, so we just listen to it creak and moan and occasionally refuse to spin until it stops. But it keeps starting for another run so we haven't replaced it yet.

Top loaders are as efficient and non-damaging to clothes now as front loaders were 10 yrs ago, so we will probably get a top loader next, albeit at the cost of all that beautiful horizontal surface on top...
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Old 11-28-16, 10:52 AM
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I think it would take quite a lot of mesh bags to contain each entire load, and putting in and taking out would add a lot to the washing process. Maybe to protect favorite clothes better though...

They have efficient top-loaders now? My wife would love to go back to a top-loader, I should look into that. What is the stat that says "efficiency"? Gallons per load? Energy per load?
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Old 11-28-16, 03:02 PM
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When I was back in high school I went to Alaska to visit a cousin and the small town he was in had a gigantic communal washing machine. Everyone put their name on a big laundry bag and they all got tossed into the washer together. It worked well for them, and I don't think anyone was complaining about wrinkles etc....
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Old 11-28-16, 03:46 PM
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I take it back, the top energystar toploaders still use double the kwh/yr as the top frontloaders and double/triple the water. I guess I picked up an erroneous factoid...
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Old 11-28-16, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I think it would take quite a lot of mesh bags to contain each entire load, and putting in and taking out would add a lot to the washing process. Maybe to protect favorite clothes better though...

They have efficient top-loaders now? My wife would love to go back to a top-loader, I should look into that. What is the stat that says "efficiency"? Gallons per load? Energy per load?
I don't know what causes the efficiency stamp... We just bought a HE top loader, to replace a front loader with bad bearings... that had stained load after loads of our clothes before we figured out the cause. (it didn't do it every load... and we are on a well and have older pipes... so there was a process of elimination)

We got a "built in America" Maytag from Home Depot. The thing is huge... yes, you can do comforters in it. The wife can barely reach the bottom of the washer. Maytag 5.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR-MVWB835DW - The Home Depot

So here's the thing... if these darn washers are so darn efficient, why is it that we have to do a "washer clean" cycle every so often. Just how is it that a machine that cleans clothes doesn't manage to clean itself? (I guess it DOES clean itself, but it needs special soap to do that...)

BTW this is the 4th washer I have bought in the last 15 or so years... maybe 20. They have become increasingly more and more complex. (this Maytag has a 10 year warranty... so check back in 9 years)

If I EVER have to buy another washer... it will be a Speed Queen industrial machine... no bells, no whistles, no electronics... just motors, wires and relays, like the old days. Oh, and the hell with the "door lock." sheesh... no doubt lawyer required.
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Old 11-28-16, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
When I was back in high school I went to Alaska to visit a cousin and the small town he was in had a gigantic communal washing machine. Everyone put their name on a big laundry bag and they all got tossed into the washer together. It worked well for them, and I don't think anyone was complaining about wrinkles etc....
Did that in the Navy... course everyone wore the same color clothing... so it didn't matter if the blue bled.

You took your dress uniform out to town to have it cleaned. Commanding Officers DO complain about wrinkles...
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Old 11-29-16, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
If I EVER have to buy another washer... it will be a Speed Queen industrial machine... no bells, no whistles, no electronics... just motors, wires and relays, like the old days. Oh, and the hell with the "door lock." sheesh... no doubt lawyer required.
I bought a Speed Queen this summer. No regrets. It uses more water which is 'bad' in the AZ desert, but I have the washer grey water diverted to my garden so I use equivalently less irrigation.
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Old 11-29-16, 04:21 PM
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We use Speed Queen commercial washers at my condo and they sure do stand up abuse.
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Old 11-29-16, 06:39 PM
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Speed Queen are old fashioned no-frills washers like your mom used. We have one and have been very happy with it. It does exactly what it's told to do and makes no decisions and/or judgments on its own.
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Old 11-29-16, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
We use Speed Queen commercial washers at my condo and they sure do stand up abuse.
So that's how you get rid of all your Canadian quarters.
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Old 11-29-16, 08:11 PM
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If one is looking to branch out of bike forums, there is a washer/dryer forum. Speed Queens are a common topic!
Discuss-O-Mat Control

Just like BF it has a C&V section with topics including restoration complete with photos and videos of washer lid open to admire the agitation and P&R too (Dirty Laundry)

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Old 11-29-16, 08:34 PM
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For a long time, I hated the Whirlpool "agitator-style" top loader we had. To a large degree, I think my wife's tactic of hi-agitation, hi-spin (most aggressive settings) for everything was wearing out clothes prematurely. And this fed my hatred of the machine. Correcting one's spouse on laundry is quite the taboo thing, so I would separate/hide my most expensive clothing and do it myself.

One day, it failed. And I gave it a shot at fixing. But I figured that the transmission was shot. This was $150 plus shipping, so I talked her into replacing it with a front loading Samsung. It does a fine job on our clothes without using too much water. And the best part about it is that it hasn't spontaneously lit itself on fire or exploded! Who knew?

Our dryer is actually older than the washer was. I suspect it is thirty years old. And I have brought it back from the dead many times. And I hope to again should it fail. But that damned washer ...
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Old 11-30-16, 11:20 AM
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Top loading, low agitation Maytag (bravos & the like) is the way to go.
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Old 11-30-16, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kknh3 View Post
Speed Queen are old fashioned no-frills washers like your mom used. We have one and have been very happy with it. It does exactly what it's told to do and makes no decisions and/or judgments on its own.
I have to laugh at that as my wife called me one day when I was many many miles from home... somehow the new fancy Maytag had made the decision to run through the wash cycle over and over again...

She found the operating instructions and reset the machine. (OMG! This alone made me proud...) It has worked fine ever since.

But indeed it had at least once decided to do something odd... makes me nervous leaving it running when we leave the house for anything... I am afraid it might "hook up" with the computer and perhaps the TV and try to take over the world...
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Old 11-30-16, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I have to laugh at that as my wife called me one day when I was many many miles from home... somehow the new fancy Maytag had made the decision to run through the wash cycle over and over again...

She found the operating instructions and reset the machine. (OMG! This alone made me proud...) It has worked fine ever since.

But indeed it had at least once decided to do something odd... makes me nervous leaving it running when we leave the house for anything... I am afraid it might "hook up" with the computer and perhaps the TV and try to take over the world...
On our SQ, you just flip some levers, turn some knobs and crank the electro-mechanical timer to whatever wash cycle and time you want, and then the washer does exactly what you've told it to do. Nothing more, nothing less!
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Old 11-30-16, 01:52 PM
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If it weren't for water-scarce CA, I'd definitely look into a SpeedQueen, but it looks like they only have traditional-agitator, full-water models.
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Old 11-30-16, 02:00 PM
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Got a set of LG front loaders a few years ago to replace some 20+ year old Kenmores. They work great.
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Old 11-30-16, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kknh3 View Post
On our SQ, you just flip some levers, turn some knobs and crank the electro-mechanical timer to whatever wash cycle and time you want, and then the washer does exactly what you've told it to do. Nothing more, nothing less!
Oh... you don't have to wind them up anymore...
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Old 11-30-16, 02:22 PM
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We've developed a hate-hate relationship with washing machines. Our current LG washer decided, just days after it's warranty expired, that it really wasn't sure where in the wash cycle it wanted to be. So, it would fill, wash, rinse, and repeat. Eventually, it would run through the spin cycle and stop. We didn't notice this until we get this YUGE water bill and tracked it back to the washer. Watching a washer run through the various cycles is akin to watching paint dry. LG said there was no way the washer would do that but folded like fresh laundry when we said we had video. They were kind enough to replace the controller mother board and that fixed it. Computer driven washers are not the way to go and we are going to go the Speed Queen route with the next one.
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Old 11-30-16, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Oh... you don't have to wind them up anymore...
Yeah, it doesn't have a crank handle anywhere!
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