Devil505 wrote:Looking at replacing our old washer & drier & was thinking of a front loader but read reviews about water staying in the tub & mildew smell unless you keep the door open...Anyone have any recommendations as to type (Front or top loading) & specific models? (like to keep it under $1200.00/pair)
I did this a few years ago with just the washer. The new dryers don't do anything any better than the old ones so we kept the 12 yr old unit and it's still working just fine. After exhaustive research I bought the Sears HP2 which is made by Whirlpool. It was about $700, had a basket that was in between the biggest and smallest (very little difference between the sizes contrary to what they indicate) and very simple controls. Has a dial and a few membrane buttons. I didn't want extra crap that was going to break like water heaters and a million cycles we're never going to use. It's worked wonderfully in the 3 years that we've owned it. I use about 2 tablespoons of detergent for a big (stuffed full) and one for a smaller load. I buy the sears detergent in the extra-ginourmous container for $12 (I think) and it lasts for nearly a year. Clothes are cleaner that they have ever been, cycle times are good (we use the express cycle) and the biggie is it doesn't beat the crap out of your clothing like a center agitator machine does. Clothes come out much less wet than a standard machine so the dryer works a lot less and uses a lot less gas (my bills have dropped by 30%)
You do need to leave the door and detergent drawer open when it's not in use if you run loads infrequently as the drum area is sealed when the door is closed. Ours is running at least once a day so it's no issue. Ours has a maintenance cycle where you put bleach in the detergent cup and push a series of buttons and it will clean itself. I do that about twice a year. It's incredibly quiet, water efficient and cool to watch. The spinning issue is a non-issue if you simply plumb and level the machine. Mine will spin stuffed with 15 towels and make very little noise even if not perfectly balanced.
Many of the brands out there have issues with the "spyder" that holds the drum cracking after 2-4 years. These are not built to last like the stuff we grew up with. 4-7 years is all of it. You'll find that the $700 machines, if carefully researched, will out perform the $2000 machines. Bells and whistles...don't need em.