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Old 05-06-2008, 09:02 PM   #31
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I forgot to mention that for about $15 worth of 3/4" plywood, a 2x4, and an hour of my time, I built a pedestal for it already that is 16" tall. It's nothing fancy, lacking a working drawer (which I can add later), but it is open in the front and saves $184 over what they are trying to get for the shiny metal ones in the stores.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:34 PM   #32
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I would strongly second the
http://www.laundry-alternative.com/p...pin_Dryer.html
We got one about a month ago. I had intended using it for swimming suits, but thought I would give it a try with the washer. We have a big LG front loader that spins at 1300 rpm. Even after that I can get 1/2 gallon of water out of the clothes. It is pretty amazing, I just wish it were larger.

Even if you line dry this makes that much faster. With non-cotton they come out almost completely dry, cotton wrings out the most water, but still takes the longest to dry.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:27 PM   #33
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Ok, we've had our front loader, Maytag MHWZ400TQ, for two weeks now, and here are a few observations:

1. Drying Times: They are in fact reduced significantly for most items. Fleece blankets? Five minutes in the dryer, then just fold them and put them away. Denim on the other hand does not give up the moisture as easily. Jeans still take nearly as long to dry and feel as damp as with the top-loader - unless we select the Max-extract 1250rpm spin option (which for some unknown reason is not the default), in which case jeans take about 2/3 the time. For the most part however, drying times are cut in half.

2. Cleaning Ability: Heavily soiled items like my work jeans and daughters canvas shoes do not get as clean without running them through a 2nd time or using the 'whites' cycle. Perhaps minor prescrubbing the more soiled spots would eliminate this issue, but the second time through likely doesn't use much more energy or water than the old machine anyway, so the only really loss here is time.

3. Noise: We've noticed that even our non-rated for second floor use model is significantly more quiet than the top loader through all stages of washing. But for us this is a minor point anyway with it sitting on concrete in the garage.

4: Smell: Some people complain of their machines getting a mildew smell after a very short time, however we have yet to experience anything in that regard. My opinion is that those who get the smell really don't use their machines very often, vs. our 7-10 loads per week or more! When not in use, the door is left open. But even our old top loader has a mild mildew smell to it. I think people are just being picky and unrealistic here or perhaps they aren't taking their clothes out right away.

5: Water Use: Significantly down. Running a hot cycle, I would never even have considered taking a shower with the old washer running. Now it's hardly even a factor.

Overall we are quite pleased with it. Although the wash times are now 25-50% longer, the tradeoff in drying time makes it about even, with lower overall energy use. (But the 180F sanitizing cycle requires a full 3 hours to complete!) It's also easier to manage the timing of load transfers because everything coming out of the dryer is always dry by the time the washer completes the cycle.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:29 PM   #34
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The mildew/mold comes from liquid buildup (liquid soap and liquid softener) that doesn't git rinsed away. There should be a "maintenance" cycle that you need to run fer yer front load. I think yer owner's manul might specify no clothes, hot water, and liquid bleach added directly in fer the maintenance cycle.

Previous owners of front loaders used powdered soap and dryer sheets to eliminate the liquid buildup. Those that insisted on using the liquids had to do at least one hot water/bleach wash a week to keep the mold/mildew in check.

Good luck with yer purchase!
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:58 PM   #35
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The mildew/mold comes from liquid buildup (liquid soap and liquid softener) that doesn't git rinsed away. There should be a "maintenance" cycle that you need to run fer yer front load. I think yer owner's manul might specify no clothes, hot water, and liquid bleach added directly in fer the maintenance cycle.

Previous owners of front loaders used powdered soap and dryer sheets to eliminate the liquid buildup. Those that insisted on using the liquids had to do at least one hot water/bleach wash a week to keep the mold/mildew in check.

Good luck with yer purchase!
Being a drycleaner there is a lot I can bring to this discussion.

#1. Mildew smell in the machine. You will never have this problem if you leave the machine door open when not in use. This allows excess moisture to evaporate instead of growing mold.

#2. At the drycleaners I do have one small "residential style" washer for doing small things, like if we got a shirt with an ink stain. I don't want that ink to possibly transfer to other shirts. Anyway. When I opened the store 5 1/2 years ago we bought a Frigidaire front loader. That machine ran 13 hours a day, 6 days a week. It died just 2 weeks short of 5 years. I could have fixed it, but the rear bearing went out, and that was going to cost about $200 for me to fix. At that point I bought another front loading Frigidaire from the scratch & dent aisle at Lowe's for $400. Over the 5 years we had it running I only put $100 into repair parts. $60 for a drain pump, and $40 for the lower wheel boot. I figure with that kind of usage, it was equivalent to 40 or 50 years in someone's house.

#3. Front loaders are more energy efficient, use less water, and are not as hard on your clothes as top loaders.

When my washer at home died a few weeks ago I bought a Whirlpool Duet front loader off the scratch & dent aisle at Lowe's for $400.

If you have any other questions don't be afraid to ask...

-Jay
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:35 AM   #36
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It's nice to know that a Pro favors them.

As for the mildew, I doubt we will ever have an issue with it, as we both leave the door open most times, and do at least one hot/bleach load a week. But as I noted before, any washer will mildew and smell bad eventually if one always closes the door wet.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:40 PM   #37
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Ok, I'm really hoping the washer is the reason, but this last month with the same average temperature as last year, our electric useage has plummeted from 1900kWh to 1200kWh. We haven't done anything different with the heat/AC or our general overall electrical useage that I'm aware of in that time to explain such a drop. That reduces our bill by $66 per month. That's an impressive payback if it is really the case!

It won't be fair to compare it to this next month however, as two of our children are spending the summer with their bio-dad, so all useage should be down.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:17 AM   #38
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Ok, I'm really hoping the washer is the reason, but this last month with the same average temperature as last year, our electric useage has plummeted from 1900kWh to 1200kWh. We haven't done anything different with the heat/AC or our general overall electrical useage that I'm aware of in that time to explain such a drop. That reduces our bill by $66 per month. That's an impressive payback if it is really the case!

It won't be fair to compare it to this next month however, as two of our children are spending the summer with their bio-dad, so all useage should be down.
It depends... That is an awful lot. Your old washer and your water heater had to have been really inefficient to make that much of a difference. I'd say it is your electric water heater coupled with lower usage - partially due to the water savings of a front loader, but also because the kids are out of town you are running fewer loads, less dishwasher use, not as much water used for showers, etc...

-Jay
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:03 AM   #39
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our electric useage has plummeted from 1900kWh to 1200kWh.
Wow, if the new washer is the cause, clothes washing really takes a HUGE percentage of your electric usage -- just getting a more efficient unit knocked 35% off. If the new unit uses only 30% of the energy the old one did, that means the old one was more than half of your total electric usage.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:28 AM   #40
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It wasn't as cheap as a used appliance orphan, but I paid for it once. I don't get reminded how cheap I was each time another seal let loose or the gear case leaked lube all over the floor, or another solenoid failed and flodded the basement.
Will it last 20 years? 15 more to go...
That was dated 4/23/08. It has started leaking. I haven't pulled it out and lifted it up to investigate yet.
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