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Old 08-13-2008, 08:39 AM   #51
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I like hitting the appliance clearance aisle at Lowe's. I bought a Frigidaire front loader there as a discontinued model for $444, and I also bought a Whirlpool Neptune ($1,200 machine) as a scratch & dent for $400. I also picked up an extra large capacity Roper dryer (Made by Whirlpool) for $190.

-Jay
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:46 AM   #52
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If you want a good dependable washing machine at a good price Lowes has there own store brand called Performa and is the same thing as a Maytag, made by Maytag. I bought both a new washer and drier Performa brand about 5-6 years ago and so far absolutely no problems at all. I bought the extra large capacity so we could cut down on the number of loads of laundry per week. I think both the washer and drier was somewhere between $600-$650 when purchased new. My parents just replaced their Maytag washer and drier a few years ago that they had been using for 30+ years and I think the only thing that was ever done to them was replace the timer on the washer and the belt on the drier, but the transmission finally gave out in the washer so they replace both with new Maytag.
Just an FYI, if you check into Consumer Reports listings for appliance brand reliability (this covers all appliances as a whole, not just washer/dryer), Maytag comes out quite poorly. Whirlpool is at the top of several categories.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:06 AM   #53
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Frigidaire makes some machines that are hard to beat... I had one here at the drycleaners operating in a commercial environment. Ran 13 hrs/day, 6 days a week. Finally junked it just a few weeks short of its 5 year anniversary. The main bearing was going out and the parts to fix that were going to cost me about $200. The nail in the coffin was a button got stuck in the drain pump and broke it. I wasn't putting $60 into a new drain pump on a machine that was on its way out anyway. Still, with 5 years usage I estimate that was probably equivalent to about 40 years at someone's home. In the 5 years I had put 1 drain pump ($60) and one lower wheel boot/button trap ($40) on the machine. Overall I was very pleased, and when I took it out I made sure I bought another Frigidaire front loader.

The Whirlpool Duet I have at home is a very nice machine, but I think I like the Frigidaire better.

-Jay
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:53 PM   #54
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Just an FYI, if you check into Consumer Reports listings for appliance brand reliability (this covers all appliances as a whole, not just washer/dryer), Maytag comes out quite poorly. Whirlpool is at the top of several categories.
I've had a GE for about 2 years now. Previously, I had a Whirlpool, which I had for about 10 years. Paid about $100 every couple years or so for the service contract on the Whirlpool. (I didn't want to, but wife insisted.) Mine had a little rubber coupler which kept breaking. After having it replaced several times, and finding out that the coupler was only about $20, I stopped paying for the service contract. This coupler was pretty easy to replace. When the transmission froze up, I junked the Whirlpool, and bought a GE. So far it has been just fine. The Whirlpool had broken once or twice already after having had it this long.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:03 PM   #55
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My sister's washer did that. When the washer was overloaded the coupler was engineered to break, instead of ruining the motor or transmission. With 3 young kids she would frequently overload it. I think I fixed it for her 2 or 3 times a year until she replaced that machine about a year ago.

-Jay
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:16 PM   #56
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As for the reliability of front loaders, what I found after hours and hours of reading on various forums and owner reviews is that you can't count on consistency from any of them. It's fairly hit or miss with even the top rated machines having their share of lemons. This convinced us that given the crap-shoot nature of it, it made more sense to simply focus on cost and features. We could have spent 2 times as much for a more highly rated machine, but then again, at half the price, we only need half the reliability, and the stats on repairs simply don't wash out that way with the odds on getting more bang for our buck at the lower price. (Sorry for the pun.)
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:54 AM   #57
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The Frigidaire, some GE, and some Kenmore are all made by Electrolux I've been very pleased with the quality of electrolux made machines. I know my sister was so impressed with the first Frigidaire machine I had @ the drycleaners she went out and bought the exact same model I had for her home. Parts are easily obtainable, and the machines are realtively simple to work on because they drive the basket with a belt and regulate the motor speed there is no transmission. There's just a limited amount of things that can go wrong...
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:44 PM   #58
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Even this month, we are still down 350 kWh. If that is the worst savings, it's still $30/month, which will provide positive payback on the washer purchase inside of 2 years.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:45 PM   #59
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That is a good monthly savings... Plus an added bonus is that the front loaders are a lot quieter, and spin the water out of the clothes better so your dryer runs less.

-Jay
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:28 PM   #60
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Just an FYI, if you check into Consumer Reports listings for appliance brand reliability (this covers all appliances as a whole, not just washer/dryer), Maytag comes out quite poorly. Whirlpool is at the top of several categories.
I'm guessing that's old data. Whirlpool bought out Maytag a couple years ago and shut down their mfg. plants. Maytags are just rebranded Whirlpools now. I would expect similar reliability from the two brands.
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