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Old 06-08-2009, 10:03 PM   #81
planned obselesence
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Originally Posted by Lug_Nut View Post
So you recognize the innards from post #15 also!
Same unit, just a different name. Mine said Kenmore, yours said Fridgidaire.
Mine is (WAS) the Kenmore HE model 417.xxxxx
7 years old and the spider that holds the drum broke. Aluminum arms that hold the Stainless Steel wash drum to the shaft that the motor belt spins. (get it, aluminum and steel in contact with water, chemistry students)

Great, it's a free replacement part, lifetime warranty.

BUT, they demand the labor to install it. $109 just to come over, the Sears Rep wouldn't even quote me the hourly rate to install it. (I'd already taken the machine apart, and was excited to put it back together) The Kenmore Manager won't even call me back.
I think Sears has a scam going and wish I could bring over the washer we had in France. High Revs meant that a dryer wasn't needed, just a clothes line.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:55 PM   #82
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

well, now we need a dryer...

lowes and home depot both have models on sale for ~$250. the HD one is a maytag(made by whirlpool) 7 cu ft not high efficiency. the lowes is also a whirlpool but it's 6.5 cu ft and it is high efficiency.

i've heard clothes take a long time to dry on efficiency setting. would the extra .5 cubes make a difference? thoughts?
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:36 PM   #83
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

My dryer at home (Whirlpool Duet) is really fast, even in eco mode. Then again, I have a front load washer, and I always use high spin, so a lot of water is extracted from the clothes.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:13 AM   #84
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

I saw that deal bowtieguy too. Looks like an exceptional bargain.

Anyway, here's an update on where we are with our washer:

As of the middle of May, it broke. As of the end of last weekend, I fixed it myself!

As for all of the crap in between, it started with an unknown object finding it's way into the wash. Due to the way our machine (and most others at the consumer level) is constructed, there is a slight gap between the inner drum that moves and the static outer tub. This gap allowed a hard object of some sort to slip between the two assemblies, after which it got spun around and wedged itself multiple times between the two, causing multiple ruptures of the outer tub preventing it from holding any water at all.

Fortunately we had purchased the three year extended warranty from Home Depot and promptly called the warranty company for service. The warranty company was a little slow to get the approved vendor on the case, requiring a follow up call and 5 days to actually get somebody out. The technician they sent was very professional and prompt once he got the dispatch. He took a look at the washer and immediately agreed that the outer tub needed replacing - and made no bones about whether it would be a warranty repair or not, so he got authorization to order the part.

So we waited.

And waited.

Called the tech and he informed us the part is on back-order.

So we waited some more.

And some more.

Called the tech again, 3 months down the road, to be advised of the same.

Maytag simply was not making replacement drums. And to our knowledge, 6 months later, they still aren't. THEY DON'T WANT THEIR MACHINES REPAIRED!

Fortunately our warranty allowed for claiming replacement value if they failed to effect repairs within 90 days. We took advantage of that - and much to the credit of the local Home Depot service manager, he helped us get it done. Much to our surprise, they actually sent us a check for the full purchase price of the machine 10 days later.

In the mean time, after being told of the parts delay the first time, I had conferred with the technician and was told that I could attempt repairing the drum myself until the new part arrived. So, I put my DIY efforts to work and made an attempt at fixing the leaking drum. My effort stopped the gushing, but it still leaked about a pint of water from every load. Not great, but it was good enough to allow us to resume doing laundry at home vs. spending $150/month to hit the laundromat.

Last weekend I pulled the machine apart again to do a better job, which after 15 loads or so is still holding frog-tight. What I realized in the process of repairing it this time however is how shoddily engineered these things are. There is absolutely nothing in the design to prevent the kind of damage that destroyed our outer drum from something missed in a pocket. The suspension points for the front of the drum are also made of plastic and ride on springs that are free to move around and rub away at said points. Eventually they are going to wear through!

So while I am willing to chalk up the foreign object damage issue to poor engineering, the suspension points issue has me thinking 'planned obsolescence'. They have built these things to break! I consider that an unforgivable reason to avoid buying anything from Maytag in the future. They simply don't care if you can fix what they have designed to wear out anyway.

So, getting to actual advice about purchasing a washer:

#1 AVOID MAYTAG! If it breaks, you may have to fix it yourself or buy a new machine - regardless of warranty.

#2 Stay away from any front-loader that does not have a stainless outer drum. They get crap between the drums eventually, and when that happens, you don't want an object punching holes in the outer drum and flooding your house.

#3 Consider the extended warranty seriously on a front loader. In our case it was well worth the extra $79, paying out at nearly 10 to 1 in the end.


And lastly, if you do buy a front loader or own one with a plastic drum, when you repair the eventual catastrophic damage from a foreign object, don't try to do it half-assed. For my first attempt at repair, I did not remove the damaged drum section and fiberglassed it all from the outside. The second time around, I removed the damaged front half and previous repair attempt (which just peeled off by hand like a cheap sticker), and thoroughly prepped both inner and outer surfaces with sanding and acetone cleaning before repeating the repair on both sides of the drum.

Removing the drum also allowed me to see damage that I didn't see the first time around as well. The other leak points were relatively minor, but they are now sealed as well.

If we end up buying another machine anytime soon, it will be a top-loader or commercial grade front-loader. This type of foreign object damage simply cannot occur by the nature top-loader design - making the construction material of the outer drum far less important.

In a nutshell, I find it very dismaying that some manufacturers appear to be knowingly designing failure and obsolescence into their products. Maytag has made my 'never buy again' list for that reason.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:31 AM   #85
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

I'd guess that few manufacturers offer replacement drums and that most or all are constructed the same way with the same shoddy stuff. Have you investigated the construction of other brands and can recommend a brand that doesn't suffer from the same lame suspension?
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:16 AM   #86
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

There are actually a select few models of consumer front-loaders with SS outer drums. I don't know the model #s, but I believe LG is one of them. I also suspect that just having SS for the outer drum mandates a better suspension system as well - with metal on metal contact from the springs likely to squeak and creak from simple U-hanger attachment.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:25 AM   #87
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

Regarding HE dryers, I think that issue really boils down to heat level. Using low temps or the non-heated air dry mode will likely use less energy overall at the expense of drying time.

The way I see it, there really is little other way to improve efficiency of a dryer without changing the way it generates heat short of going to a heat pump style system, unless the air is handled through some sort of heat recovery exchanger - which could be very problematic for a dryer with lint clogging rapidly reducing it's efficiency.
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:27 PM   #88
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

snax,

thanks for the no BS assessment on all accounts. good info. thanks also for verifying what i thought was a deal on the dryer(s). original price was $399 i believe.

on side note: could you help with the issues regarding my miami dolphins...i(and they) are perplexed. i thought this would be our year to make the playoffs, and in a year or 2 make the super bowl. guess i was dreaming.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:31 PM   #89
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snax View Post
Regarding HE dryers, I think that issue really boils down to heat level. Using low temps or the non-heated air dry mode will likely use less energy overall at the expense of drying time.

The way I see it, there really is little other way to improve efficiency of a dryer without changing the way it generates heat short of going to a heat pump style system, unless the air is handled through some sort of heat recovery exchanger - which could be very problematic for a dryer with lint clogging rapidly reducing it's efficiency.
It is for this very reason that you can't buy an energy star rated dryer. Because there is so little difference between the most efficient, and the least efficient models, they refuse to certify any electric dryer.
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #90
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Re: Washing Machine Advice

That's what I thought Jay. Split duct heat pump dryers coming soon?? It's something to think about anyway.

After writing my response on HE dryers, it occurred to me that using the high heat cycle on our dryer for nearly everything was really near pointless unless we need something in a hurry. Given the extraction level of the washer spin cycle, drying times are usually so short that we are waiting quite a while after the dryer is done for the washer to finish the next load. So today I have been drying everything on the lowest heat setting - and still waiting on the washer to finish after things are totally dry.
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