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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Which Washer Should You Buy?

97 posts in this topic

In the market for a new washer? So many choices and you’re agonizing over which one to buy? Sweat thou not the load, my leetle grasshopper, for the Samurai and Mrs. Samurai will give you the low-down on today’s washers, explaining the various washers available and their pro’s and con’s, and introduce a revolutionary new washing machine that you probably haven’t even heard of! Come, listen, and the truth shall set you free.

[align=center]Listen to this episode | Podcast homepage | Podcast RSS feed[/align]

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

I just love to see what others speculate as best. I have been in the business service and sales for 35 years and derive great entertainment from what servicers consider the best. Sales is a completely different story at times but the way the business now moves, platforms change much quicker and if I have learned anything about the service business is that servicers hate change.  Sales on the other hand should embrace change, it fuels competition.

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I like the new stuff that comes out, it provides a future for our trade.

Us servicers have problems because new products hits the public without the technicians ever seeing one. The customer expects a trained professional on their new $1200 washer, and they get someone who isn't sure how to get access to the inside. It makes the tech look, and feel, bad. You have no parts, no literature, and you have a mad customer watching you try to fumble your way into what you hope will be a repair.

This happened to me with the Whirlpool Cabrio, the Fisher&Paykel dishdrawer, The Fisher&Paykel top load dryer. I got through it ok, but it really makes me mad to be put into that position.

Train first, then release the product.

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Bravo! even though servicers hate the change, learning new machines it will be their life line.  The economy to fixing a 379.00 whirpool washer verses a 1499.00 LG washer has different consequences, and the faster servicers learn that the better they will carve a future for themselves. I cannot tell you how many times servicers have condemmed high end brands for various reasons only to complain that no one wants to pay for a repair of their 399.00 applaince.  The cost of repair becomes much less relevent to the repair in the high end. Servicers should embrace these brands and get on board too! What is actually better is always relevent and your personal economy is not the same as your customers.  Dealers and servicers need to cultivate relationships which benefit both.

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If you really listen to what the services say is junk, you really don't hear so much of it being the high end stuff.

I would say most of it's pretty good but overpriced.

The two brands you hear most servicers knocking the most would probably be Frigidaire that puts out total junk and the same with G.E.

It's more like sales people push this junk because it's what the store owner gets the best buy on and probably a good markup also, and it's not worth the price they pay for it in the first place let alone 3 to 5 years later the cost to replace a transmission that cost almost half or more than the orginal cost of machine in the first place, (and that's if the part is still under the manufacture warranty, which after the first of this year, no more extended warranties - just the straight 1 year parts and labor on most brands now).

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[user=36]Budget Appliance Repair[/user] wrote:

It's more like sales people push this junk because it's what the store owner gets the best buy on and probably a good markup also

It's all about the spiffs and the other little perks and kickbacks from the manufacturers.

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I'm surprised to see Frigidaire lumped in with G.E.  We sell a TON of Frigidaire products here at our store and they seem to be some of the least serviced of brands we sell (which include Amana, Maytag, Whirlpool, Fisher & Paykel, Speed Queen and a smattering of others).

It's not a GREAT product, I'll admit, but bang for the buck...seems good.

 

 

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[user=1]Samurai Appliance Repair Man[/user] wrote:

[user=36]Budget Appliance Repair[/user] wrote:
It's more like sales people push this junk because it's what the store owner gets the best buy on and probably a good markup also

It's all about the spiffs and the other little perks and kickbacks from the manufacturers.

Sad, but true.  I've seen my fair share of that at our store.  Understandable to an extent: I can sell item A and make my hourly wage or I can sell item B and snag an extra fiddy bucks!

Never going to go away entirely, but if we see it happening on a particular brand or product, we kill the spiff.

 

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My ancient computer cannot play the enhanced podcasts, alas, but I am in need of advice on the LGs.  I hear great things, I hear horrible things, I hear nothing from the service guys other than that they haven't had a lot of calls on them.  What about when they do?  Are these easy machines to take apart, or would I be tied to a repair guy for the lifespan of my shiny Korean front loader? 

The Stabers look awesome, but I live in a small space and am in love with the stacked unit concept, and also I don't know how complicated it would be to get them shipped (and get parts for them later) to Western Canada.

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Get Whirlpool Duet Sports, they can be stacked in a tight spot. They are good machines.

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Can't do the Duets- I need something that doesn't have touchpad controls or else my toddler will have the damned thing permanently stuck in diagnostic mode (he can already work the DVD remote at 18 months old- it's not going to get better from there.)

I hear Speed Queen is doing home models now (old-fashioned dial controls and preset cycles even on the front loaders *swoon*)- does anybody know how service-friendly they are?

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How about a good olde fashionde top load Whirlpool. Very happy with my 3 year old. Not a single problem to date. Long live electromechanical controls!

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Well, yes, there is that, except for the whole top-loader part, which is really unpalatable; I can't afford to buy a new machine that uses three times as much water and beats the hell out of my clothing (and my clients' clothing- I'm a dressmaker by trade and need a machine to gently prewash fabric).  I've been through the Speed Queen site and they seem to be owned by the same folk who own whirlpool, but I don't know if their manufacture has been consolidated or not.  Also, finding a local distributor seems challenging, which makes me worry about parts/service.  Any servicefolk out there know what the deal is with Speed Queen?

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The Duets have a "child lock" feature you can set to prevent kids from running the machine. You hold down a certain key for like 5 seconds and the control is disabled.

As far a Speed Queen goes... I wouldn't go there unless you can get an opinion from someone who has worked on the model you want to buy. I've only worked on their top load models, so I don't know how their front load models perform.

Nick

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You can buy a frontloader and save yourself some money on water consumption and hydro by decreasing the amount of time your clothes spend in the dryer, but I would definitely get the extended warranty.  The money you save in energy costs will be spent on repairs that are costly, (ie - control board).  You can get a basic direct drive Whirlpool washer for less than half the price of most frontload machines.  Besides even though topload machines use 3x the amount of water, how long will it take to recover the cost of buying a FL machine.  The main advantage I find with the frontloaders is that if your on a well their worth the money otherwise I would think twice. 

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Do NOT buy Speed Queen laundry, the are one of the toughest washers to work on. And NO, they are not owned by Whirlpool in any shape or form.  Speed Queen is owned by Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC.

 

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[user=4506]AceOfBirds[/user] wrote:

Well, yes, there is that, except for the whole top-loader part, which is really unpalatable; I can't afford to buy a new machine that uses three times as much water

Different needs for different folks. Two adults in our house, that's it. 4 BIG loads of laundry per week.

To be honest, I had bought in to the whole front load deal and was about to pull the trigger on the WhirlSears or SearsPool teams. Water usage is a big issue for me because we will be on septic at our new home.

I did some digging and if you're running big loads in a large cap front loader, there's a 1/3 savings on average. And 1/3 savings on not too much usage is not really meaningful.

For us, the payback for energy savings would be breaking even by the time the machines were ready for the trash heap. The HUMUNGOUS water savings just weren't there. Finally, the complexity of the front loaders begs for things to break.

In fact, I'm replacing three year old top load with....top load. The only reason we're getting new stuff is the cretins buying our home negotiated the appliances into the deal.

The only thing that's sucky is my three yr old W.P. has much better factory warranty than the 1 year they offer now.

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[user=19296]Scottthewolf[/user] wrote:

Do NOT buy Speed Queen laundry, the are one of the toughest washers to work on. And NO, they are not owned by Whirlpool in any shape or form. Speed Queen is owned by Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC.

Are you sure about that? (I would say maybe on commercial stuff), but some of the Maytag machines have been using the SpeedQueen design for awhile, (the SAV#### models, IE.SAV2655AWW), and now Whirlpool owns Maytag.

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[user=20961]otterhead[/user] wrote:

For us, the payback for energy savings would be breaking even by the time the machines were ready for the trash heap. The HUMUNGOUS water savings just weren't there. Finally, the complexity of the front loaders begs for things to break.

In fact, I'm replacing three year old top load with....top load.

Top loaded tumble action machine (read: Staber) might be your choice then. You can load from the top, you have water cosumption comparable to front loading, and the structure with the drum being suspended on two bearings instead of one, will make it very durable... they are inexpensive, and easy to work on. But S.A.R.M. has probably explained this all... only if you are concerned with the capacity, you might be bent to an old style agitator machine. But if it saves 2/3 water per load compared to similar capacity agitator machine, even if you have to run two loads to get the laundry done, you're 1/3 off. Sometimes that will make a big difference if you're on your own well and septic system.

AFAIK Staber relies on simple multi-groove belt drive from a DC motor just like the front loaders... this style of belt has been found to be fairly durable compared to the trapezoidal belts... I've seen them last 10+ years in the hot and cold environments and wide RPM rates they experience under the engine hoods of cars... and there's no gearcase either. The point is, they are mechanically simple and use very few fancy-schmancy electronic controls, if any. So by the design, I would be expecting fairly dependable service out of them.

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I did some digging and if you're running big loads in a large cap front loader, there's a 1/3 savings on average. And 1/3 savings on not too much usage is not really meaningful.

For us, the payback for energy savings would be breaking even by the time the machines were ready for the trash heap. The HUMUNGOUS water savings just weren't there. Finally, the complexity of the front loaders begs for things to break.

Heh- here's the part where I have to admit that I am both female and a homemaker, and therefore unimpressed by arguments based on water/hydro savings alone. 

Having lost too many garments to the nibblings of the agitator, I can say that if I get even one extra year out of each garment/towel/linen before it requires replacement (by using a front-loader instead- they're demonstrably gentler on clothing), the machine will have paid for itself ten or twenty times over its lifespan for a family my size.  Plus some piddly water savings- they don't even charge for water where I live yet, I'm just not interested in hogging a rapidly dwindling natural resource just so I can stand fully upright while unloading my washer (?!?)

Still can't get a straight answer on the Speed Queen home machine designs, though, nor have I heard back about what it takes to get a Staber across the border.

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OK, I need to explain this better.  Both Speed Queen and Amana used to be owned by Raytheon.  When Raytheon sold the entire appliance division, they sold it to Goodman Holdings.  Then Goodman Holdings sold it to Maytag.  Maytag bought the Amana name and the washer and dryer platforms. Then, in an effort to save Speed Queen's commercial and coin op laundry, the same company that owned Heubsch Commercial Laundry Equipment (Alliance Laundry Systems LLC)  bought the Speed Queen name and their older platform design of their domestic laundry.

Now, with Maytag being bought out by Whirlpool, the Amana (Model #s beginning with NAV) and the Maytag (Model #s beginning with SAV) have been discontinued and the plant where they were manufactured is now closed.

However, the old style Speed Queen washers and dryers are still being manufactured by Alliance Laundry Systems LLC. These are not the best washers on the market, you need a ton of special tools to repair them.

 

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Funny- Whirlpool Canada told me Speed Queen is now a subsidiary of Maytag, and then when I started calling Maytag dealers, one of them claimed that they actually can't even use the name Speed Queen in Canada- it's possibly an entirely different tangle up here, but I can't get them anyway, nor the Huebsch, though at least they supposedly sell those here somehwere (I see areview of one from some guy in Ontario.)

The same guy told me that Amana is being made by Whirlpool here now; it's goofy that the name would even mean anything, since the original Amana commune only made refrigerators (and maybe a microwave, I forget)- my mother-in-law has one and it's stupidly reliable/durable.

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[user=4506]AceOfBirds[/user] wrote:

original Amana commune only made refrigerators (and maybe a microwave, I forget)- my mother-in-law has one and it's stupidly reliable/durable.

Your mother-in-laws microwave, was that one of those nice heavy chrome fronts with the door that opens down instead of sideways? My mom has one of those, it's got to be at least 25-30years old and still working with never a problem except the dial light going out, and maybe one interior light at one time.

Also on this Whirlpool/Maytag/SpeedQueen/Amana thing.... I just saw the first Whrilpool top load direct-drive washers and matching dryer with lint filter on top with the Maytag name on them in this Sundays Sears ad.

That's going to be strange, going out to work on a Maytag and find that it's really a Whirlpool, much better then going to work on a Maytag and finding that it's that junk MagicChef or Amana machine hiding under the Maytag name badge.

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I just saw a WP Cabrio disguised as the Maytag "Bravos" at Home Depot.

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Actually, she has one of the refrigerators- great hulking almond-coloured thing that cost twice as much as a regular fridge (1500 or so in the seventies, they can't really remember), but hasn't had a problem until now, when it's freezing in the fridge compartment intermittently and the repair guys are telling her she'll need a new compressor ($300 repair, and her husband is saying "aw, we could just get a new one for a little more than that!" . . .little does he know. . .)

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