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Discussion: Washers > Least repair prone front loader
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After reading the different discussions about front loaders, I am still confused.  All I want is a front loader that is reliable and dependable.   Help!   Any suggestions.

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You'll probably find mixed reviews for any given FL (or TL for that matter) . Besides a few models that did have a lot of problems in the last few years, I think most FLs are reliable and dependable. There is always a small risk to end up with a lemon since QC will never be perfect and appliances can get damaged during storage and shipping. A lot of complaints about front loader you may read about here and on other websites are due to improper installing or use of the washer. The delivery guys are not always capable of or willing to installa FL correctly. Make sure they remove the shipping bolts, level the machine, and hook up the cold and hot water lines correctly. It is also recommended to use a good surge protector so the control board doesn't get fried in case of a power surge.

Regarding specific recommendations, you may want to consider a FL of the Whirlpool family (WP Duet HT, Maytag Epic, Kenmore HE5t) or maybe a Bosch Nexxt 500. Whirlpool owns a German appliance company who makes the large capacity FLs for them. They have long-term experience with that technology. Bosch also has over 50 years experience making FLs.                

LG and Samsung are also not bad, but they have service and parts availability problems in some regions. Depending on where you live you should make sure that Bosch has authorized service there.

BTW, you were asking about Siemens washers on another thread. The German Siemens washers are not available here in the States. However, the home appliances from Bosch and Siemens are identical. The company is called "Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances" (BSH) and they have their headquarters in Germany. Many of the Bosch appliances that are available here, including washers and dryers, are made in North Carolina. They have been engineered in Germany though.

I hope this information is helpful.

Good luck!

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Thank you Marion!  This information has been most helpful. We have finally decided on a Maytag Epic.  Thanks again for all your help!
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Debra -
Since you are concerned about reliability, here are my standard recommendations on that:

1) pick a store with liberal return policy. Get it in writing.
Some (lowes) have been noted to have a 90 day return and no restocking fee.
Some (sears) have been noted to charge 15% restocking and have a 30day limit on returns.

2) Don't PAY EXTRA for a warrantee, but DO  use a credit card that doubles the warrantee.
Be sure you understand the limitations.

Best
Phil
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About Sears return policy, for appliances there is a ninety day return policy with free pickup and replacement if the appliance is defective (at least at the store where I work). 

If the appliance is not defective and the customer changes their mind for another reason, then a 15 percent restocking fee applies.

Cheers
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Shahbaz -
Thanks for that clarification regarding the Sears return and restocking.

If you find you "change your mind," how many days do you have to exercise the 15% restocking fee?

Thanks!
Phil
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make sure you DONT buy a Malber.  It's a lemon.  The salesman said it heats the water; it doesn't.  It's supposed to be a combo washer/dryer.  After the 2 hour dryer cycle the clothes are as wet as when they went in.

Everyone I  know in Europe has a Siemens or a Bosch (all front loaders) and all are very happy- some for over 15 years.
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Hi Phil,

Which credit cards double warranties?  I've never heard of this before, but sounds great.

Cheryl

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my amex does.

there are also periodic ratings of cards.

CR does them sometimes.

do a Google search for
Credit Card Ratings Warranty

Edited 1/16/08   by  PHIL_KRYDER
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After having done exstensive research we decided on the Maytag Epic 9700SQ in May 21, 2007.  All went well until July when the washer went into a high speed spin--bang!  Ten days later after the motor was replaced we were back in business.  Although, January 20, 2008, we have just experienced the same failure.  Please do NOT purchase a Maytag Epic 9700SQ.  Maytag has arranged to have the machine repaired again; however, my concern is that there is a major design flaw with this washer and that I'm going to have to live with nightmare!  I have asked that the washer be replaced; however, I don't believe that I will be successful in getting a replacemnt.  I am so happy that I did purchase the extended warranty--I'm sure I will be using it!
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how long was your warranty for?

So far, it seems you would have been protected by the original warranty and the credit card warranty if you'd have gotten that...

The other "thing" to consider is RETURN POLICY.

Check out COSTCO.

It seems that most stuff (other than computers, cell phones, mp3 players and TVs) can be returned AT ANY TIME!!!!

Their model choices are very limited howerver.
But, they do have some highly rated models at COSTCO.COM.


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Debra:  Speaking from experience I would recommend the Frigidaire Affinity (don't know the model number but it has "6000" in it.  I had the cheapest Frigidaire front loader for 5 years and really loved it.  At 3.1 cuft it was a bit smaller than I would like but did well cleaning queen size comforters.  A friend needed a new machine and didn't have loads of money so I gave them mine and missed it from day one; untill.....I received my Affinity.  It is significantly larger than the first one at 3.5 cuft (don't know why it seems so much larger - probably the door).  This machine easily handles queen size and the first day I washed 45 dress shirts; not than impressive till I tell you that it was only two loads!  Cool down feature and added tumble in the dryer worked impressively.  I negotiated a good price from hhgregg so I paid 1,183.00 with 6.5% tax so that was a great deal.  Don't believe their prices, the salesman and manager freely negotiated the "sale" price down by $300.  I'm not a picker but they were more than willing to work the price down to what I felt comfortable paying.  The washer washes extremely well, is quiet and uses very little water and the dryer, in all cases works faster drying than the washer does washing so no more laundry piling up for the dryer.  Consumer reports has a higher than perfect reliability rating but I can say that I did not have one problem with the old machines and my friends love their "new" machine as much as I did.  You might give them a try since they are/were cheaper than the other front loaders I shopped.

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I purchased a stackable maytag neptune 5.5 years ago. We had problems initially and then the controller for the motor (speed control) melted and almost caught on fire. It was black and had a melted circuit board. We had a whole new washer/dryer sent out. Then finally it stopped wringing clothes dry and found the bearings are shot. They said it was a $1,300 repair....I guess it's their way of saying buy a new one. I can guarantee you it won't be a Maytag as long as I live. I figured that spending the premium for a water efficient machine and replacing it every 5 years or so is not worth it. I am now going to a laundry service that will be picking up and dropping off, no folding any more and now my Laundry Room can be another use.

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I need to purchase a washer, but after reviewing all the comments about washers, I'm frozen.  I thought the Frigidaire would be the one to purchase, but then I read all the reports about the smell coming from the washer and not being able to get it out of the clothes.  You purchased your washer in May, is it still running smoothly?  Is there a smell?  Please reply asap if you're still checking this forum, I need to buy one soon.  Thanks so much!
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I purchased the Frigidaire front loading washer and dryer two and a half years ago. After about 16 months, I noticed a really bad smell coming from the washer which would get into our clothes, especially towels after washing.  I did some research and learned that the smell is because of the fungus and bacteria building up on the door's rubber seal because of water sitting on it.  I went to a website called www.smellywasher.com and bought their solution for about $19.  It is a white powdery substance that may just be a combination of borax and baking soda but it worked after running it through the washer a few times.  I also learned that you have to wipe the rubber seal after every wash and keep the door open when not in use to avoid breeding bacteria and fungus.  Also, using liquid detergents makes this problem worse than if you use powder.  And use less than the manufacturer suggests.

The Frigidaire is relatively quiet and doesn't vibrate (although we have it on the ground floor on slate flooring) but we are thinking of replacing it with a traditional top loading washer as our clothes have never come out very clean even though we have tried various types of detergents and settings.  (We have a septic field so we try to use enviro friendly products but have also tried Tide etc.)  Also, I hate that you can't open the door after the wash cycle has started.  I also forget something. 

Hope this helps!

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I can tell you from experience the Fridgedare is not worth it. It seems they have a design flaw in the main bearing that supports the whole tub. Our 7 yo unit did this and broke the support struts and the casting that supports this plus burned out the circuit board. Repair guy says into the high hundreds to fix ($600 or so) I can get a new bosch axxis at sears $725! It will match the dryer we got a couple years ago and overall I have been pleased with Bosch. BTW the Axxis line is built in Germany!
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The Least Repair Prone FL Washer...

 

Problably Speed Queen front load washers.

Under NO circumstances would I ever recommend S/Q Front Load washers for wood flooring.

Concrete only.

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This is an interesting post. I've been selling appliances for almost 20 years and can tell you that no matter what brand you buy you will find someone that had a problem with it. Also if you are reading consumer reviews people are much more likely to write a review on something they had a problem with than something that is working fine for them. There are no perfect appliances. Cars break down, people break down and other things break down too.

My advice is to buy from a smaller independent dealer (yes I work for one). You'll get better service during and after the sale. Purchase the extended warranty. It will pay for itself even if you only use it one time.

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The Whirlpool Cabrio washer is not much better.    We purchased our washer on 8/10/07.  In mid-July this year in the middle of a cycle the machine stopped working.   Service came out, a part (Central Electric Control Board) was ordered and the serviceman scheduled himself for the following week expecting the ordered part to have been delivered by that time.   When the part did not arrive a day prior to the service date, we called them to let them know only to find out that the part was on back order until August 22nd!    Whirlpool was able to expedite a part (after we jumped thru a few hoops) but when that part was installed in the machine another week later, the machine still failed to work.   As of today, we're still without a washing machine, have seen several servicemen, many laundry mats, we have dirty water sitting under the basin (where I cannot get to it) smelling up the laundry room and they cannot provide answers as to when they'll fix it and will not replace this lemon.     We also purchased an extended service plan but what good is that on a machine that they can't get to work?
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