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Buying a washer and going back to old school. That's IT!

My wife & I are really tired of these so called HE washers that squirt half a gallon of water on clothes to do a full load. Having done a WEEKS worth of research we've come to the conclusion that top loaders & front loaders are not for us.

A neat article here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704662604576202212717670514<a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704662604576202212717670514">


Let's say HORAAAY! to old washers. I know we are in the minority perhap but my wifes parents had theirs for over 25 years without a hiccup. The occasional belt, solid FULL tub of water, a good rinse and the washer never stunk. A neat video of some old washers I came across that many of you may recognise. Man, I can't wait to find one and get clothes clean again. Cool video below and some of them you might recognize.:001_tongu The song is by the Troggs. A British band. Woot!
Any tips on sourcing one gents? I'll take the wisdom of someone who has shop and serviced them for thirty years over a kid in Best Buy or Home Depot any day. I'm looking for THAT person.

 
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My great-grandmother's old school washing machine went for 100+ years before giving out. It definitely beats Bosch.

:lol:
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"High Efficiency" means, "Don't expect this thing to get your clothes clean. The smell of shirts that never get clean is the new, eco-friendly aroma. Wear your stench with Green Pride. Clean smelling clothes is ecologically irresponsible. Think of the Planet!" I hate them.

You can decrease water use by using the soapy wash water as a pre-soak, and the final rinse water as the wash water. As long as you like to do two rinse cycles. This means a little creative plumbing, of course.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-3046-home-queen-wringer-washers.aspx is a little expensive and it is a little more labor intensive than just pushing a button, but you can make it as effective or as efficient as you want, and you don't even need running water. My Memaw filled her gasoline powered one with buckets of water from Bayou Teche, though it wasn't this brand of course. Maytag I believe was the last American company to make wringer washers and they stopped making them in the early 80's. They were hard to find even in the 70's. But they are uncomplicated and there isn't much on them that ever needs replacing. One model had a power wringer but also a handle. If the belt broke you could turn the wringer by hand. Some were powered by a gasoline engine, some electric, some from a belt and an external rotating something or another. Some creative folks back in the day would run a belt to a tireless rim on the family Model T. A lot of pre-war machinery was powered that way, such as home sawmills. Anyway wringer washers had no electronic sequencing... you turned it on and off, basically, and engaged/disengaged the wringer and agitator. So you couldn't just pop a load of clothes in and go to work or go shopping. That's why Red Beans on Monday (traditionally wash day) became popular. Both needed SOME attention, but neither needed constant attention, so this was early multi-tasking.

You may be able to find something at a thrift store. Most of the valves can be replaced with manual valves, and all the timers and stuff can be bypassed with switches. If the tub is good, and the motor is good or you can get another one, you can make it work if you are pretty handy. You might pick one up for $40 or so. And they are not HE either.
 
My great-grandmother's old school washing machine went for 100+ years before giving out. It definitely beats Bosch.

:lol:
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HAHA....

My parents had a Speed Queen set for over thirty years. It eventually died but the Speed Queen stuff looks pretty solid last time I was looking. (two years ago.)

I keep hearing that. I'm looking into them as I write and have sourced some older models.

"High Efficiency" means, "Don't expect this thing to get your clothes clean. The smell of shirts that never get clean is the new, eco-friendly aroma. Wear your stench with Green Pride. Clean smelling clothes is ecologically irresponsible. Think of the Planet!" I hate them.

You can decrease water use by using the soapy wash water as a pre-soak, and the final rinse water as the wash water. As long as you like to do two rinse cycles. This means a little creative plumbing, of course.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-3046-home-queen-wringer-washers.aspx is a little expensive and it is a little more labor intensive than just pushing a button, but you can make it as effective or as efficient as you want, and you don't even need running water. My Memaw filled her gasoline powered one with buckets of water from Bayou Teche, though it wasn't this brand of course. Maytag I believe was the last American company to make wringer washers and they stopped making them in the early 80's. They were hard to find even in the 70's. But they are uncomplicated and there isn't much on them that ever needs replacing. One model had a power wringer but also a handle. If the belt broke you could turn the wringer by hand. Some were powered by a gasoline engine, some electric, some from a belt and an external rotating something or another. Some creative folks back in the day would run a belt to a tireless rim on the family Model T. A lot of pre-war machinery was powered that way, such as home sawmills. Anyway wringer washers had no electronic sequencing... you turned it on and off, basically, and engaged/disengaged the wringer and agitator. So you couldn't just pop a load of clothes in and go to work or go shopping. That's why Red Beans on Monday (traditionally wash day) became popular. Both needed SOME attention, but neither needed constant attention, so this was early multi-tasking.

You may be able to find something at a thrift store. Most of the valves can be replaced with manual valves, and all the timers and stuff can be bypassed with switches. If the tub is good, and the motor is good or you can get another one, you can make it work if you are pretty handy. You might pick one up for $40 or so. And they are not HE either.

Bingo. You need water. Period. This ever greater march towards effincency has left clothes on my end less than satisfactory. It's any wonder they are over perfuming the detergents to mask the smell but the whites simply don't come out clean and don't get me started on sheets. Every HE washer I've looked at soaks the clothes and then agitates. Well, what the heck are you agitating? The dirt and damp clothes? What's lifting the dirt away? Pathetic.
Like I said, while we do have a GE Neptune that does the clothes most excellently it's a small washer that takes ten loads to do in our house. Three jeans, couple shirts, maybe a towel and it's fine. Load it up? Not happening. So off I go to look at some master plumbers restorations. I don't mind paying for it and their work just like to find a solid cleaner. Oh, and what is all this "effinciancy" doing us? Ever notice the rates keep going up the more efficient we become?
 
You can get high efficiency washers and dryers that are the same setup as the old school machines(same metal cabinet style top loading washer/front loading dryer) using many of the same mechanisms and parts. Over the summer I picked up the hobby of fixing old washers and dryers and found that a couple of the brands were built to last. I spoke with the salesman at the local appliance sales/service place and he told me the front loading high efficiency were the newest fad for awhile but he would recommend high efficiency normal setup washers and dryers or the old school non high efficiency instead of the front loading pedestal high efficiency models. Some of the older style machines I tinkered with were from the 80's and were still in pretty decent working order and I was able to get parts and fix them very economically. I agree with your minority train of though.
 
couple of hints for finding a washing machine,
show up at estate sales, older folks will still have the old machines.
estate sales are normally run by a few small company's in the area, once you get to know the people they will let you know if what you are interested in is there.
The seedy part of town, in some neighborhoods they have something called street sales, sort of a yard sale that is all over the street.
They very often have old appliances.
other places have a on going flea market in a parking lot or some place, you got to ask around.

the other alternative get a small industrial machine for a Landry Matt.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Look at all those suds!! Never see that with a HE machine!

We have a Maytag HE top loading washer & dryer set. The biggest difference I could tell is the way it sounds when washing. It's not the sound of a constant motor running. It sounds like its turning off and on over and over in 1 second intervals. Which is really annoying when I can hear it. There is also no water level selector. It magically "senses" the load and adjusts the water amount accordingly.

If my clothes don't come out clean I can't tell. I just wash and dry and wear. :mellow:
 
Our family recently relocated and left behind our washer and dryer so obviously we had to go shop for new ones. It was interesting to see that at least the stores we visited the top loading machines were far outnumbering the front load HE machines. That said, ours is one that "senses" the load size and fills accordingly but it does seem to do a good job of washing. We also noticed the return of the larger agitators (although the wife insisted on the lower profile style).
 
We ...up to a couple of weeks ago had a 31 year old Maytag washer. Much hard use over the years. Built like a Mack truck. Heavy as one too.

It finally corroded through...no more parts available.

We bought a new basic Kenmore. Not bad, much lighter build, hoses not impressive. Don't think it will last as long as the old Maytag...but who knows.

Does a good wash job though.

We still have our 31 year old Maytag dryer....hope it keeps on going.
 
Speed Queen is your best bet on a modern deep fill washer. They are built well and will last. You will use about 50 gallons to do a load of laundry. The HE models need to be equipped with an on board hydro heater to clean effectively. Without one you are doing a damp cold water wash. Also if you use a front loader you need to use warm water and bleach once in a while. A lot of the smell problems come from people doing cold washes and shutting the door of the machine after the wash. It is a water right door so it makes for a good environment for bacterial growth. Leave the door open to allow the washer to dry.
 
Gents, as someone who has worked on a few washers and dyers I just want to caution you about pursuing this. Parts alone are a nightmare for older machines. Most of the older brands were lost to consolidation with major appliance companies years ago. As in decades. You may see their names pop up but they are Whirlpools and Maytags underneath. In fact, I think Whirpool owns Maytag now. Just be prepared for some real work in restoring them. And if you think you are going to land a jewel tucked away in some granny's basement think again. You buy said washer, take it home, clean it up, connect everything, and come home to find dirty, soapy water all over your floors. You see, granny didn't tell you her kids bought her one of those new fangled front loading washers awhile back and your charmingly old school machine has set for ten years. The tub seal leaked. Well dang it. So you hie yourself away to the appliance parts store to greeted with a blank stare. You want what? A tub seal for a 1974 Speed Queen washer? Well good luck with that Charlie cause we don't sell them here. Any of the 'wear' parts in a washer like the tub, tub seal, door seal(front loaders), timer, and particularly the transmissions are likely to be only available used. Read that as; worn out. And don't forget the four to six hours labour you will spend taking it apart and managing to get everything put back together correctly. You do have a service manual for it, right? Again, we have a 'can do' spirit around here and I don't want to discourage you. Mind the fact you may wind up with a mini appliance junkyard in your garage or back yard for sourcing parts. SWMBO will never cast you a 'look' for that will she? And with your shaving hobby you at least smell good when done. You won't after working on an old washer.

The reason you may be using more electricity is because these newer appliances are more "efficient". Say what? Take our new dish washer. It takes nearly three hours to run a pots and pans cycle. This is because it simply recycles the water a number of times and then uses clean water only on the rinse. So you burn a lot more electricity to get the cycle completed but hey, we are 'saving' on water. And the same is happening with your new efficient clothes washer. Oi. Also, the difference in sounds on the new front loaders is because in new models they don't agitate. They spin really fast one way, then the other. Old models agitate which I think cleans better.

And the hot water vs cold water issues with clothes washers. I have seen this argued both ways but I come down on the side of cold water. Modern detergents are made to lather in cold water and have been for some decades. Hot water is needed to dissolve soaps. Downy Flakes, Dove laundry soap, etc. So if you are using real soap or homemade laundry soap(yes, it is out there and I want to try it), then hot water comes into play. Many argue the other direction on this so I don't hold to it as dogma, only experience.

As a last resort may I recommend a commercial washer and dryer? We have contracted laundry service in our dormitories now(thank goodness I no longer have to work on 'charming' old washers and dryers) and it is great. The current contractor used Speed Queen commercial units and they are NOTHING like domestic washers and dryers. They look just like them save for the front loaders but they weigh about three times as much. This is because they have to stand up to laundromats and our dorms are no exception. Those kids will stuff fifty pounds of jeans at a time in the washers. And they take it time after time. I have no idea how clean the clothes are but the machines don't seem to break down often. I am sure it comes with a price but considering what some of these newer front loaders and smart dryers cost it may be a wash(sorry, cheap pun). I like them because they have a 'hot, medium, low," temperature setting on the dryers and 'regular, delicate' on the washers. I think you can buy them without the coin accepting device on them to save quite a lot on the price. Something I am going to check into since our current units are nearing ten years old and showing a few trouble signs. Hope this helps.

Cheers, Todd
 
You aren't alone. My wife and I hate our front loader and were surprised last time we were at the store and saw an entire row of old style washers. Next time we buy, it's old school for us. No more half clean clothes!
 
Many years ago I was a repairman in a commercial laundry. Things have changed much since then.

Whirlpool now owns many of the domestic brands including Whirlpool. The Iowa-built-to-last Maytags are no more. The factory now houses a company making wind turbine blades.

My folks went through the same New-HE loop and ended with an older Maytag supplied by a local repairman who deals in "old stuff" simply because there are customers who want the older machines.

As for wear parts, there are a a lot of choices for Maytag parts. Some are of unacceptable;e quality. You have to shop. But the parts are out there.

My Maytag was built in 1989. I have expectations to keep it going.

My advice is to find a local repairman, try Craigslist, estate sales, auctions, etc. Stick with a brand like Maytag and parts can be found when needed.
 
I can only imagine when the next generation looks back and says "Man, these washing machines with lasers we have are garbage...they don't build em like the old HE washers from the 2000's."
 
Out of curiosity, are you not happy with HE washers or front loaders in general?

Both. But I have a special hatred for the HE top loaders. They both use a ton of electricity and take 90 minutes to clean. Don't get me started on my disbwaser. It has a three hour wash time if you allow it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1stdNzvWZ4M >>go to the 4:25 sec mark and see what I mean. These washers wear down clothes faster as you find a ton of lint in the dryer. It's atrocious.
Gents, as someone who has worked on a few washers and dyers I just want to caution you about pursuing this. Parts alone are a nightmare for older machines. Most of the older brands were lost to consolidation with major appliance companies years ago. As in decades. You may see their names pop up but they are Whirlpools and Maytags underneath. In fact, I think Whirpool owns Maytag now. Just be prepared for some real work in restoring them. And if you think you are going to land a jewel tucked away in some granny's basement think again. You buy said washer, take it home, clean it up, connect everything, and come home to find dirty, soapy water all over your floors. You see, granny didn't tell you her kids bought her one of those new fangled front loading washers awhile back and your charmingly old school machine has set for ten years. The tub seal leaked. Well dang it. So you hie yourself away to the appliance parts store to greeted with a blank stare. You want what? A tub seal for a 1974 Speed Queen washer? Well good luck with that Charlie cause we don't sell them here. Any of the 'wear' parts in a washer like the tub, tub seal, door seal(front loaders), timer, and particularly the transmissions are likely to be only available used. Read that as; worn out. And don't forget the four to six hours labour you will spend taking it apart and managing to get everything put back together correctly. You do have a service manual for it, right? Again, we have a 'can do' spirit around here and I don't want to discourage you. Mind the fact you may wind up with a mini appliance junkyard in your garage or back yard for sourcing parts. SWMBO will never cast you a 'look' for that will she? And with your shaving hobby you at least smell good when done. You won't after working on an old washer.

The reason you may be using more electricity is because these newer appliances are more "efficient". Say what? Take our new dish washer. It takes nearly three hours to run a pots and pans cycle. This is because it simply recycles the water a number of times and then uses clean water only on the rinse. So you burn a lot more electricity to get the cycle completed but hey, we are 'saving' on water. And the same is happening with your new efficient clothes washer. Oi. Also, the difference in sounds on the new front loaders is because in new models they don't agitate. They spin really fast one way, then the other. Old models agitate which I think cleans better.

And the hot water vs cold water issues with clothes washers. I have seen this argued both ways but I come down on the side of cold water. Modern detergents are made to lather in cold water and have been for some decades. Hot water is needed to dissolve soaps. Downy Flakes, Dove laundry soap, etc. So if you are using real soap or homemade laundry soap(yes, it is out there and I want to try it), then hot water comes into play. Many argue the other direction on this so I don't hold to it as dogma, only experience.

As a last resort may I recommend a commercial washer and dryer? We have contracted laundry service in our dormitories now(thank goodness I no longer have to work on 'charming' old washers and dryers) and it is great. The current contractor used Speed Queen commercial units and they are NOTHING like domestic washers and dryers. They look just like them save for the front loaders but they weigh about three times as much. This is because they have to stand up to laundromats and our dorms are no exception. Those kids will stuff fifty pounds of jeans at a time in the washers. And they take it time after time. I have no idea how clean the clothes are but the machines don't seem to break down often. I am sure it comes with a price but considering what some of these newer front loaders and smart dryers cost it may be a wash(sorry, cheap pun). I like them because they have a 'hot, medium, low," temperature setting on the dryers and 'regular, delicate' on the washers. I think you can buy them without the coin accepting device on them to save quite a lot on the price. Something I am going to check into since our current units are nearing ten years old and showing a few trouble signs. Hope this helps.

Cheers, Todd

You know Todd, I wish I had the room for one of those commercial SQ. I've seriously thought about knocking down the wall adjacent to the laundry room to accommodate this:) This will give us a 15x 10 laundry room. Choices, choices.

Speed Queen is your best bet on a modern deep fill washer. They are built well and will last. You will use about 50 gallons to do a load of laundry. The HE models need to be equipped with an on board hydro heater to clean effectively. Without one you are doing a damp cold water wash. Also if you use a front loader you need to use warm water and bleach once in a while. A lot of the smell problems come from people doing cold washes and shutting the door of the machine after the wash. It is a water right door so it makes for a good environment for bacterial growth. Leave the door open to allow the washer to dry.
Speed queen with the extra rinse cycle is the best bet it looks like it so far. Yes, we ran into the mold problem but nipped that by switching to powder and leaving the door open. Ours is a 2006 Neptune and we got lucky and has served us like a champ going on 7 years.
We ...up to a couple of weeks ago had a 31 year old Maytag washer. Much hard use over the years. Built like a Mack truck. Heavy as one too.

It finally corroded through...no more parts available.

We bought a new basic Kenmore. Not bad, much lighter build, hoses not impressive. Don't think it will last as long as the old Maytag...but who knows.

Does a good wash job though.

We still have our 31 year old Maytag dryer....hope it keeps on going.

31 years. That's a good run. Hopefully mine last that long!
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1stdNzvWZ4M >>go to the 4:25 sec mark and see what I mean. These washers wear down clothes faster as you find a ton of lint in the dryer. It's atrocious.

WHAT!? That may save money and energy but at the sacrifice of clean clothes. The clothes along the back of the tub barely moved at all....and they are supposed to make it to the center and then to the back again? at the rate it was going at most this would happen one time.

That video does very little to sell HE washers IMO. I now just think they are a novelty. A washer/driver with a bazillion options and cleaning cycles and fancy LED lights and buttons to push that does very little to actually clean your clothes. You'll save energy/money/water, but come on....are your clothes really clean?

My opinion is changed. Maybe front loading HE machines are better?
 
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