View Full Version : Front loading washer and dryer

May 1st, 2008, 12:03 AM
Does anyone own a front loading washer?
A front loading dryer?

Does it save more electricity? I know the washer saves water.
How do you clothes feel? look?
Does the front loading washer use a different kind of detergent?

If you were to buy a front loading washer and/or dryer brand(s) would you suggest and why?

May 1st, 2008, 12:16 AM
I have an LG front load washer. Can't tell if it saves electricity as the wash cycles are longer.

In the LG the drum has these rollers that allow clothes to roll by the vanes instead of being dragged by them so the clothes come out really clean and with no damage. It also has a very fast spin/dry cycle so when the clothes come out after the final rinse/spin/dry, it spends less time in the dryer.

As for water efficiency, a typical top loader uses roughly 40 gallons per wash load, my LG uses 12.

As for detergent, today's front loaders use the newer HE detergents (High Efficiency) so you use less but it's highly concentrated.

The downside is the cost. My LG cost me $1200. :eek: But boy am I saving water! :D

I looked around and liked the LG over Maytag. The Maytag has a single knob on the front and when you rotate it it feels as if a simple whack from your laundry basket will break it off the shaft. The LG's built a bit more rugged and you can see and feel the fit and finish of the LG over the Maytag. The LG also has a composit hinge system that allows the glass door to swing extra wide to completely clear the drum.

If you buy the matching LG dryer you can stack them vertically. LG allows you to move the control panel from the top front to the bottom front so both controls are at a convenient level if you decide to stack them.

Da Rolling Eye
May 1st, 2008, 06:32 AM
We just went through the hassle of buying a washer/dryer set. Ended up with a stacked unit from the Sears Distribution Center. We had looked at the front loaders for both. The washers are rated as ER and need to use an ER soap as it's low sudsing (?). Also, the rubber seal at the front has to be wiped down after each use and the door left slightly ajar to allow drying. If that rubber seal goes moldy and rots, the whole drum assembly needs to be changed out. That's the outer and inner drums and the seal. :confused:

Also, most of the units have digital controls. If just one function goes, the whole module needs to be changed out. The unit we opted for is a large capacity stacker with dials and buttons instead. Easier to fix if something should go wrong.

The upside is like Craig mentioned. No damage to clothing and better cleaning. Also, you can get the large capacity unit and wash bedding and not worry about the agitator wearing holes in the covers.

They are expensive, though. Go down to Sear's Pearl City distribution center and go look at the discounted units. Most have only minor cosmetic damage. They will also try to talk you into buying an extended warranty which can range from $200 to $400. A washer and dryer set can easily set you back over $2000 even for "seconds".

May 1st, 2008, 07:51 AM
I have a Sears HE4t washer and dryer. The primary reason for buying it was ergonomics. My back is really bad and it was getting to the point that I couldn't reach in to get the wash out to put in the dryer, then I couldn't bend to get it out of the dryer. We got the pedestals and it is exactly the height I need to complete the task with my limitations. So ergonomics is a reason.

I also do like the way my clothes come out and it does save water. The cycle selection is varied and it's like the thing has a mind of it's own, it knows everything and when you press the wrong buttons it lets you know, somehow it knows weight and stuff like that. I almost never use anything but cold water except when I do my white towels - I like thinking I'm at a hotel.....The controls are push button and the only negative thing about that is if you hit one accidently while in cycle it can screw things up but that rarely happens only when the MIL visits and she doesn't turn on the water or she bangs around in the laundry room and hits the washer panel. They do take up a lot of room and the shelves I used to used over the old washer dryer now become targets as I throw stuff at them since I can't reach them anymore. That's o.k. too since it's only towels for the pool/beach and it's kind of fun to just throw stuff!:o

May 1st, 2008, 08:52 AM
Does anyone own a front loading washer?
A front loading dryer?
Both. We have a Kenmore set, washer model 417.43042300 and dryer model 417.83412300. (Great model names, eh?) They appear to have been made in Jan 04 and we bought them used in Dec 06 from a Craigslist seller. $300 each.

Both are EnergyStar rated and my Kill-A-Watt claims that our washer uses 0.25 KWHr/load. (I don't have a Kill-A-Watt for a 240v appliance. Anyone know where to find one?) You might be able to compare models on EnergyStar.gov but at a minimum they're using less energy than a non-EnergyStar appliance. Of course even the best EnergyStar electric dryer can't compete with a gas dryer or a clothesline.

The big energy saving is in the dryer runtime, but it comes from the front-loading washer's spin. Our "high" spin setting darn near dries the clothes on its own, and the dryer only needs to run 20-30 minutes for a load of towels (or a few hours on the drying rack).

[QUOTE=jkpescador;193836]How do you clothes feel? look?
Well, I used to look like a surf bum before we bought them. Now I look like a surf bum whose very clean clothes aren't getting abraded by an agitator.

We don't own many "good" clothes and it's been less than 18 months so I can't personally notice the difference in look or feel. But the consumer-reports studies claim that clothes come out cleaner, with less residue, and less wear from scraping against a top-loading washer's agitator. The dryer has a lot less lint in its trap.

Does the front loading washer use a different kind of detergent?
The manufacturers recommend HE (high efficiency) detergent but again I can't tell the difference. We used up our box of Cheer before switching to an HE brand and didn't see any difference. We used to use at least a third of a cup and now we use barely an eighth of a cup. I haven't bothered to price out the difference. You can still use stain treatments, bleach, and fabric softeners... no difference.

If you were to buy a front loading washer and/or dryer brand(s) would you suggest and why?
I'm no Kenmore shill but we're happy with these! I'd avoid electronic/digital bells & whistles in favor of simple rotary dials & mechanical switches. I've read a lot of complaints about faulty motherboards (with expensive repairs) and I think manufacturers are better at the old-style controls.

As for the rubber gasket, we leave the door open for a few hours after a load and we occasionally pull a hairball out of the gasket's drain holes. Otherwise it's not a problem. We have a water conditioner so I don't know if hard water would treat the machine differently.

It's easy to find bad press on older Neptunes and HE3s, but maybe the newer ones are better. Before you buy a particular model I'd heavily research Consumer Reports, ePinions, and any other rating services you can Google.

May 1st, 2008, 10:06 AM
I don't own one and have never used one, not yet anyway. I do like the variety of colors they come in, now. I never had reason to think they use less electricity but if someone shows confirmation of that I'll find it very interesting. (Next year's econcomic stimulus check? ha)

May 1st, 2008, 10:18 AM
When the basket on my Kenmore top loader washing machine rusted through (in 6 years), I bought a frigidaire (made by electrolux) front loader. It was well rated in CR, but I bot the 3 year extended warranty just in case (didn't need it after-all). Total price - $700. Clothes come out drier, cleaner smelling, undamaged and no rust spots ;) Savings on detergent (use less of the regular sort), energy and water are notable. Side benefit - washer is quieter, even at high speed spin. Note - energy saving accrue from using less hot water and shorter drying time (for those who use a dryer).

May 1st, 2008, 01:02 PM
I bought the extended warranty for my LG as it does have an electronic control panel with these cool blue LED displays. At $1200 spending $140 seemed like good insurance. That took my washer's warranty period to five years.

As for dryers, I bought the cheapest gas dryer Home Depot sold (an Admiral) with a mechanical control knob for ease of repair, and no I didn't pick up the extended service plan for that since I can fix that myself.

I figured spend the bucks on a good washer and go relatively cheap on the dryer. If anything failed I'd rather it be the dryer as you can always hand dry clothes.

Stores like Home Depot occasionally offer these fantastic sales which includes no interest no payments for 12-months on the HD Card, 10% off during certain months and that includes a $75 rebate on delivery charges. For me my washer was delivered for free with the rebate.

And to reiterate what Nords said about spin time and drying, My LG spins at warp speed so the clothes come out lightly damp. That way the dryer is uesd less consuming less energy. 20-30 minutes is about right for me using gas for drying.

May 2nd, 2008, 08:22 AM
Thanks everyone! All good info.

Our washer and dryer are 5 years old and came with the house. They aren't ready to break down but just think front loading will be the direction I have to go.

May 2nd, 2008, 03:02 PM
I have the kenmore H4 front load washer & dryer. I have a family of 9 so this was a must. I love it. We purchased the pedestals for an additional $400 . I am almost 6 feet tall and my husband is six four. If you are taller than 5 foot 5, you will really want the pedestals. You can store extra stuff in the drawers. My washer & dryer is all digital. Push buttons. No knobs. My cousin has the Whirlpool front loads and she has the knobs that get stuck or come off.
Just make sure you clean out the inner rubber band lining the door of the washers. Socks and coins get caught there. I learned the hard way.
I love my washer & dryer. They were worth every penny.

May 4th, 2008, 09:43 AM
We've had the Whirlpool Duet HT for a year and a half. Almost got the pedestals but were a bit too pricey in my opinion plus we already had shelf space for all the laundry stuff anyway.

The washer is idiot proof (I actually enjoy doing some laundry now)... put in the detergent, softener, bleach etc press go. It senses when the load is unbalanced and will stop spinning to rebalance the load. The spin cycle is unreal. You think its going pretty fast...then it turns on the afterburners.

I make sure to follow the monthly maintenance procedure... something like a third cup of bleach and set it to maintenance mode and let it do its thing. I guess to control mold and mildew.

Good luck.

May 4th, 2008, 11:48 PM
We do a ton of laundry around here, with a pack of kids using towels and sheets and sports clothes .... you get the picture. We "upgraded" to a front loader washer about 2 years ago, and opted for the extended service contract (one service call would equal the extended contract fee, so not a bad deal).
The front loader has been fantastic. Work clothes come out cleaner, pet hair and lint is removed, oil stains come out, quilts fit into the washer, three pillows can be washed at one time and spin almost dry.
We no longer by the special soap, we just use regular laundry soap and only put in a small amount. Ditto for bleach, a little does the job.
Our front loader has been worth every penny, and we bought it at a "big box" store so the price was within reason.
We always leave the door ajar, so mildew has not been a problem. But, I'm not sure you'd want to leave the door open if you had toddlers.

May 12th, 2008, 07:46 AM
What model LG do you have Craig?

May 12th, 2008, 10:38 AM
What model LG do you have Craig?

It's a TROMM model number: WM2277HB, black in color. It was the model that came out just before LG introduced the one with the steam cleaner.

May 27th, 2008, 09:00 PM
I have an electric Kenmore set I bought in 2004. The washer is very quiet and saves $ on electricity and water. Come to think of it, detergent, too. There are special detergents but we just use about a quarter of a cup of powdered Tide or whatever. The clothes come out just fine and we use cold water for almost every load. I think the other way it may save is that it's large capacity. We can fit a king size comforter in easily. A feature that I like is the timer. I can set it to turn on before I wake up and be ready to throw it into the dryer while the coffee is brewing. The dryer is good sized and energy efficient.

The cons are that the washer tends to mildew a bit around the rubber gaskets and sometimes the washer emits a sulfur smell when draining. Also, don't trust the washer when it says there's a minute left. It lies. I've stood there for 5 minutes or longer on occasion waiting for the washer to stop.

I'm very happy with the set. It was worth the initial investment.