Washer/Dryer longevity ?

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by hand » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:18 am

Consumer Reports has a relevant free article which includes commentary from major brands regarding design life:

https://www.consumerreports.org/washing ... ryer-last/

While Frigidaire was not specifically identified, the trend was clear that machines were said to be designed to a residential life of 10 years under normal use (though normal was left undefined). Notably, Speed Queen was the exception to the rule stating that their machines were designed to an average life of 10,400 cycles or 25 years at 8 loads a week.

Given improvements in washer technology and efficiency (both in the wash and spin cycles), I would likely replace a 13 year old mass market washer rather than spend money on a costly repair.

On the other hand, dryer technology and efficiency hasn't really changed in recent years, and there is little to fail on the machines, so I would likely repair if functionality and appearance(!) of the current dryer suited.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by Nowizard » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:32 am

We are not particularly frugal in many ways, but recently replaced our washer and dryer. Washer after 22 years, dryer after 35. No repairs for washer, dryer had heating element changed twice by myself, and I would qualify as having only a modest capability for that sort of thing. The salesman said new W/D are not as good and he would be able to sell our working previous ones easily. Specifically, he said the metal was not as good and to just assume dents would occur if they were moved to another home and expect a ten year use. He also spoke about the two types, one with the agitator we grew up with, one with no agitator. The latter is better, he said. Also, tubs today are made of a plastic rather than metal other than for the highest cost. Our previous models were Frigidaire. You will also find that similar models will have radically higher prices if you go with color rather than white. He also said that many models are made by the same company. We purchased at Sear's. Though they have declined significantly overall, they carry a large variety of models for comparison.


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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by eddot98 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:56 am

We purchased a Maytag Centennial washer with commercial technology, whatever that means, 3 or 4 years ago. It is a HE machine, but it has what looks like an agitator. It cleans clothes well, but there are a few issues. First, it is very hard on our clothes, adding more wear than we do. Second, it sounds nothing like an old school washer, noises start and stop at numerous points in the cycle. The noise wouldn’t matter, except that it is in our kitchen and it took a long time to get used to it. Clothes do come out drier, but more wrinkled. Then they go into our more than 35 year old Kenmore electric dryer, which has had only a few repairs in that time period.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by rvflyer » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:46 am

I started the Kenmore Washer Dry thread and appreciated the inputs. Our Kenmore Elite stacked washer dryer (tight closet area) worked great for 15 years but a very costly washer tub repair yet to be done motivated us to replace both units rather than be vulnerable for another old age break of some kind. The Sears salesmen said Sears Kenmore washer dryers have been LG for a few years (dishwashers Whirlpool). LG might be fine but we preferred US Whirlpool so we ended up buying a stacked basic Whirlpool washer dryer combo at Home Depot that was on sale. No steam or frills. After 3 weeks use we are pleased with performance so far and hope that these units will endure but under no illusion that they will hit 15 years without some maintenance along the way. The touch sensitive control buttons can be frustrating for some and my shorter DW gets up on a step stool to select the dryer modifiers she wants for that load. The cubic feet of the washer is larger that the Kenmore Elite (approx. 4.7 vs. 3.7) Agree with others that level of usage and care will impact longevity. We are out in the desert which helps with humidity related reliability issues. Good luck.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by gd » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:19 am

Curious if the HE washer complaints are referring to front or top loaders.

I've got a 15-year-old mid-quality (Privileg, roughly what Kenmore used to be) front loader in Germany that cleans clothes vastly better than my US non-HE top loader. It uses a small fraction of the water, needs only cold water, spin dries clothes almost dry, and takes 2 hours a load (gladly accepted tradeoff for everything else). I've always suspected it's the wash time that was the key factor; US products are all marketed to be fast over all else. Last I browsed, price was considerably below a typical US big-box front loader price, 19% VAT included.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by ncbill » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:58 pm

when I needed a new washer in 2010 front-loaders were taking a beating online.

not just "stinky rubber boot" complaints, but also self-destructing circuit boards & rear main bearing failures (under-engineered?)

so we decided to go with a top-loading HE LG washer.

still works fine, starting to squeak on the spin cycle.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by dsb012 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:47 pm

Our dryer that is at least 12 years old (in the house when we moved in) stopped heating this week.

I never worked on it before or knew a thing about how it worked. $45 of parts from Amazon (one day delivery) we are back up and running. Lot's of good videos and websites. Start at https://www.repairclinic.com. I replaced the cycling thermostat, heating element, hi-temp thermo and thermal fuse.

Our backup was to by a new washer and dryer (mid range) for about $1200.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by dsmclone » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:51 am

gd wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:19 am
Curious if the HE washer complaints are referring to front or top loaders.

I've got a 15-year-old mid-quality (Privileg, roughly what Kenmore used to be) front loader in Germany that cleans clothes vastly better than my US non-HE top loader. It uses a small fraction of the water, needs only cold water, spin dries clothes almost dry, and takes 2 hours a load (gladly accepted tradeoff for everything else). I've always suspected it's the wash time that was the key factor; US products are all marketed to be fast over all else. Last I browsed, price was considerably below a typical US big-box front loader price, 19% VAT included.
HE washers, both top and front, are more complex and costly to repair. Also about double the price of a non HE model. The new HE ones seem to be faster.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by WillRetire » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:09 am

13 years is still young. I expect a washer & dryer to last at least 20 years. Buy quality appliances, maintain them, and they will reward you with decades of service. Sometimes newer is better; Often it isn't.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by Toons » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:25 am

I suggest upgrading.
New technology has far improved since your model

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by maxq » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:23 am

I bought the cheapest Roper w/d set for about $600 while living in an apartment about 15 years ago. Light user, but probably average a load a week. Last year the washer died, but I was able to revive it by a simple lid safety switch replacement. Last month, the dryer quit mid-cycle. A bit of Googling led me to try replacing the dryer door safety switch. $7.99 at Amazon, next day delivery, easy to replace, problem resolved. I find it interesting that both safety switches failed within 6 months of each other. I see lots of Craigslist ads for working w/d sets that look old like mine. Now I need to decide whether to keep the status quo and hope mine keep working, or just sell them for $100 or maybe more while they are both up and running and buy a new set--I frequently see Frys ads for barebones Whirlpool and Samsung sets for about $700.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:33 am

For the Washer, add a robust surge protector.
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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by audioaxes » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:45 pm

I would just get a used replacement at that age. There seems to be no shortage of perfectly working used washers and dryers at rock bottom prices that people got rid of for fancy looking ones.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by mariezzz » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:23 pm

I wouldn't upgrade if I could repair (I can do most repairs myself - just figure out on the internet what the problem is, and where to get the part).

New appliances are built to fail in far less time than the old ones. I'll hold on to my old appliances as long as I can (they're all late 1990s except my washer, which I replaced due to a sale, plus a stimulus refund (in 2011) that made the net price so low ($250) I couldn't pass it up (HE top loader). The replacement washer is ok so far, but I wouldn't rave about it.

Just replaced a water inlet valve on my dishwasher. Working great now. $50 (including a new $16 water hose), and some time.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by Candor » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:57 pm

I have a Whirlpool set that my parents gave me as a hand me down 25 years ago when I first bought my house and they are both still going strong. I had to replace the belt and a 'pulley/runner' (I'm not sure what it's called) 20+ years ago in the dryer. I'm not particularly mechanically inclined but I pulled it apart and was able to figure it out and get the parts (two separate occasions) and repair them myself. I'm guessing they are approximately 35+ years old at this point.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by OldLearner » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:10 am

JI0124 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:31 pm
Generally speaking we’ve been quite disappointed with new appliances in comparison with the ones that they’ve replaced.

New front load high efficiency washer and dryer purchased in 2013 don’t work as well as economy top load versions purchased in 2003. The “high efficiency” characteristics have only meant that they don’t do as good of a job, take longer and sometimes require a do-over.

Similar but worse experience with dishwasher (though builder grade so maybe to be expected). Fancy/expensive refrigerator from 2013 is just ok.

Based on our experience if I own an appliance that functioned well I would at least look into repairing before replacing. It seems like many manufacturers are focused more on incorporating ‘smart’ characteristics into their appliances vs. getting the basic operations solid. I don’t find it interesting to control any of my appliances from my phone and certainly would prefer that the basics are covered.

Bought a new Maytag Washer/Dryer 31 years ago. A few minor repairs and still going strong at our summer house. Bought a new LG HE set 10 years ago for the main house, and haven't gone a week without thinking about switching them. If you're at least a little handy, you can diagnose and fix it yourself and save hundreds. I highly recommend RepairClinic.com.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by beyou » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:49 am

dsmclone wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:53 am
Everyone I've talked to that has bought a high efficiency washer said they would "go old school" if they had the choice again.
Agreed, most expensive appliances we bought were the worst ones over the years. This is one of the few cases where you in fact don’t get what you pay for.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by TeamArgo » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:11 am

When we moved into a condo 3 1/2 years ago, we had to give up the old Maytag machines we had for 20+ years for a new pair of stacked GE high efficiency machines.
Newer washers use less water by "allowing the clothes to rub against each other to remove soil" in a direct quote from a manual. In practice, not so much. Stains are much harder to get out, and "HE" detergent just seems unable to remove any oil or grease stains. They also employ a very high speed spin to remove more water and to reduce drying time. Yes, this is so, but at a cost of much, much more noise from the spin cycle and more wear and tear and wrinkles in the clothes. The dryer has a sophisticated moisture sensor that seems to get destroyed by a film that comes from the use of fabric softeners. After going through two sensors in just over a year, we gave up and stopped using fabric softeners. (No problems in the 2 years since, knock on wood)!
So bottom line for us is that we desperately miss our old washer and dryer, and would never in a moment consider trading up if we had a repairable 13 YO unit and a place to keep it. :beer
"A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest" -Paul Simon (The Boxer, 1970)

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by WalterMitty » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:58 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:20 pm
So much depends on what's wrong. When our 20+ year old dryer abruptly stopped working, we called in the appliance repair guy and he said that honestly he thinks that my old Maytag washer and dryer (both purchased in 1988 or so) are better than anything currently on the market. He repaired it (replaced the belt) and the gasket on the washer for under $200 for both and says we ought to get several more decades of use from both. He says that folks with newer machines have to replace them much more often and they're a lot harder to repair than these older models that have fewer parts to break.

We bought our Kenmore units in 1996. Both have needed minor repairs over the years. Thanks to YouTube, the wife has been able to fix most of the issues on her own. For the few time we've had to call our trusted repair guy, he says the same thing....better to fix than buy what's out there now. Also, with a family of 5 with kids that were in sports all year, they are used most days. I hope we get another 22 more years.

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Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Post by random_walker_77 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:01 pm

djheini wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:08 am
As someone who had the ~17 year old dryer in their building catch on fire because of a spark from old internal wiring igniting lint which had built up inside over time, put me in the "buy a replacement" column
If anything, it's a reminder of why you should clean it out (and the dryer vent) every 7-8 years. I had a dryer get really squeally, and found videos on youtube explaining how to fix it. Replaced the pulley and vacuumed out all the lint in there. Thinking back, I should've ordered rollers and swapped them out at the same time, since they're cheap. It's pretty straightforward as long as you find the video explaining how to open up your model. And wear cut-resistant gloves as the sheet metal edges are sharp. (Either thick leather ones, or get the cheap kevlar ones on ebay for ~$4 / pair; https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cut-Resistant- ... ozbgqn-NUA).

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