Thursday’s Thoughts ~ Washer Woes…

Ed and I have owned four washer/dryers during our forty-one years of marriage.  Our first set was tiny, because we had such limited laundry space in our first home.  Because we were newlyweds, we couldn’t afford a dryer, at first.  We bought the washer shortly after getting married, then a couple of years later, bought the dryer.  At the time, the only small dryer available was an avocado green one!  We bought it anyway, even though our washer was white!  (We’d had days and days of rain, and I was desperate for a dryer!)  A couple of cans of  glossy, white spray paint solved our problem, then we had a matching set!

Six years later, with the arrival of our first child, we quickly discovered the need for a large capacity set of machines!  Ed bought a like-new, large capacity set from a co-worker, then we sold our small set to a friend. Those machines lasted our growing family for over twenty years!

Our next washer/dryer combo, a basic, matching set, didn’t wear out, but was passed down, after five years, to our oldest son and his wife.  That washer lasted about a dozen years.  The dryer is still in use.  Which brings me to the last set we purchased, a set of Kenmore Elites.

We bought a ‘top of the line’ set of machines, thinking they would last us most of the rest of our lives.  Ha!  Boy was the joke on us!  After about six years, the washer became increasingly noisy during cycle changes.  Almost seven years to the day, the washer began having more serious issues–not spinning the clothes dry, as well as leaking oil from underneath.  Fortunately, the washer didn’t have any of the electronics that most of today’s models have, or it probably wouldn’t have even lasted for seven years!

I spent countless hours searching for a new washing machine.  After doing a lot of on-line reading, I quickly discovered today’s washing machines are very different from the ones I’ve grown accustomed to!  The mechanical part has been totally redesigned, and they’re not built to last–sort of like today’s televisions.  Thanks to government regulations, they also use less water and soap, which I don’t necessarily think is such a good thing when it comes to washing dirty clothes!  It’s rare to find a machine that still uses an agitator to clean the clothes.

The front-loaders and top loaders without agitators just didn’t appeal to me at all.  I wanted a basic washing machine, with an agitator, that would let me choose the amount of water and the type of detergent I want.  After reading hundreds of reviews, I decided on a very basic set of Whirlpools.  Apparently, so did a lot of other people, because finding that particular set proved to be a bit challenging!

Sears, on line, couldn’t deliver that set before September 30.  Our closest Sears Store had the washer in stock, but not the matching dryer.  Ed and I finally ended up borrowing a truck from Ed’s brother, and going to Lowe’s.

Our shopping adventure began by discovering the truck we borrowed was a four-speed!  Now, Ed can drive a four-in-the-floor, because we’ve had three of them during our marriage, but the last one was over twenty-five years ago!   Ed’s driving was okay, but let’s just say he was a bit rusty in his shifting techniques 🙂  After a few red lights, Ed remarked, “I don’t know why anyone would want a manual transmission!” (Funny, because he used to love them!)

After the ‘jerky’, thirty mile ride, our purchasing experience, at Lowe’s, turned out to be a real doozie!  After making sure the set of Whirlpools was in stock, we headed to the checkout to put our purchase on our Lowe’s card.  By doing so, we’d get an extra 5% off the purchase price, then we planned to pay the card off within the grace period.  Apparently, we hadn’t used our Lowe’s card in quite a long time, so the transaction was declined because the card had expired!  Ed had to get out of line and re-apply for a new Lowe’s card at the service center!

While standing there, reapplying, Ed noticed a sign that said Lowe’s would price-match, plus take an extra 10% off the purchase, if the product was found cheaper elsewhere.  We knew the set was on sale at Sears, for fifty dollars less, but they didn’t have the matching dryer in stock.  Ed loves a bargain, so he headed back to deal with the appliance salesman!  One hour later, Ed exited the store with the price matched and a rebate offer for an eighty dollar Lowe’s gift card.  Upon examining the receipt, I noticed that he didn’t get the 5% off for using the Lowe’s card, so Ed went back into the store to haggle some more.  The lady told him he couldn’t use two promotions together (the $80 rebate and 5% off), so they’d given him the $80 rebate which was worth the most.  She did discover (which we hadn’t) that Lowe’s hadn’t given us the 10% off to go along with the price matching.  Ed got another $101 marked off the purchase price!

Nearly five hours from the time we left home, we returned with our fifth washer/dryer set.  Ed managed to get the old set out, clean the space, and get the new set out of their boxes and set into place before bedtime.  He didn’t have time to finish installing them.  The next day, Ed’s mom took a turn for the worse, and it was almost a week before I actually got to try my new washing machine out.

I’m slowly adjusting to my new washer/dryer.  Just as I thought, I do not like this new technology.  The machine begins by ‘sensing’ the weight of the clothes, and deciding how much it’s going to give me!  Then the washer takes much longer to clean my clothes, less efficiently.  The agitator does move the clothes around much, instead it has a very gentle movement.  I must use the second rinse cycle, just to make sure most of the soap is removed from my laundry.  The agitator doesn’t move at all during the rinse cycles–the machine just fills, then immediately empties!  Then the clothes are not spun any dryer than in my broken machine!  Thank goodness for the super capacity dryer, that works great, but sounds like a freight train when it’s running!

As for my old washer/dryer set, they’re sitting under our carport, wrapped in plastic, waiting for Ed to find the time to try to repair the washing machine.  If he’s successful, it will be out with the new and back in with the old set.  Newer isn’t always better!

If you’re ever bored and looking for some interesting reading material, go on-line and read the negative reviews of new washing machines.  The reviews can be quite entertaining, and unfortunately, they are very true.

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Published in: on September 26, 2013 at 9:24 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh how I hate to go shopping for new washers! I like to choose the water level and temps not the machine. Oh when the government get out of my business! So sorry you are having such a hard time and I’m praying for your MIL

  2. I have several friends who have the front loaders, and have had nothing but trouble with them. Our washer/dryer set is 24 years old, and still working just fine. Kenmore, from Sears, are just the best as far as I’m concerned. I hope mine continue to work for years to come, because I don’t even like to think about shopping for something new.

  3. Uh oh! We replaced our washing machine about 5 yrs ago, at least I think it has been about that long. Your experience has me hoping it will last.

  4. I have an large capacity front loader, it works nice, nothing to complain about… but, it stinks all the time. Mildewy, even after I use the washer cleaner, bleach, vinegar, etc. Nothing works. I dry it out with a towel after use and leave the door open… still stinks. I give up, it’s 5 years old, from what I read, life expectancy on today’s washers is 6 years, won’t be buying a front loader again. Oh, lets not leave out the fact that I paid $1,000 for it… I expected waaaaaay more. Funny thing, (not laughing) just bought my Dad a $400 top loader washer from Home Depot, I’m totally satisfied with it. Go figure.

  5. Congratulations. My washer and drier died in the spring. I’m still getting by with the laundromat and hanging the clothes out to dry. When winter comes along we’ll see what happens.
    My parents had one washing machine. It lasted 38 years and was still working when I sold their house. Maybe I should have brought it to my place!

  6. Regarding little Marble. Yes you missed that post. I published it just around when you mother-in-law passed away. Next time you’re on my blog it’s Life Goes on. Part 2 under recent posts


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