Thread Number: 46361
new belt drive whirlpools
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Post# 676827   5/2/2013 at 12:53 (1,877 days old) by cphifer5115 (Jackson, TN)        

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hey guys im looking at buying a brand new washer and dryer and im interested in the new belt drive top load agitator models that whirlpool is not building in place of their old direct drive. just curious if any of the members here have one and could tell me what they think of it. my concern is will it wash a full load of blue jeans. I work in a factory and that' what I wear to work. I still have my old 1981 whirlpool belt drive and it's still going strong. so Im realy just looking to the future when it becomes impossible to maintain the old washer and have to buy a new one. if there are any videos of these newer washers I would love to about them. thanks

Post# 676833 , Reply# 1   5/2/2013 at 13:43 (1,877 days old) by logixx (Germany)        
for example

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Post# 676888 , Reply# 2   5/2/2013 at 18:56 (1,877 days old) by norgechef (Saint George New Brunswick )        
I would suggest you keep the old washer...

These are junk, so many sensors and electronic controls that don't even do full rinses. They just do spray rinses which are not effective AT ALL! but some Kenmore belt drives do a full wash and full rinse on the casual cycle. But I still don't think they clean very effectively, not enough roll over in my opinion.

Post# 676890 , Reply# 3   5/2/2013 at 18:57 (1,877 days old) by norgechef (Saint George New Brunswick )        
I would suggest you keep the old washer...

These are junk, so many sensors and electronic controls that don't even do full rinses. They just do spray rinses which are not effective AT ALL! but some Kenmore belt drives do a full wash and full rinse on the casual cycle. But I still don't think they clean very effectively, not enough roll over in my opinion.

Post# 676897 , Reply# 4   5/2/2013 at 19:24 (1,877 days old) by thefixer (USA)        

Total piece of junk! Unbelievable number of failures on a design that's been out for just 3 years. Loose nuts on main drive pulley, high failure rate on the shift actuator, loose connections, broken wires, bad transmissions and drive splutch's, faulty control boards, faulty lid locks, very high prices for replacement parts. Whirlpool has taken a huge step backwards with this design. They are everywhere, being sold under Kenmore, Roper, Maytag, Estate, KitchenAid, Kirkland... There's repair questions just about every other day on at least one of five washer repair forums that I participate in. The only decent top loader available today is one of the Speed Queen models and even they have dumbed down water level and temp control.


Post# 676898 , Reply# 5   5/2/2013 at 19:25 (1,877 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
If you are going to buy new.

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Save yourself the trouble and skip these as well as ANY HE TL machine. You will be much better off with a Speed Queen set.

Post# 676899 , Reply# 6   5/2/2013 at 19:48 (1,877 days old) by squeenjj (Huntsville, Alabama)        

Or do like I did and bought me a 10 yr old KitchenAid Direct Drive-- It works great and parts will be available for a LONG time.

Post# 676908 , Reply# 7   5/2/2013 at 21:37 (1,877 days old) by cphifer5115 (Jackson, TN)        

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Ok thanks guys. Thats what I was affraid of. My old 1981 whirlpool still working great so im just gonna keep it.

Post# 676918 , Reply# 8   5/2/2013 at 22:30 (1,877 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

You have to remember the 2013 energy and water levels are much less than the 2011 standards. If you are considering "new" go with a FL. I really believe new TL's are only on the floor to give more mature buyers something to purchase that they are semi familiar with. alr

Post# 676923 , Reply# 9   5/2/2013 at 23:24 (1,877 days old) by thefixer (USA)        

Yes, then maybe you could get in on one of the many class action lawsuits against Sears, Whirlpool, LG, and Electrolux concerning foul smelling mold issues with there wonderful front load washers that use even less water than current top loaders and use about a tablespoon of detergent. Make sure you get the extended warranty so your covered when that big colorful beast full of the latest wiz-bang electronics features fails.


Post# 676928 , Reply# 10   5/2/2013 at 23:53 (1,877 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Thefixer, no intent to restart the old debate of FL vs. TL. Senior consumers are confused with all of the electronics. If they see an agitator and dials they assume the TL is replacing exactly what they had previously. alr

Post# 676953 , Reply# 11   5/3/2013 at 02:51 (1,877 days old) by qualin (Canada)        

At first glance, it seems like a decent design.. But as soon as I heard "Mode Shifter", suddenly I recalled the large amount of GE mode shifter failure videos floating around on youtube.

Even though these machines do have advanced technology, I don't like the large amount of plastic everywhere.

You know, I'd almost swear that they're deliberately designing these machines poorly on purpose to get people off the idea of top loaders.

Post# 676963 , Reply# 12   5/3/2013 at 06:24 (1,877 days old) by thefixer (USA)        

"Senior consumers are confused with all of the electronics. If they see an agitator and dials they assume the TL is replacing exactly what they had previously"

Seniors are smarter and wiser and know what works and what doesn't. The electronics are for the youngsters who are easily duped, don't have a clue, can't do anything manually, and can't do anything for themselves, as it all has to be done for them, preferably through electronic control.


Post# 676964 , Reply# 13   5/3/2013 at 06:26 (1,877 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I don't like the plastic,either.The plastic pulley could be a breaking point here.Why not a metal pulley-how bout a metal outer drum? and so on.Think I will continue to hunt for older machines.Looks like WP new BD just might not hold up.Too much electronics-esp the electronic reversing motor-hope the motor driver on the control board is robust-otherwise it will fail with all those forward-reverse agitate cycles.When you "plug" a motor as this does(forawrd-reverse the motor quickly-plugging)Puts a stress on the motor driver.Then we are back to the "spin-splode" FL washers on another thread-guess I'll try to stick with the oldies.

Post# 677074 , Reply# 14   5/3/2013 at 16:11 (1,876 days old) by DirectDriveDave ()        
Metal outer drum

You know, this may sound very odd, and in SO many cases I say that metal is better than plastic, but I actually don't mind (dare I say like) the plastic outer tub of the DD, the main reason for that is because I never have to worry about it rusting, also because I don't fully consider it a "moving part" aside from the shakes of agitation and spin. Of course, there is always maybe the chance of it cracking, but this one hasn't in all 23 years, so it's still working well.

Sometimes I wonder, did WP go with a plastic outer tub to maybe reduce weight, or was it just for the standard cheaper move?

Post# 677083 , Reply# 15   5/3/2013 at 17:10 (1,876 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
Your right squeenjj

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Getting a DD in good condition is also a good way to go.

Post# 677135 , Reply# 16   5/3/2013 at 23:38 (1,876 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

I had a 1996 direct drive KA TL washer and although It gave me trouble with some of the parts performance the wash action and turnover was much better than any of these washers shown in the videos.

Not only that but that first video where the woman is showing the load sizes...really? I can fit more into my 6K front loader than what was shown in the heavy duty load in the video and it comes out spotless.

Post# 677141 , Reply# 17   5/4/2013 at 00:21 (1,876 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Besides shredding my clothes-the other reason I got rid of my new at the time KN DD was the plastic tub was broken by the inner one slamming into it from out of balance spin-I thought I didn't have to worry about that-but Sears did fix the machine at no cost too me-the Sears tech replaced both drums.At the swap shop here in their graveyard saw several DD machines with bad outer drums with fine cracks in them causing them to leak.I think the metal outer drums are still best as what SQ puts in their new machines.Don't know why the outer tanks on those machines had fine cracks?Stress in the plastic from hot-cold water?

Post# 677147 , Reply# 18   5/4/2013 at 02:09 (1,876 days old) by washer111 ()        
BD Whirlpools

I'm not sure if the models here in Aus are anything to go by, but the timer based ones I saw some time back (and even digital ones now) that are Energy Star models (They have the logo printed on them) seem fairly robust on the front, but are pretty crappy inside.


From the reviews I've seen online for these, transmission failures, timer failures, linting issues and "assorted other" failures. Personally, I've seen one in action: Very slow spin speeds (Very wet clothes at the end of the cycle), agitation sounds like a steam train (Chugga Chugga Chugga with lots of splashing, hissing and wooshing sounds). From this, I can say: AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE!


If you are in the market for a new machine, get a Speed-Queen TL/FL machine, either will work fine for most people.

Failing that, repair your old Whirlpool. These machines were built for Sears and numerous other appliance manufacturers for a number of years: From the 70s right through to the last few years to quite recently, as far as I'm aware. With so many machines in service, it is unlikely that parts will become NLA for quite some time. Even so, members on here that repair machines/scrap them for a living may be able to cannibalise some machines for yours. And if you are really lucky, parts from newer machines could probably be fitted. You could retrofit newer parts or get others restored as needed. 


However, if you are "bent" on getting a machine when your current one dies, ensure you sell it to someone who might fix it, and get yourself a vintage machine or SpeedQueen, as recommended above. This will ensure you have properly clean clothes for quite some time.

Post# 677153 , Reply# 19   5/4/2013 at 05:37 (1,876 days old) by qualin (Canada)        

One of the reasons why I really don't like plastic tubs is that (At least IMO) they can retain smells from the previous loads. Not really an issue with porcelain covered steel tubs.

I would sooner buy a washer where the tub rusts out first before everything else breaks. That's what happened with my parents '63 Filter-Flo. Shame too, because I didn't really understand that the tubs could be replaced at the time.

I think it's kind of sad that there really is only one manufacturer left who uses steel outer tubs in their washers, but that's best left for another thread.

I wish I knew why they went with a plastic pulley when the one on the motor is metal. I mean, really, would it have cost them that much more to use metal?

Post# 677156 , Reply# 20   5/4/2013 at 06:19 (1,876 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I have seen on here where some members have repaired minor metal tub corrosion-don't think you can "fix" the plastic tanks when they spring a leak.Like as in vacuum cleaners-I want to see more METAL in washers and other machines.TOO MUCH PLASTIC means a sooner trip to the dump.Don't worry I plan to keep what WP older BD machines I have.One needs a two speed motor-the battleship grey one died-rest of machine OK,a fill valve unit for another.Then both will slosh happily away again.And probably years longer than that crappy new "BD" machine.Also what is with that what appears to be indexing tub in the new BD machine?never seen this sort of thing in a WP machine before.

Post# 677162 , Reply# 21   5/4/2013 at 07:45 (1,876 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Plastic Tubs

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Well, I relate the outer plastic tub issue with what happens to a plastic food storage container when you store a tomato based sauce in one.  A greasy film is left behind the will not 'rinse' off without some level of mechanical action.  No wonder the FL machines with plastic tubs begin to stink after a while.  And machines have a 'tub clean' cycle to violently attempt to shed that gunk from the plastic tub.



Post# 677175 , Reply# 22   5/4/2013 at 09:32 (1,876 days old) by thefixer (USA)        

"Also what is with that what appears to be indexing tub in the new BD machine?"

There is no tub brake or tub locking mechanism in these washers, thus the lid lock. The transmission is a planetary gear design. If you hold the agitator, the tub will agitate in it's place.


Post# 677180 , Reply# 23   5/4/2013 at 10:04 (1,876 days old) by DirectDriveDave ()        
Motor Pulley

From what I have heard and actually seen in one of RepairClinic's youtube videos, that pulley is now plastic too.

However, I cannot confirm that it is so for all their models.

Post# 677348 , Reply# 24   5/5/2013 at 01:37 (1,875 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

I will leave it to you mechanical folks as far as the drive system. The most distressing thing about this whole situation is the water levels and the above videos show the "wash" water level. The rinse is approx 1/2 of what you see in the video's. My Admiral is DD with 2013 water and energy guidelines. There is NOT Enough water to rinse to my satisfaction. When i hear the first spin underway I simply turn the actual timer dial around to 6 minute wash and let it run completely through again. Not perfect but I can live with it. alr2903

Post# 677517 , Reply# 25   5/5/2013 at 19:27 (1,874 days old) by cphifer5115 (Jackson, TN)        

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Guys, im going to keep my old 1981 whirlpool belt drive. I tightened up the belt uesturday and its rinning great now.

Post# 677818 , Reply# 26   5/7/2013 at 02:31 (1,873 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

New WP BD-If there is no brakes or tub locks-they have lost this customer.Looked at some of these at Lowes-NOT impressed!STICK WITH VINTAGE!

Post# 678000 , Reply# 27   5/7/2013 at 17:59 (1,872 days old) by squeenjj (Huntsville, Alabama)        

This machine is pure junk. You can take one look at them from the bottom and figure that out. I've never seen so much plastic and flimsy parts. I think they are trying to force you to buy a more expensive machine. I'll repair my KA DD when it needs it.

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