Thread Number: 5396
Suds Saver?
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Post# 115267   3/14/2006 at 20:23 (4,455 days old) by timborow (Georgia)        

I have noticed in a lot of threads that a Suds Saver feature has been mentioned. I have never seen one of these. What is it? How did it work? Are they available today? Tim

Post# 115271 , Reply# 1   3/14/2006 at 20:44 (4,455 days old) by cehalstead (Charleston, WV)        
suds saver

A suds saver was a washer that pumped the wash water into a holding tank, usually a laundry tub, instead of down the drain. The rinse water went down the drain. For the next load, the "used" wash water was pumped back into the machine for the next load. The "used" wash water could be used until it was deemed too dirty to use again. These machines had two sets of hoses for draining water. Re-using the water was an option, not a requirement. IMHO....women (most people who did laundry then were women...not trying to be sexist) who were used to a wringer machine used these very happily as well as people who lived in areas with limited water or very high rates. I know Maytag made one as recently as 1996, and may still make one, but am not sure. I don't think any other brands offered them much past the 70's...(might be wrong here..someone correct me if I am).

Post# 115274 , Reply# 2   3/14/2006 at 20:48 (4,455 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
A suds saver washer, usually a top loader, will have a couple of extra buttons and an extra timer option. The following is based on the Maytag A606S, which was produced in the 60's. One button will be "Save Suds", the other will be "Drain Suds". The timer option is "Return Suds". The machine will also have two drain hoses. One is the regular drain hose, the other the suds saver hose.

When "Save Suds" is pushed, at the end of the wash portion of the cycle, the machine will divert the drained soapy water into the suds saver hose. If this is placed in a large stoppered sink or basin (20 gallon or more capacity), then the soapy water will be "saved" there for future use. The rest of the cycle will proceed normally, with rinse drains going out through the regular drain hose.

At the start of the next wash cycle, if the timer is placed on the "Return Suds" area, the washer will suck the sudsy water out of the basin instead of adding new water (although more new water may be added to make up any difference). If the "Save Suds" button is still depressed, these saved suds will be saved again for yet another re-use. If the "Drain Suds" button is pushed, then the suds will drain normally, as will the wash water for all subsequent loads.

In times when hot water and soap or detergent were much more expensive than they are today, the Suds Saver option was an economical way to conserve resources.

I think I've heard that Maytag may still offer on special order a Suds Saver washer version of one of their regular washers, but you'd have to check with your appliance dealer, or call Maytag.

There's a thread I started about the A606S or A606 that has some photos of the dual hoses, the valve that switches draining between them, and the result of Suds Return.

Post# 115280 , Reply# 3   3/14/2006 at 21:20 (4,455 days old) by fixerman ()        

I had a Whirlpool DD with white control panel, Must have been from the 90's. Googled "Whirlpool washer" and "Suds saver" and did not come up with any new models with suds saver.

Post# 115288 , Reply# 4   3/14/2006 at 21:59 (4,455 days old) by scott55405 ()        

Yes Fixerman, a member here who works for Whirlpool had told me at one point that it was offered into the mid 90s I believe it was. You must have had to know you wanted it and specially ask for it in later years, because I never noticed it mentioned or being touted by anyone in the stores, which led me to my original belief that they were discontinued when they went from belt to direct drive.

Maytag offered one into at least the late 90s, not sure about now.

Post# 115290 , Reply# 5   3/14/2006 at 22:07 (4,455 days old) by super32 (Blackstone Massachusetts)        

super32's profile picture
Maytag discontinued their sud saver back in 01' or 02'. I believe they were the last to make one. The most recent kenmore i've seen with a sud saver was a 95' model year.

Post# 115292 , Reply# 6   3/14/2006 at 22:13 (4,455 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        
Suds Save

Hi Guys,

The Whirlpool DD machines had SS in Australia up until last year. It only stopped when the last of the white control paneled machines were phased out. None of the plantium controlled machines offer the function.

Our domestic Westinghouse and Simpson machines still offer it on some models, however its called Water Recycle and the system works differently to the automatic way of the earlier models. You now usually only have 1 hose.

With the new ones, the process is as follows:

Put the hose in the trough and put in the plug.
Load clothes, soap.
Set the option dial to Suds Save
Start the washer.

At the end of the wash the machine will pause until you reset the option dial to Normal.

Then you watch the machine empty, and once complete and it starts spinning, you then transfer the drain hose to the standpipe and let the machine complete as normal.

To return the water to the machine you do as follows:
Shift the drain hose from the standpipe, back into the trough.
Set the dial to suds return.
The machine then fills with about 2" of water, then pumps the water out.

Once the machine has drained, it switches off, and the water then syphons back into the machine.

Once the trough is empty, you can then put more clothes and soap in, and reset the dial.

Its a user involved process, however they eliminated all of the moving parts that were necessary to do Automatic Suds save, and thus cheapened and actually made the machine less fault prone. (The suds divertor valves on the AU machines were prone to leaking after a few years.)

Post# 115300 , Reply# 7   3/14/2006 at 22:51 (4,455 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Well, my '67 A606S seems to work just fine - the valve is controlled by a powerful solenoid, and you can hear it slam (with a little ringing at that) as it changes from one drain pipe to the other.

But I could see that it might be a source of both electrical and hydro-selaing issues. I just happen to think that Maytag did it right.

Post# 115316 , Reply# 8   3/15/2006 at 00:49 (4,454 days old) by fixerman ()        

I used to replace alot of suds valves on Mayatags. Probably the weak link in a suds machines.

Post# 115318 , Reply# 9   3/15/2006 at 00:56 (4,454 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Live and learn, LOL.

Luckily it's not my only washer!

Post# 115323 , Reply# 10   3/15/2006 at 02:12 (4,454 days old) by spinout ()        

How about that suds valve on the early GE's! I remember that Granny had the diaphragm replaced several times on her machine because of FOD (foreign object damage).

Post# 115336 , Reply# 11   3/15/2006 at 06:15 (4,454 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture
Yes, Maytag discontinued making suds-savers in the mid to late 90's. When my wife and I were married in '98 the local Maytag dealer had to special order our set. This was our wedding gift from my parents. I remember the sound of the suds-saver engaging on my Mom's "67 & '84 Filter-Flo's. Our Maytag makes the same sound, reminds me of simpler times.

Post# 115338 , Reply# 12   3/15/2006 at 06:20 (4,454 days old) by tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
WP DD Suds saver attachment

For a while, there was no suds saver for the DD machines. Then WP offered this very plastic valve thing that stood in a corner of the laundry tub. Since the machine had only one hose, this external valve had a float and when the set tub was full of water, the rest, including rinse water, was diverted down the standpipe. In Theory, it was an interesting, inexpensive and Very low-tech way to accomplish this task. However, being that its operation depended on moving parts that were subjected to detergent, dirt & lint laden water and, like the suds valves of old were not flushed by the rinse water, crud built up and, in this case, dried on the valve sitting in the sink and caused its marginally dependable action to be further impeded. Even John, Mr. SudSaver of all time, had to admit that it was not a replacement for what KM had offered with the BD machines. One of his brothers has had better performance with his.

A far better way to save suds & time while eliminating the cooling while the cycle runs on to completion is to pump the wash water into one of your other washers and start the second load immediately.

Post# 115345 , Reply# 13   3/15/2006 at 07:13 (4,454 days old) by magic clean ()        
Maytag flood

My moms Maytag had a suds-saver. After several years of use, one day the machine flooded the laudry room and adjacent family room. We later learned that there is a spring the assists the movement of the diverter valve from the save suds to drain position. The spring rusted and fell off due to a small valve leak. Subsequently, the washer saved the full amount of hot wash water & continued through the cycle, filled for the rinse and when the rinse agitation began it sucked the wash water back into the machine causing a major spillover!

Post# 115349 , Reply# 14   3/15/2006 at 07:44 (4,454 days old) by harvestgold ()        
Maytag suds saver

About a month ago I bought a Avocado Green Maytag Model 606S with a suds saver option i could never figure out how it worked or din`t work !! so i took off the front cover and found that the solenoid valve was missing and the wires were taped up, along with the drain hoses re-routed i was real disappointed !! But i guess it was a probmatic system from what you guys are saying, are those valves still available i would love to put this machine back to it`s original state and have this option working

Post# 115350 , Reply# 15   3/15/2006 at 07:44 (4,454 days old) by filterflo ()        

This is the unit that Tom is describing. Never have tried it out but have been told it did work very well. I saved it as a conversation piece since its so peculiar looking and operating. I was just about ready to put it on ebay with some of the rest of my in the way stuff, if anyone has any interest in this let me know! BTW, Im a big fan of suds-savers to having grown up with my Mom's 1956 GE Wa755n. She used the suds-saver quite often.

Post# 115351 , Reply# 16   3/15/2006 at 07:45 (4,454 days old) by filterflo ()        

another view

Post# 115352 , Reply# 17   3/15/2006 at 07:46 (4,454 days old) by filterflo ()        

complete assembly

Post# 115353 , Reply# 18   3/15/2006 at 07:46 (4,454 days old) by filterflo ()        

back view, with mounting hook.

Post# 115399 , Reply# 19   3/15/2006 at 12:17 (4,454 days old) by cycla-fabric (New Jersey)        
Whirlpool Suds Saver

Hey there Jimmy, I would like to have that unit if you want to dispose of it. I think it would work with my Whirlpool washer. I will Email you

Cycla Fabric

Post# 115409 , Reply# 20   3/15/2006 at 13:58 (4,454 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        
Is there an electro Mechanical DD Divertor Valve

Hi Guys,

The suds save DD Whirlpools over here have had two hoses since the were released in 1991. Was this manual valve only available early on, or are you saying that Whirlpool US never had an Electro mechanical divertor valve?


Post# 115414 , Reply# 21   3/15/2006 at 14:27 (4,454 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
"A far better way to save suds & time while eliminating the cooling while the cycle runs on to completion is to pump the wash water into one of your other washers and start the second load immediately."

Good idea.

I wonder if anyone has ever tried insulating a wash tub to conserve the wash water's heat?

Post# 115422 , Reply# 22   3/15/2006 at 15:19 (4,454 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture
That WP Suds-Miser looks like it is a PITA to use. For me, it's easier to just flip a switch.

Post# 115439 , Reply# 23   3/15/2006 at 18:22 (4,454 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Insulated wash tub.

neptunebob's profile picture
I wonder if anyone has ever tried insulating a wash tub to conserve the wash water's heat?

I do remember a wash tub in a cabinet sold at Sears that did have some insulation and was used for suds saver washers.

I do remember when I was a little kid, my mother would hold me over the washing machine (Kenmore) and I liked to see the wash water bubble up thru the tub holes. Nep

P.S. Then later in my childhood I was in trouble because I wanted to look at washing machines and dryers than play (boring) baseball!

Post# 115441 , Reply# 24   3/15/2006 at 18:55 (4,454 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Moms old frog eye Kenmore had the sudsaver feature and when you look thru old catalogues you'll see the feature listed usually for an additional $10-20 over the standard model. The return hose should be mounted a few inches above the bottom of the laundry tub so as not to suck up any of the really dirty water and sediment that settles from the prior wash.

Post# 115442 , Reply# 25   3/15/2006 at 19:03 (4,454 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

mickeyd's profile picture
As a boy I had extreme sudssaver lust, and sudssaver envy because my Mom had
Twin tower Frigidaires. No suds saver

I thought ss's were the coolest things in the whole wide world.

Lucky for me, the guy across the street had a wife who thought she was a movie star, always "indisposed" or pampering herself, so every Thursday night, right after supper,Tom did the wash with me right by his side.

Like Neptune, I couldn't get enough of the water squirting up through the holes'
OR the agitator working without any water in the tub, OR all the splashing as the water level rose. It WAS JUST FABULOUS,

The huge bang of the valve, the cool rinse water hose that was like a huge rubber faucet., mna-o-man I was in heaven.

God i wish you could experience a suds return. Wow, did Whirlpool/Kenmore have suds-saving down to a science! In my neighborhood, almost everyone had one.

Maybe this summer, I'll have everybody over to see my 95 TOL WP with a secret suds return during the last 3 minute click of the wash cycle. If you get the dial just right, you can get a HIGH SPEED suds return that will blow your minds into the next galaxy. I swear to God--and I love you all.

Post# 115444 , Reply# 26   3/15/2006 at 19:11 (4,454 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

mickeyd's profile picture
I forgot the gush and the spray as the wash water flew out of the bottom of the long hose, flush with the bottom of the sink, coming out in quadrants because of the lint catcher. It was a major event in the saga, and it was mesmerizing.

I think I'm done now. hahahahahha. Bye

Post# 115562 , Reply# 27   3/16/2006 at 11:21 (4,453 days old) by tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The gray suds hose was cut at an angle with only a small part of the back of the hose almost touching the base of the tub. Most of the opening facing the tub was cut higher up to leave behind that last 3/4 inch of water with the soil that settled out. I remember when the suds was being returned how the water level in the tub kept dropping and then just before it reached the bottom, the suction would break and some of the water would fall back and there would be like a ripple across the bottom of the tub. Then mom would pull the plug to let that water drain out and move the timer from SUDS to the Wash portion of the cycle, sometimes topping it up with some hot water in the "FILL" portion of the wash time before doing the next load. Back then our water heater was set for really hot water and the rinses were mostly warm, so with the piece of wood that covered the tub, the water stayed pretty hot.

Post# 115773 , Reply# 28   3/16/2006 at 23:04 (4,453 days old) by jerry ()        

My 1982 LADY KENMORE like the one in thread 5413 had a sudssaver .It had a optional setting that could save the rinse water instead of the wash water . It worked fine as long as you used a warm rinse and no liquid softner in the load .

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