Thread Number: 68561  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Question For UK Members - American Style Top Loader Availability in The UK
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Post# 913131   12/30/2016 at 10:08 (265 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Hi all,
I hope you've had a great Christmas so far!

I wondered if any of you could help - my partner and I have a couple of Airbnb places here in Bristol, which we obviously have to go in and clean after one set of visitors leaves, in readiness for the next set.

Currently using my Siemens IQ500, which whilst is excellent at washing all the sheets and towels generated, it is just a little too slow - even with Speed Perfect selected it'll take around 1:10 to do a 60*c cycle, and I find the final spin is too short - hence time lost in the dryer. As it'll be full, the normal 60*c cycle will take the full 3:25 - time we don't have 😔

My gut feel is that I need an American Top Loader, because of their incredibly quick cycle times and fairly large capacity - this will compliment the Siemens machine. That is going nowhere!

Are any of you able to recommend a store here in the U.K, that still sells these? Looking through the Internet it just seems to be the Whirlpool brand with the crappy base impeller rather than the whole length agitator available here. I'd like one that still uses proper hot water, and lots of it! And the proper agitator.

Any thoughts? I'd really appreciate any guidance you could give - I'd also be happy with a 2nd hand one to be honest - although on searching eBay there isn't much around at the moment. Maybe you guys have some contacts?

Thanks very much and enjoy the rest of the holidays,

Chris





Post# 913136 , Reply# 1   12/30/2016 at 10:52 (265 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

If you really have that much laundry, a used Miele Professional might be the better bet. Or ELux, though they seem more prone to failure.

They run a full 60C cycle in just under an hour, even shorter when hooked up to hot water. Further, they have a far far better extraction rate then any TL washer would have. I mean, if a 60 or 120 second 1400rpm extraction is not enough for you, 800rpm sure wont do the trick.

Maybe a dryer switch would be a good idea. A nice big industrial one that could handle 2 loads (Siemens + other machine) at once. And given that any UK house I visited had a gas supply, a gas dryer could save a lot time and cost.


If you want the non plus ultra and would be willimg to invest, a Miele OctoPlus set would be the perfect solution. 8 or 10kg capacity, a gas dryer, and a full load washed in 49 minutes, dried just as quick.
Or, a little cheaper, ELux released these MyProfessional machined a little while ago. I think they retail for 1500€ new here in Germany, and their 60C cycle on a hot connection is something like an hour as well.


Post# 913153 , Reply# 2   12/30/2016 at 12:50 (265 days old) by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Hi Chris,

I second that, if you're trying to dry a load from a US Tl in a European dryer they dry times will go through the roof. If you can, get a large capacity F&P Tl with the agitator, that spins at 1000 rpm. Just be aware that you'll need 100l hot water per fill and if your hot water pressure is low, be prepared for a hot fill time of up to 10 minutes before the cycle starts.

Anything slower than that and if you're using a condenser dryer be prepared for dry times to take 2-3 hours and you to potentially need to empty the container once during the cycle. Ask me how I know :)

The other option is a standard Miele and program it to AU mode. A short cottons 60 cycle takes 56 minutes or 1.06 with extra rinse on. A 50deg cottons cycle on short is only 40 mins

Cheers

Nathan


Post# 913167 , Reply# 3   12/30/2016 at 15:16 (265 days old) by Hoovermad (England)        

Just to chuck my thoughts into the mix. . . .

I had a Whirlpool American T/L that seemed like a good idea last year with such a large family. It is a completely different way of washing than what we are used to. If you bung in something with a stain and set it to hot chances are it won't come clean without pretreatment of some kind. The wear on the clothes was also noticeable. Fill times (especially hot fill with lower pressure) was v e r y long. Second rinse for us was also a nessecity. Spin performance wasn't brilliant hence longer drying times. I thought it would save time but it turned out to be more labour intensive and slower.

I kept the matching Whirlpool American dryer as I can fit nearly two loads out of a standard Hoover f/l. It is a brilliant dryer for most things apart from sheets which it balls up. (No pun intended 😀). I am looking for another standard UK dryer to sit alongside side with reverse tumble just for the sheets.

I'm sorry if this ruffles any feathers from our friends across the water, just speaking as I experienced.

Hope this helps.


Post# 913177 , Reply# 4   12/30/2016 at 15:40 (265 days old) by Intuitive (Sydney-Australia)        
Look for an Fisher & Paykel Top loaders

Look round to see if any Expat Aussie or New Zealanders are selling their toppers.... they are on same voltage as UK. But as everone says they need a large hot water tank or an instantaneous water heater (power shower heater?) to supply the needed hot water.
We had a 7.5kg top loader on a 200L gravity fed hws and it took up to 15 mins to fill on a hot wash!




Post# 913187 , Reply# 5   12/30/2016 at 17:08 (265 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

Just found this. Maybe it helps. Pretty cheap for what it is.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Miele-Professi...


Post# 913218 , Reply# 6   12/30/2016 at 21:37 (265 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Guys,
Thanks so much so far!

In terms of water pressure and supply, that isn't a problem as it'll be connected to a combo boiler which as you know makes hot water on demand - the washer will be next to it.

Hadn't thought on the drying aspect, but now I do I can't have an American dryer as the machines are in a basement with nowhere to vent to - currently use a Siemens condenser dryer, on the rapid cycle, which takes about an hour (after a 1600rpm final spin!)

I've started to "watch" that Miele Professional machine! Maybe that is a better option - I thought the rapid cycles on a top Loader may have been a good solution. 😊

Thanks again all,

,chris


Post# 913233 , Reply# 7   12/30/2016 at 23:25 (265 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Hello Luv!

launderess's profile picture
An Americans advice if you can stand to it; top loading automatic washing machine may or may not solve your problems regarding bed linen.

Have owned used all and sundry; top loading automatic with central beater, Hoovermatic, 5kg capacity European front loader (Malber, Miele, AEG OKO-Lavamat), Maytag wringer washer and finally tubs, mangle and a posser, and am here to tell you each have benefits but also negatives.

The five basic rules of good laundry (wash contact time, water temperature, chemical action, mechanical action, and water level/amount) are constant. Where one is decreased the others must be raised to compensate, and vice versa.


Because top loading washers with central beaters use more water and stronger mechanical action they do hold out the prospect of faster cycle times; but at the cost of injuring items after repeated washing. Also because the chemicals are diluted with so much water stain removal isn't often what it could be. Traditionally Americans have gotten around these various shortcomings by using large amounts of chlorine bleach.


Yes, top loading automatic washing machines *are* faster. But this can come at the costs of increased energy/resource use and if not careful wear upon your linens.

Capacity of such machines is deceptive; one would think they hold more than a 5kg rated front loader, but this not universally true. Often just two large sheets and a few pillow slips is all that can be managed. What you want is for things to turn over in the wash, not merely get thrashed about by the beater.

Common to many top loading washers with central beaters is the occurrence of air bubbles when doing linens. Things just then bunch up and won't get drawn down into the wash.

Doing wash in an American top loader is going back to how your gran or great-gran did the laundry. Stains must be treated and or things pre-washed/soaked before going into a hot or even too warm wash. Otherwise the heat of water will "cook" in certain stains binding them to fabric, this will make them that much more difficult to shift.

It is worth nothing even here in the States commercial laundries most always went with H-axis (front or side loading) washing machines, this going right down through the years. Laundromats were probably the only places that used top loaders and today even they have mostly gone over to front loaders.

What you want is either a fully or quasi commercial washing machine with a bit larger capacity than a domestic, and faster no nonsense cycles. If you want something "American" I'd look for a Maytag *Neptune* or perhaps another fully or quasi commercial front loader. Maybe something used from a laundryette supplier...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Primus-FS10-Co...

Here launderette washers complete a full "normal" cycle in about 30 minutes. Cycles generally are: short pre-wash, main wash, two, three or four rinses and then final spin. No heating of water so you need a good and powerful supply of hot from the taps.



Post# 913262 , Reply# 8   12/31/2016 at 05:14 (264 days old) by Paulinroyton (B)        
American Top Loader

www.armstrong-laundry.co....

Post# 913265 , Reply# 9   12/31/2016 at 06:09 (264 days old) by qualin (Canada)        

While there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that top loaders have the fastest cycle times when it comes to doing a load, I've personally found that the overall cost of operation just simply isn't worth it. More water, more detergent and eventually more frequent replacement of garments and bedding.

While I can't say I have as much experience as Launderess, I personally can attest to having my sheets ripped with small "L" shaped tears and my comforter slips torn at the slit because they weren't buttoned up. Yes, I admit that this was probably user error and the wash speed was too high for the fabric. These are elementary mistakes someone who isn't familiar with a top loader can make.

One big problem I really disliked is how my sheets would just bubble up and then move back and forth during the wash cycle, with portions of the sheets not getting cleaned. I felt the only way to get them clean was to use to occasionally use a wooden dowel and "punch down" the bubbles so the sheet would get cleaned properly.

If you want to do a lot of laundry at once and speed up the time it takes to do it, I'd just recommend getting a fairly large front loading machine. In saying that, I can recommend Huebsch machines for this purpose. I'm sure they sell them in the UK.


Post# 913266 , Reply# 10   12/31/2016 at 06:24 (264 days old) by Paulc (Edinburgh, Scotland)        
Chris

paulc's profile picture
This catering supplies company has some USA style top loaders, a couple of them HE, they also do professional front loaders

www.catering-appliance.com/washin...



Post# 913268 , Reply# 11   12/31/2016 at 07:01 (264 days old) by Paulinroyton (B)        
Electrolux Washer

Here is a photo of my Electrolux washer. Very fast wash times, just love it.

Post# 913270 , Reply# 12   12/31/2016 at 07:07 (264 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Laundry

chestermikeuk's profile picture
Hi Chris, great to hear the Siemens IQ is still pride of place, sounds like a good idea to review laundry practices, depending on just how much you are doing etc, is it 2 / 3 bed & bathroom sets per place or just 1 from each ? personally I think you have the best set up in terms of wash result with a profile wash front loader, the speed comes from the extraction rate, drying said item and the finishing i.e. do you need to iron the bedding etc..

I used to need to process 6 bedrooms sets (duvet cover, bed sheets, valance, 4 pillows) and 3 bathrooms (12 bath sheets , hand towels, bath/shower mats) and the best set I had was the MaytagAsko`s, had a mix of lightweight and damask bedware, tried a hotpoint top loader but stuff floated around and capacity wasnt great, I found by folding stuff and using a separate spinner I could cut down on drying times, I also used timed drying so say after 20 mins I could pull the bed covers out the dryer and hang them over large rail and they finished without creasing.

It may be an idea to buy more spare bedware and towels to avoid the stress of a quick turnaround and perhaps look at a local setup that could wash n dry for you, its all about the cost overheads, time and how much you want to be involved - although I guess on that score you just ordered the Little Giants ha ha.

Let us know what you do and how it works out for you !!




This post was last edited 12/31/2016 at 09:00
Post# 913274 , Reply# 13   12/31/2016 at 07:46 (264 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
From same sited linked above

launderess's profile picture
I'd go with the Speed Queen front loader over the Huebsch YWN TL washer


www.armstrong-laundry.co....


Post# 913430 , Reply# 14   1/1/2017 at 05:43 (263 days old) by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
And another advice... lol

This Swiss frontloader has short cycles and high extraction. Schulthess is a commercial brand from Switzerland.

www.armstrong-laundry.co....


Post# 914109 , Reply# 15   1/5/2017 at 13:15 (259 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        
Thanks all..

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Happy New Year everyone!

Thanks for your replies- sorry for the delay in my reply, I have been travelling back to the UK from Thailand!

I'm going to go with a Top Loader for now (don't all go mad!) to supplement my current FL set up, and see how I get on - if it proves to be more trouble than its worth, then I'll get a Miele Little Giant Pair (I blame chestermike for that suggestion!!)

I've found a Whirlpool TL on Gum Tree - a few years old, never used, still in its box - so I'm going to get that, and take it from there.

Once its set up I'll update you all with some pictures!

Looking forward to talking to you all soon

Chris




Post# 914437 , Reply# 16   1/7/2017 at 12:51 (257 days old) by Paulinroyton (B)        
Speed Queen

www.ceonline.co.uk/commer...

Nice speed queen

Paul


Post# 914486 , Reply# 17   1/7/2017 at 19:12 (257 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I do rather wish

panthera's profile picture

UK members would stop being so exclusive. It's something the South Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Italians, Dutch, Germans, Czech and Scandinavian members don't do.

That said - there are a lot of US Military bases throughout Europe which use Speed Queen top loaders. You're probably going to find parts for that brand a bit more easily than for any other American brand.

Now, having grown up in Germany and spent a good part of my youth with relations in Scotland and Ireland: American top loaders pump an enormous amount of water out of their gigantic tubs all at once. You might want to consider a laundry-sink to catch the truly massive quantity of water.


Post# 914543 , Reply# 18   1/8/2017 at 02:57 (256 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
As for the dryer..

neptunebob's profile picture
Most American dryers are in basements and are vented. Get a masonry bit, a cold chisel, and start chipping away at an outside wall, a vented dryer is much faster too.

Post# 914552 , Reply# 19   1/8/2017 at 06:21 (256 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

Yeah, true, most american dryers are in basements.

But how about big citys? New York, etc. Bigger, newer, appartment style buildings usually don't have laundry at all or in-house laundry is verry limited. And those who live there usually have the money to spend on a combo and the clothing habbits usually can verry well integrate a combo. (One load a day, started in the morning, come home to already washed and dried laundry).

Just because it dosen't suit you or most, that dosen't mean there isn't a market for that.


Post# 914560 , Reply# 20   1/8/2017 at 07:18 (256 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Here in NYC

launderess's profile picture
Purchasers and or renters are demanding washing machines and dryers; I mean wouldn't you for the kind of money they are paying (rents > 3.5k USD and buying > 2.1 million USD?).

However from pre-war to new construction problems arise placing washer/dryer connections on outer facing walls. Solution? Ja is the condenser dryer!

Our AEG repair/dealer for North American tells us they have sold and installed a good number of Lavamat washers and condenser Lavatherm dryers. Bosch, and Miele are also well represented. In fact IIRC neither of the last two sell vented dryers in North America any longer.

Know a few who have condenser dryers here and they hate the things with a passion. None have had such a machine before and are totally used to vented dryers that heat with gas.

Main problem here in NYC is we are a temperate and humid climate. It really only is cold enough outdoors to use a condenser dryer from (in theory) October or November through maybe April or parts of May. In practice our winters have been warm to the point of it being around 50F to 55F or even near 60F well into December. Being near water of course things are humid outside regardless. As for the summer/warmer times of year, forget it; a condenser dryer just won't work here; well it will if you turn on the air conditioning "low" enough to keep the place chilly.

Have yet to use the Lavatherm dryer this year because it just hasn't been cold outside long enough. Maybe Sunday night into Monday, but things are supposed to warm up again on Tuesday.


Post# 915164 , Reply# 21   1/11/2017 at 16:51 (253 days old) by liberator1509 (Ireland)        
Get a Fisher Paykel Aquasmart!

Hi Chris

I would look out for a F&P aquasmart - the come up every now and again, and as it happens there is one on EBAY right now. I bought one from an Aussie returner before I left the UK and still have it here in Ireland. It is a fantastic machine, as long as you have a decent hot water supply. The standard cycle takes 50 mins or so, and you can use high or low water (it washes really well in both modes) and the spin is excellent, without any balancing time-wasting nonsense (1000rpm, but clothes, especially towels are drier than they are from our H-axis Zanussi top-loader). Drying time for 8kg of towels in our Aqualtis dryer is actually quicker from the F&P. Downsides - hard to think of any (soak duration is fixed, rinse only cycle is fixed, no matching dryer over here).

I'd recommend F&P to anyone, and only wish they would import the new Cleansmart 10kg model to Europe (if Whirlpool/Maytag can sell the basic cabrio model as a semi-commercial, can't see why F&P couldn't either).

Hope this is of help!

David


CLICK HERE TO GO TO liberator1509's LINK on eBay


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Post# 915184 , Reply# 22   1/11/2017 at 17:40 (253 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Before the late

1960's, true that many American laundry rooms were in basements, but since, most homes have main floor laundries, and some even upstairs where the bed rooms are,
with the exception of warmer climate states, where they are even outside the dwelling.


Post# 915802 , Reply# 23   1/15/2017 at 15:09 (249 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        
Update!!

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Hi all,
Thanks again for your advice, really appreciate it.

Quick update from me - I got a Whirlpool American Top Loader delivered on Friday evening. The machine was brand new, the guy having bought it a few years back but never used it. Was even in its original box. Found it on Gum Tree and paid £400 for it (about $480 for those of you over the pond!)

I've done several washes in it this weekend, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed so far!

Things I like;
- cycle times are incredibly quick
- capacity of the machine
- ability to have a warm rinse
- the amount of water it uses (!) - I'm not on a meter thank god
- the ease of over riding the lid switch to make it work with the lid open 😊😊
- much quieter and stable than I thought it would be
- hot wash is hot - its right next to my combi boiler, so plenty of it too!

Things I don't like/need to get used to;
- no extra rinse function, so I'll have to see how I get on really
- the final "high" spin could be a little better, it's fine but could be a little better (guess I'm used to the 1400rpm Siemens and the 1600rpm maytag!)
- The additional detergents needed to keep towels white (e.g vanish oxi action)
- had to upgrade the drain system to cope with the water flow when it's pumping out
- used the hand wash cycle and it's a complete waste of time!

So, so far, so good! Here are a few photos of it too.

Chris


Post# 915803 , Reply# 24   1/15/2017 at 15:10 (249 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Controls

Post# 915804 , Reply# 25   1/15/2017 at 15:10 (249 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Controls

Post# 915805 , Reply# 26   1/15/2017 at 15:12 (249 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Inside - just before I started it

Post# 915806 , Reply# 27   1/15/2017 at 15:15 (249 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

chrisbsuk's profile picture
The laundry area set up - sorry it's a bit of a mess at the moment!!


Post# 915807 , Reply# 28   1/15/2017 at 15:18 (249 days old) by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

chrisbsuk's profile picture
Ps - one other thing I don't like is the fabric softener dispenser - I think it may stain fabrics the way it dispenses. I can either dilute the softener or run an extra rinse after the cycle has done and add the softener when the machine is full of water!

I'll see how I get on over the next few months and will sell it on if it doesn't work out.

Thanks all again!

Chris


Post# 915810 , Reply# 29   1/15/2017 at 16:07 (249 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Hey Chris,

Congrats, its amazing it was still new in Box. That style of DD Whirlpool was on sale here back in the early 2000's He's hung onto that for a very long time. Mum had that style of machine with the extra rinse option that she bought new in 2001.

If you're using oxygen bleach and hot water that'll help. Just make sure you soak anything stained in the Oxygen bleach before you wash, or use a spray pre-treater before you load.

They work just as well as a front loader, you just need to handle stains properly first.

Cheers

Nathan


Post# 915832 , Reply# 30   1/15/2017 at 19:23 (249 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
"Made in USA"

Interesting that whirlpool says "Made in USA" right on the control panel-haven't noticed that on domestic market American whirlpools,though my Asko condenser dryer says "Made in Sweden" right on the front panel :)

Post# 915841 , Reply# 31   1/15/2017 at 19:57 (249 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
A few points/suggestions.

launderess's profile picture
Welcome to our world!

*LOL*

As for keeping whites that way, you now understand why Americans are so wedded to using chlorine bleach. It just works better in the fast cycles and high dilution (lots of water) that comes with top loading washers.

Another suggestion would be to try and find some American Tide with Bleach powder. That stuff was developed for American top loading automatics and generally gives brilliant stain and soil removing results. In fact many of the powdered detergents sold by P&G and others past and present work well in top loaders. Especially the vintage stuff loaded with phosphates.

Fabric softener liquid; again now you understand why dryer sheets are so popular here in the States. No bothering with having to catch the rinse (the bain of American housewives for ages...), just bung the lot into dryer with a FS sheet.

You will save quite a bit on energy costs (dryer) and perhaps get better overall washing results by investing in a spin dryer, and or bunging loads into a front loader with high final spin speed.

America being a land of abundant natural resources (and or willing to import) that often are billed cheap use of a dryer didn't and or doesn't bother most households. Even if said machine must run hard/long to bake out lots of moisture from laundry spun at not very high speeds. Average for some time was only around 700 rpms for most American top loaders. Some lower and a few higher including some vintage Frigidaire and others.

Besides faster drying use of an extractor can pull out detergent and other residue left behind even after final rinse.


Post# 918722 , Reply# 32   2/2/2017 at 02:56 (231 days old) by rapunzel (Sydney)        
Re. Gentle Cycle

Not useless at all, but designed for delicate fabrics, knits, silk and your wife's wash'n'wear dresses. When you wash stuff on gentle it is better to wash smaller loads in lots of water. You want the clothes to be near the bottom of the agitator where the washing takes place, but in enough water that the load circulates and moves about freely to keep fabric stress to a minimum.

I wash everything in my machine. Leather jackets, sports shoes and fluffy slippers, soft toys, silk garments, woolen blankets etc. - top loaders are also great for soaking btw.

For mohair and alpaca wool, I fill my machine with just enough tepid water that I can hand-wash the item by gently squeezing it in a mild wool detergent for no more than a minute or two. Then I switch to drain and do a very short spin, so I don't have to do any wringing by hand. I then lay the item out on a clean towel to dry. If you want to be extra careful you can also wrap the garment in a towel before you spin it out.

I love top loaders for their flexibility and when I have a party I can fill it up with ice and put drinks in it.




This post was last edited 02/02/2017 at 07:41



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