Thread Number: 71399  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Neutral Drains...
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Post# 944723   6/22/2017 at 19:29 by wishwash (Illinois)        

I'm sure this topic was brought up many times on this forum. I washed bathroom rugs today only to find a tub full of lint! Seems that neutral drains are no good for very linty wash loads. Do neutral drains have any advantages? I have heard many say that they don't filter dirt through the clothes like a spin drain does but have always found this odd since the dirt just filters downward instead of outward.

Post# 944757 , Reply# 1   6/22/2017 at 21:12 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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I would rather have a bunch of lint left in the bottom of the tub instead of embedded in the rug, at least you can just scoop it out.

Post# 944761 , Reply# 2   6/22/2017 at 21:56 by chetlaham (United States)        
Neutral Drain

Its cheaper to build a neutral drain washer then a spin-drainer. Whirlpool for example created the neutral drain mechanism on their DDs because it wore down the clutches faster.

FWIW when most top load washer that were (ie Maytag) and still are (Speed Queen) spin drainers often get converted to neutral drain on the export market. No idea why, but somehow spin draining is not desired.

With that said I like spin drainers. :) Maybe I am blinded by ideology, but I have always felt clothes come out with less lint and debris in a spin drainer.

Post# 944763 , Reply# 3   6/22/2017 at 22:15 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
It's cheaper to build neutral drain washers?

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That thought is totally wrong to have a machine do both a spin at a neutral drained requires extra complication an extra cost, whirlpool direct drive washers never had any problems with clutch where in either form.


And even if where were problem it would not effect the cost of building the washer.


Speed Queen washers are built with a more costly neutral drain system for export to Australia because they line dry clothing and all the lint left on the clothing [ from forcing all the dirty linty water through the clothing ] is objectionable when you don't use a dryer.

Post# 944769 , Reply# 4   6/22/2017 at 22:42 by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

I think neutral drains have their pros and cons. Having had a Kenmore that had a neutral drain I don't think my whites were as white as they could have been. Personally, I didn't care for that type of drain. I felt the dirty water just settled back onto the clothes, just my opinion. I'd have a hard time with that with diapers.
To be fair, the Speed Queen throws the water at such force many home plumbing pipes cannot cope. The wrinkles seem to set in with spin-drain though.

Post# 944779 , Reply# 5   6/23/2017 at 00:24 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I've had no linting trouble with the various WP/KM/KA belt-drive and direct-drive neutral-drain washers I've used (although a 1984 spin-drain model was involved for a few years), and also no trouble with my neutral-drain F&Ps.

Post# 944792 , Reply# 6   6/23/2017 at 02:35 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Spin draining for automatic washing machines

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IIRC grew out of the wash day habit of lifting laundry out of dirty water (wringers, hand washing, twin tubs and other semi-automatics), and of course when soap still was queen of wash day.

Idea was that between over flow rinsing and spin draining muck, soap and other residue would not be pulled down through the wash (as in a neutral drain) but sent out of the tub. Well that was the theory I suppose anyway.

Old laundry practices called for never allowing mucky/soapy water to drain through laundry. That is you wouldn't pull the drain plug and let the water out of a tub allowing your washing to "strain" it like a sieve.

When detergent replaced soaps and as the former improved its soil suspension capabilities in theory netural draining shouldn't matter.

One of the reasons didn't really get on with the Whirlpool compact washer was the amount of lint/muck it left on my wash. Dark laundry especially looked like who did it and ran. Even after tumble drying things still needed a lint or clothes brush.

Post# 944818 , Reply# 7   6/23/2017 at 08:32 by jerrod6 (Center City Philadelphia Pennsylvania, U.S.A)        

What about front loaders? Do some have neutral drains and others don't? I guess in this case it would be that a neutral drain would be done with the tub stationary vs. the tub still tumbling?

Post# 944849 , Reply# 8   6/23/2017 at 12:20 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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There have been FLs with spin-drain in the past. They were rare but they existed.
Some brushless motor driven just went right into spin mode with still the tub half full of water (at rinse water level) and accerlerated slowly as the water drained. Others (the carbon brush type) had distribution spins at approximately 70 rpm which also started with all the water still in the tub.
The purpose was to provide a more evenly distributed load at a time when electronic balance control was either not jet invented or still too expensive for use in lower end machines. Both systems did not always give the desired results and in the case of induction motors which gradually increased speed sudslocking was a common problem.

All that "no dirty water should be drained through clean clothes" is just marketing blah IMO. At least in times of man made surfactants. As long as the detergent is sufficiantly dosed it should be capable to keep all soils suspended during the wash AND rinse.

Post# 944861 , Reply# 9   6/23/2017 at 13:57 by chetlaham (United States)        

What extra cost? You need a beefier drive system and you need a clutch- that costs money. In the early 2000s onward GE was even able to eliminate the clutch as with most modern washers because they do not need to slip a tub full of water. There is also no need to design the outer tub cap as to prevent water from leaking out when spinning and in turn sloshing over.

As for DD going neutral drain thats what several repair men have told me. Perhaps its just a rumor- but its hard to argue the added over engineering needed to spin that much water.

Post# 944866 , Reply# 10   6/23/2017 at 14:47 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
I am not a repairman, don't work on appliances

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But I was told by a Maytag man in 1995 that the reason for the Neutral drain was that the motors were not strong enough to spin a full tub, hence they drained it then spun. 


My vote:

I hate neutral drain. 

My Maytag, Duet clone FL doesn't neutral drain, it distribute tumbles while draining and then spins. 

Post# 944875 , Reply# 11   6/23/2017 at 15:47 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Yes, frontloaders (or H-axis toploaders) with spin-drain: Philips (and relabeled ones like Bauknecht, Erres, Ruton, Electra and Ignis), Constructa and Indesit are the brands that come to mind right now.

Post# 944896 , Reply# 12   6/23/2017 at 17:14 by chetlaham (United States)        

No 1/2 HP motor is strong enough to spin a tub full of water at full speed- its just that: only 1/2 HP max. Its not practical either, both in the sheer size of the motor required and the force of the water that would exist. You could of course try spinning directly with the 1/2HP (no clutch), but the load would slow down the motor to much, which would appreciably slow the pump out rate (perhaps preventing pump out with a tall drain) and prevent the motor from dropping its start winding which leads to over heating. Thus as such clutch is employed, either a slipping belt or shoe & drum. This allows the motor to reach full speed within half a second while gradually bringing the tub up to Speed, ie the full resistance of the tub is not just dropped on the motor.

Now modern washers like the VMW are different. Because there is no tub full of water to slip, and that permanent split capacitor motors can tolerate taking several seconds to gain speed (but minutes would still be to much)- the clutch can be eliminated all together. Not having to drive a pump, engage/disengage a break plus over coming a large transmission means a low torque motor can be selected without issue such as a permanent split capacitor instead of a high torque centrifugal start motor. But to be fair GE did have a clutch free washer with a transmission and brake.

Post# 944899 , Reply# 13   6/23/2017 at 17:29 by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

Wasn't the Unimatic direct drive for spin?

Post# 944900 , Reply# 14   6/23/2017 at 17:31 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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not that they also didn't get out of balance at times.....

I always thought of the neutral drain on most machines was to lower the center of gravity of the load, as well as sort of help keep the unit leveled and balanced..

but one could argue, which would be better, a load spaced out and thinly placed against the tub for spinning, or bunched up along the bottom?.....

there are pros and cons for each......but by todays standards, by proper washing techniques, most of all grime is contained in suspension until the drain/spin....

Post# 944902 , Reply# 15   6/23/2017 at 17:40 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Yes Unimatic washers did it with a direct drive, along with early Norge belt-drive washers. They would spin the full tub of water out with 1/3hp motors and without the need for any sort of clutch or belt-slip. The pump out time is a non-issue in solid tub washers. Belt-drive Frigidaire Pulsamatic washers also had no clutch or belt-slip, Multimatic washers had sort of a clutch, but they were not designed to slip during spin-startup.

I prefer spin-drain washers overall, especially solid tub machines.

Post# 944907 , Reply# 16   6/23/2017 at 18:31 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
"no dirty water should be drained through clean clothes&

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As one said, not draining mucky water through laundry was from the early days of laundry right through early to middle 20th century. All this was when things were done by hand and or semi-automatic washing machines *and* soap was still queen of laundry day. Furthermore top loading washers and or tubs with mangles dominated.

In fact one reason TSP and other participating water softening substances weren't *that bad* when used with soap back then was because of how wash was extracted. Things either were lifted out of mucky water and put into the mangle or spin drier. Either way much of the soils, hard water minerals and other gunk was left in the water.

Better wringer washers like Maytag's had "sediment" zones/traps at bottom of tub to catch (in theory) much of the muck. Still users were advised at intervals to stop washing, lower the drain house/turn on pump to remove a bit of the dirty water. Things were then topped up with more clean fresh hot water, a bit more soap/detergent was added and then things carried on.

Also as one said previously modern detergents are streets ahead of soap and even earlier versions in terms of soil suspension and anti-redeposit properties. Thus the matter of scum clinging to washing is less of an issue than in past.

Post# 944918 , Reply# 17   6/23/2017 at 20:26 by chetlaham (United States)        

Yup, it has no clutch that I know of. But the basket was a lot smaller and the water was flung out quiet rapidly. Machine also drew some good current during that period.

Post# 944966 , Reply# 18   6/24/2017 at 03:15 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Louis, Zanussi (mostly sold as Privileg here) is another brand to complete your list. They used the accelerating spin drain for at least some of their induction typ machines and later went for a distribution spin drain at a fixed speed when those pesky carbon brush motors became the norm. Didn`t know about Constructa.

Post# 944971 , Reply# 19   6/24/2017 at 03:56 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Thanks! I didn't know about Zanussi. My grandmother's 1965 didn't do it, but I don't have much experience with other models.

Here's a Constructa going into spindrain.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO foraloysius's LINK

Post# 944996 , Reply# 20   6/24/2017 at 08:46 by wishwash (Illinois)        

I was always under the impression that spin drainers sent lint, grass, etc over the wash tub to drain away rather than let it settle in the tub. It has been many years since I have used one.

Post# 944999 , Reply# 21   6/24/2017 at 08:55 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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yeah, SOLID TUBS threw the water up and over the top of the tub during spin.....not perforated tubs...

hence the addition of the OVERFLOW rinse!

Post# 945002 , Reply# 22   6/24/2017 at 09:31 by chetlaham (United States)        

Hence why they did not care about the pump being slow when the tub was spinning out water. 1140 was reached after the water was thrown out.

Post# 945004 , Reply# 23   6/24/2017 at 09:37 by chetlaham (United States)        
And in turn

The pump could the work on pumping out the outer cavity at its correct speed over th.

Post# 945094 , Reply# 24   6/24/2017 at 19:40 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I think it has a lot to do with the types of soil are typically in each of our laundry.
If you live on or near the beach or your farm has sandy soil, you probably wouldn't want a solid tub machine-------although millions just wiped the sand off the bottom and kept on washing. I remember when there were Frigidaire machines all over Florida. I don't think "ejector tubes" worked very well, just a gimmick.

I personally prefer an overflow rinse.

Vintage Maytags spin-drain and I never had a problem cleaning any clothes in one.

I think a neutral-drain is a problem with greasy soil. I've had to avoid washing greasy kitchen towels in neutral-drain machines because the grease and oil get re-deposited on the clothes. Most obvious is my old Kenmore. If I have been washing greasy oily things it always leaves a water level ring on the Roto-Swirl. And, I wash everything in hot water---- sometimes rinse with hot as well.

John L. Shared his theory about old Unimatics------the early ones had a double-rinse not an overflow.
He feels like two separate tubs of rinse water, well spun out in between provides a better rinse. Makes perfect sense to me.

Post# 945112 , Reply# 25   6/24/2017 at 21:37 by chetlaham (United States)        
Can I be honest here?

I feel misunderstood. :( When I wrote post #12 I specifically had perforated tub washers in mind. Just because I did not include solid tub machines does not render my post erroneous. If you have a perforated tub machine with a typical induction motor and typical pump you will need a clutch- there is simply no way around that. Solid tub machines can afford to toss their water out of the inner tub in a short amount of time quickly removing the strain off the motor then allowing the pump to remove the water at rated motor speed at a rate the plumbing can handle.

With a perforated tub machine water resistance to some degree or another is always present during the whole 1 minute to 1 minute 90 second pump out. Again, it is simply not possible to bring that tub up to 640 RPM with a 1/2 HP motor while the machine is full of water (and neither with a Unimatic, as you notice full 1140 rpm is only reached after the water has been thrown out), so the perforated tub will slow down the motor and in turn pump. The slow pump will only increase evacuation time, and the lowered motor speed will force the start winding to either drop back on or never drop off in the first place during the pump out. Neither are good conditions...

If anyone is ever in the experimental mood the above can be verified. Take an automotive belt (that will not slip as well) and place it on a Maytag dependable care. Tension the motor carriage so it does roll back during start up with a full tub of water. I am willing to bet all the above will take place.

Post# 945121 , Reply# 26   6/24/2017 at 23:09 by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

I can verify that it will trip the motor overload. My A207's motor carriage was rather rusty and while for a month or so, penetrating oil did the trick for getting the motor to slide in a bit, the thing started having issues again and I was forced to take the carriage base out, wire brush the rust away and put 4 coats of gray Rustolium paint on it. I greased the base upon reassembly, and it now runs like a dream.

Post# 945266 , Reply# 27   6/25/2017 at 20:24 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Most front-loaders get it right: Tumble the load as water drains through a perforated tub. Tumbling shakes sand, etc., out of the load before spin begins.

Post# 945348 , Reply# 28   6/26/2017 at 05:38 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Tumbling shakes sand, etc., out of the load before spin.....

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Just ask Betty Furness!

Post# 945383 , Reply# 29   6/26/2017 at 12:01 by HiLoVane (Columbus OH)        

I had an Asko that would stop tumbling, and neutral-drained before going into the spin. (It also didn't tumble when it was filling with water).

Post# 945408 , Reply# 30   6/26/2017 at 15:58 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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My current Panasonic has static draining, like a bath draining.

I'm pretty sure both my Mum's and Gran's old Hoover Electronic 1100s (A3110) tumbled as they drained. This seems a sensible approach, as the water is kept moving, helping to dislodge dirt from the clothes. I suppose it also assists in flushing the pressure vessel's opening too, especially where zeolite detergents are used.

Post# 945518 , Reply# 31   6/27/2017 at 05:22 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My 20 year old Asko starts the drain while the drum is still but then begins tumbling during the draining.

Post# 945577 , Reply# 32   6/27/2017 at 13:09 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

What Betty failed to mention about the old Westinghouse machines was their ability to tangle the hell out of clothes. Can't get the sand out of those. Especially sheets. I'm thinking beach towels were a separate load!

Post# 945605 , Reply# 33   6/27/2017 at 16:58 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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any given machine can have a hassle of some sort with sheets or items like long sleeve shirts....and apron strings are a given.....

show me a dryer that doesn't roll items like sheets, blankets/comforters into a ball.....we just adapt, and every so often, open the door, re-fluff the load, and place back in for even drying.....

dryers that reverse tumble is a joke at best, good thought, but doesn't alleviate the issue......

sometimes I will pull the balled up load out, flip it, and place the ball back in the dryer, it will unroll, fluff, and roll back up in the opposite direction.....the mysteries of a dryer!

mainly its the fitted sheets that cause issues, and worse for the ones that have elastic all the way around....

Post# 945612 , Reply# 34   6/27/2017 at 17:55 by henene4 (Germany)        
Reversing dryers

There is good reversing, and then there's "reversing".

For example, the Miele Professional dryer here in my dorms basement runs 90sec one way, 90sec the other way. That works perfectly.
The bedding cycle on AEGs (ELux) heatpump dryers in Europe runs 2min with a 30sec reverse, AFAIK. That works good.
Mieles "intelligent" reversing algorythm is ok. AEG has something simmilar for their normal cycles.

Then there is dryers that only reverse with way to short intervals, or those who reverse only on cool down, or those which reverse like once in the entire cycle.
These don't work.

Post# 945616 , Reply# 35   6/27/2017 at 19:02 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Forward ... Reverse ...

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Mine runs 4 mins forward and 40 seconds reverse, repeated continuously throughout drying and cool down.  The post-cycle wrinkle guard function reverses on each 30 second tumble (at 5-min intervals).  It seems effective.  Flat sheets, fitted sheets, quilts, etc. ... rarely have anything come out damp due to balling-up.  The drum and baffle design may be related.  Each of the three baffles has a "dip" in a different place -- left, center, and right.

Post# 945624 , Reply# 36   6/27/2017 at 21:05 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Interesting thing; never have issues with bed linen tangling when using large commercial/laundromat dryers. OTOH at home is another matter. Even the reversing AEG Oko-Lavatherm will tangle sheets.

Happily don't machine dry bed linens often so this isn't a major worry.

One wonders if it large drums of commercial dryers have something to do with things not getting tangled for most part.

Post# 945625 , Reply# 37   6/27/2017 at 21:22 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I've always wondered if you could just slightly ramp the tumble speed up and down throughout the drying, if the harmonic that causes certain items to clump or ball would be broken. We have a new lathe at the shop and it has the ability to ramp the spindle speed up and down instead of running at a constant rate. This improves the finish by breaking any resonance between the tool and the work that causes chatter. This would likely work with laundry also, albeit at a slower RPM and not using a 40 horsepower motor!

Post# 945656 , Reply# 38   6/28/2017 at 03:16 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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It`s not just your impression Launderess, the diameter of a dryer`s drum has definitely something to do with tangling or balling up larger things.

My first drier was a compact 3 kg capacity Creda non reversing one. One of those cheap toy dryers that vented through the door.
It couldn`t handle anything larger than hand towels. After 3 minutes with sheets as soon as a heavy ball rolled up it would literally jump around because in addition to the small drum diameter it was such a light weight.
Had occasional tangling problems with other regular 5 kg dryers as well but never to such an extreme extent.

Post# 945660 , Reply# 39   6/28/2017 at 04:23 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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If I remember correctly, the old UK Hoover reversing dryers were equal length tumbles in both directions.

My current old condenser Zanussi has a fairly lengthy forward tumble, but only reverses for ten to fifteen seconds.

As for fitted sheets balling up, the absolute worst are the shiny satin polyester type - with elastic all round. How they get into that sort of fankle, I will never know, but it's like a snake eating its own tail.

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