Thread Number: 73271  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Problems an FL presents to a short arthritic elder
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Post# 967844   11/14/2017 at 02:56 by SudsySenior (southwest British Columbia)        

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This is a great site, discovered last night. Thank you for it. I have need of advice!

The Whirlpool Ultimate Care ll LSW 9700 PQ0 washer I bought for my (now late) mother in 2005, is now "too expensive to repair". I was appalled to hear that the machines available now will last 5-6 years.

I have been researching like mad and getting gloomier as I go.

I intended to get another agitator and if I had the $$$ I would get the Speed Queen W04 or W01 that so many of you admire, but I dont, and won't live 25 years out anyhow.

Besides, CR, and now people here say FL is best. Honestly, I do want clean clothes but Iím a gardening dog-owner living in my jeans, so much more important to me is *reliability* and *usability*. I can't have it dancing across the floor as I will have to hire someone to push it back.

I wash jeans in cold and everything else in warm/cold; had no idea this was bad for the machine. But ok, Iíll wash in hot. And Iíll wipe everything and leave the door open.

But this 107 year old leaky-as-a- sieve house is in a Rainforest and after I read about mould I checked the humidity in the laundry room and it is between 68-80. The sun room is the laundry room and is full of plants, the dogís water dish, 2 watering cans, and a drying rack where my wet coats and hats go. Itís barely heated (13-15C in winter).

It's off the kitchen where the kettle sings and the stockpot steams. And it is raining and will for the next 6 months. Is this Mould City? (No mould on the WP though, not visible at least, and no smell. And no repairs in 12 years.) Can I safely put a FL there?

Nice Home Depot sales woman wants me to get the LG 3275 at Cdn$898. That filter at floor level is not built with seniors in mind, especially not seniors with hip replacements and wonky knees.

But that aside, that machine, and the apparently identical 3270, are *discontinued* in the US, and heavily marketed here in Canada. Are we being sold out of date models and if so is that a problem? (LG Chat did not know the answer.)

I am going to buy something tomorrow Ė Tuesday the 14th Ė am tired of the Laundromat - so am sending out this appeal just in case someone has time.

The core question Ė should I get that LG 3275, or another ďinexpensiveĒ (hah hah hah) FL, or get an agitator? By the way, itís a small town, not much choice, and the two repair companies mostly work on GE and Frigidaire, which get dreadful reviews.
Yrs respectfully, Sudsy

Post# 967849 , Reply# 1   11/14/2017 at 04:24 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Personally, I like front-loaders best, but if you have physical issues with bending down, be sure you can reach down and into the back of the LG's drum to retrieve small items like socks or wash rags. It isn't as easy as reaching into a dryer for dried items that aren't plastered to the drum from a high-speed spin. I was thankful many times that my Maytag 8100 pair was on platforms, as reaching to the back of the washer would have been challenging if the machine sat on the floor.

I now live in an apartment and primarily for reasons of size/space, purchased a top-load Speed Queen washer in August. It's the first time since the mid 1980's that a top-loader is my only machine. It is quite a bit easier to unload than a large front-loader sitting on the floor.

If Frigidaire and GE are your choices for top-loaders, you might want to check out the GE model GTW685BSLWS (see link below) It has an agitator and a deep fill option. Stay away from Frigidaire top-loaders.

Having said that, if you feel confident about reaching down and into a large capacity front-loader, by all means get the LG you referenced. A long pair of barbecue tongs can assist in reaching for small items at the back of the drum. It would be ideal to purchase a platform/riser for the washer, but they are expensive.

Wash in whatever temperatures you're accustomed to using and run the 'Tub Clean' cycle as recommended in the manual to prevent build-up of crud. The temperature of the warm setting on most washers is now a rather cool 80-90 degrees F., so I wouldn't worry about fading colors, etc., washing in warm water. If you can leave the door and detergent drawer open a bit between uses you shouldn't have issues with mold.

Good luck with your purchase! Let us know what you wind up getting. We're a nosy bunch, LOL.


Post# 967852 , Reply# 2   11/14/2017 at 05:25 by appnut (TX)        

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I'm physically challenged and could never go back to a top loader, I'd not be able to do laundry myself if I was in a wheel chair and a top loader.  I have a step stool I sit on sometimes to put in and remove laundry from my front load Whirlpool.  You have to deal with a front load dryer to dry clothes.  Why is it people have a mental block for the same physical movements to wash the clothes as one does to put the clothes in and out of the dryer.  Totally illogical. 


P.S. if the inside of your dryer drum is blue tinged, it's because of dye transfer from your jeans and that's because you wash them in cold.  I only wash jeans in warm and my dryer drum is still pure white after 23 years. 

Post# 967920 , Reply# 3   11/14/2017 at 14:03 by SudsySenior (southwest British Columbia)        

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Thank you both very much, and my sympathy to Appnut. It gets harder as we get older and I think the appliance makers should be looking at the Baby Boom Wave coming.

Re the LG FL, I for now can bend down to get into the washer - but getting on the floor to the trap door to drain the hose and clean the filter is the issue. See the URL below to an LG You tube video.

And I see one customer complains not only does one need to lie on the floor to do it, the machine has to be unplugged. That would be impossible as the plug is just above the floor, behind the dryer.

I have been looking at the GE you point me to, Frigilux. Lots of customer complaints but still may be the better choice. Still cogitating!


Post# 967923 , Reply# 4   11/14/2017 at 14:22 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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The drain trap isn't to be considered a routine maintenance point.† It doesn't need to be cleaned unless it's clogged.† If you don't wash pet bedding, always check pockets for stray items, don't have shag or deteriorated rubber-backed throw rugs and such as that, then it shouldn't need attention.

Post# 967924 , Reply# 5   11/14/2017 at 14:23 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Maybe it's NOT too expensive to repair...

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Do you still have the Whirlpool? A direct drive like that would be is easy to repair and even if you have to get a repairman it might be worth the money after all.

Post# 967926 , Reply# 6   11/14/2017 at 14:27 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Another possibility is a Frigidaire front-loader. I had a 2010 top-of-the-line pair and they were both fine machines. No filter to clean on the washer. They worked without a problem for five years when I replaced them with the Maytag 8100 pair. I gave the Frigidaire set to someone who needed a washer and dryer.

As Bob mentioned, one could get a small chair or stool to sit on while unloading the machine if need be.

Post# 967929 , Reply# 7   11/14/2017 at 14:50 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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machine pedestals, a small bench, and even one of those 'grabber' arms can help...

I don't know about all Frigidaires....but my 2008 Gallery DOES have a coin trap, you have to pull the front panel, a few clamps, and out it comes.....not the easiest to get at, but it has only been done once, and the extended warranty will cover this...

you may not like the location, but you WILL want that trap in place.....or pay the price of a jammed/broken pump....what ever floats your boat....oddly enough, never did find pet fur in there...

if your plug is hidden, an outlet strip with surge suppressor and switch mounted higher may not be a bad idea....unplugging a machine when not in use is always good idea....

Post# 967931 , Reply# 8   11/14/2017 at 15:06 by SudsySenior (southwest British Columbia)        
I have been wondering about repair myself....

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And oh, yes, I would need a repair person. Consider me incompetent. When he came to look at the Whirlpool, he opened it up, showed me lots of oil on the inside bottom, said something like "the clutch is throwing on the transmission", $250(CAD) for parts, $250 for labour, not worth it. I just accepted that, being both in shock and also not knowing how difficult to find the right machine. And he comes from the store that sells GE and Frigidaire (and Fisher Paykel)so maybe comes with a bias.

Does that sound fixable? But how long would it last....

Thank you for that information about the trap. People are certainly complaining about it. I subscribe to CR and read all the comments, and elsewhere too. Regardless, I worry even if it is not often, will I still be able to get down on the floor - or get up!- in a year or 2. I also just discovered that LG 3270 is 29 inches deep, almost 4 inches deeper than the Whirlpool, and 51 inches with the door open.

I am going to the Ge store, but am unimpressed with the heavy weight of 1 star to 3,4,and 5 star on GE. Will read up on Fridgidaire.

You are all kind. Thanks for your patience.

Post# 967946 , Reply# 9   11/14/2017 at 17:09 by henene4 (Germany)        
Age and washers

First of, saying that you won't live to a certain point of time is never a good attitude. My father died at age 55 while my grandfather who had 2 fractures of his legs and one of his spine in a timeframe of 2 years at the age of 82 after getting dialysis for 13 years still is fine and alive.
So don't put that as a marker on what to get.

Personally, I'd say a FL is easier in terms of overall strain. Don't have to lift clothes up into the washer, up out of the tub down into the dryer. With a FL, all loading and changing over loads happens at one height.
And everthing is up front. No reaching over all the way back for the controls.
If you put these on a pedestal, the drums become about table to counter heigth. Perfect to put a little chair infront.

If you want to go with a FL, a LG set is generally no bad idea. Their wash system is verry good and wash verry well even though they are incredibly efficent.
The LG 3270 is actually an "outdated" model replaced by the 3275 if I remember correctly.
Anyway those are the most basic models. Simple and good.
The pump trap needs cleaning only verry rarely. And if you struggle, you could always just ask a neihbour or somebody else for a little help. I do it for my grandmother actually.

A toploader on the other hand would mean that - well - nothing much changes.
To save a little money, just keep the dryer then.
But then I'd go with a Fisher&Paykel. They are known for their durability, simplicity, superb results and verry high spin speeds.

Post# 968063 , Reply# 10   11/15/2017 at 08:29 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Most front loaders are available with pedestals. That would raise up the opening to where you would not have to bend as far to load and unload the machine and it would put any traps or filters at a more reasonable height. Best wishes.

Post# 968086 , Reply# 11   11/15/2017 at 10:55 by golittlesport (California)        
Don't worry about the access door to the pump on the LG

As others have said, it is NOT a lint filter -- it is there to more easily clear pump jams. Any pump can get clogged, FL or TL; the LG access door makes it easier for the do-it-yourselfer to clear a jam. On other machines, TL or FL, you would need to unscrew a front panel or call a serviceperson.

I've owned an LG FL for two years and have never had the opportunity to open that door. I'm very pleased with my machine's performance.

Post# 968117 , Reply# 12   11/15/2017 at 14:01 by SudsySenior (southwest British Columbia)        
Great advice,and F&P five year warranty...

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First, the surge suppressor (hits head with fist), I should have thought of that. We get power outages here and of course my computer is protected, but nothing else. And the new machines are electronic, and it would make the plug accessible. Will do.

Yesterday I looked at and measured the LG FL 3270 again. Henene4, yes, that model is discontinued in the US, which is one of my concerns. It was not upgraded to the 3275 - they are identical, but one is a brand model. Home Depot sells 3275 for $149 less. Bizarre.

I kneeled on the floor to open the trap. Very easily opened, you are all correct (why are people fussing about it I now wonder), but not easy on my knees.But I don't like that it is discontinued and also concluded it too big for that small very humid plant room.

Off the the local GE Frigidaire dealer and because of comments here I am now trying to decide between the Frigidaire FFYW4120SW, traditional agitator, CA$749, one year warranty - and the CA $1,099 Fisher and Paykel WA3927 traditional agitator. The latter has a promotion of five years part and labour until August 2018. Suddenly it is attractive.....

Yet the web is full of distress over the F&P service. Things break and F&P doesn't live up to what has been a 2 year warranty. Horrible sludge build up.

I am off to the Big City for three days and will look there. So much for buying yesterday.

Oh, and definitely no intention of replacing my dryer, a Kenmore. I couldn't care less if they match. And I wish I had a grandson or daughter. I missed the intermediate step, unfortunately.

Onward...and thanks.

Post# 968125 , Reply# 13   11/15/2017 at 15:08 by henene4 (Germany)        

The Frigidaire should be actually a Haier in disguise. To give you an idea of its operation:

That guy (Kirk Rivas) has several cycles of that washer uploaded on YouTube.
For the price it should be fine.

The Fisher&Paykel is certanly more advanced and more efficent.

The EcoActive wash gives the cleaning of the selected water temperature while drasticly reducing hot water consumption. The washer soaks the load and recirculates a highly concentrated detergent solution at selected temp through the laundry for a few minutes. Then it fills with controlled cold water to the appropiate water level.
Should you want the consequent full fill to be warm or hot, the Allergy cycle will provide that.

Here a verry simmilar model filmed by a member of this platform:

Quite honestly, both machines seem like an equal value for the prices you are getting.

The F&P is more advanced, will clean better and more efficently and will excell in extraction (which will make handeling wet clothes a little easier). And it has a 5 year warranty. Does that local dealer also do warranty service calls? If not, you could just call the F&P service hotline and ask where the next service contractor is located in relation to you.

The Frigidaire is considerably cheaper and thus cuts some corners. It certanly will do its job, just not quite as good as the F&P.

In my eyes, between those 2, it's a toss-up. Maybe you like the controls of one better? Or one is easier for you to reach into the tub? Something like that?

Post# 968946 , Reply# 14   11/19/2017 at 16:44 by SudsySenior (southwest British Columbia)        
Ta ta! a decision

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I have bought the Fisher and Paykel WA3927 WashSmart with the traditional agitator and hope it will be delivered Monday. As was suggested here, I checked again with the retailer, a very small shop and the only non-big box store here.

They do all the warranty work, 3 of the 4 sales people there have F&P machines, and they have installed the F&P washer in all the local group homes.

I was sold, or in this case, I feel I really bought is as there was very little "Selling" going on.

They also told me they refuse to service Samsung or LG because parts are hard to get and the companies difficult to deal with.

I am very grateful for all the good advice here, and reassurance about the quality of the ones I was considering. Thank you. I hope the thread helps someone else in the future.

I will post pictures of the Maytags I bought used in 1981 on the Vintage site later. Loving the internet, I am

A Senior soon to be Sudsy again

Post# 968973 , Reply# 15   11/19/2017 at 19:13 by rapunzel (Sydney)        

Fisher and Paykel is a very good choice. I have a Washsmart at work, which was recently installed after the four year old Simpson gave up its ghost. Have washed with different model F&P machines at holiday lets and always liked them. They are good performers and pretty sophisticated, yet simple to use. When you've done a few washes post an update with your impressions. Anyway, greetings from Oz and happy washing.

Post# 970102 , Reply# 16   11/26/2017 at 14:40 by SudsySenior (southwest British Columbia)        
Fisher and Paykel So far I am happy

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The machine is astonishingly quiet. No vibration to speak of. (One of the things that had most worried me about reviews in general of both front and toploaders was machines that danced around the laundry room.)

My first wash included corduroy slacks with stretch, and I had it spin at 1100 RPM and the cords now have some odd streeeeeeeeeetched bits, so maybe that speed should only be used for sheets and towels. But oh my, it's so true about much less time in the dryer.

The installer volunteered, unasked, two tips: he told me not to use automatic sensing as the washer will get unbalanced, so I haven't but I wonder if he is right. And he said put the soap on the clothes as I always have, but the manual says to take the top off the agitator and put the soap there, so I have followed the manual so far ( all 2 washes.)

I plugged in my computer's power bar with a surge suppressor before they shoved the machine to the wall. A search now tells me it is only 540 joules and it is 2-3 years old so I will replace it with a better one as soon as I get a strong visitor to pull the machine out again.

It's early but so far, I like the Fisher and Paykel WashSmart 3927 very much! Thanks to all, and hi from Canada to Rapunzel in Oz.

Post# 970132 , Reply# 17   11/26/2017 at 17:54 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Auto water level sensing shouldn't have any relation to off-balance.† I have had a 1999 GWL08 (passed on to family), and I currently have a 2004 IWL12.† No issues with auto sense in that regard with either one.† To be sure, auto water level doesn't function the best for some kinds of loads.† Large bulky items such as quilts or bedspreads, or items such as pillows which aren't much suited for agitator washing anyway, are better with a manual-selected level.

Detergent can be placed wherever you wish.† Pouring it into the agitator (where it goes under the wash basket into the outer tub) gets it mixed a bit more quickly into the wash water during the Eco Active pretreatment, and avoids possible spotting of fabric from exposure to damp blotches of powder detergent.

Post# 970146 , Reply# 18   11/26/2017 at 19:56 by rapunzel (Sydney)        
Greetings right back at you from Oz

Use the auto-sense function and find out. I have and so far it's been good. Ditto to Glen's reply#17.

Post# 970872 , Reply# 19   12/1/2017 at 00:36 by rapunzel (Sydney)        

Apropros pillows in agitator washers - if they are filled with that synthetic fluff they are not suited for washing in any kind of machine full stop. The stuffing always clumps up and shifts around inside the pillow casing. I do, however, wash my feather down pillows and quilts in my SQ and it works fine. The best way to do this is to fill the machine with lukewarm water and detergent and push the pillows or doona into the soapy water. Let it sit for a while and occasionally push items under the water or allow machine to do intermittent gentle agitation. When ready let the machine drain and spin out the water. This pulls the water right through and the air out of the stuffing. Then fill machine with water, add detergent and wash per normal.

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