Thread Number: 73530  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 01/12/2017 - Bendix 30" Tumble Action soft-mount washer
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Post# 971045   12/1/2017 at 22:57 (226 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

I'm guessing this is essentially a Duomatic, slimmed down six inches and deprived of the drying side? There is a very similar machine in the collection of "chestermikeuk", I believe badged as a Gyramatic. His has no heater, apparently, and spins at 600rpm. I wonder why these spun at 525rpm when the Duomatic only went to 505? I'm also curious about the very short wash times. I thought these were the exclusive domain of the top-loaders. With a maximum 10 minutes' wash time, the cleaning can't have been that effective...

Post# 971051 , Reply# 1   12/2/2017 at 01:01 (226 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        

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Wash times on many laundromat front loaders today aren't very long. The SQ washers at our local do a total wash on "Heavy soil" in 30 minutes. Think the main wash is between 10 to 15 minutes.

One reason why that Bendix may have had short wash times is if soap was meant to be used for "detergent". Soap does not have great soil anti-redeposit qualities. Better off doing two short washes than one long in dirty water.

Post# 971062 , Reply# 2   12/2/2017 at 02:37 (226 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I believe the maximum wash time was actually 14 minutes, according to the ad copy. You can see the number 12 and then a line, which I'm guessing would add two minutes.

Still, very short by today's HE standards. The wash tumble was around 50 minutes on the Normal cycle (heaviest soil setting) of my 2015 Maytag 8100. It was well over 70 minutes on the Sanitize cycle (heaviest soil setting). That gives today's detergents with their enzyme cocktails and Herculean abilities to keep soil suspended in the wash water plenty of time to eradicate stains.

Post# 971071 , Reply# 3   12/2/2017 at 05:40 (226 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
They didnt need long wash times..

For two reasons, they used enough water, and they were continuously washing, not stopping and starting like so called HE machines do today!

Post# 971222 , Reply# 4   12/3/2017 at 04:21 (225 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Norgeway, that's an idiotic statement. Go back through the great European automatic machines of the 1950s through to the present - stuff like the AEG Lavamat Regina, the Miele W421S, the old Constructas and so on. They all use loads of water, a lot of heat, and don't tangle the hell out of clothes because they all reverse frequently! Nonetheless, their cycle times are far longer than the American machines... 10 minutes simply is not enough to get clothes washed effectively, even dumping them straight in hot water (which tends to set stains anyway).

Post# 971235 , Reply# 5   12/3/2017 at 08:13 (225 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Think what you want!

Idiotic I'm not!, I know what works, !

Post# 971262 , Reply# 6   12/3/2017 at 11:15 (225 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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You asked a question and you got an answer and now you go and criticize it.

Only slant Westinghouse machines were terrible for tangling. Bendix wasn't that bad for it as I understand.

As for hot water setting stains, I have removed blood stains with hot water, which by the stain setting logic should make them all but permanent.

Post# 971276 , Reply# 7   12/3/2017 at 12:16 (225 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

This machine was not a Duomatic design without drying. It did not have the larger tub of the Duomatic. It had the same tub of the earlier-introduced Gyromatic washers.

The Duomatic could not spin as fast as a plain washer because the designers and engineers had to factor in the necessity for the load to release from the tub at the end of the spin before the drying began. This is the reason that all combos, no matter how poorly they extracted had a short spin period followed by a stop to allow everything to drop down to the bottom of the drum. This was followed by a tumble period and then the spin. In the Duomatic, the spins were two speed. After the 3rd rinse drained, there was a 3/4 minute spin at low speed and then a full stop to allow the load to disengage from the drum walls. This first spin extracted enough water from the load so that it did not pack as tightly against the drum in the final high speed spin which allowed the load to drop at the end of the final spin. According to what I read in Which a long time ago, the UK Bendix combo had to be reset to dry after the wash cycle was completed. Maybe at the time of setting the dry operation, the fabrics could be pulled away from the drum. Some of the lower speed spinning combos used what Maytag likened to squeezing a sponge and if you release the grip and reposition the sponge before squeezing the sponge again, more water will be extracted. They went through two or three different spin periods in the final extract period so that more fabrics had a chance to be pressed against the drum walls for better extraction.

Regardless of the wash time, I did not know any owners of front loaders who were dissatisfied with the washing results of their washers. Maybe the use of bleach in the US made it possible to get laundry cleaner with shorter wash periods. Maybe the greater supplies of hotter water made a difference, too. Maybe the larger tubs in wider US machines made a difference.

One other comment I remember from this Which article was that none of the front loaders rinsed very well. Maybe it was the lack of extraction between water changes which even my first Miele exhibited. At least the front loaders in the US extracted better between water changes.

Post# 971338 , Reply# 8   12/3/2017 at 18:33 (225 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Rinsing and European H-Axis washing machines.

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IIRC someone posted a while ago that even late as the 1980's or 1990's (discussion was about the Miele w700 or W1070/W1065 series if that narrows down years), and what a leading consumer publication gave those and similar washers low ratings for rinsing quality.

Many European front loaders from thirty or forty years ago now did not extract until after four rinses. Even then the first spin may have only been a short pulse (as with my Miele). Basically relying upon dilution to remove detergent and muck; not always the best way to go.

Post# 971339 , Reply# 9   12/3/2017 at 18:43 (225 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Hmm, I thought the pic was of a dryer did I miss something?

Post# 971356 , Reply# 10   12/3/2017 at 20:58 (224 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I never saw a Bendix that tangled clothes.

I launder a lot of bloody stuff. Hot water and Phosphated Detergent spiked with Clorox. The SQ TL gets it all clean, every time.

Post# 971398 , Reply# 11   12/4/2017 at 01:45 (224 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
As have said previously

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Commercial laundries for ages have dealt with blood by using nothing more than hot water, soap and sodium metasilicate, and or another equally strongly alkaline substance. This was long before enzymes came upon the scene and still largely prevails. Exception today is that detergents have mostly replaced soap.

Post# 971401 , Reply# 12   12/4/2017 at 02:25 (224 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Stopping and starting

Has 2 reasons.

1: Reversing. One could reverse tumbling without pausing as some older machines did (Lauderall, in the EU Eudora, etc.). But pausing, allowing the drum to stop and restarting needs less power and poses less wear on parts like belts and potential transmissions due to the lower force needed for reversing.

2. Soaking. Continous movement dosen't allow for true soaking. True soaking works as the water and detergent surrounding a partioular area have time to ineract and don't simply flow by. Pauses in modern machines do exactly that.

3. Water movment. Clothes catch water while tumbling. They can't absorb all the water they catch. If a modern FL stops for longer, you see the water level slowly climbing as water drips out of the laundry. That its part of the wash motion as this means the water in the fibres is exchanged. Again, something that tumbling can't do well: exchange water from fibres to the bath water.

All tumbling does is mostly move water arround fibres and cause agitation of the fibres.
So stopping and starting isn't dumb at all.
And saying they used "enough" water implies that moder FL generally don't. Some do, some don't.

These short wash times were indeed due to the high water levels. Fast tumbling and high water levels allow for wash mechanic simmilar to TLs. Keep in mind that laundry was basicly floating in these washers as well, so it basicly worked like a TL.
And, further, it still had a higher detergent concentration then TLs of the time. I think rule of thumb was to use half the detergent a TL would use, but thils were about 1/3rd that of a TL.

What I was always wondering was: Some of these area FLs had a load size selector. Using a modern HE detergent, would it be possible to run a full load on the smallest load setting and still get well enough wash results? And how about rinsing?

Post# 971410 , Reply# 13   12/4/2017 at 06:32 (224 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Enough water

To my way of thinking is at least 1/4 of the way up on the window!NOTHING today uses that much, but these old Bendix machines do., hours to do a wash means the machine is lame to start with, just like my Kitchen Aid dishwasher does the longest cycle in a hour, why, because it wORKS, not plays like the new ones do, 50 gallons a minute spraying on dishes will CLEAN!

Post# 971463 , Reply# 14   12/4/2017 at 10:49 (224 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Then you are wrong

Your definition of enough is wrong. You base "enough", which is a factual statement, on a personal feeling.
That is post-factual thinking and just plane useless.

"Enough" means that the machine gets the job done.
Modern machines don't play. No idea how you can defend that that is a factual statetment.

50gal/min recirculation rate clean. Half that do to. Even 10gal/min do.
Water levels 1/4th up the door clean. Water levels below the boot can clean just as well.
Just look at your claim "1/4th up the door glass". By that definition, a slanted front Westinghouse wouldn't use enough water. Clearly shows you are not correctly formulating your thoughts.

You can't call what you classify as "enough" just as generally enough.
What you think of is "to your satisfaction". That can be any amount you wish.
"Enough" is as much as a certain machine needs to do the job, NOT as much you think it should use.

Post# 971470 , Reply# 15   12/4/2017 at 11:34 (224 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Is someone feeling cranky? Please agree to disagree. You are too young to know how things used to be done very successfully and Hans is not. Yes, it is a different world now, but appliances used to do a good job when built to different standards and, yes, appliances in the US were profligate in the space they took up and in the energy and resources they used, but we were the land of plenty and no one had ever told us not to use as much as we damn well pleased so we did. I have seen pictures of streets in European towns where two full size US cars from the 60s could not pass each other. That is not a put down of Europe, just a statement of fact about the way things were. A lot of things were different and some of them are remembered fondly. There is no disputing, however that older tumbler washers that used more water were gentler on the fabrics because, in all of that water and good, phosphated detergents, they did not abrade against each other as much as in modern machines.

Post# 971476 , Reply# 16   12/4/2017 at 11:54 (224 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
It doesent matter

What I say Tom, some people know everything, so I will leave them ALONE!

Post# 971483 , Reply# 17   12/4/2017 at 12:18 (224 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Agree to disagree

In this particular case, no, I will not.

I never said that him wantig machines to use more water is wrong. That's what he wants, that is totaly fine.

The thing is that he confronts the 2 way one can define enough.

He means enough to satisfy his desire. That is fine.

He however implied the use of enough as enough for the need. And - you can argue as much as you want - "enough" to clean a 9lbs load of laundry is far less the 1/4th up the door glass.
And that definition of enough actually means within 30min.

That has nothing to do with roads, enviroment, or being cranky. He used an incorrect or not exact enough phrasing, I explained that.
I don't need to agree to disagree.
I am right about my point, he made a mistake.

Post# 971494 , Reply# 18   12/4/2017 at 13:02 (224 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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I believe that Hans is referring to the fact that many FL machines are too stingy on water to the extent that it impedes wash action. We have all heard how you have to get a MOL or TOL LG so you can have the TurboWash feature because without it clothes might not even get fully saturated. Older FL machines didn't have this problem and had less chothes wear than ones of today.

As to your point on pauses letting the water move through the fibers, how can a pause move more water through fibers than lifting, dropping, and plunging clothes through the wash water? I just cannot see how that would work. The enzymes can work just as well as they are flowing though the fibers.

Don't get me wrong, I like Euro front loaders, they don't try to wash 5 standard capacity loads in 3 cups of water like some of the larger US front loaders.

Post# 971499 , Reply# 19   12/4/2017 at 13:40 (224 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Iíve owned and used both an older FL, an 87í Westinghouse and a 2015 LG BOL FL. I really like the FL way of washing, but not unless there is sufficient water to wet the entire load from beginning to end of the cycle.

The Westinghouse filled right away with amount of water the user selected. It looked like it was 1/4 up the window, but if I opened the door the water was below the edge of the tub, This washer was an excellent performer and finished each load in about 40 to 45 mins, or less.

The LG on the other hand filled in bursts of water. Because of this I had to install water hammer arrestors to prevent water hammer in the pipes. What was most distressing about this machine is that it would take well over 5 mins for the washer to finish adding water, so the clothes were tumbling during this time with the detergent and the load was partially dampened. If I selected heavy soil, I kid you not it took over 30 mins. before the center of the load would finally be saturated while it continued to fill in bursts. Now thats 1/2 hr. of the wash cycle that really for all intents and purposes was wasted time, as how are you cleaning clothes that arenít even wet.

Now I could circumvent this by selecting the Bulky cycle, with water plus option and it would actually fill to a level equivalent to the older Westinghouse, but then I was limited to a med or slow spin speed, thereby negating the main reason I bought this washer, better extraction for faster drying. So, at the end of the cycle I would need to then run a separate ex high or high speed spin cycle.

If this LG had filled all at once, with sufficient water it may still be here in my home. But the other problem I had with it was its capricious attitude about going into a spin. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't. I actually had loads that took over 3 hrs and would never spin. And Iíve been washing clothes since 1965, so I do know how to properly load and operate a washing machine, and I read the owners manual cover to cover, more than once looking for an answer to the spin problems, I could never solve it. And this was the 6th FL washer that Iíve owned, the older FLís didnít have these problems.

We own a set of heavy bath towels from Restoration Hardware that we couldnít even use while we owned the LG FL. These towels REFUSED to spin, no matter what else they were washed with or if they were washed alone, no matter how fast or slow the spin speed selected. The last time I washed these towels in the LG FL, after 3 hrs. I needed to take the sopping wet towels the the laundromat and re wash them so I could get them spun out. That was the last straw for me.

The Maytag Centennial that I now own washes these heavy towels flawlessly in 50-55 mins. spins the first time, every time and never hesitates or goes out of balance, and coincidentally, it uses just about the same amount of water that my beloved old Westinghouse used. Iím a happy camper at last.

This post was last edited 12/04/2017 at 16:50
Post# 971564 , Reply# 20   12/4/2017 at 20:17 (223 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

It has to be said, I rarely need to top up the water level on my 2005-vintage Miele, the 'Water Plus' option is quite enough... for heavier loads (stuff like big bulky bedspreads), I will use either the Delicates 40 wash or the Separate Rinse to fill it before selecting whatever cycle I use. Bear in mind, European FLs need time to heat, with a maximum temperature of 90-95c (even a full 100-105c in some vintage machines). Even with hot water on tap at 60c (which is as hot as any non-heated US washer is going to get), that takes quite a bit of heating... a 10-minute wash time may be just enough if you're treating your laundry with a load of phosphate detergent and bleach (both highly toxic - the former is now banned in the UK and throughout Europe), but you're creating a load of problems for yourself and the environment. Even after loads of rinsing (e.g. my old 90s Bosch does FOUR deep rinses), the laundry still smells of bleach, if I've used it (dirty whites tend to need a bit). Consequently, especially as the wash water has usually ended up pretty filthy, I always send it round a second time without bleach.

Most of the vintage European machines spun out fully between rinses - the big Bosch was the one exception to that. I've just glanced at videos of an AEG Lavamat Nova and a Miele 421 - both spin out before and after every rinse.

Post# 971570 , Reply# 21   12/4/2017 at 20:31 (223 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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Phosphates toxic? Certainly not, but the issue with them is algal blooms. The ban on residential phosphate use was merely a showboat action as more than 90% of phosphate use is in industry and agriculture. Agriculture run off is what causes algal blooms anyway, because unlike home waste water, there is no treatment involved. Phosphorus is actually a necessary nutrient to ALL living things(alga just goes crazy when there is an abundance).

As to the environmental repercussions of liquid chlorine bleach, there are none, LCB turns to salt after a short time and harms nothing at the concentration in sewer pipes. Chlorine is used to treat drinking water

Post# 972109 , Reply# 22   12/7/2017 at 08:45 (221 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Phosphate use in agriculture is also on the decline here as more people become more environmentally conscious. Buying organic is now mainstream. Liquid chlorine bleach is known to kill fish and other waterborne wildlife - there was a big leak in my local river, albeit some miles upstream, killed thousands of trout.

Post# 972191 , Reply# 23   12/7/2017 at 17:15 (221 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

There is a difference between a leak of LCB into a water supply and a small amount added to a washing machine and draining into a sewage system to be diluted by and treated with thousands of gallons of waste water.

Post# 972201 , Reply# 24   12/7/2017 at 18:21 (221 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
"...vintage European machines spun out fully between rin

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How far back does your definition of "vintage" go?

To best of one's knowledge none of the Miele washing machines before the 19XX (or their corresponding models sold in Europe) spun after anything but the third or fourth rinse. This includes the topping up with cold water before draining after main wash.

AEG washers one has seen or researched from that same period (before 1990's or so), also did not spin until after two or more rinses. Ditto for Asko and a few others.

My AEG OKO-Lavamat which is from a 1997 series (IIRC) does spin after main wash for Normal/Easy Cares. However if one choses "Sensitive" then the thing will default to a rinse patter not that much different than washers of old; it does two deep rinses after the main wash with no spins between any.

Post# 972203 , Reply# 25   12/7/2017 at 18:25 (221 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
"LCB turns to salt after a short time "

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Too right.

Which is why you want to always purchase and use "fresh" liquid chlorine bleach and or products based upon. Just rubbished a new barely used bottles of Tilex mold killer that had sat so long the bleach component degraded.

This also explains why for many commercial/industrial purposes they go with powdered chlorine bleach (such as swimming pools), as it is far more shelf stable.

Post# 972292 , Reply# 26   12/8/2017 at 05:51 (220 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Launderess is right, again! Even the W1918 is pretty wary of doing much spinning other than short pulse spins until after the 3rd rinse on Cottons. The W1986, with a more sophisticated motor speed control spins after every drain on the Cottons cycle.  If an over suds or failure to balance condition prevents a full fledged high speed spin, as soon as the timer advances into the first rinse, it immediately adds time for another deep rinse. Over and above that, the 1918 seems capable of only advancing into a spin at a set motor speed, hence the need for the pulse spins, where the 1986 can ramp up to a selected spin speed, making it often able to spin its way out of an unbalanced or sudsy situation and increasing the spin speed as the load becomes lighter.

Post# 972324 , Reply# 27   12/8/2017 at 09:03 (220 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Launderess - see

Miele 421 of the mid-to-late 1960s (this one has the 420's 4-paddle drum, the 421S got a 3-paddle drum that was carried over into the first of the modern 60cm models of the 70s), three intermediate spins plus a final spin at the end.

Likewise this AEG Lavamat Nova of similar vintage (again, 4-paddle drum, the 3-paddle drum didn't come in until about 1970-71), three intermediate spins, each followed by a rinse, then a lengthy final spin.

Ditto this '68 Lavamat Bella, spins before and after each of four rinses (although it still appears to have quite a bit of foam left at the end - too much detergent?).

This 1970s Bauknecht only spins before the last two rinses, and I've seen a few other newer (1980s) Mieles and AEGs do the same.

Post# 972522 , Reply# 28   12/9/2017 at 07:35 (219 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Well that's me sorted then.

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Have never seen nor heard of an older European h-axis washer that extracted after main wash.

If Miele was capable of doing this for 400 series, why were the 700 and 10XX models saddled with the other way (three to four rinses before any spin).

Post# 972528 , Reply# 29   12/9/2017 at 08:24 (219 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
When I say vintage

Frontloaders I mean Bendix and Westinghouse in the 50s and 60s.

Post# 972572 , Reply# 30   12/9/2017 at 11:22 (219 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

Launderess - you might well ask! The one video (or, rather, series of short clips) I've found of the late-70s W459 (electronic control, rapid-advance timer) shows it doing as you describe - multiple rinses before the first spin. The older Mieles (410, 416, 420, 421) all appear to spin before every rinse. Not sure about the similar 500-series (which had a larger drum and I believe were hard-mount?).

Norgeway, it's true that they were the real pioneers - the early German machines were definitely based significantly on Bendix, Fisher in the UK simply licensed Bendix (Philco) designs and built them here, the first compact (24") front-loader on the UK market, as far as I know, was the English Electric Liberator (a UK-built licensed version of the Westinghouse Spacemate washer), which also had a Westinghouse-derived matching dryer (which in turn was also licensed by Hoover as their first-ever tumble dryer). The 30" Westinghouse models never made it here as far as I am aware - a shame, as I'd love an early-60s W1000/D1000 Program Computer set in my putative collection... although I might be inclined to modify the washer with a stainless steel drum if I could find one to fit, and perhaps even see if I could make it reverse... ;)

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