Thread Number: 11930
Frigidaire built F/L: How reliable are current models?
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Post# 211705   5/22/2007 at 20:30 (4,386 days old) by dnastrau (Lords Valley, PA)        

Hi everyone:

We are considering the purchase of one of the current Frigidaire-built front loaders in the 3.5 cu. ft. variety. I believe this includes the "~2140," "~2940 Gallery" and Affinity models as well as one remaining GE rebadged version of the "~2140." I don't think Kenmore still offers a rebadged version of this design.

Anyway, my question has to do with the reliability of the current models. Does anyone know if Electrolux has definitely addressed the issues with the tub bearing failing from water getting past the seal and the aluminum "spider" support on the back of the tub corroding and breaking? I would hate to purchase one of these only to have it fail catastrophically after 3-5 years of normal use as some have reported on the Internet. These machines seem to be a great value compared to Whirlpool, LG, Bosch, etc. but would be false economy in my opinion if it would not last very long.

Thanks in advance for any opinions/experiences that anyone wishes to offer.


Andrew S.

Current washer: 2000 KitchenAid top loader (Shredmore on pep pills)


Post# 211736 , Reply# 1   5/22/2007 at 22:33 (4,386 days old) by cny4 (Central New York)        

Don't know about the reliability yet, but I love my new affinity ATF6000. I also replaced my Kitchenaid; a 1997 Superba. I was quite disappointed with the K/A at the end, 2 coupler replacements in 5 years and the washer quit again the day I purchased the Affinity with yet another broken coupler.

I paid more for the K/A in 1997 than I did or the Affinity last week. I figured a "Kitchen Aid" washer should last me 20 years!

The unit seems quite solid, I would go for it, just buy whatever model is the best deal in your area. I purchased the Affinity for $580.00 less a $50.00 gift card from Fridgidaire; final cost $530.00 which is less than most s retailers charge for the 2140 amd 2940.


Post# 211746 , Reply# 2   5/22/2007 at 23:09 (4,386 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

I have had good luck with Electrolux-built front loaders. My first one was the Kenmore 3.1 model that my son currently is using and it is eight years old and never had a bit of trouble. I've had the 2940 3.5 model for over a year and like it.

Post# 211755 , Reply# 3   5/23/2007 at 00:20 (4,386 days old) by passatdoc (Orange County, California)        

Have owned the 2140 for fourteen months. Excellent performance. I paid about $600 but got $135 back in gas and water district rebates. It's wise to wipe the gasket crease to keep it dry between wash days, and also advisable to leave the door ajar so that humidity does not build up too high when it's idle. My machines are in the garage with a southern exposure in Southern California....so the garage gets HOT in summer, often over 90 degrees in the afternoon, but no problems with mold as long as the above precautions.

I had read some amateurish website (maybe epinions.com) that reported electronic control board problems with the Affinity, and a shortage of replacement boards (so even people under warranty had to wait months for repairs). I can't verify if this is true, but I see no reason why the people who posted these bad experiences would have fabricated the story. It's possible there was a bad run of boards that has now been corrected. Or maybe the reliability reputation (earned or not) of the Affinity explains why it's now priced at the same level as the 2140 and 2940? (the store where I bought mine www.howards.com... now sells the Affinity for LESS than the 2140 and 2940).

The 2940 has two features lacking in the 2140: Automatic Temperature Control and variable delay timer. The former is useful if you have really cold ground water (we don't in CA) or if your machine is far from your water heater (mine sit next to each other).

However, I find that I use my delay timer far more than I thought I would. Quite often I'll set up a load at 9-10 pm to run eight hours later (i.e. 5 am) so that the clothes are ready for the dryer when I wake up at 6 am the next morning. The only choice with the 2140 is an eight hour delay.

The 2940 has a 4-12 hour timer which is more flexible in this regard. For example, if your washer is in a warm or hot environment (garage, etc.), and you have 3-4 hours of errands to run, you might want the wash to run an hour or so before you expect to arrive home....and I wouldn't want my wet washed clothes sitting 4-5 hours in a 90 degree garage in summer. Or I might return home from a social engagement late at night, and using the fixed eight hour delay would result in clothes being washed after I had to leave for work in the morning.

So in some situations, I'd want a flexible delay timer. If I had to do it over again, I would probably choose the 2940 for the reasons above. At the time I bought, I didn't know what ATC was and didn't realize that one model had ATC and the other did not. Likewise, I wasn't aware of the variable delay timer. The main thing I noticed was a digital display that shows the wash time remaining, and I didn't see that as too essential, once you learn from experience how long the cycles last. At the time I bought, there was a $70-80 price difference. Now they are priced about the same. I imagine that some customers don't even know the difference and select them mainly by appearance: the 2940 has a matching dryer with round window, whereas the 2140 has a dryer with a solid door but controls that match the washer.


Post# 211856 , Reply# 4   5/23/2007 at 12:29 (4,385 days old) by dnastrau (Lords Valley, PA)        

Thanks for the replies - I am looking to replace the washer only and keep the large KitchenAid dryer, but my Wife would like to have a matching set. She would prefer the red LGs but that is out based on the horror stories that I have read here along with the price.

I am leaning toward the Affinity 7000 since it has a heater, or possibly the 2140. Now to find a good sale...

Andrew S.


Post# 211867 , Reply# 5   5/23/2007 at 14:08 (4,385 days old) by passatdoc (Orange County, California)        

Andrew....all of the washers, as you probably now know, are 3.5 cu ft. The 7000 offers an onboard heater. I am fairly certain that it only activates if you select Hot water wash and your incoming hot water from your tank is below 140 F or whatever temp Frigidaire specifies. At lower temp settings, ATC works to ensure the correct "warm" temperature. At cold setting, not sure if it just takes straight cold water or whether it regulates it by adding a little hot water if incoming water is very cold. In any case, it's not like in Europe where many machines are cold water feed only, and the onboard heater does all the heating.

The 6000, with all due respect to cny4, is the one I saw getting bad reviews at epinions.com. Of course the tech expertise of their posters is miles behind the people at this website, but if someone says their control board went out, then it probably went out. To me it looks like a more attractive 2940 with the same features, and if it's offered at the same price, it's probably a bargain. Hopefully the control board problem was limited to a single bad production run, but those posters sounded awfully mad because the replacement boards were backordered.

The review that sounded scary was

www.abtelectronics.com/CustRev/pw...

But then I found some more recent reviews on epinions.com that sound more recent and more promising:

www.epinions.com/Frigidaire_ATF60...

The final spin on the 2140 and 2940 is 950-1000. I recall someone posting that the 6000-7000 series is faster, maybe 1100-1200. However, if you read the recent post on centrifugal force, a larger drum (e.g. US sized washers vs 24" European sized washers) will generate more centrifugal force than a smaller drum. So speeds do not need to be as high in a larger drum. It's rare to see a spin speed above 1200 rpm in a US-sized washer, whereas in European size washers, 1400-1600 is not unusual these days.



Post# 211871 , Reply# 6   5/23/2007 at 14:41 (4,385 days old) by cny4 (Central New York)        

Yeah, I read the Epinons one as well. I was going to actually buy the 2140 until this Affinity became available for less than the 2140. In fact the place I purchased my machine is the only place I have seen Affinity's priced this low, the next lowest was on sale at Best Buy for 669.99, and most places are either 699.99 or 799.99. I hope I do not have any problems with it but as PassatDoc said the circuit board issue has probably been addressed.



Post# 211883 , Reply# 7   5/23/2007 at 15:43 (4,385 days old) by nurdlinger (Tucson AZ)        
I have the Kenmore 44092

nurdlinger's profile picture
It's a twin to the Frigidaire 2940. I have owned it for 23 months, in which time it has washed three loads per week without incident. I have no idea whether this is typical usage or not. I remove the water from the boot when done for the day, and leave the door open all the time. The only thing I have found annoying is that usage of liquid detergent causes slimy buildup on the surface underneath the removable detergent/bleach/softener drawer. Liquid fabric softener did this too so I stopped using that and use white vinegar instead.

Post# 211899 , Reply# 8   5/23/2007 at 17:12 (4,385 days old) by cny4 (Central New York)        

White vinegar can be used in place of fabric softener? Any residual odor?

Post# 211902 , Reply# 9   5/23/2007 at 17:31 (4,385 days old) by passatdoc (Orange County, California)        

Here's the store where I bought my 2140. They are offering the 6000 with matching gas dryer for $1085:

www.howards.com/products_detail.h...

The dryer isn't huge, about 5.7 cu ft, vs. some traditional dryers as big as 7 cu ft. I have to turn large (king size) comforters once while drying. My understanding is that Frigidaire limited the dryer capacity to keep the footprint of the machine at the standard US size. This allows it to stack nicely and easily with a $25 stacking bracket kit, which I used.

The larger machines (e.g. Duet) achieve the extra capacity by making the machine deeper from front to back. This can create space problems in tight situations (e.g. a laundry closet, some doors can't close because of the depth of the Duets---my sister has a laundry annex with folding doors that close---a Duet would not fit). It also makes stacking the larger units look somewhat ungainly, though not impossible to do. I can live with 5.7 cu ft, it's no big deal to turn a comforter once while it's drying.

If your KA is still working, why not try just the washer and perhaps get the matching dryer later. I had to get the pair because I had to stack them. I have a bollard (concrete filled steel pipe) embedded in the garage slab in front of the washer---to protect water heater/dryer/washer/furnace from a wayward car. The bollard is required by our local building code. So I stacked the pair in the dryer space and put a folding table in the washer space. The bollard would have blocked a FL door, even on a pedestal.

You will find your dryer times cut in half due to the increased water extraction.



Post# 211924 , Reply# 10   5/23/2007 at 20:00 (4,385 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

White vinegar can be used as an "acid rinse" and leaves no residual odor. In fact, vinegar is a deodorizer when used in the proper concentrations. Although it will not produce the same softness as a fabric softener will, it does aid in rinsing detergent from the clothes and can make the fabrics feel a bit softer than nothing added at all. I have used vinegar in the first rinse in my machine by adding it to the bleach dispenser (since I don't use chlorine bleach) with good results.

It is advisable to clean out the dispenser cavity once in a while...I clean mine once or twice a year. It is easily accomplished by pulling the dispenser drawer all the way out. The dispenser stays fairly clean all the time since water is flowing through it. Certainly the dispenser is a step above those top loading agitator dispensers that get all gunked up and gross.


Post# 211970 , Reply# 11   5/24/2007 at 05:41 (4,385 days old) by tumbler ()        
Frigidaire F/L machines

As a former owner-and a repairman-I'd stay away from the Frigidaire machines. To my knowledge, they have NOT addressed the seal/bearing issues. GE front loaders are also not a good bet. Strangely enough, the only GE laundry machine which holds up well and does a reasonably good job is the Profile Harmony top-loader with no agitator. I've owned a Whirlpool Duet HT (the big one) for a year now, and consider it the best machine I've ever owned. The Duet "Sport" model is a 3.3 cu.ft. machine. It's been around for about a year and a half, and so far the feedback has been good. On the appliance tech bulletin board I use, I've seen only one mention of a Sport so far.

Post# 212031 , Reply# 12   5/24/2007 at 16:18 (4,384 days old) by dnastrau (Lords Valley, PA)        

Thanks again to everyone for all of the information. I am not sure what we will do yet.

Tumbler, that is discouraging news as I would think that Electrolux would have addressed the tub bearing failure and support "spider" corrosion and breakage issues by now. This is making me lean more toward a Duet/Epic. We shall see...

Andrew S.


Post# 212043 , Reply# 13   5/24/2007 at 17:48 (4,384 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Vinegar "Sour" Rinses

launderess's profile picture
I've told ya, vinegar does not remove detergents, but rather some hard water minerals, and the "soap scum" which forms with hard water (which is mainly minerals), along with sodium bicarbonate (what sodium carbonate/washing soda breaks down to as a residue in laundry). Removing such substances is what makes laundry feel softer, but that has nothing to do with detergents. That is to say neither vinegar nor sour rinses will remove surfactants, enzymes or any of the other chemicals found in laundry products.

Sour rinsing also brings down the final pH of laundry by again, removing the alkaline residues/substances mentioned above, which are common to some powder laundry detergents. Same effect if one has ever washed one's hair with a strong soap,detergent or high pH shampoo, and followed with a vinegar rinse. You can instantly feel the hair becoming softer and "smoother" as fibers that were once roughed up (due to the high base pH), are calmed down.

Just for the record, it is worth saying again, that all liquid laundry detergents are neutral to only slighly alkaline, and in some cases slighly acidic, in which case sour rinses are not necessary as their isn't any thing for them to "work" on. Even some TOL domestic and commercial laundry products have moved away from high base pH laundry chemistry, which means they to do not need "sour" laundry rinses.

Finally as posted before, one wants to use vinegar as well as any acid with caution on cotton and linen fibers. Such textiles can be easily damaged by acids, even a weak one such as vinegar. Commercial laundries use various methods to test the final pH of the rinse water to make sure they are not using too much sour. As some dyes are also affected by acids, it is not uncommon for some garments, especially men's shirts to warn about over use of laundry sours.

L.


Post# 212056 , Reply# 14   5/24/2007 at 19:08 (4,384 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Problem with many of these frontloaders is the maker's desire to keep costs down, versus the high costs to produce a top quality front loading washing machine.

There is no doubt about it, H-axis washing machines cost more to design and produce than their top loading counter parts. This is why even simple/basic commercial front loaders still cost over one thousand dollars. Still such a unit will last 15 years or more. Units are easily serviced, with parts that come right off the shelf. Same as with many European front loaders, still giving daily service 15 or more years after they rolled off the assembly line. Indeed units such as these are more likely to be replaced more because of a desire for a newer model,than anything really wrong with them.

American domestic laundry appliance makers for the most part really would prefer not to deal with front loaders, but Federal and local energy/water regulations are making life difficult for them. Technology is out there, but again it is pricey, and Americans have long moved major appliances into the realm of "toss away" goods. Who is going to invest the R&D for a top quality front loader, that would cost over one thousand dollars when much of the market won't pony up that kind of money for "just a washer".

So what do we get? More and more of Asian made garbarge, built by people who subsist on three or four USA a day.

You have to love progress.

L.


Post# 212073 , Reply# 15   5/24/2007 at 21:04 (4,384 days old) by cny4 (Central New York)        

Any other repair people out there that are familiar with the newer front load Frigidaire products that can provide their experiences and insight? The more opinions the better, especially with some of the imported shit (and yes I said it; SHIT!!!) that is out there the choices are getting slimmer and slimmer, so we need to know what to buy.

Post# 212079 , Reply# 16   5/24/2007 at 21:38 (4,384 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Language!

launderess's profile picture
Please try to remember there are ladies and minors present.

Thank you.

L.


Post# 212094 , Reply# 17   5/24/2007 at 22:49 (4,384 days old) by oxydolfan1 ()        

I would LOVE to find an older (I mean 10-15 year old) Miele or other good-quality front loader that someone wants to get rid of. I have someone who could repair or restore it for me; the problem is actually finding one.

I wouldn't mind passing on all the newer cycles and functions that are missing on the older models, because they are not useful for my needs. What I'd like is high water levels on ALL cycles and a machine that is lasting, and I'm not sure that's what I'm saying on the new front loaders that my friends and acquaintances are slowly phasing in, even the prestige brands.


Post# 212106 , Reply# 18   5/25/2007 at 00:21 (4,384 days old) by launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Well Keep Your Mitts Off Mine!

launderess's profile picture
*LOL*

Have set aside a trust fund to keep my vintage Miele going, as can't be bothered with the modern stuff.

Keep your eyes on eBay and Craigslist, amoung other sources for older Miele units. They come up more often than thou would imagine. Many people buying new homes and find the units chuck em to the curb. Or local PC Richards had a older W1918 sitting in the clearance section for ages. Salesman said because of the 220v power requirement, there were no takers.

L.


Post# 212165 , Reply# 19   5/25/2007 at 08:59 (4,383 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

laundromat's profile picture
Because they are manufactured in the same factory as the Wascomat comercial machines,The Frigidaire front loading washers have to pass the sme high standards a sthe comercial machines.Due to that,they are much better built.That gives them a slight lead over everybody else.The other factor that does that is their price.

Post# 212176 , Reply# 20   5/25/2007 at 09:55 (4,383 days old) by golittlesport (California)        
Consumer Reports

CR's consumer surveys report the repair rate on Whirlpool /Kenmore front loaders and Frigidaire/Electrolux front loaders are about the same (10-12% respectively with a disclaimer that less than 4 percent difference is meaningless.) This data comes from the actual owners of the machines.

Post# 212199 , Reply# 21   5/25/2007 at 11:49 (4,383 days old) by ~sudsshane ()        
dnastrau

Hi Andrew..

I have an LG Tromm front load washer and dryer which was purchased back in January. the set was about $2300.00. I have to say this is the best machine I have ever used. I would highly recommend them. A few people did have problems with LG regarding the extended warranty, but I think it seems to be a regional problem. Check them out at Home Depot..

Good Luck and let us know what you choose.


Post# 212288 , Reply# 22   5/25/2007 at 22:34 (4,383 days old) by cny4 (Central New York)        

Wascomat is part of Frigidaire or vice versa? This is good news I use a Wascomat on a normal basis and it is a solid machine.




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