Thread Number: 18942
The last word in clothes washing
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Post# 306700   9/30/2008 at 17:32 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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So, today I decided to bring something new home, because the Norge pooped the puppy pad, and I wasn't in the mood to tear it all apart and fix the few major boo-boos it has. (Soon, but not right now.)

Furthermore, Rick wasn't very good at the world of solid-tub washing, and it made his gingham apron droop every time he had to do a load of laundry.

So, I decided to look for a new machine, based on the following criteria:

- It had to hold a ton of clothes,
- It had to be useable by the average human (color-coded controls with pictures of smiling daisies would be good),
- It could not have a plastic tub,
- It could not have a dual-action agitator,
- It had to be entertaining enough for me to enjoy as well, as a compromise with "those other members of the house who treat laundry as a mere task."

Oh, and I forgot:

- It could only cost $50 or less.

I am such a bitch!

Anyway, introducing what I brought home--the Raytheon Amana!

*insert shrieks of terror now*

It's the stainless-steel designer series--not a bad looking machine, and a lot of cool options (like slow agitation, regular spin) that aren't all that common, and are very useful.

And no, it doesn't leak from the center-seal! (Yet.)

The lovely lady who had it still had the user guide, warranty certificate, and installation instructions, still in the plastic jacket...

(Note the remnants of the lid-switch terminals above.)

Post# 306701 , Reply# 1   9/30/2008 at 17:36 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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...the lovely lady also told me in parting:

"Oh, and I don't think the hot water valve works...but I never cared, because I did all my wash in cold water!"

As a person with cleaning OCD, I moaned with pleasure to hear those words, because I could now envision perfectly how my next four hours would be spent--toothbrushing scum out of every part of the washer! Hooray! Well, next stop, the hardware store, for some CLR and a stiff brush. Gack!

The washer was dirty, but did not smell, and I have seen worse. In fact, upon closer inspection of the inside of the outer tub, there was only a trace amount of detergent crud. This washer apparently does an exceedingly good job of cleaning itself. (This model is about 14 years old.)

Well, let's get to it!

As it turns out, the valve and solenoids work fine. I'm not sure what the story was there. But evidence (scummy evidence) of cold-water washing abounds. Maybe she needed Cold Power!

Post# 306702 , Reply# 2   9/30/2008 at 17:38 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Not bad

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Not too bad, but lots of moldy crud. Plus, the top of the outer tub has lots of nooks and crannies to collect crud and fuzz. That went upstairs to be cleaned in detail.

What's the theory with the circle-fill on this, which is reminiscent of the Hotpoint ring? It doesn't filter lint--it just seems to be a dorky attempt at recapturing the joy of the Frigidaire 1-18 Jet Circle fill. It's very Zen and calming, if undramatic.

Post# 306703 , Reply# 3   9/30/2008 at 17:39 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Stainless steel where it counts--tin foil where it doesn'

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Much like a DeLorean, the stainless steel meets the eye, and the rust kicks you from behind. the outer tub is all metal, but very badly coated and easily damaged. There's a bit of rust to address at the top of the tub.

Post# 306704 , Reply# 4   9/30/2008 at 17:40 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
All clean

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The sparkling tub guard and cleaned gasket are ready to rejoin their friends back in the machine.

Post# 306705 , Reply# 5   9/30/2008 at 17:41 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Inserting the gasket

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I've seen cheesier. This one's okay, and is relatively forgiving about being reinstalled. Keep a screwdriver on-hand to duck under the tub clips. (Keep a spare tub-guard on hand for when you crack the old one too, btw.)

Post# 306706 , Reply# 6   9/30/2008 at 17:42 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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Here's the underside. It kind of reminds me of a Franklin, or a little bit of a Westinghouse design.

Post# 306707 , Reply# 7   9/30/2008 at 17:43 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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Yes, that's belt-dust. Wonder why? :-)

Post# 306708 , Reply# 8   9/30/2008 at 17:44 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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The trickle-fill is very quiet and very Zen. I sometimes meditate while awaiting agitation.

Here, it cascades down the back wall of the tub. (Meaning I need to level the washer better.)

Post# 306709 , Reply# 9   9/30/2008 at 17:45 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
More filling

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Anyone need to use the bathroom?

Post# 306710 , Reply# 10   9/30/2008 at 17:47 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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One of the reasons I always wanted to try these machines was that I've seen such conflicting posts on whether or not they're any good.

Mechanical durability notwithstanding, this machine's a winner for me. The turnover is fantastic, and I haven't been able to fill it up with the normal baskets o' laundry we generate--which is a good thing and a plus in our household.

I noticed that there are two series of agitators--one with flex-vanes (rather like a PowerFin) and one that apparently isn't. I wonder if the flex-vanes make all the difference?

The lady said she tended to use this washer to wash oversized blankets her front loader couldn't accommodate. I can see where it'd work.

Post# 306711 , Reply# 11   9/30/2008 at 17:48 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Spin and spray rinse

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The machine has a good spin (not amazing, but not disappointing), and the spray rinse is amusing. Some water does make it through, but not much. Can you spot the droplets?

Post# 306712 , Reply# 12   9/30/2008 at 17:49 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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The rinse is good and clear, so all seems well here. Yay!

Post# 306713 , Reply# 13   9/30/2008 at 17:49 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
So far, so good

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So far, I've done two loads, and they're both fab. I'll let you know how it goes...

Post# 306717 , Reply# 14   9/30/2008 at 17:58 (3,644 days old) by tuthill ()        

Nice washer! Thanks for the pics! The lady said she tended to use this washer to wash oversized blankets her front loader couldn't accommodate Wtf? that doesn't make sense.

Post# 306721 , Reply# 15   9/30/2008 at 18:06 (3,644 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
I know, right?

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I thought so, too, but apparently she got some smaller-sized front loaders that stacked or some such, and they must have been tiny puppies, since usually--as you noted--I reserve the bulky items for the front loader. Go figure.

Post# 306730 , Reply# 16   9/30/2008 at 19:15 (3,643 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Nice Nate. Congratulations. I would love to see panel pics though. Solid tub Norge??? And what's wrong with drooping gingham aprons--more skin to display!!! he he he

Post# 306756 , Reply# 17   9/30/2008 at 21:36 (3,643 days old) by frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I like your Amana, Nate! May it have been made on a Tuesday, which often produces the least problematic manufactured items.

Post# 306775 , Reply# 18   9/30/2008 at 22:14 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Panel shots

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Why, certainly, Bob. (You need to e-mail me with your phone numbah, mistah! ;-) )

Here are the panel shots, which I forgot in my haste to tear it apart :- Sorry about that!

The full monty:

Post# 306776 , Reply# 19   9/30/2008 at 22:15 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Panel left

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...the left-side goodies:

Post# 306777 , Reply# 20   9/30/2008 at 22:15 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Right side

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...right-side goodies:

Post# 306778 , Reply# 21   9/30/2008 at 22:16 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
And for Mr. Gansky

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Well, let's have a look, shall we? I've been running it all afternoon and evening.

The approach:

Post# 306779 , Reply# 22   9/30/2008 at 22:17 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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...the wipe:

(Good Lawd, that arm-hair! I should do corn-rows.)

Post# 306781 , Reply# 23   9/30/2008 at 22:18 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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...the reveal:

Nope, dry as a bone, bitches :-D

(But don't fret. You can always check back...maybe next week.) :-

Thanks for the well-wishing, Eugene--I hope it's a good one, too! I had similar good luck with a WCI Kelvinator once, so maybe this will be another charmer. We'll see!

Post# 306784 , Reply# 24   9/30/2008 at 22:26 (3,643 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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My Nate you crack me up! Nice looking set - the rinse looks crystal clear! Glad to hear that you took the plunge, and came out on top!


Post# 306789 , Reply# 25   9/30/2008 at 22:42 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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Thanks, Ben! :-D

So far, it's great--though we'll have to plot a chart of oopsies and revisit the subject next year :-P

Post# 306793 , Reply# 26   9/30/2008 at 22:54 (3,643 days old) by tuthill ()        

Is there supposed to be like a lint filter in the middle of the agitator? How does this machine filter lint?

Post# 306796 , Reply# 27   9/30/2008 at 23:08 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Like Magic!

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The space in the agitator is where the fabric-softener dispenser will go when it arrives--it and the bleach dispenser were lost to the ages (no idea why, but...).

This machine filters lint via a mesh disc underneath the inner tub--the infamous and much-despised "Magic Clean" design. The theory was that the agitator pulled water up through the filter while agitating, and then during spin, all the captured lint, fuzz, strings, and crud would be centrifugally flung off the disc (with the help of the swirling water), and flushed down the drain.

Roger tested this theory extensively on a few DD Kenmore machines he had, and seemed to find that some machines did indeed stay clean over time, and some didn't. It's hit-or-miss. Usually, you find them chockablock full of lint, or sand, or crud (or all three), and they usually make the washer smell bad, too.

I don't know what shape this machine's filter is in.

Post# 306803 , Reply# 28   9/30/2008 at 23:30 (3,643 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Don't you DARE touch a FOLICLE of hair on that arm MISTER!!!!!

Post# 306823 , Reply# 29   12/31/1969 at 18:00 (17,797 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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Not to worry, Bob ;-)

Hey, did you know that a console light was a factory option for this model, and that you could order it from Amana? I'm tempted to dig for this--everything's better with a lighted control panel!

That explains the little black-and-white terminals I found free-hanging in the control panel when I doctored the lid switch. Funzies!

Post# 306858 , Reply# 30   10/1/2008 at 06:13 (3,643 days old) by toggleswitch2 ()        

What a catch!

Post# 306886 , Reply# 31   10/1/2008 at 09:17 (3,643 days old) by pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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I've always wanted to play with one of these! I used to see them at the store when I was little and thought they were soooo cool!!! They had a touchpad Amana set there for a while and I will always remember playing with it!

On another note... You've STOPPED using the NORGE???? I don't understand! How could one STOP using a fabulous roaring Norge? Even if it is broken... :P

Post# 306906 , Reply# 32   10/1/2008 at 10:38 (3,643 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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What happened to the Norge?? That washer was in perfect, mint working order when it left here! Hee hee.

I liked the black panel Amana design better than the gray & white - just stands out a little more. You'll probably do well for a while with this washer - they are decent washers overall and it was the later 710 spinning machines that had more trouble with chewing up belts and center-seal issues. Eventually, you'll go back to the DD Kenmore -- everyone does. ;-)

Post# 306909 , Reply# 33   10/1/2008 at 11:10 (3,643 days old) by pdub (Portland, Oregon)        
cool washer Nate!

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I see these quite often in ads and at sales. Sometimes the ad will say 'the washer has a small leak'. Good luck with yours and hope it remains leak free. Thanks for the pictures.


Post# 306919 , Reply# 34   10/1/2008 at 11:40 (3,643 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Norge by Borg Warner..

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Hey Nate, what are you like with aprons!!!, Kansas?? I`m must have blinked - missed that one!!! now thats looks like a machine that means business, love the stainless holey tub, the dark panel just sets it off for me!!

Is it a quiet machine or does it have a growl to it!!!

p.s. must did out that photo from Gregs last year!!, its not an apron on you but its very fetching...LOl

Post# 306930 , Reply# 35   10/1/2008 at 12:44 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
LOL Thanks, everyone--you're so awesome ;-)

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Well, let's see...

Togs: Thanks! You'll have to come visit, and we can Amanafy! Bring all the clothes you own, and we might make the Ex-Large fill level. The thing holds a ton!

Jamie: I loved these, family was a Kenmore/Whirlpool family all the way when I grew up (my friend had a GE Filter-Flo, and I remember just staring at it for minutes on end, mind blown by the single-action agitator and the lint filter), and stuff like the Raytheon machines (SQ and Amana) was just absolutely exotic by comparison. Of course, if one examines the repair history *cough*, we see that, much like an exotic sports car, it requires an attendant mechanic, but no matter :-) That's what we're for!

LOL--regarding using a broken Norge, I pretty much was. By the time I phased it out, Rick came downstairs and watched as it agitated slo-o-o-wly and could barely burpalate any water. He looked up, and said, "Is it supposed to be that slow?" I just sort of looked at him, and he muttered "right," under his breath, and went back upstairs. When I told him that I was setting it aside for overhauling, he actually quietly hissed a "Yesss!" The things a girl has to put up with! :-D

The final load in the Norge had to be removed by hand, then the machine agitated to drain it, then the clothes put back in, the timer reset to spin, and you hoped that it'd hit full spin speed.

I've got some work to do. *looks at fingernails*

Greg: Well, here's my theory. The main drive pulley on the Norge is bent and has a crease in it, so I suspect what happened is that the axle that broke-off underneath due to the failed weld probably wagged its way underneath that pulley, and at some point when the machine was set-down, the pulley landed on that axle, and it was bent. This causes the machine to chatter while running (godawful sound), and due to the now off-kilter drive pulley, it's constantly wobbling the belt and it chews it up...even brand-new ones. I need to figure out how to straighten the pulley without damaging the tranny. Maybe I can find a pulley to match it and replace it--I'm hoping it doesn't have an exotic seal where the pulley attaches to the shaft of the tranny. But it'll be interesting to find a pulley with not only the correct diameter, but also the correct collar length.

That, and I need to remove the top and redo the outer-tub seal properly--the duct tape and silicone has reached the end of the line :-P You know how it goes with Norges--factory-original materials like that just don't hold up over decades of use. It's understandable.

Re: the Amana--I think you're right, and it is a looker. It's fourteen years old, though, and that's well outside of it's maximal life expectancy in all honesty, I'm cruising on borrowed time as it is. I'll just have fun with it while I'm able :-)

Re: DD Kenmores--*slapslapslapslapslap!!* ;-)

Patrick: Thank you, and you took the words right out of my mouth. Most ads for these that I do see here say just that: "Has small leak. Probably easy to fix" (and then they price the machine at $150). If only they knew.

Mike: LOL!!! So wonderful to hear from you! Yes, I moved to Kansas City from San Francisco in August (to which I had moved from Tucson the preceding September). I know, I'm all over the place!

The Amana is slightly louder than a Maytag but far quieter than a Norge--let's put it that way. It's quieter than a DD Kenmore on agitation but has a resonating hum from the motor when it spins. It's not objectionable.

As for how I look in an apron, well, let's skip that and go straight for the gusto--I remember that little dainty you're talking about. It was a little hard to get over the shoulders, but it made my derriere positively callipygous!

Plus, with all that chiffon, just a trip through the Super Unimatic, and it was ready to wear! ;-)

Post# 306945 , Reply# 36   10/1/2008 at 14:36 (3,643 days old) by toggleswitch2 ()        

~What a catch!

Oh you thought I meant the machine? LOL

Post# 306956 , Reply# 37   10/1/2008 at 15:01 (3,643 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
Well, you know...

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...the difference between a good wash-in and a great one is whether or not the observers' own clothes get kept on, or run through the machines! :-D

Post# 306989 , Reply# 38   10/1/2008 at 16:22 (3,643 days old) by toggleswitch2 ()        

Terry isn't it true, dear, that you lost your shorts at a certain wash-in in Arizona?


Post# 307093 , Reply# 39   10/1/2008 at 22:08 (3,642 days old) by tlee618 ()        

Oh Steve, you shouldn't tell everything you know!!!! LOL

Post# 307121 , Reply# 40   10/1/2008 at 23:16 (3,642 days old) by pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Were those shorts ever recovered Terry? I remember hearing "Terry lost his pants!" muttered throughout the crowd... ;)

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