Thread Number: 20033
Consumer Reports video on how they test washers
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Post# 320343   12/18/2008 at 19:17 (3,568 days old) by revvinkevin (So. Cal.)        

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I happened across this video, thought it was interesting and thought you may be interested also. 4:23 minutes.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO revvinkevin's LINK

Post# 320353 , Reply# 1   12/18/2008 at 20:10 (3,568 days old) by jeffg ()        

The major problem with Consumer Reports isn't their testing methods, it's their bizarre and often inexplicable choices of which models to include in their ratings. E.g. I've never seen a Speed Queen top loader included in any of their washer reviews, even though they're the best TL's made today.

Post# 320409 , Reply# 2   12/19/2008 at 01:02 (3,568 days old) by maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
I've mentioned it before--

the brands and models tested by CR are chosen on market share.


Post# 320426 , Reply# 3   12/19/2008 at 06:06 (3,567 days old) by dj-gabriele ()        

Interesting view! But those front loaders are extremely underloaded!

Post# 320431 , Reply# 4   12/19/2008 at 06:32 (3,567 days old) by frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

CR tests machines with an 8-pound load, and then once again with a maximum-capacity load.

An 8-pound load (which is the average load size in the USA) is a small load in the new large-tub front-loaders.

Post# 320468 , Reply# 5   12/19/2008 at 10:50 (3,567 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Oh for the days of Jetcone Agitators

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and ABC Centric action! Now there were real toploaders that scared the dirt out of the clothes!

I hate those stupid dual action twisty do nothing agitators! How cheap and flimsy~

Its like using a clock motor to do the laundry.

Bendix 20 minute cycle clean clean clean!
And away goes Atomic Dirt down the drain!

Post# 320513 , Reply# 6   12/19/2008 at 14:58 (3,567 days old) by pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Wow... I think I just found my dream job!!! Of course, pretty much everything would receive a rating of "very poor" from me besides the Miele and Asko machines..... lol

Post# 320549 , Reply# 7   12/19/2008 at 20:18 (3,567 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Thanks for posting the link to that video. It really helps to explain how CR does its testing. The shots of wash action were nice as well.

It also confirms something I suspected for a long time: that its method of testing for gentleness is flawed. They use what looks like maybe a square foot of coarse fabric with hole punched in it, and then measure how many threads can be pulled free of the holes after washing.

The problem with this method is that it disregards the potentially much greater forces exerted on large pieces of laundry, such as sheets, blankets, comforters, etc. In some washers, such large pieces can't move out of the way of the agitator, especially if the washer is filled to the max. This is typically a problem with traditional top loaders, which can tend to rip and tear at sheets, especially the fitted kind. A front loader, by design, will be more gentle with such large items - even those front loaders that are down-rated in gentleness in CR's testing.

But I think their washing performance and spin efficiency testing methods were good, and probably something one can rely upon in their ratings.

Post# 320629 , Reply# 8   12/20/2008 at 14:56 (3,566 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

CR performs many tests, but it would be nice if they tested how well each washer and each brand of detergent rinsed.

Post# 320664 , Reply# 9   12/20/2008 at 22:27 (3,566 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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I really enjoyed watching this....and it is interesting to note the difference in gentleness testing between consumer agencies.

The Australian Consumers Association attaches embroidery fabric to swatches (it frays easily) and then measures the amount that is left unfrayed. The also measure rinse effectiveness and I hate say it, but front load machines are no longer the best performers...damn it....

However, I do feel that their testing methods are flawed slightly.

- They test in cold water and penalise machines that can't do a true cold wash (the majority of Australians wash in cold water - yuck)

- They test at capacity on the normal cycle yet surveys have found that the the majority of us only wash 4kg (9 lb)at a time yet don't test this.

- Many owners of front load machines use the quick or short washes...especially with smaller loads...yet they have not tested these....

I can understand the requirement to wash at capacity, especially as our water efficiency scheme tests at capacity, but if consumers don't wash like this wouldn't it be better to at least do some tests that are representative of what we actually do?

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