Thread Number: 216
Fisher + Paykel TL Dryer vs. Consumer Reports
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Post# 46314   10/5/2004 at 07:30 (6,741 days old) by frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Just received the new Consumer Reports with a preview of the F+P TL dryer. Their claim: Due to the depth of the drum it's actually harder to unload than any FL washer or dryer, especially for shorter people. They were also not crazy about it's performance with a full load.

Post# 46323 , Reply# 1   10/5/2004 at 10:29 (6,741 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Read same article last night. Not quite sure why someone would want a top-loading dryer anyway unless there was no room for a door in front (in which case how would you get the machine in there---lower it?). Well it is new and will take refining, and who knows, if the market will support it anyway? CU can be stupid-picky sometimes anyway--claimed it made a noise "like a jet airplane taking off" could they be less vague and describe just which part of the take off they are talking about! Anyway, machines make noise. I wish F&P well.

Post# 46335 , Reply# 2   10/5/2004 at 15:52 (6,741 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Can either of you guys scan the article and email it to me? I'm subscribed to CR online, but the report isn't there . . or they haven't yet updated the site.

Post# 46337 , Reply# 3   10/5/2004 at 15:55 (6,741 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Oops. The article is on CR's site now.

Post# 46368 , Reply# 4   10/5/2004 at 22:27 (6,741 days old) by westytoploader ()        

I agree; I read the same article and they didn't seem too impressed. I think they should give the F & P credit for being the first American top-loading dryer (or at least one of the first) instead of commenting on things such as the noise of the 2nd door closing...difficult unloading, no tub light, etc...

I never thought of this, but the F & P TL would be well suited in the "laundry closet" environment, since it doesn't require any front clearance...

Post# 46378 , Reply# 5   10/6/2004 at 02:15 (6,741 days old) by kenmore1978 ()        
F & P TL dryer

So what's the point of a top loading dryer, anyway? What's the advantage? Besides the issues CR brought up, you lose the space on top of a dryer a lot of people use as a workspace. What is F & P thinking?

Post# 46382 , Reply# 6   10/6/2004 at 05:26 (6,741 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        
FP TL dryer

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I saw these at the KBIS here in Orlando, 2002.The ones that were on display and running were very quiet.They sounded nothing like a jet taking off or landing.Their capacity was huge and the loading and unloading of items was a lot easyer than the traditional dryers especialy if you own a top loading washer because the transfer of items from one to the other was a breeze.My recomendation to match it would be the GE Harmony.I like their agitation better than the FP as far as top loading washers are concerned.I realy do not care for them(top loading washers) but if I had to own a current model,that would be the one.

Post# 46383 , Reply# 7   10/6/2004 at 05:55 (6,740 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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I've read rumours that the GE Harmony is rather harsh on laundry. I wonder if Robert could tell us a little more about it.

Post# 46385 , Reply# 8   10/6/2004 at 07:49 (6,740 days old) by frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I'd imagine loading the F+P TL dryer is easy, especially when transferring clothes from a TL washer. It's unloading the machine they found cumbersome. It will be interesting to see if any other manufacturers follow their lead. I'm all for encouraging new designs, but I think most of America will probably choose to continue to bend over for their dryers.

Post# 46408 , Reply# 9   10/6/2004 at 16:10 (6,740 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        
Bending Americans

I was reading some literature I think from the F&P website ages ago. Apparantly the TL dryer is aimed soley at the American market, because Americans dont like to bend over.

Strange I know, since the US pioneered the constant use of the dryer, but that was F&P's logic

Post# 46440 , Reply# 10   10/6/2004 at 23:33 (6,740 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

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hahaha..."Americans don't like to bend over." Sad, but true. Too many Amercians would just like to stand there and not move at all and watch life pass them by.

Just as CR said unloading the TL dryer is hard, I think unloading a deep-tub top load washer is harder than a front loader. Reaching down into the bottom of a TL washer and lifting heavy wet wash up and out(and remember with TL's spin speeds the wash is a lot heavier) around the clunky auger agitators in todays machines is no cakewalk. I wonder how the vertically challenged among us cope with these three-foot deep wash tubs.

Post# 46464 , Reply# 11   10/7/2004 at 17:30 (6,739 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I've located an F&P TL dryer. May pick it up Saturday 10/9 if I can get there.

Post# 46472 , Reply# 12   10/7/2004 at 20:54 (6,739 days old) by westytoploader ()        

In reply to Louis's comment, there was a demo lid (not a window lid unfortunately) on a Harmony at The Great Indoors (Sears's flagship store) so I started it. The furiously reversing impeller looked rough! Also, in the June 2004 issue of CR the Harmony scored only "good" on Gentleness. I would think that the problem comes from the fact that the impeller is nearly the diameter of the tub base, and the fact that it reverses fast doesn't help either. Robert made videos of his Harmony and through the later part of the wash cycle it really tossed 'em around!

Yes, the main CR drawback of the F & P TL dryer was unloading; I could see where that poses a problem considering the DEEP lid opening. My GE Portable and Kenmore are relatively hard to unload as well. The Kenmore's tub is just plain deep, and the GE's problem comes from the fact that there's a good 6 inches between the lid opening and the actual washtub (large balance ring in between). The soft floating suspension (where the tub, wash/spin motor, and drain pump on a rod-spring system are connected to the cabinet, eliminating the need for a base) doesn't really help either.

I find the Maytag relatively easy to unload, however, because the tub is wider than it is deep, as well as a large lid opening to get those large items out.


Post# 46508 , Reply# 13   10/8/2004 at 14:23 (6,738 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Thank you Austin, I guess I should plan a trip to the US again sometime, so I can catch up with the newest washers.

Post# 46513 , Reply# 14   10/8/2004 at 15:32 (6,738 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Confirmed. I am picking up a DEGX1 and an IWL12 this evening. The dealer (in Lake Jackson) had the DEGX1 but didn't have an IWL12 in stock. They found one at a distributor in Houston and made a special trip to fetch it for me.

Post# 46518 , Reply# 15   10/8/2004 at 16:00 (6,738 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

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Looking forward to a report by the end of the weekend.


Post# 46545 , Reply# 16   10/9/2004 at 00:41 (6,738 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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First quickie report on the dryer. I haven't yet run any loads.

1. The drum really is quite large, and deeper than I expected. Thus, CR's comment/complaint, LOL. I don't imagine any more so than a typical 6.5 to 7 cu ft capacity front-load dryer . . but one doesn't normally look down into a front-load dryer drum to directly observe the depth!

2. It's a little noisier than I expected when running, quite a strong thrumming sound, I suspect from the blower. It (the blower) makes a slight turbo-whine at the start, vaguely like the SmartDrive motor revving up to 1000 RPM. And there is a strong, distinct KLUNK when the drum lid latches/unlatches . . but it's brief.

Post# 46550 , Reply# 17   10/9/2004 at 03:38 (6,738 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Congratulations!! Great that you got the new set! Looking forward to some reports on this and if possible a few pictures too!


Post# 46557 , Reply# 18   10/9/2004 at 04:36 (6,738 days old) by kenmore1978 ()        
TL dryer

So this is really good timing, bring out a TL dryer just as they're trying to switch people to FL washers. So now, you end up bending over anyway, except that it's the washer instead of the dryer.

Post# 46560 , Reply# 19   10/9/2004 at 05:02 (6,738 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Well, F&P certainly isn't trying to switch people to FL washers. And it makes sense, combining a toploading washer and a toploading dryer. Siemens already had matching toploading sets in the sixties. There is a picture in my Yahoo album. I think it's also a good idea that people have a choice between toploading and frontloading. I guess it's very convenient to have a toploading set when you have a narrow laundryroom.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO foraloysius's LINK

Post# 46601 , Reply# 20   10/9/2004 at 18:11 (6,737 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Excellent Glenn, you're going to be the F&P expert! Does the dryer have a variable speed blower? You can slightly hear the blower starting on the Harmony dryer, but that too is brief and not THAT loud. It will be interesting to hear about the lint filter/storage system too...

I once had a supervisor that insisted on something negative or "needs improving" when writing performance reviews for subordinates. I wonder if this is CR's philosophy as well?

Post# 46612 , Reply# 21   10/10/2004 at 02:46 (6,737 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Initial Report Details -- F&P SmartLoad Dryer

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ARGHHH!!! I had a very long post composed, and lost it when my browser crashed. Will gather my thoughts at some point and try again. To be more brief for now . . .

I apparently am wrong about the blower making the start-up whine. I believe it's the drum motor. Someone on THS mentioned a while ago that the blower does not run during the reverse tumble periods, and the start-up whine *does* occur during reverse tumble. I haven't yet checked the vent outside during a reverse tumble period to comfirm the blower status . . but I believe it does not run because the machine is quieter during the reverse periods.

The drum is belt-driven, not direct-drive. I pulled the console to retrieve the tech sheet, and saw the belt wrapped around the right side through a wiring access opening. The tech sheet indicates the motor is 3-phase. I didn't specifically notice, but I assume it's DC-powered like the SmartDrive. There is also mention of a 24-volt drum-lid motor, I don't know exactly how that comes into play.

A small load of sheets (queen-size flat, fitted, three pillow slips) was resting comfortably in the drum. Absolutely no tangling or balling! A real test on that point will be my queen-size quilt, which always balled up horribly, needing to be rearranged several times until completely dry.

For those who may not be aware, the 'wrinkle guard' functions for 24 hours. A brief tumble every five minutes (I think). I believe each tumble period reverses direction.

One other 'negative' comment, besides the noisiness, is that the signal beeps need to be louder. It beeps when the damp dryness level is reached during a cycle, in case one wants to remove some items for ironing, and it's easy to miss the beeps if not paying fairly close attention.

Anyway, I'm liking it thus far. :-)

A few more details later, along with comments on the Intuitive Eco.

Post# 46646 , Reply# 22   10/10/2004 at 19:17 (6,736 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Awesome Reports

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I find your report more interesting to read and more informative than anything I have seen from CR in many years. Further information and a few photos would be great.


Post# 46703 , Reply# 23   10/11/2004 at 00:15 (6,736 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Another correction :-)

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!!Correction!! -- The blower *does* run during reverse tumble. It stops during the pause preceeding a reverse . . which leads me to believe now that the blower is driven by the drum motor, and not by a separate motor as I initially surmised. Which also means that it isn't variable speed, unless the tumble speed varies . . which I suppose is possible. If it's a SmartDrive-type motor, then it could have feedback sensing for the load size.

Note: The wiring diagram on the tech sheet indicates dual heating elements -- 1.4 KW and 3.6 KW. I've love to have a factory service manual for the two machines.

A load of towels was in the cool down phase when I left for work this evening. A good-size washer load, not a full load but pretty close. Sorry, I didn't time it, but the load dried in record speed, on the Regular cycle at 'normal' dryness level. I did check it before I left (restarted it to finish the cool down and wrinkle guard), and didn't find anything damp or stiffly overdried. This contrary (at the moment) to CR's report that indicated performance with larger loads is not as good as smaller loads.

I took a peep at the lint hopper during the check on the towels. Lint is deposited in little balls. Cute little lint balls! Didn't seem to be very much.

Lots of things yet to investigate -- performance on a load of jeans, testing on what it comes up with for the Damp dryness level, the effect of reverse-tumble on that challenging quilt. Hmmm, maybe target air temps could be checked by placing an instant-read thermometer in the lint receptacle.

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