Thread Number: 34128
Does anyone else prefer front load washers with REAR control panels?
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Post# 512445   4/19/2011 at 19:54 (4,835 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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I seem to be developing a severe weakness for them! Especially this machine:


Post# 512467 , Reply# 1   4/19/2011 at 20:43 (4,835 days old) by spiralator60 (Los Angeles)        
Rear control panel

Count me among that number! Although the front panel machines look nice in the magazines and store displays, I am much more comfortable with the way the rear panel machines look in my own house. This is not a slight against anyone owning such a machine, just my own preferance.


Maybe I am getting old and jaded, but there is not much in the way of styling today among front-loaders that commands attention because of its distinction, in the way that one could tell between a Westinghouse Laundromat and a Philco-Bendix, for example. It is true that there are bolder colors and graphic displays than we saw in the past, but that seems to be about it.


Post# 512479 , Reply# 2   4/19/2011 at 21:03 (4,835 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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I'm with you, too, Jamie.  I love mine!


Post# 512481 , Reply# 3   4/19/2011 at 21:28 (4,835 days old) by amyswasher ()        

Love the Whirlpool next to the Speed Queen.

Post# 512496 , Reply# 4   4/19/2011 at 22:02 (4,835 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
I wonder about controls on the front panels........

How many modern parents remember to use the digital control lockout (if offered?)

From what I have seen of modern parents, they are not too concerned about setting limits with their child(ren). I was given limits on all the appliances, and there were consequences if I did not follow them.

As for current front loading washers with rear panel controls, I wish there was more of a selection!


Post# 512540 , Reply# 5   4/20/2011 at 02:40 (4,835 days old) by Haxisfan (Europe - UK / Italy)        
Not seen 1 of them in EU for donkey's

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Funny we don't see this style washers anymore over here... I have one in the garage from mid 70's... that's as new as a front load washers with rear control panel gets in this side of the globe.

I included a link below... please don't mind the silly talk :-)


Post# 512558 , Reply# 6   4/20/2011 at 06:01 (4,835 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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Whilst it is probable that there were front load washers with rear controls sold here before Speed Queen in the late 1990's, I'm hard pressed to know which ones they are and I have certainly never seen one other than the 'top load' front loader that was sold here as a Bendix about 12 years ago.

...but that is a top load, horizontal axis machine rather than a front load horizontal axis machine....

So, I can probably go out on a limb here and say that the majority of Australians are not in a position to actually have an 'opinion' as such having never actually used one....

Personally, I don't see the benefit of rear controls at all....

Post# 512563 , Reply# 7   4/20/2011 at 06:57 (4,835 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        

With the 1976 westy FL washer, its controls are in the rear.

Variants of this design have front controls, this was done to allow stacking of a dryer on top of the washer.

Since most all washers of type did not have a stand, the rear control variant allowed a slanted panel for easier seeing; plus it matched the dryer's same slanted rear panel.

The front control version of my washer controls are well positioned if one is a Hobbit, 2nd grader, or midget. They run a long shaft to the back of the washer for the timer; plus the wiring harness has to have all its wires longer. It also drops the top panel optional bleach door too.

The front control version of my washer type was made in several models over its 1962 to 1993 production run, mostly used for STACKED set ups were space was a premium. Since only about 1 to 2 ? percent of us folks bought these 1962 to 1993 westys, the subset of the front control variant is zilch. It probably only 1/100 of those too. Most folks do not want to stoop to read a dumb timer and buttons.

Today a FL washer has an electronic timer an thus one can read it well even at an acute angle. Plus dryers too have front controls; thus matching of the set has the washer already matching the dryer.

**Note to non usa folks: In the usa most folks do use a dryer. Sales and Marketing market a washer and dryer as a "matched set". They are marketed like salt and pepper:) (old westy advert) matched sets. *IF* one is out with the wife looking at washers; the wife will tend to want a new dryer too so they match. The washer and dryer sit side to side and are designed to look alike.

Post# 512570 , Reply# 8   4/20/2011 at 07:52 (4,834 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Rear controls are traditional.....and it depends on your particular application.....I like the rear controls.....but from a manufacturing stand point, front controls means one set up for many applications, side by side, stacked, undercounter.......most people stack so much stuff on top of the machines that you can't see or get to the controls....

FridGEmore also offers a rear control.......

what I like about Frigidaire and SQ FL rear control is, you can pick any one of their dryers for a "matched" set, most other manufacturers, like Maytag (neptune, atlantis), Whirlpool (Calypso) make a dryer to only match that particular washer, and pay a price to have a matched set......
Now at Sears...for a traditional topload washer, you can mix/match any washer to any dryer to fit your budget for a matched set.....a few others are the same way

Post# 512609 , Reply# 9   4/20/2011 at 11:48 (4,834 days old) by Haxisfan (Europe - UK / Italy)        

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Dryers have been available in Europe/UK for a long time and most folks use them, but probably not as many as in the US. Folks in the extreme southern part of the continent have been reluctant to use dryers as many of them would consider them as being surplus to requirements due to favourable weather conditions... I personally see it as a cover up because the weather does frequently play unforeseen tricks all over Europe and itís often only a few degrees higher!

Below a picture of a set of matched washer/dryer from the 60í.

Post# 512613 , Reply# 10   4/20/2011 at 12:09 (4,834 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

If a FL were purchased to "match" an existing dryer with rear panel controls, then absolutely I'd want an FL with rear panel control. The drawback would be the much lower selection (in USA) of models offered with rear controls. The vast majority are front control.

In my case, it's a moot point because I have to stack my machines due to laundry area configuration. The laundry area is in the garage, which offers advantages:

1. Machines out of the house, no noise (but direct door from kitchen to garage)
2. Keeps heat out of house in summer in an area that's warm, but not warm enough to need A/C if you keep heat-producing appliances out of the house (example: rather than use the large gas range, when possible we use the counter top Breville electric convection oven when the job is small enough to fit the Breville).
3. If there is a leak or overflow, the garage floor is 6 inches/15 cm below the house floor level. Water flows out the garage door, as the garage slab is slightly sloped toward the street.
4. Solid concrete floor makes final spin vibration issues moot.

The drawback in our case is that the laundry alcove is along the rear wall of the garage, and county building code requires that a concrete-filled steel pipe 36" (90 cm) tall be placed in the concrete slab to protect appliances from a runaway car. My housing tract was built in five different models/layouts. Some of the designs have the laundry on the side wall of the garage, in which case the pipe isn't required.

My guess would be that in currently constructed homes, if they do have to place a pipe, they do it exactly at the midpoint in the washer-dryer space (about 54" wide), i.e. right where the dryer and washer would meet, so as to avoid blocking either the washer or dryer door. The reason my pipe is in the middle of the washer space is that the alcove also contains the gas furnace and gas water heater, on either side of the washer and dryer. They tried to protect all four adjacent appliances with a single pipe, which meant the pipe had to be in the middle of the washer space.

My house was built 1988, when there was no domestic FL market, other than Mieles purchased from import stores (mainly catering to those living here temporarily for work who then shipped their appliances back home when the stint was over; these stores sold 240V models only). The pipe was placed right in front of the washer space, and would block any FL door, even with a 15"/38 cm pedestal. You "can" cut down the pipe, but it's illegal and could present problems if the house is sold. My solution was to stack a dryer atop the washer and place them in the dryer space. I then placed a folding table in the space previously occupied by the old TL washer. This limits choices to some degree, since some models cannot be stacked, and some that do stack are too tall to do so realistically. I am 5'11 (180 cm). My Frigidaire pair are 36"/90 cm tall, producing a stack that is 72"/180 cm tall. Some of the larger machines like LG and Electrolux are 2-3 inches taller, producing a stack that can be 6'7"/2 meters tall----too high for anyone of average height (let alone someone who is short). Someone who is 200 cm/6-7 might think it's great, though.

Frigidaire has kept their machines only 36"/90 cm high, and have added capacity by making them deeper, while keeping width and height constant. If I had to buy a new pair, I would probably go with Frigidaire since the height of the stack would remain the same. Many of the other companies have increased cabinet height, probably assuming that most users will put them side by side on pedestals. In my case, I have to stoop to load/unload the washer, but the dryer door is at a very comfortable chest height.

Post# 512622 , Reply# 11   4/20/2011 at 13:17 (4,834 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        

Re "My house was built 1988, when there was no domestic FL market"

In 1988 in Southern California old J C Penney even sold front load Westinghouse washers. To say there was NO market is a bit of a stretch. Far better to say it was a small paltry market that most folks ignored. They were not concerned with thrift or water. They were there to be bought but you just wanted a Top Loader.

The Westinghouse FL washer was sold under the Gibson, J C Penney, Sears, Frigidaire names too. A Ventura County laundromat I use to go to in the 1980's had a FL Westinghouse in the commercial variant for its smallest coin operated FL washer. In the Santa Barbara area one laundromat there in the 1980's had the commericial FL Westy coin unit too.

Many of my spare parts for my 1976 Westy are from ebay sellers in SoCal, where a decent number of FL washers were sold.

Post# 512649 , Reply# 12   4/20/2011 at 16:53 (4,834 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Do ya mean this??

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Nice controls on the back??

Post# 512704 , Reply# 13   4/20/2011 at 20:57 (4,834 days old) by eddy1210 (Burnaby BC Canada)        
Jon, you show off!

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But since it's your birthday, you're allowed to LOL.  That's one Queen I wish I had in my collection.  


Jamie, I'm with you, love those rear console front loaders.... especially my Neptune.

Post# 512710 , Reply# 14   4/20/2011 at 22:08 (4,834 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Hey Eddy

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Post# 512714 , Reply# 15   4/20/2011 at 22:29 (4,834 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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I prefer the front controls.  And I have a mixed laundry room, maytag dryer and fronted fridgemore.  Doesn't bother me in the least anymore.  Some things just aren't important as they used to be.

Post# 512729 , Reply# 16   4/21/2011 at 00:01 (4,834 days old) by surgilator_68 (Maryland)        

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John likes the rear controls too. I don't really care one way or the other.

Post# 512730 , Reply# 17   4/21/2011 at 00:07 (4,834 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Jon, that washer is gorgeous! The tub looks bigger than I imagined it to be... I think I'll need to convince my mom to get one when here washer bites the dust!


Is the water cheat hard on this one? I seem to remember it being tricky but do-able...

Post# 512816 , Reply# 18   4/21/2011 at 09:39 (4,833 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I like them both actually.....for different applications.....right now I have Neptunes, as you all have seen.....working on replacing with front control units to add a counter top all the way across.....

Post# 512860 , Reply# 19   4/21/2011 at 15:42 (4,833 days old) by dimitris (greece)        

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Hello everybody!!!

Check this:

Isn't it beautiful????

I was going to buy it but I don't "trust" it...
It is all electronic and the brand is not reliable... "MORRIS".

I think I ll go for this:

what do you think?

Post# 512881 , Reply# 20   4/21/2011 at 18:35 (4,833 days old) by sudsman ()        
I perefer Rear controls too

on any machine washer or dryer.

Post# 512913 , Reply# 21   4/21/2011 at 20:35 (4,833 days old) by eddy1210 (Burnaby BC Canada)        
Here's another favorite

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My latest top control front loader!

Post# 513398 , Reply# 22   4/24/2011 at 11:10 (4,830 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

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that tub is big,easily a double load. The water level is easy now that I have figured it out, I have the diagrams on my laptop so when you get one you can easily tweak it to the level you want. I have mine set for just above that boot and so when the clothes tumble they are covered with a splash of water. Just enough yet still saving too.

AND the 1000 RPM spin in that tub leaves everything just Frigidaire damp!

Post# 513448 , Reply# 23   4/24/2011 at 17:14 (4,830 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Rear controls are often more reliable and much easier to service. Many FC washers are damaged the tub assembly hitting them if a schock absorber breaks, they are more likly to get moisture in them being next to the dispensers, tub boot and vent. And people love to spill detergent, softeners, bleach etc on top of the machine which can run down the front top seem or even just down the front of the machine. We also see a lot of damaged, broken controls when the machines are moved and I have even seen broken controls when furniture etc is moved past the machine.


Gas and electric ranges that have front mounted oven and burner controls also have many more problems.

Post# 514889 , Reply# 24   5/1/2011 at 09:35 (4,823 days old) by the7 ()        

I prefer washers and dryers with rear controls.

Post# 515029 , Reply# 25   5/1/2011 at 21:31 (4,823 days old) by AutowasherFreak ()        

I like the rear controls too.  1.  I think they look better, and 2.  They are easier for me with my poor eyesight to read.


Post# 515055 , Reply# 26   5/1/2011 at 22:51 (4,823 days old) by appnut (TX)        
They are easier for me with my poor eyesight to read.

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Jim, it's the opposite for me.  I think the ones up front are easier for me to read, display color is also important. 

Post# 515081 , Reply# 27   5/2/2011 at 00:36 (4,823 days old) by sudsmaster (SF Bay Area, California)        

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My take on it:

Rear controls: easier to read

Front controls: allow the machine to be put under a counter

Post# 515101 , Reply# 28   5/2/2011 at 03:55 (4,823 days old) by nmassman44 (Brooksville Florida)        

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I too prefer a rear control machine. One thing is that when I load the washer I use the top of the machine to go thru the load as I load the washer. A rear control prevents socks and stuff from going behind the machine. Nice machines here!

Post# 515851 , Reply# 29   5/5/2011 at 14:13 (4,819 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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I like rear control too.

But WHY is selection so limited in the US I wonder? I mean, the only ones I can think of are LG and SQ.....WP doesn't even make one.

Post# 515960 , Reply# 30   5/6/2011 at 07:11 (4,819 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        
Front controlls help sell stands for washers and dryers! :)

From a pure marketing viewpoint; a low profit margin, government supported tax kickback to maker water saving WASHER is used to hawk high profit margin sister devices.

ie the DRYER and TWO BOXES/STANDS to lift these higher.

slanted rear controls are easier to read.

A USA sales chap will push a matched washer and dryer; plus two stands to get them higher.

The profit margin on the boxes/stands is huge. They are just a low tech sheet metal box with a drawer and they cost 200 dollars each. If you buy a FL washer that is government supported via tax credits to the maker; the maker makes more profit on that box than the washer that sells for 400 to 900.

A new dryer is pushed too. Ones wife wants a cool looking laundry room. That 700 buck washer needs a 700 buck new matching dryer! plus 2 boxes/stands at 200 each. With state sales tax now you credit card is close to 2 thousand dollars.

USA Dryers have long lives, older ones in the usa are simple and easy to fix. If one does not want or care about matched pairs; the older dryer often can be used.

Post# 515963 , Reply# 31   5/6/2011 at 07:19 (4,819 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        

In the last example Joe and Jane usa six pack charged their credit card about 2000 thousand dollars. If they bought added service contracts; it might be 200 to 300 dollars more. State sales tax varies from ZERO to about 9? percent in the usa.

The maker sold you two boxes at 200 each=400; this is the highest profit margin stuff

The dryer at 700 bucks is the 2nd highest profit margin thing.

The FL washer at 700 dollar is sold with the least profit margin, it has a tax credit to the maker of a few hundred dollars, and sometimes more if the states have a program too like they did a year or two ago.

If that washer is sold with little profit; it still gives a big tax credit to the maker

Post# 516034 , Reply# 32   5/6/2011 at 15:44 (4,818 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
The Pedestals

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Yes. The pedestals are expensive.......If you think about it, if you had a REAR control washer you would not need a FRONT control dryer, which would also need a pedestal. So .......You save by buying a lower cost matching dryer and not having to buy two pedestals....Makes sense.

Unfortunately at the time I bought my Duet pair almost seven years ago......I wasn't that smart....But I got the WP employee discount on all of it.....Still if I had it to do over I wouldn't get the pedestals again........

It does make me wonder.......What if someone DOES buy pedestals (like I did)......Then ten years later you need another front load washer..........Now are those pedestals going to "fit" the new front load washer you buy if it's from the same manufacturer?.....If not, what a waste.....But it wouldn't surprise me.

Post# 516051 , Reply# 33   5/6/2011 at 17:37 (4,818 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
Now are those pedestals going to "fit" the new front

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I'm betting that something will change enough so that one has to buy a pedestal all over every time one buys a washer. Why, I'm sure all sorts of exciting pedestal advances occur every year!

OK. Maybe there aren't any advances--past, of course, finding ways of making the product ever cheaper. But that pure profit of selling pedestals over and over surely would tempt any appliance maker.

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