Thread Number: 36305
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Post# 540829   8/31/2011 at 10:42 (4,673 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Hi all,

A neighbor of mine is house-sitting a house for a year. It had been occupied by renters for over a decade and was in shambles. The landlords did not have a lease and it took a year of legal action to get the people evicted. Oddly enough, this is on a street of homes worth $500,000 to $1 million. The owner did not have enough free cash ($100K minimum) to repair the house sufficiently to be able to rent or sell it, so he asked my neighbor to house-sit FREE for a year. This allowed my neighbor to rent his house for a year while spending virtually nothing for his own housing for a year. The rent collected covers his mortgage, taxes, and part of his homeowner fees. The owner of the delipidated house just sold a large commercial property and now has liquid funds to being renovating the house, where my neighbor has lived since the end of November 2010. The plan is for him to move back here after the one year lease on his own home (next to mine) expires. The owner of the delapidated house didn't want the house sitting empty, which is why he offered my neighbor the chance to live in it for free for at least a year.

Anyway, when he moved in, there was a pair of rusting machines (Kenmores maybe) in the garage. Dryer finally stopped working. The owner of the house, who just sold his commercial parcel (last use was as a Land Rover dealership, closed about four years ago), said there were some unused, abandoned machines at the property that they could have for free. Turns out they were KitchenAid-branded, TL and gas dryer. I will try to take a pic and post it so those of you who are model experts can figure out the vintage. I found the model/serial number sticker inside the dryer but could not see a date of manufacture. It did say it was made in St. Joseph, Michigan. Was that Whirlpool??

The washer seems to have some advanced controls. There is a pre-wash cycle. I didn't find an extra rinse option, though possibly some of the cycles have an extra rinse included. Water level control is infinite. There were four or five wash-rinse options, including one you don't see very often today: Hot-Warm. It had Hot-Warm, Hot-Cold, Warm-Cold, Cold-Cold, but I don't think I saw a Warm-Warm. There may have been a Cold-Warm, but I don't know what I'd use that for except maybe woolen things.

Dryer had normal, perm press, timed dry, and air fluff cycles. There were four heat settings, including Extra Low, Low, Medium, High. Both appliances worked right off the bat, no repairs or adjustments needed. We don't what the appliances were doing in a long-closed car dealership. Perhaps they were used to launder towels for detailing/cleaning cars. Or perhaps the owner or a friend of the owner just used the dealership for storage.

At any rate, I'd only see KA front loaders (now discontinued) that looked like rebadged Whirlpools/Bauknechts. I'd never seen an older KA TL model and never knew they existed. They seem sturdy. My neighbor says they are noisy, but they seem to work well.

Next time I am over I will try to snap some phone camera pics to share.

Post# 540857 , Reply# 1   8/31/2011 at 13:00 (4,672 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
KitchenAid toploader pairs were Whirlpool-sourced direct-drive units with matching dryers.  They generally had heftier components (motors, dryer belts & roller bearings & heating elements and porcelain tops).

I have an early brochure (thanks MagicClean!) that indicates (if I'm interpreting the info correctly) a date of 11/1986, and another 1988.

Washers (although not on all cycles on the early models) had stepped-spin, which started at lower speed for a couple mins then switched to higher speed.  The final spin on Perm Press on my KAWE760 runs two mins of each motor speed low, med & high.  Later (3-speed) models had an oversize agitator with a larger diameter base & larger fins and ran high agitation at the medium motor speed for less aggressive but effective action.

The initial offering was only two model pairs ... one fully electronic, the other all pushbutton with rapid-advance timer.  At least a couple collectors have featured pushbutton units in previous discussions.

My KAWE760/KEYE760 pair was bought July 1992.  The washer has a fiberglass sound insulation pad under the base.

Post# 540889 , Reply# 2   8/31/2011 at 14:18 (4,672 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

I will post photos after I visit there next time.

The washer and dryer have mechanical knob controls, no electronic controls. They do seem very sturdy and heavily-built. Tops do appear to porcelain. I noted no rust under the washer lid, so my guess is it's porcelain and not just paint.

My neighbor thinks they are noisier than the ones that fell apart (the ones the renters left) but I think they are more rugged. If they were actually used at the Land Rover dealership, perhaps they needed them for towels to detail cars. Or maybe the owner of the land/building simply parked some unwanted machines there as a form of free storage. Now that the land has been sold, the contents of the building had to be emptied out by the end of the month.

Post# 541142 , Reply# 3   9/2/2011 at 00:09 (4,671 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
Here are the pics:

The pair.

I learned some more history about the machines. They were left abandoned in a Land Rover dealership. The dealer moved to new quarters about eight years ago and left the machines behind. They were used to launder the mechanics' shop towels. So they sat unused for the past eight years.

Post# 541143 , Reply# 4   9/2/2011 at 00:11 (4,671 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
washer controls

washer controls

Post# 541144 , Reply# 5   9/2/2011 at 00:12 (4,671 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
dryer controls

dryer controls

Post# 541151 , Reply# 6   9/2/2011 at 01:52 (4,671 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

I know that as late as 1993 KitchenAid offered washers and dryers. The Whirlpool electronic set I have was offered as a KitchenAid model for a lot more $$$$.

Post# 541163 , Reply# 7   9/2/2011 at 04:32 (4,671 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Those are largely equivalent to my 760 pair. My washer has the same water level & temp settings, slightly different timer cycles. My dryer is the same. The model tags are on the back of washer's loading port under the rear edge of the lid, and at lower left inside on the dryer's loading port. Manufacture date is coded into the serial number.

Note: I found years ago that washer/dryer pairs are best positioned NOT to be touching each other. Vibrations during operation over period of time will abrade the finish of the sides that are touching.

Post# 541190 , Reply# 8   9/2/2011 at 08:44 (4,671 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

The pair is now in a somewhat dimly lit garage. I can bring a flashlight to look at the serial tags more closely and possibly decode the date from the serial number. My Frigidaire tags have a date of manufacture clearly listed, independent of the serial number.

Post# 541473 , Reply# 9   9/3/2011 at 20:56 (4,669 days old) by dnastrau (Lords Valley, PA)        
KA W/D were made past 1993

KitchenAid made top-loading washers and dryers into the mid-2000s as far as I know. I bought a set in 2000 and still have the gas dryer. I sold the washer when we bought a Maytag Epic (rebaged Duet) in 2007 and wish that we had kept it.

Post# 541478 , Reply# 10   9/3/2011 at 22:12 (4,669 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
KA laundry came to an end about the time Whirlpool bought Maytag. The local Western/White's Auto had a KA toploader pair still on the floor until a couple/few years ago, I debated for a while on buying them.

Post# 541587 , Reply# 11   9/4/2011 at 10:42 (4,669 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

I have friends who bought KA-badged FL pair from Costco about 3-4 years ago. They appear to have been built by Bauknecht and resemble a Whirlpool washer from that era, only nicer looking. I don't know how they compare in features vs a WP. The friend who bought them were not very appliance-savvy, but I think they were a close-out at Costco and the price was comparable to WP or even better. I remember looking on the KA website for their model shortly after they bought them, and the washer/dryer were not even listed there anymore.

So far the washer has had one service call but it was a clog issue relating to their using the wrong detergent and too much of it. I have now set them straight and they are using Tide HE powder.

Post# 541588 , Reply# 12   9/4/2011 at 10:51 (4,669 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
KA's frontloader pair was called the Ensemble, siblings of the Duet and HE3/4/5/t.  I saw a set out-front of the Western Auto several weeks ago, probably a repo pair for sale.

KA also had the uber-priced Pro Line frontloader pair, which dryer was sourced from ADC.

Post# 541606 , Reply# 13   9/4/2011 at 12:33 (4,668 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

The FL pair my friends* have is free-standing, not the built-in models that KA later introduced. I don't remember if they are called Pro Line, but they're not all steel like the KA built ins. They look like gussied up Whirlpools, but may have some extra features, not sure.

*both pairs of friends (the ones with the KA FL pair, and the ones who have the TL pair salvaged from the car dealership) live on the same street, two blocks away from each other.

Post# 541610 , Reply# 14   9/4/2011 at 12:48 (4,668 days old) by limitededition ()        

Kitchenaid Ensembles' became Maytag Epics' Whirlpool cleared out te Ensembles at Costco as a special buy after they bought Maytag and discontinued Kitchenaid Laundry

Post# 541725 , Reply# 15   9/5/2011 at 01:46 (4,668 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Yep, that's it, they were called Ensembles!

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