Thread Number: 42306
Portable, vintage GE washer - volume? quality?
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Post# 622581   9/4/2012 at 16:20 (4,106 days old) by kreismetal ()        


I'm looking for a portable washer for my apartment, and came across this vintage GE one. It's $240, but cheaper than a lot of modern portables, and from what I've gathered, also good quality.

In that price range, my alternative would be a Haier 1.5 cu ft model.

Can anyone provide advice on this unit? Is it good quality? Does anyone have a capacity estimate? I suspect it's somewhere around 2.0 cu ft, based on external dimensions of 20 inches by 36 inches tall.



Post# 622588 , Reply# 1   9/4/2012 at 17:26 (4,106 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I have picked up 2 portables like this exact one for around 35.00 to 50.00 a piece.....this seems a little pricey.....

works decent...capacity not the greatest...a cycle consist of a wash, drain, rinse, drain, rinse...and finally a spin at the end.........

you may want to really consider something like an Avanti.....I just got one......and it really suprised me at the wash action, great rinsing, and spin out.....converts to a regular hookup if needed......many variable cycles and options......just a thought!.........a little more moeny, but it is brand new with a warranty, and if you don't like it, it can be returned!


Post# 622594 , Reply# 2   9/4/2012 at 17:59 (4,106 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

Love this 


G.E brand quality & durability back when they were made in Japan




I wonder if Sanyo or Hitachi made it for them 

Post# 622597 , Reply# 3   9/4/2012 at 18:23 (4,106 days old) by revvinkevin (Tinseltown - Shakey Town - La-La Land)        

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It looks like a newer version of my 1971 Hitichi built GE portable washer.


And yes, $240 does seem like a lot for what it is!



This post was last edited 09/04/2012 at 20:52
Post# 622598 , Reply# 4   9/4/2012 at 18:23 (4,106 days old) by jocks54 (Danbury Connecticut)        
sweet machine!

I have a Sanyo that looks exactly like this.
I love mine and its capacity is bigger than the Haier model.
I had trouble with my timer (no longer available) but was able to repair it myself. The metal rod that goes thru the timer was worn. The knurls on the rod no longer caught the cogs on the gears. Does yours have a lint/button trap on the bottom right?
Be mindful it is pricey and parts are no longer made. Its a cutie though!

Post# 622600 , Reply# 5   9/4/2012 at 18:30 (4,106 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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You could always make a much lower offer and leave him your phone number. He may change his mind later if it doesn't sell. 



Post# 622608 , Reply# 6   9/4/2012 at 19:30 (4,106 days old) by kreismetal ()        

Thanks all. I agree that he's asking too much, but thought I might offer around $150-$180 or so. Thanks for the tip on the Avanti - unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available in Canada, so my new options seem to be a $250 Haier or a $700 GE, LG, Kenmore, etc. It's also good to know that parts would no longer be available for this thing- makes me less inclined to gamble too much money.

Post# 622621 , Reply# 7   9/4/2012 at 20:08 (4,106 days old) by wiskybill (Canton, Ohio)        

I have the convertible model. 3 cycles, 3 temps, 3 water levels.
I use it mostly for white clothes as I usually
don't have very many to wash. It does a good job for its size.

I also have the matching dryer and think I paid $100 for the pair. I've had them for about 2 years now.

Post# 622644 , Reply# 8   9/4/2012 at 23:40 (4,106 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0500 CDT.))        
GE Portable

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Looks like a full fill impeller washer.  Might not be so bad though.  As long as you don't mind soapy wet clothes twisted into a rope.  OTH that Haier is about as good as a squirt gun on a fire truck.  Best bet would be to find a WP/KM Direct Drive portable.  These have the same super reliable mechanicals as the large DD machines and will outlast and outwash any other portable many times over.  

Post# 622646 , Reply# 9   9/4/2012 at 23:55 (4,106 days old) by laundryboy (Orlando Florida & Moravia NY. )        

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That looks like a fun machine, I love the impeller at the bottom... I use to have a Panasonic twin tub with an impeller like that one, wish I could find another one like it..

Post# 622653 , Reply# 10   9/5/2012 at 01:52 (4,106 days old) by qualin (Canada)        

That machine is horrendously overpriced. I'd offer the seller no more than $100 for it. Also mention that you can buy a brand new compact sized Haier for $300.

Good luck!

Post# 622682 , Reply# 11   9/5/2012 at 05:11 (4,105 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

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There is also a nice Magic Chef for Under $300 with 2 cu.ft. capacity.


Post# 622686 , Reply# 12   9/5/2012 at 05:24 (4,105 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

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.I found this pic in an archived thread showing the interior of the GE. I think belongs to member "RevinKevin".

Post# 622693 , Reply# 13   9/5/2012 at 06:54 (4,105 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Portable GE Washer

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These were fairly durable little washers back in the day, These GE machines were ALL made by Hitachi in Japan and other than clogged or bad drain pumps there were not to many problems in there early life. They were good at extracting water but poor at washing large items [ even jeans, large towels etc ] they tented to tangle badly and were very hard on clothing. The tub is around 1.5 cubic in capacity.


As Nick suggested you would be far better off with a WP built TL Portable washer if you are looking for a vintage portable TL washer. Keep in mind this GE washer is at least 30 years old and no parts are available for it from GE. As such unless it is NIB the price should be under $100.

Post# 622696 , Reply# 14   9/5/2012 at 07:20 (4,105 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Welcome to the land of classic appliances

Unlike modern impeller washers that use shorter pulses of twirling the impeller, these really went at it and had the load in ropes fairly quickly. A friend who had one developed a rash from the poor rinsing and no extraction until the end. His doctor recommended that each load be run through a whole cycle again without detergent. It is easy to see why they did not want to extract until the end because the machine is very easily sudslocked in the spin, even after two rinses although they are of dubious effectiveness.

This is a cute toy, but you would be far better off with a Whirlpool or Kenmore agitator type portable washer, as others have suggested, if you are serious about doing laundry. If you just want it for a toy, find a cheaper one of these.

Post# 622753 , Reply# 15   9/5/2012 at 12:53 (4,105 days old) by mistereric (New Jersey (Taylor Ham))        

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I've got one, and only use it for small items, like car wash rags or whites loads. Anything else gets tangled and the turnover isn't the greatest. Still, Its a fun toy. No more than $75, anything else is highway robbery.

Post# 622781 , Reply# 16   9/5/2012 at 16:26 (4,105 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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Made at least 2 different sizes of these machines for GE. The one in question is the larger of the 2 which does take a considerably larger load than the smaller one.

Both are generally reliable machines with my Aunt only getting rid of her larger one a few years ago....and the smaller one we inherited from her daughter, being bannished from our coast house after I donated a front-load machine.

The larger one does seem to tangle a tad less....though it still uses the impeller system. Hitachi also made an agitator version later on that rather than going rythmically back and forth, spun one way and then the other similar to the impeller....

Anyway, unless it's spotless, I'd suggest that it may be too much money...

Post# 622853 , Reply# 17   9/5/2012 at 19:47 (4,105 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Portable GE Washer

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We only ever saw one size of this washer imported to the US under the GE, HP, and JC Penny names, and it is the 1.5 CF size that is pictured here.

Post# 622859 , Reply# 18   9/5/2012 at 20:08 (4,105 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Portable GE Washer

combo52's profile picture

We only ever saw one size of this washer imported to the US under the GE, HP, and JC Penny names, and it is the 1.5 CF size that is pictured here.

Post# 622940 , Reply# 19   9/6/2012 at 07:48 (4,104 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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Well I'd have my doubts about that...

The one in the original post is certainly a larger machine than the one that Tecnopolis posted a pic of but is the same basic machine that Wiskybill posted....

Post# 622948 , Reply# 20   9/6/2012 at 08:09 (4,104 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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I used to have a newer Hitachi portable washer which had a regular agitator (which as I recall, did go back and forth). I think it was from the early/mid nineties.



It was similar to this one but with a blue console (probably newer): 

Post# 622949 , Reply# 21   9/6/2012 at 08:23 (4,104 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Portable GE Washer Washer size

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The first one pictured and the last are both 21" wide machines, the one with the white plastic tub may look a little bigger but I dough that there is a 1/10 of a cubic foot difference, GE sold both of these style machines here. The White plastic tub machine is the later style.

Post# 622954 , Reply# 22   9/6/2012 at 09:01 (4,104 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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Ok, well I stand corrected then.

We had two very distinct models that I believed GE sold in the US too...

We had the small machine and another called the 'Mobile 12' which looked very similar to the updated small model.

My apologies for mixing them up.

Post# 623391 , Reply# 23   9/8/2012 at 07:50 (4,102 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

John had one of the later models, I think, running at the Museum some years back. It had a rectangular blue fill nozzle like one of those "rainmaker" or soft as rain sprinkler heads that go on a hose for watering tender plants, the kind with lots of small holes that gives a really gentle shower. When the machine started to spin at the end of the cycle, the fill valve was energized when the drain pump was not; they alternated to help flush suds out of the machine. Every time the pump came on, there was enough water in the tub to ensure that the pump did not airlock and it seemed to work pretty well.

Post# 753388 , Reply# 24   4/28/2014 at 10:50 (3,505 days old) by horger1 ()        
Part needed for GE Mobile 12 washing machine

Hi. I have a GE Mobile 12 (like the picture at the top of the thread) and need a clutch lever part to get it working again. I am in Australia, but am willing to search overseas, if needed. The part no. seems to be either Pf-236M601 or Pf-236M1. I think the last one is the latest name for the part. I really like this machine and don't want to get rid of it, so if anyone can help, please email me on this email address


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