Thread Number: 432
Hoover Keymatic
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Post# 48386   11/2/2004 at 13:49 (7,110 days old) by Partscounterman (Cortez, Colorado)        

I've seen pictures of the old british Hoover slant-front automatic washers such as the keymatic models. Could some one who is familiar with this machine tell me how it works. It appears to be a front loader with tumble action, but then had the famous turbo action agitator mounted in the back of the drum. Did it fill up all the way with water and use the turbo or did it tumble and turbo with just a little water? Why was hoover so cruel as to not put a window on it? Info please!

Post# 48421 , Reply# 1   11/2/2004 at 20:35 (7,110 days old) by arrrooohhh (Sydney Australia)        

The Hoover Keymatic is a great machine, but hard to find.

Two members here have one, Louis from the Netherlands and Gizmo from Melbourne.

The tub would apprently tilt back when filling with water, just enough to cover the pulsator but not enough to fill the tub completely with water. The wash part only took four minutes, the same as the twin tub. However other more gently cycles, that tumbled only, went for longer.

The pulsator assisted wash action wasnt particulary gentle on fabrics.

They are so cool however, not just for the delightful retro style but also for its combination of front and top loading actions. FUNKY!

Post# 48460 , Reply# 2   11/3/2004 at 12:05 (7,109 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
The delicate cycle takes 8 minutes and indeed the pulsator action doesn't come on on that cycle. There are pictures in the Photos of Collections part of this website. You can see my album there. I also have a Webshots album with pictures of the Keymatic. It's in my livingroom and not connected to power and water.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO foraloysius's LINK

Post# 48475 , Reply# 3   11/3/2004 at 19:59 (7,109 days old) by Partscounterman (Cortez, Colorado)        

Thank you for the education! I always thought that the turbo pulsator on the hoovers were so cool.We only had the twin tubs here, although Hoover did market a line of full sized laundry for about 5 minutes (built by blackstone in their death-rattle years...)
When I was about 4, my sister took me across the street to our pastors house.He and his wife had 4 children and every Sunday afternoon, pastor did the washing for the whole family using a hoover twin-tub. I was amazed because the water and clothes were moving but i could see no agitator. Even more amazing is the fact that he was able to do all that wash with such a tiny machine, but that is a testament to the speed of the twin tub design.
I was so taken by the pulsator/impeller design that when I was about 10 I "designed" a washer similar to the keymatic and sent my ideas to Maytag. They were very kind and wrote back-but didn't use my design-Oh well....

Post# 48508 , Reply# 4   11/4/2004 at 06:42 (7,108 days old) by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

Hi Partscounterman

I have an Australian made Hoover Keymatic, not working unfortunately. (motor is missing)
I have owned/used several in the past. The water level is much higher than modern front loaders, about a third to half full. The drum is suspended on springs and cables but there is a rubber padded lip on the front frame of the machine. As the machine fills, the drum sinks on its suspension, but the front of the drum soon hits the rubber lip, the back keeps on sinking so the drum effectively tilts backwards during fill. This means the pulsator is submerged (just) when the drum is less than half full of water. Unfortunately the tilt means tumbling action is reduced, despite sounding so great, in real life the washing action is quite poor. In the tumble only programs, washing often tend to go round and round without dropping so it is very gentle but not effective. On the tumble-and-pulsate programs, the whirling pulsator created a lot of lint and tangling, still not a good wash. The drum only turns one way in all programs, due to the clutch design this can't be altered. I "doctored" my machines by disabling the pulsator (easily restorable) and lowering the water level to about that of a normal front loader by adjusting the pressure switch. (a few inches of spare water in the drum). It really improved the wash action, and with its fast spin it became quite a good performer.


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