Thread Number: 4349
Hitachi Portables
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Post# 99519   12/23/2005 at 06:51 (4,686 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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hi guys, just seeking info on Hitachi portable washing machines. Reason is because i am house sitting for a friend in the new year and have discovered she has a Hitachi portable with center post agitator. It is a fairly modern model and has a cover over the controls that you have to lift up. It looks tiny compared to my whirlpool. The controls look strikingly similar to a GE portable but i guess they were both made by the same company? Anyone had any experience with them?
Much appreciated

Post# 99520 , Reply# 1   12/23/2005 at 06:55 (4,686 days old) by toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        

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Austin come in please, paging Austin......

Post# 99523 , Reply# 2   12/23/2005 at 07:08 (4,686 days old) by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

Yes Matty you are right. GE smaller machines sold in Aus were rebadged Hitachis from Japan. This goes back to the early 1980s, with the GE Mobile 10 and Mobile 12 sourced from Hitachi. The GE 600N was particularly popular, over time Hoover and Simpson came up with Australian made copies to compete with these machines but they were never as reliable.

They were sold as Philips washers here for a while too, after Philips ended their rebadging of Hoovers. I even remember seeing at Myers a pair of twin tubs on display, a Philips and a Hitachi, they were identical except for badges. 15 to 20 years ago.

I think the Hitachi - GE connection is over now in AU at least, they were both imported by Major Electrical in Melbourne but that is no longer the case.


Post# 99526 , Reply# 3   12/23/2005 at 07:19 (4,686 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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yes i am seeing a lot of copies of these machines as well, i have seen a lot of the Hitachi Microprocessor machines under different brands such as National or Panasonic. So is Hitachi the 'Mother Ship' so to speak and the rest of them just copies of the same design and mechanisms?

Post# 99532 , Reply# 4   12/23/2005 at 08:30 (4,686 days old) by jasonl ()        

The HitaGE machines I know are the ones with the "Pulsator", or better yet, spinning blue disk at the bottom. Go to the vintage forum and watch the Texas Wash-in Videos. You'll see a shot of Austin's GE in action.

Post# 99594 , Reply# 5   12/23/2005 at 17:57 (4,685 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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was the GE the last machine to be shown before the agitator dance? If so then it looks to have quite a fast spin!

Post# 99598 , Reply# 6   12/23/2005 at 18:47 (4,685 days old) by jasonl ()        

Those spun at 800 rpms I think. They make this loud "CLUNK" and then the spin kicks in. Fun machines.

Post# 99599 , Reply# 7   12/23/2005 at 18:58 (4,685 days old) by westytoploader ()        

Hi Matt,

Thought I could fill you in on some details. My GE Portable, dating from July 1977, is indeed a rebadged Hitachi, as the cord and plug both say "Hitachi" on them. I give it a very high score on the "fun factor"; the impeller/pulsator spins at 710 RPM on wash, and the tub spins at a fast 850 RPM on spin!

There are 3 cycles, Regular, Permanent Press, and Gentle. On Regular and Permanent Press, the impeller reverses every 19 seconds with a 3-second pause for motor reversal. However, on the Gentle cycle, there are only 4 seconds of agitation followed by a 7-second pause for reversal (Note: the GE Portable literature Leslie sent me states that the machine agitates for two 4-second intervals in the same direction before reversing; very interesting as my machine does not do this. It also states that there are neutral spray rinses on Gentle as well, but I don't remember my Gentle cycle having this either; only Permanent Press.). The Permanent Press cooldown is also quite interesting to watch. After the water is completely drained out, there are 8 3-second neutral spray rinses (the pump is kept on during this time). During spin on Regular and Permanent Press (I haven't used Gentle in a while so I can't remember if this had spin-sprays or not), the pump shuts off, it spin-sprays for 3 seconds, and then the pump comes back on. It does a total of 8 spin-sprays. Even though it doesn't have a first spin, the clothes are surprisingly well-rinsed, and because of the "Rapidry 850" spin, don't take long in the dryer!

Here's a picture of my machine...taken only 2 months after I bought it (late May 2004)!


Post# 99600 , Reply# 8   12/23/2005 at 19:03 (4,685 days old) by westytoploader ()        

And, like Jason said, there's a HUGE solenoid underneath that makes a loud CLUNK as it pulls the clutch arm out for spin! When the machine is about to brake, the motor slows down, and then another "CLUNK!" The tub comes to a stop VERY fast, and the tub even "bounces back" a little bit like the Frigidaires!

Here's an interior shot. Notice the bleach dispenser molded into the top panel. The tub is porcelain, but with a plastic-covered balance ring and tub ring.

Post# 99603 , Reply# 9   12/23/2005 at 19:22 (4,685 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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oh wow, the controls are almost identical to the one on this machine but it has a few extra ones such as a buzzer volume switch and a drip dry option switch. However the main was dial is the same only the yellow section is not called Gentle, its called Economy. Thanks very much for that info Austin. I'm gettin all excited now about using this machine, tho i wish it had an impellor.pulsator like yours instaed of a full center post agitator!
Happy Holidays all

Post# 99897 , Reply# 10   12/26/2005 at 06:33 (4,683 days old) by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        


Actually the Hitachi with what looks like a "full centre post agitator" isn't at all, it is a pulsator with a post in the centre. These were "invented" by Hitachi and were advertised as a "pul-gitator". They work like a pulsator in that they have very fine fins and move fairly fast, but the centre post was added to reduce tangling. They turn somewhat slower than the older small diameter pulsators as a small reduction gear is fitted below the tub. On the Hitachis it is a 4:1 reduction so if the machine spins at 800 rpm then the pul-gitator turns at 200 rpm. They reverse more often than the older design too, they reverse about once every second or so, on gentle they turn then pause, then reverse then pause. They wash MUCH better than the older impeller types and were very popular. The GE 600N with pulgitator (by Hitachi) was tremendously sucessful, prompting Hoover to release the Premier which washed even better but the reliability was pretty terrible, and Simpson released the Genesis which was not as good a washer but very successful anyway. All Australian made top loaders now in production (except FP)are derived from these clones of the original Hitachi product though they have evolved over the years.

By way of clarification - true agitator action machines have a transmission which does the reversing, the motor continues turning in one direction for the wash cycle. They tend to rotate about half to three quarters of a turn with each stroke.
Pulgitator washers have a simple reduction gear instead of a full transmission, the motor stops and reverses for each stroke of the pulgitator. Generally this allows the agitator to complete about one full revoluton, sometimes up to two revolutions at each stroke, which gives them their excellent wash action. The GE badged ones were labelled "agitator action" for a while but they weren't. Simpson did it too, when their true agitator action machines were discontinued and replaced with Australian made Hitachi copies, they were labelled "true agitator action" too, even though they weren't either. The term "pulgitator" was introduced by Hitachi but never caught on and are called agitators now, though I think it is a useful distinction to preserve.

The Hoover Premier had a 7:1 reduction gear, this gave the (small) motor tremendous leverage over the agitator, allowing it to use a large diameter agitator which was almost the full base of the basket, and it turned about 1.5 to 2 revolutions at each stroke, giving it a really great wash action which earned it high scores in Choice mag, but the reduction gears were plastic and couldn't take overloading, plus quality of the machine was pretty crap overall. These machines were introduced when Maytag had bought Hoover Aust, and were trying to downgrade the Hoover name to be a cheapy product, introducing Maytag and Admiral branded machines as their premium products. Before then Maytags were only sold in Au for commercial use.

Anyway I am raving on again...


Post# 99958 , Reply# 11   12/26/2005 at 18:03 (4,682 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        
well you learn something new everyday...

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thanks for all that info chris, it really was intresting coz my grandad had a Hoover Premier 750 and he thought it was the best washer ever, it lasted 12 years. However my grandad never used any other cycle but the 3 min Cold Wash. All my family except my folks (who have f&ps) have Simpson Deltas, Aquarius's or Rivieras and everyone reckons they are all awesome wahsing amchines so it seems this 'pulgitator' was a very effective wash action, if only it had been put in better quailty housings ( nearly all my families simpsons have no writing left on the controls and all of them have cracks here and there).
Anyways, take care

Post# 100178 , Reply# 12   12/27/2005 at 19:00 (4,681 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        
I saw the end of Hoover

Hi Guys

I was in Myer yesterday, and I noticed a Mechanical timered Simpson.

Instead of the label simpson however, the Mechanical timer simpsons now have a Hoover badge.

It would appear that the Hoover control panel variant is now dead :(

Post# 100266 , Reply# 13   12/28/2005 at 07:48 (4,681 days old) by designgeek ()        

Pulgitators are also used on the current Danby twin-tub and probably also on the Danby compact automatic top-loader. "Gentle" setting is sufficient for anything you want to wash; "Normal" is quite vigorous, for things like full loads of underwear & socks.

National & Panasonic are the Japanese and international (respectively) brands of Matsushita Industrial Electronics, which is a huge company that makes all its own stuff in-house. Hitachi is a competitor of theirs. I can't imagine Matsushita (National, Panasonic) re-badging a compeitor's product. I can imagine it going the other way, with Matshushita making stuff for other smaller companies to issue under their own names. Matsushita/National/Panasonic produce their own washers, some of which have some very clever & advanced features, and none of which are available in the USA (yet).

Post# 100422 , Reply# 14   12/29/2005 at 02:29 (4,680 days old) by arrrooohhh (Sydney Australia)        

Matty, thos Hitachi's with the control panel cover are so cool!

I assume its a late model I thought they were great looking washing machines. It has an agitator/puligtator that has four vanes two of which continue up the centre shaft? Love that model!

Here is a picture of the first Hitachi Pulgitator for everyones interest. It is from my picture library I dont have the machine sorry.

Post# 100423 , Reply# 15   12/29/2005 at 02:30 (4,680 days old) by arrrooohhh (Sydney Australia)        
Here is the picture!


Post# 100444 , Reply# 16   12/29/2005 at 07:34 (4,680 days old) by designgeek ()        

The Danby version looks a lot like that; relatively flat & large diameter at the bottom; the fins are relatively short; and the lint filter is attached to the top piece that unscrews a half turn to remove for cleaning. Works well, nice & gentle, no tangles.

Post# 100658 , Reply# 17   12/29/2005 at 22:46 (4,679 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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i will have pics of the machine in a few days :)

Post# 100884 , Reply# 18   12/31/2005 at 03:46 (4,678 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        
ok now this is weird,

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just surfing aussie ebay and this turned up, it is the exact model i am on about. See it has a cover over the controls that you lft up and on the right is the timer and on the left are he setting selectors. I am goin to be housesittin starting next week so next week i will have info and pics (if digital camera comes out from where it is hiding).
Happy New Year

CLICK HERE TO GO TO mattywashboy's LINK on eBay

Post# 101357 , Reply# 19   1/2/2006 at 19:33 (4,675 days old) by shanonabc ()        

Yup Yup Yup Yup Yup, my father has the same model. He had to replace the motor because the pump leaked all over it.

Post# 105734 , Reply# 20   1/25/2006 at 20:19 (4,652 days old) by pulsatron ()        
Hitachi washers

My late father and his lady friend had a little Hitachi top loader with about a 4kg capacity I think and it lasted them 19 years and it only needed one service call whaich was in it's last year of life to tell them it was finally finished.
I believe Hitachi is a bit of a hidden brand here in Oz as all the attention is given to Hoover and Simpson and probably well.
One of my neighbours has a Hitachi split system air con, and says it is fantastic.
You may be interested to know as well Hitachi makes the only large capacity twin-tub on the market here now as it seems Haier have discontinued their jumbo twin-tub,perhaps I had better get one quickly before Hitachi stop them as well.

Post# 106319 , Reply# 21   1/28/2006 at 09:55 (4,650 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        
'New' washing machine

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I am in the process of moving rental houses at the moment. In the rental house that we are moving into there was a Hitachi portable washing machine just sat in the laundry. It is quite old and dirty but still works like an absolute dream. It is one of the first models with a 'pulgitator' (see above posts). The owner of the rental assured us it had never needed a service call and has been well looked after. I have numerous pics which will follow. As you can see i'm using Spree laundry detergent at the moment, very cheap but does the job well.

Post# 106320 , Reply# 22   1/28/2006 at 09:58 (4,650 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        
Of course the compulsary timer shot

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Sorry if its a bit bright, with the dial being shiny the flash reflects, none of the writing is faded.

Post# 106321 , Reply# 23   1/28/2006 at 10:03 (4,650 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        
The buzzer volume, water level, temp, action and rinse hold

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At the end of the final spin the drum coasts to a stop before the brake clicks on and the machine shuts down. As soon as the drum begins to slow down, the buzzer activates to let you know the cycle is ending. Even at a medium volume it is quite loud.

Post# 106322 , Reply# 24   1/28/2006 at 10:10 (4,650 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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Here it is washing on a Regular wash, just doing some sofa throws and towels. As you can see a lot of dog hair has accumulated in the top of the drum and if you look in the bottom right hand cornere you see a hole surrounded by powder residue, this is the fabric softner dispenser. It annoys me how people tend to use fabric softner dispensers as powder detergent dispensers. My first job when i have a minute is to clean it up a bit, its yellowing with age and i think the previous tenants smoked, but still it washes fantastically and is actually not very noisy. It also has the funky Shower fill that Austin was describing in his earlier post.

Post# 106362 , Reply# 25   1/28/2006 at 16:42 (4,649 days old) by pulsatron ()        
That's the same one!!!!!!!!!!!

That is the exact same machine I described in my last post on here as I mentioned earlier Dad and his lady friend really loved this machine,she now has a Hoover 5kg capacity which to be honest she is not really rapt in,she says it is a bit rough on the clothes and also one of the knobs broke of it within the first 3 months of using it,she has told me she would rather have the Hitachi back any day.

Post# 106758 , Reply# 26   1/30/2006 at 07:48 (4,648 days old) by designgeek ()        

That looks so classic 1970s, especially the shape of the pushbuttons, and to a certain extent the shape of the knobs to the left of the pushbuttons.

The yellowing is probably sunlight over a 30-year period, in an area of Australia that's suffered from the ozone deficiency.

I'd be concerned about all the doggie hair. If that's what you can see, there might be more hanging out inside in places you can't see. I'd suggest wiping all the surfaces down with bleach after you clean up all the actual doggie hair including the lint filter and underneath the agitator.

Question, what's the no-spin cycle for?

Post# 106760 , Reply# 27   1/30/2006 at 08:04 (4,648 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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the no spin cycle is another name for Rinse Hold or Drip Dry, if you select no spin cycle them it will stop in the rinse and not drain or spin, so you can get things out that you don't want to be spun. I use it on Perm Press shirts. I have cleaned all the dog hair out now and yes i did wipe it all down with a spray containing bleach

Post# 106763 , Reply# 28   1/30/2006 at 08:16 (4,648 days old) by stainfighter (Columbia, SC)        
Austin, if you ever get bored...

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with this GE I would love to have her (probably not)! Sounds like a LOT of fun. Given my space constraints small machines are the way I have to build my collection..

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