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Post# 719493   12/5/2013 at 19:16 (3,781 days old) by rx7onmymind ()        

Just like to introduce myself. My wife and I have had it with the HE washers that dampen clothes and rub them together and this is what they call the new clean. Argh. So I live in Sacramento Ca,and were looking to buy an old school washer(dryer is fine we don't have issues with it) and truth be told our Neptune washer is awesome at small loads. Get them clean. That is if you only want to wash three jeans a shirt and maybe a towel. Full load. Not happening. Both our parents had washers for over twenty years, a top loader and we love them now in hindsight. Yeah, a bit noisy but man you could SMELL the clean. So any help in sourcing a great full filling old top loader washer would be great. Love the old vids that had "The Troggs" song on there.

Post# 719496 , Reply# 1   12/5/2013 at 19:35 (3,781 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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There are two brands to keep in mind if you want to go vintage and want relative ease of repair when things go wrong. They are: 1) Maytag and 2) Whirlpool/Sears. Each of these brands have their fans and detractors, and I will go ahead and put my biases on the table by saying I'm in the Maytag camp. Whirlpool and Sears (Kenmore) are lumped together because Whirlpool made Sears for decades and the two brands are sisters under the skin.

There are other brands that many people here love, but I'm assuming you want something easy to find, as robust as possible and as easy to fix as possible. The reason I like Maytag is that even I understand what's going on under the hood; I'm mechanically inclined up to a point, but not to the extent others are. Parts are still reasonably easy to find for the classic top-loaders, and you can perform many repairs yourself using common sense and common tools.

Maytags came in many models, at a lot of different price points. The top of the line for many years was the A806, with all the bells and whistles. Lesser machines were still very well-featured; I once owned a near-bottom-of-the-line A208 that had almost every feature my present A806 has. The engineering was very similar no matter what Maytag you bought, and the quality was the same no matter what.

You do need to understand one thing about what you're getting into: You will need to learn to do simple maintenance and repair yourself, and you need to have a network of friends who can help with more complicated stuff. This site's members can help with the first, and if you're nice to them, will turn into the second. The reason you need to become at least partly self-sufficient is that most repair places will not work on vintage stuff; the parts aren't on their shelf, there's no factory-paid warranty work to make easy money on and they usually don't have the know-how, since their technicians are often young guys who trained on newer stuff.

Used Maytag washers are all over most cities' Craigslist for $100 or less. Members here can tell you about how to judge one for sale. Or if you're the risk-taking type, you might just take a chance on one without knowing too much about it - the Almond pair of top-of-the-line 806s below began as free machines with an unknown history. I have all of $100 invested in repairs, and they run perfectly, as they have for over three years since I got them back in shape.

Welcome to!

This post was last edited 12/05/2013 at 20:02
Post# 719507 , Reply# 2   12/5/2013 at 20:28 (3,781 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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Everything above is accurate, and tons of Maytags and Kenmore can be found on Craigslist. But General Electric filter Flo machines are also darn good, long lasting, and were built until the mid-90's. Tons of parts avaialble, like Maytag and Kenmore. This picture shows one. While the console changed lots thru the years, that lid with the clipped corners is the sign of a GE Filter Flo.
Danesmodsandy is also correct that you'll get lots of advice and many differing opinions here, sorry.

Post# 719513 , Reply# 3   12/5/2013 at 21:05 (3,781 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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If largest capacity is one of your top considerations, a Whirlpool or Kenmore will provide the most, but you'll probably need to go back to the belt-driven models for the biggest tubs.


I'm a Maytag fan, but their tubs are among the smallest, even on the "extra large" capacity models.




For something new that still has old-school reliability, I (and legions of others here) would recommend Speed Queen.  They're kind of pricey and can only be found at select appliance dealers, but they have a huge stainless steel tub, are built to last, and it's easy to tweak the water fill level to make it hold even more if you find it necessary.  The model AWN432 offers an extra rinse option.  The less expensive AWN412 does not. Since you're only in the market for a washer, you might find the Speed Queen a viable option.  Their web site allows you to compare models (there are only three) and will help you locate a dealer in your area.

Post# 719586 , Reply# 4   12/6/2013 at 11:49 (3,781 days old) by rx7onmymind ()        

Thank you for the input. I'm sstarting to believe that vintages definately had their advantages and the mantra of "newer is better" is not always so. I have friends with old radio, shave with a double edge razors like our parents, and have various kitchen appliance that still haven't broke from the 50's.
I'm digging these old washers tat load up to the top with HOT water & suds and yes make the clickety clack sounds. Maybe becasue we grew up with it? Need to find a nice burnt orange colored washer:P Maybe even install "mop rag green" carpet too. Woot.
Danemodsandy: I like the simplicity of that set you have. Very nice pair:) Yes, I'm mechanically inclined to a point also. As for parts hang in there folks asI see a time not so far in with 3D printing that will allow us to make parts. That's going to be sweet.

Akronman: Different opinions. Understood. I welcome those and truth be told having read up on consmer reports it seems that many washers up until this early 90's HE revolutions they had ranked a lot of them on par with each other. So even something from that era is acceptable for me.

Rp2813: Thank you for your suggestions. I've never considered a SQ unitl now so I'll definately look into them. I know of the adjuster you speak of that I beleieve have seen on this site. I wish I could hack my Neptune to do the same! Maybe I should hire a out of work engineering collage kid to find a hack:P

Post# 719704 , Reply# 5   12/7/2013 at 04:51 (3,780 days old) by NYCWriter ()        
Attention restorers and collectors!

If ever you're looking to make money off of your talents, there are guys like me who are willing to pay top dollar for a fully restored and shined like a penny older washer and dryer set!!!

Yes, we're out there. I myself am about to spend $10,000 (out of necessity) to install a new Miele matching undercounter washer and dryer set.

It's the only thing my Manhattan apartment will accommodate.

But once I start building that second home in Pittsburgh, I'll be looking to buy something vintage.

Post# 719751 , Reply# 6   12/7/2013 at 10:37 (3,780 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I second Ralph's Speed Queen recommendation. Although my daily driver is a 2010 Frigidaire front-loader, I wanted to add a classic, old-school top-loader to the laundry room, so I purchased a Speed Queen AWN542. It has everything you're looking for in a washer, plus the bonus of being able to order parts should they ever be needed.

This post was last edited 12/07/2013 at 11:02
Post# 719782 , Reply# 7   12/7/2013 at 13:45 (3,780 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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The Neptunes were not at all nor ever will be my choice in front loading washers. They were an embarassment to salesfolk like me. The problems they had were a nightmare from Hell. The Frigidaires were ok but their spider pullies were too problematic. The good news was you could reset the water level by just the turn of a screw. Whirlpool Duets also. The only issue with Duets was mold forming from users closing the door instead of leaving it open to dry. The LGs also had an adjustable level but I only saw it on the model I currently own. Top loading agitators wear out and damage fabrics by agressive and pointless short/rapid oscillation using sharp blades to stir up the turnover of clothes.The lint in the dryer is proof. I think that ,if you had one like my.Duet and could increase water intake,you'd see my ppint.

Post# 719792 , Reply# 8   12/7/2013 at 14:51 (3,780 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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The Speed Queen agitation is still the classic long stroke we all remember from the old days, not the frenetic short stroke found on all other top-loading machines made today.

Post# 719817 , Reply# 9   12/7/2013 at 17:08 (3,780 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0500 CDT.))        
Vintage TL Washer and Dryer

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Unless you are going for a new SQ set then a later model Whirlpool/Kenmore Direct drive set would be your best bet by far.  Just make sure it is not a washer that does the low rinse level.  If it is it needs to have a fabric softener switch.


Post# 719825 , Reply# 10   12/7/2013 at 17:33 (3,780 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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Since this is someone new to the hobby, without a lot of knowledge about how different washers vary, what about setting forth your reasons for recommending a DD Kenmore? This person is already aware we all have our preferences (like I love Maytags and wouldn't want another DD Whirly product), but it would probably be helpful for him to know why we have them.

Post# 719875 , Reply# 11   12/8/2013 at 03:00 (3,779 days old) by rx7onmymind ()        

Laundromat: We got lucky. We bought our Neptune at Home Depot for a song in 2006 and seven years later it's still going strong without issue. I've read the horror stories but we got lucky. Oh, we did have smell issues but one we wnet to poweder and left the door open that was resolved. To be fair even the old top loaders my paernets left the door open too on them to allow it to air dry.

Speed queen looks like a solid leader and favorite. I can see why. If your only going to do one thing do it well. Speed queen seems to be that.

Direct drive. Hmm. have to brush up on that and look into it;)

Thanks everyone for the input. Have to go shave old school(old double edge)and get ready for work. Have a great weekend:)

Post# 720024 , Reply# 12   12/8/2013 at 20:54 (3,778 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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Yes,Speed Queen is the best in top loading automatics in my own opinion. However,again,the base of their agitators has the flexible fins that are sharp and pull taring the fabrics and causing more wear on your clothes. They don't spin as fast lengthening drying time and costing more to use an automatic dryer. They're also more expensive with fewer options i.e. extra rinse, lengthened wash cycles and delayed cycles.My Duets are now twelve years old and like new. I got them used for $500.

Post# 720281 , Reply# 13   12/10/2013 at 02:47 (3,777 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The "Sharp" flexible fins can be fixed with a little sandpaper-did that to a Maytag with the sharp lower agitator base blades-less tearing and shredding of cloths.I wish washer makers would ditch the slotted flexible agitator base blades-the rigid rounded ones were much better and easier on clothes.

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