Thread Number: 662
A trip to the Laundromat...
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Post# 50411   12/3/2004 at 22:41 (7,070 days old) by westytoploader ()        

I just found out today there are not one, but two laundromats in the 3600-person town of Bellville. As you all remember, I mentioned using Huebsch (formerly SQ) and Wascomat triple-loaders at a small laundromat in town to wash large items after the Kenmore flooded the floor and I had to use the GE until the yard dried so I could move another machine up. The top-loaders were Whirlpool Design 2000 and half of them didn't work...YUK. The half that did had fused Dual-Action agitators that moved as one piece. Aside from the front-loaders which were in good condition, everything was in pretty bad shape.

You're probably wondering how this large turn of events took place, and why I'm posting this in the "Imperial-Vintage" section...;-) I hurried as fast as I could from school (well, not as fast as I'd hoped--two girls needed a ride) trying to find an estate sale that had been going on since 8 AM. My mom stopped by and picked up a MINT early 90's Sanitaire "Wide-Track" commercial vacuum as well as a cool Avocado GE mixer...more on that in the "Super" section. She also mentioned there was an older Maytag washer there. So I'm trying to find this darn place when I drive on S. Front by the Meat Market, and lo and behold, right next to it buried in a small shopping center is ANOTHER LAUNDROMAT!!!!! I wrestled my truck into the driveway, circled the place, parked, and went inside. It was so much nicer and cleaner than the other place, with only 1 non-working washer! I flew home as fast as legally possible (LOL) & loaded up my comforter (which I needed to wash anyway) as well as a healthy supply of Gain and Biz. I washed in a Dexter FL which was fun, however, I also noticed some older Maytags. Peeking in, I didn't see the "PowerFlex" agitator common on the "orbital" tranny, but instead saw a short Power-Fin with a large base. No...this couldn't be...IT IS!!! IT'S NOT AN ORBITAL!!! YAY!!! I had been using the DC and watching it's Power-Fin for a while (for those of you who haven't seen the exterior, look below), and was anticipating a much-needed change.

I had been at "Small-Town Christmas" earlier, up at the Square, and there really wasn't much up there, so I decided to go do a wash in the 'Tags. At 7:30 PM, I took a good-sized load of dark clothes up there, and the rest is history. These old Maytags are very fun, powerful, and effective washers and I will continue to use them in the future!!! They also hold much more than I expected, even though they are only standard-capacity. I wonder if the long agitator stroke is a contributing factor. Also, I've noticed it's becoming more fun loading the machines...sign of obsession with washing? ;-)

OK guys, the moment you've all been waiting for...the 1ST BELLVILLE LAUNDROMAT!!!! And here's a pic of my 'Tag...

CLICK HERE TO GO TO westytoploader's LINK

Post# 50429 , Reply# 1   12/4/2004 at 13:32 (7,069 days old) by Doityrselfguy ()        

Austin, nice pictures. I'm surprised an attendant didn't stop you! I had that same Maytag in the basement of my first apartment building.


Post# 50435 , Reply# 2   12/4/2004 at 15:49 (7,069 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
Austin, you were using a true ol' fashion (to you) maytag top loader. Similar to what I used in 1973 in my college dorm. I've only seen agitators like that (with the cap) in a tv shot about a very large family--they showed their tags being used. The ones in my dorm and other laundries I've seen had a slight ringed opening where you'd have put the filter cartridge in. Yes, and that "side" fill was standard & typical of a maytag until the Dependable Care debuted in 1993/94. Yes, I still long for that long, slower stroke. Ahh the good ol' days. Bob

Post# 50436 , Reply# 3   12/4/2004 at 16:46 (7,069 days old) by westytoploader ()        

Why Maytag switched to the "orbital" tranny is beyond me; these machines are much better in action and churn up much more water! And I was surprised at how whisper-quiet these machines were, unlike the loud "woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo" sound on "fast," and "wah---wah---wah---wah---wah---wah---wah---wah" sound on "gentle" my Maytag makes during agitating.

Definitely a step back in time using these machines. I was surprised; the original owners (a couple in their 60's) keep this place in good shape and maintain everything well. Today I did a load of sheets in the Dexter (and took pictures...) and they were busy scrubbing and tinkering with the machines. Talked to the owner's wife about the double-loaders and the old Maytags, and she told me that this 'Mat's been in place for over 20 years and that these were the original washers. They plan to install more double-loaders in the future--hopefully they'll remove Design 2000's and not Maytags!

And Pete, there aren't any attendents or attendence counters in the Bellville 'Mats. In this one, you have to bring your own laundry supplies. The owners stop by every once in a while or if there's a problem, but last night I was the only one there! LOL...I might bring my video camera, tripod, etc. tonight and make a video of Maytag #3!


Post# 50439 , Reply# 4   12/4/2004 at 17:46 (7,069 days old) by Agiflow ()        
The dependability people

Hi Austin,....i remember going to the laundromat we used to have around my area, that had these same Maytag washers back in the mid 80's.
The powerful agitation these machines had reminds me of Robert's Norge.Very good clothes movers indeed.It's a shame it is no longer there.I think of all the manufactures who used straight vane agitators,Maytag was probably one of the best,if only they didn't have that annoying lid switch.Next to old Norge washers,Maytag is wave action washing at it's best.


Post# 50441 , Reply# 5   12/4/2004 at 18:04 (7,069 days old) by coldspot66 (Plymouth, Mass)        

The Whirlpool Surgilator agitator with the 14lb tub really swept the clothes through the water too! I am talking belt drive washer.

Post# 50443 , Reply# 6   12/4/2004 at 18:14 (7,069 days old) by Agiflow ()        
Hi coldspot66

It has been years since i have seen a bd surgilator in action.
I kind of forget what they were like.I would love to see an old bd whirly or km in action again.


Post# 50453 , Reply# 7   12/4/2004 at 23:46 (7,069 days old) by powerfin64 (Yakima, Washington)        
Maytag straight vanes

powerfin64's profile picture
I have to add my 2 cents worth..
I have 4 maytags(2 wringers, a '56 highlander) and a Dependable Care, new from '95.(Bob has a matching dryer to my Dependable care washer)
I have to agree whole heartedly, that the wringers and the '56 washer, move clothes MUCH MORE thoroughly, with the long stroke, with straight vanes than my '95 Dependable care washer short stroke, with straight vane powerfin hands down!!

As far as Im concerned, straight vanes in older Maytag, Kenmores, and Whirlpools are the best, period.


Post# 50480 , Reply# 8   12/5/2004 at 18:35 (7,068 days old) by Doityrselfguy ()        
Maytag Motor Question

I plan to order a new motor for my Maytag A208 model at some point. The machine is circa 1976. If I order a new motor, will it be built to today's energy standards? I never thought to ask the question until a relative brought it up. While testing it in the garage with the current motor, the garage lights dimmed when it began to agitate. If anyone knows, please post. Thanks!


Post# 50485 , Reply# 9   12/5/2004 at 20:37 (7,068 days old) by coldspot66 (Plymouth, Mass)        

I don't think there are energy standards for motors, per se. It prolly will be the same as what you have. Are you running the washer from a long extension cord? or on a circuit with other motors running, like a freezer or refrig?

Post# 50487 , Reply# 10   12/5/2004 at 21:45 (7,068 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Carlstadt, NJ)        

Motors have not really become more efficient.

The new motor will draw the same current as the old one. The main difference is that your old motor is made to be rebuildable, and the new replacement motor is disposable (not rebuildable).

Most of the energy used by a washing machine is hot water anyway, not electricity.

A washer motor draws quite a bit for a half a second while the start winding is energized. If the lights in your garage dim, the curcut is too wimpy for a major appliance.

By the way, I hate the phrase "today's energy standards". Most of that is nonsense and is just part of the "dumbing down of America" How efficient is it to buy disposable motors, or disposable appliances, or disposable cars for that matter?

Ken D.

Doityrselfguy wrote:
I plan to order a new motor for my Maytag A208 model at some point. The machine is circa 1976. If I order a new motor, will it be built to today's energy standards? I never thought to ask the question until a relative brought it up. While testing it in the garage with the current motor, the garage lights dimmed when it began to agitate. If anyone knows, please post. Thanks!

Post# 50491 , Reply# 11   12/6/2004 at 00:09 (7,068 days old) by fixerman ()        

Kenwashesmonday said:
By the way, I hate the phrase "today's energy standards". Most of that is nonsense and is just part of the "dumbing down of America" How efficient is it to buy disposable motors, or disposable appliances, or disposable cars for that matter?

Seems we have Identified another one on this board with a conservative viepoint!

I agree with you ken. I have nothing against people concerned about our enviromnent. I like to breathe clean air as much as anyone. It is when the extremists take it to too far and begin to impose on everyone regulations that offer small benefits at a very high cost.

Post# 50520 , Reply# 12   12/6/2004 at 19:39 (7,067 days old) by Doityrselfguy ()        

Thanks for the feedback guys. I must have had a "dim" moment of my own. The dimming of the garage light was due to a weak circuit, since I plugged it directly into a 3-prong socket. The reason I referred to "today's energy standards" is that I didn't know if homes built within the last 5 years could support the running of an appliance going on 30 years old. I brought it up as a safety issue. What you're all saying makes sense now. I just wasn't using the correct line to test the machine. Knowing that the new motors cannot be rebuilt, if I replace the old one, I'll hold on to it vs. trashing it.


Post# 50521 , Reply# 13   12/6/2004 at 19:58 (7,067 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        
Disposable motors

I don't like the Disposable motor approach to appliances and even commercial motors.Usually the most common failure in motors is the bearings--In the disable models you can't replace them --it means you are throwing away a perfectly good motor just because a set of $2.00 bearings failed.This is just waste for sure.The so-called "energy standards" are not just dumbing down-but apply more to industrial motors than those used in home appliances.They use it because factories,plants,commercial establishments have more motors in a given place than a household-and greater horsepower.The motor design engineers try to focus on motors in the 5Hp-300Hp class for energy effiency.-and three phase models.They get a few more percent effeincy from them-useful only to a place with a large population of motors.They do it by using higher grade iron in the stator cores-higher purity copper in the stator windings. Then they use copper rotor windings instead of aluminum.Usually the satndards for household appliance "split phase" motors the effeincy factors are up to about 80 percent. For three phase interegral motors (those over 2Hp) can be over 90 percent.And another thing-the "disposable" motors cannot be used for other applications when the device they power is trashed.The older motors can be-how many places have you seen old washer-dryer motors used when the orig machine it was in died?I have seen them used for anything from rock tumblers to table saws and everything else in between.I have salvaged motores from old machines years ago.I found an Old Blackstone washer(not the SS) model by the side of the road ages ago-salvaged the motor from it-used it as a buffer motor.

Post# 50746 , Reply# 14   12/10/2004 at 18:20 (7,063 days old) by spiralactivator ()        
Laundromat and BD Surgilator

Two points:

1.) Love the laundromat pics! The launderette I use here at college has those same Maytags. When loaded properly they hold quite a bit, and the performance is great. Oddly enough, most people don't seem to know how to load them...they either stuff them so full that they kill the turnover, or they give each handful of laundry its own washer (which is just a waste of quarters).

2.) Agiflow, my mom has an '83 super-capacity Whirlpool with Double Duty Super Surgilator (cloverleaf base). The stroke is fairly long, the turnover is great, and it splashes quite nicely. Dirt can't escape that muscular BD Surgilator! And when the machine is off/empty, you can spin the agitator like a roulette wheel!

Post# 50753 , Reply# 15   12/10/2004 at 20:19 (7,063 days old) by agiflow ()        

Hello spiralactivator,....i remember a friend of mine growing up,who's dad had an early 80's WP with the cloverleaf surgilator you mention.That is probably the last time i saw one of these bd's in action.
Yes Roto-swirls and surgilators ROCK!!

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