Thread Number: 72614  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 9/27/2017
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Post# 959417   9/27/2017 at 11:42 (363 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

That might not seem much these days, but in 1979 it was probably about as much as the additional money you would have to pay to get a Maytag machine vs. a GE or Whirlpool. So it was significant for that time. You also would be getting the best machine that money could buy. Although being only one speed, it might not take care of very delicate things quite as well as a two speed machine. But most things it would be fine with and it washed, rinsed and spun the clothes out beautifully and was the most dependable machine ever made.

Post# 959421 , Reply# 1   9/27/2017 at 12:00 (363 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

You could get a lot more Kenmore, at least a two speed machine, for the cost of an A308 and it could last for a good long while and probably wash larger loads. If you bagged your delicates in those mesh laundry bags, this machine would probably be as safe for delicates as a two speed Kenmore, but without using the bags, it could only take one delicate item being caught between an agitator fin and the skirt or even just a well-placed smack with a fin to damage a garment and wipe out the monetary savings of the rebate for buying this washer.

Post# 959423 , Reply# 2   9/27/2017 at 12:16 (363 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Yes, BUT the Kenmore would NEVER last as long as the Maytag without having to service it. Kenmore was a good machine, but the belt did wear out and the pump as well. Maytag seldom EVER had a problem with either and would run infinitely longer than the Kenmore would. I always found Kenmore/Whirlpool machines to be rather primitive in design at this time.

Post# 959428 , Reply# 3   9/27/2017 at 12:29 (363 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Just do some of your own trouble-shooting/repairs as needed--that Kenmore or Whirlpool could last about as long as a 'Tag of that year... --A lil' TLC on the use of your washer as well (regardless of the make/brand)...

-- Dave

Post# 959429 , Reply# 4   9/27/2017 at 12:48 (363 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Agreed, but for the normal run of the mill housewife or husband that isn't mechanically inclined the Maytag is a far better machine. It actually washes, rinses and spins out better too. If it were me buying one of that era, I would probably go for the Kenmore since I would be able to repair it when necessary. There are just far more Maytags, even of this vintage still in operation. I remember neighbors buying new Kenmore washers simply because the pump or belt went out. It was easier and sometimes cheaper just to spend a few more dollars to get a new machine than have the old one repaired. It almost always required removing the washer from where it was to replace the belt and most people had no idea or desire to do it. That is where Maytag really had it over most other machines, they were extremely easy to work on and fewer things went wrong with them. It is also why they were known as dependable.

This post was last edited 09/27/2017 at 13:07
Post# 959439 , Reply# 5   9/27/2017 at 13:43 (363 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Had a brief conversation about washers some years ago with a long-time family friend.  She mentioned that she had "always wanted a Maytag" so bought one to replace her aged/ailing machine.  She quickly returned it for something else because it "stretched and mangled my knit sweaters and tops all to hell" even though she used the Delicate cycle.  I explained about Maytag's Fabric-Matic scheme vs. true two-speed, and she agreed that was probably the cause.

As I recall when we bought the 1976 Supreme 80, price comparison via newspaper ads had equivalent Maytag models $100 to $130 higher.

This post was last edited 09/27/2017 at 14:44
Post# 959441 , Reply# 6   9/27/2017 at 13:53 (363 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Kenmore always gave you more bang for the buck! Their sales were tough to beat!

Post# 959445 , Reply# 7   9/27/2017 at 14:34 (363 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Funny how you don't often get the "details" of laundering disasters.
And in all the years I have used Maytags of all varieties, I have yet to have a garment stuck under a fin. Come to think of it, I can't ever remember a Maytag damaging a garment at all.
Guess I am just lucky.

All I've ever gotten from a Maytag is clean clothes and reliability.

Post# 959448 , Reply# 8   9/27/2017 at 14:41 (363 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

hippiedoll's profile picture
I wonder if your friend did the same thing I did, with some delicate curtains I washed in the maytag 608?

I loaded the washer with the kitchen-style curtains. They reached about 1/2 way up the tub, so I thought I was ready to try out the GENTLE cycle...

I added the detergent, set the water temp to warm/cold, pushed in the GENTLE button, and selected the MEDIUM LOAD water level, and walked away thinking the 608 was going to work is MAYTAG MAGIC on my delicate vintage kitchen curtains.

Well I didn't know that with a medium sized load, you are supposed to use an EX-LARGE water level, when washing a gentle cycle. I just thought, match the water level to the load size since the machine was a 2-speed.

I ended up with holes in my curtains!

so now I know, whenever washing a GENTLE cycle, ALWAYS use the highest water level to get a gentle wash action.
Lesson learned!


Post# 959449 , Reply# 9   9/27/2017 at 14:45 (363 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
By the way...

hippiedoll's profile picture
I still loves me center-dial MAYTAGS.
Operator error is not the washer's fault.

Post# 959476 , Reply# 10   9/27/2017 at 17:04 (362 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Christina, you reminded me the TOL 900's use a full tub for their Delicate Cycle.

I probably would do the same thing you did just to keep from ending up in an unbalanced situation. If I have light weight delicate items I usually throw them into a Kenmore or Whirly. With the neutral drain the water level wouldn't make much difference.

I have a friend in Atlanta with an old belt-drive Kenmore and she never uses anything but High water level no matter the size of the load!

Post# 959494 , Reply# 11   9/27/2017 at 18:56 (362 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Maytag uses the belt as the clutch; lotsa rubbing and slipping going on wearing belts which are going to need service sometime.

Post# 959504 , Reply# 12   9/27/2017 at 21:04 (362 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

The only belts I have EVER had to replace on a Maytag were either a pump belt when someone let the washer completely freeze in the wintertime and it burned the belt in a spot or when a machine had sat so long that the belts literally rotted off. Using the belt as a clutch certainly doesn't seem to wear it out. I might also point out that very few machines would allow the pump to freeze and not break. Usually that is death to a washer pump.

Post# 959538 , Reply# 13   9/28/2017 at 06:36 (362 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Bruce, you forgot to mention that you can tip the Maytag back with one hand and change the belts with the other if they ever need changing.

Post# 959576 , Reply# 14   9/28/2017 at 10:06 (362 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

I have the exact same machine in the picture, color even too,and is my everyday washer. I had a bit of a flood in the basement 3 years ago and the water got up and over the pump and motor. A new motor, pump and while we were at it, new belts too were installed. I told the repairman, who owns a mom and pop type appliance store, that I am not buying a new washer, your job is to keep this one working! It washes fine and is very quiet. I have never had any problem with shredded clothes etc. so all is well here. Happy washing, Gary

Post# 959578 , Reply# 15   9/28/2017 at 10:21 (362 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
My mom joined the ranks of "once you buy a Maytag, there is no other great brand to buy"--going from the smallest & cheapest one-speed washer, to leaving w/ a "does everything, has everything" machine, with a "middle-of-the-road" model, that was my favorite, washer (but unlike the "before" and "after" no dryer, but the Maytag dryer that went w/ old one, & moderately featured better than that washer was) in between...

-- Dave

Post# 959587 , Reply# 16   9/28/2017 at 11:05 (362 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

I know it might seem like I get on my soap box and sing the praises of Maytag washers from back in the day, but they really were ALL that and a bag of chips!!!! They were remarkable machines that did their job very very well and lasted longer than ANY washing machine EVER, with precious little repair. If you have delicate sweaters or other clothing, it only would make sense that you need a two speed washer. Why blame the machine? Although a one speed machine would be fine for most people, it wouldn't for some. There just is not now and have never been a washer that worked so well and required little to no service to keep running for many many years. They did an excellent job of washing, rinsing and spinning out anything that could be washed in a washing machine.

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