Thread Number: 73125  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
elderly friend needs opinion on good used TL washer
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Post# 965983   11/4/2017 at 13:28 (321 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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So a good friend asked for my opinion on finding a good used TL washer.
As my own interest is primarily vintage stuff 40 yr old or older and we buy new for daily drivers, I suggested that I post and ask here for her. My own experience over the last 30 yrs is with only a couple of machines (WP & GE) bought new, thus very limited. Being on a limited SS fixed income she can't afford new, however her ideal machine would be:

1. price: up to 200-ish,
2. common model, relatively easy to find.
2. parts still readily available and likely to be available ongoing.
3. reliable (machine 20 yr old or less is probably best, we'll help her to find something hopefully lightly used or cheap/easy to repair)
4. fairly large capacity.
5. decent wash performance, but she isn't ultra picky on that.

She's a v nice older lady/neighbor, I'd appreciate help in finding her one that will work for her at least for a few more years (she's in her late 70s)... she still has a early'90s (?) WP dryer that is working great.

Please share your opinions - if there's something that meets most or all of those desired criteria, and were buying such a machine for your Mom , what makes-models-years would you choose? Especially like to hear from folks experienced with repair on many makes, thanks for any and all input!

Post# 965990 , Reply# 1   11/4/2017 at 14:17 (321 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
my local appliance dealer

will sell used appliances that have been traded in, provided they're in excellent shape. I'm pretty sure my 17-year-old dryer got re-sold by him. I love the idea of recycling.

If your friend is cost-constrained it'd be a good idea to try to buy from someone he/she can trust, perhaps in the business like my local dealer. Last thing he/she needs is a worn out old money pit.

Post# 965991 , Reply# 2   11/4/2017 at 14:17 (321 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I think you're going to get a lot of recommendations for a WP or Kenmore direct drive machine.  People here tend to describe them as indestructible and easy to fix, with long range parts availability. 


When I was looking for a similar machine to Dave's daughter's Kenmore direct drive (probably a mid 2000's model with white/gray console scheme), the used appliance warehouse I visited had scads of them to choose from, far, far outnumbering all other makes combined, and in the $200 price range.


I think the so-called "shredmore" models date back more than 20 years, so you're probably safe from ending up with one of those.  They tend to have the more angular consoles, so if you see one like that, keep moving.

Post# 965992 , Reply# 3   11/4/2017 at 14:22 (321 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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one thing that is more than plentiful, both from a private seller, as well as most all used appliance places are the DirectDrive Kenmore/Whirlpools....

you may even find one that would match the dryer.....anything is possible

you may even find a lot of Maytags as well.....most likely with the orbital tranny, but still good for a daily driver...

you may even luck out with a GE FilterFlo.....

Post# 966015 , Reply# 4   11/4/2017 at 16:47 (321 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Current Machine?

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What is the make and model of the machine she intends to replace? How does she feel about it? Would she be interested in an exact replacement?


Post# 966020 , Reply# 5   11/4/2017 at 17:39 (321 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Anything WP or KM direct-drive falls into the so-called "shred-more" category, particularly if only two-speed (and definitely if 1-speed).  Look for a 3-speed Kenmore 80/90 or WP Gold with separate speed control.  Use slow agitate/high spin for "normal" loads, that'll eliminate the shred-more aspect.  Two-speed models without separate speed selector may throttle back to low speed half-way through the wash period (hard-wired into the timer) but the rinse usually is high.  A speed selector knob for direct control is more versatile.

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Post# 966102 , Reply# 6   11/5/2017 at 00:57 (321 days old) by superocd (PNW)        

Can't go wrong with a Whirlpool direct drive. I had a circa-2000 Kenmore, which I replaced with a TOL Kenmore (LG) front loader. Nothing was wrong with it at all, I just wanted a front loader and got one from Sears on a deal I couldn't refuse. I donated it to Habitat for Humanity. No doubt it will provide reliable service to someone in need or someone looking for a bargain.

If, for whatever reason I ever decided to go back to a top loader, it would be either a Speed Queen or a good used Whirlpool DD. The new HE TLs make me squirm a little.

Post# 966209 , Reply# 7   11/5/2017 at 13:51 (320 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
thanks folks! ...

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Sounds like a WP or KM DD is a good answer. Are any certain years most desirable?
There's a longtime local dealer of used machines with large inventory and good reputation, will take her there in the next day or 2.

The old washer was an early '70s WP with the dark colored & chrome slanted back backsplash, not sure of model, mid-level I'd guess. Had the matching WP dryer that was replaced mid '90s with another WP.

My own SWMBO bought a new WP BOL TL (around $375) model (I think a $325 Roper was the only lower model offered by that same dealer) around 7-8 yrs ago for the summer cottage, so used lightly, and it's been fairly decent wash-wise, no mechanical problems, but not sure what it's mechanical design is, ie: DD or not, never been inside it.

Post# 966215 , Reply# 8   11/5/2017 at 14:16 (320 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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FireDome:  ... but not sure what it's mechanical design is, ie: DD or not, never been inside it.
Quick tells:

Old-style belt-drive:  Tub ring is D-shaped with the flat at the rear.

Direct-drive:  Tub ring is round.

BD and DD have a brake so the basket is accordingly harder to turn by hand when the brake is engaged.

New VMW/belt-drive:  There's no brake so the basket pretty much free-spins and there's a lid lock, and the tub suspension is soft and springy.

Post# 966243 , Reply# 9   11/5/2017 at 18:03 (320 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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if you stick with those style panels that Glenn posted, with the separate knob for speed control, those are roughly made during the last 10+ years of production...

an 80 or 90 series would also be the better choice...better sound insulation, white tub, bleach and fabric softener dispenser, auto temp control...most offer bigger lids that open towards the back...

and yet still stay within electromechanical controls...

digital models do offer a lot of flexability, as well as timed dispensers...

you may even find a ResourceSaver machine.....full fill levels for washing, spin/spray rinsing, and a final spin....very effective

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