Thread Number: 73149  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Staber Washing Machines?
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Post# 966148   11/5/2017 at 08:46 (323 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I nearly bought a Staber washing machine in the earlier 2000's. I discovered it, possibly on this forum, and looked into it. I didn't buy because I traveled a lot with work and didn't want to fool with having it shipped and installing it.

This design still seems basically relevant, and certainly there have been other horizontal-axis washers, domestically and foreign, that have used the principle of loading a basket from the top.

I've read little snippets on here that the reason that company hasn't had greater success was due to the owner/founder himself.

This general configuration seems to answer so many of the difficulties and limitations of front loaders. Plus, I found the service-ability of those Stabers to be most attractive.

Any ideas here as to why we aren't seeing any of this configuration from the big manufacturers over here?

Post# 966155 , Reply# 1   11/5/2017 at 09:01 (322 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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a few factors could be.....

the door opening.....some people need it wider than their @ss....

capacity.....some people need to wash a tent....

a some people now seem to want to view what is going on inside...


Jeff Lefever has one, an interesting machine, traditional rear control design, simple user friendly controls, and a unique octagon shape drum...definitely uses plenty of water...

I know JohnL mentioned something about the company not wanting to expand into off-site service techs/companies and sales....


Post# 966167 , Reply# 2   11/5/2017 at 10:14 (322 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I never knew so many were into comforters. I don't like the damn things and I don't like duvets, though I've made a bunch for friends (I own a couple of dozen sewing machines). Poofy stuff, regardless of the weather, just doesn't do it for me.

I still use a traditional (and expensive, these days) chenille bedspread. I like it because I can flop on the bed and read if I want without sliding all over the place. It's eminently washable in any washer I've owned (queen size) and dry-able. I have different colored chenille bedspreads in the two guest rooms. I have separate blankets for when they might be needed.

I also never buy anything but cotton bed linens. It's penance for me to travel and stay in hotels with blends. But, if traveling by car I take my own pillow.

I don't really buy into the current mania for ever-larger washing machines. Particularly strange as the size of our American families continues to drop. Anyone else remember those Maytag ads from the sixties with some humongous family next to one of those little machines?

Post# 966168 , Reply# 3   11/5/2017 at 10:16 (322 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Which FL problem does it adress?

The 6-sided drum is kind of stupid IMO. Less drum capcity for same tub size. It also requires far higher water quantities to reach the same water level when compared to a normal round drum geometry.

The process of loading and unloading is far less comfortable then with a FL even though one would think it should be easier. But the drum opening is far smaller (about the size of a normal sheet of paper one could estimate) and the drum is impressivley deep.
Further you always have 2 doors you have to use whenever loading and unloading. The normal machine lid and the drum lid.
The drum lid is spring loaded, thus needing a certain force by the user to operate. Oh, and you won't believe how easily the damp steel slips from your fingers, sending at least on side of the lid swinging open with some noise and force; verry easy to hurt your fingers there. Thoug there are softopening system on some of the EU machines.
Though I do not know how deep a normal TL drum is, I'd easily believe that the Staber is deeper and even with a round drum, I could easily see the drum being prohibitively deep. A normal FL drum can have a diameter of 24" for something like 4.x cuft capacity. That is probably 3/4ths the length of my arm.
Oh, and if the machine does not have an auto positioning system (which I think the staber does not) you have to turn the drum to position manualy. Dosen't sound that bad at first, but have you ever tried to turn the drum of a FL by hand before unloading? You need some force there, but that is easily applied by either grabbing a drum paddle or pressing your hand against the concave drum surface. Here however, you try to apply that force without any real points to hold onto and the flat surface of the drum makes that even more annoying as you easily slip. But even once you got the opening facing you the troule isn't over. If the load is unevenly distributed, the drum will turn if you let go of the drum. So while keeping the drum in position you will have to push the 2 sides of the drum hatch inwards and then slowly lead them to their resting position without slipping on the metal surfaces.

In terms of serviceability I found one huge gripe watching the "How is it made" episode about it. The bearings are mounted in seperate housings attached to the sides of the tub. So if one would brake, one would think you could swap them without having to take the drum out. But the bearing housings are rivited to tub. If they were bolted that would be so much easier.

And in general, the machine is just verry crude.
2 cuft capacity in a full size cabinet. Huge hole-diameter on the drum.
Super low spin speed for a H-axis machine at only 750rpm.
It claims to be more efficent then a FL yet uses at least 12gal. It even suggest NOT to use HE detergent. So its high efficency, but dosen't need high efficency detergent? You have to manually set the load size, but it only has 2 options for that. Did I mention that its energy label is still in refference to the 2004 standards? Yes, this machine has basicly not changed for more then 10 years.
It claims to be more reliable as it uses a timer instead of a electronic control, yet uses an inverter motor drive which uses a controll board that staber sells for 249$.
Oh, and if anything should ever go wrong, you never have to deal with a qualified technician that is trained on the machine, as there are none. No joke, even if something breaks while under its lousy 1 year warranty (though it has a 5 year warranty on the suspension and bearings) you have to fix that yourself. No, you do not have the option to do it yourself, you have to, no matter what.
And all of that for the cheap price of 1699$! And the matching dryer with the revolutionary automatic thermostatic drying controll is only 899$! But I mean, according to the website it pays for itself even compared to a FL as it only uses 1 ounce of detergent compared to 2-3 ounces.
Wait, a normal FL only uses about 1 ounce as well? And I can get a (for basicly every aspect) more efficent pretty well speced SET - yes, set, not washer alone - for the price of just this washer?
Hugh, weired, almost seems like a scam. But wait, no, Staber is your friend, they would never blatantly lie to you and scam you.

No really, the first time I saw that machine I was intrigued.
But the more you read into it, the less shiny and awesome it looks. Almost like an early stage proof-of-concept desin thrown onto the market.
I like to compare it like this:
Imagine you gather some engineers in a meeting room and tell them they should develop a TL H-axis washer.
They would brainstorm a few hours, gather ideas. They would create first sketches, and after a week or two, they would start to build the first few prototypes.
Now here comes the difference:
A big company would see the issues with the prototypes, would test them extensivley and itterate and change the design several dozen times over the course of a year.
A decade ago Staber just said "F*** it, I don't care, just go straight to production!" and basicly didn't do anything with the desing since.

Post# 966317 , Reply# 4   11/5/2017 at 23:49 (322 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

Interesting reply. Sounds like you never saw one either.

My posting wasn't questioning the failure of this particular washer to reach a mass market, as it's apparent that it hasn't. My question was more about the configuration, as I'd stated.

You'd asked about in what way this configuration might prove superior to the conventional front loader. My first thought is the moldy front gasket. Not having been around one of these types of machines, I don't know what the gaskets might be like on this machine, if any. As the top opening wouldn't have to be watertight, but only stop splashing out (as with a top loader), it was my thought that gasketing might be simpler.

As for the tub shape, again, I have no doubt that different shapes could be used. Again, that doesn't sink the general configuration. As for this configuration requiring more water than an equivalent front loader, I don't see it at all. Identical drum design should use an identical water/detergent amount.

I make no pretense of knowing washer mechanicals beyond the most basic, but it has appeared to me that a weakness in the design of front loaders is the lack of a fixed mounting point at the front, around which the drum might rotate. Therefore, other improvisation has to be made to support and/or drive the rotating drum. If the washing drum is accessed from above, then rigid mounting points might be established at both the front and the back of the drum,at the true axes. Additionally, particularly if a simple belt system is to be used to drive that rotating drum, that belt could be installed on the front of the machine, possibly with the motor accessible at the front. Again, though, I'm no engineer.

As for the opening of the drum for access, I have no doubt that a more satisfactory configuration than the Staber could be devised. With the mania in the US for stuffing live buffaloes into their washers, this might never be equivalent. The question then--would it be sufficient?

As I spend much of my time in a wheelchair, I have more challenges with retrieving wet laundry that most don't have on here. Having owned two front loaders, I've been forced to use one of those 'grabbers' to be able to reach the items in the back. With the new Speed Queen top loader I bought last month, it's considerably easier to fetch wet laundry. I dare say I would probably be able to reach laundry easier in the general Staber configuration also.

Regarding the necessity of the opening of the drum to always stop at the top cabinet opening, we won't fool ourselves that this is an issue. Any of us with cars with windshield wipers know that they have been self-nesting for the past half-century, and with all the silly electronic toys being placed on many of today's machines, this is no issue at all.

I won't get into the whole 'HE detergent' thing; again, my questions for my betters on here weren't specifically about the Staber, but about that general design configuration. Same goes for the timer, or the dryer, etc.

Post# 966324 , Reply# 5   11/6/2017 at 00:29 (322 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I don't really buy into the current mania for ever-larger washing machines. Particularly strange as the size of our American families continues to drop. 


I have little interest in having a huge washer. To my mind, there is a good argument for those with large, bulky things that regularly need washing. But in my cynical moments, I wonder if some people don't really like huge washers because they can cram more stuff in, and get what they think of as drudgery over with fast--say one cycle with everything from work clothes to underwear to kitchen towels once every two weeks.


I find a smaller washer just fine since I live alone, and I carefully sort laundry. Plus I don't own a mountain of clothes (e.g., enough shirts to give me a fresh shirt every day for two months without washing).


Anyone else remember those Maytag ads from the sixties with some humongous family next to one of those little machines?


I think at least of those Maytag ads turns up here on the "Picture of the Day".



Post# 966343 , Reply# 6   11/6/2017 at 06:59 (322 days old) by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
on stopping at the top, and access hatches...

I have two European H-axis top loaders - a Philips (no longer working) and a Brandt.

When the Philips finishes a cycle, it could be any way up. You have to manually rotate the drum till the hatch is at the top. it generally isn't difficult, but sometimes if the load of clothes has dropped all to the bottom, it is a bit hard to turn.
The Philips has three "lids" - open the cabinet top, then the outer drum lid, then the hatch in the inner drum. It reminds me of Maxwell Smart walking through all the doors at the beginning of "Get Smart". But this layout means there is no rubber bellows, no big rubber seal between drum and cabinet.

Conversely, the Brandt has auto-stop, where the drum always stops with the hatch upwards. It didn't work when I got the machine, but it was easily fixed. One side of the drum assembly has the motor, drive belt and pulley. The other side has its own lightweight sheetmetal "pulley" with a magnet at one edge. there is a reed switch (magnetic sensitive)sensor just above. After the final spin, the motor turns in short, slow bursts till the magnet triggers the reed switch, meaning that the drum hatch is at the top. In my machine the reed switch had come loose and didn't detect the magnet.
The Brandt design got rid of the intermediate door by fitting a large rubber bellows between the cabinet and the outer drum opening. It is a large aperture and the bellows is concealed around the upper rim of the cabinet, you don't really see it but it is vital to prevent water being spun up and over the drum, splashing inside the cabinet to the floor. Unfortunately its hidden design means it gets absolutely disgusting with mould and residue. When I got the Brandt its bellows was the dirtiest I have ever seen, a white seal absolutely black with grime and mould.

The Brandt was Choice magazine's highest rated model when it was tested, but was fiercely expensive at over AU$1800. You could buy a good Miele front loader for less. I really liked it and used it as a loaner machine when I fixed other peoples machines. (compact, light, moves on retractible castors when needed.) Unfortunately it is now playing up, the timer no longer pauses when it should so it skips through a cycle in a few minutes. One day I will get to it...

Post# 966360 , Reply# 7   11/6/2017 at 09:17 (321 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

Thanks for the information! I knew I'd seen machines similar to what I'd described.

I think that, at least in the US, we are in a period of flux with our laundry industry. Oh, there are those who feel our machines have reach a high point nearing perfection, but then if you check, every generation seems to feel that.

At some point in the future the issues dogging performance and reliability and cleaning ability will be addressed more satisfactorily than now.

OTOH maybe we'll end up with that ultrasound laundry that so many predicted a half century ago, using no water at all!

Post# 966366 , Reply# 8   11/6/2017 at 09:57 (321 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The main thing I did not like about the Staber was that it does not spin until after the last rinse. That is not efficient.

Post# 966367 , Reply# 9   11/6/2017 at 09:58 (321 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

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Didn't Haier have a prototype for a larger sized TL HA-washer?
I vaguely remember seeing one.


Post# 966379 , Reply# 10   11/6/2017 at 10:30 (321 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

Didn't WP have a patent even? And Equator, of course...

And don't forget about the Reason washing machine!

Post# 966389 , Reply# 11   11/6/2017 at 11:37 (321 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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IIRC, JonCharles/Jetcone had a Staber.  I'm surprised he hasn't yet chimed-in here.

Post# 966393 , Reply# 12   11/6/2017 at 11:56 (321 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

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Here is the Haier machine I was thinking about.
Looks like a Maytag rip-off.


  View Full Size
Post# 966397 , Reply# 13   11/6/2017 at 12:09 (321 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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"The main thing I did not like about the Staber was that it does not spin until after the last rinse. That is not efficient."

To be fair many both top and side loading H-axis washers of old did not spin until after final rinse. That and or until after maybe second or third rinse.

The AEG toploader that slipped through my hands from Detroit only spun after four rinses IIRC. This was fairly common according to the research one did (in hopes of getting the thing).

My Miele W1070 only does one short pluse spin after third rinse, then a full spin between fourth and fifth/final rinse.

No it isn't very efficient, but then again many of these machines lived in dread of sudslock. Motor control wasn't the same as you get with say my more modern AEG Oko-Lavamat. When or when machine spun with too much froth it was "Whoaaa Nellie!"

With top loaders in particular all that froth could (and often did) come gushing out the top of machine.

I rest my case:

This post was last edited 11/06/2017 at 13:38
Post# 966404 , Reply# 14   11/6/2017 at 13:20 (321 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

But those were machines 20-30 years back.

This machine retils today for more then a SQ FL!

Post# 966406 , Reply# 15   11/6/2017 at 13:33 (321 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
"Didn't WP have a patent"

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Yes, WP does have a patent on top loading H-Axis washer that is decades old now. It is mentioned several times in the archives.

Thus far has done little good as the company seems to have no interest in bringing such a thing to the US market.

Whirlpool does market toplader h-axis washers in Europe, but highly doubt any will make it officially to these shores:

Post# 966407 , Reply# 16   11/6/2017 at 13:37 (321 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I'll bet they don't sell many if any, either! I saw their website was still open when I started shopping last month.

Like so many other products, including cars, often brilliant first ideas just don't get developed further. The British car industry immediately comes to mind since I'm a car nut: the Issigonis Mini that was so amazing in 1959, the very popular MGB and MG Midget/Sprite, the Triumph TR's and Triumph and BSA motorcycles, etc.

I see you're from Germany. My second car was a BMW Isetta 300, white, that I bought in high school here in the early 70's. Loved that little car, a friend had a French-made Vespa 400. I always wished they'd imported the 600 with the back seat and differential over here. I've also been fascinated with the DKW line that we basically didn't get here. But my favorite? The M-B Heckflosse; an engineer who my father worked with had a 220SE, I think from 1963, and I rode in it many times as a kid, in the back seat. Loved that weird speedometer that looked like a thermometer!

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