Thread Number: 73578  /  Tag: Wringer Washers
What to know when buying old wringer washers?
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Post# 971577   12/4/2017 at 21:03 (348 days old) by joemac (Thurmont Maryland)        

I'm new to the vintage appliance world, most of my knowledge comes to me as an architecture historian(student) and antique collector. In the near future I'm looking to build a streamline moderne tiny home, and one of the considerations of my shoestring budget, is trying to mitigate the expense of modern appliances, by investing in well performing antique ones. Since I'm a bit size constrained, a wringer washer way be a good match because they often have wheels and are a little more water efficient or so I'm told.
What is there to know when it comes to buying old wringer washers? I know of all the types of washers, they're the simplest electrically, and their mechanics aren't very complex either (except maybe the 2 stroke models?). So what are obvious trouble signs or problematic areas? How easy are they to get working? Are there modern drop in electric motors that fit the the bottom mounting brackets?

The unit I have an eye on is pretty close and looks in good order.

Post# 971582 , Reply# 1   12/4/2017 at 21:12 (348 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
For Tiny Homes-

I have a 3000 sq ft home, but have several acquaintances who have tiny homes. They'd all tell you that that wringer washer could take up more room in a constrained space than an automatic washer. I'm guessing if you're going really small that you'd have to wring your clothes into either a sink or a tub, which is going to take more room. I think wringers are cool myself, but just never saw the opportunity for one here, even for fun. Of course, so many of our Euro friends grew up with the classic twin-tubs and they're still used in many Asian and third-world countries. But then, even the most vintage don't look Art Deco or anything like that. But they work, and work well, and you can stick one in a closet when you aren't using it.

Are you planning on having this machine in the house, or on a porch or under a shed? The space required might not be so critical then. And, of course, Lehman's still sells a fully hand-powered washer but it's not necessarily so romantic.

Post# 971591 , Reply# 2   12/4/2017 at 22:17 (348 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I think just by itself the black agitator in the washer pictured above could be worth $100 to some members here.

Post# 971592 , Reply# 3   12/4/2017 at 22:31 (348 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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Wringer to save space. Not so much... The issue as John pointed out is the necessity of a rinse tub for it to save any water(and for ease of use). For best results you would really need two rinse tubs. Mechanics, they are quite well bullet proof. Best bet is a Maytag or Speed Queen as they were made the best and have the best parts support of all makes at this point. Wringer machines are terrible at extraction, equivalent to about 200 rpm spin or so.

Another vintage suggestion to keep in mind would be a Belt Drive Whirlpool Portable or Convertible. Whirlpool machines were never known to spin very fast(525 rpm) but anything is better than a wringer for extraction. If you don't need the ability to move the machine(ie. wheels) and still want vintage you could also opt for a 24" WP belt drive.

Post# 971596 , Reply# 4   12/4/2017 at 22:38 (348 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

If you could find a vintage Easy with the spin dryer built in next to it.

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Post# 971608 , Reply# 5   12/5/2017 at 00:01 (348 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
John is right

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I think the Easy may well be the best suggestion. Old school — almost Art Deco styling, wonderful extraction, and the rinse tub problem sorted. The downside, parts availability certainly isn't as good as on a MT or SQ wringer.

Post# 971647 , Reply# 6   12/5/2017 at 05:18 (348 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
I would not recommend a wringer at all...

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I do recommend a Whirlpool 24" Thin Twin if it's going into a tiny house. Wringer washers, you have to have the double tubs, there will be water everywhere, and damp clothes hanging everywhere and then you have to have more room for the dryer. These were the reasons automatic washers were such a hit in the 50s.

Post# 971726 , Reply# 7   12/5/2017 at 13:05 (348 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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may be a bit more modern.....but what about something like an Avanti washer and dryer setup....their both on wheels, or the dryer can be mounted on the wall....and the washer can hook up to sink, and tuck out of the way in a closet.....

most are counter height, and less than 24 inches in width....

I would stick with the 1.7 to 2.1 sizes.....basically the same size as a standard tub top loader...12lb capacity....enough room for a set of queen size sheets and pillowcases.....

even by itself, the washer is fully automatic, and high spin speed will be a great advantage if hanging clothes out to dry....some models offer a 'air dry' cycle, leaving clothing almost dry when done...


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Post# 971730 , Reply# 8   12/5/2017 at 13:37 (348 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I would vote for the Easy as well.  It's on casters the same as a wringer.  The only thing you have to be careful with is packing the spinner basket evenly so the machine doesn't shake, rattle and roll across the room during the spin-dry function.

Post# 971864 , Reply# 9   12/6/2017 at 03:00 (347 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
How about

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don't make the tiny home too tiny? Have enough room for a skinny mini stackable or something of that sort

Post# 972029 , Reply# 10   12/6/2017 at 19:56 (346 days old) by Dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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If you are buying a wringer washer the Maytag is one of the best you buy. I have one myself the J model which isn't as nice as that model E. I would read Larry's post "how to move a Maytag Wringer Washer." It details everything from moving it to a complete restoration.

I would also watch videos and read on how to effectively use a wringer washer. I use mine regularly and it is very efficient and frugal means of doing wash. But you do have to rinse I use rinse tubs.

Post# 972059 , Reply# 11   12/6/2017 at 22:48 (346 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
Another option,

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You could also try to find WCI made White-Westingouse Space Mates. You can stack them or put them under the counter, an advantage over many FL washers made today which are too tall. They also have a certain amount of old time charm like a loud solenoid click as they accelerate from tumble to spin in just a few seconds(no endless balancing dances either). Some say they wash well too. Eddie(user ea56) has wrote about his experiences with them, certainly interesting to read.

Post# 972063 , Reply# 12   12/6/2017 at 23:05 (346 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Yes, the Westinghouse Spacemates would be a good choice if you could find a set in reasonably good condition. I loved my set, used them for 7 trouble free years, never owned any other machine longer.

But, you could also go with a Maytag Wringer, and instead of using a tub to rinse, you could wash and wring out each load, in succession, whites, light colors, ect. Then, when all the loads had been washed, drain the washer, refill with clean rinse water and begin rinsing and wringing in the same order, using he agitator for a few mins to do an agitated rinse. It would be way more labor intensive, and you would want a machine with a pump, but you could have a weeks wash done in an hour and a half, maybe alittle less as you be came adapt at the process.

Or, another very good choice would be a Maytag A50 Twin Tub. They are dynamite little machines! I used one of these exclusively from 76’ to 81’ and it was great. Again, you wash everything first in succession, spin each load out, drain and rinse in the washer, and do your final spin. But the real advantage to the A50 is that it spins hella fast, not sure of the rpm, but I think its at least equivalent to the Unimatic’s 1140 rpm. So, once your done your laundry will dry fast.

But if you want automatic washing, the Westinghouse is a good choice. Also, one of the Frigidaire Stacking FL’s from the mid 90’s to about 2002 or so. They are very good too, if they’ve been properly maintained. You would want to look for mold, these were notorious for mold if the door wasn’t left open and hot water and bleach washes done regularlly.

Just my 2 cents worth.

This post was last edited 12/07/2017 at 05:22
Post# 972067 , Reply# 13   12/7/2017 at 00:22 (346 days old) by leefree (Los Angeles)        
The first two or three loads would be "fun"

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But then you'd be scrambling to find a way to put in an automatic. Wringers need attention and went out for that reason. If your heart is set on having one, maybe you could do both? Have an automatic inside as your daily driver and a wringer outside for fair weather washing? Personally, I would let all of my other furniture go before I gave up my washer/dryer and dishwasher. They are my favorite sounds in a quiet house.

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