Thread Number: 76162  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
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Post# 999990   7/11/2018 at 07:54 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        

Over the years Iíve noticed some have a straight vane agitator while others have the ramped one.

Why? Was the straight vane for the Mini Basket models?

Post# 999993 , Reply# 1   7/11/2018 at 08:08 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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in the standard capacity models, the straight vane seemed to increase capacity.....

when the first 18lb machines came out, 4 straight vanes were the standard, then switched over to a ramped version.....

both activators turned over a load, yet the ramped seemed to be more effective...

MiniBaskets were available for all styles across the board....

one of our members did a video comparing the two styles, different sounds and wash actions....

Post# 1000000 , Reply# 2   7/11/2018 at 09:11 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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I agree with Martin that in the late sixties, possibly for a lame attempt to validate their BS claims of increased load capacity, GE switched Activators from the ramps to what we call the Straight 6; they may have made the washing action in the mini-baskets more effective but IMO they were less effective at creating rollover for the main wash loads. There is debate on this site about this but for me there is no argument if you have a pair of eyes and a stopwatch. GE switched back to the ramped-design in the Eighties when the Dual Action Agitator was introduced and totally shamed them on the rollover issue.


Here are two good explanations from GE designers at the time:



ACTIVATOR’S spiral blades provide uniform soil removal by exposing clothes to the vigorous washing zone of the activator’s lower area.

Early activator work, started in 1957, was directed toward investigating factors to get optimum washing results. The empirical information was reduced to a mathematical model. From this, the actual shape of the activator was established.

The new design is aimed at large capacity loads, to provide excellent turn-over of clothes during washing and to give uniform soil removal by exposing all clothes to the vigorous washing zone of the activator’s lower area. This design obtains as good a soil removal on 12-lb loads as was achieved on former eight-lb loads. Spiral vanes on the activator draw clothes in and under to achieve proper turn-over at all water levels. The activator is compression molded from phenolic type resin.


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Post# 1000059 , Reply# 3   7/11/2018 at 22:42 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
Thanks guys!

I always thought the ramped one was so cool.

And it was amazingly good at roll over.

Post# 1000075 , Reply# 4   7/12/2018 at 05:47 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The ramped Activator worked more like Easy's Spiralator in that in moved clothes in a circle around the tub while rolling them instead of just rolling them over. This is because neither Easy nor GE had their ramped fins turn out to meet the skirt of the agitator at 90 degrees like the Kenmore RotoSwirl which Could provide more turnover Unless during the rinse fill, the jet of water formed an air bubble under a sheet. Then the bubble rode the top of the water like Bertha Butt and no amount of tugging pulled it down. I think of that when I am behind some Callipygian  woman whose combination potato masher-dough kneading walking action results in the fabric riding the undulations of the Brobdingnagian behind beneath it.

Post# 1000097 , Reply# 5   7/12/2018 at 09:53 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

I have two Filter flo machines. One is a Beaumark which has the ramp, and the other is a Hotpoint which is straight vane. I prefer the ramp, I think it does a better job. 

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