Thread Number: 81658  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Which Washer Least Likely To Get Unbalanced?
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Post# 1056613   1/5/2020 at 15:22 (183 days old) by karasu (United States)        

To those who understand washing machine design:
Is there a washer brand / model / design type that is less likely to get unbalanced (or care if it is unbalanced)?

Please kindly do not respond with "make sure it's level" or "here's how to deal with an unbalanced load" type replies. I am sadly at expert level on those ;-)

Post# 1056615 , Reply# 1   1/5/2020 at 15:27 (183 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Eva, what washers have you owned/used that have brought you to this level of frustration?  

Post# 1056619 , Reply# 2   1/5/2020 at 16:19 (183 days old) by kyappliance (LOUISVILLE)        

Speed Queen top loader.

Post# 1056622 , Reply# 3   1/5/2020 at 16:56 (183 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
SQ tl washer Balance issues

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Hi Eva, what is the model of your washer ?


John L.

Post# 1056625 , Reply# 4   1/5/2020 at 17:45 (183 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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what an unusual question....

but actually, what is an unbalanced load?....

I have around 16 machines hooked up....Fl and TL, modern and vintage.....

with many members who have visited here running load after load....

I have yet come across a machine that I had to stop, redistribute the load and restart....

been to the Beltsville Museum, and operated many of the machines John has hooked up.....have yet to see one walk across the floor....

How does one create an unbalanced load?....outside of placing a phone book or cinder block in there....

Post# 1056640 , Reply# 5   1/5/2020 at 20:28 (183 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Washing a single bulky item that is too small in length to circle around the tub sufficiently will do it. Small loads of dense/bulky items can also do it. We've tripped the OOB switches on our top-load Maytags numerous times those ways.

I would speculate that using a higher water level for the small load size contributes, as the tub will have had more time to get up to a higher spin speed by the time the items are exposed, so they contribute more to the imbalance forces than they would have at a lower speed and earlier uncovering.

Post# 1056761 , Reply# 6   1/7/2020 at 10:02 (181 days old) by Paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
Interesting question.

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I am interested in the experts’ response to this question. This has been a recurrent issue in my life.
Here are the washers in my life and my experience with unbalanced loads:
1958 Hotpoint: TERRIBLE at balancing loads. The hoses were long so it would walk to the center of the basement
1977 Hotpoint Silhouette: Good at unbalanced loads.
1990 GE: Good at unbalanced loads.
1998 Maytag: First washer I bought new. Horrible at unbalanced loads. A regrettable purchase.
2005 Speed Queen TL: Second washer I bought new and by far the best at handling unbalanced loads.

That Maytag was so horrid that I let it go with the house. When I went to the Speed Queen dealer, the first question I asked was if it could handle an unbalanced load. He said you would never have that trouble with this Speed Queen. He was right. Fifteen years later (one repair), the Speed Queen, in use every single day - still runs like a champ. If I had to replace it I would insist on a good balancing machine.

Post# 1056762 , Reply# 7   1/7/2020 at 10:42 (181 days old) by 70skid (Texas)        
Speed Queen

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Speed Queens are among the best (if not the best) at dealing with unbalanced loads.

Post# 1056773 , Reply# 8   1/7/2020 at 14:11 (181 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I agree with the statements directly above.  Our '97 Amana (a SQ clone) never had any trouble balancing loads, and IIRC, the verbiage about features and capabilities in the literature that came with the machine spoke to its ability to handle unbalanced loads.


I wonder if there's something amiss with your machine, such as a compromised stabilizing spring or other component that could be causing the OOB situations.  This is entirely out of character for a SQ top loader.

Post# 1056776 , Reply# 9   1/7/2020 at 14:24 (181 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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My Roper RTW4516 is a BOL washer, one of the least expensive one can buy and in over 13 mo. of use it has unbalanced exactly once, when I first owned it and washed a Rubbermaid bathtub mat with the shower curtain and a heavy, woven cotton floor mat. And this was the only time its unbalanced. This little inexpensive washer is the best washers I’ve owned since 1972, out of over 23 washing machines, as far a maintaining a balance load from beginning to end of the cycle and over all satisfaction, bar none.

I wash full capacity loads most every load, and even with a spin speed of only 700 rpm’s, almost every load dries in 35 mins., the exact length of time that a Regular/Normal load on Auto Sense fill with hot water takes to finish.

This little dynamo may be one of the best kept secrets in washing machines. Time will tell on how long it will last, but so far so good.


Post# 1056874 , Reply# 10   1/8/2020 at 12:26 (180 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Of top-loaders currently on the market, add my vote for Speed Queen. I've had mine 2-1/2 years without a single unbalanced load that the machine couldn't handle. It's on a very solid wood floor and has never vibrated or shook itself out of place.

This post was last edited 01/08/2020 at 16:45
Post# 1056886 , Reply# 11   1/8/2020 at 14:55 (180 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I've never had an off-balance load in all the years of using WP-built DD washers (beginning from the grandmother's 1984 Design2000) to the point of causing the machine to walk, and I don't recall any instances of the tub impacting the cabinet.  Maybe I've been lucky, or I have reasonable skill in composition of loads.

Post# 1056901 , Reply# 12   1/8/2020 at 16:44 (180 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture
The two worst washing machines I ever owned for balancing were:

1. a 2010 Whirlpool Cabrio that refused to balance any load of towels and jeans ( I like to wash heavy items together and these loads have never been a problem with any other washing machine). Each and every time I washed towels I had to babysit this machine, otherwise, when it came to the first spin in preparation for the rinse cycle, instead of stopping because it didn’t like the distribution of the load, it would refill with rinse water, over, and over and over, in a futile attempt to balance the load. I found this out by accident when the first time I washed one of these types of loads and after TWO hours it was still trying to complete the rinse cycle.

2. An LG FL (bol) that I purchased in 2015. This washer hunted ENDLESSLY for a “sweet” spot to begin the spin on any load that had heavy items. We have a set of very nice, heavy bath towels from, Restoration Hardware that were a gift. I had to give up on using these towels as long as we had this LG, they simply wouldn’t spin, even on the slowest spin speed. Instead of using algorithms to control the spin they should have used the old tried and true system of starting the spin speed out slowly, allowing the load to balance itself and increase the spin speed gradually as the load naturally balanced itself. Because of this, I refuse to ever buy another new FL as long as they have this frustrating system for balancing to spin.

My current Roper TL is like washers of old in that I can load it, press start and walk away from it, and in 35 mins the load is complete. Now thats what an automatic washer is supposed to do. No temperamental behavior, just a machine that works like its supposed to. And btw, those heavy Restoration Hardware bath towels wash and spin beautifully in this inexpensive Roper, and spin out so well that they dry in 35 mins. Some loads of our Cal King sheets dry in as little a 20 mins. This is a real energy saver and our electric bill dropped by an average of $10.00 per mo. right after this Roper came into use in our home.


This post was last edited 01/08/2020 at 17:39
Post# 1056914 , Reply# 13   1/8/2020 at 17:42 (180 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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My AquaSmart has thus far handled every load without any unbalanced faults or cabinet impacts.

Post# 1057113 , Reply# 14   1/10/2020 at 04:54 by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

Kenmore all in one (aka fake skinny mini) has horrible balance issues if I select high water level for loads that are too small. Note that this washer needs a new belt and a new snubber.

Any other washers I've ever used all over my life had no issues at all.

Post# 1057261 , Reply# 15   1/11/2020 at 13:44 by rosie (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada)        

Well if you can't beat it you can join it.

Post# 1057281 , Reply# 16   1/11/2020 at 17:51 by FreshNclean (WA)        
Speed queen balancing expertise

How is it that speed queen is able to balance the load very efficiently and correctly? Other modern washers have struggled really bad; is there something in spleen queen designs that it gives him the advantage?

I’m pretty apprehensive about buying another modern washers. When you put artificial intelligence in your washer but Can’t really balance the load then it’s a waste of money

Post# 1057292 , Reply# 17   1/11/2020 at 21:34 by 70skid (Texas)        
The Queen’s Balance

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Speed Queen top loaders have a heavy steel base grounding the outer tub to the bottom of the cabinet, a heavy steel outer tub, large diameter heavy steel drive shafts, high strength springs, and a fluid filled balance ring. The balance ring will counter-balance an off center load. A Queen weight around 200 lb.

TR series washers will measure balance variances and intervene with water and agitation to try and re-balance before going into spin. Once in spin, if vibration exceeds pre-set thresholds, the computer will dynamically reduce spin RPM as necessary to restore vibration to acceptable levels. The inverter motor makes this possible.

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