Thread Number: 81784  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Vintage GE Combo Cycles
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Post# 1057932   1/17/2020 at 16:24 (1,170 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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What was the cycle sequence on these? Why didn't early front loads spin between wash and rinse?

Post# 1057960 , Reply# 1   1/17/2020 at 18:53 (1,170 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The first GE combo did spin between water changes if literature is to be believed. That was the machine with the transmission and was redesigned. Spinning was a royal pain for most combos because of the lack of a suspension system and the lack of effectiveness of the low-speed spins. If the load did not balance, you could lose time meant for spinning for tumbling to redistribute and, since timers were not held to balance the load, it could be time basically wasted and only extended an already long wash and dry program by building spin segments into the program. I think that the sequence of the spins varied greatly from none at all like the gas combo sold under several names or until the end like the GE or some like Easy, Norge that spun once or twice during the rinsing sequence, some like the Bendix sequence with one spray rinse and two deep rinses followed by spins and the WP-made machines with a spin after each drain. WP-made combos kept that sequence after they redesigned the machine to be able to provide a high speed final spin and slower speed intermediate spins after earlier water changes.

Now the GE combo's cycle, to answer your specific question was, as best I remember from the one I used: wash, drain, rinse, drain, rinse, drain, rinse, drain stop. You have to remember that the GE combo reverses to drain, much like their dishwasher motors. The combo does not spin until after the last rinse. The spin portion of the cycle has three phases of tumbling and spinning followed by a stop. After the final stop, the drum begins to tumble in the drain direction so that condenser water can drain during dry and the heat comes on. How much heat depends on whether regular or delicate dry is selected. If regular dry is selected, the heat cycles on during the spin sequences. I think that is all I remember and what is correct.

Post# 1057972 , Reply# 2   1/17/2020 at 20:43 (1,170 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE Combo Rinsing and Spinning

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As Tom mentioned the later GEs [ after 1964 ] did not spin after the wash or first two rinses, it could have easily have done so but it was simply not necessary.


These combos filled with between 5 1/2 " and 6 1/2" of water per fill, + after the wash and first two rinses there was a 10 second flush as the machine finished draining to flush away sand, grit, lint and soapy water out of the machine, drain hose etc before the motor reversed and started filling for the next rinse.


They used a good deal of water but washed and rinsed very well, when we were testing them at the warehouse if you added the recommended 1/2 cup of bleach there was no trace of a bleach smell when the 3rd rinse was over.


John L.

Post# 1057999 , Reply# 3   1/18/2020 at 05:01 (1,169 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Video the machine please! :) I wish they still made such combos, there is something very elegant about them.

How fast was the final spin? Did it shake?

Post# 1058002 , Reply# 4   1/18/2020 at 06:12 (1,169 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Both commercial and many early front loading washers

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Long did not spin after main wash, and perhaps not until after second or third rinse, if even at all.

Years after commercial washers gained ability to extract things were kept to same methods as previously; laundry was washed, went through several various rinses (which may have included a variety of chemicals (sours, fabric softeners, bleaches, starch, anti-bacterial agent, bluing, etc...) then finally extracted. In old days this meant physically moving laundry from washer to extractor, later the machine just did the work itself.

My older Miele washer like many European washers from 1980's, 1990's or before does not extract until after third rinse, and even then it is a short pulse. There is one extract/spin after fourth before final rinse then extract.

In theory if volume of laundry is sized to suds container long as there is adequate water usage dilution will remove muck, suds, soap, chemicals, etc... Thing is it will take quite a lot of water and many rinse cycles to get job done.

One reason behind not spinning directly after wash was some professionals felt doing so strained dirty water through laundry. This is why even today many laundrymen don't like to extract after wash or even first few rinses if at all. Tunnel washers that are rapidly taking over large commercial laundries cannot extract between wash and rinse cycles. Extraction only takes place when entire wash/rinse phases are done and things are ready to be "spun" or "pressed" dry.

On many front loaders both modern and vintage owners are advised to under load for permanent press and delicate cycles which normally do not spin after wash nor between rinses. Besides extra care afforded by such cycles less laundry in relation to suds container volume but using same amount of rinse water means more effective rinses without interim spins.

Post# 1058010 , Reply# 5   1/18/2020 at 08:03 (1,169 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        
Sonny Service says....

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From the 1956 manual (2nd year of GE combo production) here is the cycle chart. Trust me, I know it by heart....

There was no spin until after the final rinse. No doubt the tumble/spin/pause/tumble/spin/dry sequence got GE into hot water - that seemed to be a Bendix feature.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 1058018 , Reply# 6   1/18/2020 at 09:00 (1,169 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Combos And Spin Cycles

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I don't think any Bendix patents could stop an appliance builder from spinning after a wash-rinse etc.


WP-KM, Westinghouse, Easy, Maytag, Hotpoint and Speed Queen Combos all spun one or more times after the wash and between the rinses before the final spin periods.


Patent Law is interesting, but the early success and patents Bendix had did not ruin Combination Washer-Dryers, but rather poor sales and lack of reinvestment is what kept combos from really catching on. Only WP completely redesigned their early combo and they came up with a great design. Philco-Bendix also redesigned to reduce the size to make it a more acceptable  size and cost, but capacity and performance was ruined in the process and reliability was not improved with heir new design either.


If you look at the history of the first Automatic Washers none of the original designs were built all that long [ Whirlpool & Westinghouse Came the closest because they had the best initial designs ] All other brands were almost completely redesigned to improve performance and reliability, If combinations had caught on there would have been many major changes. 


Combination Washer-Dryers were also ahead of their time, less than 1/4 of Americans even had or wanted a dryer in the 50s and with large families it took too long to get through 4-8 loads of laundry on wash-day.


As fate would have it the last combos were discontinued right when they should have been introduced in the early 70s just when the first baby-boomers were buying their first homes and condos. With the major change in family sizes and two income earning households combination W-Ds would make sense.


I predict that 20 years from now many washers will also do the whole job again and dry the clothing [ and stinky washers will be a thing of the past, I have never seen a moldy combo, LOL ]


John L.

Post# 1058120 , Reply# 7   1/19/2020 at 14:24 (1,168 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
General Electric Review January, 1955

GE describes their new Combination Washer-Dryer which was available as both an undercounter unit and a free standing model with two knobs on the backsplash with a row of black buttons between them. A model of this machine is in the Beltsville Museum.

The two speeds, tumble and spin extraction, are obtained with a 2-speed gear transmission. It only mentions 3 rinses. I will have to look for the information about the early combo where I read or thought I read about the intermediate spins.

In this review, GE also announces an electric automobile clock with a sweep second hand.

Post# 1058283 , Reply# 8   1/21/2020 at 12:05 (1,166 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Thanks John! I never understood why Combos caught on. I remember when I was younger I never understood why the washer dryer were separate units and even sought out to invent the first combo lol.

Which leads me to ask... how did they get air movement in the combos? One problem I had in my theoretical design was keep water splash and centrifugally thrown water during spin from seeping out the air ways. I though of active wax motor dampers and what not- but those can fail I think.

Also why did Combos have a transmission? Would not a 16 pole motor suffice?

Post# 1058708 , Reply# 9   1/24/2020 at 20:36 (1,163 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Yes, you got me wondering about air passage for drying in what would be a relatively water-tight design...

— Dave

Post# 1058713 , Reply# 10   1/24/2020 at 21:10 (1,163 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Thanks to the new invention of Youtube and kudos to our own Kevin for the vids

Post# 1058714 , Reply# 11   1/24/2020 at 21:11 (1,163 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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one of my favorites.....

Post# 1058758 , Reply# 12   1/25/2020 at 07:23 (1,162 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        
Air passage for drying in what would be a water-tight design

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Anyone know how they accomplished this for none condenser dryers?

Yogitunes- big thanks to the Saturday movie! I wish they made more of these.

Post# 1058863 , Reply# 13   1/26/2020 at 14:28 (1,161 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
It begs the question..

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If the Bendix had all the patents tied up to make a combination machine why didn't Bendix sell more of them? If they were the better machine, it should have outsold all of the others. Also, why not a Kenmore version of the Bendix even if Whirlpool was their main supplier?

Post# 1059349 , Reply# 14   2/1/2020 at 07:47 (1,155 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Combination Washer-Dryer Designs

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It is easy with good design to have vented or condenser units with air passages going through the machine, remember no washing machine is completely water tight, they all have vents etc.


Some combos have powerful blowers others used none, GEs Combos relied on a large basket with lots of holes rotating to move air around during drying, their first machines had 3 baffles, then they went to 4 and the ones I have been restoring have 6 big baffles which improved drying as well as washing.



As to why Bendix did not share or sell rights to their many patents to other companies we will never know for sure.


One thing for sure there was a lot of completion between different manufactures for sales and I don't think most companies realized in those days that the entire industry would be helped by helping one another in the long run.


John L.

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