Thread Number: 82146  /  Tag: Twin-Tub Washers
unclejohn is back ...with Maytag !
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Post# 1061657   2/27/2020 at 11:38 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        

Hi Everybody !

Got me yet another twin tub !!

I'm tempted to say, as a design, the 'cutest' of all twinnies.

Yep, someone sold (through Kijiji) an Maytag model A50, known as Porta-Washer.
As it happens, i contacted the guy--who had it in the basement of his house.
Moreover, he was located in my vicinity. He graciously offered me to come
to his dwelling to have a look at the machine. Told me the ex-owners of
his house had left the washing machine there. He, thus, had the little
Maytag as a gift when he bought the said house a few years ago. Very
pleasing person, we discussed a lot about my 'passion' for vintage
things, which is (as you might know by now) twin tubs and vacuum

Geez, i'm so excited! I wanted to have one for many many years...

And that little thing (some say the smallest twin tub washer
of its era) still works just fine today. When a company like
Maytag said 'dependable' that was no empty word. A product
like the tiny but heavy A50 portable washer (oh, boy, the
two BIG motors inside that unit whith the M name on it)
was not the least in the 'planned obsolescence' scheme.

And this little marvel, as i said, just runs smoothly.
The only 'fix' i had to do is put a little wood block
at one place in order to prevent the spinner brake to
trigger (that was the reason the machine didn't spin
--i was afraid the spin motor could be dead, but, no
problem here as everything works fine. What i would
need, however, is a belt for the impellers: I will
try finding a replacement, probably the equivalent
part, the closest, not necessarity the exact item.
And, for what its worth, maybe try my luck at
finding the original wash-timer control knob...

I think it is the vintage appliance i am the
most happy with it, as a (needless to say)
rare find. The crown jewel in my collection.

Yesss, as soon as i can (ref.: belt), i plan
to use it and do some of my laundry with it.
No big deal, in terms of size the A50 sits
right between my trusted Hoover twinnies
and my new micro twin tub (-very small)!

Read somewhere on this forum that it is
not recommended to rinse in the spin tub
with that machine as the induction motor
might overheat. In an A50 the rinse soak
etc. is done in the wash tub. No problem!

Finally, i'd say that i like what i see
and hear: one, arguably, beautiful, very
solid and durable washing machine with
a spinner which is not noisy and does
not vibrate a lot, 'as is'. The petite
Maytag reminds one, in fact, of the
Servis, Speed Queen or Simplicity
on a smaller scale. Different, of
course, but in the same league,
IMHO. :-)

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Post# 1061658 , Reply# 1   2/27/2020 at 11:46 (1,546 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture
I bought one of these brand new in 1977 and used it exclusively until mid 1981 when I purchased a new Maytag Fabricmatic TL. I loved that little A50! It was the perfect washing machine for an apartment or home without WD hookups.

I would avoid rinsing in the spinner, although I did so once or twice when I had excess suds in the spinner. I used to easily do a weeks worth of laundry in an hour.

Hope you'll enjoy this little jewel as much as I enjoyed mine.


Post# 1061659 , Reply# 2   2/27/2020 at 11:48 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        
more pictures...

Maytag A50 'Porta-Washer'

(The Serial Nr on mine's ends with 'WU' which translates into Sept. 1975 -- the exact date of manufacture)

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Post# 1061660 , Reply# 3   2/27/2020 at 11:52 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        
Thank you Eddie

...For your kind comments and for the advice too !

Can't wait to use it (might become my new 'daily driver')


Post# 1061661 , Reply# 4   2/27/2020 at 11:54 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        
Even more pictures...

Maytag A50

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 1061662 , Reply# 5   2/27/2020 at 11:56 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        
And even more...


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Post# 1061663 , Reply# 6   2/27/2020 at 11:58 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        


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Post# 1061667 , Reply# 7   2/27/2020 at 14:08 (1,546 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Nice machine!!

Post# 1061675 , Reply# 8   2/27/2020 at 15:45 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        

Thanks, Kenny

Post# 1061692 , Reply# 9   2/27/2020 at 19:04 (1,546 days old) by Hippiedoll ( arizona )        

hippiedoll's profile picture
On your recent MAYTAG A50 addition! How cool to get a washer you've been wanting!

UNCLEJOHN!! I'm glad to see your post, it's been a while since I've seen your name come up! I hope all is well with you.

Can't wait to see some videos of your new machine in action. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that you can find a replacement belt for the impellers.

Post# 1061694 , Reply# 10   2/27/2020 at 19:39 (1,546 days old) by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

I also have one in my Six Flags (Gift from Revvinkevin, straight from Disneyland)

The belt on mine broke on the second day. Martin told me the exact dimensions and ifount a company here in Los Angeles that made the belt (it was very affordable).

The A-50 works perfectly since then and I love using it.

Post# 1061697 , Reply# 11   2/27/2020 at 20:09 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        

to you, Thomas. Can i venture to ask you what is the company in LA ?
(Just in case i cannot find a valid replacement here in The North)...

Hey, hey, Christina from Tucson, AZ ! (I do not forget the one who got me a vintage, very hard-to-find, drain hose for my beloved Hvr 510 !)

Yes, will try to find the kind of belt that works (Thomas might put me on the right track in case i end up with 'nothing' in here)

That little beauty is now my favorite among 13 washing machines! Can't wait the day I'll plug it in ready to go for a laundry...

And, yes, doing rather well. Last Fall has been though, though, with bronchitis and also with a close friend of mine who himself got very badly sick (now ok). That's life u know... Now just hope the Corona won't get our way!

Post# 1061705 , Reply# 12   2/27/2020 at 21:53 (1,546 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture

Post# 1061723 , Reply# 13   2/28/2020 at 01:48 (1,546 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Congrats on your latest find!

launderess's profile picture
Weak points for both the Maytag Portawasher and matching dryer were the belts. They could (and often did) deteriote from merely sitting much less thing being used.

You might turn up NOS somewhere, but things are very scarce indeed. Early eBay days and or distant past places still had inventory, but that was long ago now.

Unlike Hoover's twin tubs Maytag came late and left early with their units. Also since they were only sold in North America there wasn't a worldwide supply of part stock to hunt down.

You might be better off having new belts made as offered above. Not only will it prove easier than tracking down elusive NOS, but probably a safer bet as well. If original belts deteriorted from sitting around on a washer or dryer, lying about spare in some inventory or shelf probably had same result.

Post# 1061741 , Reply# 14   2/28/2020 at 08:59 (1,546 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        
A50 vs belts

Thank you for your comments, Melvin, and Launderess .

As for the belt, the hunt has just begun !

Post# 1061871 , Reply# 15   2/29/2020 at 16:58 (1,544 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Matching dryer


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Post# 1061885 , Reply# 16   2/29/2020 at 18:47 (1,544 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        

Kenny (goatfarmer),

That's a nice vintage dryer, indeed. Looks in pretty good shape. Reminds one a lot of the Hoover set of small twin tub and matching dryer of the same era. (Note: I have checked for the appliance on the picture and provided link and, acccording to the serial number shown this product was no doubt manufactured in October 1970)

Post# 1061920 , Reply# 17   3/1/2020 at 07:50 (1,544 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        

Found a copy of the user's manual (in .pdf format)

Looks like this:

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Post# 1061924 , Reply# 18   3/1/2020 at 08:43 (1,544 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
Thats a standard size here

ozzie908's profile picture
I suppose its compact for you guys as you have the luxury of decent dryers etc... Compact here is 3kg load and takes forever to dry a wash load as you have to halve the load for the dryer...

Post# 1061929 , Reply# 19   3/1/2020 at 09:08 (1,544 days old) by imperial70 (MA USA)        
D50 Dryer

Those D50's were workhorses. Very easy to repair. Quiet too. They got very hot but took a while to dry towels and denim. I bet they would work better with the spin speeds of today's washing machines.

Post# 1061931 , Reply# 20   3/1/2020 at 09:16 (1,544 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        

chestermikeuk's profile picture
Hi Unclejohn

Great you managed to find a Maytag A50 twinny and yes for a small twinny it aint half heavy, those big induction motors weigh a ton, love the dual rotation pulsators aka hoover like but are much deeper..

I never thought we would see one this side of the pond but found one on ebay locally yrs was fitted into an RV motorhome and had come into a big fitters in the north of England to be re-kitted out, a compact Zanussi automatic washer took its place.

I did get an original spare belt for the pulsators when I was in North Canton the last Hoover convention but as its a clear polypropylene it also has cracked n crumbled so am going to get one (and a few spare ) made from a specialist belt maker..

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Post# 1061938 , Reply# 21   3/1/2020 at 11:22 (1,543 days old) by unclejohn (Can)        
Thank you guys

A50 in the U.K. ? Never thought of that... Cool !

Now i wonder how many 'real' british Hoovermatics in America,
other than the now already quite scarce 'export' model 0500...

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