Thread Number: 82537  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Kenmore 70 Series ďSuds SaverĒ washer and antique GE Dryer
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Post# 1066136   4/5/2020 at 22:07 (1,470 days old) by Mt999999 (East Liverpool, Oh)        

Hello all,

Long time lurker (for years), but finally made an account.

Pictured here is my 70 series (model 110) Kenmore ďwater/suds saverĒ washer, currently in regular use. It was my grandmotherís until she moved. I believe she bought it new, maybe circa Ď97/Ď98. From what I understand the suds saver wasnít common in models this late. Does anyone know when they (any/everyone) quit making this style washer?

I just replaced the water inlet valve. The cold side had a steady leak, possibly from sitting unused in unheated storage since 2014. I just moved, and hooked it up seeing that I needed a working washer. Before it was stored, the only issue (still persisting) was the washer not going into final spin and leaving the clothes sopping wet in the drum. This only happens on the normal cycle, works on heavy-duty. I havenít tested permanent press/delicate. The timer goes to the end and finishes... it just seems to skip over the spin cycle some how.

Could the issue be the timer gear or something? Hopefully not the timer its self. The water saver and water return functions still work as intended. The trouble is trying to plug this 120 year old concrete laundry tub to hold the water. Interesting that it can save rinse or wash water; 18 or 23 gallons... presumably medium/large load sizes.

The ancient 50ís dryer says ďgeneral electric automaticĒ on the face. Iím assuming circa 1950ís. I tried to look up the model to no avail. It appears to be able to be used on a 110 circuit as well, which I find interesting. Iím not sure what they define as ďautomaticĒ since it is just timed dry. Perhaps as opposed to an older style that is just on/off, or a clothes drying cabinet/rack? Iíd love to know more about this unit if I can. All I had to do was replace the 15 amp screw in fuse and clean out lint, then the unit was ready to go! Iím also using this dryer on a daily basis. Moving this behemoth in by myself was a trip! I swear it weighs what two modern dryers weigh. One this old at 4,800 watts is probably not very efficient either, but Iím not very sure, having nothing to compare it to.

Also pictured is an old wringer that does not agitate (belt?), but the rollers spin. It is next to an old mangle, untested. And very heavy! And a small apartment sized gas dryer, not hooked up. Iíve only tested the electric on this one. The drum appears to spin as it should. Donít mind the mess!

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Post# 1066141 , Reply# 1   4/5/2020 at 22:42 (1,470 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

maytag85's profile picture
Those Whirlpool compact gas dryers arenít common and the 24Ē full size dryers are even more rare like this Kenmore 24Ē dryer in this photo

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Post# 1066142 , Reply# 2   4/5/2020 at 22:48 (1,470 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

That is a 1954/1955 model GE dryer.  

Post# 1066173 , Reply# 3   4/6/2020 at 06:19 (1,470 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

we just keep popping out of the woodwork here! My mom was from Midland Pa. Only 7 miles from you. I visited there until the ealry 90's to see grandma. I had the compact electric 110 volt Whirlpool dryer, and first world VMW washer.

Post# 1066189 , Reply# 4   4/6/2020 at 08:14 (1,470 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

swestoyz's profile picture
The GE dryer is probably a 1954 1DA421L1 or a 1956 1DA520N1W or N2W (on the parts lists both dryers have a single knob for the timer, low/hi switch on top, no trim along the front of the dryer).

Amazing at what still shows up these days!


Post# 1066201 , Reply# 5   4/6/2020 at 09:42 (1,470 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Your dryer has an interesting two way door latch. You can lift on the right side to open the door, but also use a knee to push on the left side of the latch to open the door, like if you were approaching the dryer with a big basket of laundry. After more than a half century, it might need lubrication to function as smoothly as designed, but thought you should know  about it.  If you use this dryer in the winter when the heat and moisture might be welcomed from its unvented operation, use Low heat for Permanent Press items and lightweight cottons and High for towels and heavy loads. It runs hotter than modern dryers so be careful in setting the timer and under dry and have to reset the timer to give a few more minutes of drying rather than over dry. The little gas WP dryer is an excellent dryer. You will like it.  

Post# 1066203 , Reply# 6   4/6/2020 at 09:56 (1,470 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Welcome ~

mickeyd's profile picture
Have heard and read with fascination about the suds saver in its last iteration with the ability to save both wash and rinse water. Wonderful to see one; will get out the enlarger to see the sayings on the dial. Glad it works.

Your gram was quite the collector. The wringer washer is a Speed Queen, a later model. If you work with the spring loaded ON switch, the agitator may engage. Just play with it; the spring needs a workout.

Glad you joined.

Post# 1066253 , Reply# 7   4/6/2020 at 16:51 (1,470 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        
GE Dryer

turquoisedude's profile picture

Wow!!  I think I have the washer (a 1953 model) that matches this one... LOL   If you could post the model number here, we should be able to tell you the year of manufacture.  

Post# 1066268 , Reply# 8   4/6/2020 at 19:14 (1,469 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Last Of The Water Saver TL Washers

combo52's profile picture

Hi Michael Glad you found us crazy appliance collectors.


I think that the KM water-saver washer was about the last of the machines that allowed you to reuse the wash water and these last couple models also let you chose whether you wanted to save the wash or the final deep rinse water.


Whirlpool built worlds first TL automatic washers in 1947 with the built-in fully automatic Suds-saver system, by the time they quit they built these SS washers for over 50 years, your model may well be the last model built, I do not recall ever seeing a later model than yours.


If you post the model & Serial # we can tell you when it was built.


The neat old GE electric dryer is actually lower wattage than most newer electric dryers [most are now 5600 watts ], the interesting and rare gem is the compact 24" gas dryer, WP quit building these a number of years ago, while you probably want a bigger dryer for some of your laundry installing this dryer in an elevated convent position could be very handy, and this little dryer is very economical to operate, probably only about 10 cents an hour on Natural Gas.


John L.

Post# 1066278 , Reply# 9   4/6/2020 at 21:10 (1,469 days old) by Mt999999 (East Liverpool, Oh)        


Wow, right on the money! IDA42L1

Parts list? Is there documentation for this unit available somewhere? Iíd love to see it if so.

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Post# 1066285 , Reply# 10   4/6/2020 at 21:40 (1,469 days old) by Mt999999 (East Liverpool, Oh)        


Would you like me to take a closer picture of the dials?

Iíve toyed with the on switch on the wringer to no avail. I just canít seem to get it. Photo of the wringerís model tag attached.

Actually, only the Kenmore washer came from Grandma. The appliance hoarding is all me, LOL. I also have a late 80ís-ish electric dryer that she used with this washer buried in the back of my momís garage. I didnít take it home due to already having the working vintage GE dryer.

I found the wringer, the GE dryer, and the mangle in the basement of a house someone was flipping in Beaver, Pa. Someone put them up on Craiglist free for scrap, but I rescued them. I also got an early 40ís Prosperity stove from there, but it was very rusty, and I scrapped it due to no room. I literally couldnít give it away. The Whirlpool dryer was a Craigslist find years ago; I paid $20, and managed to jam it into the back seat of a 4 door late 90ís Lumina to take it home. I hoard cars too, LOL.

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Post# 1066289 , Reply# 11   4/6/2020 at 22:01 (1,469 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

turquoisedude's profile picture

The 'L' in the model number is the date code for 1954.  So it is one year newer than my GE washer -  Cool!!

Post# 1066290 , Reply# 12   4/6/2020 at 22:24 (1,469 days old) by Mt999999 (East Liverpool, Oh)        

This 30 minutes between posts thing is a pain.

I washed the GE dryer today. Much shinier! Unfortunately, prior owners have covered it with several coats of house paint, with rust showing through. Iím tempted to sand and spray paint it.

I canít tell if the low/high switch on top works or not. It is very lose, and doesnít snap or click back and forth, just kind of flops side to side smoothly. No resistance. Not sure if thatís normal or not.


Good to know! I always pulled it, I didnít realize it did that. I just tested, it works smooth as butter!


The Kenmore washer is model: 110.26791691 / serial: CH4304298

I always preferred gas appliances due to speed and economy. Iíve never had a gas dryer before, but Iíve been toying with the idea of hooking the Whirlpool up next to the GE and using the gas Whirlpool whenever possible instead of electric. 10 cents per hour sounds nice! I only pay ~$0.40/CCF on natural gas here. Iíd have to run a gas line over, however.

Would you think the GE would be more economical than a modern electric dryer? Iím not sure what the dryer capacity would be. Interestingly enough my 1942 Westinghouse fridge is more economical then my friends new energy star fridge; we tested with a kill-a-watt meter. Probably less than half of the capacity, though. Iíll have to post my antique 40ís/50ís fridge and stove in the other forum later.

Thanks for the replies everyone! I love to learn new things, and especially enjoy learning about antiques. Quite a knowledgable group here for sure!

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Post# 1066291 , Reply# 13   4/6/2020 at 23:07 (1,469 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

Washer serial:
C = produced in Clyde, OH
H = 1998
43 = 43rd week (between Oct 19th and 23rd)

Post# 1066361 , Reply# 14   4/7/2020 at 11:54 (1,469 days old) by Mt999999 (East Liverpool, Oh)        
Whirlpool gas dryer

On the Whirlpool, does anyone know how I would hook that up? As in, just connect the gas and go? Or does it have a standing pilot?

Post# 1066367 , Reply# 15   4/7/2020 at 13:39 (1,469 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

maytag85's profile picture
The Whirlpool dryer just hooks up to a gas line and it does have electronic ignition and if you take off the little access panel and run it the igniter should come on and it will turn on without it being hooked up to gas but it wonít heat since it isnít hooked up to gas

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