Thread Number: 90687  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Recommendations please--FL stackable W/D Full Size
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Post# 1151909   6/21/2022 at 11:40 (661 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

sarahperdue's profile picture
Hi Y'all,

I'm looking for recommendations for full sized front loading washer and dryer that can be stacked.

I would like:
All mechanical
Enough water usage that I don't see my laundry sloshing around in three inches of grey sludge
Long life
Low maintenance (I don't want something so vintage that I have to learn how to repair them)
Used is fine
Will travel for good units (John L.)

I don't know if all of these attributes are available. I don't know much about front loaders or newer machines. I have a pair of 1990s semi-commercial Speed Queens at home.

I also have the fabulous vintage calico (harvest gold and avocado--she will grow up to be white) GE Combo that John created for me.


Post# 1151911 , Reply# 1   6/21/2022 at 11:51 (661 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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All mechanical
Assuming that's in reference to controls, highly unlikely there are any such on the market nowadays.  User interface boards, machine control boards, motor control boards are the order-of-the-day.

Post# 1151916 , Reply# 2   6/21/2022 at 13:11 (661 days old) by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
those will be hard to find todays washers are all electronic

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unless going full vintage like frontload westing house or those old school mechanicaltimers frigedaire front load unless buying used refurbish that you can restore repair yourself those would be your only option something like in this pic to be precise pretty sure dadoes woulld agree with my post

  View Full Size
Post# 1151918 , Reply# 3   6/21/2022 at 13:33 (661 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
I figured

sarahperdue's profile picture
there are no new machines mechanical controls, but one can hope.

Does anyone know of a somewhat recent machine that might fit the bill? The last new machine I bought was an all mechanical TL in 2005. It was a Whirlpool. I loved it. Alas, my younger son, three at the time, was collecting lamp bead chains he called his snakes. He left one in his pocket. I missed it when I did the laundry, it wrapped itself around the transmission and killed the washer dead. But, I digress.


Post# 1151922 , Reply# 4   6/21/2022 at 14:47 (661 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Perhaps I'm missing something, but I've honestly never heard of front loaders with mechanical controls. I'm sure they exist, given that front loaders have been around way longer than electronics have. I've just never seen one.

Is it possible that you could find a used Whirlpool like the one you mentioned? They're still floating around out there since a lot of people are re-conditioning older machines. There's a bigger push than ever before to keep old machines going longer because there's a sizable chunk of the population unimpressed with today's offerings. So I'm sure you could find something similar to your 2005 Whirlpool if you look hard and long enough.


Post# 1151936 , Reply# 5   6/21/2022 at 18:54 (661 days old) by whatsername (Denver, CO)        

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There are only two "recent" models that come to mind; both are quite long in the tooth and probably belong in the imperial forum. The "FriGEmore", available as stackable units or less commonly as a unitized laundry center, and the Maytag Neptune super stack. I see the FriGEmore units all the time on craigslist. The Maytags not so much.

Some pics from around the web:

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 1151942 , Reply# 6   6/21/2022 at 19:21 (661 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Neptune frontloaders with rotary knobs have two electronic boards.  One in the console that controls the cycle processes and a separate motor control board mounted at the machine base.

Post# 1151956 , Reply# 7   6/21/2022 at 21:44 (660 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Early on as with h-axis had mechanical controls, this applied to both commercial/industrial and domestic.

By sometime in 1970's or maybe sooner or later both began seeing advances in "electronic" controls. This often may have been both mechanical timer combined with electronic controls. Soon virtually everything was and now is electronically control fully.

This is a very good thing!

Fully controlling drum movements, motor, and other bits via electronics allows not only far more variation of cycles than strictly mechanical timer, but better overall results.

My older Miele is built like a tank, and nearly heavy as one in part to counter forces generated by machine. It will spin OOB loads that it probably shouldn't and modern machines certainly wouldn't.

OTOH watching my new AEG Lavamat cope with OOB loads is a a treat. It will vary drum movement, motor and other bits to break up clumps and otherwise get loads properly distributed.

Post# 1151957 , Reply# 8   6/21/2022 at 22:02 (660 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Only true full-size frontload stack pair with no computer

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Were the 1964 through 1988 Westinghouse front load pairs.


As mentioned the Neptune stack built from 2000 to 2006 and the Frigidaire frontload stacks built from about 1997 to 2011 are partly mechanical and partly electronic.


The best frontload full size stack by far the Speed Queen‘s you can get the earlier ones that had all knobs on them but they also did have a board for the motor control and for the controls and the current ones are all electronic with an even greater capacity with the washer.


We have a couple of the earlier Speed Queen‘s around the shop that we could rebuild and sell if you wanted to come and get one someday.


John L

Post# 1151965 , Reply# 9   6/21/2022 at 22:46 (660 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Then again…

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Would a machine with electronic or partial electronic controls be a better choice?

John, the Speed Queens sound interesting. Would current models be a better choice than the older ones? You opened my mind to front loaders. I respect your opinion.


Post# 1151968 , Reply# 10   6/21/2022 at 23:40 (660 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
I keep forgetting

sarahperdue's profile picture
to mention that the water comes from a limestone aquifer and is very alkaline. Scale builds up on/in plumbing fixtures especially when water sits, like the toilets when we haven't been down there in a while.

As far as I can remember, my grandmother's washing machines were pretty long lived.


Post# 1151975 , Reply# 11   6/22/2022 at 00:14 (660 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Then again, maybe not brand new!

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I just priced new Speed Queen FL and dryer. Ouch! Over 4K for a washer & dryer pair.

Advice on purchasing used please. Are all Speed Queen models good? Are there some to seek or avoid?


Post# 1151977 , Reply# 12   6/22/2022 at 00:31 (660 days old) by kenc (SF Bay Area)        

I just sold my 2015 Speed Queen top loader and replaced it with a 2015 SQ FL set.
The impetus was our F&P dryer dying, but we wanted to try a FL, but like you, didn't fancy $4K. So far, we really like them, I never would have bought a 7 year old set if I hadn't already been impressed with how "like new" our 7 year old SQ TL was. Apparently, the FL tend to last much longer than the TL also.

The FL uses half the water, half the detergent, washes more clothes per load, is quieter.
The only downside is having to be a little vigilant over mold. Leave the door open, stay away from cold washes, and you're golden. We did this with our TL anyway, so no difference for us.

Some say "Oh, no heater, can't possibly have a FL without a heater", but I don't buy into that at all. Never had one, don't see the need. This isn't an autoclave, it's a washing machine. The machine does use straight hot water in the hot setting unlike some which mix in cold.

The other complaint is "It's only 3.5cu-ft". well, it takes the 2 of us well over a week to generate a full load of colors and a load of whites. What good would a bigger machine be? If you have 4 kids, maybe it's different.

I believe the much vaunted Miele is much smaller still.

Post# 1151989 , Reply# 13   6/22/2022 at 05:13 (660 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        

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Would it pay you to have a water softener fitted to remove all the calcium and other crud? It may pay in the end as you would have to use less descaler and time spent cleaning filters etc... Also it would help your appliances live longer and give better results.
Along with nicer tasting water :)

Post# 1152026 , Reply# 14   6/22/2022 at 13:33 (660 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Nicer tasting water...

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Never! The water from my grandparents' well is the best tasting water on the planet when the system is getting a lot of usage. It tastes too "limey" when we haven't been down in a while. Otherwise, it's wonderful.

So, I have mixed feelings about a water softener. Interestingly, a friend here in the Tuscaloosa had one installed to deal with excess iron in her water. It's better on the fixtures, but she misses the taste. Hm, maybe I should have our water tested.

So, y'all chime in--water softener or not?


Post# 1152027 , Reply# 15   6/22/2022 at 13:35 (660 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Used Speed Queen

sarahperdue's profile picture
Hi Ken,

What model 2015 Speed Queens did you buy?


Post# 1152031 , Reply# 16   6/22/2022 at 13:57 (660 days old) by kenc (SF Bay Area)        

Hi Sarah,

It is AFNE9BSP113TW01

Post# 1152052 , Reply# 17   6/22/2022 at 17:03 (660 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Water softeners can handle a light amount of iron, although it apparently gets permanently embedded into the resin which then requires more frequent replacement.  A separate (pre)filter specific for iron is better and keeps it out of the softener mechanism.

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