Thread Number: 91351  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
I chuckle at the description of the Norge
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1158577   9/3/2022 at 14:05 by lotsosudz (Sacramento, CA)        

lotsosudz's profile picture
The word dramatically quiet does not come to mind, when thinking about a Norge washer of any vintage. Clearly, they only wrote the description of the washer, without being near an operating machine! LOL.

Post# 1158583 , Reply# 1   9/3/2022 at 15:49 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

AMEN TO THAT!  (All caps seemed appropriate)


It's refreshing to hear such total malarkey coming from somewhere besides Palm Beach, though.

Post# 1158584 , Reply# 2   9/3/2022 at 15:54 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
I like Norge washers but they are dramatically quiet like a freight train rolling through a nitro glycerin plant. Lol They didnít keep the Very High Quality moniker for very long. As mentioned many times by others here these washers were great for folks with sturdy laundry that was heavily soiled on a regular basis. Probably wouldnít want a Norge to knock office dust off of clothes. Lol Ralph usually has good things to say about Norge.

The Turbo Sweep agitator

  View Full Size
Post# 1158589 , Reply# 3   9/3/2022 at 17:06 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Picture of the day Norge VHQ washers

combo52's profile picture
Actually Norge did beef up that machine a lot and it was somewhat quieter certainly not silent when this VHQ was introduced.

And even though Norge washers had great agitation and wash really big loads very well they were proven to cause less clothing damage than the very lethargic Maytags of the same time period.

We have the Norge thatís pictured in the picture of the day add here at the museum itís a great washer for performance I just donít like repairing them when major things go wrong.

John L

Post# 1158590 , Reply# 4   9/3/2022 at 17:13 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        

neptunebob's profile picture

Was the washing action "toned down" any when Maytag took over and turned these into the Atlantis?  Did the Atlantis have the loud clunk when the cycle ended?  

Post# 1158592 , Reply# 5   9/3/2022 at 17:20 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

"I just don’t like repairing them when major things go wrong."


John, you must mean something like the transmission replacement job my dad cursed his way through just after the brief warranty period on our '67 Snorge had expired.  They should have added a warning that the machine itself would be expiring around the same time.  Without a doubt, "when" is the (non) operative term in your statement.

Post# 1158602 , Reply# 6   9/3/2022 at 19:08 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Anybody who thinks Norge is a the noisiest machine out there needs to own a Rollermatic and 1-18 for 1 week each. You'll quickly change your tune.

Ralph, perhaps you can put the nail in the coffin about Norge and fabric wear. Some say they tore shit up in a hurry, others say they're more gentle than a Maytag. The early 80's pre Maytag Norge I used was what I would consider pretty destructive to fabrics.

Post# 1158606 , Reply# 7   9/3/2022 at 20:04 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

Well Dan, I can't say for sure, but I sort of remember my mom's disappointment after the Snorge mistreated some sheer curtains, even on slow/slow, I presume.


I do remember some neighbors had a mid-'60s Frigidaire that seemed pretty noisy.  The older Unimatics were amazingly quiet, as I witnessed in Tucson at Roger's place.


We had an A206 for about ten years and never had any issues with damaged clothing.

Post# 1158608 , Reply# 8   9/3/2022 at 20:48 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Yeah, the transmissions on the Unimatic through the Multitragics were pretty quiet. The Rollermatics and 1-18's used very noisy transmissions and agitators.

What year Norge did you have and how long did it last?

Post# 1158614 , Reply# 9   9/3/2022 at 23:08 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

Dan, the Signature 18 set was purchased in late 1967.  As stated above, my dad replaced the transmission a little over a year later.  That repair lasted less than six years before the tranny started to sound like an Airbus A300 up close and personal on take-off, and it just grew louder and louder.  I even ran a load of laundry with the intention of shaming my parents when they had a group of guests over, and that at least generated a few comments about the racket. 


I know you've seen the picture of the scored piece of tile that was located dead center underneath that dreadful Snorge, and that's not the only incidence I've heard about, although the other one was on a carpeted surface (who has carpet in their laundry area?).


It wasn't until mid-1975 that I took my mom to Sears while my dad was out of town on business and we found relief in a new Kenmore with Quiet Pak transmission, one notch lower than a Lady K.  That machine served in relative silence for over 25 years at which point it started to produce a sewer smell when it drained, and my mom decided to call her home warranty company to have it repaired.  They chose to replace it and gave her a crap BOL GE.  This happened while I was out of the country, otherwise I would have put a stop to the process.  I'm sure a new drain hose, pump or filter or maybe all three would have solved the problem, and those would have been simple repairs I could have made.  The only repairs I did make over that 25 year period were replacement of the belt once (the original skinny green Quiet Pak ones were notorious for failure), and replacement of a leaky flexing filter with one of a vastly improved design, also only once.

Post# 1158616 , Reply# 10   9/4/2022 at 00:12 by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
I remember this very washer on the sales floor of our suburban mall Foleys Dept. Store about a year or so after our Norge15 Dispense O Mat washer arrived in our laundry room. This was the following year since it still had the 15 pound designation on the panel as opposed to the next step up which was 16 pounds. So this was suummer 1965.
This new VHQ mode had rectified what I had considered the glaring flaw of our Norge W'n'W Durable cycle button that was totally not in alignment with LK/Kenmore washers. And that's truly the one thing I despised about our washer. I do have some pleasant emories about our Norge though. After my maternal grandmother died February 1965, my mom & aunts ahd cleaned our her stuff and and all these linens and towels and other stuff that had been stored for years. And I was the one who was charged with getting all those yellowed, dingy tings clean again. I still remember the sight of the yellowed water and smell from the mothballs used to store those things with in those washer loads. Wile we had our 1955/1956 non-filterFlo GE, I became more laundry conscious between fall 1961 through December 1963, I had learned from our neighbors how laundry was done the Lady Kenmore/Kenmore way and that is still how I approach laundry to this very day.

This post was last edited 09/04/2022 at 01:12
Post# 1158617 , Reply# 11   9/4/2022 at 00:39 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        
Reply #9

maytag85's profile picture
I wonder what caused the transmission to fail. My guess is it either had to do with the quality of how the gears were machined or the transmission wasnít filled with enough oil causing it to wear out and fail fairly quickly.

Post# 1158632 , Reply# 12   9/4/2022 at 09:29 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Late 60s Norge built super capacity washers

combo52's profile picture
Hi Ralph, on your family's 67 Norge built machine that got noisy was it Noisy just during agitation or all the time when the motor was running?

Itís kind of useless to speculate what mightíve gone wrong with the original transmission as thereís no way to know at this point in time All kinds of things couldíve failed and most likely to fail in just a year or so it was some manufacturing defect.

John L

Post# 1158633 , Reply# 13   9/4/2022 at 09:41 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
"I even ran a load of laundry with the intention of shaming my parents when they had a group of guests over."


7 year lifespan with one transmission replacement and another on the horizon? Yeeesh!

Post# 1158636 , Reply# 14   9/4/2022 at 10:14 by lesto (Atlanta)        

I've been using an early 70's Norge (with a magic Chef labeled panel) for several years now. I acquired it from another club member about 12 years ago. It sounds like a freight train and always gets a comment if it happens to be running when guests are here. But it's a workhorse. Cleans large, heavy loads better than any washer I've had and I've never had any clothing torn or damaged by it. It sits next to my 1962 Maytag which I use for smaller loads.

Post# 1158640 , Reply# 15   9/4/2022 at 10:45 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
Norge was purchased from Borg Warner by Fedders in 1968, Magic Chef in 1979, Maytag in 1986, and became a part of the Whirlpool corporation in 2006. There was a redesign with the Maytag purchase in the mid eighties and went downhill from there. The design was discontinued altogether with the Whirlpool purchase in 2006.

Post# 1158649 , Reply# 16   9/4/2022 at 12:44 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Yes I don't think there was a Magic-Chef washer and dryer till about 1979.


Maytag put in a brake assembly similar to the helical drive machines they make and eliminated the noise brake.


John L.

Post# 1158660 , Reply# 17   9/4/2022 at 13:40 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

John, IIRC the noise was way worse during agitation. 


The loudest noise during spin was the giant clank of the brake at the end of the cycle.  Just rude, even when compared to its whacka-whacka Filter-Flo contemporaries.


I swear, I'm surprised BW didn't come up with a way to make the fill periods noisy on those beasts.

Post# 1158698 , Reply# 18   9/4/2022 at 21:15 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
My opinion

Best washing machine ever made for nasty dirty work clothes, like a farm wife with a bunch of kids, BUT They absolutely will wear out clothes faster than anything Thats why i dont have one as a daily driver the only thing worse was a straight vane 1970s Filter Flo.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy