Thread Number: 91550  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Washers in My Collection
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Post# 1160697   9/30/2022 at 07:09 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        

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At long last am doing some new videos of machines in my collection.

I am starting off with a budget model Indesit L8 washer from the late 1970s. At the time it was one of the cheapest washers available in the UK. Discovered, new in box, in summer 2022


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 6         View Full Size

Post# 1160765 , Reply# 1   10/1/2022 at 04:57 by statomatic (France)        

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Amazing find ! I love these Indesit with spin-drain.

Post# 1160767 , Reply# 2   10/1/2022 at 06:04 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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That was a great find. Indesit was value for money. A great uncle had an L5 that he kept going for 20 years with some minor repairs that he did himself. The spin-drain is great washer drama!

Post# 1160789 , Reply# 3   10/1/2022 at 09:16 by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia)        

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Its a gorgeous machine! I'd be hard pushed to understand the dial without a manual though! Brilliant find though new in box :-)


Post# 1160821 , Reply# 4   10/1/2022 at 16:11 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
What a find

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Alister its a super find and an excellent example.
. Like one, you will never need a smoothing iron again as nothing will have a crinkle in it with beautiful slow spinning . Just love it .. Darren

Post# 1160823 , Reply# 5   10/1/2022 at 16:38 by appnut (TX)        

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I love spin-drains like that/ There was a Big Boy huge washer at the Norge Village Laundromat we used to go to that did spin drain. This was back in like 1962 to 1965 when I was 8-11 y/o. My face was practically plastered to the glass once I figured out how it was draining and spinning.

Post# 1160864 , Reply# 6   10/1/2022 at 20:49 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Are those shipping straps? Does this washer have a suspension?

Induction motor- I like what I'm seeing!

Post# 1160867 , Reply# 7   10/1/2022 at 22:38 by chetlaham (United States)        
Wiring Diagram

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Does this machine have a wiring diagram or tech sheet?

I'm loving the simplicity. Machines like this ought to have been the basis of US frontload technology.

Also, why the spin drain?

Post# 1160892 , Reply# 8   10/2/2022 at 07:54 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        

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Those are the shipping brackets you see at 1.56 and they are removed before use. It has a suspension but no wiring diagram or tech sheet, that is not unusual in Europe.

What I try to make clear in the video is that this is very much a budget machine, well below the purchase price of what might be called competition, even budget varieties of same. It was cheaper than many twin tub machines! Cost has been engineered out of this machine at every turn. The grade of metal in the cabinet is much lighter than in other machines, it does not have a "proper" top to the cabinet - what appears to be a counter top finish is a thin veneer (think the sort of panel you would put on the front of a Kitchenaid DW to change its appearance) held in place by a plastic frame with a metal cross bar in the middle from side to side for support. It is held firm by polystyrene and cardboard spacers!

It is cold fill only (not that unusual in Europe) so one water valve. There is no electric pump - I am told the pump is on the back of the main motor and runs all the time, but when tumbling it does not rotate fast enough to eject water, only when spinning. Hence the spin drain. I did wonder at the low water level when rinsing but that makes sense when you consider the pump arrangement and I suspect it could be prone to suds lock. The timer is of the simplest kind although, with variable temperature control, it is very flexible if you are prepared to think about what you are doing. It does not spin that fast although its not that far behind much of the competition at that time and slow spin was always a feature of budget, and not so budget machines. But of course, like everything, you get what you pay for.

On the other hand there is something attractive in the simplicity of this machine, and it certainly does the job as far as I can see - soiled clothes go in and clean clothes come out, what more would you want? And, apparently, they were as reliable as the competition so what you end up with is a pretty good deal if all you require is a simple machine to do laundry.

Post# 1160893 , Reply# 9   10/2/2022 at 07:54 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia)        
why the spin drain?

Spin drain because the pump is driven by the spin motor.
Same motor as wash motor, but on wash the pump turns too slow to do anything.
When the spin winding is energised, the motor turns fast enough to drive the pump.

I doubt it was usefully cheaper than a separate electric pump, but I guess Indesit's bean counters did their sums and that was the answer...

Post# 1160898 , Reply# 10   10/2/2022 at 09:08 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
That Vintage New Washer Smell!

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Great video Al and boy there is nothing more delicious than finding a vintage New-in-Box automatic washer!!! Congratulations, I love the picture of the machine in the box.

I absolutely love that spin drain, all front load washers should do it! I wonder how it prevented being suds-locked with the way detergents used to be formulated.

Post# 1160899 , Reply# 11   10/2/2022 at 09:58 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Wow new in the box.

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Always exciting to find something like this what are the circumstances of you having found this machine Al where did it hide all these years.


And it’s also fun to find a basic machine like this that was made down to a cost and still got the job done.


It used to be that the most expensive parts of an appliance for things like the motor so having the pump driven off the main motor definitely would’ve saved cost at the time.


Today with mass automation it’s actually cheaper to put power windows on the car than to make manual crank windows that have to be assembled by hand for example.


A spin drain is certainly less desirable otherwise machines could still do that today, it’s just like top load washers there’s never been a top load washer that had the capability of having a neutral drain and did a spin drain instead because engineers at home economist know that performance suffers.


John L

Post# 1160950 , Reply# 12   10/2/2022 at 18:22 by chetlaham (United States)        
Not Cheap, Just Ideal :)

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Simply brilliant!

IMO typical EU machines are simply to complex with cycles that are not needed. Even this machine could have done away with thermal holds and the bio wash.

I'm guessing the slow spin is probably to off set the lack of distribution spins. Using the main motor for drain is almost common sense IMO.

The US for decades has needed a machine like this and still does. Simple and durable which brings FLs into people's homes. Sadly FLs, like the Neptunes and Duets bit off more than could be chewed IMO. The price point and complexity caused to many setbacks.

Post# 1160951 , Reply# 13   10/2/2022 at 18:24 by chetlaham (United States)        
Service manual

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Does the Indesit L8 have a service manual by chance? I want to see if I can find it online. The US needs something like this.

Post# 1160956 , Reply# 14   10/2/2022 at 18:32 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        

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Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated :)

Robert, it did not actually sudslock as far as I could see but it sure as hell created suds which literally frothed out of every stand pipe on that side of the washer room - that has never happened before. In the end I had to dilute some fabric softener and pour it in through the powder drawer to kill the suds. I used Almat Colour Powder which I have used many times before with no problem. Lesson learned in any case :)

I always try to get some provenance on any machine that gets picked up. As this machine was in London our good friend SE Steve picked it up for me. I understand it was just sitting in a cupboard in an apartment alongside a brand new gas cooker in its box too - I hesitate to call it a range, it was the size of what you guys would call an "apartment range" with four burners, oven, and grill (broiler) mounted on the splash-back at eye level - the standard arrangement for gas cookers at the time. Unfortunately, the woman who gave Steve access did not have English as her first language so he was not able to get much of a story out of her.

But this is not the first time something like this happens. A few years ago a Hotpoint 1504 Top Loader (John, you may recall these from your visits) and a Belling cooker were discovered, in their boxes new and unused. These were both top of line and expensive appliances - how could they just be left sitting? The washer is now part of Steve's collection and the cooker now sits appreciated and in daily use in the lovely vintage kitchen of another friend Ian (TriumphDolomite). If I am not mistaken Steve has another Hotpoint top loader in his collection still in its box.

I have had similar things happen with dishwashers, not in box, but unused. One bought by children as a gift for their mother which their father would not allow to be installed sat in the back of a garage unused for 30 years. The strangest case I encountered was a late 1980s Hotpoint DW which sat, installed but never used in a kitchen right beside the sink for 26 years, the complimentary detergent and rinse aid and instructions inside, unopened.

Then there was the little 307 Hoover wringer washer (the first washer Hoover produced) still with the paper covers on the rollers. However that came from the same house where Darren (SlowSpin66) got the, probably unique, gas heated Bendix front load washer which he has so lovingly restored. With that as competition its probably no surprise that the Hoover sat unused for approximately 60 years. That is one of the fascinating things about this hobby, you never know what is going to emerge from the past - new or used - and you always live in hope :)

Post# 1161264 , Reply# 15   10/7/2022 at 01:17 by chetlaham (United States)        

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If anyone is curious, I found the picture:

From a previous thread:

Can't believe this was never attempted with the Neptunes.

Post# 1161271 , Reply# 16   10/7/2022 at 04:48 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        

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Thanks for digging out that old picture which makes things very clear and the old thread too - one can forget the wealth of information contained in this site :)

Post# 1161273 , Reply# 17   10/7/2022 at 06:24 by chetlaham (United States)        

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This is why I love this place. You learn so much in every thread. If only Maytag had access to such a site in the 90s ;)

Post# 1161409 , Reply# 18   10/9/2022 at 06:53 by Chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Indesit L8 spinning at 380rpm

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After washing the fleecy blankets in the Indesit L8 we spun them out in the AEG 1960's spin dryer , let's see how much more water we can extract , here goes 👍

Post# 1161413 , Reply# 19   10/9/2022 at 08:30 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        

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How fast does that spinner go ?? The one on the twin tub is reasonable but a little behind the debonair ??

Post# 1161521 , Reply# 20   10/10/2022 at 19:17 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        
Zanussi S118T From 1978

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Another favourite from the collection, this time an Italian Zanussi 118T from 1978. Although towards the budget end of the spectrum, this is a fully featured machine (cold fill only) with a build quality to match and in some cases exceed more pricey British competition.


Post# 1161537 , Reply# 21   10/11/2022 at 02:31 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        

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Now you know itís not really my bag these more modern front loaders unless they are bolted to the floor !!! However thatís a very nice more modern machine . I love the two speed spinning really balanced at 800 . Is it hot and cold fill?? Thanks for sharing

Post# 1161538 , Reply# 22   10/11/2022 at 02:45 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        

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Never mind bolted Darren, a former owner put castors on it so it will glide at the tip of a finger :) Its cold fill only :)

Post# 1161540 , Reply# 23   10/11/2022 at 04:23 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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I wondered if it's 800 or 820 rpm. I remember some generations had spin speeds of 360 or 380, 420, 520 and 820 rpm.

Post# 1161541 , Reply# 24   10/11/2022 at 04:43 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        
Spin Speed

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Louis, according the instructions the spin speeds are 400 and 800 rpm. But you are correct, spin speeds were all over the place, before spin speeds became a marketing target they could be as low as 360 or as fast as nearly 800rpm

Post# 1161545 , Reply# 25   10/11/2022 at 08:33 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Thanks Al, that must have been another series then.

Post# 1165371 , Reply# 26   12/2/2022 at 08:50 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        
Hoovermatic 3310E

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The latest addition to the collection, picked up on November 30th.

This machine was manufactured in March 1972 and, touching wood, is in much better condition than I dared hope. Most often when Hoovematics are discussed in the UK its the "better" De Luxe version that is sought after but I always rather liked this model too, even if it is a bit basic.


Post# 1165555 , Reply# 27   12/4/2022 at 09:06 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Congrats on your latest addition

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It's always fun when something new has been added to a collection.

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