Thread Number: 91973  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Mechanical Timer
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Post# 1165206   11/30/2022 at 06:30 (511 days old) by huebschman (Quebec, CA)        

Are there any companies that are still making good quality TL washers with mechanical timers?

I know many companies that still do, mainly for their bottom of the line brands/products. But what about the higher end of the spectrum ?

Post# 1165212 , Reply# 1   11/30/2022 at 09:43 (511 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Just to be clear, you're asking specifically for mechanical timers, and not "knobs instead of buttons/displays", right?

Because a lot of companies have kept the traditional user controls, but are all electronic behind the panel now. You would almost never know from the front.

Post# 1165216 , Reply# 2   11/30/2022 at 11:39 (511 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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No mechanical timers that I know of anymore, not even on BOL washers. Even the cheapest washer I can think of off the top of my head, which is the Amana NTW4516FW made by Whirlpool, has electronically driven knobs and a push-to-start button. Control boards are the new normal, my friend. :(

Post# 1165218 , Reply# 3   11/30/2022 at 12:03 (511 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Tragically, none that I know of. There is consumer demand for timer models as this post proves but unfortunately appliance manufacturers have moved past "freedom of choice"

The only option I can think of is buying a used model.

One can only hope that one day someone will come to the rescue offering machines that people actually want.

Post# 1165225 , Reply# 4   11/30/2022 at 12:57 (511 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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At some point it just became unprofitable for mechanical timer producers to remain in business I suppose. When Whirlpool among others stopped using electromechanical timers on their dishwashers, washing machines and dryers there went a huge customer base for Midwest Timers and rest.

“We needed a different product,” said Bruce Chapman, co-owner of Midwest Timer. “Electromechanical timers are more or less going away. They’re going to continue to decline.”

The decline stemmed from appliance manufacturers “obsoleting” electromechanical timers in favor of digital components. While electromechanical timers still had a place in commercial applications, Chapman and his partners realized the business was “never going to grow.”

Post# 1165280 , Reply# 5   11/30/2022 at 20:30 (510 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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There are dryers that still have mechanical timers.  Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, GE, Hotpoint ... Speed Queen.  Perhaps others.

Post# 1165282 , Reply# 6   11/30/2022 at 20:48 (510 days old) by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
washer dryer with mechanical timer

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here a store that sell use refurbish as new washer dryer with mechanical timer in the quebec region

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Post# 1165283 , Reply# 7   11/30/2022 at 20:51 (510 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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I think the last washer with a true mechanical timer was Speed Queen top loaders around 2017/2018.

Post# 1165285 , Reply# 8   11/30/2022 at 21:01 (510 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Decent mechanical timers faded out with the 90's. Superb mechanical timers died out in the 80's, with a few of them in the 70's. As I mentioned in the past, if a timer isn't somewhat difficult to turn while making a racket dialing in a cycle, it ain't gonna last very long.

Post# 1165288 , Reply# 9   11/30/2022 at 21:56 (510 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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The timer on the parents' 1994 KitchenAid is what brought it down at 18 yrs.  It was always hard to turn, lotta cycles and functions crammed into the mechanism.  Super Wash was the real-deal Whirlpool version with prewash, pause/soak, partial drain/pause, continue into Heavy.

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Post# 1165289 , Reply# 10   11/30/2022 at 22:05 (510 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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18 years is a pretty good/average run for a early to mid 90's washer. What failed in the timer, was it the timer motor, escapement, contacts, or something else?

Post# 1165293 , Reply# 11   11/30/2022 at 23:41 (510 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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The shaft broke loose from the cam mechanism.  Could be turned only by grabbing the dial skirt behind the plastic slip-shield.  Replacement timers were available at the time ... but the porcelain top quality wasn't good.  The laundry room is an outdoor room adjacent to their carport, not climate-controlled and rusting had occurred through the years.  I had a refurbed Kenmore 90 available to swap-in.

Post# 1165294 , Reply# 12   11/30/2022 at 23:52 (510 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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I'd say that's a good life for a timer exposed to the elements.

Post# 1165300 , Reply# 13   12/1/2022 at 04:38 (510 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I think Speed Queen is still selling a mechanical top load washer in the commercial home style version.

Post# 1165307 , Reply# 14   12/1/2022 at 07:38 (510 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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QSD-Dan, the parents' laundry room is not heated/cooled but is not directly open to weather exposure.  It's a separate room with a door and small single-hung window.  It has a single-bowl sink, storage cabinets, one of the two water heaters, washer, dryer, chest freezer.

Post# 1165325 , Reply# 15   12/1/2022 at 14:17 (509 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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@Dadoes: Indeed! Dryers still have EM timers. IMO its not so much that electronics have become vastly cheaper than mechanical timers but rather modern appliances require variable functions modified upon varying sensor inputs due to the reduced amount of material and mechanical components compared to older appliances.

If washers still had brakes, dampened suspensions, transmissions, ect- if dishwashers didn't have to purge air out of the sump, take air expanding inside the tub into account, turbidity based fuzzy logic, ect I think new appliances would still have mechanical controls.

Reading up about Midwest timer makes me so sad. They perfected Whirlpool's timers with excellence, and seeing a masterpiece, along with the company abandoned, is undeserved.

I would give anything to be able to contract with them adapting timers into new models of appliances. One can only dream.

Post# 1165349 , Reply# 16   12/1/2022 at 22:19 (509 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Nacogdoches, TX, USA)        
tragic state of affairs

We are in a tragic state of affairs. We have washers and dryers that have way too many electronics in them. Who needs fancy touch screens? I don't.

Post# 1165358 , Reply# 17   12/2/2022 at 00:12 (509 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I recall someone, somewhere complaining about inconsistency of moisture sensors on small loads due to insufficient contact with the sensor bars but I couldn't find the discussion here via search.  And/or a mix of disparate fabric types throwing sensing askew.  Preference for temperature-based autodry was expressed, or timed drying in some instances.

I had a tragedy today via overturning a bowl of salsa on my leg/jeans while sitting in my office chair.  I wrapped the fleece throw that I keep on the chair around to prevent salsa running down to the floor while I arose and walked outside to remove the jeans and flush the salsa off with a hose.  Thus, both the jeans and throw needed to be washed.  Together.  On the Stained/Tomato cycle in the Aquasmart.  And dried.  On moisture-sensing autodry.

One pair of jeans, and one synthetic fleece throw from which 1,010 RPM spin removes an appreciable amount of water.  An already almost-dry throw with one pair of considerably heavier jeans.  Will they dry OK together?

I have no details on how F&P formulated their sensor algorithms but the Aerosmart produced one perfectly dried pair of jeans along with the fleece throw, using the Jeans/Workwear autodry cycle.

Post# 1165362 , Reply# 18   12/2/2022 at 01:50 (509 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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It looks like Speed Queen is still selling their commercial home style top load mechanical washer afterall according to when the literature was last updated which was this year. The same goes for the matching dryer.

Post# 1165368 , Reply# 19   12/2/2022 at 07:33 (509 days old) by huebschman (Quebec, CA)        

Thanks for all the feedbacks.

Yes Alex, SQ still offer them in their On-Premises Line but not for long. It used to be available under the Huebsch brand in their Light Commercial Laundry line but no more.

Jerome (reply to #16 post): Same here! Nice to see someone of you generation with that POV.

I shall miss the versatility. To be able to select the time of a wash cycle (vs turning a dial to "NORMAL"), the ability to repeat any part of a cycle as I see fit. To prolong wash time, repeat spray rinces, a 3rd or 4th rince with just the twist of my wrist and so on... Hope the parts will still be available should my ZWN432 need it.

Electronic knobs have a nice retro look. Touch panels look good and some DO offer lots of options (that most people won't use). We are just hopeless romantics.

On another subject: Prices and profits can only go up. For cryin' out loud, the matching dryer of any SQ models has the same MSRP as the washer! Now that's profit my friends!

Post# 1165379 , Reply# 20   12/2/2022 at 10:52 (509 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
I've mentioned this before, but...

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Since we're talking about mechanical timers here, I'll add on that, at least in my experience, a mechanical washer/dryer is waaaaaay easier to use for someone with a visual impairment. Take this from personal experience as I've used both. As far as I am aware, the only control board type modern washers I can easily use are the BOL VMW machines because they are all electronic knobs, only button on the thing is the push to start, but I don't like how quickly they break down among other irritations about them. So the issue with modern electronic machines is that I would have to go super basic and realize I get what I pay for, or I'd have to go clear up to near top of the line front load units and hope that the smart phone app is accessible enough to make the touch screen on the machine usable for me. The middle of the road options often don't work out because the touch screen is there but the WiFi connectivity functions aren't advanced enough on those machines to use the smart phone app as an aid for cycle selection/modification. On the other hand, a mechanical washer is super easy to adapt for my needs. For example, on my 2005 Whirlpool washer, all mechanical, I put a small piece of tape on the 14 minute position on the regular cycle, which is what I most often use for towels, and one on the 10 minute position, which is what I most often use for clothes. Another piece of tape on the pointer so I can line them up by touch and voila! Easy as pie.

Until electronic modern machines are accessible and usable to all, I can't in good conscience say they are a better option.

Post# 1165641 , Reply# 21   12/5/2022 at 11:43 (506 days old) by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

Glenn, It may have been my post about sensor dryers not able to dry small loads. I was actually referring to my current LG daily driver. My previous sensor dryer was a top-loading F&P, which was incredibly accurate, regardless of the load size. When my late partner and I bought a new home, we gave the set to my niece. With only a couple of minor repairs, the Aqua-Smart was still working after 15 years of use.

Post# 1166041 , Reply# 22   12/8/2022 at 20:40 (502 days old) by dave_11 (Illinois)        

I think Speed Queen still makes one or two with mechanical timers in their commercial line. I bought one two years ago. I special ordered it from a local retailer who sells SQ. You can order online too, if you're brave enough.

Post# 1166079 , Reply# 23   12/9/2022 at 15:06 (501 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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Actually they only make one as of today and that is the LWN432SP115TW01, the AWN432S models has since been discontinued so that website hasn't really fully been updated. This was confirmed to me by a distributor shortly after my last post on this thread. Also, buying one online would be a risk. There's a reason why Speed Queen would encourage you to buy from a local dealer. Below are videos of the LWN432SP115TW01.

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