Thread Number: 94124  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
GE washer/dryer set model age quality requested
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Post# 1188202   8/22/2023 at 16:50 by Spin-Doctor (Tennessee)        

Hi, I found what appears to be a nice GE washer/dryer set. I know about the legendary direct drive Whirlpool models that come in various brands like Sears, Kenmore and others (in addition to Whirlpool, of course). I was looking for one of those, but I keep seeing various GEs but know nothing of them. Any ideas on quality, parts availability, years and models to avoid etc? Here is a pic of the set I'm looking at...

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 1188203 , Reply# 1   8/22/2023 at 17:14 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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This would be from around 1993 several years before the new GE platform. They are great machines but at their age depending on the mechanical condition and your mechanical ability they could be more than you bargain for. The washer is probably standard capacity and standard for these washers wasn’t much at all. They are cool vintage machines and if you can tinker with them and don’t need large capacity then I’d go for them.

Post# 1188207 , Reply# 2   8/22/2023 at 17:27 by Spin-Doctor (Tennessee)        

Ah, so the capacity isn't that large? Interesting. I prefer large capacity so that I need to do laundry less often (even though it's just two of us). I am very mechanically inclined (ex-auto mechanic and aerospace engineer) and was tinkering and rebuilding a few early 90s Kenmore DD washers a few years back. Learned a lot about those models while doing so (having never touched or repaired any washing machines before that). But the limited capacity is a bummer.

Are you sure these are the same limited capacity you're thinking of? It says "5 Cycle Large Capacity" on the washer decal. Not that that means anything considering the product bragging that always goes on. Too bad, as they seem like very good condition machines.

Post# 1188208 , Reply# 3   8/22/2023 at 17:35 by mb1974 (pa)        

Large Capacity is the regular size tub. Extra Large Capacity is of course what it says it is. That being said, if they are in good shape, I would grab them in a heartbeat. Just my opinion.

Post# 1188209 , Reply# 4   8/22/2023 at 17:40 by mb1974 (pa)        

1 speed or 2 speed clutch?

Post# 1188221 , Reply# 5   8/22/2023 at 18:49 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
limited capacity is a bummer.

The cycles are fast and the ramped agitator can turn over big loads.

If the price is right I'd grab them and ask questions later.

Good condition GE FF sets don't come along too often these days and you could always resell them if you change your mind.

I have the same dryer in white, its a workhorse and drys quickly.

Post# 1188233 , Reply# 6   8/22/2023 at 20:11 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The washer is a water hog because its standard capacity wash basket sits in a large outer tub. GE never changed the suspension from when they had solid tub washers so there has to be room in the outer tub for the wash basket to swing with unbalanced loads. That space has to be filled with water when washing and rinsing. If your water company charges like the WSSC, you want to be looking at washers that are economical with water. As a for instance, I had a beautiful early 60s GE next to my KitchenAid extra large capacity direct drive washer. I used to economize by draining the wash water from one machine to the other, but it was disappointing that the standard tub GE used enough water to fill the large tub of the KitchenAid which held a lot more laundry.

Post# 1188236 , Reply# 7   8/22/2023 at 20:28 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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The “5 cycle large capacity” is on the dryer panel. As mentioned above GE had extra large capacity models and even those were small compared to the whirlpool direct drive machines. I do believe this is also a one speed washer.

Post# 1188302 , Reply# 8   8/23/2023 at 16:09 by Spin-Doctor (Tennessee)        

Thanks everyone. As nice as that GE set appears to be, the limited capacity and wasteful water consumption is a concern. I'll keep looking for a Whirlpool direct drive or maybe an old Maytag classic or similar Brady Bunch vintage.

Post# 1188342 , Reply# 9   8/23/2023 at 22:33 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Well, given how good it looks on photo, I personally wouldn't just pass this up. FFs are nowhere near as bad as they are made out to be on here. If the seller took good care of them this set can give you 10-20 years of trouble free service. These capture history better than DDs do IMO. 


All steal design taken to the max, thick cabinet, ultra beefy spring free suspension, steal outter tub, simple pawl break, all metal gears, concrete balance weight, lint filtration, spin-draining, reasonably gentle wash action. All things DDs don't have.


FFs have a both a feel and a personality to them.

Post# 1188417 , Reply# 10   8/24/2023 at 17:13 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
concrete balance weight

Dryer also has a concrete counter balance as I recall.

Post# 1189585 , Reply# 11   9/8/2023 at 01:02 by stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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I have a FF model WWA8320. I absolutely love it. I would love to upgrade to at least a model 8350 so that I could have the mini basket. Standard "large" capacity is 2.8 cu ft iirc. Extra large capacity is 3.2. Same as the Maytag standard and large capacities. Whirlpool built DDs are 3.5.


I would still highly recommend a FF set, even the standard capacity. They're... functionally flamboyant I guess you could say, and they do a fantastic job cleaning too. The small capacity really shouldn't be that much of an issue unless you have really thick comforters or a king size bed. FFs finish their cycles pretty quickly, and could probably wash the same volume of laundry in the time it takes any modern HE machine to finish a cycle.


Yes, these are water hogs, even by old school washer standards. There is no getting around that. If water is expensive in your area, then that is the only reason to not get a FF imo. The only answer to a water usage concern is a front loader. As much as I hate front loaders for various reasons, they are by far the best "low water usage" machines.


I don't really understand a lot of the dislike for FFs that I have seen on this site. I absolutely love them. I would even go as far as to rank them above Whirlpool built belt drives and DDs, and even old Maytags.

Post# 1189610 , Reply# 12   9/8/2023 at 12:45 by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        

I agree. Very good machines and are really good at filtering pet fur.
I do not like the 1965 vintage straight vane agitator. Later ones were much better. The spiral agitator will always be my favorite GE.

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