Thread Number: 94993  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Old school washers - what are our options here?
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Post# 1196380   1/1/2024 at 09:59 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        

Happy 2024, AW friends.

I've got an unusual question for you.

In 2021, our stackable Kenmore front-loader finally bit the bullet. It was a shame, as it was one of the last "decent" machines out there (see photos of identical machine set for reference). As we needed a new washer, we contacted our leasing office, and were provided with a GE Spacemaker top-load washer, and matching dryer.

The washer is already falling apart. The tub is making this groaning and squeaking noise, and the machine is dispensing the fabric softener into the main wash, rather than the rinse cycle. GE has offered to send a technician out to look at, and/or repair the machine...but it's out of warranty. If we ask the leasing company for a new washer (again), we'd get the same machine...which we don't want.

Over the weekend, Mrs. Volvoman and I were brainstorming an idea over our eggs benedict. As our leasing company will allow us to supply our own appliances (provided we take them with us when we move), we thought about getting an old-school top-loader (Whirlpool/Kenmore, maybe a Maytag) instead.


1: We don't know if it will fit into the space currently occupied by the GE. The Kenmore pair fit quite nicely, with little room to spare (see photo of when I first moved in).

2: The Spacemaker dryer is on a pedestal stand. Does this stand adjust for height and width, for the washer to fit? If not, are there other stands that might work? We see no point in getting rid of the dryer, and unfortunately, it's the only area that is wired to hook a dryer up to.

3: If a standard "old-school" top-loader will not fit, what machines should we be looking at? Or should we just try and seek out another FL Kenmore pair of that vintage? I believe those machines were built by Frigidaire, but I'm not sure.

We've also thought about the "traditional" laundry centers (Thin Twin, etc) - but after seeing some of the YouTube reviews of the newer ones, we were turned off. Especially by the "angry duck" sound of the GE. We saw a review of a Frigidaire laundry center that did not have an agitator...but of course, that model is discontinued.

There's no rush on this (unless the Spacemaker self-destructs in the next month or so). Just trying to get an idea of what to look for.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 5         View Full Size

Post# 1196381 , Reply# 1   1/1/2024 at 10:08 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Best washer for stacked situation

combo52's profile picture
The stand that is there is actually a whirlpool stand, it is not adjustable for height, etc. unless you want to cut it and have it re-welded.

I would put a 24 inch GE front load washer in there in place of that awful top load machine, it’s the little front loader with 148 in the model number.

This small GE front loader has the capacity of the Frigidaire built front loader you had, it does a good job it even has a water heater option.


Post# 1196382 , Reply# 2   1/1/2024 at 10:16 by dominic20 (Souix falls)        
good advice for you.

dominic20's profile picture
try the lg wash tower it looks like a good set.

Post# 1196385 , Reply# 3   1/1/2024 at 10:45 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        
@ reply 1

John -

Is this the one you are talking about?

It looks nice - showed it to Mrs. V. She's not sure if we should plunk down that kind of money, especially if we end up selling it should we move. A question - there looks to be some sort of port on the front bottom right corner. Is this one of those machines that we'd have to drain out every so often?

Are there any less expensive options that you'd recommend? I'm guessing an old-school top loader is out, due to space constrictions. Which is fine.

Oh - and no Samsung. My brother had a Samsung FL that didn't even last a year.

Post# 1196394 , Reply# 4   1/1/2024 at 14:21 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture
That’s the one you should be able to find it two to $300 cheaper than that however.

You could put any 24 inch front load washer in that spot maybe try a used ones the only way to save real money, none of the 24 inch washers are super great for reliability, but they should last you a decade or so.


Post# 1196400 , Reply# 5   1/1/2024 at 16:40 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        
@ Reply 4

John -

That's a good idea.

One other question - as I'd keep the dryer, can I use the pedestal rack with this? Or can the dryer be stacked on top of the washer without any issue?

Post# 1196401 , Reply# 6   1/1/2024 at 16:56 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture
I would use the stand that the dryer is on now, the washer will fit under the dryer.

Doing it this way makes for easier installation and servicing.


Post# 1196407 , Reply# 7   1/1/2024 at 18:46 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
"A question - there looks to be some sort of port on the front bottom right corner. Is this one of those machines that we'd have to drain out every so often?"

Most if all domestic H-axis have that little access door to "filter" area. Well they did historically for few years now there are models that don't.

Behind door or porthole is a "filter" that is meant to keep objects such as coins or other bits from reaching pump. There usually also is an emergency drain hose one uses to get water out of washer before opening "filter", and or if something happens and washer cannot drain itself. Things like a power failure, breakdown of entire machine or maybe just pump.

Directions vary by model and make of washer as to how often one is supposed to drain, open and inspect/clean filter area. If one is good about emptying pockets, placing small items in net bags (including brassieres) and not washing things with loose fasteners (buttons), there is usually not anything caught in filter to bother .

However if one isn't using properly dosing detergent, not doing enough or any hot/boil washes, and worse doing lots of cold water washing with gloppy liquid detergent crud and muck can build up in filter area. If things get bad enough under certain conditions mould will start to grow. In that case "filter" must come out and it along with pump area given a good cleaning out.

Post# 1196408 , Reply# 8   1/1/2024 at 18:58 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Look on CL, OfferUp or any of the usual spots for 24" Miele washers of 30xx and after models. They often are going for very little money, should meet your space requirements and will give better laundry day results than a compact top loader of any sort IMHO.

Trust me, you don't want one of those "compact" units with impeller instead of full agitator. Have one (by Haier) and while it's alright for small things as with all impeller washers it tangles loads something awful. Shirts, sheets, pants all get twisted into knots. Happily thing was a curbside find so am not that bothered (new and free to me).

Generally any 24" front loader will have greater capacity and offer more range of utility than top loading. A Miele 24" washer will easily handle say one set of queen or king sized sheets with room to spare for a bit more.

Post# 1196487 , Reply# 9   1/3/2024 at 16:10 by gregingotham (New York)        

i've had a bosch 24" front loader washer for 10 years and only one repair call (toothpick in drain pump). I see a lot of these on craigslist or FB marketplace. Maybe another option to try- new (kind of pricey) or used ( much more reasonable).


Post# 1196537 , Reply# 10   1/4/2024 at 22:11 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        
An update

So, I decided to take video of the washer's faults in action. I was able to capture the fabric softener dispenser, but not the groaning/rubbing. I sent it off to the leasing office, and asked them about the process of buying my own, as I didn't want what I currently have.

She responded, stating that she sent the video to the head of maintenance, and they will replace the washer (and the dryer, as per corporate, they need to be a matching pair). I was also told that I would NOT get the Spacemaker pair again, as they were no longer ordering them.

I assume that I'll be getting a front-loader, as this is what I'm seeing installed in other properties that they own. But there's no clear consensus on what BRAND we'll be getting.

Some have Whirlpools.
Others have Electroluxes.
And others have Samsungs.

Some looked to have fairly new Kenmore-branded machines, but I don't think Kenmore is badging washers anymore.

At this point, we wait and see...

Post# 1197743 , Reply# 11   1/23/2024 at 09:38 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        
Another update

New washer and dryer are being installed on Friday. According to maintenance supervisor, we're getting Samsungs. No idea what model, size, etc. Neither myself nor Mrs. V will be home when this happens, so photos will come later that evening.

And not a moment too soon, btw, as the dryer has now decided to take a s**t. We're convinced that both machines were built to simultaneously fail at the same point.

Post# 1198003 , Reply# 12   1/26/2024 at 17:09 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        
The saga comes to a close…

…This is what we were given. So far, we like them - as well as the fact that they are, for the space, massive. Hopefully, this is a decent set.

  View Full Size
Post# 1198120 , Reply# 13   1/28/2024 at 07:47 by lovestowash (St. Petersburg, FL)        

lovestowash's profile picture
The box on the dryer with the "E", is that detergent?

Post# 1198157 , Reply# 14   1/28/2024 at 15:45 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        
@ Reply 13

Yes, it is! It's made by Henkel. Smells great.

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