Thread Number: 95117  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Question about BOL Washers
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Post# 1197687   1/22/2024 at 13:24 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Why did BOL machines go through the trouble of temperature selection and multiple cycles selection but left out water level control? Why didn't water level control take precedence over other options?

Post# 1197688 , Reply# 1   1/22/2024 at 13:35 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

maytag85's profile picture
Usually the fewer options there are, the cheaper the purchasing price is. I think a machine with a single water level forces the user to only do large loads of laundry since thatís all there is. Certainly offers no flexibility, thatís for sure.

Post# 1197694 , Reply# 2   1/22/2024 at 13:54 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Right- but they went through the trouble creating a different timer as to allow for hot/warm/cold fills or multiple cycles Normal/PP. I've always assumed the other way around would have cheaper. Keep the same timer as the next lineup, crimp the wires internally for warm/cold only and just use the same pressure switch as with all the other models. Plus the advantage of saving water of course.

Post# 1197707 , Reply# 3   1/22/2024 at 18:27 by RyneR1988 (Indianapolis)        

ryner1988's profile picture
My in-laws used to have a BOL Amana DD washer that had a water level selector but no temperature knob. I believe the temperatures were built into the timer. I don't know the model number but they got it in the early 2000's. They replaced it with a VMW when it crapped out a few years ago.

Post# 1197711 , Reply# 4   1/22/2024 at 19:44 by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
It might help to look at this from the reverse approach

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I believe the approach of most manufacturers, when offering a BOL washer, was to make something that a person on a very strict budget could live with, but at the same time would encourage most buyers to move up to other models in the line that offered more features and thus more profitability. Therefore multiple water levels, which makes sense for most users, are not present on many BOL machines, because they would make them more appealing and cause more of them to be sold.

If I recall, in the early 1980s, the bottom of the line Kenmore machine was approximately $100-$120 cheaper than the middle of the line Kenmore models. The cost to manufacture was definitely not of the same price gap, and the margin on the bottom of the line machine was considerably smaller than the middle or upper level.

Thinking about the middle of the line machines that Iíve used all my life, they most often have been used with only very minor modifications, if any, to the single cycle that is offered on BOL machines. I do adjust water levels fairly often, especially on large capacity machines, and I will adjust incoming water temperatures, but thatís about it. So moving up the line that has an adjustable water level and adjustable temperatures, youíre at the MOL models. Thatís just me thoughÖ

So in a nutshell, the bottom of the line machine was there as a starting point, and was carefully crafted not to be something that sold in high numbers or appealed to a lot of buyers. The goal was to move people up the line to the machines with price points that offered more profitability.


Post# 1197716 , Reply# 5   1/22/2024 at 21:42 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Guess the incentive of buying a BOL machine is to wash one large load and nothing but...

Or if the water level is going to be timer-filled, it will get the wouldbe owner to go to a machine offering a metered fill on a higher-up model...

-- Dave

Post# 1197720 , Reply# 6   1/22/2024 at 23:07 by chetlaham (United States)        

chetlaham's profile picture
Kenmoreguy- You hit the nail on the head! I've always suspected this but could never truly confirm it. You've eloquently put to words what I've always thought. BOL I guess is just to get a foot in the door and a sales associate convo going.

Personally I've long fantasized about a King Size Kenmore Elite / Elite Catalyst washer but with a single cycle timer and a one speed motor. You get everything- the jumbo lid, the bleach dispenser, the king size DA agitator, the softener dispenser, advanced quiet pack, the white tub, ect but with the dependability of a Galaxy. Of course not likely to come to fruition in this reality, but if everyone was like me lets just say it would have existed and it would have been a rather popular seller lol.

Post# 1197722 , Reply# 7   1/22/2024 at 23:13 by chetlaham (United States)        

chetlaham's profile picture
And oh, no neutral drain either or plastic outer tub.

@DaveAMKrayoGuy. What year did they abandoned timed fills?

Me I like pressure switch fills but where the timer runs continuously. Shifts to agitate after 4-6 minutes even if the pressure switch is not satisfied.

Post# 1197727 , Reply# 8   1/23/2024 at 00:33 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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... but with the dependability of a Galaxy.
Not so much.† Catalyst is more complex than a BOL Galaxy, even with a mechanical timer.† Drain/recirculate valve, extra timer cams to operate the dispensers and drain valve, all Catalyst models have an off-balance switch, and the Catalyst treatment spin is at low speed presumably for engineering reasons so minimum a 2-speed motor is involved.

Post# 1197728 , Reply# 9   1/23/2024 at 01:03 by chetlaham (United States)        

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My bad- I should have been more specific. Catalyst rubber guard and ball balance ring only. No dispensers or extra water distribution (except agi mounted softener and direct to tub bleach). No OBS. One speed motor would work with such a design.

Better yet a commercial grade clutch and motor coupler.

My idea is that you get all the passive luxury features while being able to benefit from the simplicity of few active components. I can live without the Catalyst, cool down, extra rinse, intermittent agitation, 2 or 3 speed motor, extra solenoid valves, detergent dispenser, wax motor, ATC, timed bleach, ect.

Galaxy had the disadvantage of a single piece agitator, speckled tub, small capacity, no softener dispenser, no bleach, no spill guard lid, no quiet pack, no padding, no enamel top, and the ugly plastic control panel.

Post# 1197730 , Reply# 10   1/23/2024 at 01:20 by chetlaham (United States)        
Catalyst Balance System

chetlaham's profile picture
This video is an extreme example, it actually trips the OBS, but when it doesn't it shows just how well the balance ring works:

This would be great for any DD.

Post# 1197749 , Reply# 11   1/23/2024 at 11:28 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Our BOL top-loader Hotpoint...

firedome's profile picture
does have a 3 water-level selector, 2 pc agitator, and water temp selector, however it's about 8 yrs old, so not sure if new ones - post GE sale - are the same. Model HSWP1000 M4ww. Iirc it was about their cheapest model at the time, around $329. Doing OK so far for what it is, no complaints.

Post# 1197758 , Reply# 12   1/23/2024 at 13:07 by chetlaham (United States)        

chetlaham's profile picture
Your model has a 3 coil water valve which I wish was used more often:

Your washer is a hydrowave with everything else being identical to the model T. Not my favorite design, but it is on the simple side.

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