Thursday, March 03, 2011

Washing Machine

An unusual post (for me) today, but I'm hoping someone in blogland might have some advice for me.
Two years ago we bought a Whirlpool Duet front loading, high efficiency washing machine from Sears for $1,000 plus tax (which is approx. 15% here). It was supposed to save us buckets of money in hydro and water bills.
Today I paid $118 for a repair man to be in my house for less than 60 seconds, to tell me that the bearings are shot and it will cost over $600 (plus tax) to fix!
From my online research, it seems that this is a common occurrence with this washing machine.
My first washing machine lasted for 22 years (without a single repair) so I am more than shocked that the new ones last less than 2 years!  Is this just how appliances are now? Has yours lasted longer than 2 years?
I guess we will probably buy a new one rather than put almost the same amount of money into trying to fix the "old" one and of course, won't buy this brand again.
Do you have any advice on washing machines?

26 comments:

Mary Lou Casada said...

We've had good luck with Maygtags -- but we purchased from an independent dealer, no big warehouses like Lowes or even Sears. Seems like the little guys get the better stuff (at least that's been our experience). Bought a high-end kitchen-aid dishwasher from Lowes, shot in a little over a year. Bought a Maytag from a local dealer, and it's working just beautifully, already outlasted the previous one by 4 years. The local guy gave us an additional year's warrenty, too, not factory but from him. He stands by his products. Good luck on your search!
Blessings,
Mary Lou

Mary said...

Yep, Maytags are worth the money! The front loader is good for washing quilts I hear though. Laudromat isn't too bad for the occasional big quilt washing if I go when it's not busy.

Anonymous said...

I have heard of lots of problems with FL washers from my friends. I have a bottom-of-the-line Fridgidaire set (8 years old), and haven't had any problems. My friends who have fancy washers have had tons of problems. Maybe less is more, in this case???

Anonymous said...

oops, meant to say bottom-of-the-line Fridgidaire Front-Loading washer/dryer set...

The NCQ said...

I have a front loading Maytag Neptune that is almost 6 years old. No problems yet. However I have a friend who had the same machine and had tons of problems. Who knows what is best????

Sandy said...

I have a Maytag too, front loading stack ables. Have had them for over 10 yrs now. Still running great. I also went with a local dealer for them.

Ann Marie said...

I would contact the company and tell them this is unacceptable. Let them know you will be looking for another brand washer, they may help fix it cheaper. I haven't had any problems with mine and I have had it for about 8 years.

The Calico Cat said...

Odd one out - We have a Meile (front load, stacking). we chose it because the space that we have available would only fit this brand or an apartment sized washer/dryer stacking unit.

Aside form plastic "make it look pretty" bits falling off for (I have no idea, but I suspect rough husband) no reason... It has done us well, even through cloth diapers...

swooze said...

My front loader has been a nightmare. I bought the warranty thankfully. Had to have the drum replaced in the last two years and it sounds like it is having issues again already.

Debbie said...

I have a front loading May-tag...13 years now. Never a problem except one time a rug disintegrated in it and clogged the drain line...and I was able to fix it myself. (major flexing of biceps and hee-man sounds.)

Greenmare said...

yikes!!! Our new front load washer is a Samsung and we haven't had any problems with it since we bought it a year ago, of course that might be becasue it hasn't been unpacked yet!!! we are still working on the laundry room so I'm making do with the old one yet. good luck with your machine shopping!

Anonymous said...

I have a Maytag Atlantis, which has run really well, but even Maytags aren't made like they use to be. If you still have the receipt, I would be writing Whirlpool and complaining ( my theory being the squeaky wheel gets greased......) I had a Roper washing machine which developed a leak after 5 years and I was upset, I can't imagine what the reaction would have been after 2 years............. Good Luck! Helen

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy: I've had a bottom of the line front loader from Sears for over 11 years, with two inexpensive service calls. I guess it's hit or miss. With regards to appliances I think they don't last as long as they used to. we had to replace our fridge after 10 years.

Julie said...

I had a Maytag Neptune stacked front loader, I really thought I was Ms. Fancy Pants when I got it. About a year later it did that same worn-out bearing thing. My ex-husband owns a store that sells washers and dryers (rent to own) and he talked with some of the guys who deal with them. They told him Speed Queen is the best now. So he got me a Speed Queen Commercial extra-large capacity top loader. It has - knock wood - been wonderful.

Becky said...

Hi Kathy,
I was told that Maytag is now owned by Whirlpool. My brother also had to replace the drum on his front loader. I think he has a Kenmore. We purchased a Fisher Paykel toploader from an independent appliance store. I have been very pleased. We did have a problem, but the machine is programmed to enter a code and it tells you what the problem is. In our case, it was a dryer sheet under the machine. We fixed it ourselves. Good luck!

Bonnie said...

I have a sears front loader for 3 years with a move in there too. The issues I've had is with the mold that grows in the soap dispenser area if you aren't careful to leave the drawer open or dump out the water. I sure hope it lasts quite a bit longer. Although, I don't particularly like it and I will not buy a front loader again. (Assuming they even have top loaders by the time I need a new machine.)

Libby said...

Well, add me to the front-loader nation. We had LG mid-level models that never caused a bit of trouble, but ended up selling them with our home in CA. Purchased a new set here and have just loved them to pieces (I'm keeping them this time) and look forward to using and enjoying them for years to come.
On the mold issue - I always leave the washer door slightly ajar when not in use. I did the same with my top loader - lid always open. Allows air to circulate *voila* no mildew, no smell.

Tracy said...

SO sorry that you're having to face this! We've had ours for almost 10 years now with no problems, but I gotta tell you: Every appliance we've had in the past 20 years (in however many houses) has been Whirlpool and right now I'm thinking the NAME is the only thing that's "better". What used to be a quality brand seems to be resting upon its laurels now.

BUT before you go out and buy a new machine? Get an independent service person's opinion. Especially if you had a Sears tech come out. Not that they're dishonest, but think about it: They sell new appliances. If it's a "difficult" fix or if the parts are hard to get (and they shouldn't be at just 2 years) it's really easier and much more profitable to just sell you a new machine.

Happy Quilter said...

Where to begin! No appliance should break down to this extent and cost in two years even though we all know they don't make them "like they use to." I hate to even think that it could be a planned issue and companies are actually building in issues so that resales are the norm. I have a friend who died recently and her 35-year-old fridge was working just fine (I know, I know, it used too much energy). As someone else said, first you must write the company, go back to the seller, call consumer reps etc. Unfortunately none of use has that kind of time. In December I walked into my sewing room and IN ONE DAY, my SONY TV (three years old) went on the fritz ($400 repair), Miele vacuum stopped working ($40); two-year-old Janome, newly cleaned, needed to be taken in (no cost). It's a lot of time and effort. Quality control is non-existant and pride in "name" means nothing anymore. End of sermon. Kathy, I love my fabric and what you have done with it--this time I recognized it right away.

libmousa said...

I have had a Kenmore Elite for almost 8 years and have only had to have minor adjustments that my husband has taken care of. The handle broke a month ago on the dryer but what I have read is this is a frequent problem. I checked around and ordered a metal one instead of the plastic one so hopefully I am good for another 8 years. I did have to replace a hose one time and when the repair guy saw my set he set it was worth the repair job. It made me feel good that he thought my set was quality. He said the "old" models are better than what is out now.

Quilt Rat said...

I recently replaced my 20 year old Inglis with another Inglis. The last one had to have one minor repair over all of those years.
My research tells me that technicians feel that these are god solid reliable machines.

I too, think that you should hound the company about this a 2 year lifespan is simply unacceptable!!!!

Sadly NOTHING is made the way it used to be. My stove is one of the first glass top units out there it is now 33 years old.....I'll bet the new ones don't last a third that long these days.

Maya said...

That's terrible! We bought our Samsung washing machine 4 years ago and (touch wood) haven't had any trouble. The only complaint I have is that it does not have a 'spin only' mode.

Mary said...

We pretty much buy Kenmore appliances. I've a got a 3 year old HIgh Efficiency top loader that so far hasn't had any problems. I would definitely be upset at one needing such an expensive repair at just 2 years. I'm hoping this one lasts a lot longer than that. As far as Sears repairmen, we've always had good luck with them in the past but maybe you could get a 2nd opinion.

Karen S said...

I have the same washer as you except that mine is going on eight years old. I bought the warranty, but let it expire and have had no problems whatsoever. I agree with the posts above -- let the company know -- they should at least repair it for free. Lots of other people have had problems and they need to make it right for you.

QuiltSwissy said...

About 6 mos ago I bought new washer and dryer. Did a lot of research and did not find the duet had a high satisfaction rating among owners. 2we ended up with the may tag bravos washer and its dryer mate.

It was a lot of research, and a few agonizing days of making sure I was making the right decision.

You can never be sure, the didfferences are small between the top brands.

QuiltSwissy said...

Oh, and the high efficiency top loaders have a larger capacity and morenpositive repair ratings. I really like the top loaders better.

Glen