Does Whirlpool make 'em at least… somewhat like they used to?

Kendall

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Oct 25, 2010
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Southern Oregon
Good afternoon,

My 20 year old Kenmore 90 Series dryer needs a $200 motor. The twin sister washer’s start to run capacitor switch was failing a few months back too, but has corrected itself. It’s been running great for a few months, but I’m not holding my breath. So I’d be looking at a new motor there, also. I’m confident in my diagnoses.

I can afford new, but not again in just a few years. In the old days this would be a no-brainer. I’d get a new set and figure on only minor repairs for another 20 years. Or 10, at least.
I’m sold on the classic, Whirlpool, mechanical panel designs. Relatively inexpensive parts and I can fix ‘em myself.

Craigslist has a 6 month old Maytag set for $600. Looks much like the set below that I'm looking at if I go new. Washer has the 6 LEDs below the timer dial. Are Maytags the classic Whirlpool design? If so, about how far back?

Washer - $478 once in cart
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpo...chine-with-Soaking-Cycles-WTW4955HW/304732822

Dryer - $545 with install kit. (I can’t believe you have to buy the cord separately)
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpo...-with-Wrinkle-Shield-Plus-WED5000DW/205541551

So what do you think? You guys are in this world every day. What's the latest scuttlebutt? Would you put a new $200 motor (with only a 1 year warranty) in a 20 year old dryer or just get a new or used one? I know a modern fridge is built like a Dollar Store plastic toy and seem to get even worse with each passing year. But are Whirlpool-designed and built washer/dryers in that category also these days? Or can they go maybe 5 years or so, on average? Or…?

Options:

  1. New dryer motor - $200
  2. New washer motor when it goes out - $200 or so
  3. Used dryer - $200 - $300
  4. Used set - $400 - $600
  5. New dryer - $550
  6. New set - $1025
If new, would you spring for the extended warranty?

Thanks in advance!
 

Jake

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Unless you rarely use the dryer, I wouldn't recommend putting a new $200 motor in a 20 year old dryer.

That Whirlpool Dryer in your link, is a good one.:)


Now for the washer: The best most reliable washer on the market today is Speed Queen: Speed Queen - Built Better to Last Longer

I recommend the Top-Loaders. You'll pay a little more but I guarantee you'll get a good 20 years out of it.:)

Speed Queen TR3000WN 3.2 cu. ft. 26 Inch Top Load Washer


If you want a good one under $600 here you go: Whirlpool WTW4955HW

Jake
 

Kendall

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Oct 25, 2010
Messages
36
Location
Southern Oregon
Thanks Jake!

Yeah, that 4955 washer was the other Home Depot link in my post.

I found this thread where you mentioned what you owned back then (2017.) Looks like you had or still have a 110 HE3 front loader. Looks like a good rig. Wife definitely wants to stay with a top loader and since she does all the laundry...

https://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/threads/52165-Most-and-Least-Reliable-Manufacturers

After reading a bunch of reviews on that washer, the only real concern now, I guess, is lack of control over the water volume. I get the water savings idea, but a manual override would be nice... beyond the "Deep Water" setting. Sounds like it works pretty well, though. Perhaps just something to get used to.

Affordability is not a problem, but it looks like the Amana is more like the simple ol' Whirlpool design. Still has the modern auto-water-level deal, but fewer bells and whistles to break. It's certainly not as pretty as the Whirlpool you linked. My research turns up less data on Amana's reliability. Sure it's made by Whirlpool; could be made in the same town. But I'm not sure about reliability. From the list you provided in the thread I linked above, you've got Amana down a ways... just below Maytag. In fact, that brings up another point, my research is turning up reliability concerns over Maytag top loaders. So you spend more to get less. It's like Whirlpool is reserving their starting players for the home game.

1. Is it still your opinion that Amana is a ways below Whirlpool in terms of reliability?

2. What's your opinion on agitators vs impellers when it comes to actual cleaning?
.
 
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Jake

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Amana is owned by Whirlpool.:)

Didn't you see the Speed Queen I posted the link to above? That one should still fill the tub all the way up like the old washers did. That's my next washer I am buying, when my front-loader dies.


Jake
 

Kendall

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Messages
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Location
Southern Oregon
Amana is owned by Whirlpool.:)
Right, but more and more indications point to an inferior product. A second retailer I trust has a near-new Amana pair for sale in the used showroom. They offer 6 months parts and labor on all their used stuff. This company has been selling appliances to my family's subdivision building products for well over a decade. Dishonesty to me would not be a good business plan. He said they're junk. They don't sell new ones. They sell Whirlpool, Maytag and GE (also not that great.) Sure, there's a good chance you could buy an Amana washer and be fine for 5 years. Maybe more. But your odds appear to be much better with a Whirlpool.

He also has an early '80s Kenmore 70 pair for 5 bills. Said everyone loves 'em and the pair won't last through the weekend. AND... he still has these at his home and won't replace 'em until they finally kick the bucket. I totally get that. But it's hard to come to terms with spending 5 bills on a 35 year old set with touched up nicks and scars and a 6 month warranty when I can get 2 years on something new using my credit card. I mean... in 7 months... if the motor goes... do I put $200 into a $250, 35 year old machine? You've already answered that for me. Unless they made 'em that much better back then. Maybe they did.


Didn't you see the Speed Queen I posted the link to above? That one should still fill the tub all the way up like the old washers did. That's my next washer I am buying, when my front-loader dies.

Jake
Now THAT'S quite an endorsement! And I just might take you up on your 20 year guarantee! :)

Yes. I saw it. But you also pointed to the 4955, which was already on my radar. And I can buy 2 Whirlpools for the price of 1 Speed Queen, so I didn't take it as far to see that you can control the water level. And since you currently own a Kenmore, not a Speed Queen...

By the looks of it, unfortunately it seems it likely still has a circuit board behind the panel.

The 3 and 5 year warranty is nice. To double the warranty, my credit card requires a maximum manufacturers warranty of 1 year. If it's more than 1, I get nothing from them. So I get 2 with the Whirlpool and 3 and 5 with the Speed Queen. I've read about them in the recent past. They clearly seem to be stout. But does sturdy always equate to reliable?
 
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Jake

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But does sturdy always equate to reliable?
Yup!

Its very simple, look at our forum and see how many Speed Queen threads there are compared to the other brands, there are so few I never made a separate forum for Speed Queen.:)

Our site here is called ApplianceBlog.com we officially log every appliance problem starting from Aug. 9th 2004 till now.:)

Jake
 

Kendall

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Messages
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Location
Southern Oregon
Our site here is called ApplianceBlog.com we officially log every appliance problem starting from Aug. 9th 2004 till now.:)
Yeah. This site does rule.

I'm so old school that I just can't stomach paying a dime for the flimsy crap I'm finding out there these days. I feel like the knob spindles could break if a butterfly, fresh from its cocoon, were to soft land on them in not more than a 5 knot breeze with no crosswind.

I've decided to order a used FSP motor off ebay for around 40 bucks and then regroup. Some of them, like mine, are "Made in USA" vs Mexico. But I'm sure the Mexico units are fine enough too... so long as they haven't been abused.

I just took the whole thing apart to see if I could buy some time by lubing the bearings and I'm almost amazed at how simple the job was.

Unfortunately... the bearings were not so exposed as they seemed to be on youtube. I'm guessing you're not too shocked by this.

So the house will continue to be strewn with hanging clothes until the new/used motor arrives. Somehow... I think we'll survive.

Thanks, Jake!
 

Kendall

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Oct 25, 2010
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Location
Southern Oregon
I thought I should updated the thread.

Right after I ordered the non-returnable motor from an ebay seller with a perfect feedback score, I found a guy on craigslist about 40 minutes away who refurbs washers and dryers out of his home. Said he would sell me a motor for 20 bucks with a replacement guarantee.

Given the ebay motor was still several days out, I opted to try and make the wife happy sooner rather than later.

Well the motor did the trick. She's been running a good 3 loads a day ever since. And now the ebay unit is in the attic as a spare. And now I have a local source for inexpensive used parts. So if (when) the washer motor goes, I'll know who to call.

Thanks!
 
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