Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Last Post in the Electrolux Ecovalve Saga

Long-time (okay, long-suffering) readers will recall that me and my washing machine haven't always had the most harmonious relationship.

Waay back in July 2005, I was doing my washing while working on the computer when the power went out. The power went out because the old battle-axe that was my top-loader in my previous life had decided that not only would it cease to work, it would do so in an explosive manner and the safety switch had determined it - and everything else in the house (including my computer) should receive no more juice for it to work up into combustive manner.

Luckily, I had done my tax early that year, and the relationship with the Electrolux Ecovalve began.

Pretty soon after I moved to Paradise, it started to play up, and during an ongoing liaison with the LERF it has sort of behaved - right up until the day after the warranty expired.

Since then, it has been a steadily more unreliable partner in the washing stakes, complaining when the water wasn't draining quickly enough (that happens when the laundry tubs have tiny outlets), when the load was too heavy (a call that happened with lighter and lighter loads as time went by) or when the Moon wasn't in the right house.

Add to that the fact that the computer board within no longer took any notice of what programme you have dialled, it would only do one wash program (even if you asked for drain or turned it off).

By last week, it had gotten to the point where I was having to restart it 3 times per load - which when extrapolated against the time it takes anyhow to do a load meant that my 3 loads every two days meant I was washing all day, every day (it seemed) and getting my 10,000 Steps in on the back steps alone.

And then - and then on Friday, with a more than usually full laundry (great decision, that strip beds one, hey?) it got one and a half loads into the quota for the day - and decided it would thumb its nose at me, curl up its toes, emit a few piteous alarmed beeps and die.

As it hasn't worked properly for so long, it is more the financial and laundromatical aspects of our relationship being over that is causing any trauma.

We have decided we are going to save and invest in some quality engineering (possibly German) this time around, and in the interim the 28 year old Simpson has been hauled back into action.

I mean, it might be a brute, but it is fast (aka on laundry on SPEED), it tries hard and it is far better than handwashing - oh, and its lid-sensor has been deactivated, so only have to go down and encourage it once per load.

So please - sell me the vices and virtues of your laundry equipment - we have an idea of what we might want, but willing to be swayed with your reviews.


Snoskred said...

Jeannie, I worked in this industry for many years selling electronics including washers.

There is only one product I personally would consider spending my hard earned monies on and that would be a Miele front load.

If you are not convinced about using a front load there are many reasons why they are better than a top load, including things like they use less water, less electricity and they wash a lot better.

People say the things that are bad about front loaders are that you have to bend (no, you don't - invest in a nice fluffy bathmat to put right in front of the machine, and get down on your knees to put your washing in - the only thing you'll move will be your arms. Alternatively you can get a stand that raises the machine up higher) and that they take a long time to wash - well the miele can do a load in 40 minutes if you like, similar to a top load, but the longer the wash the better the results.

The slightly cheaper alternative which is still a decent machine would be a Bosch but only the higher end models - I think the top two - are made in Germany.

Hope that helps. :)

Oh, whatever you do, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT buy anything Fisher & Paykel. Just trust me on that, ok? ;)

BB said...

Hugs dear... no advice from me, although interested in the comment above. I don't do knees (as you know) and I do resent having to 'stuff' instead of 'drop' but I am sure when the time comes, I will relent. But I won't get your version - the thing is quite vindictive.

Debby said...

Tim and I bought a Maytag front loading high efficiency. That brand is supposed to be super reliable, and their advertisements show the Maytag repairman as the lonliest guy in town. From our experience, that Maytag repairman? He's hiding out, the lazy *#$^&! We've had that thing repaired three times in the first two years, all repairs covered under warranty (nothing like your saga...) The kicker is that the repairman is so busy that, after the first visit, when Tim watched, and asked plenty of questions, the repairman now just orders the part and gives Tim instructions on how to fix it over the phone. He does not strike me as lonely at all.

MissyBoo said...

I'm a huge fan of my Fisher & Paykel Excellence top loader. I've had it for more than 10 years Ok it lived in storage for 4+ when I was oveseas and I missed it dreadfully every time I stuffed stuff in that S-L-O-W front loader I was provided with!

Maude Lynn said...

At all costs, stay away from the Kenmore Calypso!

Gayla said...

I have to completely agree with "Debby" about Maytag. I currently have a Maytag washer & dryer (top loader) and it's been a piece of crap since day one. Like you, I have to "talk nice to it", make a minimum of 2 adjustments (usually involves kicking it) during one load and I feel extremely lucky if it washes and rinses my hubby's Carhartt overalls for work. Reading your entry I laughed so hard, but at the same time could totally relate.
I think going German is an awesome idea. There is no way I could afford a Miele set. Wow, they're extremely costly but I've no doubt that their worth every red cent! And, a Miele set will last you forever. Many years ago I had Miele vacuum and it was absolute heaven! My Miele made me "want" to vacuum. When I moved to Oregon in the late 80's I gave to a good friend in need and believe it or not she still has it :)
Good luck and thank you so very much for making me laugh until I had tears coming down my face :))

Huggers, Gayla

PS: I personally fell in love with the Miele W 3035 LC washing machine and the T 8005 LC Vented Dryer. Both such dream machines!

Jen at Semantically driven said...

I am an owner of a Bosch front loader. I don't do knees well either but find I don't have to. It is, however, good exercise on bending down. I've had it since I was washing nappies - so probably 6 years or so - and it's not given me one problem. I hope I'm not jinxing things by saying that.

In defence of front loaders - they do take longer to do a load but they definitely wash better and they use less water. I would buy one again for sure.

Jayne said...

I have 2 stainless steel troughs, a washboard and a mangle.
Though I am missing the river on whose banks I wish to beat my linen with a rock....

Farmers Wifey said...

We have a Simpson 7.5 heavy duty and it's been fine. I just need to use it a bit more frequently ha

Heather said...

We have Kenmore washer/dryer and stove. I hate the stove and the dryer is terrible. It's actually my dad's Kenmore dryer. He had it extra because they bought a new brand, they hated it so. I took it because my only 5 year old Kenmore dryer broke and I can't buy a new one right now. When I do, I won't even look at kenmore.

Nikki aka Widdle Shamrock said...

I have always been and probably always will be a Fisher and Paykel top loader girl. I have never thought to look at a front loader and am really interested in what people are saying here.

Anonymous said...

Well, when our Hitachi top loader finally carked it after 13 years, the repair guy reckoned that you couldn't givehim a front loader (from an ease and cost of repair perspective). That, combined with the access factor, particularly as I do a bit of soaking and would rather dump across from tub to machine, saw me go against all the front loader testimonials and environmental issues (and one dogmatic salesperson in a shop that made me want to never go into that shop again.) and go for a top loader again. A big one, as we have a family of five. I can do all the sheets in one load. I can still manually choose the load size (plus I always make sure I use No Phosphate detergent.) I just couldn't face getting up and down to load a front loader, and at the time we weren't in a position to be renovating the laundry to place it higher (we were desperate for a new washing machine NOW!).

We got an LG 8.5kg, and so far so good - 2 years later. - it has been very well behaved (a bit nervous saying that, don't want to jinx myself!)

Repair guys also recommended against Fisher & Paykel, as replacement of electronics is diabolically expensive and frustrating. I can't remember details now, but they quoted me some prices and stuff, so I kept well away from that brand.

Re front loaders, I'm sure environmentally they are better. A friend raves no end about her Bosch (I think - it's German anyway).

ree said...

Mr. Hot loves our top-load (I don't do laundry), but it's a Kenmore and I don't know if they're available in Paradise. ;-)