Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Kenmore is Dead - Long Live the Whirlpool

Back in January our front-loading washing machine stopped spinning out all the water it should from our laundry loads. Hubby took apart things and found some stuff in drain but its removal didn't improve things.

We finally got a repairman in this week. His verdict: the tub casing was broken (and pieces of it had been showing up in our laundry!) and it would cost $400 - $450 to fix. The Kenmore had more or less begun a course of self-destruction in January. After hearing that the machine was eight to nine years old, he recommended we get a new machine. I asked what kind, he said "Whirlpool."

Hubby looked through the papers and flyers we had and searched on the Internet. A store about twenty minutes away was having a scratch-and-dent sale with no sales tax. We decided to check it out. We remembered the trouble we had getting the Kenmore down into the basement and took measurements of the doorway -- we had 26 inches of clearance if we took the door off at the top of the stairs.

We got to the store and all the machines we saw we 26 1/4 inches or more in their narrowest dimension. We didn't see the scratch-and-dent model on the floor; probably sold out. We told the salesman about our size constraints and he took us into the warehouse where there was a row of scratch-and-dent washers, all Whirlpools! Even better, they measured 24 inches at their narrowest. They were smaller than the machine we had, but we were doing maybe two loads a week. Another astounding thing was that the machine used less than 160 Kw a year, figuring that you are doing eight loads a week!

Needless to say we got the machine. It even fit in the back of our CRV. Back home, hubby finished dismantling the old machine. We'll reuse what parts we can and take the rest to the municipal recycling depot for such things.

Getting it down into the cellar was another issue, but the next morning I called my son at work and he agreed to come by after work to help get it down into the basement. He showed up at 5:30 and had even borrowed a hand-truck with his boss's blessing. We had it down and sitting on its pallet (to keep it off the floor -- high enough that even the flood we had in 2004 didn't touch the first machine) in twenty minutes.

The new machine has maybe two-thirds the capacity of the old one. I'm back to separating darks from lights...

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