Thursday, January 29, 2009

I call it Cyclops

Our family member that had to be put down was a 1998 Maytag washing machine. In a family of four, with children, we do about ten loads of laundry a week. I figured the Maytag had done about 6000 to 7000 loads of laundry. It had been rebuilt twice. About six months ago it started leaking some light machine oil out the bottom. It didn’t seem to effect the operation. Twice in the last two weeks, the laundry room took on a burning rubber smell. I liked it. The wife didn’t. The next move by the Maytag was leaking some water out. That pretty much did it. We got a Consumer Report on washers. Friday night we found ourselves kid-less. Wife and I actually went out for a nice dinner at Red Lobster. We exited the restaurant to find a large flat bed tow truck blocking our car and no sight of the driver. After a few minutes, we decided to just walk over to Sears at the mall and check out washers. We walked in and a very knowledgeable salesman showed us around the washers. We looked at top loaders at first, as that is what we have always had. However when I was doing physical therapy for my bad back, the PT people were telling me that top loaders were about the worst for bad backs. The reaching in, lifting damp clothes, was not a good thing and there was no other way to do it. We were about sold on a nice top load washer, but I decided to ask about front loaders. The salesman told us that we would wind up spending more money up front, but there were advantages. The front loaders use about one-third the water and half the soap than the same top loader. The base model front loader, spins at about 1000 RPM. You have to purchase a mid line top loader to get the same spin speed. The faster the spin, the more water is squished out so the dryer works less. Down sides are that you have to use the High Efficiency soap, they cost more, you should clean out the door gasket once a month and run a “clean” cycle one a month. The wife got real interested in the savings of water, that perhaps we can extend the dryer life, that we won’t stress our backs and that the mid line unit we purchased, can not only do the king sized comforter, but you could put in the sheets with it! This thing can wash clothes!

It is also a lot of fun to listen to and watch. It is very quiet, but it starts, adds water, stops, reverses, adds soap, reverses, washes…..on and on. The controls are fully electronic. It senses even how many clothes are in it and only adds the water needed to wash that sized load. You can over ride any of the choices the computer makes. The spin cycle is something else. It spins up. Stops. Reverses and spins some more. Back and forth for a while. When it finally does the final spin, and you are in watching it, it sounds and looks like a jet airplane motor. The thing flies. The clothes come out just damp. Our dryer is running faster and the clothes are totally dry when it finishes.

And it is heavy. The delivery guy was a big burly guy and he had his shoulder up on the washer to walk it back into its hole. I asked him if it was heavy and he told me “yeah, 250 pounds. But you will love this thing”.

I call the new washer “Cyclops”. It has lights, bells, beeps. Everything a man needs in a machine. Except it doesn’t keep beer cold.

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