Monday, April 19, 2010

The Laundry Stimulus

We are getting a new washer and dryer this week. You see, our dryer has this annoying habit of eating our clothes. It started way back when I still had at least one kid that wore onesies - I remember this because if I failed to close EVERY LAST snap one of the exposed halves (usually the 'male') would get caught between the frame and the drum of the dryer. At best, the item would be all twisted and would usually have a rust stain at the site of the 'chomp' worst, the piece of clothing would tear.

We temporarily fixed it for a while - and by 'we' I mean Rob replaced a bad seal - and all was well. Unfortunately, it began again. For some reason it seems to favor E1's stuff...although it ALWAYS eats a button off of a certain top of mine (and I have two of that style).

We called a repair guy who came out an looked at it...and he said it's a common problem for this make and model and that replacing the seal is only a temporary fix. The manufacturer now has a whole new drum replacement...but, in the words of Ken the Repairman, "It's an expensive part and an expensive repair." Ken wouldn't elaborate, wouldn't commit to fixing it should we track down said expensive drum, nor would he answer my question as to what he would do if it was HIS dryer. Clearly he wouldn't have gotten into this situation to begin with, eh?

So, we started to speak of dryer replacement and I startled Rob by admitting that I would like the washer and dryer to match more or I didn't want one of the new-fangled ones if we weren't ready to replace the washer.

Then, we heard about the appliance rebates for Illinois! I started looking around at Consumer Reports, thinking I'd compromise and get one of the HE models that isn't a front-loader. But, the reviews on those weren't so great; for reasons I don't understand, a washer with no agitator is rougher on clothes than a washer with an agitator...but the front loaders were rated better overall.

And so, my research began on front loaders...and I found a model that met our needs and fit our budget ...but lo, the reviews at Consumer Reports AND any other website were not so great...many people saying they purchased that model based on CR's recommendation and regretted.

So, I did the only reasonable thing left - I sent my sister-in-law Christine a message asking what brand and model she had. I figured I'd never heard her complain about hers and it would at least give me a starting place. New model suggestion in my inbox, I continued my search and found a new model that met our needs and fit our budget.

Then, I went to look at them in person. Rob wanted me to ask about rebates for dryers as well, since dryers weren't mentioned on any of the rebate information sites. I called him from the store, verifying that even though they didn't have our model in-store (well they did, but in red...I just can't get myself psyched-up for that kind of excitement in my laundry room), we could place the order in-store and it would qualify as an in-store purchase for the rebate. He asked if there was a rebate for the dryer and I said there wasn't...

R: Well, do we still want to get a dryer then - if there's no rebate?

Me: Isn't that how this all started? We need to replace the dryer?

R: Oh, right.

We both had a good chuckle. This is how home improvements spiral out of control, people!

I've consulted some peeps on the internets, and we've come to the conclusion that we should try stacking the w/d. It will free up a lot of room for better organized storage. To wake you up on this Monday afternoon I will let you peek into my laundry room. Unfortunately, at this time the walls and floors will not be changing. Brace yourself!

See what I'm saying with no red for the washer and dryer?

Over to the right there used to be a vanity sink with a medicine cabinet above it. The good news is that by stacking the washer and dryer there we will cover the 70's era wallboard and the flooring that were exposed when we removed the vanity. The bad news is that the wallpaper will remain.

I'm not sure what will become of the peacock feathers...the kids keep saying they're going to make a craft. I'll keep you posted if anything develops there. Until then, I've got a lot of cleaning-out to do before delivery later this week!


Anonymous said...

What kind did you end up getting?


Glenda said...

Yay for getting a new W&D! I love love love my front-load washer and high-capacity dryer. We've had them for 5 or 6 years and they were well worth the money.

If you stack your W&D, will you be able to reach inside whichever one is put on top, without having to use a stepstool???

I was doing some reading around online about front-load washers several weeks ago, to find out how to get rid of a funky odor in our washer. One of the things I read was that fabric softener can gunk up the drain line over time -- I never use it so I knew that wasn't our problem, but I thought it was interesting info. Also, leave the door to the washer open after taking out wet clothes, especially after washing a load in hot, so the drum can dry out -- and if you wash a load in hot, don't leave the wet clothes in the washer for hours and hours cuz they'll get P.U.-y (that was the cause of the odor in our washer, so I don't do that anymore & our washer doesn't stink inside anymore).

Nancy R said...

We went with LG, Christine. I was all ready to follow in your footsteps and have a lunch date with my first load, lol, but they couldn't hook up the dryer. By stacking them in the corner, their gas line wasn't long enough to connect. We had Tim come over yesterday afternoon and get everything situated. Every time the 'finished' chime sounds I say, "The ice cream truck is here."

Glenda, odors are mentioned in the book and it advises airing out, wiping the door seal, and this model has a 'drum clean' cycle or something similar and they recommend running it once a month.

I'm ready to get the rest of the room put back together and find new homes for everything - stepping over boxes and baskets isn't fun.

Nancy R said...

Oh, and Glenda, I can reach in the dryer and reach the controls (dryer is on top). E1 probably can too, but E2 will need to do a step stool to do anything more than toss the wet clothes in there. We're working on that!

Ali was one of those who was in favor of stacking (I didn't remember that you had front-loaders! I would have put you to work considering my stacking/not-stacking issues!) and she said she and Evan can both reach the controls on their stacked W/D.

Anonymous said...

I never thought about how the chime sounded like an ice cream truck, but you're right it does. Bummer you didn't get to have the lunch date.

I had read about the miledewy smell so I always leave my washer door open. I use fabric softener and haven't had any issues yet. Beware of dryer sheets. When I was researching for mine I read that if your dryer has a moisture sensor you shouln't use dryer sheets because they coat the sensors and end up becoming inaccurate.