Eight months ago we bought a new front loader washing machine, as our old front loader washing machine developed a leak from moving house and as it was six years old, we thought it would be an ideal time to update. If you didn’t already know, you are supposed to use moving/ shipping bolts to hold the drum in place on the front loader when moving.
If you are anything like me, when somebody mentions shipping bolts in relation to washing machines you probably won’t know what they mean. The series of bolts ensure that the drum does not move when the washing machine is transported, otherwise, damaged may occur (which is what happened in our case).
Because most of us don’t know this, most people toss out the bolts after the washing machine has been installed. If you are intending to move, I suggest contacting an electrical store or the manufacturer and purchase the recommended bolts as this will save you a lot of money and hassle later on.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. So, we bought the new front loading washing machine, as mentioned above. We picked a top of the range brand and model, as we thought we would get at least ten years use out of it and it had a decent warranty on it. To replace the same model now would be RRP $1799. Luckily, at the time, we bought it on sale at one of the biggest electrical retailers in Australia.
Then a few months later, I had to get a repair man in to replace the plastic agitators located on the inner side of the drum. On this particular brand of washing machine, it has plastic agitators, as opposed to metal agitators, molded into the drum, most brands have. The reason being, overloading and unbalancing the machine can cause motor burnout or electrical issues and it is better for the plastic agitators to snap off instead of causing an expensive repair bill. Apparently, our warranty only covers the replacement of the agitators once, so if I happen to do it again we will be paying for the next round of repairs ourselves.
“Ok, so how exactly do I stop this from happening in the first place?” I asked the repair man.
The washing machine repair man told me quite a few tips about on how to keep my front loader happy and to say I wasn’t happy about his advice is an understatement.
You can’t over fill it.
Ideally, you are supposed to only half to three quarter fill your front loader. This is so you don’t have the issues mentioned above. My front loader is a 10 kg capacity washing machine, so essentially I can only put in 4-6kgs per wash. If I wanted to do small loads like this, I could have bought a 6 kg top loader for well under half the price of what we paid for the front loader! I also now have to wait for two loads of washing to finish before I can put a full load in the dryer. Yes, I use a dryer because a few of our family members have allergy issues caused by airborne triggers and I can’t hang the washing on the line because of these issues. Anything I can’t put in the dryer gets dried on the clothes horse inside.
Don’t under fill it
Underfilling can cause the drum to become unbalance resulting in the issues above, as well. No, unfortunately, I am not joking. So, if I need to wash a knit top, like the boys school jumpers, then I have to wait until I have enough knitwear to make up a half load of washing. This also goes for delicates, clothing that colour runs, mid-week pillowcase washing etc.
Don’t wash bedding in it.
Apparently, you can only wash one queen or king sized sheet per wash. We have four beds in our house; two queen, and two singles. Can you imagine how many loads it would take to wash all of our bedding if I did that? Not to mention each load takes an hour and thirty-five minutes. I am at the stage where I go “stuff it” and wash two sheets at a time.
He suggested I take doonas and pillows to a laundromat to wash them. As most Mums will know, this isn’t practical if your child throws up or has a blood nose on their bed, you pretty much have to wash the doona straight away. Seriously though, a washing machine should be able to wash a single polyester/cotton doona!
I used to wash pillows in our old front loader and it made the washing machine leak out the door. Apparently, this is common and why you can’t wash pillows in front loader machines.
Regularly clean the filter
This is, apparently, a ‘thing’ with front loaders. Wrappers, cards, toys, Lego etc can slip between the drum and the door seal and become lodged in the pump filter. This means regular checking of the filter. Most front loader washing machines have the filter located behind the kickboard at the bottom the machine, which leaks water everywhere on the laundry floor every time you open it. Last time, we found a Myki (public transport) card and Lego in it. If it was a top loader, they would have still bee sitting in the bottom of the drum!
They take forever to do a load
The longest time my top loading washing machine took to complete a load of washing was forty-five minutes. As mentioned above, most of the cycles I use in the front loader take around an hour and a half. Front loaders are supposed to save you money, I’m at a loss as to how this can be when they take twice as long to complete a load and you have to do two to three loads compared to one load in a top loader.
So there you go. I know people love their front loaders but going by my experiences with them, I won’t be buying one ever again.