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Time for a new washing machine...

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Joined: Apr 5 2003

So our 1980's vintage almond-colored washing machine just gave up the ghost. We've been thinking about buying a front-loading washer for the energy and water efficiency, but we're not sure if it's going to fit well. What front loaders have worked well in Eichlers?

Our issues:

1) We're in an atrium model; our laundry area is off the main hall on the short hall leading to the second bathroom. The hallway end of the laundry nook is only 30 inches deep, though it's 36 inches deep on the bathroom side. Most of the new dryers appear to be 30" deep. Even if we push the dryer as tight as possible against the wall and are careful with ducting, we're going to stick out a couple inches.

2) The washer connection is on the right, the dryer connection on the left. Unfortunately, all the front-loading dryers appear to be hinged on the left. That means that if we install the new washer and dryer in the appropriate places, the doors bash into each other. Worse, moving laundry from washer to dryer requires lifting it over the doors (and there's not enough space to go around the doors.) Crossing the dryer and washer power lines, vent lines, and hoses seems a bit risky. Stacking the washer and dryer might help a bit.

3) Why, oh why is white the only color for all the new washing machines? The almond looks nice against the walls; white appliances are just going to stick out.

Geez, shopping for a washing machine's making me feel just like I do when I go to Home Depot Expo. Everything seems designed for a house that's much bigger, pinker, and stucco-ier than ours.

Robert[/img]

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Hi,

I know neighbors that seem to have a similar situation to you in that the washer is on the right and the dryer on the left (as do I). They have a front loading Bosch washer which is hinged on the right side (thus out of the way to transfer to the dryer).

I'll try to reach them this week if you are interested in dimensions. I don't know if these are standard door configurations or if you have to specifically request the xx-handedness. (You'd think they'd have made washers and dryers similar to fridges in that most modern fridges can have their doors reversed.)

Anyhow, I'll pass on what I find out.

Jake

BTW, I plan to change over to front loaders this year as well. I like the fact that you can build a counter over them thus creating a cleaner look. The counter is also more functional as it provides a place to fold onto.

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Amy
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Joined: Mar 26 2004

When we moved in two years ago we needed a new washer and dryer. Since we have the same or similar laundry configuration (in the hall next to the guest bath, we decided to splurge on something that would look good. Kenmore used to make a series of machines that came in colors. We picked dark gray since our posts are all that color and we thought dark would be better than white. I can post a photo if you like. We also had the reverse hookup issue. The hoses and vents are crossed to accomodate this and we haven't had any problems.

Hope that helps. Good luck.
Amy

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Joined: Mar 25 2005

You could check out some of the front-loading European washers (Asko, Bosch, Miele) and dryers if you're interested in doing an under-counter installation.

Asko makes models that are almost the same dimensions as a dishwasher (24W x 24.5 D x 33 H) - and actually look like one too - the washer has a cover panel that hides the washing drum.

They can be set up washer on the right, dryer on the left.

The one gotcha to be aware of with any of these W/D's is that you'll need to factor in probably 4-6" addl depth behind them because you'll need some room for your dryer vent hose and you don't want to kink the supply lines on your washer.

But we were able to put ours under a 28" countertop - they protude about 2", but look fine.

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

I could have sworn I posted an update. I must have not hit the final submit button...

Anyway, I took a quick look at the Bosch website and it appears they do, in fact, provide a kit so you can reverse the factory-shipped right hand hinge arrangement.

http://www.boschappliances.com

I think my general search was products --> dryers--> product manuals--> (given model) Installation Manual

Anyway, take my word for it--you can hinge-reverse a Bosch dryer. I would think a similar situation would be true for North American models. I thinks its something you might have to research for given brands.

Good luck.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Mar 25 2005

forgot to mention that if your concerned re color, the euro washers also come in stainless steel...

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Joined: Dec 14 2003

I think that all front load dryers and washers hinge-reverse. I've certainly had to flip every one that I've ever purchased. I've had to flip the refrigerator door a couple of times too. I like my 2001 Maytag Neptune, but I've heard good things about the Kenmore Elite. Be forewarned that the depth of the new washers is greater than the smaller ones of yesteryear.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

We have the bosch front loaders and love them. Our are currently stacked for space saving reasons but you can just as easily do them side by side. Euro models are generally smaller than the US ones - AND they use 1/4th the amount of water. Ours also heats the water to near boiling, making that another popular feature of the Euros. Other models along the same line and price point (high) are the Miele's and the Asko's.

If you want to read about everything related to front load W/D from some real fanatics, and experts, go to http://www.thathomesite.com and lurk around the Laundry Room forum. Great source for what the current models are - including features. A lot of the participants are in the business and can tell you what would work for your configuration.

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 25 2005

1) We're in an atrium model; our laundry area is off the main hall on the short hall leading to the second bathroom. The hallway end of the laundry nook is only 30 inches deep, though it's 36 inches deep on the bathroom side. Most of the new dryers appear to be 30" deep. Even if we push the dryer as tight as possible against the wall and are careful with ducting, we're going to stick out a couple inches.

Just to beat the dead horse - per the earlier posts, many of the European front loaders don't take up too much room front-back. As I said, hooking up an Asko under a countertop - including room for the dryer vent hookup - took about 28".

2) The washer connection is on the right, the dryer connection on the left. Unfortunately, all the front-loading dryers appear to be hinged on the left. That means that if we install the new washer and dryer in the appropriate places, the doors bash into each other. Worse, moving laundry from washer to dryer requires lifting it over the doors (and there's not enough space to go around the doors.) Crossing the dryer and washer power lines, vent lines, and hoses seems a bit risky. Stacking the washer and dryer might help a bit.

Well, again, check out the Euro washers. Asko in fact does go side-by-side with washer on the right and dryer on the left - just like the hookups in your Eichler (ours too). There is NO issue with door-banging and we didn't have to rehang the doors. Washer (on right) has a front cover panel that opens down (it hides the drum door so it looks like a dishwasher), and a drum door that is hinged on right. Dryer door is hinged on left. You can have both doors open simultaneously - and transfer your wet clothes to the dryer without any problem.

Good luck. Check with folks on the board re quality/reliability of their washers.

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Joined: Dec 14 2003

I installed my Maytag Neptune dryer with a "Lambro Tite-Fit" vent purchased from Ace Hardware that allows the dryer to be 3" from the wall. Solid venting like mine is supposed to be safer than the corrugated aluminum stuff since there are fewer places for lint to hang up.

Again, I'm not sure why there is concern about which way the doors hinge. A screw driver and five minutes of time and your washer and dryer will open whichever way you prefer. Normally, they ask you when you order the appliance which way you want them to be hinged, if not the delivery guy will do it when it arrives (at least the Sears guy will).

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Joined: Apr 5 2003

Just to give the resolution to this thread, we've got the new washer and dryer, and we're quite happy.

We got the LG front-loading washer and dryer, both in "titanium" (dark gray) which looks decent and unobtrusive against the panelling. After checking out a friend's installation in the neighborhood, we ended up installing the washer and dryer switched from where the connections are. The main thing which let us install them reversed was a periscope piece of ducting -- a rectangular duct about 3" deep with dryer connections on either end. One goes into the dryer exhaust, the other into the hole in the wall leading to the house's exhaust ducting. This ducting's much more compact than the plastic dryer hose we had on the last dryer, and cost under $30 at an appliance store.

With the periscope ducting, the washer and dryer fit close to the wall, and don't stick out too far into the hallway. We definitely wouldn't have been able to live with the washer and dryer next to the appropriate fittings, as the space between the open doors and the wall would have been way too tight to let us swap laundry from washer to dryer.

BTW, the LG washer door (as well as the Whirlpool and Sears front-loaders) *cannot* be reversed; the door must open to the left. The dryers are always reversible, but many of the front-loader doors are much more elaborate.

Robert

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Joined: Aug 28 2005

Robert, which LG model did you end up getting? We're looking for a new washer dryer also. I'm also looking at the LG models, but the depth is around 29-3/4", where as our current frigidaire is only 25".
I'm worried that it will stick out too much from the wall.

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