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Washing machines

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Mary Fisher, Mar 14, 2006.

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  1. Mary Fisher

    Mary Fisher Guest

    (in another thread)

    I'm curious to know why you always refer to a 'front loader' washing
    machine. Is any other kind still produced in USA?

    I don't think other kinds are available in UK - but I could be wrong.

  2. GeekBoy

    GeekBoy Guest

    Yes and still very popular because the women do not have to stoop over to
    put clothes in.
  3. otoh, my wife can actually reach the bottom of the front loader. I always
    used to find socks in the top loader that she hadn't been able to reach.
  4. Mary Fisher

    Mary Fisher Guest

    Stooping is bad for your back. They should bend their knees.

    Or get the men to do it.

  5. Mary Fisher

    Mary Fisher Guest

    What on Earth were you doing groping in the washing machine???

    That's woman's work.


  6. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    Top loaders are more popular, and cheaper. Front loaders are more
    expensive, but much more efficient.
  7. Mary Fisher

    Mary Fisher Guest

    I suspect that there's another benefit. Our houses are mostly smaller than
    yours. Our kitchens are proportionately less spacious. Most UK washing
    machines are in the kitchen (few have utility rooms). A front loader can be
    positioned under a counter (work surface), thus saving space.

    But with the new awareness of energy usage and emissions I'd have thought
    that USA would have been encouraging more efficient front loaders.

    As for expensive - my image of USAians isn't that they're on the breadline

    There was a time when top loaders and front loaders were available, side by
    side, in the shops here. It was quite a long time ago. People preferred the
    front loaders - they were marketed as "automatics", I don't think we ever
    had automatic front loaders. Consumers voted with their purses.

    On the other hand, I've just googled. There are quite a lot of top loaders
    available for UK buyers. They're very expensiveto buy.

    I'd imagine that they're also expensive in water and power terms but I don't

  8. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    Most folks here put the laundry in the basement along with the furnace
    and the water heater.
    We are encouraging them, but the high prices attached make it difficult
    for many folks to justify. Off-gridders do see the benefit quickly.
    You have a poor image. The breadline is in view of many Americans.
  9. Mary Fisher

    Mary Fisher Guest

    Oh bliss - the idea of a basement ...
    I suppose everything's relative.

    We, the Fishers, think that we live very well. We have everything we need,
    don't want anything we don't need and we have money in the bank which we
    don't need. But our income is well below the average and we're only just
    above the official 'poverty line' as defined by HM Government.

    Part of our 'poverty' is not having a television, video, microwave,
    holidays, car each etc (all from choice).

    I remember real poverty in the 1940s when I knew children who didn't have
    shoes or coats. I had a new pair of shoes once a year, the toes were cut out
    when my feet grew too big for them. I didn't think of us as poor because I
    knew those other children.

    Our children had a pair of new shoes when they outgrew their old ones but it
    was sometimes very hard, we still never thought we were poor because I had
    the image oft hose shoeless children in my mind.

    Then I came across the saying about thinking 'I was poor because I had no
    shoes until I met a man with no feet'.

    I've only spent two three week sessions in USA and both times I had 'poor'
    people pointed out. Their houses were bigger than the 70 yo one we live in
    (which is bigger than most new houses in UK) and they mostly had cars,
    albeit as old as ours.

    The notion of poverty and breadlines is a difficult one. I didn't have a
    washing machine of any kind until my mother bought me one after our fourth
    child was born. Until then I washed everything by hand, in the kitchen sink.
    In the house before that we didn't have hot water. Or a kitchen! One ground
    floor room, one bedroom for us and three babies. And we still didn't feel
    poor :)

    But I wouldn't want to go back to that. When you're young things are easier.

  10. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    I used to be the same way. Built a house with the laundry upstairs between
    bedrooms and bath, and won't ever go back if I can help it. :)

  11. wmbjk

    wmbjk Guest

    Don't kid yourself. There are lots of poor people in the US, including
    plenty in my area who live off-grid in mouse-infested trailers, have
    no telephone, and haul water in barrels. Most living that kind of life
    do have vehicles of a sort, but there's no shortage of others who do
    without. I could show you some who make the Gallaghers of Shameless
    look like fat cats. ;-)

  12. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    Around here, many folks live in leaky 30 year old mobile homes (900 sq.
    ft. or less), get food and toy baskets taken to them at Christmas so the
    kids won't see an empty tree. They get free food and medical from the
    county because dad has been out of work (all 3 factories have shutdown
    or are in shutdown mode). If they have a car, it's 20+ years old, rusted
    out, and gets 10 mpg because someone got a tax deduction for giving it
    to them. We have a 17% poverty rate, with a per capita income of $15,994
  13. In Canada and the US, there's really very little "awareness" of energy
    usage. Energy is still too cheap. There's certainly no encouragement to
    buy front load machines.
  14. Mel

    Mel Guest

    Mary Fisher a écrit :

    After having lived in several countries:

    frontloaders: best efficiency, low water use, but for those that wash
    hot, wastefull as most do not have a hot water entry. (hot water heated
    by electric element). CLothes are cleaned by friction in a reduced
    amount of water with teh drum spinning on a horizontal axis (ie the
    clothes are satured with water but not in a "tub" of water")
    dimensions - a square block about 60cm by 60cm IIRC (or is that 80cm?)

    toploaders :

    type 1 - pretty much the same as a front loader, but the metal spinning
    drum is accessed through a hatch on top. Very popular here in France
    (tiny tiny kitchens)
    dimensions - slimmer, IIRC 40cm by 60cm

    type 2 - water guzzlers; the clothes sit in a tub/drum and the drum
    spins on a vertical axis. Major advantage; always have hot & cold water
    entries but use so much more water that it's hard to know if it's
    worthwhile... (I'm talking hundreds of litres here as opposed to tens of
    liters for the other types of washing machines)
    same dimensions as the front loader but generaly about 1m or more tall
    (frontloader standard bench height)
  15. Hot water washing is wasteful and unnecessary, anyway, but it's probably not
    more wasteful to heat it in the machine, than to use a central hot water
    system, and most front-loaders available in North America have hot water
  16. If the water in the plumbing lines is heated by oil or gas,
    then it costs significantly less t do so than heating it
    up via electrical elements in the washer [a]. If you've
    got an electric water heater, then it's, ahem, a wash.

    [a] I've never seen a clothes washer in the US that
    heats its water. Quite a few dishwashers, though.
  17. I wasn't arguing cost, merely that it is not more wasteful.
    Well, no it isn't. You lose heat in the plumbing. Do you lose enough heat
    in the plumbing to make up for the difference in cost between electric &
    gas heat? That would depend on your particular circumstances but I suspect
    the answer is far from always being "no".
    I don't know that I've ever seen a US-built washer with its own heating
    element, but you can certainly buy European-made ones in North America
    (Bosch comes to mind).
    Dishwashers do it to get water up to what is considered an unsafe
    temperature for faucet supplies.
  18. stu

    stu Guest

    I've had both top and front.
    A full load in the top loader used over 200litres a load, the front loader
    takes about 35litres(on quick wash which i use most of the time). While the
    top of the line top loader model does have hot water in, the machine does
    up 95C washing temp. Hot water in might help, but the hot water system would
    have to be very close to the washer, as my machine fills for a few seconds
    then stops, turns the drum a little, then fills a little more, until it has
    the clothes just wet. If the HWS was to far from the machine(mine is about
    40ft) you would get very little hot water out(remembering that it only uses
    about 10litres to fill). Even thought it uses its own element to heat the
    water, it uses so little water it would still cost less.(i would guess that
    my top loader used about 50litres of hot water a load). most of my washing i
    do are 30C anyway
    the stats that came with the machine say that on its "heavy wash" it uses 52
    litres, it also has a "super rinse" option that increases the number od
    rinses from 3 to 7 so that would of course use more water
    the worst problem with front loaders is that they can take alot longer, on
    "heavy wash" it takes 135minutes!!! "quick wash" only takes 58minutes and
    "super quick wash" only 35 minutes

  19. Mary Fisher

    Mary Fisher Guest

    hot, wastefull as most do not have a hot water entry.

    Ours does.
    drum is accessed through a hatch on top. Very popular here in France
    (tiny tiny kitchens)

    But the need to keep the top free isn't convenient in a tiny kitchen ...

  20. Mel

    Mel Guest

    Mary Fisher a écrit :
    What brand? I've managed to find 1 brand that sells 1 model in
    Switzerland,, Belgium and the Netherlands (but the dealers have been,
    they tell me, requested NOT to export to France for after sales service
    reasons) Other wise nothing.

    You only need to keep the top free when you want to wash; and the 20cm
    in width that is gained is really important; and very often this
    difference in width is the difference between having a washing machine
    and not having a washing machine at all.
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