How to Buy a Used Washing Machine

February 24, 2013

Buying Guides, How-to

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If I only have you for 3 seconds, remember this: Buy a top-loading, Whirlpool made, washing machine. Yes, I said top loading. This is the advice I tell my closest friends and family. It’s been the conclusion of my experience of buying and selling close to two thousand appliances these past two years. If you need more proof, go to any used appliance store and see what kind of washers they sell, and also which brands they carry.

(I was being contacted so often by people wanting to learn the appliance business, we built an entire training course and community that teaches people everything about the appliance business at ApplianceSchool.com Even if you don’t go into the business, what you will learn about appliance buying, repairing and maintenance is worth it by itself.)

I’ve also scrapped a few hundred washing machines, many that were given to me for free. The vast majority of these were non-Whirlpool brands. Over time you begin to see some pretty consistent patterns.

How do you know if it’s a top-loading Whirlpool washing machine?  

If you can drop your clothes straight down from above the washing machine, and they land inside the washer, then it’s a top-loader machine. Whirlpool makes washing machines under the following brands;

Kenmore (top loading only)
Whirlpool
Roper
Estate
Inglis
Kirkland
Kitchen Aid

Why purchase top loading washing machines?  

1. They are the most reliable and least likely to break down. Appliances are like cars. No matter how good the car is, there is always going to be maintenance that needs to be done. The more you use them, the more maintenance will be needed. That said, all cars are not created equal. Some need to have their transmission replaced far sooner than others. It’s wise to know which cars tend to need the least amount of maintenance and the least expensive repairs. The same goes for washing machines.

2. They are the easiest and cheapest to fix. They have a very simple, functional design that makes it possible for regular homeowners to do some of the repairs themselves. Front loaders are 4-5 times more expensive to repair when, not if, they need maintenance. Also, front loaders tend to be a nightmare to work on.

3. They wash clothes better than front-loaders. Front loader washing machines use less water, which is great as long as your clothes aren’t dirty. Washing machines don’t use magic to clean clothes, they use water. The dirtier the clothes, the more water that is going to be needed to clean them.

4. They wash clothes faster. Conventional top load washers usually take about 30 minutes to complete a load, where front loaders can take two to three times that  long.

5. They are cheaper to purchase. Most front loaders are anywhere from two to four times the cost of a regular top loading machine new, and I would say that holds up for used machines as well.

Why purchase only Whirlpool made top loading washers?

1. They have been making them since 1949. Kenmore’s brand name is largely associated with quality because of Whirlpool. Whirlpool has been making Kenmore washers, as well as the other brands I listed, for more than 20 years.

2. Whirlpool made washers are easier to repair than other brands. They have a very simple, functional design that makes it possible for even regular homeowners to do many of the repairs themselves. Most of the other brands are much more expensive to fix and are more prone to breaking down. For this reason, most used appliance stores don’t sell other brands, mostly because of the likelihood of them breaking again within the six month warranty period.

How much should you pay for one?  

You can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$200 for a used Whirlpool washer.  $100-$150 is the average price. I wouldn’t recommend paying more than $200 for one, no matter how new the seller claims it is. People always claim their washer is newer than it actually is.

How do you inspect the washing machine prior to purchase?

In a nutshell, you want to see as many things working as possible. Usually it is difficult to hook water back up to the washer, but you can test out the spin cycle anywhere there is power or an extension cord.  Make sure it spins pretty fast once it gets going and stops within a few seconds of when you lift the lid while it’s spinning.

Check the lid switch. When shutting the lid, make sure you hear a crisp clicking sound, which is the lid switch.  No clicking sound means the lid switch is broken.

Listen for weird sounds. Any really abnormal sounds or violent vibrations are indicators that something is amiss.

Check the agitator in the middle. If you twist it back clockwise a little, then forward counter clock wise, you should feel the agitator “dogs” catch and cause the agitator to twist.

Watch out for rust inside the drum where the clothes sit. If the person left clothes wet sitting in the drum a lot, it can cause rust at times to form. This will stain your clothes and you want to avoid buying the washer in this case.

Dents and scratches are fine.

Ideally, the washer is still plugged in and being used at the person’s house. This is the safest situation. It means that it probably works fine and isn’t leaking. It also means that you can turn on the washer and run it through part of a cycle to make sure there are no weird things going on with it. Always ask the previous owner if they ever had any issues with it. Let them talk.

There is always some risk when buying a washing machine (even new ones). If you get any weird feelings, or you aren’t comfortable with something, walk away. Often times that intuition will be right. I’ve always regretted not going with my gut. Remember, always try to buy from the type of person you would have wanted to own the item before you.

How to transport the washing machine

Be careful when you’re moving a washing machine, as it’s easy to bend or mess up the feet on the bottom. Use a hand truck when possible. They weigh about 200 lbs. Also, don’t put any weight on, or pull on the control panel. They are held on by just a few plastic clips and they will break off pretty easily. It’s best to keep them upright, but if you need to slide it in a van, or SUV on it’s side, that’s ok too. It’s best to keep the drain hose side up so the little reserve of water won’t leak all over your car or van. It’s ok if  they are moved in the rain, water isn’t going to hurt the outside of a washing machine.

If I missed anything, or you have further questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. If there is a common question that keeps coming up, I will add it to the post.

Notes: Front loading washing machines can be great for certain situations. They do use less water and less electricity, which is a big plus. If you buy a front loader, I recommend only LG and Whirlpool Duet brands. They seem to have the least amount of problems. Stay away from the Kenmore Elite front loaders as Whirlpool did not make those for Kenmore.

Also, How to Buy a Used Dryer

For those of you new to the site, read How I Earn My Living Buying and Selling Appliances on Craigslist.

 

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79 Responses to “How to Buy a Used Washing Machine”

  1. Joel Says:

    Thanks for the great info! I’m sure a lot of appliance salesmen at stores selling new stuff wouldn’t know all this. I know someone who bought a front loader because the dryer could stack on top of it. When they sold their house a couple of years later they said “We’ll never buy another front loader. It has been nothing but headaches.”

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Yeah, it’s crazy how often I hear that. I really do feel bad when I hear how much people have spent on the front loaders, only to run into lots of problems and really expensive repairs.

      Reply

  2. Andy Says:

    It’s a bit easier than you think to hook the water up to a washing machine if it has already been replaced with a new washer by the seller. Bring a long garden hose with you. The threads are the same.

    Reply

  3. matt Says:

    the LG frontloaders get really good ratings, but still, for “normal” folk, it works out to save money in the long run and get a $100 top loader that will last forever

    Reply

  4. Ed Wheeler Says:

    This is fantastic!

    I was always front-load biased, however I see (and agree with) your point with this…

    – What are your thoughts on how well top load vs front load washers treat clothes? I’ve heard from a few places that front loaders are gentler on clothes than top loaders are.

    – With top loaders, what are the 2 or 3 most common parts that need to be replaced? Approximate cost and how difficult they are to change?

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      I think some top load washers that don’t have multiple agitation settings can be a little rough on delicate clothing. So if someone get’s a really basic washer and needs to wash a really delicate piece of clothing, there might be an increased chance of it being damaged.

      Agitator dogs (99 cents), lid switch ($5 shipped on ebay) and coupler ($7 or so). All three repairs are pretty easy.

      Reply

  5. Kevin Says:

    We are getting a house with a well/septic system, and someone told us to get FL because of the reduced water usage. Is this really a concern, or is getting a TL ok?

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Are you able to talk with the previous owners? I would say try and talk with them. My guess is it will depend on how many loads of laundry you are planning on doing a day. In many areas you can even run the grey water right into your yard, bushes, flower beds etc if you want to keep it out of your septic or sewer.

      Reply

  6. Amanda Says:

    I agree that top loaders are the way to go. We recently moved to Australia from Texas and sold our top loader and bought a front loader here from a friend. The shortest cycle (cold water, delicate) is 1:07 and the longest (hot water, cotton/sturdy) is 2:57! Unbelievable. I miss my cheap, basic, Kenmore top loader every single day. Front loaders just don’t seem to clean as well. My mother had her basic Kenmore for over 20 years and just recently had to replace it and got the same version again.

    Reply

  7. Rick James Says:

    I would definitely not recommend transporting a washing machine on its side because of the springs that hold the tank, we did this once and the springs got stretched out and was a mess when the spin cycle would come on, it would kick the sides of the washing machine.

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Setting a washer on it’s side shouldn’t permanently stretch the springs. We’ve never seen that happen. We have seen the (glide plate?) shift out of center in about 1 washer out of 100. It’s very rare, but has happened. It’s pretty quick and easy to center the plate again. Because of how rare this occurs, I don’t feel it necessary to recommend that everyone go out and rent a truck or trailer to transport a washing machine.

      I suspect the springs were already stretched out and needing to be replaced before you moved it. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply

  8. Vishal Verma Says:

    I was going to ask “What’s the most common problem you see with broken washing machines you repair?”, but you already answered that.

    Thanks for the informative post. Living in a small city condo, I’m a bit biased towards front-loaders because of the stackability. But, still nice to hear from you.

    Do you see a marked difference between the number of front loaders vs. top loaders available for sale on Craigslist?

    Reply

  9. Roman Says:

    Ryan,

    Thank you so much for the wealth of information you are giving back to the community, I am very appreciative of all your advice. I have been buying and reselling on CL part time for some time now but want to tap into the appliances category because electronics is a massive headache (lots of stolen phones, rat races, flakes, etc.). It would honestly be a life changer if I had some advice as to how I can begin buying and reselling in the “appliances” category, just as your are doing yourself. My main barrier is not knowing what prices to buy in to, how do I determine the actual value of an appliance before I negotiate a deal for it? Any advice would be so deeply appreciated.

    Respectfully,
    Roman

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      The best thing you can do is look at how much everyone else is trying to sell that appliance for in your area. Then check out Priceonomics.com and see what it goes for across the country. If you keep buying and selling dishwashers, for example, soon you will know exactly how much each type and style of dishwasher will sell for and how long it will take to sell.

      Reply

  10. Dave Says:

    This is a great article. I hope this is not too cheeky, you could help me out. I bought a top loading Whirlpool new about 5 yrs ago and it is now leaking from somewhere underneath during the fill cycles. It’s not from the hoses or anywhere visible looking down the back from the top, I peeled the back panel and looked down in there, no visible leaking anywhere so it must be down below the tub somewhere. It’s not leaking over the edge of the tub either.

    Do you know what the likely source is?

    Thanks

    Reply

  11. Dave Says:

    Thanks loads, I figured it must be the pump. I can take it from here.

    They don’t make them like they used to, our old Whirlpool must have been 24 yrs old before it broke down, this one 5 or maybe 6!

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Yeah, the general build quality of all appliances has dropped off significantly over the years. I acquired a washer and dryer from a lady that had been using them for 50 years. Now, they are making most appliances knowing they are going to need repair and maintenance within 2-3 years even, especially certain dishwashers. When this happens, they know that it takes almost nothing to cause consumers to run out and buy a new machine. Planned obsolescence.

      Reply

      • Dave Says:

        I finished the repair and am doing a load now with no leaks. Took 1/2 hour total due to the tight location and a total of $9.73 for the part delivered via Amazon Prime. The new part looks like it is improved to eliminate the seam it was leaking from.

        What I didn’t understand originally is why would it leak only during the fill cycle if it’s leaking from the pump which presumably is used only to evacuate the waste water? Oh well.

        Thanks again, that was very satisfying, I didn’t want to be the dumb ass that calls a serviceman, I know better but so many things have been breaking in my life lately it’s hard to keep up!

        Reply

  12. Katie Says:

    How old is too old when buying a washer/dryer? We have a tiny apt and have to get a unitized set, and most of the ones on Craigslist from dealers are 8-15 years old, $400-$500. It seems strange to buy something 10 years old for that much, but that’s what they all are. Should I have pretty low expectations for a 10-year-old Whirlpool/Kenmore set?

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      If you are buying the washer/dryer stacked combo, there is a smaller supply of them and they run about $1,100 or more new. This causes the used price to stay pretty high. You might occasionally find one for $200-$300 but I would say $400 is average for those. Frigidaire made those stacked sets for Kenmore. I’m not a huge fan of those, but you don’t have a lot of options. If the dealer went through it, 8-10 years old is fine, I wouldn’t be worried about the age. Hope that helps.

      Reply

  13. Roman Says:

    Would you say most of your inventory usually consists of products that needed small repairs before reselling? As opposed to just finding good deals to buy in and resell without doing any repairs.

    Best,

    Roman

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      It’s totally mixed. They all need cleaning. Machines that need small repairs are more profitable, and people sell them for much less, so I have been targeting those that need repairs more often. For someone that doesn’t know how to do any repairs, and just wants to clean and resell, that’s how I started and I did just fine! Over time however, it becomes obvious that the more value you are able to add to these machines, the more money you will make.

      Reply

  14. Greg Says:

    Do you spend a lot of time trying to talk the seller down on price. I have noticed the prices seem to be pretty much the same when looking at craigslist so I assume the only way to put profit in it is to talk the seller down.

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      I don’t anymore. I’m in a big market and will sometimes shoot out lower offers but there are enough good deals that I don’t need to spend much time low-balling people. The really good deals get snagged somewhat quickly, so you need to keep checking the listings to snag them. I will write a post soon about everything I bought in a day and how much I paid for it/sold each for.

      Reply

  15. Megan Says:

    These articles are great!! I definitely agree. Out of all the washers that we’ve purchased and resold, including brand new front loaders, the absolute best was a top-loading Roper by Whirlpool that was a few years old.
    I’d love to see a similar article on fridges :)

    Reply

  16. Lisa Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Are there any particular models of kenmore or whirlpool that you recommend? I see so many different ones on craigslist! We are a family of two, about to become a family of four (expecting twins) and I can see how we’ll be doing a lot of laundry soon. The house we’re about to move into doesnt have a washer/dryer so we’re on the hunt for something cheap that will do us justice (the right combination of price point and efficiency to go easy on the bills).

    Also, have you ever thought about posting a link (or maybe you already do?) to this blog on your craigslist ads? I think your articles are adorable and I immediately thought, “oh I’d like to buy a washer from him since this is how he supports his family and he’s honest!”

    Cheers,
    Lisa

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      I just emailed you. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’m actually going to be starting another website for the appliance operation which will talk a little more about who I am. Communicating trust to buyers is very important, I completely agree. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply

  17. Brian Says:

    Hi Ryan, what I do to get used W/D is put A ad on CL that I buy used Whirlpool brand washers and dryers I’ll put in the ad that I pay up to $35 for working or non-working machines. That’s when I get low on the trade-ins and I know A person who wouldn’t sell unless he gets trade-ins…………….

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      I can see not wanting to sell or deliver an appliance without the trade-in. That’s where a decent portion of the profit lies. How is the response to your ad saying you pay for working or non working machines?

      Reply

  18. Mike Says:

    Hi Ryan, thanks for all the helpful info!

    I was wondering where do you scrap the washers and dryers that don’t work? Anyway to make money off of them?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      There are metal scrap yards in most cities that pay by the total weight of the metal you bring in. It’s slightly under $10 per 100 pounds, but the price goes up and down quite a bit.

      Reply

  19. Eric Says:

    Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for paving the way for others, that’s a very cool thing to do. Question for you: do you think it is worth my $50 to buy a 3-5 year old dryer that needs a heat element with the intention to resell? What is your typical profit on a dryer?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      I think it would be better to pull a heating element off another dryer that is going to be parted out. Heating elements don’t go out that often, it’s usually a thermostat/fuse issue that causes dryer’s to stop heating. You can get the heating element new on ebay for $25 shipped, if you want to go that route.

      If it’s a really nice looking, newer dryer and you don’t have another heating element, it’s probably worth buying an element if you don’t want to wait. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  20. Elizabeth Says:

    I have a single mother friend who brings over 10 loads of laundry at a time. Yesterday she did laundry all day,now smells like burnt rubber when I tried to do laundry this a.m. Nothing seems to be spinning either…: ( Could the problem be a belt? Learned my lesson with the last front loader I had, frigidaire model! Now own a Kenmore top loader. Came with the house, never a problem til now. I have the hoses disconnected, took off two round metal plates, but don’t know what I am looking for. Last service call I paid for here on Bainbridge Island was $490 for a washer. Panicing a bit thinking about that again. I have a stage IV ovarian cancer sister living here with me, laundry and cleanliness utmost importance for her during chemo. So I need to try to fix this soon. Any ideas about repair or possible new/used purchase?

    Reply

  21. Bill Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I’m wondering how you’re able to make a profit off of washers/dryers that you don’t actually repair and buy for an average price? Surely just cleaning the unit won’t add $50+ to the price you can resell it for. Do you have some kind of marketing technique that increases the demand for your cleaned washers/dryers?

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      People will often sell washers and dryers for $50 a piece or less. We clean them up, test them, repaint portions of them and once they are up to our standards, we repost them for 2-3 times what we paid. These good deals get snagged quickly so you often won’t see them unless you spend a good bit of time watching the listings throughout the day.

      My marketing technique, for the most part is in the blog posts on the site. Delivery is a huge one, and clean, rust free appliances are a big selling point. I also am able to plug the appliances in for people before they purchase so they can see them working. Many other sellers can’t or don’t want to do that. That’s also a big selling point. Let me know if you have any other questions or check out the coaching page. http://recraigslist.com/coaching/

      Reply

  22. Kris Says:

    Hey Ryan,

    Do you completely avoid all brands that aren’t whirlpool? The reason I ask is that I see a lot of buying opportunities but many times the washer/dryers are not under the whirlpool brand.

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      In general I avoid non-Whirlpool made brands. Remember, Whirlpool makes Kenmore, Roper, Estate, Kirkland, KitchenAid, Inglis, new Admiral, new Maytag, new Amana and I’m forgetting some. Anyway, especially on the last three, make sure they were made in the last couple years or you will find that they weren’t made with a Whirlpool design or parts.

      Reply

  23. Kris Says:

    Hi Ryan,
    What do you do with the old appliances you get for free from your customers if they aren’t of the whirlpool brand? I was also curious if you would sell a washer/dryer as a matching set or sell them separately> Thanks again for your help!

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      It depends. If the machine is in nice condition and needs just a basic fix, we will repair it and resell it. For bigger repairs on the off brands that we don’t like we end up recycling the machines. Part of the benefit of specializing in certain brands is it becomes much easier to warranty your product. If someone has an issues you can know exactly what is going on, what needs to be fixed, how much time it will take to repair and how much it will cost. Down the road when people need further maintenance and repair, you can give them a really accurate quote over the phone about the repair cost.

      Reply

  24. matemacita Says:

    Hey Ryan, thanks for the info. about washers. I think I will be able to repair ours instead of buying a new one.

    I have a couple of questions about refrigerators, though. I bought a new Roper from Lowe’s 3-4 years ago, and it’s been a complete POS. Doesn’t seal worth a damn. How can I avoid making that mistake again? My logic in buying a new one was that it would be more efficient than an old one, thus making up for the price difference. That certainly didn’t turn out to be the case.

    What brands of refrigerators would you look for on CL? How would you test them, or what would you look for when you went to pick one up? What kind of fixes are simple enough, and what would you consider a deal-breaker (if you wanted a working fridge, instead of something for parts)?

    Finally, if you don’t mind: any thoughts on counter-depth refrigerators?

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Sorry to hear about the refrigerator purchase. I’m a big fan of GE refrigerators as the build quality seems to be higher than some of the other brands. It’s what I’m using currently and it’s the brand I see the least amount of that are broken down.

      As far as testing them out, make sure it’s plugged in. Make sure the seals are tight, and preferably still in use. The odds that it has an issue go up quite a bit once people stop using the machine. If you can determine that the compressor is on and working but not cooling, walk away. If the compressor is not on, then it’s likely that the fridge will be fixable for not too much money. Best thing to do is google/youtube the symptoms of the fridge and try to determine what part is out.

      I don’t have much experience with counter depth refrigerators. I will eventually write a refrigerator buying guide, but I want to learn more before I do so. Hope this helps!.

      Reply

  25. Hannah Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I was wondering, when you talk about testing/inspecting the washer do you actually do this in their house? Is it always possible to test them and what should you do if the owner refuses to let you test it in their house for whatever reasons?
    Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      I will often set the washer to extra small load, let it fill with water and watch it agitate for a few moments to make sure everything sounds right. Then set the washer to spin and see if it spins fast enough. You can use a key to depress the lid switch so you can see how fast the drum is spinning. Make sure you watch your washer at home first so you know how fast it should look when spinning.

      If the washer is in the garage, you can still set it to spin mode and watch it spin, which will often reveal if there are issues. Make sure that the drain hose is aimed inside a five gallon bucket or something else to collect the water.

      If someone doesn’t want you to test the appliances, they are probably hiding something. If there is nothing wrong with the machines then people usually won’t have a problem with you testing the machines. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  26. Chris Says:

    Hi Ryan, thanks for the helpful article. Have you encountered any washers that make the threads on towels come apart? My washer has destroyed all my towels… it is a Kenmore 300 top-loader, I got it new in 2007. Do you think the agitator should be replaced? Any tips you can give me would be well appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Are there any sharp edges or broken plastic parts on the agitator? Basically anything sharp that could shred the towels? Are there any other articles of clothing being damaged or just the towels? The only time I’ve seen a machine damage clothing or towels has been when there was broken plastic that the clothes were getting caught up on. Let me know.

      Reply

  27. SusieG Says:

    What about top loaders without an agitator in the middle? Pros? Cons? We live on a farm and my boys get filthy! Want clean clothes and towels. Period!

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      We haven’t been seeing many of them on the used market yet, so they must be holding up pretty well. I would encourage you to buy one of the newer ones, like within a couple of years old. There were some older Whirlpool ones that were junk that you want to stay away from. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  28. lisa Says:

    My children have asthma our Dr said that we needed to buy a front loader washing machine . We purchased LG and LOVED it . I was able to fit stuffed animals and comforters in it . I was also pleased that my clothing was not getting hooked and torn apart by the agitator . We moved overseas and came back . I could not afford to purchase an Lg upon returning and purchased front loading Maytag. They were terrible ! Both washer and dryer would destroy clothes being caught in the gap between the door and the drum. All our clothes had huge holes in them . Now they are sitting in our garage because Im tired of wasting money on clothes . We purchased LG top loader with out an agitator . I love it . It cost a little more but was well worth it .

    Reply

  29. iennie Says:

    Yes I have a whirlpool washer, and in the middle of a wash cycle, it will aditate, but it won’t drain or rinse the clothes, the lid switch does not make a clicking noise like it should but also when the timing ticks but doesn’t actually switch over to the drain cycle????

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      It’s the lid switch.If this lid switch is broken, the washer thinks the lid is open and won’t progress to the spin/drain cycle. Very easy repair. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply

  30. Carol Says:

    My Maytag Neptune washing machine died and will take the cost of a new machine to fix it! Is it true that cheaper parts are used in name brand machines built by for Home Depot, Best Buy and other big box stores and better metal parts are used in machine made for appliance stores?

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      There isn’t a difference in quality because of the store. There is difference in quality because of the manufacture, and the model. There are certain very base model’s that seem to have motors and timers that are inferior, especially in the electric dryers.

      Reply

  31. leroy Says:

    Great Job! As an appliance repairman I find your advice 100% honest and accurate. I always tell my clients use the K.I.S.S method when buying appliances. Keep it simple stupid because all the glitter of computers on appliances look great but they give the most trouble.

    Reply

  32. Ken Says:

    Hi Ryan. I have a kenmore 800 series washer. It fills ok but it does not agitate or spin and makes an alarm sound most of the time. Any advice on a possible repair would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

  33. Don Says:

    Hi Ryan I have a GE PROFILE model#WPSE4200AOWW washer, it fills with water then does nothing for a while then will agitate for about 5 to 10 sec. then do nothing again for a while, then pump the water back out then do nothing for a while again, then goes to spin for 5 to 10 sec. then does nothing for a while again, then fills with rinse water then does nothing again for a while, then pumps the water back out then does nothing for a while then goes to spin for 5 to 10 sec. then stops.Do you think it could be the control panel and if so were could I find 0ne cheap or reasonable , bought it brand new about 10 to 12 years ago , dryer is still going good . Just about had it with this washer .

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Sounds like a timer issue. Because it’s a GE, I would recommend getting rid of it and picking up a Whirlpool made machine. Then, if it ever needs any work done on it, you can do it pretty easily and the parts are cheap. Hope that helps.

      Reply

  34. Jeremiah Says:

    Great article, and such an amazing gift you’re giving. All of these people asking you to diagnose their washer problems might not be in the “right” place, but you’re helping them anyway. Good for you!

    Reply

  35. Erin Veeneman Says:

    Great article! I am thinking of buying a Kenmore Elite, top loader. Is that still made by Whirlpool?

    Reply

    • Ryan Says:

      Thanks! It should be. Send me a link to the post or a picture of the machine. If it was made by whirlpool it will have a 2 inch little indentation going across the front of the machine on the bottom all the way across. It’s like Whirlpool’s Nike Swoosh.

      Reply

  36. brenda best Says:

    spot on Ryan. good man, good info. repaired Everything (twice) and had the Least trouble with my whirlpool washer and my GE tbx fridge. what do you think are the quality brands for dishwashers,water heaters, even AC/furnace, freezer, lawn mower, vacuum, garbage disposal?

    Reply

    • Ryan Finlay Says:

      Hi Brenda, dishwashers..I like Whirlpool the best, GE can be good. Stay away from Frigidaire dishwashers, something breaks within 2-3 years on average even when purchasing new. As far as your other questions, those will have to wait for some future posts, and more research! :)

      Reply

  37. Dave Says:

    Hey Ryan, just wanted to get your thoughts on flipping washers and dryers on Craigslist as a full-time (or even part-time) business. If a Whirlpool washer is going for $100 on CL, and I buy it at that price but turn around immediately and sell it for $150 to $200, offering free delivery, would the markup be justified by the fact that I’m delivering (in your opinion)? I would think so, but what do you think? Thanks for a great article and God bless your business venture as you transition it to Hawaii.

    Reply

    • Ryan Finlay Says:

      Probably, as long as you get a good trade in machine from the buyer. And it depends on what kind of machine they have. Buying/selling and repairing appliances is a very good business to get into, and the demand has been high enough that we setup ApplianceSchool.com as a result. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply

  38. Greg Says:

    We purchased a top loader whirlpool cabrio with the glass
    lid, about 4 years ago.
    So far, it had to have new bearings and a new tub at about
    One year old. Then the lid broke shortly after that but,
    That was all under warranty. Since then the lid has broken off again
    And whirlpool wants over $200. For a new one
    And another $200. For a service call to put it on!
    I went online and everyone is complaining of the same problem with
    The Cabrio lid. The glass is too heavy for the frame.
    Newer cabrio s have a thicker frame, but guess what,
    The new lid wont fit older machines! And Whirlpool
    Won’t stand behind it. They contend there is no problem
    It has been working but I had to use the front if the lid
    To fool the switch by holding it in until the lock
    Tripped. Finally got tired of messing with it and bought a new
    GE top loader. I used to think Whirlpool was the best
    But they won’t stand behind a faulty design any more.
    Any one want to buy a used Cabrio without a lid?

    Reply

    • Ryan Finlay Says:

      Cabrio’s are junk. Whirlpool laid an egg when they started making them. The traditional Whirlpool top loading washers that they have been making for the past 30 years are the way to go. Not a fan of GE top loaders at all.

      Reply

  39. Glenda Rowland Says:

    I purchased a Whirlpool washer & dryer in Oct 1982 and have loved having this set. My washer quit draining a few months ago and I finally had a repairman come and look at it. He said that it probably needed a new pump and that the belt had dry rotted. He said it would cost more to fix it and that I should buy a new one. I am very happy that I was able to use it this long. I have found a 4 year old Whirlpool set from a friend that is very reasonable. Should I take the old washer for scrap metal which is only paying $9 per 100 lbs. or do you think someone else could fix it if I give it away? The dryer works great and I would like to sell it. I still have all the books for both that came with the set. How much do you think I could ask for the dryer? It is clean. Thank you and I have enjoyed your articles.

    Reply

    • Ryan Finlay Says:

      I would scrap the washer personally, at least that particular one. That’s outstanding that you got that much use out of them! Definitely sell the dryer, you can get at least $80-$100 for it, just depends on how it looks. (I would have to see a picture of it, and unfortunately people tend to go off pictures more than anything)

      Buying a washer/dryer from a friend is a great way to go, especially as you will know exactly what sort of condition it’s in.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply

      • Glenda Says:

        Thank you for your response. The dryer is in great condition and always used inside and I am the original owner. Plus I am single and did not use as much as a family would. I love Whirlpool appliances and have been a happy customer. I will take the washer to be scraped. I might get $15 for it. I’m not sure how much it weighs. It was the last model of that type before they changed the mechanics of it. I was very pleased with the repairman who was honest. He was only 4 when I bought it. He didn’t think the parts could be ordered any longer and said it was the first time he had seen one that old. If you take care of appliances, they should last a long time if it is a good quality to begin with.

        Reply

  40. Rishel Says:

    Ryan, I just wanted to thank you profusely for this site. I’m a single mom, just made an expensive move, and NEED a washer. This at least gives me some ammo to not get totally scammed. Thank you so much! I’ll let you know what I ultimately buy.

    Reply

  41. Marla Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    You have been most helpful, Thank you.
    My washing machine just went out. It is a Maytag and it spins but the water doesn’t drain. It is making a loud noise similar to a leaf blower. At first I was told it was a pump and could be fixed for $90. Now I am being told it is the Transmission and will be $160. Does this seem right?

    Reply

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