If I only have you for 3 seconds, remember this: Buy a top-loading, Whirlpool made, washing machine. (2010 models or older. DO NOT BUY newer Whirlpool washers that have LED lights under the timer, they are junk.) 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 thousands of appliances over these past 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.
New resource! We have just made our popular appliance repair course available for as low as $12.50/mo. This course will go over everything you could want to know about washers and dryers whether your a homeowner looking to buy and maintain your own machines or someone looking to make extra cash or start your own business. Check it out at Tradeskills.io
UPDATE for 2017: Where should you buy your used washing machine?
For a long time, I used to recommend people to always get their appliances for as cheap as possible. But over these past years, and buying thousands of low priced appliances to refurbish and then resell, I’ve learned things that have caused me to change my recommendations. Here are a few things I’ve learned and where I now recommend you buy your next washing machine from.
1. There is something wrong with over half of the appliances you will buy from regular people. Some of the time the problem will not be known, as many owners don’t easily recognize when their machines need repair. Other times people will be deceptive, and focus on the fact that technically the appliance still works while failing to mention issues they know exist, which need to be addressed. My conclusion is that you cannot just trust the word of regular appliance owners on the true condition of their appliance anymore than you could someone on the trust condition of a used car. It’s not wise to buy a used car without having your mechanic inspect it first, and the same goes for many used appliances unless you can afford the risk of buying a broken machine.
2. Washing machines need repair almost twice as often as dryers. (This is the main reason why they are more expensive than used dryers.) Washers have a lot of parts that can break and they take a lot of abuse. So washing machines are even more likely to have something wrong with them unless they have been inspected and been refurbished to great working condition.
3. Washing machines are very heavy, twice as heavy as dryers, and can be very difficult to move without the right equipment and transportation. This alone causes me to recommend a used appliance business for most people let alone the risk of that machine being broken after all that work.
So, for most people, I now recommend buying from a used appliance reseller. The prices you will pay are higher than buying from a private party, but you are paying for a machine that has been inspected, parts replaced, cleaned, often painted and which includes a warranty backing up the machine. You also get the machine delivered and setup which again, by itself is worth it. The extra value you get and the time you will save buying from an appliance business is most definitely worth the cost.
I’ve also scrapped hundreds of 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)
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 quick and easy to do most of the repairs. 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 $150-$300. Buying the washer from a used appliance reseller is going to cost a bit more than buying from a private party, but you are getting a machine that has been cleaned, tested, maintenance done as well as a warranty that backs it up.
How do you inspect the washing machine prior to purchase?
If you are buying from a used appliance business, you don’t need to inspect the machine as they come with a warranty. Used appliance shops do not want to have to come out to your house and fix something, so you can bet the appliance has been thoroughly inspected.
When buying from a private party, 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 clockwise, 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 its 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 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.
(I was being contacted so often by people wanting to learn how to repair their own appliances or start their own appliance business, we built an entire training course and community that teaches you how to both at Tradeskills.io )
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.
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.”
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.
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.
I agree. We even bring extension cords with us to test them out.
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
There are a lot more top loaders on Craigslist, and the average price reflects this.
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.
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.
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?
It’s the pump, almost for sure. The pump is located down toward the ground, right in the middle of the front of the washer. You can purchase the pump on ebay for $10 shipped.
Here’s a video of how to replace it. It’s easy.
Hope that helps
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!
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.
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!
Ooh this is exactly what I wanted to ask you about. I’ve heard that sometimes older washers and dryers are built better than newer ones (from my mom’s washer repair guy who was admiring her at least 20-year-old set). It sounds like that’s your experience too? If so, is there an age range you’d recommend for getting a good, solid, long-lasting machine?
5-15 year old Whirlpool made top loading washers and dryers! The current Whirlpool top loading washers and dryers are garbage, the ones with the led lights under the timer.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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!”
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!
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…………….
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?
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?
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.
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?
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!
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?
It’s the coupler, 95% sure. Here is the link to the part.
Video for how to change it out.
Hope that helps!
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?
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. https://recraigslist.com/coaching/
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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!.
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?
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 .
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????
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
I would guess it’s the coupler.
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 .
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.
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!
Great article! I am thinking of buying a Kenmore Elite, top loader. Is that still made by Whirlpool?
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.
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?
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! 🙂
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Yeah, if it had been a few years newer I would encourage you to repair it. Same advice as he gave you.
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.
Glad it was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions during your buying process.
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?
I’m not sure. I don’t work on Maytag washers very often as we try to stick with Whirlpool made machines. I would guess it’s the pump as well.
With the machine full of water, if you drop the drain hose, does water come out? Also, watch this video.
I own a used appliance store in the greater New Orleans area for over 35 years! The advise is spot on. We only sell whirlpool made washers 5 to 25 years. That’s right 25 years old! Actually a 25 year old one properly repaired. Changing the dogs, coupling, and lid switch as well a s the actual bad part can last as long or longer as the transmission was just much stronger. Also Maytag washers 5 to 10 years old are also made by whirlpool as well as Capri & Estate.
Awesome, thanks for the comment Tony!
Ryan I just got a diagnosis for my Kenmore washer, I was told the timer would be $300 for the part alone, but I saw one on sears for $97. Should I just order the part and replace it myself or do you know any repairman you can refer me to in Brooklyn who are semi trust worthy at least?
What is your washer doing? I can tell you if it’s a timer if you will describe to me the symptoms.
Hi, I bought a top loading speed queen two and a half years ago. Have had nothing but problems. From screeching, to banging and in between. Had the bearings replaced, clutch assembly greased, and now its screeching agsin at the beginning if every cycle. Will call the repair man once again. I hope he will come. Should I keep repairing it after my three year warranty is up this February? Or should I get a used whirlpool? I am at my wits end with these repair men constantly here, from one thing to the next. Got a lemon for sure!
I would get rid of it after it’s working again and get a Whirlpool top loading washer. Sorry to hear about that.
I have a top load maytag neptune that doesn’t drain on the spin cycle. It is past its warranty and was wondering if you a. know what might be causing this and b. should i spend the money on repair or get a new machine? Also is it worth spending the extra money on a high efficiency machine? All i seem to read about are the problems that they have.
I personally probably wouldn’t have that machine fixed. The amount you would pay would be at least as much as another used machine. I don’t think it’s worth it to spend the money on a new washing machine. They all need maintenance but front load machines are much more expensive up front, and are more expensive to repair etc. If you do buy a front load washer, go with the LG.
Ryan, this site is great. Stumbled upon it today and have already gained a lot of knowledge. My question to you is we have an Admiral top loader that was given to us a few years ago. Just yesterday it started whining during the spin cycle. I pulled it away from the wall and there was a grease spot on the floor about the size of a paper plate. From what I have found online, it is likely the transmission failing. If that is the case, is it trashed? Thanks!
The transmission will likely need to be replaced at some point. You will know when the sounds get worse and the washer stops spinning the clothes very dry after the spin cycle. (They will come out wetter) Once that takes place, either ask a repair place/person how much they would charge you to put in a used transmission, or sell the machine for $50 to a repair person. Or, if you are handy, buy a used transmisison on ebay and swap it out yourself.
I would keep using it as long as you can stand the slightly louder noise or when performance takes a dive, for then the dryer will start having to work harder/longer and cost you more money for each load to dry. Hope that helps!
I am hoping you can help me with a question about a used washer I just bought. I wish I would have found this article before hand. I just purchased a used Maytag top load washer. I just recently noticed that there are plastic shredded pieces in my washer. Do you know what this is why it’s happening and if it’s bad. I really hope I didn’t just waste my money. Thank you for your help.
Hmm, I would try running a few empty loads and see what happens. I doubt that the plastic shreds are coming from the washer itself and were likely something that was washed before you got the washer, and remained in the tub. It might take a few loads for the remnants to be washed out.
Yes, I did check and it seems to be shredding off of a plastic rim at the hop of the inside of the washer if that makes sense. Only, I don’t know why it’s doing that. can I just sand the rough edges down on the plastic part, or will I have to replace the whole thing? Sorry if it sounds confusing, I don’t know the technical terms. Thanks for your help!
There is a plastic piece where the water falls into the washing machine, maybe that’s hanging down and is rubbing on the plastic rim of the tub as it spins around during the spin cycle. It will be in the middle, back of the washer under the casing.
One question what about those top loader washers with dryer on top made usually by Frigidaire? Cause in my appartment the space reserved for washer/dryer is only for washer/dryer one on top of other one….
Stay away from the Frigidaire made ones. Whirlpool makes the exact same type of stackable/all together unit.
Just stumbled on your article when I Googled “how much should I pay for a used washing machine”. Really appreciated your insight and detailed information!
Now I have a question to ask. Our Kenmore washer just broke down. It was still draining the washer, but wouldn’t spin. We knew it was the coupler, as this has happened to us before. This time we purchased the “heavy duty steel lined enforced” coupler in hopes it would hold up longer. After we, and when I say we I really mean my husband, replaced the coupler, which was indeed broken, our washer started agitating. We then put a load of laundry in. Everything looked and sounded fine. Mid-cycle everything just STOPPED. No agitating (am I saying that right?), no spinning, and NO DRAINING. It also smelled like something was burning…. What should we look for as the culprit this time? Did we make a poor choice with the steel lined enforced coupler? Thanks Ryan for any input!
Sounds like a wire has a loose connection and could have fried. Check wires going into the motor, and the lid switch, especially if it’s the lid switch in the back left side of the machine.
Also check to see if there is anything stuck in the pump, which is fairly common and could produce symptoms that you are describing. Let me know what you find.
Fantastic site, and excellent advice. I purchased a Whirlpool top loader washer from Best Buy 3 years ago. It just started giving me problems a week ago. Will not spin all the water out of the clothes at the end of the regular wash cycle. There is no standing water left in the tub, but just very soggy clothes. However, I can turn the cycle selector to Drain & Spin after the regular wash cycle, and the tub will spin the clothes dry like it used to on the regular cycle. Any ideas?
The clutch probably needs to be replaced, it’s a very common maintenance issue. If you replace the clutch, the machine should be good to go for a number of years. Replace the coupler as well while you or the repair guy is down there. Hope that helps!
Hi, Ryan Great Advice,
What’s the amount of years is too old to purchase a washer & dryer?
There are some machines that are 20-25 years old that are great machines, so it’s hard to say. Over 30 years is probably a good number to stay away from though.
Thanks for writing this article! We have an Admiral top loader that would bang against itself during the spin cycle if the laundry was even slightly distributed unevenly. (This is the main reason I was looking into getting a front loader) Then the other day I noticed that it wasn’t spinning at all anymore. It still fills up and drains normally. Is the off-centered spinning/banging fairly common with top loaders? Is it a simple fix to get ours spinning again, or should I look into buying something else? Thanks!
The banging would be expected if the washer wasn’t leveled in each direction properly. They can still get clothes bunched on one side and get a bit noisy. That’s somewhat common. Will your washer agitate but not spin, or neither?
We have a Kenmore 80 series washer that bangs loudly and does not agitate. Is it worth it for us to try and fix or should we look for a used one? Thanks!
Banging loudly is usually because the machine has not been leveled both side to side and front to back. Won’t agitate is usually the coupler, a very cheap part. I would try fixing. Hope that helps!
Ryan – I bought a moving sale Washer and Dryer for 40$ each. They are Maytag Neptune. I know I made a mistake and now we finally got them downstairs and see that the dryer power cord wont fit into our outlet!!!!!!! Are there any adaptors to fit these or am I throwing good money after bad? thanks 🙂
No you can just swap the dryer cord out pretty easily. Go to YouTube and search for how to change out a dryer power cord. You can pull the one off the dryer you just bought, and take it to a used appliance store and ask if they will swap you for the one you need, even if you have to pay $5 it’s worth it. Don’t pay more than that though to swap.
Any thoughts on Fisher Paykel topload washer and front load dryer? We found a set but brought it home to find out the washer had a few issues. The guy we bought it from gladly took it back and repaired the valve and a couple of other minor things. He’s willing to triple the original 30 day warranty, but I’m still skeptical.
I’m thinking of still walking from the deal, but I had such great luck with my other FP set with no issues for over 10 years. Seems hard to pass up.
I would walk away from the deal, or see if he has any whirlpool made machines. Fisher and Paykel work great until they don’t, and the repairs can be very expensive. I don’t recommend buying them. Hope that helps!
Now we are able to make informed decisions thanks to you.
Any thoughts on best front load commercial washers and dryers for a laundromat kind of business? I am thinking of LG though not sure if used ones will survive for long due to the many wash and dry cycles?
Awesome, glad to help! I am a big fan of the LG front load washers, but I’m not sure about for constant commercial use. The LG will hold up as long or longer than other consumer level machines, but if you are going to be using them constantly, I would probably look into industrial machines made for that exact purpose.
Thanks so much for uncovering some truths in the washer category. We have had had front loaders and top loaders and I have favorites about both. And we have had good AND bad experiences with several different manufacturers. We are in the market again for another set and I am completely overwhelmed with the options. Please excuse this blunt question, but do you get kickbacks from Whirlpool? I only ask because while I can tell that your info is honest, that tells a little (not all) of where the loyalty comes from. By the way, there is NOTHING wrong with getting compensated. Hope that doesn’t seem trite.
I don’t get kickbacks from Whirlpool, and I recommend LG front loaders over Whirlpool front loaders. Whirlpool is also currently making one of the worst top loading washing machines ever (the one with the 5 led lights under the timer).
Hope that helps!
Thank you so much for the reply!! We will definitely steer clear of that model! We have a couple used appliance shops locally with good reputations and warranties and are definitely going there first. They are all advertising on CL so I figure we can’t go wrong by walking into their shops. Although with 4 kids I admit I am tempted by the fancy giant capacity washer (it’s like 5.3 cu ft or something crazy!!).
In your post you mentioned not having a lot of experience with the newer top loaders that have no agitators (I realize this post is a few years old and you prob have a new post with this info by now! Apologies if this is repeat!!). So what’s the verdict now that they have made their way into the used market? Worth it? Or not so much?
Verdict now is stay away from all the Whirlpool made top loaders with the LED lights under the timers. Stick with LG top loaders for now, or the older Whirlpool top loaders with the traditional agitator.
My old Maytag top loader stopped filling with water during the rinse cycle and began smoking smelling like some type of burning rubber or plastic. We turned it off once we discovered it smoking. Any ides? We haven’t attempted to turn it back on.
It could be the belt, but hard to know without looking at it.
I have a Kenmore Elite HE4t washer front load that will not power up at all. I used the service tech sheet to troubleshoot it and everything test out perfect. Everything I read said it must be the control unit because it did not make a clicking noise when I plugged it in. I bought a new control unit and still nothing. No lights at all come on and nothing works at all. I am correct that the water does not need to be hooked up in order to test the machine?
It should still power up and you should see lights even without the water hooked up. It won’t start a cycle without water being hooked up though.
You’ve double checked your power supply to the washer? Also make sure the power cord going into the washer isn’t fried.
A friend gave us a Maytag Atlantis that has been starting to give us problems. It will no longer drain, makes a burning smell when you start a cycle, and doesn’t agitate properly. Is it worth fixing (as it was free) or will we just run into more problems down the road?
Love all the info on your website. Our previous washer was a top loading Whirpool and I miss it.
I would probably replace it with another used washer. My guess is that it would be cheaper than repairing that machine. Hope that helps!
What’s your opinion on all in one washer/dryer combo?
I think it’s always better to get separate units whenever possible, but in certain situations where there is no room, they will do the job.
Old dryer at a rental that does not shut off , tenant says it dry well, but issue with shutoff…any thoughts..thanks
It should shut off when you manually turn the timer to the off position. Does it do that? If it does not naturally progress to the off position during the course of the cycle, the timer is broken and will need to be replaced.
I absolutely hate my LG front load washing machine that I have had for 3 years. My clothes do not get clean and they smell! And I do all of the recommended cleaning of my washer and all the tips and tricks, but it just does not help! I have been researching washers for some time now and was so HAPPY to come across your website! I’ve been wanting to sell mine, but am so wary of strange people that might come to my house using CraigsList. Wish your services were in my area! I read that Speed Queen still makes top load washers with all metal parts, which made me think this washer might last a good 20 years. Do you know anything about Speed Queen? Or should I go for an old Whirlpool?
The speed queen top loaders that are being made are a great purchase, but will be a good bit more expensive than a used Whirlpool top loader. Just make sure you do not get one of the new vertical modular style Whirlpool washers, that have the LED lights under the timer. Hope that helps!
Excellent article Ryan. It has been most helpful.
My one suggestion would be to put in the main article to only buy 2010 or older Whirlpools (pre LED). As you commented, the new belt driven 2010+ Whirlpool’s are junk.
Some people will get the newer model as that advice is buried deep in the comments section.
I will update that, thanks Cal!
Hello Ryan ! I have a washer whirlpool calypso clothes , it worked well , until one day I was washing and saw it was on and was already in the normal program ( the panel is all digital , has no buttons) and it does not work and does not come out of this program , already called and hung from the wall outlet and nothing makes her work. Can you help me?
Hi Nicolau, unfortunately the Calypso tends to be very expensive to repair and is often not worth it. It will probably be cheaper to replace it with a Whirlpool made direct drive washer. Hope that helps.
I’m currently looking for a new washer and dryer. I have always liked whirlpool top loaders. I’m considering an LG front Loader mainly because you can fit big comforters in a front loader cause there is no agitator. I also feel like front loaders tend to be a little easier on close. Do you think that is worth it to buy a front loader for those reasons?
The front loaders definitely have a larger capacity and can be a little gentler on clothes. Many top loaders do have a delicate cycle too though. You will pay more for the LG front loader than the older Whirlpool top loaders, so it really comes down to your priorities. Hope that helps!
My trusty LA7800XP washer (1986) has a small leak in the tub drain gasket. I had replaced the outer tub years ago, so I know how to do the repair. I have the parts and I’m ready to go, but my better half wants a new washer and dryer. The dryer is electric and has been trouble free except for the timer, which I replaced several years ago.
We’re looking at the Whirlpool WTW5000DW washer and WED5000DW dryer. She liked the way our old Whirlpool dryer door opens down and this is the only model that has that feature. From what I’ve read, I don’t have a lot of faith in the new HE washers and their direct-drive motors. You previously mentioned that there were problems with the new Whirlpool washers with 5 lights below the controls. This model has 6 lights. Please let me know if the problems still exist and if so, what I should be concerned about.
As for the old washer and dryer, what do you recommend I do with them? Should I repair the washer and try to find a new owner (I’d hate to see them go to waste) or just let the delivery guys take them away? Is there any value in salvaging some of the parts (controls, motor, etc.)?
Hi Bill, thanks for writing in. Your existing washer is probably approaching the time where it’s getting less worth it to continue to repair it. I would probably recommend recycling it at this point. The dryer on the other hand, if it’s working, don’t let the delivery guys haul it away! Sell it for cheap on Craigslist for $100 and make someone happy and keep the machine in the system a bit longer.
5 leds, 6 leds, I still recommend staying away from those new Whirlpool vertical modular washers. Thedryer you listed above is a good dryer though, they haven’t really changed anything on the design of that dryer in about 30 years other than the look of the control panel.
Hope this helps!
Hi Ryan, thanks for the reply. I appreciate your recommendations, but I’m a little bit confused. At the top of this page you recommend top loading washers made by Whirlpool. You also recommend staying away from the new Whirlpool washers with the LEDs under the controls. That said, other than the higher-priced electronic control washers (which I would assume are basically the same mechanically) there isn’t one new washer that falls in that category. Also, you said that the dryer I mentioned was a good model. However if you want a matching washer your out of luck.
Could you let me know what the problems are with these washers? Is it a poor design with respect to performance (energy, water, cleaning) or frequent electrical or mechanical problems? If it’s the later, what fails the most?
If you are looking to buy a new matching set, I recommend LG front loaders, or a Speed Queen Set. The new Whirlpool made washers are garbage and I don’t recommend them. The dryers are the same as always, so if you just need a new dryer, great. If it’s a matching top loading set that you want, and you want my recommendation, then I would recommend getting a set that is 4 years old and older.
The new vertical modular washers that Whirlpool makes break usually within 3 years from brand new and are very expensive to fix. Everyone I have talked to has not been happy with their performance and I see these style washers in almost new condition at the scrap heap weekly. That is not a good sign and I’ve seen several dozen of these newer washers just at my local scrap heap this past year. But, that’s just my recommendation based on my experience. Also, appliance repair techs, almost across the board are not repairing these washers even when they get them for free. That tells you something.
We are looking into buying a whirpool cabrio set, WTW6700TU and WED6700VU, from a private seller. They are 5 years old and they said they had them tuned up a year ago. Nothing mechanically wrong with them. The dryer surface paint is worn because of laundry baskets put on it. What would you recommend to look at to make sure they work? This our first time to buy a pair because our last two houses came with them. Thanks for your help.
I would recommend buying just a standard Whirlpool top loading set and not the Cabrio.
Looking to purchase used appliances. So grateful for your knowledge and help.
In and amidst the hunt seller says “Washer was working fine and then wouldn’t drain water after a cycle. No idea idea if it is actually broken or if it’s a simple fix” [Thoughts Ryan?]
And what is your take on Maytag in general….and then specifically the Atlantis?? The seller says this: “I used these right up until we got the new ones but due to the fact that it’s making a noise and no time to trouble shoot and/or repair we decided to replace.” [Thoughts Ryan?]
Anticipate your response
In response to the first one, if it’s a whirlpool washer and it went through all the cycles but left the tub full of water at the end, it’s likely the lid switch. Cheap part easy fix. Have them shut the lid and see if it makes a crisp clicking sound. No crisp slick, then bad lid switch.
Maytag atlantis, I would stay away. I generally don’t deal with the older Maytag machines. Hope that helps.
I am in the market for a new used washer. I was reading your warning about the 2010 and newer that have LED under the timer, does that mean any washer of Whirlpool that has light up push buttons rather than a knobs? Thank you, I appreciate your informative page.
Make sure you do not buy any washer with led lights under the timer. I would stay away from any washer that is less than 4-5 years old if you are going to buy a top loading style. Hope that helps!
Thank you so much Ryan! I hate our front loader and want to get a top loader – you’re absolutely right about the water not being enough in the front loader. There are loads of whirlpool top loaders from appliance dealers on CL (in Vancouver BC, bring appliance swap here!) – how can I tell if they’re old enough to be the good ones?
If they don’t have the led lights under the timer it should be old enough! Glad you liked the article!
Thanks for the great advise, I have learned so much and I appreciate your time and effort you have place into making this informational website and also replying to questions people have.
I did not know anything about washers and dryers, except from my neighbor who mentioned the older washer machines wash much better than new ones.
I actually have a washer and is a Maytag Performa Model pavt910aww . I didn’t even test out the machine because my husband went to buy it and the seller already had the machine in the garage ready for pick up. The machine seems to clean and work well, I just wish I stumbled upon your website before buying a set of washer and dryer, I would have bought Whirlpool 10 year models instead.
Ever since reading your website, I am re-selling my GE dryer and found a great Whirlpool electric dryer that is about 7 years old. I was wondering if I should also replace the Maytag for a Whirlpool Washer. Currently, the Maytag Performa washer is working fine, just want your honest expert opinion if I should sell the one I bought and just get a used Whirlpool instead.
Thanks a lot and many blessings to you and your family!
I would keep the Maytag washer until it breaks, then replace it. They can be great working machines as well and may give you several years of service yet!
Just wanted to mention, this was one of the best and most informative articles, ever !!!!
your blog seems very interesting and lots of people are reading.
I am checking on website and finding LG wm4270hva is one of the best front loader washer. I was using coin laundry and found they all used front loader washers, not top loader ones for the FL seems to have washed clothes better with movement than the TL.
please advise if the LG FL washers are ok, specially the model WM4270HVA.
LG makes great frontloaders, so if you are going to go that route, you should be fine.
I just found your article and it has been an excellent source of information. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it and for making your experience available to the common people!
I’m moving in 3 weeks, so I have a bit of a time crunch finding a good washer and gas dryer – preferably a set. The laundry room is upstairs, so I want to try to avoid having to get a broken appliance back down the stairs. I can’t find any older Whirlpool (and other brand names made by Whirlpool) washer sets as you have recommended on CL or our used appliance store. I was going to buy a front load LG, but it received terrible reviews because of odors and not getting clothing clean, so I walked away. Are there Maytag or Samsung models you would recommend? Or another good second choice? Did your earlier comment about the Admiral, Maytag or Amana’s being made by Whilrpool in the last 5 years reference them as being something to also avoid?
Thanks again for your help!
Best advice would be to be patient, you will eventually find one of the brands I listed in the article. It’s not worth settling and I don’t recommend those other brands still. Especially the Samsungs, as now they even have a recall over them.
Sorry I forgot the 2 year old Inglis washer has no lights? ????How about that one? ???
That would be a good machine.
Hello, looking to buy a used Maytag set. What are your thoughts?
Just depends on the year. Some of them are made by Whirlpool, those are the ones I would recommend buying.
Just check the lid on my 2009 top load Kenmore washer to see if the switch was not working? I hear a soft click. So I guess the switch is ok but still like you suggestion on what it could be? How much do you think a repair guy would charge to figure it out and repair it? Or do you think it is still something I can repair on my own? I do not own a continuity tester. Are they expensive and worth getting? Looking forward to your help. By the way love your article it was very helpful.
It should be a crisp click. If you put your hand under the bottom side of the switch, under the top of the case and push up on the switch, then depress the switch with a key and see if you get a crisp click. If you do, then the switch has separated and simply needs to be zip tied back together if you want to save money, or buy a new switch, which isn’t very expensive.
Hi Ryan – My 15-year old Maytag Atlantis washing machine stopped agitating and produced a burnt rubber smell. A repairman came this morning and immediately proclaimed the machine “dead” saying no replacement parts are available. He said the problem was the part that drives the belt, the transmission?? This seemed a bit too sudden and dramatic. Never heard of Maytag not having replacement parts for their washers. Charged $39.00 from the service call and said if I purchased a used appliance from his company I can use the $39.00 toward my purchase.What are your thoughts?
Personally I wouldn’t pay to repair that washer. I would take his or my advice and get a slightly older Whirlpool made top loading washer. You don’t have to buy one from that guy in particular if you don’t trust him, but the advice is pretty sound.
My Kenmore heavy duty 70 series washer 110.82670120 stopped spinning out the water. An independent repairman replaced the clutch, and it worked for a couple of weeks before it stopped spinning again. He offered to refund my total bill, which seemed a bit strange since he had made two visits (initial service call and 30-45 minute repair) to my house and put in a new part. I have the matching dryer 110.86670100 which may be the brown/black panel Kenmore that you mentioned in your dryer article. I bought the set new in 1988. Should I try another appliance repair (such as Sears) or look for a used/new washer or both a washer and dryer set? It may not look great to have a mismatched set, but our dryer still works fine. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Hmm, that’s weird that the clutch didn’t repair the water not spinning out. It’s hard to say what it is without looking at it in person. I wouldn’t get rid of the dryer. You should be able to find a machine that matches the dryer pretty closely, if not an exact match if you look around.
First off I must say what wonderful articles and wealth of information. 🙂
I am having to look for a used washer and dryer set for a household of 3-6. I found a couple of sets at my local used appliance center and wanted to get your opinion on which set might be my best bet.
KitchenAid, Superba set washer Model: KAWS8596Q1 SN: CK1127361 , model: KEYS750GQ0 SN: MK1127674. from 2000 I think.
– I noticed KA washer had 3 spd motor. Does this make a difference?
Kenmore 800, washer model: 110.28832700 SN: CW2840360 ; model: 110.69622800 SN: M01531623 . From 2008 I think.
Kenmore 80/90 set: not sure about the model and serial numbers.
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
I would go KitchenAid superba set first, then 80/90 series, though I’m not a huge fan of the dryers with the lint trap in the door, then the 800 series. All would be better than other options though. Hope this helps!
This article was exactly what I needed! Thank you so much. Used washer buying can be a scary field to navigate, but your article was EXTREMELY helpful. My Cabrio bearing went at about the 2 year mark, and fixing it is beyond my abilities and budget. I am now looking for a used washer. Unfortunately, I do not have a used appliance store near me, so I have no guarantees. I have $200 to spend, and don’t want to waste it. I saw someone list 3 different washer/dryer sets, so I thought he might be a reseller like you, and I’m hoping as trustworthy. He did say he was willing to sell separately, the whirlpool heavy duty super capacity supreme for $125. I also have a shady thrift store near me that is selling 5 or 6 Kenmore 70 series old models for $99 each. I’m wondering which might be the better purchase? Or if I should skip both and look for something else? I’d appreciate any advice. I do about 4 loads a day. Thanks!
I would go with the first one, but ask him if he went through the washer and what maintenance he did to it (tell him you have done some research about these direct drive washers) Let me know if you have any other questions. Glad to help!
I missed on out the Whirlpool, however 2 other washers to choose from are the old Kenmore 80 series or the old Maytag Fabric-matic? ($150 for either one) Thoughts?
I would go with the Kenmore 80 series, those are great machines.
THANKS SO MUCH!! I got the Kenmore, and it’s perfect! I’m pleasantly surprised at how quiet it is. I really appreciate your help. All the best to you and your family.
Great to hear Michelle! Glad to help!
I’ve always been fearful of buying used stuff. But your article motivated me to try it. I have a coworker that is selling her washer & dryer, that have been in storage since the beginning of the year since their new place has limited space for them. The washer is a Samsung · Top-loading · 4.8 cubic foot and the dryer is Samsung · Electric · 7.4 cubic foot capacity · With Steam · Dryer – front loading – electric… They want &800 for both..any thoughts? I’m unsure how it not being used and the movement to a storage room affects them or even if they’re good quality for the price.
Thanks in advance
Stay away from Samsung machines, especially the top loaders! Buy the brands I listed in the post, that’s my best recommendation. Hope that helps!
Ryan –some new Whirpool top load washers come with no agitator and are called HE style and need liguid soap. What is your feeling about them?
Not a big fan of them.
Would you recommend newer top load Whirpool washers as long as they don’t have the LED lights? Or just sick with the older ones altogether?
As long as they don’t have the LED lights, yes they are old enough to be good. 🙂
I found your article very helpful but it didn’t seem to address the issues I have & was hoping that you could give me an insight to them.
I’ve found a great deal for front load Maytag Neptune – Chime. What are your thought/experience on these??? I don’t know much about front loader except that there’s an issue if the door is kept shut (possible mold/mildew ???). Can’t remember if it’s an issue w/the washer or the dryer, besides that I’m learning as I go along. I’m suppose to pick them up tomorrow evening which doesn’t give me a lot of time to learn. I’m wanting to get these since we go though tons of laundry between 6 adults (& their uniforms) & 3 toddlers. Our water bill is extremely high as is our electric & gas.
Can you give me your thoughts on front load Maytag Neptune Washer & Dryer? She says the washer needs a “Circuit Board” & s/one mentioned that it cost $125 for them. Would we need a professional to replace it? If so, how much do you think it might cost? Btw, she’s also selling them cheap because she’s moving.
Finally, are there any issues I should look for or questions I should ask her before purchasing the set? I hope you’re able to get to respond to me before Thursday evening, 2/16.
Either way, Thank You for your article & caring enough to keep us informed.
If it needs a new circuit board, I would pass on it. Better to get one without any issues, especially major ones.
Hi Ryan, so glad I found your website. I have a Maytag Bravo and it stopped working yesterday. It stop at the sensing mode. It also started to smell like smoke. When I push the power or start button nothing happens. Should I have it serviced or just purchased another washer. I read about these washer and they don’t last very long. I’ve had since 2013. Thank you
Personally I would try to snag a used Whirlpool washer, but I don’t exactly know what is going on with your washer. The repair bill could be a little steep on that one.
Hey Ryan this has been very helpful. I am looking at a used (2002 washer, 2005 dryer) whirpool set. They are already installed in the house I am moving to and the guy wants $250. Sounds like a good deal to me. Any thoughts?
Good deal if they are working well!
Thoughts on Whirlpool Duet front loader? I have found one for $150 and seen it go through all cycles. It may be four or five years old but is really well taken care of and seems solid. No shakes, noises, or otherwise. Hard to go wrong for this $ amount?
They can be good. Biggest thing to watch out for would be the bearing going out. So make sure ou ask the owner if it’s been making any weird noises.
A BIG THANKS for this article. After 26 yrs our Kenmore 80 series died. We spent hours researching machines on consumer reports, blogs, etc. I thought I was ready for something new until we brought home a large Maytag top loader. We own a farm and hoped it would be ideal for washing large horse blankets. Boy, were we disappointed. No control over water levels or tweaking your needs. Never puts enough in to clean really dirty items and leaves them looking worse than you put them in. I finally begged my husband to rescue the old one from the dumpster, which he did. Where would you suggest we go to for parts. We need the coupling to the transmission. Thanks again for providing such incredibly useful information!!!
Ebay or amazon, and I recommend getting the coupler with the plastic middle.
Thanks for the advice. We live in Brooklyn, NY and have a Kenmore 90 Series that worked well for over 15 years. It recently stopped spinning out the water at the end of the cycle and then it stopped agitating all together. We called Sears to have them look at it. They replaced the coupler, but it still didn’t work. The tech said it was another problem that would cost us over $300 to fix. (He didn’t really specify what else went wrong.) I’ve been researching new models, but everything seems to suck. What do you think we should do? Ideally we would buy a Speed Queen, but that machine is too expensive. Are there any new top loaders under $550 that you would recommend? My mother is 83 and is really disinclined to get something used because she’s scared of getting a lemon.
It probably needs a clutch, and the repair tech should have known to look for that if you told them about the water remaining at the end of the cycle. $300 could only be replacing the transmission. That would be better than getting a new top loader, as you are going to spend more than that and it’s not going to last more than 3 years before it will break. I hope that helps!
Thanks for your advice. Do you think we should try to buy the transmission on our own? Do you think that will bring down the cost? If so, should we buy on Amazon and then give it to the tech?
Thanks again for your help. I’ll check back in soon to let you know how it goes.
I kind of don’t trust the repair tech that came out. For example, he should have been able to specify exactly what parts were broken. Was the coupler broken? Did he show it to you? Something stuck in the pump would produce the same symptoms, not allowing it to agitate anymore. That could be the problem. Not getting the clothes spun out very well could be a bad clutch, not necessarily the transmission. New transmission on Amazon is $150, but would be better to nail down the exact problem first. What happened after he changed out the coupler? What did the machine do?
Hi Ryan, I read all of your posts and hope you can help me! I recently purchased a used Kenmore 80 Series washer Model 110 26882503, (2006) (looks hardly used) from a local Habitat for Humanity Store for $200. It worked but after the first filling I realized it was full of white/grey flakes. So I took out the drum and found the other side caked with whitish scum. Cleaned this, and also ran some CLR through the intake valve (as hot water was not coming in) and changed the hose filters (clogged with white stuff). I was told by a local apppliance company that well water was likely used by the previous owners and the white deposits probably from calcium in the water. The machine has been working just fine for the past 3-4 months.
BUT, Then suddenly it stopped running at the beginning of the drain cycle and there was a very loud ratchety clicking noise. The drain hose was moving as though it was trying to pump out, but couldn’t. I had to manually take out the wet clothes. But then I had company for 5 days so had to let it sit. Then I drained the washer, checked all hoses and pump for blockage. Then I took off the motor to check the coupler. I can only remove half the coupler, the plastic and rubber part. The other plastic side is still stuck to the motor. I have called an appliance technician but he wants me to put it all back together before he looks at it. I can understand his point, but having got this far I wish I could fix it myself! Any ideas on what could be wrong?
Thanks so much, I will gladly offer you a kind review, or if there is any way I can repay you for your help please let me know.
Take off the pump and see if you can manually move the blade inside the pump. I bet something got lodged in the pump!
Hi Ryan, sorry if this is a double post. My comment seems to have disappeared after I left it. I found your website sometime before I moved into my new place, which can only house a stackable 27” gas washer dryer. I read your recommendations to get a Whirlpool unitized model and to stay away from others. Well that was a few weeks ago, and I am now living in my new place and still have yet to find what seems to be the holy grail of unitized w/d. Most places around me area seem to have bad reviews as far as used appliance stores go (some reviews even mentioning unwelcome guests stowing away in the appliances ew!). So I have been calling the same two places over and over hoping that they get a Whirlpool stackable in, while they try to steer me towards their Frigidaire Electrolux and Kenmore models. I am becoming slightly desperate, and I was wondering if you recommend any other unitized models to widen my search? Also, I found that some Kenmore models are made by Whirlpool, but you had mentioned that the unitized ones are made by Frigidaire. Are any of the unitized Kenmore stackables made by Whirlpool or those are all Frigidaire? Thanks in advance, been using my buddys place to wash clothes lately, but would love to get this taken care of.
No there are some Kenmore models that were made by Whirlpool. Get the model number and then you can either look it up at RepairClinic.com and see who made the parts, or send it to me at email@example.com and I can check for you. Hope that helps!
I have found a Beaumark unitized washer/dryer (MEX731CAS3) at a used appliance store. They are asking 800.00 for it with 1 year guarantee. It looks in good shape but I cannot find any reviews for this model. The price is not the problem I just want to know if you have anything to say about this model. These unitized models are hard to come by but I don”t want to buy a real Lemon. Can you share a little light on this model?
Hi Carol, I actually haven’t heard of this model. Have you searched Google? Sorry I couldn’t be more help.
I think this is the longest I have ever spent reading comments on a website – really, really, really helpful article!! Stumbled across this site while trying to research a Kenmore Elite front loader set I found on Letitgo.com (can’t remember the model number, but both have steam features and pedestals and I THINK they were made in 2010, based on what I found online.) I read that LG makes the Kenmore Elite front loaders (the model number prefix of the set I was looking to buy appears to back that up), so if LG makes good front loaders for their own line, is there a reason why the ones they make for Kenmore aren’t recommended? The other set I found is a 4 year old Duet set that the owners say was used for two years, and then in storage for two years. Our current washer is a Whirlpool made in 1994 – it runs like a champ, but there are rust chips that are coming from somewhere outside of the drum. I think it’s related to the bleach dispenser on the rim of the machine – I never really use it, and today I did, and the bleach didn’t make it’s way out till THREE LOADS later when the machine got a bit unbalanced with our heavy new sheets and was banging around a good bit – it also spit out a lot of chunks of what I assume is rust. My husband had to replace the electronic…control panel, I guess? that is behind the cycle selection knob a few years ago – but other than that, no problems! The dryer is a Maytag that we bought just before my husband deployed to Iraq the first time – I want to say…. 2003?? It’s running great with no problems. We are moving the washer and dryer out tomorrow to paint as we have new flooring being installed this week, and I REALLLLLY wanted to have a shiny new (matching!!!) washer and dryer to put back in our new laundry room – I was going to buy new, but then I found those two sets online, so I was going to buy used. Then I read this blog, and now I don’t know what to do!! At this point, you’ve scared me into keeping my lame, non-shiny, non-fancy old mismatched washer and dryer, so can you maybe suggest some maintenance we could do while we have them pulled out to keep them working longer? It looks like you live in Hawaii – I’m going to post this blog in some Marine Officer Spouse social media groups I belong to so the Hawaii ladies can look you up and get some great advice. THANK YOU!!
Hi Jodi, glad this post has been helpful. As far as your top loading washing machine with the rust flakes, they are likely coming from the under side below the bleach dispenser. You could use a little sand paper to scrape off the loose flakes and you should be fine for another year or so. It really comes down to aesthetics and functionality. If you can handle it, I would keep those machines longer until they stop performing like they should and then sell them, obviously letting the new owners know of any issues they might have. A repair person might even end up purchasing them.
LG makes great front loader washers and dryers, as does Whirlpool. Both will need maintenance every 6-8 years or so, so that should be factored in when purchasing.
Ugh – I keep forgetting things! If you can tell me how any Hawaii military spouses can contact you to buy or sell appliances, I will pass that info on to them!
I would say the best advice for them would be to forward them this post so they will know what to look for when buying machines, as most won’t be in our area of Hawaii, or our island. I appreciate you spreading the word!
Do you Whirlpool machines use “dogs”? How about Maytag? I have been told that the older Maytags don’t and that is why they are great washers and should lost a long time.
Whirlpool top loading washing machines up until about 3-4 years ago used agitator dogs that help grip and turn the agitator. They wear out after a handful of years. All washers will need maintenance though and the agitator dogs are less than a dollar, so pretty cheap part.
Ryan, this is a very helpful article. We bought a home 4 mos ago that came with a used washer and dryer. The GE top loading washer (Model#WBSR1060TAWN) is not longer wringing out the clothes properly, so when the load is finished the clothes are still sopping wet. There is also a very small puddle (like 2 inches in diameter) underneath it to the front left of it, indicating that it has a small leak. I spoke to one repairman on the phone who said it would probably not be worth repairing. What do you think is the problem and the cost to repair?
Sounds like there are at least two problems with the washer. Possibly the clutch is going out and the leak could be a cracked tub, broken pump or possibly something else. In general, those GE’s aren’t worth fixing and most repair will advise against it. You would be better off finding a nice used Whirlpool top loading washer to replace it with. Hope that helps!
Excellent article. I’ve been nursing along a dying washing machine for three years. Top bearings started being noisy Summer of 2014 or at least that’s when I first noticed the problem. Probably making noise before that. The Machine was well into his second decade what light use. Amana washing machine LWA50AW. I researched the parts required to fix it and found a YouTube demonstration of how it was done. Immediately concluded that I was not physically able to pull it off. It was all I could do to replace the temperature switch in my dryer which is exceedingly trivial by comparison to replace and tub bearing bearing. I contacted several local appliance repair specialists and nobody was willing to do the job. I understand that there’s no satisfaction doing a job that they think is pointless.
After reading hundreds and hundreds of one star reviews on current washing machines of all brands I came to the conclusion that buying a new machine was out of question. It isn’t a matter of being able to afford it, I can afford it, but I don’t want the headaches and the breakdowns and hassles so I’m shopping for an old machine. I really don’t have any complaints about the Amana, it worked for years and years but it wasn’t doing three loads today for five people. In a household with children the tub bearing what a noisy after five years that’s what the YouTube fellow said after replacing it twice. But the fact that he can replace it twice and this machine was still functioning made it sound me like a project worth doing. But the repairmen disagreed and I asked several.
Shopping for a used machine is kind of dicey what-year-old man what limited travel ability. All the machines I see on craigslist craigslist in my neighborhood are being sold by landlords which means they have reached the end of their useful life because landlords don’t sell Machines are still running or have any life left them.
What might seem to be a completely unreasonable project from the standpoint of a appliance specialist under certain conditions might still makes sense to someone else. My father was a electronics reliability engineer I grew up in that culture. I know something about failure modes. I knew that the noise level coming from the bearings was an indication of imminent failure but the machine kept working for three years while it was failing. I kept checking for water leaks and there were none. I was told the local used appliance store that Bearing failure is related to water leaking into the bering. But in this case the water wasn’t actually getting onto the floor.
Thanks again for your useful article and discussion’
Glad to help and best of luck in your search for a good used one!
Hi Ryan, Great Info.
I am not sure what you are referring to when you say led lights under the timer. Is it the six horizontal lights in the middle of the panel right under the knob that says delicate, light, heavy etc? Are they called cycle status lights? Thanks so much.
Yeah, if there are little-LED lights at all on the control panel then it’s a vertical modular washer, and you will want to stay away from them.
When you refer to LED lights under the timer are you referring to the cycle progress lights, I believe there are 6.
Are you saying not to buy newer than 2010 whirlpool only?
Your dedication to helping others is really acknowledged. Thanks
Exactly, I highly encourage people to stay away from Whirlpool’s newer top-loading machines. With regular use, they will need significant and expensive repairs within 2-3 years of purchasing new. The price is low, but it’s because it’s basically a disposable washing machine.
Glad to help!
I was wondering about whether to buy a Unitized washer/dryer (laundry center) unit or a LG front loader pair. I have to be able to stack them. If you recommend the laundry center, is whirlpool the best or GE? I heard the Lg front loafers have issues with leaking and I have no drain if it does leak.
If you get the laundry center, get an older Whirlpool set. But the LG front loaders are great machines, I wouldn’t worry about them leaking. Hope that helps!
Hi Ryan, unfortunately you are toooooo far away for me to buy from you. How can I tell if the used appliance dealer is reputable, i.e., how do I know if the machine I purchase has been cleaned on the inside, away from my view, I know I could ask, but… well, you know.
Again, you are awesome thanks so much for your help, wish I could give you my business.
You can send me a link to your local Craigslist and I will have a look and send you a link to a dealer I think looks good. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan, I have recommended this article to others more times than I can count, and the used washer and dryer we purchased from a seller off craigslist in 2013 for $200 continue to serve us well, thanks to your advice. Thanks again and have a great 2018!
Awesome! I love hearing stories like this! Happy 2018!