About a week ago, on my last load of laundry, the washing machine decided to not cooperate. One shirt on delicate and it wouldn’t drain. It would agitate on different cycles, and make a clicking sound in several places. But no draining. I’m glad it happened on a small load.
My washing machine came with the house. So it’s 13 years old. After a little digging and calling Whirlpool, I figured out it was probably the pump. A new one would cost $243, just for the part. A service call to diagnose the problem would run me about $80. So I decided that my next course of action would be looking for a new washer.
I got a new dryer a few years ago. So I didn’t need a pair. I knew I didn’t want to do the front load type. And after talking to a friend, I was fine with that decision. On Tuesday I made my way to appliance place. I talked to the sales guy about the various high-efficiency machines. Interesting. Many of the machines nowadays have lights and digital read outs. The dial for the water level is there for you, but the machine actually detects how much water it needs. The new machines do not have an agitator. It’s just a little bump thing in the middle where the agitator used to be. The water doesn’t actually fill in the machine to the top. It fills partially to submerge some of the clothes and shuffles them around so they all get washed. The hot water setting isn’t actually “hot.” The cycles take longer and you have to be careful about washing different weights of clothing together. How long are they meant to last? Six to ten years.
My other option was a brand called Speed Queen. I had never heard of it. But that’s because I have never had to look at commercial laundry before. Speed Queen seems rather old-fashioned compared to the new high-efficiency models. She has an agitator. Hot is hot. The water level is what it says it is. There are no blinking lights. The parts are made of metal instead of plastic. What you see is what you get. How long is the Queen meant to last? Fifteen to twenty years.
By the title of this post, you can tell what I got. The idea of buying a machine that is meant to break down and be thrown away is rather disgusting to me. While on one hand the government (or whomever) wants high-efficiency machines, the trade-off is that they get thrown away in half the time of a well made product. Isn’t there something to be said for cutting down on waste? Pride in making a product that lasts has obviously gone out the window. Maybe I sound old-fashioned. But I’m glad I got the Queen.