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tallis61

Just purchased new LG WM3677HW Combo Washer/Dryer (mini-review)

16 years ago

My new WM3677HW combination washer/dryer was delivered and installed

today. I have been thinking about buying this unit for a couple of years. (!)

I have read this forum over that period and learned lots about washers and

dryers and I thought I would return the favor and post a short review.

Overall, the buying process went very well. I purchased the unit from

Fry's in California. It was one of the very few places that actually had the

unit in stock. Most other places can only get it by order and the wait

was usually quoted at 4-6 weeks. Fry's set up a delivery time window

between 9am-1pm and hit the mark arriving just after 11am.

The installers from Fry's had the unit up and running in under 15 minutes.

If you are not familar with this unit, it is designed to work on ordinary

120V AC and does not require any venting. The drying is done using

a condensation process without forced heat. They simply leveled it,

plugged it in and connected the water and drain hoses and it was

ready to go. I had the unit installed in my garage next to a utility sink

that already had the connections for hot and cold water. Conclusion:

a big plus for easy installation.

My needs for washing and drying are pretty simple. At first, I was a

little concerned about the complexity of the interface. There are lots

of buttons and lights on this unit. But after actually using it, it is

not bad at all. You choose the primary style of wash using the rotary

cycle selector. This sets the basic parameters of the wash (water

temperature, spin speed, and wash intensity). If you need to change

those choices before starting the process, the other buttons allow you

to do so. But if you are happy with the selected settings, you simply

press start and you are off to the races.

However, the rotary knob does not activate drying. If you want to

go directly from washing to drying, you press the dry button and

select the drying mode. I suspect it was done this way because

some people will prefer to just do a wash and then remove some

stuff before drying. But that is not my modus operandi. One of

the primary reasons I chose a combo was so that I would not have

to move clothes from a washer into a separate dryer. This unit

works great that way but you need to remember to select the

drying mode before you start the wash.

The other major feature I was looking for was a timed delay. This

unit can delay the start of a wash/dry cycle for up to 12 hours in

one hour increments. Its pretty simple to use: you push the delay

button repeatedly. Each push adds an hour to the delay. When you

press start, it counts down the time until the wash starts. This

was part of my master plan: I can load laundry at night before

I go to sleep. I set the delay so that the washer/dryer will start

early in the morning and finish shortly after I wake up. I don't

have to move the clothes so everything is done in one shot.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with the interface and controls on

the unit.

There are compromises with a combination washer and dryer but

I knew about them going in. The cycle time for the whole process can

be long. The condensation style drying is especially long. My first

heavy load with maximum washing/drying cycles (a bunch of towels)

took just under four hours. Most of that is in the drying cycle. But

that's OK with me: I intend to use the overnight plan I described above.

That way, I am never waiting for a load to finish.

There are also limits on the amount of laundry you can do with

the unit. The recommended amount of stuff that you can wash

is larger than the amount that they recommend for drying. You

could basically fill up the drum with clothes for washing and

its pretty big: 3.2 ft^3. But the drying will only handle about

10lbs. So, if you are using it in one shot, that means your capacity

is limited to 10lbs. I don't do lots of laundry so that works

for me but it may not work for you.

Like most water saving front loaders, this washer requires high

efficiency laundry detergent. This detergent costs more than regular

detergent. But it is not way out of line. I managed to find a pretty

good deal on a giant container of liquid HE detergent sufficient

for 96 washes for about $12. That should last me a while.

Also, if like me you intend to wash and dry a load in one shot,

it is no longer possible to use dryer sheets for fabric softening.

I had always used these sheets in the past. For the first time, I

am now going to try using liquid fabric softener in the dedicated

dispenser in this washer. It will take some time to figure out if

that works out well.

I have only just started using the unit so I can't really say very

much about how well it washes and its reliability. The couple

of loads I have done so far have come out fine. The clothes

do seem to come out slightly damp (but quite warm) after the

drying cycle but then seem to be completely dry to the touch

shortly after removing them from the unit. Some permanent press

items have a few wrinkles as well. I will see whether hanging them

up makes the wrinkles fall out. I think that is supposed to be

par for the course for condensation style drying. Frankly, I am

not picky enough about laundry for that to be a big concern.

Now for reliability, I read some of the posts here about specific

problems with the WM3677HW. Some people have had pretty

significant issues and had even more trouble getting service to

fix them. I am concerned about it but I am going to take the

chance because this unit fits my needs really well. Just in case,

I bought the extended service contract (something I rarely do

on most consumer items). They promise complete replacement

if they can't resolve the issue within a short period of time.

But I am also hoping that I will have good luck with the unit.

I don't do a huge amount of laundry (that's why a combo works

for me). Maybe mine won't suffer from any problems. In any

case, I won't be able to comment on it until I have owned it a few

years.

Finally, the unit was pretty expensive. You can get pretty good

separates for the cost of this combo. But in the end, the combo

was too attractive for me to pass up. Its a bit like a clothes washing

robot: throw the stuff in, turn it on, and come back later for clean

dry clothes. I am pleased so far.

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