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sandiego_steve

Speed Queen Front Load AFN50 Washer Review - Long Post

9 years ago

I have been lurking here for a while as one of many web sites in researching which washer to buy. And now that I have done so I thought I would pay all of folks back for the good information I have received here in helping me decide by submitting a review. It's long but I hope it helps.

If you are in the market for a new washing machine, the good news is there is a tremendous amount to choose from. The bad news is there is a tremendous amount to choose from. If you are like me you researched the web ad nauseam for what to buy and somehow the Speed Queen front loader has ended up on your short list. Now you are torn between buying the Speed Queen and some other brand, and there are few things that are still driving you nuts about the Speed Queen vs. the "other machine". Things like load capacity, lack of wash cycles, and high cost, but the reliability reputation, commercial laundry pedigree and warranty keeps it a strong contender. To make the decision even more difficult is the very scarce amount of user reviews on the web, and Consumer Reports rates it at the bottom of the front load washing machine list. So now relax and read on for this review is the one you have been waiting for to help you decide, for I too know what you are going through and it is my sincerest hope to help make this decision a little easier.

I am an engineer by profession, which is a curse because I can't even buy a bottle of ketchup without analyzing all of them on the shelf. I have designed equipment that have been to the bottom of the sea and have been launched into space. You probably have a 25% chance that you are using some piece of electronics in your home that I have designed at some time in my 40+ year engineering career. So I know a thing or two when it comes to manufacturing commercial and consumer products and have a good idea about what makes something good.

I'll begin by breaking down the process of washing clothes. There are only three things required, water, soap and agitation. You provide two of these things and the washing machine provides the agitation. In the good old days, women spent a good amount of time agitating their clothes by beating them on rocks by the side of the river. The river provided the water and the rocks. Now we modern folks use washing machines.

There are only two ways washing machines agitate. One method is to fill a tub with lots of water (top load) and employ some device (an agitator) to swirl the clothes around and paddle (agitate) the dirt out of the material. The second way is to get the clothes soaking wet and drop the clothes against some hard object over and over again (front load washer) driving the dirt out of the material. Since I was interested in buying a front load washer to replace my Kenmore top load, this narrowed down my search by 50%.

Agitation - From my observations all front washers agitate the same. They wash by soaking the clothes in soapy water and rotating them in a drum flipping the outer clothes over the top causing the outer part of the load to drop into the drum side wall while the clothes on the inner part of the load rotate and grind against each other. Each manufacturer starts the drum rotations in one direction and then reverses direction multiple times during the course of the wash. This serves to move clothes around such that all clothes move from inside of the clothes pile to the outside numerous times allowing all the clothes to experience the outer beating action during agitation. Some manufacturer come up with variations of starting and stopping the drum rotation, calling it some type of marketing hype but that is all it appears to be. If clothes are dirty, increasing the agitation time is all that is required to get them cleaner. If clothes are relatively clean a shorter agitation time will work. All things being equal, agitation time is the only variable that one has to select to clean clothes. The selection of agitation time is done by selecting your wash cycle. I wish they simply allowed you to set the agitation time rather than choose between wash cycles like "Normal Regular Cotton", "Permanent Press", "Delicate", etc. This would make things a lot more straight forward.

Soap - Soap does two things. First it acts as surfactant, meaning it makes water wetter, and second it acts to break down the various substances that have stained your clothes like wine, ketchup, oil, etc. Since the amount of suds you see has no bearing on how good the soap is working, you are always better off with a low suds detergent in your front load washer because it will prevent soap residue from building up. Hence the reason that front load washer manufactures recommend high efficiency soaps.

Water Temperature - The hotter the water the better the washing action of the water. This means that with hot water you can spend less time agitating the clothes than you will need with cold water to get the same results. Having said this, the soap brand you use can also dramatically affect this relationship of water temperature to agitation time. In the end you will need to experiment and determine what works best for you. Also clothes manufactures have washing instructions located on the clothes tag and this will dictate your wash cycle as well.

Load size - So how big is a load of laundry? There is no standard to define this. Some manufactures rate their machine by volume and others by weight. After pouring over the internet I have come to my own definition of what constitutes a load of laundry based on the inference of the various washing machine manufactures. From this a standard load of laundry weighs 9 lbs. and occupies a bushel basket in volume. A bushel basket occupies 1.244 cubic feet. In actual practice a bushel basket of laundry weighs more like 7-1/2 lbs. but 9 lbs. is what I have concluded looking all the specifications and ratings of various washers manufactures. So if the washer you are looking at claims to be able to handle 4 cubic feet of laundry then you should be able to stuff a little over 3 bushel baskets or 27 pounds of laundry in it. Actually the laundry weight will be more like 24 lbs. The reason weight is part of the load equation is that cloths can be compressed if you stuff a basket and the weight is way to limit overload by stuffing.

So how much clothes can you load into your front load washer and still get good agitation? If you stuff your clothes in tight enough you can probably fit twice the rated capacity, but then your clothes will simply get wet and go around in circles with no agitating action. A front load drum can be fully loaded meaning every square inch of the drum can be filled with loosely packed clothes. Care must be taken to load clothes in such that the only packing that occurs is from the weight of the clothes and not due to the force of your hand loading the clothes. Then as the wash cycle begins, the wet clothes will compress down to occupy 60-65% of the drum volume leaving enough room for good agitation to take place.

How clean is good enough? Once you remove all the dirt and stains from your clothes cleaning longer will only waist time and energy and increase clothes wear.

Now that I have established what I think goes into washing with a front load washer I can begin discussing washing machines. Since I did not care about steam, sanitize, heating water, or allergen cycles this narrowed down the list of available front load washers dramatically. The largest load I ever do weighs in between 14 to 16 lbs. and occupies 2.7 cubic feet which is a little over two bushel baskets. Thus the largest amount of laundry I do in any one wash is just over two loads in volume and under two loads in weight.

Looking at the available washers I initially choose the LG WM3050. This is a basic 4 cubic foot front load washer that yielded a lot of good reviews from the likes of Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy, but what also came out or these reviews, from those that had issues with LG, was poor customer service and a bunch of consistent nagging problems such as leaking, mold/mildew smell, and bearing and main circuit board failures. In addition I could not get a handle on the longevity of this product. Consumer reports also liked this washer's predecessor but the various forums were a lot less kind to LG and the majority of the few reviews on Amazon were critical. The warranty was also average being only one year. The 10 year motor warranty is a bunch of marketing hype because the failures that I have read about tended to be bearings, circuit boards and seals costing much more to fix than what the machine cost new.

Throughout my internet search the name Speed Queen kept coming up which got me to consider this machine. The Speed Queen front load washers have a load capacity of 2.84 cubic feet or 18 lbs. in laundry weight. This machine just makes it as far as my maximum load requirement. The reviews are almost nonexistent with under a dozen positive reviews on Amazon and the review that Consumer Report gave some 5 years ago rated it at the bottom of the list with a rating of 44 out of 100. The LG got a rating of over 70. What kept Speed Queen in the running was a hard core following in the various laundry forums, the few reviews on Amazon and the good reviews various Consumer Report readers gave this machine rebutting the rating that Consumer Reports gave. Going to Speed Queens website I learned that this machine had a commercial pedigree and used the same internals that Speed Queen put in their Horizon series commercial washer. Their 3 year warranty was unique and was also offered to their commercial customers. Further research indicated that in vended laundry, multi-housing laundry and on-premises laundry use, as told by commercial laundry owners in various forums, these washers go for years without a hiccup used in such places as apartment buildings, dormitories and Laundromats.

Wash times for the LG's using their normal cycle setting can vary from 55 minutes to over 90 minutes and is a function of load size, soil level and water temperature selection and the displayed wash times don't include the time this machine spends calculating the load size. In addition it lacked a spin only cycle. The Speed Queen took 44 minutes, in the regular setting, independent of load size or water temperature setting.

It appeared both washers would do the job of cleaning clothes well and the cost of the LG was $1000.00 less than the Speed Queen, so I was leaning towards the LG. Then I called Speed Queen to ask some questions. The lady verified that the home version of their washer was identical to their commercial washers except for the outer case and no coin box. Doing a comparison of the bearing designs between the LG and Speed Queen, a weakness of many front load washers, seems to justify the claim that the Speed Queen washer is built better. The business end of these washers is the visible drum, made out of stainless steel where the clothes are loaded in and that rotates the clothes during the wash. These inner drums are suspended in an outer horizontal drain tub by a shaft attached to the back center of the inner drum by a three wing spider arm assembly. This shaft goes through a pair of bearings at the back of the outer drain tub to the motor. The outer drain tub of the LG is a two piece plastic assembly where the bearings are press fit into the plastic back. The outer drain tub of the Speed Queen is one piece welded stainless steel. Bolted to the back center of the Speed Queen outer drain tub is a steel trunnion that houses the beatings through which the inner drum shaft passes through to the motor drive wheel. You decide which is better built and will last longer.

The Speed Queen Representative also suggested that I find a laundry mat that had their Horizon series washers and try one for myself. What a shocking idea. Try before you buy. This would take all the guess work out of how well this washer would work. And so I did. I brought my largest load and stuffed it in. I did this multiple times over the course of a month, and this convinced me to buy the Speed Queen AFN50.

Now I don't know how much better the LG would do in comparison to the Speed Queen but at least I knew the Speed Queen would do what I wanted it to do before I bought one. Because the LG agitates clothes from 11 to 41 minutes longer than the Speed Queen I have no doubt that is will clean the dirtiest of clothes better, but then again it may only be wasting energy by washing them longer then needed.

I like that my new Speed Queen ANF50 is a basic and simple washer that cleans very well with only the simple selection of water temperature and load type. It also includes the ability to add an extra rinse to the wash cycle if desired. I like that it can be paused to allow the load to soak a while or re-start a wash cycle that has been running for a while there by adding more wash time before going into the rinse. I also like the heavy duty build quality of the bearing assembly and the no nonsense approach to doing laundry. The machine runs quiet with little to no vibration during the spin cycle and the cloths come out well rung reducing the dry time from my previous washer. As of this moment I cannot comment on the other wash cycles since I have not used them yet and thus I don't know how a queen size comforter will fit, but I may post updates as I learn more. Finally I do highly recommend this washer, but you owe it to yourself to try out a Speed Queen at your local laundry before you buy. That way there will be no surprises. And if you do intend to test one, make sure you are washing in a Horizon series Speed Queen. This is the smallest front load machine they make. Good Luck Shopping!

This post was edited by SanDiego_Steve on Fri, Oct 3, 14 at 18:20

Comments (236)

  • 7 years ago

    I've had my new Speed Queen front loader for a few days now, and I couldn't be happier. Its much quieter than I expected, and the vibration, as promised by Speed Queen customer phone reps, is minimal - even in a second floor locstion! Here is a short video of its first use, near the end of its spin cycle.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Sorry, it looks like I can't upload a video! Heres a photo of the installation:


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    I'm sorry to read that the 'thingy' did not fix your issue, along with the cleanout being left open. Assuming your mainline is clear of roots/debris, then it has to be the powerful pump on the SQ. (it really does blow air out the pipe until the machine completes it's final spin, and powerfully at that) I did have my mainline rotor-rootered when the SQ was new as it was suggested I had at least a partial blockage causing the issue. My mainline was declared to be clear at the time. However, a few months later, I had a complete mainline blockage where the plumber dredged out pine roots. I have to assume I did have a partial blockage that was not detected. A week later another root blockage and another line clearing treatment. Anyhow, the suds out the drain pipe was an ongoing issue with nearly every wash load the whole time--before, during and long after. As you know from above posts, I'm doing okay now with the wash cloth method, whereas before, I had partial success with the wash cloth; it was more a means of suds control than abatement. I'm going to upload a photo I just took of my perfect wash cloth placement to help guide you to getting it right from the get-go since I had positioned the wash cloth prior in not quite the perfect manner every month or two which didn't cure the issue, only helped. Note that the wash cloth is still dry!!!! Yippee!!The photo uploaded sideways (sorry), but you can see the paint on my drywall puckering from the ongoing suds issue. To orient you to the top to bottom of the photo, the puckering is on the right hand side of the photo if it had uploaded not sideways. I'm lucky I don't have rot/mold/mildew going on. My past cloth placements always had one thing in common, and that was at the top, where I put the clamp, there was a tiny opening, or air gap if you will in the wash cloth. I couldn't get it 'just so', and I suspect the powerful SQ pump had that air channel to work with and I could see the suds coming through the tiny gap, running up my wall, then down my wall and onto my floor. On this current wash cloth placement, you can see I have NO gap, and the clamp is still in the top of the pipe position like I've done each time. My stroke of luck was that the way I wrapped the cloth around, it flopped over the clamp and blocked the air channel. A lot words for a simple fix, but I'm hoping this will help you get some relief like it has done for me. Until this issue is an every time you do laundry problem, a person doesn't realize how much of a bummer this is, and the serious issues it can leave you with. I used to think, great (not), now I've got this washer that is finally getting our laundry clean but I'm going to have a ruined wall! &%$# What the h3ll?! fyi, after the 2nd root blockage in my mainline the plumber told me to get copper sulphate crystals to flush down the line once a month during the growing season to discourage pine roots from infiltrating our sewer line until we can afford to have the mainline replaced. Knock wood, we haven't had a root blockage since. This does not mean we aren't due for another calamity soon, but we make the best of things as best we can. We live in an older neighborhood within a pine forest, so we all have problems with roots in the pipes. It just a matter of "who's turn is it this time". Sorry for the Moby Dick size post.
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  • 7 years ago

    Very attractive machines. And set up the Euro way with washer on right. Congratulations and may you get 30 years of clean clothes. Lol

  • 7 years ago

    multigary,

    "After hearing the above concerns, I talked to Speed Queen Tech reps a
    few times. They assured me that the front loading machine senses the
    water not by water level, but by some pressure senser that will add more
    water if something bulky like towels are absorbing more of the water
    than a lighter load would."

    The pressure sensor functions in response to the water level in the tub. This method for controlling the water level, in both toploaders and frontloaders, has been used since the 1950s. An air dome incorporated into the tub (at the bottom) or drain sump captures air into a tube, which increases or decreases air pressure into the sensor module accordingly to the height of the water in the tub.

    Suppose you have a load of 10 thirsty bath towels. Fill a gallon (or even two) of water into the machine and the towels absorb all of it such that there's no "free" water in the outer tub, so the pressure switch doesn't register anything. The machine keeps filling water until the towels are saturated, and still more until there's X inches of water in the outer tub or drain sump, and the pressure switch to registers the proper level to shut off the fill.

    Now, suppose you have a load of 4 cotton ankle socks (just for illustrating how this works). The socks will absorb much less water by volume than the 10 towels, so the outer tub "trigger level" is reached with less filling ... and the machine accordingly takes less water for the fill than is required for the load of 10 bath towels.

  • 7 years ago

    dadoes, thanks for that technical explanation!

    Mampinky0: I was lucky to be able to place the washer on the right and dryer on the left! The laundry closet was set up for the reverse layout, but we were able to criss cross the cords, supply and drain lines and exhaust vent without a problem. Hope the machines last long, but at least I know I'll get 5 full years without any repair costs!

  • 7 years ago

    sandiego_steve,

    This is the most helpful thread I've read on washers. Our existing pair died 4 days ago, and since then, I have been scouring the web for reviews, and came to the same dilemma you did after downselecting. Your post ultimately pushed the SQ over the top. I am also located in San Diego, and was wondering what retailer you ended up purchasing the SQ from. I assume you had a good experience with your retailer since it appears that you went back for a 2nd SQ washer shortly after?

  • 7 years ago

    Just do a search at SQ for retailers. ApplianceAlley is one retailer. I'm sure there are others.

  • 7 years ago

    Undecided about TL vs FL. like the capacity & water saving of FL, but concerned re mold/smell & reliability- as most posts rave about the TL. It's been couple years since the thread first started. Are the SQ FL still holding up?

  • 7 years ago

    trillium

    I've had both and it's really your own preference. I had FL first and had some issues and ended with the TL after about 10 months. I personally love the TL 100 times more and hope it lasts forever. It does use more water but I don't find it necessary to do additional rinses as I did in the FL machine. FL has longer cycles. 28 minute quick wash in the TL which is great. Capacity is the same and reliability will also be the same. The SQ TL is probably the only and the last ever to be built with the ability to fully fill the washer with a water level selector button due to governmental regulations and energy efficiency. All other TL washers only partially fill with no manual water level button.

  • 7 years ago
    I went through a similar decision process and went with the front loader. It's been about 6 months, and so far, no regrets. Definitely no mold issues. Only thing I've noticed is that if we wash towels and sheets together, the sheets get knotted up and the spin cycle is bumpy, making the washer move a little bit. Otherwise, very happy with it.
  • 7 years ago

    I've had my SQ FL for over two years now. No smell, no mold whatsoever and I do nothing but leave the door open over night and never shut it tight when not in use. I prefer the FL because I can wash pillows and king quilts (not comforters, but you probably could) and have them completely covered rather than a part staying on top and not getting well washed. Washing pillows in a TL is impossible as they won't turn over. Maybe that doesn't matter to many, but I like to do all my laundry at home.

    This forum and these questions probably would not exist if the government would get out of our private life appliances. In Texas we have water shortages and it is an expensive resource, but in PA for instance, water is never an issue.

  • 7 years ago

    You are right about pillows, they sorta float at top in the TL machine. Can't quite submerge with air in pillow keeping them at top.


  • 7 years ago

    IF only the Speed Queen FL had an onboard heater.

  • 7 years ago

    andrew121 said: "The SQ TL is probably the only and the last ever to be built with the
    ability to fully fill the washer with a water level selector button due
    to governmental regulations and energy efficiency. All other TL washers
    only partially fill with no manual water level button.
    "

    I've heard/seen several people say that and it's not true.

  • 7 years ago

    To Dadoes: Can you provide some examples? That would be helpful to folks looking for one. The GE Centennial did if you selected Bulky/Sheets, but it was discontinued several years ago. Thanks.

  • 7 years ago

    My Fisher Paykel Washsmart has a water level selector, and full is full. Also, when you select hot on the allergy cycle, it fills from the hot tap only for a true hot water wash. (no heater)

  • 7 years ago

    Janiceme: How long have you had your FP Washsmart?

    My comment about the Centennial should have said "Maytag". I don't think it was a GE.

  • 7 years ago

    Fisher & Paykel's WashSmart agitator model as JaniceMe describes (has five manual water level choices and an auto-sense option). There are also some GE/Hotpoint and Whirlpool-family models that fill to a reasonably high level. It's tricky to keep up with which models at any given time.

  • 7 years ago

    Do these machines that do have a full fill also have a true agitator?

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Many top load HE and agitator washers have a deep fill option but most certainly have dumbed-down water temps.

    I'd personally only consider a SQ if I'd get a top loader, or I'd try to find a vintage Maytag, GE, or GM-built Frigidaire washer.

  • 7 years ago

    Dadoes...how do you know that is not true about government regs on water? I heard that from a store worker. Curious about it.

  • 7 years ago

    I think Dadoes was saying the SQ TL is perhaps the last model made to be able to override the water level. I don't think he/she was saying there are no regulations. It is common knowledge the govt. has forced manufacturers to put these controls in. Any dealer will tell you that. The public is not happy about it, so all the makers wouldn't make them that way if they didn't have to. Same for low-flush toilets. Does anyone disagree?

  • 7 years ago

    I am disagreeing with the statement that SQ is the "last"/only TL currently available that has a choice of water levels and fills the tub to a deep/full level. As mentioned above, Fisher & Paykel (a New Zealand brand which has been on the U.S. market for 20+ years) offers an "old-style" agitator toploader with five user-selectable water levels, fills the tub FULL, and takes in full tap-hot water on the Allergy cycle.

  • 7 years ago

    Dadoes, thanks for clarifying. I can't find anyone in the Dallas area that sells F&P. I've never seen one anywhere, ever. Wish they were available. I'll research some more.

  • 7 years ago

    @ speed-queenie, I have had my F&P Washsmart for 2.5 years. I bought it at an independent dealer who also sells Speed Queen. It has been problem free. Recently, I had their service man out to make a minor adjustment on the dryer. He told me he and his wife just chose F&P over Speed Queen for their country property that has well water. BTW, the service call on the F&P dryer was completely covered by F&P warranty including travel time and labor. I had been using dryer sheets torn in half and one had gotten sucked down into the fan. The dryer was working, but making a funny noise. He said to only use full size dryer sheets.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    @speed_queenie: https://www.fisherpaykel.com/us/store-locator/   After I entered my zip code, 10+ F&P local dealers showed up within a 30 mile range in the Dallas area.

  • 7 years ago

    I have a few questions. I watched a video of a F&P Smartwash...in the beginning it showed many minutes of the washer filling with what looked like steamy hot water yet although it kept filling the water level never reached to half a tub...where did that water go to? Than the entire tub moved around and around not the agitator for a few minutes than it looked like it drained and filled with non steamy water, cold?? This is when it filled full. So where did all that hot water go to that couldn't have been in there more than 5 minutes? I'm really confused as a hot wash surely lasts longer than the initial hot partial fill. Dadoes can you explain this machine to me? This isn't the first time I've been mesmerized by the F&P.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    MamaPinky,

    This is off-topic for a SQ FL thread .. but, here goes ... F&P toploaders have a recirculation pretreatment function (called Eco Active wash) that operates on all cycles except Perm Press (not sure about Allergy). Eco Active was introduced with the Eco Smart model circa 2001. The wash period begins with a minimal fill at the selected temperature to saturate the load and mix/dissolve the detergent. The concentrated solution is recirculated by the pump to shower over the load for several minutes while the basket rotates at 25 RPM. The machine then fills the rest of the way (the pretreatment solution is not drained) to the manually-selected or auto-sensed water level with cool water (energy saving) for an agitated wash. Fresh water fill is from a spray flume at rear center above the tub. The recirculation port is under the tub cover slightly to the right, at about 2:00 position. It's easy to misunderstand what's happening if not familiar with how the machine works. There may be fresh water spray for a few seconds after recirculation starts to "top-up" the level.

    There are five temp choices -- cold, cool, warm, warmer, and hot.

    The Perm Press (or Easy Iron) cycle does not run the pretreatment, it fills directly for the agitated wash but is restricted to Cold, Cool, or Warm temperature (Delicate or Woolens is also restricted for fabric safety).

    The Heavy Duty and Regular cycles run a water-saving (but very effective) shower rinse instead of an agitated rinse, unless the Softener option is selected.

    The Allergy cycle can take in full tap-hot fill for the entire fill, and runs two agitated rinses. As a workaround to get a tap-hot fill on other cycles, start on Allergy to get it filled to the desired level, then stop and restart on a different cycle with the same water level selected.

    Spin speed on current models is 1,100 RPM (there's also a selectable Med or Low spin speed).

  • 7 years ago

    New model 4.0 AquaSmart FP doesn't have an agitator only a low profile impeller. You can take off the high efficiency button and it will give a deep fill. The only FP model with an agitator and a water level selector button is the older 2015 3.9 cu. ft. WashSmart.

  • 7 years ago

    AquaSmart was introduced ~10 years ago so it's not a new design. The original Kenmore Oasis, Whirlpool Cabrio, and Maytag Bravos were siblings to the AquaSmart ... Whirlpool partnered with F&P to use the mechanical design.

    There was a full revision on F&P's US laundry line a few years ago to the increased capacity and slightly faster spin speed.

  • 7 years ago

    So the new AquaSmart WL4027G1 is the same as the 10 year old versions with an impeller and no water level selector button?

  • 7 years ago

    Andrew121: "So the new AquaSmart WL4027G1 is the same as the 10 year old versions with an impeller and no water level selector button?"

    Is that a cause of concern? AquaSmart has always featured fully-variable, auto-sense water level and the choice of a deep-fill (non-HE, conventional wash) on some cycles. The agitator models have auto-sense water level but for five discrete levels (not fully variable like AquaSmart) that are also manually selectable for any cycle.

  • 7 years ago

    If the new Aqua Smart doesn't have a full agitator regardless of how much water it uses...it would be a problem for someone wanting a traditional top loader, or as close to one that todays market offers.

    I want to apoligize for going off topic with my F&P questions.

    I also thank you Dadoes for your detailed answers.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Right. Three models are currently available. The two AquaSmart models today are the same HE-impeller style that AquaSmart was on introduction 10 years ago.

    The WashSmart model has a traditional agitator ... same agitator they've used for 20+ years. Fills to the top on the highest level. Lowest level is at the lower agitator fins. Large range between the highest and lowest levels, more range than SQ toploaders. Takes in full tap-hot water on the Allergy cycle (with two full-fill agitated rinses). That was the question, yes?

    Here's someone's video of an Intuitive Eco model (with the lid removed), which is an older model but has the same agitator and full-fill level as the current WashSmart.
    F&P IWL16

  • 7 years ago

    This is someone's video of Whirlpool/Amana model NTW4516FW agitator toploader with a Deep Water Wash option. It's a current model listed on Amana's web site, I checked two mins ago. It doesn't have a choice of water levels beyond Auto Sense or Deep Water Wash ... but the latter does fill the tub completely.

    Amana NTW4516FW

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My new Speed Queen mechanical controlled top loader is one year old today. I love this machine. My laundry is clean and done in a half hour the old school agitator way. Love the way it goes directly into the spin before draining out the wash and rinse water . Has a nice old school sound to it too, not noisy, just smooth sounding. It also has nearly infinite water level options which is a very important thing for me. Looks and feels like it is built like a tank and if I live long enough it could last me 20+ years they say.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm having the same experience as gregkl. Over one year old. I'm happy. My aunts' is four years old and she's happy, too. Lots of happy folks. How pleasant.

  • 6 years ago

    Who has had their SQ FL the longest? I am curious how long can they go with no mold or smell? Anyone 5, 10, 15, 20 years out there? I am thinking about getting the pair. I only see 2 years confirmation with no mold/smell on here.



  • 6 years ago

    I may be the one you've read at 2 yrs. I have had mine for 2 1/2 yrs. (Oct. 2014) with no mold or smell whatsoever. In fact, mine has a fresh laundry smell when I sniff inside the drum. I use about 1/3-1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster in every load, which I have done for over 50 yrs. in any washer I've used. I also leave the door wide open for at least 12 hrs. after washing and never close it shut. I just push it to the washer as far at it will go and it stays there, which lets it "breathe", w/o ever swinging open even an inch b/c of the piano hinged door you won't find on any other maker.

    If my washer were going to have any odor, it would have by now, but that may be b/c of the methods I describe above. I have never used anything to clean out the tub (such as bleach or Afresh), but I do use hot water for some things, which helps to flush out any lint from clothes which might stick to the outside tub (the one you can't see). I have read that machines which don't use enough water to fully flush out the outer drum can build up enough fuzz/lint inside to keep the washer from running. One washer review I read (not an SQ) said the repairman took out 5 lbs. of lint from her outer drum. That's the stuff that rots and smells so bad. So far so good on that score.

    I still believe the govt. has mandated a ridiculously low usage of water. This would be the perfect washing machine IMHO if it used more water. But we're stuck with the regs. Hope this helps.

  • 6 years ago

    Sigh...I have a dilemma.

    I own a Fisher Paykel washer & dryer bought in 2005. It has the Eco sense feature & spins like a jet taking off to get most of the water out. Recently the final drain & spin cycle stopped initiating most of the time (but not always) but if the load was really really really small it would still work. (There are some you-tube videos about repairing this issue but husband & I are not mechanics, nor do we have the time or desire to repair). Up til now they have performed wonderfully for me/us. I love the ability to choose my own water level & over ride the auto sensing water level function if desired. However, the washer control panel supposedly needs replacing & there are possibly a couple of other issues, according to the repair person (although he was rather vague about this). The dryer also needs bearings and although still working, makes loud “screechy/squeaky” noises when drying. Just this weekend the lint filter screen and plastic insides broke after getting a small item of clothing stuck in it. So seems the plastic parts are reaching use fatigue levels. The F&P dryer is the top loader and features a “reverse tumble” feature that virtually no other dryers have-but SHOULD ! To keep clothes from getting twisted up, the dryer periodically reverses direction. I believe there is a Maytag dryer that does this and a Bosch or Miele maybe (don’t remember but there are a couple of models that do this).

    So the dilemma is whether to take a chance on a new set (considering Speed Queen now) and risk being unhappy, sad, irritated or completely & utterly vexed as many, many, many consumers seem to be; or to get the F&Ps repaired for what sounds to be a lot of money-almost comparable to a new purchase. I am tempted to repair but worry that other parts will also fail & that I will regret the money spent.

    I am not an engineer, but like San Diego Steve, do live in San Diego and like to try to make informed purchases with my hard earned money. I have spent several WEEKS now analyzing, comparing & cross referencing washers/dryers/reviews/specs. I even subscribed to a month of Consumer Reports to try to decide on the best course of action. (Their assessments did NOT help, as many actual customer reviews were in complete opposition to CR’s recommendations & they rate Speed Queen quite low, but from what I can tell, it sounds like a better option than the erratic performance of LG, Maytag & Samsung, to name a few).

    I considered buying new F&P but the newer reviews are not so good (especially regarding their horrible customer service) and they were bought out by Chinese company Haier in 2012, so my confidence in the brand is lessened.

    Finally a rhetorical question...How can SO many people who have spent SO MUCH MONEY (thousands) on a washer & dryer be SO unhappy ?!?

    P.S. Any mechanically inclined people out there in the San Diego area want to buy & repair this Fisher Paykel set ? You will be pleased at the amount of control you have over your own laundry !! Text us at 559-281-2827.

    Thanks for letting me rant too & apolgies for any typos or grammatical errors...

  • 6 years ago

    You don't say whether your FP washer is a TL or FL. In my opinion and experience, having to buy ANY washer & dryer these days is a dilemma in itself. If you buy some Top Loaders you can have some control over the water level; otherwise, forget that with any and all Front Loaders.

    My Speed Queen FL (cost $1800) is built like a tank and works like a charm except for the water level (13.4 gal split between washing and rinsing!???). San Diego Steve will tell you that is plenty and he has even posted that he sold that model and bought the newer one which uses even less total water per wash cycle (11.xx gal I think). He and I are in complete disagreement on how 4 gal of water can rinse a set of King size sheets that remain in a wad.

    So FL vs TL is the first hurdle. I'm not sure how much water a SQ TL uses, but that would be my first question. My FL spins like crazy. I would have bought an FP but they are not sold anywhere in the Dallas, TX area. Maytag used to make a Centennial model which my daughter in law has and it has a deep rinse which fills the tub, but might no longer be made.

    Sorry not to have any more helpful information. The Chinese factor would scare me off as well with the FP. Good luck and please post your final decision with the outcome. It will be up to date and may help others.

  • 6 years ago

    Thanks & will do. My FP is a TL. Going to look at Speed Queens this weekend.

  • 6 years ago

    Haier (thus far) is allowing F&P to continue operation as it has been and as far as I'm aware has not enacted any design changes on F&P laundry (or DishDrawer) products that F&P didn't already have planned.

    I have a SmartLoad dryer, 13 years old. Some repairs have been done (I can DIY any of them, several online sources for parts) -- filter ring changed twice (last replacement has a more robust type of mesh), one of the heating elements went bad, had a lint clog in the exhaust-air-blower housing (probably because of tears in the filter ring mesh), (and I changed the drum bearings when I had it apart although they weren't worn). I'll continue to do any needed repairs no matter what the cost as long as parts are available because it's a unique machine, nothing else like it on the market. I may stockpile some parts as insurance.

  • 6 years ago

    Speed Queen 2018 top load washing machines aren't going to be the same. My advice, get a 2017 while you can.

  • 6 years ago

    It just keeps getting worse and worse. I may go out and buy one just for a backup. And per post above, Haier was bought out by the Chinese.

  • 6 years ago

    Thanks all, not sure I even want to know what changes Speed Queen is making...Still considering repairing my Fisher Paykel's or buying them again new vs. buying Speed Queen. There are no current model Fisher Paykel's in my area to actually see however. After looking at SQ's this coming weekend, my last step will be to call the companies with questions to see what sort of information & responses I get. Since I have never owned a fancy washer with lots of features, I realize I am fine with a washer that just washes & a dryer that just dries. Really, I do not want to spend that much time thinking about laundry, but do want to know that my washer & dryer are going to be reliable-precisely so I don't have to spend time thinking about laundry. More later...

  • 6 years ago

    P Castor & San Diego Steve... here I am, also in San Diego in the predicament you were in a year (or a few) ago. My "dependable" Top Loading HE Maytag's transmission gave up the ghost last night. How are you liking your Speed Queens? Any problems? Steve, still happy with your choice of FL? P Castor, did you end up getting a FL or TL? Where did you guys buy your SQ?


  • 6 years ago

    Ceaving, what did you end up doing?

  • 4 years ago
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><md>Speed Queen top load washer & front load dryer ! Electronic touchpad controls. Love it
  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    For anybody looking at the revived Speed Queen front loaders (now designated as FR7 and FF7 models), you can get them with a ten year factory warranty if delivered before September 30. Also, some dealers are now offering them at less than $1500 which might be helpful if your local dealer will price match an internet price. (Some will, some will not.)

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