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My F&P ecosmart died today - need new washer stat! (help! long...

15 years ago

My F&P ecosmart died today after 6 years and, while the timing could have been better (and it could have died before I started instead of mid-cycle leaving me with sopping wet dirty clothes), I'm secretly happy about it. I suppose I could call a service guy for the F&P, but I've hated it since day 1, the local service guy is a moron, and it's the control board that went, which means the fix will be serious $$$. All of which leads me to some cramming for a serious washer-shopping session. Normally I like to research appliance decisions for weeks before buying something but I have a family that stubbornly insists on wearing clothes every day, so I need to make a decision ASAP. (Plus I researched the heck out of the ecosmart before I bought it and look where that got me...)

I'm open to anything, but kind of wary of the HE machines because of my ecosmart experience. My complaint with the ecosmart was that it didn't get my clothes clean no matter what I did - they were way dirtier than in the old TL. I had to resort to using the heavy duty cycle, hot water wash, and the extra deep rinse just to get tolerably clean clothes (completely negating any water/energy savings). And the washer itself developed a stink - I had to run a hot cycle with bleach every month or so to get rid of it.

I've been trying to read here and consumer reports and I'm just totally confused. My #1 priority is good cleaning. My #2, 3, and 4 priorities are good cleaning. Did I mention that I want a washer that cleans well? :-)

Along with that, I don't want to have to fuss. I'm not going to make my own laundry detergent, mail-order special detergents/additives, calculate the amount of chemicals in my water, bypass my water softener, open my washer mid-cycle and measure the water temp with a thermometer, rewire the laundry room for a 220V washer, or anything else that involves effort. I want to put my clothes in, toss in some detergent, push a button, and come back 45 minutes to 2 hours later and find clean clothes. After reading this forum for a while, I'm wondering if that is even possible!!

I don't mind buying an HE detergent, wiping out the gasket, leaving the door open, or any of the basic FL tasks - had to do all that with the Ecosmart anyhow, so it won't be anything new to me. I'd rather not have to run tub-cleaning cycles regularly, since it seems to me that those are a huge waste of time, water and energy.

Washer is on the first floor over a basement, but the floor is solid so I'm not too worried about vibrations. It's far from the living space, so I don't care much about noise. I'd prefer a shortish cycle time but I usually do one load a day so long cycles aren't a deal breaker. The bigger capacity the better, but I do have some space limitations so I can't go for one of the ginormous machines. The cheaper the better, obviously - I have no desire to pop $3K on a washer/dryer set only to have it last 6 years like my stupid ecosmart. I suppose an on-board heater would be good - I have well water and the washer is a haul from the water heater - but I worry about what it will do to my electric bill (we have very high electric rates here). I don't like to use bleach (it's hard on the septic tank), so something with a sanitize cycle would be nice. We do have a whole-house water softener and we keep our hot water heater set at 120 or slightly lower.

So am I on an impossible quest or what? If you have any suggestions as to specific models I should consider, I'd love to hear them. Thanks so much for any input!

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