The only mentions of Whirlpool I see here are off-hand denigrations. My personal experience: I've bought Whirlpool products (washers, driers, refrigerators, and a couple of dishwashers) for many years (25+) (mostly when relocating, rarely as replacements). I have had very few issues (except for noisy dishwashers), and have had very few service calls (or ever had to fix something myself). I generally have bought mid-range models; the last time I bought a washer and drier (about 6 years ago) was at HH Gregg; I had decided on a "mid-mid range" pair; the manager stopped me when the salesperson was writing the order up, and said they had had some issues with those particular models, and he made me an offer I couldn't refuse: the next step up for both, and I would pay only HALF the difference for the drier only! I took it, and have been quite pleased with them. The only service call I had was about 2 years ago, when my wife complained about a "burning smell" from the drier. Turned out it was a problem with my HOUSE; the drier vent (a long run from a second-floor laundry room in the center of the house) had slipped down inside the house just short of the external vent cap, and was blocked. Since it was 30 feet up from the ground, and the house was still under warranty, I called the builder and they sent out a contractor (no charge to me!) and they fixed the vent piping. Now I do remember to blow out the vent (using my electric leaf blower) every couple of years just to prevent any other problems. Drier just keeps on doing its job. BTW, Whirlpool is almost always the best or second-best in Consumer Reports reliability ratings.... I have NO stake in Whirlpool other than as a very satisifed customer.
I've noticed that numerous washers I have worked-on have had a common design fault: The only way the fill valve knows when to shut-off is when the float valve in the tub says it's full. If the tub leaks or the drain valve sticks open, or the float valve sticks, then the machine will just keep trying to fill the tub. Since there is no time-out on the fill circuit, it just keeps pumping water.
In one case, a user had started a load of laundry and left for work, a drain hose came loose and the valve stuck open, and the water flooded the apartment for several hours before the management shut-off the water to the building. A simple time-out circuit that says "Hey, it couldn't possibly take more water than this, I should shut it off now" could save a serious flood scenario.
This is also a good reason to make sure that your laundry room floor slab is a step down from the rest of the house and has a place to drain to.
I'm another person who owns an older maytag washer/dryer. I think mine probably date from the mid 80s. Had a few problems with leaks so I replaced all the rubber hoses in the washer. Dryer has had a new belt and heating element. In the rare occasion that I go to the parts house they always say the same thing: Don't ever get rid of them. Another benefit is that I don't ever have to worry about it locking up and refusing to give back a load like the horizontal models do. I've heard good things about American made Staber, if I ever to replace the washer/dryer I'll look into them.
I also have both an old and new GE refrigerator. The old one is much better quality, although it iwas top of the line at the time while the new one was a more affordable model.
What a coincidence, my six-year old Amana refrigerator (made by ... drum roll... Maytag) also blew up last weekend. It of course had to die on a weekened.
But there was some good of it dying on a day when I couldn't get any repairpeople to come. I spent all day googling what might be wrong with it, pulled it out, and tested everything.
Came to the conclusion that it was the start/relay capacitor unit, the same thing that likely died on yours. Monday morning, I went to an appliance parts store, got the unit ($31) and put it in myself. Fridge kicked back in.
Lost a bunch of food, but got it fixed in two days and $31.
(When I tried to schedule an Amana repairperson, the soonest they could've come was two weeks!!!)
Regarding Maytag - I think it is a shame that they were lost to the cost pressures of global competition. The good news - they were bought by a US corporation with deep roots here. The bad news - not a step up in quality and we lost a lot of jobs (again!).
Our experience with Maytag - somewhat mixed but overall good. Our 12 year old dishwasher is still going strong although I have become an expert and cleaning out the 'goop' that clogs it up every 6 months and on our (somewhat newer) clothes washer. My daughter's dishwasher (about 5 years old) - still cranking although it also needs cleaning out. And my other daughter's dishwasher (about 4 yrs old) - control board is flaky and will probably have to be changed out (she and I will do it).
On the comment that we could use the 'Built by Monkeys' forum as a way to track company/product performance - interesting idea but a statisically flawed concept. Much better to use an organization such as Consumers Report (they now have added a more immmediate web based user reviews) - such an organization has a much greater number of respondents and a wider variety of experiences (i.e. both good and bad).
I think that internet based consumer reporting could have a desirable impact although there is, even there, the potential for mischief.
Maytag doesn't make them like they used to. We have a Maytag washer and dryer made in the early 1990's that still works great. I have had to replace a couple of minor parts myself over the years, but it has been very reliable. We recently needed to have the main control board on our 5 year old GE refrigerator replaced due to leaking electrolytic capacitor that resulted in arcing and board failure. The repairman quickly diagnosed the problem and repaired it (for about $300). On his way out, he noticed our old Maytag washer and dryer, and he said be sure to hang onto it because they don't make them like that anymore. He used to work for Maytag and was familiar with the model. As long as I can get parts for them, I'll keep them. Early in my career, I interviewed twice with Maytag in Newton, IA and received job offers. I decided to take offer from another employer, but I was impressed with Maytag's attention to reliability. Now that Maytag is just another re-badged Whirlpool product and they have closed the Newton plant and engineering facility, Maytag is no longer the reliable brand it used to be.
We purchased front loading Bosch washer and dryer...not cheap at over $2,000. Within 6 months, the washer began acting up with various issues, it may or may not spin out the load (just spins at a very low speed), it may or may not spin it out on the manual spin cycle setting. Despite carefully leveling the machine, it often knots up the load and does a line dance. You have two choices, either stop the machine and pull the load out and then put it back in or sometimes, after pausing the machine, it will start up in a slow ramp up and get rid of the knots (mostly) on its own. Sometimes, it refuses to unlock the door (even unplugging it will not relase it) when it stops. These are just the main quirks, it has several more minor quirks that don't happen too often.
The dryer is even more finicky, depending on which combination of settings you use, the dryer will run for some random period of time and then quit. Often, the 26 minute cycly (for example) will run down a few minutes, then the timer jumps to zero and shuts off the dryer. This happens particularly when it is running on the low heat setting, when on the high heat setting, it may actually run closer to the set time. I've watched it count down to maybe 8 minutes, then, all of a sudden, it goes to zero.
The dryer it replaced was a Speed Queen that was about 35+ years old (the internal contacts in the motor wore out), with the exception of the various relay contacts needing dressing now and then and replacing the heater element about three times (the newest elements failed sooner than the original), this dryer performed for many years (my wife wouldn't let me replace the motor).
The original washer was a Fridgidaire, one of those direct drive, vertical motion beasts, it finally wore out the main slip bearings, also after 35+ years of service, since I couldn't locate replacements.....sadly it went away too. To say the least, I am not particularly impressed with today's quality, even expensive models. While GE used to be on my list of good appliances, they aren't any more. They want excessive prices for their parts and they don't last like they used to.
I had a GE Hotpoint water heater (electric), it developed a tiny leak after 30 years of service, the repair man said there used to be a special plug made to seal such small leaks, you can't get them any more. Apparently, the manufacturers leaned on the plug manufacturer to stop making them so you have to replace the whole water heater now.
The fresh water from the Monongahela adds to the refreshing flavor of Iron City. You can taste the steel slag as you drink it. It gives it character. As for things being made by the same company, I recently purchased an HP flat screen plasma TV after much debate between it and a similar LG model. Turns out that the HP is actually the same LG model with all LG components inside with just a different name.
My wife and I outfitted our first home with a Maytag washer and dryer. (Having a nuclear engineering degree, I preferred GE.) No problems. For our second home, we decided to outfit it with new ones since it was 11 years later. Thrifty I went immediately to the lowest price models. My wife warned me that the basic models were no longer high quality. It's wonderful to marry a smart woman. We got the middle of the line and had two problems with the dryer door switch failing so it wouldn't start. The first was under warranty, the second was not (the 5-year was reduced to a 1-year on these models). Now Maytag and Whirlpool have merged so expect the quality to fall even more. Basically, if you don't want to see the Maytag repairman, buy the top of the line model or something else. Our latest home came with Whirlpool washer and dryer and so far we only had a $16 repair because the repair man was at our house to fix the GE refrigerator. Don't get me started on that.
A couple of years back we bought a new Maytag front loading washer and matching dryer as upgrades for our 8 year old "entry level" Maytag washer and dryer. The washer was delivered in a non-functioning state. The repair person was called, a new component ordered and the washer ran for 1 month until the same component failed again. I asked the repair peson what brand I should have bought and he said every brand was having problems so in his opinion it really didn't matter. We sold that house with the washer and dryer. Since then, we stick to appliances that are less complex (read lfewer features) and haven't had to call a repair person since.
Wal-Mart will hold its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8, at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The event will be a repeat effort by the world’s biggest seller of consumer goods to increase the amount of US-made products it sells in Wal-Mart stores, in Sam’s Club members-only wholesale outlets, and on walmart.com.
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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