Kelly, thanks for writing this. I still find it hard to believe how low Maytag has sunk. Can you tell us what the model numbers are of your Samsung steam washer and dryer? Your description of the quiet, nearly dry clothes from the spin cycle, and quality sound like what I'd prefer when my 11-year-old GE machines quit (any day now, I assume).
I bought the Samsung 419 series, so the washer is WF419AAW and the dryer is DV419AGW...
The article title is a little misleading... The bearings in my Neptune washer didn't really fail early; the thing was 14 years old with probably 10 to 15 loads a week run thru it. I was simply surprised and a little dissappointed that the bearings were not designed to be replaceable.
Actually, the Neptune held up quite well. Other than replacing the wax motors with new versions that didn't leak (the source of many blown control boards... the wax leaked on the board and shorted it out...) the Neptune was a very good machine. Quiet, efficient as far as water consumption, and very trouble free.
The most common problem that people had was the mold issue, and that is just a "feature" of front load washers. They have to seal when the door is closed, otherwise they would leak. This seal means that the water inside the machine will not evaporate if the door is closed and latched... It took a few months, but I managed to train my wife and kids to close the door but not latch it... 14 years later, no mold and no bad smell...
Maytag no longer exists... Very sad... But when Whirlpool bought them they were already done... Too much debt, and increasing competition from overseas manufacturers...
Samsung no longer makes the 419 series washer. This washer features the "Silver Care" which is kind of out of fashion now... Silver ions kill something like 99.9% of bacteria, so it was great for delicates that detergent might damage, and also good for those people that can't remember to not latch the door of the washer between uses... The silver ions would effectively sanitize things... You can still buy these washers on Amazon and other online retailers, but they are not the current rage.
One thing about the Silver Care, I was not eligible for a rebate from my utility company because the state of California had decided that the Silver ions would be a problem for water treatment plants... But since it was a less popular model, I got it on a good sale... (I worked for Samsung at the time, but we only got employee discounts on TV's, Blu Ray players and computers... No appliances, no cell phones...
Both the washer and dryer have steam cycles, but we never use it on the washer. The steam cycle on the dryer gets used constantly... My wife and kids all tend to leave their clothes in the dryer until someone else needs to use it, so everything gets really badly wrinkled. The steam cycle freshens everything up in 10 minutes or so... So I would highly recommend a Steam cycle dryer. The LG washer that my wife liked had a steam cycle, but you had to refill a little holding tank for the steam. The Samsung dryer has a water supply line just like the washer, so I put a Tee on the cold water spigot to hook them both up.
Throw away the hoses that come with the washer/dryer and buy braided stainless jacketed hoses... They don't burst and flood your house...
My washer has VRT, the Vibration Reduction Technology. They have VRT Plus now, but I don't know whether it's more quiet or spins faster. Mine spins at 1300 RPM at its highest speed, which is pretty darn fast...
The Maytag Neptune was really interesting when I took it apart... Kind of a contraption, it had a big concrete block mounted inside with brackets and springs... Kind of Fred Flintstone vibration reduction technolgy... :)
I think you're lucky if you get 10 years out of a washer/dryer today, front loader or otherwise. It's a sad fact, but most of the new machines are just not designed to last longer. We've talked about it consistently in this forum--perhaps it's the so-called planned obsolescence.
I agree about the door tip. I actually don't even close mine for a good hour or so after washing. I leave the laundry closet door open so I can leave the washer door open so the residual water dries up. Have had a front-loader for three years and pleased to report no mold!
Maytag is a former winner of the Design News quality award. Maytag execs actually showed up with Gordon Jump (of lonely Maytag repairman fame) to pick up the award. That was about 20 years ago. What happened?
Hello, I am from Malaysia. In Malaysia, most people use the washing machine that could wash and dry in one system. The dryer operation using the high spinning concept. The spinner spin for cleaning with water inside. Before the dryer process start, the system will drain the water first before the spinner starts spinning at a very high speed until the cloth almost dry. You could see the machine will shake quite strong but we don't have to worry about that.
This kind of machine in the 80s and 90s was conqured by Japanese brands such as National (Now Panasonic), Toshiba and Sharp. But in the late 90s, Korean model such as Samsung and LG join the competition.
For the Japanese machine, the technology is robust and long last. My mother still use the fully automatic washing machine of Toshiba which we bought in 2000 and it still work perfectly till now. I use a National washing machine for almost 10 years until the controller breakdown due to my fault of putting it in an area where water always splashing to its body during the heavy rain. Currently I am using the Panasonic washing machine with the fuzzy logic control technology. It is my 7th years with it and I do believe it could serve me well for another 4 or 5 years.
With the introduction of Korean washing machine which usually at a lower price makes the Japanese maker do not have any other choice other than also reducing its price. You could get a very good and hi-tech washing machine here for around USD300.
Its easier to achieve something than to maintain something. Some brands excel with the influence of their great leader. Apple almost die when Steve Job left and return back with great products such as iPOD, iPhone and iPad when he returns back in 1997. Now people is wondering if the new CEO could maintain the Apple Inc performance as it was under Steve Job leadership.
I agree with the efficiency of the front loader washers. We have a Whirlpool Duet that has been going strong for 6 years with only one minor repair (which was caused by operator error).
Maytag had already entered into a contract with Samsung to build the Neptunes before Whirlpool bought them. There were some recalls and lawsuits regarding those products, so it added complexity to the purchase.
Once all the legal issues were settled, Whirlpool began producing Maytag front load units in the Whirlpool plants. These first units were rebranded Kitchen Aid models. Eventually Whirlpool began making design changes to differentiate the brands.
Full disclosure: I worked for Whirlpool in the laundry division at the time all this happened.
In my opinion, Maytag suffered most from lack of continuous improvement. They had a great design, but did not keep up with new technology or changes in the marketplace.
Some of you may be interested in a Staber washer (and drier) made in America, which attacks the bearing issue in a different manner. It has two bearings each side of the drum, and although a horizontal axis drum for efficiency, it's a top loader! It's fairly pricey, probably cost effective for only heavy users, but has some interesting design innovations and fairly minimal controls. I'd be curious to hear the experiences from any users of this machine. http://www.staber.com/
I have a Maytag washer/gas drier set at home that is over thirty years old, which continues to serve my family well. My three boys have never known another, and they are all long out of the house. Except when they come over to do their families laundry! Every repair required has been minor, and accomplished by myself. I too lament the loss of this brands quality, simplicity, and reliability. I intend to nurse this pair along until it's no longer possible, or I need nursing myself.
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