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#286753 - 17/09/2006 18:27 Combination washer/dryer units?
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
I remembered this thread from a few years ago about combination washer and dryer units. The overall comments I got from the discussion is that they weren't all that good. However, I'm now in the position of needing my own laundry units, and I am looking into what is available now. Have any of the combo units gotten better recently? If I got one, I would end up with more storage room in my apartment, since it did come with room for full sized washer and dryer units.

They seem to also be a bit more water and energy efficient then two units from what I have read, so thats always a plus.
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#286754 - 18/09/2006 09:56 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1956
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I just purchased a bottom of the line Bosch washer and noticed the washer/dryer combos around. They were pretty exy I thought compared to the individual cost - I wasn't really after a dryer so I didn't ever really consider them.

I guess the advantage is you could probably set it off and it would wash/spin/dry all in one cycle unattended. That said if you have a lot of washing to do, you couldn't wash one load and dry the other.

Is the extra storage space worth that much?
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#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#286755 - 18/09/2006 19:19 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Do you have room for stackable units ?
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Matt

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#286756 - 19/09/2006 00:17 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: msaeger]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2659
Loc: Manteca, California
What he said.

I'd more likely go with stackers instead of combined.
I mean - would you buy a phone, printer, fax, copier, scanner, modem all in one combo.

(me - waiting to jam foot in mouth)
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#286757 - 19/09/2006 01:40 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: msaeger]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
If I invest in stackable units, I'd rather just go with two separate units. Part of the attraction to the combo units beyond the space saving is the ability to just throw clothes in, and collect them ready to fold sometime later. My concern was that the comments in the thread linked above indicated the combo units didn't do a good enough job though. If thats still the case, I'll probably just end up renting a set from the apartments till I move out into my own townhome, and reevaluate them again in a year.
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#286758 - 19/09/2006 04:00 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: Shonky]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Plus how do you put the Bounce dryer sheet in?
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#286759 - 19/09/2006 09:21 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
If you get a front loading washer you can stack the regular seprate units.
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#286760 - 19/09/2006 12:11 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: hybrid8]
petteri
addict

Registered: 02/08/2004
Posts: 432
Loc: Miami, FL USA
Quote:
Plus how do you put the Bounce dryer sheet in?


Liquid fabic softener gets added to a special tray alongside the detergent.

My only experience with a combo unit wasn't that great. I had a Siemens unit that while the wash cycle was great, the capaticy for drying was half that of the wash. So you could either take out half the load and air dry or only run half a load for washing. Not good. That and the dry cycle took a long time. This was six years ago so I presume things have improved since. I had this unit while I was living in Europe.

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#286761 - 20/09/2006 22:17 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: msaeger]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2659
Loc: Manteca, California
Quote:
If you get a front loading washer you can stack the regular seprate units.

This is pretty much what I was thinking of. There are stacked units which do not break apart - the advantage there is that they can be a bit smaller, for the places that a larger unit just will not fit.

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#286762 - 28/09/2006 13:40 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Any new info? I am looking at replacing my full size separates with a combo unit. I want to install a shower where the current hole for the dryer vent is. Instead of making a new hole, it would be nice to get a combo unit that doesn't require a vent at all. Since a shower would be taking up room, the space-saving aspect of the combo is also appealing.

Like Drakino, I also fancy being able to throw dirty clothes in and not have to manipulate them until they're clean and dry. The LG units seem to have good reviews in the $1,000 range. Unfortunately, the big box stores don't appear to carry any combo units (or their websites don't show them). I don't necessarily have a problem going to a smaller vendor, but they're getting harder to find and don't usually have a good price.
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#286763 - 28/09/2006 14:13 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
I did find a manufacturer of them that I was going to research more, but the need to do landuary without running down to the landromat finally won out and I am now renting normal units from the apartment complex.

http://www.thorappliances.com/ was their web site. No idea if their units are any good, I didn't see many reviews out there for them.
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#286764 - 28/09/2006 14:52 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
OK, The LG I was talking about is the WM3431. The Epinions reviews look great. I also found it available at Best Buy so I can probably check it out in person.

2 hours to complete a cycle seems a little long, but the 19-hour advanced timer means I can load it before I go to work, and then come home to dry, clean clothes. Seems like a good deal to me.
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#286765 - 02/10/2006 13:38 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Consumer Reports doesn't seem to have any reviews on these machines, but I did notice in looking that they seem to attach to a normal household 120V/15A circuit (the LG ones claim to only need 10A), rather than the 240V/30A circuit that's usually used for dedicated dryers. That probably explains why it takes a long time to dry.
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#286766 - 02/10/2006 18:11 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: wfaulk]
djc
enthusiast

Registered: 08/08/2000
Posts: 348
Loc: chicago
Typically, these combo units use condensing dryers, as opposed to a big heating element. It eliminates the need for a vent to the outside, as the condensed moisture is piped down the drain. This process does indeed take longer to dry.

--Dan.

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#286767 - 17/01/2007 21:46 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: wfaulk]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Update:

I have been living with the LG WM3431 for a few weeks now and I'm pretty impressed. There is some adjustment on my part, but not having to move clothes from the washer to a separate dryer is really nice. It's also nice not having the dryer venting into my garage like the old one was.

The total time for a large load of cotton shirts/pants takes just under 4 hours including drying time. That's actually way more than I anticipated, but the 19-hour timer allows me to load-up, go to work, and have the cycle start a few hours before I get home. By the time I'm home, I don't have to wait long for the cycle to complete.

I don't know how it manages to dry clothes with cold water, but clothes come out steaming hot. They usually feel damp at first, but once they're out in the open for a couple seconds, they dry completely.

The device is very compact and has a relatively small capacity. That's fine for me, but I think doing laundry for a whole family wouldn't be possible. There is a larger version for about $1,800. I bought my WM3431 for about $1,100 from Best Buy.
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#349826 - 15/01/2012 16:41 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Any update Rob after living with the unit for a few years? I'm back in buying mode.
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#349828 - 16/01/2012 02:57 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
I don't live in the house I was using the LG machine in anymore. I probably used it for two years or so and it never gave me any issues.

I moved to a condo that has a shared laundry room in the basement. The bylaws also specifically prohibit (in bold type) personal washers and dryers installed inside your unit. I spoke to a board member about the reasoning behind this, and his response was something about owners/renters not having adequate insurance should there be a leak. This makes no sense to me being that dishwashers are allowed. I lived with having to walk up and down two flights and paying $3.50 per load for about 6 months. I wasn't really bothered by those issues, but the machines are shared between 4 units. I'd say about 80% of the time, I would have to remove people's clothes from the machines. It became really annoying that people could just leave their crap down there for hours. Someone also liked to put orange peels in with their wash. I don't know what kind of custom that is, but cleaning food out of machines was also something I'd rather not deal with. I eventually decided to ignore the silly personal washing machine rule.

So, I was going to purchase another LG machine for the kitchen based on my past experience. However, they all run on 120 volts and I happened to have an open 220 volt circuit in the kitchen that was being used by an in-wall heater. Eventually I settled on the Fagor FAS3612X. Aside from being 220V, it also requires only a cold water line run instead of both hot and cold that the LG needed. The load capacity seems the same as the LG and the wash/dry time is comparable. A typical load for me will be 6 polo shirts which takes 3:31 from dirty clothes to dry clothes. When I do jeans, I usually do 2 or 3 and set them to dry for only 50 minutes which makes the total time 2:21. I've found that jeans dry better if you hang them up when they're still a bit damp. Otherwise they'll just get very creased in the machine.

Since getting the Fagor, I haven't been to the communal laundry room once. However, I'll probably go back down there to wash bed sheets. Due to the low capacity of the Fagor, I have to wash the fitted sheet separate from the top sheet which takes about 7 hours total. That's fine if you're just sitting around all day over the weekend, but I could do the whole sheet set downstairs in about an hour and a half. That's probably worth it.

Anyway, if you're a single person, this machine is more than sufficient for all your needs. If you're a couple, it's probably just about right. A family of 4 or 5 would probably have a problem.

The Fagor is pretty quiet and despite having a faster spin cycle than the LG, it doesn't seem to vibrate as much. I don't think my downstairs neighbor can tell I have laundry in my unit. One thing that's a slight downside to the Fagor is that it's clearly designed for a more international market than the LG. There are 16 different modes on the machine, but they're only represented by a number. I have to keep the manual close by as a reference to what the modes do. Practically every other option on the machine is denoted by a symbol rather than english text. So, someone looking at the machine for the first time might not understand how to operate it without the manual nearby. Aside from that, the functions and features pretty-much match the LG. The time delay feature was something I used frequently on the LG. I could set the machine to start its cycle 3 hours before I got home from work, so it would be finishing up as I came home. The LG was limited to a 19 hour delay, but the Fagor can do up to 24 hours. Not a big difference, but it's nice to have the option. Other than that, the features are the same between the two machines. I can recommend either.
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#349829 - 16/01/2012 10:08 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1383
Loc: MA but Irish born
Originally Posted By: robricc
Due to the low capacity of the Fagor, I have to wash the fitted sheet separate from the top sheet which takes about 7 hours total.


Either you have huge sheets or the capacity is pretty small. It doesn't matter how efficient the machine is on a single wash if I have to do several additional washes per week.

By the numbers, capacity wise, how does it compare with other front loader and the typical space saving stacked toploader washer dryer combo?

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#349830 - 16/01/2012 12:26 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: Phoenix42]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Quote:
Either you have huge sheets or the capacity is pretty small.

I have a king size bed. It's not impossible to wash the entire sheet set in the machine. They will physically fit. However, since it's such a large piece of fabric, it can get twisted or bundled up in areas during the wash and/or dry cycle. This causes some areas to get very dry while others stay pretty wet during the dry cycle. Since I started washing the two sheets separately, this hasn't happened.

Quote:
It doesn't matter how efficient the machine is on a single wash if I have to do several additional washes per week.

Efficiency doesn't have anything to do with my purchase. I'm operating a washer/dryer in a space that's not allowed to have one. The machine is physically small enough to fit under my kitchen counter and doesn't vent to the outside. If I could get away with a stacked laundry unit or full-size separates, I would prefer that.

Quote:
By the numbers, capacity wise, how does it compare with other front loader and the typical space saving stacked toploader washer dryer combo?

The capacity for washing is large for the amount of room the machine takes up. It's not as spacious as my mom's big Maytag, but you would be surprised how much you can fit in the Fagor. Sorry I don't know the exact specs, but I'm sure they're available online.

Drying is another matter. The drying capacity is roughly half the washing capacity. Rather than wash a full load, then remove half of it to dry, I just put in less clothes in the first place. So, I probably run a full cycle on the Fagor twice as often as I would if I had full-size separates.
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#349831 - 16/01/2012 13:15 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5370
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: robricc
This makes no sense to me being that dishwashers are allowed. I lived with having to walk up and down two flights and paying $3.50 per load for about 6 months.
It makes perfect sense... to the person/committee/association collecting the money.

Multiply the number of condo units times maybe three loads per week times $3.50 and you've got almost $2,000 a month coming in, assuming it's a good-sized complex, maybe 40 condos.

The condominium group I was in before moving to Mexico had 44 units, the monthly association fee was around $400. I could never understand where that $200,000+ a year was going. Oh, wait... we did get free trash removal.

tanstaafl.
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#349832 - 16/01/2012 13:42 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1383
Loc: MA but Irish born
Originally Posted By: robricc
[However, since it's such a large piece of fabric, it can get twisted or bundled up in areas during the wash and/or dry cycle. This causes some areas to get very dry while others stay pretty wet during the dry cycle. Since I started washing the two sheets separately, this hasn't happened.

I understand where your coming from re the tangling. I grew up with the standard front loader, but i the US the selection seems fewer and more expensive. I do now wish that we'd considered space rather than the standard side-by-side.

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#349833 - 16/01/2012 18:32 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks Rob for the feedback. I hadn't seen the current model you linked to before, and it's now towards the top of my list. Key things I've been looking for is a 220v unit with a condenser. One of the ones on my list appears hard to get here in the US (Miele combo unit).
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#349835 - 16/01/2012 19:31 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is the type of detergent needed. In the manual for the Fagor it reads:
Quote:
Liquid detergents may be used in this washing machine. An optional detergent dispenser is to be used for this, which can be obtained from the Technical Service Network.

People discussing the washer on other sites said that when they called to get the part, Fagor claimed it was a misprint and no such part exists. It's safe to use liquid detergent in the machine as-is. I've just been using powdered Tide that I get in a giant box from a warehouse store. It seems cheaper than liquid and works great in the machine.

I bought my machine from Amazon. They delivered it on a truck in 10 days or so from California to New York.

Update: Here's a photo of the washer/dryer in my kitchen. Where it sits now was left open by the original owners for a 220V in-wall heater. I took the heater out since I never used it, and installed the appropriate electrical outlet in its place. As if it was mean to be, the pillar holding up the counter top was exactly 24 inches from the cabinet to the left. The washer simply slid right in. The water input and drain is run under the cabinet and hooks up to the sink's drain and cold water line. I don't know if European counters are slightly lower, but the washer fit uneder my counter without having to remove the top. The gap between the top of the washer and bottom of the counter is about 1 inch.



Edited by robricc (16/01/2012 23:49)
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-Rob Riccardelli
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#349837 - 17/01/2012 00:05 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: tanstaafl.]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
Originally Posted By: robricc
This makes no sense to me being that dishwashers are allowed. I lived with having to walk up and down two flights and paying $3.50 per load for about 6 months.
It makes perfect sense... to the person/committee/association collecting the money.

I've also come to this conclusion. There are 16 building here with 4-8 units each. If you average each building to 6 units, that's something like $4,000 per month in laundry fees going by your estimates.

Aside from the laundry issue, I can't say I hate my condo association. It seems like it's run mostly by uncorrupt condo owners. The fees are about $220 per month and I do see them maintaining the exterior of the buildings and grounds quite a bit. The snow removal service is also first-class. I basically don't have to do a thing. They'll plow and shovel all roads, walkways, and even right up to my garage door. I can't say I love condo associations, but this one is miles above my previous one which was obviously run by bastards skimming money off bogus pool repairs.
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-Rob Riccardelli
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#349939 - 23/01/2012 21:14 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Rob, any idea how easy it would be to change out the 220v plug on the Fagor FAS3612X? The Amazon page shows it uses a NEMA 6-15, and I have a NEMA 10-30 outlet. The manual seems to indicate switching it out is not something they support, unlike a lot of dryers.
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Tom

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#349941 - 23/01/2012 21:40 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13874
Loc: Canada
Around here, "home stores" generally stock prewired Dryer cords. Just unscrew a panel at the back of the unit, loosen the wire terminal screws, remove the existing cable, attach the new one, tighten the screws.

But that's generic advice. Hopefully someone who has that exact unit (Rob?) might chime in with specifics.

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#349951 - 24/01/2012 13:03 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: mlord]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 987
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
Even easier is to use an adapter. Home stores around here will have what you need and cheap. I used to have a box of them for the travel trailer.

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#349954 - 24/01/2012 14:24 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
The power cord on the Fagor is not the removable type. However, the washer did come bundled with an adapter. There was the round twist-lock type plug on one end which ran into a plastic electrical box with two NEMA 6-15 outlets on it. This is probably what you're looking for. In my case, it came with the washer.

EDIT: Maybe the plug on the adapter wasn't twist-lock, but the pins were in a circular formation. To me, it looked like what's commonly used for electric dryers in the US.


Edited by robricc (24/01/2012 14:30)
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
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#349956 - 24/01/2012 14:37 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: robricc]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
I wasn't having much luck finding a NEMA 10-30 to 6-15 adaptor. The main difference seems to be that 6-15 has 2 hot pins and one ground pin, while 10-30 has 2 hot pins and one neutral pin. Both are three pin connectors, not four like are common now.

I'll check with a local hardware/electrical store to see what they can do. With the apartment I'm in, I'm hesitant to modify the actual wall socket, especially with the lack of a grounding pin in the current one.
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#349965 - 24/01/2012 19:57 Re: Combination washer/dryer units? [Re: drakino]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 987
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
The lack of standardization for this kind of thing is amazing...

It seems the 10-30 socket comes from an era that we treated neutral and ground as equal. Most houses typically tied neutral to ground at the breaker box. I'm suspecting that you won't find that adapter new.

Why not just replace the plug and not the whole cord?

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