This is a little off the beaten path of my blog so bear with me. Seldom do I rate equipment but I had to buy a new washing machine last October 2010.
So here goes my saga.
I bought this new type of washer made by GE, no agitator and it is supposed to save water. As stated in the title of this little blog it is a General Electric High Efficiency Washer, Model #WJRE555OK2WW. Similar to this http://products.geappliances.com/ApplProducts/Dispatcher?REQUEST=SpecPage&Sku=WJRE5550KWW . I’m all for doing my part of green so I bought this new system. I read the user’s manual three times so I would understand what I am doing! (I’m an instruction person, lol.)
I immediately had to purchase the new HE (High efficiency) laundry detergent because I noticed that the powdered soap was not dissolving but I thought I would give that a whirl anyway… NOT! I broke down and bought the more expensive laundry detergent. In my opinion watered down crap but, hey, what ya gonna do! 😦 I want clean clothes.
Okey Dokey, after about two months I noticed that my clothes were getting kind of dingy, particularly whites. I read the book again. Nope, I was doing everything right. New detergent, laying the clothes around in a circle (pretending there is an agitator) and unrolling socks and anything else that might have gotten lumped up. I was beginning to be a bit concerned when the soap film started building up in the inside seams of the clothes!
I, also, noticed that the length of running time had increased to double the time that the old washing machine ran. No, not my imagination because I started timing that GE puppy! What normally took about a half hour in the old agitator machine was now taking 1 hour and 10 minutes, similar cycle. You can increase this time if you add the additional rinse to get the soap out. Oh, I forgot to mention I had to re-spin everything again because the clothes were so wet that it was making my dryer cut off. (No, dryer is not broken, it is a safety feature, so it doesn’t burn up.)
Here are a few examples of the dirty laundry after they have been WASHED several times. That white stuff on the robe is soap build up. The socks have dirt from yard work, yes, I was wearing shoes. Then the dishtowel which I actually washed three times before I took this picture. I won’t go into the unmentionables or the bedding. Grrrr is all I will say!
At this point I decided that it was time to call the repair man. I bought this machine at Lowe’s (who I just love) but I had to let them know that I was really disappointed in this product and they should consider not selling this model. They, of course, did not tell me if there had been more complaints about the product. They just directed me to the wrong phone number to get help. After a two-hour adventure with their automated call directions, service department and the transfer calls around in a giant circle, I finally found someone who realized I hadn’t bought their long-term appliance contract! At that point I was told that I would have to contact the GE service department directly. You would think that Lowe’s should clearly state that in the automated phone help!!! That would have saved me a lot of time and disappointment with Lowe’s help.
After taking a day off I decided to bite the bullet and call GE. I got a very pleasant representative and explained what was going on and they said promptly that they would send a repair man to see what was going on. I made the appointment on March 14th. A very, very pleasant repair representative came at the appointed time. I explained my woes to him and even showed him some of the clothing. He confirmed the soap build up. After checking the machine he told me several things. The first being that I had a first generation (as he called it) motor and he would order the second generation device. He could be back in a week to install. Woohoo.
Meanwhile I went to my Dad’s home and washed and bleached all my dingy white clothing so I could start over when the new motor was installed.
A week later the service man came and installed the new equipment. While there he suggested that I use the extended rinse cycle, even though I don’t use a liquid clothing softener because it would be better for getting the HE Detergent out. Because I had been complaining about the length of time that the washer ran he explained that the reason for the longer run time was because there were two motors in this new machine. One motor takes the AC power, coming into the house, and converts it to DC power so the DC motor can run the machine. And since it is a DC powered motor it will necessarily take longer to run but not to worry it is using less electricity that way. That last statement drove me crazy! I wish I knew an older electrician to answer that question. OK, I followed his advice and now am running the extended rinse (which uses more water) and the clothes rinse better, no soap build up. And I only have to re-spin when doing a full load of heavy towels. All my new white socks that I purchased still have to be washed twice or have to soak in bleach. I feel as if I have to go back to a block of soap and a scrub board. Geezee peezee.
More importantly, that nagging question about the DC/AC crap the service man was feeding me when I posed the question about running time. I mean if I run a machine on AC power for 27-30 minutes and the clothes are cleaned how is it saving me money when I am running a DC powered piece of machinery for 1 hour and 10 minutes???
I was discussing this with my Mother’s husband and he found a little piece of modern engineering called “Kill A Watt EZ” http://www.p3international.com/products/p4460.html . It is an electricity usage monitor which let you know what your costs will be by the hour, day, week, month and year. Great, he and I have the same cost from our power company. So we decided to run some tests. First he on the regular agitator washing machine that only runs for a half hour cycle, regular load. Then it was my turn to check out the same cycle with my new and improved GE washer!
As suspected, his machine used .16 KWH for the wash cycle. This translates into $17.63 a year and a measly .04 cents a load. MINE, well duh, .21 KWH @ a cost of $26.18 for the year and .07 cents a load! It doesn’t save you water if you have to use the extended rinse or re-rinse and it doesn’t save you electricity either.
I was right to have my bad vibes. What kind of junk is GE selling to us? I’m going to find an old agitator and get rid of the new piece of crap.
I bet you couldn’t tell that I am not pleased. If you have any options, my advice would be not to buy this particular washing machine.
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