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H.E. ain’t it fun or what’s up with my washer

June 13, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

Well, it finally happened (again), the old top-loading washing machine stopped working and rather than incur a possibly large repair bill, we decided to replace it. What we got was the only thing available today, which is the High Efficiency (H.E.) machine.

If you have replaced your top-loading machine recently, you perhaps understand our dismay. The H.E. machine does not fill with water (just barely gets the clothes wet). You can't get a full tub of water no matter what you do. We looked on You Tube and found people with the same issues. One of the remedies was to put the clothes in the machine then pour water over them (or wet them in your laundry tub before loading) to make them "weigh more." Then when the machine analyzes load weight it might let more water in the machine.

You cannot select rinse water temperature. And when you use the deep water function it might give you enough water to cover the items you are washing. Oh, and the best of the whole thing is; now you have to wash your washer. Some manufacturers recommend washing your washer every 30 cycles. That means, for us, based on the number of loads we wash, that we will have to run the "wash the washer cycle" about once every 8-10 days; probably because the H.E. detergent and low water levels combine to leave a residue on the machine parts that eventually will make your clothing smell bad coming right out of the machine.

Another recommended "fix" for the "dirty" "cleaner" is to fill the machine for a regular cycle, pour in one gallon of bleach and soak for an hour. Then run the longest cycle available. Then fill the tub with water again and soak for an hour with one quart of vinegar mixed in; then run the longest cycle. The fumes in your laundry room while doing these two processes would probably be pretty strong. Not to mention that if you put that much bacteria eliminating product into your septic tank with any regularity it would probably disrupt and possibly defeat the bacteria action in the tank that breaks down the tank contents into a state which allows it to process properly in the drain field.

Then comes the issue of the amount of water removed from the clothing during the spin cycle. We found clothing items, thick and thin fabric items, to have much more water remaining after the washing cycle was completed in the new machine; so much more so, that the items required an additional 10-15 percent of drying time in the dryer. Q1. How much energy was saved? One sales team suggested running an additional rinse and spin cycle to get more of the water out. But, it is a rinse and spin, sooooo, it first adds water. We're trying to get rid of water here!

Residential clothes washer manufacturing standards changed in May 2012 as a result of Department of Energy (DOE) Standards set following the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). It appears there was also "buy in" from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. This is our understanding (opinion) after reading the outline of the May 2012 DOE action. We were not party to the conversations, so we suggest you take a look for yourself at

We truly understand the desire and need for revising wasteful processes but in our opinion someone missed the ball on this one. The only way to "squeeze" (pun intended) any economy out of this process is to hang your clothes outside to dry, if your neighborhood allows it.

John Norton

St. James City



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