Why I Want a New Washing Machine

Yesterday I mentioned that I had hoped to earmark some of our tax refund for a new washing machine.  I was planning to spend $400 on this one on Memorial Day weekend: Maytag MVWC500VW 3.5 Cu Ft Top Load Washer. I researched it a bit, found satisfactory reviews, but then with another search I found nothing but negative reviews.

Then I waffled and did nothing.

There are three reasons I want to buy a new washer:

My current washer has a small tub and the loads are too small

My current washer is a Whirlpool LBR4132JQ1.  Since it seems to have a small capacity, I thought I would just plunk in the model number and find the cubic feet. No such luck.  I finally found the user’s manual online which says the “Extra Large Capacity” version of this washer should hold, for example:

  • Heavy work clothes, consisting of: 2 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, 3 pair jeans, 1 coverall
  • Mixed load, consisting of: 2 double sheets (or one king sized sheet), 4 pillowcases, 6 t-shirts, 6 pair shorts, 2 shirts, 2 blouses, 6 handkerchiefs
  • Towels, consisting of: 8 bath towels, 8 hand towels, 10 wash clothes and a bath mat.
  • Delicates, consisting of: 3 camisoles, 4 slips, 4 panties, 2 bras, 2 nighties

But how can I compare that to another washer, which says it is 3.2 cubic feet or 5 cubic feet?

It agitates but the clothes stay perfectly still

I don’t know what is up with this.  Is this just normal for washing machines? I could swear I remember as a child watching our washing machine agitate and those clothes moved slowly up and down and back and forth.  I put a mattress cover on the floor beside our bed for our dog to sleep on and he brings in a lot of dust, so the mattress pad gets really dirty.  I put it in the washer over the weekend and it looked as dirty as when I put it in.  That really annoyed me! All that water and electricity with no results.

I’ve never had a brand new washing machine

Okay, this one is really lame. But people, I’m 47 years old and I’ve never owned a brand new washer in my entire life. I’ve always had someone’s hand-me-down or bought a used model.  I realize that most appliances are made today using plastic parts and don’t last, so it’s probably stupid to want to buy a new machine, instead of finding a good old used reconditioned girl. To tell you the truth, I would be happy to go to a used appliances store and buy a used machine. But Mr. A does not want someone’s lemon.  I have had good luck in the past with used machines, but he disagrees with that.

And finally, the real reason I want a new washer

The washer fills with water and agitates for a few minutes, then it turns off and just sits there with water in the tub.  I learned quite by accident how to fix the problem. I opened the lid to check and see if my load was done and I dropped the lid when I saw it was full of dirty water. It began agitating right away and finished the load without any more hiccups.  It has been doing that ever since.  It is kind of a pain if you are trying to get your laundry done and happen to forget to go out and check the machine about 10 minutes into the cycle. Because it will just sit there for hours soaking. Now Mr. A has taken to calling me “The Fonz” because I just pound my closed fist on the lid and it begins to agitate.

So… I am not sure what we are going to do.

For most of my life I have dealt with eccentric appliances that have to be babied in order to keep using them, like this washer that has to be punched halfway through the agitation cycle in order to continue working. I’m getting a little bit tired of it, and for once in our lives we are doing better financially and maybe just maybe I could have a nice brand new machine.

I really do not want to see that credit card debt creep back up, even by $400.  So we will probably continue to deal with this machine, since it is working fine aside from paying attention to when I put the load in so I can run outside and punch it one.  Maybe I should call a Whirlpool repair place and see if they have any idea why it would do this. What could be broken on it?

I’m probably not going to find a quality capacious machine for $400, am I?  Do you have a favorite brand or washing machine to recommend?

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6 thoughts on “Why I Want a New Washing Machine

  1. If you’re going to get a new machine, you may want to consider looking at energy efficency information. The ENERGY STAR site is a good source of information on such matters – not sure if it will have specifics you’re looking for, but it could be worth a try. I sourced/referenced that site for certain information on a recent article I wrote on saving money on utility bills.

    I know that for many, energy usage won’t be at the top of the list in terms of attributes considered when buying a machine, but for the cost-conscious among us, it’s worth looking at!

    On a separate note, regarding your comment on never owning a new machine – I have only had one brand new one in my 39 years. I had it for 2 years, in a new condo. It really seemed to work better and quicker than all others I have used (and use now). There are benefits to new sometimes:)


  2. If your machine agitates but your clothes stay still you probably have too much for the machine to handle in that load


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Pamela, that makes sense; however, I am loading the machine to specifications on the lid. I remember when I was growing up, watching the clothes agitate and being the oldest of seven, I’m sure my mom loaded the machine quite full. And it still agitated. I want a machine that can handle a regular load of laundry and agitate. Thanks for pointing that out, I’ll make sure to put that on my list of what to look for in a machine! Thanks, Mrs. A


  3. Hi, Get a Kenmore or whirlpool. A good machine is really a time saver and stress reducer. I totally get your situation. Plus a good machine will last a long long time (15+year). Get a really large capacity so you can do fewer loads. Just make sure your dryer can handle the same load or you are in trouble. Good luck, Barb


  4. I love the reviews on consumer search. Their top recommended budget washer is $550.

    We wanted a nice w/d when we grew up and got real jobs… but we didn’t have money right away… so we went to the laundromat until we could afford to pay for w/d with cash instead of buying cheap versions that weren’t top rated. Luckily the laundromat had food and tv and DS waited to be born a few months later … but man I’m glad we don’t have to do that again. We still don’t have a lot of that furniture we’d been planning to buy but I think maybe we don’t need it.


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