Originally Posted by erics
The one thing you need to keep in mind is that front loaders use much less water than top loaders so they cannot be loaded to the brim like top loaders can be.
Hmm. That couldn't have been "the one thing" for us, since I was only washing about 10 diapers at a time! In the end, I concluded that the water just wasn't getting hot enough. Reading the posts here has confirmed that.
Because of the lower water level in FLs, and the way they fill (a little at a time, rather than all at once), a proportionally greater amount of heat tends to be lost to the intake pipes, wash tub, etc. So, if your water heater is set to 120F -- the recommended "safe" temperature -- the "hot" wash might only be, say, 105F. In a TL, it might be 115F. (I'm not sure what the real figures are, but those estimates are based on the highly scientific method of "sticking my hand in the machine.")
We could have ignored the safety warnings and turned up the water heater, but I'm inclined to think that would have cancelled the environmental benefits of using a FL.
An onboard heater is the obvious solution, but, until recently, they were hard to find on models sold in the US. Even most of the new ones only go up to 140F (60C). That's an improvement, but it's nowhere near the 205F (95C) "near-boiling" cycles found on many European FLs.
|A typical top-loading washer uses about 40 gallons of water as compared to only 15-20 for a typical front loader
Sure, but given that I can wash more than twice as many diapers in my TL, wouldn't it work out the same?
(I'd still be happy to use our old FL for regular laundry. It worked great for that!)