Combo washer/dryer? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-23-2012, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm cross posting, I'm not sure if that's frowned upon, but I'm trying to get some good feedback.


Does anyone have any experience with a combined washer/dryer?  I had never even heard of this before, and in shopping for a new washer/dryer set, I came across this.


We hang out our clothes during good weather (unless we're being lazy), so we really only use our dryer maybe 50-60% of the time.  It says that it takes several hours to do a load from wash to dry, but I would assume the wash cycle is the same, it's the drying that takes so long.


I'm just looking for anyone's personal experience with a combined washer/dryer.  On one hand, it seems like something new and funky, with more parts, which is just more things to go wrong.  On the other hand, I like the concept, and it's slightly cheaper than buying a separate washer and drying.


Any thoughts?

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#2 of 9 Old 09-23-2012, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lorijds View Post
 On one hand, it seems like something new and funky, with more parts, which is just more things to go wrong.  


Any thoughts?

This would be my concern... 

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#3 of 9 Old 09-24-2012, 02:33 AM
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They are quite common over here in the UK, we've had a couple over the years. As you say they do (in my experience) have more ways of going wrong than separate units. We've also found not everyone is willing/able to repair them.


The up side for us is that we simply do not have space for a washer and dryer separately. The only way we have a drier at all is if we go with the combo unit, which makes me much more willing to overlook the issues. However if I could I would opt for separate ones.


So the issues I have, mostly come down to logistics. Most of the washer driers I've found are not able to dry a full load. So put put on a load, from wash all the way through to dry means doing 1/2 loads. In the winter I often put on a full load, pull half out to dry round the house and put the rest back in to dry.


Our last one was a pain to use on the dry cycle only. I used to hang washing out but stick it in the drier to fluff up or if it wasn't quite dry. However the dry cycle was simply tagged on the end of certain wash programmes. I used to have to select the right programme and set it to the very end so it would dry. I often used to end up accidentally rewashing the clothes! I will now only look at ones with the dry cycle as a seperate option.


Having both in one unit also means I can't get through the washing very quickly, obviously I have to wait for the first load to be dry before I can start another one, with a separate drier I could run both at once.

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#4 of 9 Old 09-24-2012, 05:56 AM
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They are fairly common outside of North America and have been around for awhile. They are useful in smaller homes and apartment living, which tends to be the case outside of North American larger houses. I've never owned one partly because I couldn't really wrap my head around the idea. I've never been convinced that they would do as good or a better job than separate units. I'm pretty sure that's a conditioned bias though. I've known people who were pretty happy with them. I would be a little concerned about finding repair people who are familiar with them, since they aren't popular here. 

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#5 of 9 Old 09-24-2012, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input.


I see where it might be problematic right now, with four people living in the household, but honestly, it seems that if we'd just readjust our mindset it would be find.  My oldest moves out next year for college, and then youngest a couple of years after that, and then it's just my husband and I, for which such a machine would be absolutely no problem.  Like I said, we already hang out a lot of laundry anyhow.  I also work 12 hour shifts, so it'd be nice to put the clothes in before work, and they'd be completely finished and dry when I get home.


I did call our regular appliance repair man, who said that, while he doesn't have a lot of experience working on them simply because not a lot of people own them, he is familiar with them and comfortable working on them, and he is certified by the manufacturer to do so.  


I'm still not sure.  One issue is space;  while we have a bigger house now with more space, the laundry area is NOT spacious at all.  In face, it's only big enough for a washer, and the people who lived there before us had the dryer in a completely other room (and floor!) of the house.  Another is noise;  the laundry area is off of the common area in our basement, and having only one machine would create less noise.  A final issue is cost.  The combo unit is cheaper than buying two separate ones.  However, cheapest would be to buy only a washer, and buy a dryer later.  If we did that, we'd have to hang out everything, all the time.  If we purchased a separate washer and dryer, we would also have to do some remodeling to accommodate for them.  We were planning on gutting the basement bathroom, at which time we would make a larger laundry room;  but we can't afford to do that right now, so we probably wouldn't buy a dryer for approximately 6 months (until our old house sells, which seems like it's going to take a while, unfortunately).  


At $1500+, it's an expensive item, but it was a cost I knew we were going to incur.  The idea of one machine is growing on me, but if I don't like it, that's a very expensive mistake, and a long time to live with an item I don't actually like.


Again, I appreciate everyone's input.  I'm still mulling it over....any additional thoughts are greatly appreciated!

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#6 of 9 Old 09-24-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, I'm trying to fight my tendency to be attracted to bright, shiny objects.  Really, I'm like a ferret or a raven.  It's NEW!  It's FUNKY!  It's EUROPEAN!  Why wouldn't I want it!?


Thanks for helping me find balance!

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#7 of 9 Old 09-25-2012, 11:55 PM
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I thought you were talking about those stacked units until I saw the link.  Not sure what I think about that.  If I was living alone and do one or two loads a week, sure no problem.  But for a family of 5 that just won't work.  First of all while 3.5 cu ft is very good size for a washer, it's dismal for a dryer.  You can't dry anything bulky in it like blankets or comforters.  And you can only do one load at a time which takes forever.  I think it's only good if you need to fit it under a kitchen counter (ya like in those tiny European apartments.).


Are you sure you won't have the space for a stacked pair? 

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#8 of 9 Old 09-30-2012, 06:31 AM
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We had one in a rented cottage.  It seemed CelloDad was forever managing the laundry for the four of us.  It didn't fit very much.  The drier cycle didn't dry all the way, and he ended up hanging most of our clothes (in front of the stove).  It was a miracle he stayed calm through the whole thing;  I would have started shouting with frustration (is why HE does all the patience-requiring things in the house).  In my opinion, better to spend the money on a good washing machine and a clothes line, if you don't have space for a stacked washer/dryer set.

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#9 of 9 Old 01-22-2013, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Just FYI, I ended up finding a deal on a compact, stackable Maytag washer and dryer. Part of the problem was the ceiling in the laundry room was 6' 3"; these two fit with about an inch and change to spare.

Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it!
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