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Whirlpool: High Efficiency Compact Washer

Reviewing: Whirlpool #Lhw0050 Pq 2.9 Cu. Ft. 11 Cycle Washer  |  Rating:
alexsandralyn By alexsandralyn on
Badge: Advisor | Level: 17 | Furniture & Appliances Expertise:
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The recessed area where my washer and dryer fit is very small in its width and depth, meaning that I can only put an apartment sized washer and dryer in that area. My old Kenmore top-loading apartment sized washing machine was incredibly inefficient in that it was overloaded if I put three pairs of jeans in there. I could wash two pairs of jeans and a t-shirt at a time as its maximum load. Well, the Kenmore finally died, I was going to the laundromat once a week, which I hated for the inconvenience but loved for the speed with which I could get my laundry done, and I was on the hunt for a new washing machine that could fit in my mobile home.

Size was definitely of more importance to me than brand name, and I combed through local large appliance dealers with a measuring tape in my pocket and the maximum width and depth measures on an index card. The washing machine had to be less than 24" wide, and ideally less than 22" deep because of 2" worth of pipes on the floor, and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a washing machine, ANY washing machine, that small.

Salesmen know a lot about functions but not about SIZE as compared to functions, and the Whirlpool 2.9 cu. ft. High Efficiency Washer was just a dream machine of compact efficiency. It can take a maximum recommended load of 3 pairs of jeans, 2 work pants and 3 work shirts... or 8 bath towels, 8 hand towels and 10 washcloths. That just blew my mind because bath towels are the heaviest to spin out once they're soaked with water, and this little apartment-sized front-loading washing machine was able to keep up with the heavy duty top-loading Maytag washing machines that I was using at the laundromat.

And it's EnergyGuide rating? This model uses 212 Kwh per year as compared to 177 on the low end and 1278 on the high end, making this model one of the most energy efficient washing machines on the market today. The estimated annual cost for doing laundry is $19 if used with an electric water heater and only $9 if used with a natural gas water heater. It comes with a one-year full warranty, a lifetime limited warranty on the stainless steel wash drum, and two to ten year limited warranties on the electronic control boards, drive system belt and pulleys, and outer tub.

When the Whirlpool 2.9 cubic foot 11-cycle High Efficiency Washer went on sale at Best Buy with a 0% interest for one year offer and $100 off the $600 list price, I jumped on it. I went to the store on the same morning that the Sunday sale flyer came out and I waited in the parking lot until the store finally opened. The salesman was completely bewildered that I had no interest in comparing models, nor did I even need sold on this set. It sold itself. I also bought the matching Whirlpool 3.8 cubic foot 11-cycle Electric Dryer that was also on sale at Best Buy for $100 less than the list price, but that's a different review.

The Whirlpool 2.9 cubic ft. 11-cycle Washer and its matching dryer can be stacked or placed side by side, and can be used with pedestals or without. I prefer the side by side placement without pedestals because the top of the washer and dryer also serves as my waist high sorting and folding area, and the pedestals beneath would have made that natural "counter space" too high. Instead, I have to bend over a little further to make certain I've gotten all of the wet clothes out of the drum.

One of the features I really like about this Whirlpool Washer is the Heavy Duty wash cycle option that gives my extra-dirty clothes an extra long wash cycle. I can also select an extra rinse, and when I've been gardening, I need that. The spin cycle is so powerful that I don't even use the extra high setting because it would dry my clothes in the washing machine and make it much harder to fluff the wrinkles out in the dryer. And I prefer to avoid ironing if I can.

One of the things that I don't like about this washing machine is that if I do discover that I need to spin out more excess water, there's only one available "Spin Only" option under the Delicates setting. Believe me, if I need an extra high spin, it's not because the clothes were delicate. Another minor annoyance is that I can't just hit the start button when I'm ready to begin the second load; I have to turn off the washing machine, then turn it back on again and hit start, or move the dial setting to "Off", then back to "Normal", and then hit the start button. That may have been designed to make me pay more attention to my laundry settings, but when my preferred settings are consistent load after load, that gets annoying fast.

Otherwise, if you need highly efficient washing machine in a compact size, then I highly recommend the Whirlpool 2.9 cubic ft. 11-cycle Washer available from Best Buy. It's well worth the list price, and it's just icing on the cake if you can catch it on sale.