The new Whirlpool washer we just bought is about the same size as the one we got when we moved here to Saint-Aignan in 2003. It gave us good service for nearly 14 years. But lately it had started acting up. For whatever reason, it would stop in the middle of its cycle and display an error message indicating that the wash water couldn't be pumped out of the drum.
We were able to get the old washer-dryer combo moved out from the wall and clean thoroughly behind and under it before the new machine was delivered. This is the "unfinished" utility room on the ground floor of our house.
Walt opened it up and checked the filter. It wasn't clogged. And if we changed the cycle to a simple rinse and spin, the water was pumped out normally and everything worked fine. We unplugged the machine for about 24 hours, having been told that unplugging it might reset the electronic controls on the thing. That worked for a few weeks, and then it started acting up again. I ran it with hot water and a lot of distilled vinegar in it to see if that would help by dissolving any calcium deposits that might be blocking hoses or filter. That didn't work either. It was time to act.
Here's a Google Maps street view photo of our closest laudromat, 20 miles away in Romorantin.
Here's one of the problems: There are no laundromats around here — at least not that I know of. Oh, there was one in Saint-Aignan for a few years, from about 2007 until maybe 2012. Then it closed down. I've never seen one anywhere else. So if we don't have a working washing machine, what do we do? Anyway, do I really want to have to go to a laundromat? No. I just checked: there are three laundromats (laverie automatique, or lavomatique) in Blois. That's a 50-mile round trip. There's one in Romorantin — 40 miles away, round-trip. And there's one in Amboise — again a 50-mile round-trip.
Old Whirlpool vs. new Whirlpool
So there you go. We got a new washing machine from Darty. Free delivery, and it came just 2 or 3 days after I ordered it. The delivery guys hauled away the old machine. Not only was it acting up, but it also had started to rust out. So it's gone. The stacked dryer is also 14 years old, but since we use just a few times a year, it has held up better.
|Here's the new washer with the old dryer on top of it.|
I just checked to see if they make washing machines like ours for the U.S. market. It seems they do. I found this one on the Home Depot site (we paid only about half as much for the washer compared to the Home Depot price). It seems the more or less standard U.S. front-loading washer has a capacity of about 4.5 ft³. Our machine's capacity is about 2.0 ft³. That's 130 liters vs. 60 liters. And that's fine for us, because there are just two of us, and we don't work. We can run the machine every day if we need to, washing small loads. That's what we've been doing for 14 years. But the controls... well, more about that later...