Good for what it is but beware.

Mar 12, 2009 (Updated Mar 12, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Efficient, economical, quiet, leaves clothes almost dry.  No digital electronics to fail.

Cons:Small soap/bleach tray, prone to circuit board/computer problems, cheap pulley design, tub will fail.

The Bottom Line: Today better front loader machines are available for a few dollars more.


  We purchased this machine in mid 2004.  The 1st machine never spun.  The circuit boards were no good.  A repairman came out a week after delivery and replaced a circuit board and ran away before the 1st spin because he knew it wasn't going to fix it.  He never came back.  After threatening to leave it out in the rain as laundry piled up for another week, Lowe's finally came and got it because it was on credit card and I was complaining to everybody I could think of to get rid of the useless machine that never worked.  And we didn't want another one from Lowe's since they weren't pushing the repairman to fix the machine.
   These days, it's common practice for stores to abandopn the buyer after purchase by passing us off on repairmen that may or may not fix a problem under warranty, while clothes pile up with a worthless machine standing idle for weeks and months.  Best to beware of machines with poor quality control problems and reputations to begin with.
   We purchased the 2nd one from Sears because it had better control features.  This machine worked very good and did what it was supposed to do for just over a year, then trashed the tub pulley & belt.  The pulley had disintegrated.  Trying to talk to Frigidaire was like talking to the wall.  Purchased a pulley & belt.  The original failed pulley was not true or call it out-of-round.  The replacement was identical.  Not good in that this poorly engineered out-of-round pulley taxes the motor & strains the belt as witnessed by black rubber marks left on the pulley by the belt.
    We did not find this in the instructions and is important.  Coin and debris trap removal access is from the front.  Remove 2 screws & the panel.  Using a pair of slip joint pliers, back off the clamp to the drain boot to dump the items out.  Not too much trouble for the guys but the non-mechanical public will call a service man for this every 6 months and take a healthy hit on the plastic.
   The washer made us happy without incident after that for 4 years, then suddenly the "frigidaire boom" happened.  The spider support on the tub had corroded through, finally snapped and this causes the tub to beat against the outer housing in spin mode.
   This is common and can be studied with photos on the Repair Clinic website.  The reason for this failure is dissimilar metal corrosion of bolting an aluminum spider to a stainless steel drum.  IF I'd known about this before purchasing the washer, it would have stayed at the store.  It is purposely engineered in failure and that never makes me happy.
    Frigidaire will not sell the spider. They force the public to purchase the whole tub assembly for about $265 to $300 on the Net.  And it is a 3 hour job taking it apart and another 3 hours putting it back together while you get cozy with Repair Clinic's site.  But it is not hard to do & our machine was still clean inside after 4 years service.  I elected to junk the machine due to uncertainty of future failure.
    FAQ's explain repairmen will charge much more than what the machine is worth new to replace the tub assembly and it is a good idea to have the bearings replaced, they eventually fail, too.  You may also notice the machine failed just outside extended warranty period. 
   To me, all these problems make the machine "fragile" and worrying about failure tedious.  In 2004 this was an economical alternative to expensive front loaders.  Today there are several better quality bottom or entry level front loaders for $100 to $300 more.
   


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