Pros: Looks great, functions ok
Cons: New GE design, support horrible, still bugs.
This review is specifically of the WHDVH626 but the users manual also covers other models. The front panel differences appear to be between English/French and English only, and a few cycles differ as follows:
- WCHVH6260 Handwash, Rinse & Spin
- WHDVH626 Woolmark, Rinse & Spin
- WBVH6240 Handwash, Drain & Spin, Rinse & Spin but the "My Cycle" button is missing on this model
- GBVH6260 and GCVH6260 are the same as the first two but apparently intended for French Canadian market (French Labels).
The GE website only shows one of these machines. I bought mine at Home Depot and it had the "my cycle" button. The one at Best Buys did not so I recommend paying attention to the details when shopping at local stores.
After moving back to the states after a long overseas residence, we needed several new appliances, including a washer and dryer set.
We were looking for the following features:
- Front Loader
After having lived in Germany for a long time, we were familiar with front loaders.
Front loading allows most current washer/dryer combinations to be stacked, saving space. If not stacked, having the top of the machine free for folding or storage is nice. Seeing that most top loaders aren't Energy Star made this factor almost a requirement.
- Internal water heater
The machines available in Germany - Siemens, Bosch, Miele, and a bunch of smaller names - all use internal heating only. (Most German washer areas are only equipped with cold water outlets for the machine, no hot.)
With the American top loaders, this feature is not necessary because enough warm water is taken from the tap to ensure the wash water gets warm enough. However, the reduced water usage of the Energy Star machines means the hot tap water may not be run long enough to get the water in the machine to the required temperature.
An additional factor is that tap water is limited in temperature. A built in heater can heat the water to as much as boiling - or even steam - if appropriate (like for diapers maybe?).
- Load capacity
Because we are a two person adult household we don't wash often, but we have enough clothes that we wash a lot when it's time. We wanted machines that could do it all in one load, and also wash our comforters and blankets every once in a while.
- Spin speed
In Germany we almost never used the dryer (which was actually built into the washer we had); the clothes are usually hung on the line. Seems old fashioned but it works and -except for some effort- is much cheaper and way more energy efficient than a dryer.
Our newest washing machine there managed 1500 RPM (in a smaller sized tub than the GEs) and my wife noticed a huge difference in the drying times after using 1100 RPM for a lot of years.
The Adora claims 1000 RPM while the LG 1350 and Maytag 1100.
We chose the GE because it had the water heater (Maytag didn't) and the while we would have liked the LG with water heater and faster spin, we felt that paying over 50% more for the small amount of laundry we do was not justified.
Now however, after the headaches we've had with GE service we now wish we had purchased the LGs. We later found an LG set which had the features we wanted at only a few hundred dollars more and we really wish we had found them before we decided on the GE product.
This is a new machine on the market and I'm sure it will eventually work acceptably, but I get the feeling GE is dumping these at dirt prices to get them tested. Even this would be ok but poor their field service left me without a washer for over a month.
I was initially only able to do a few loads before it failed, but now, after a total of exactly two months from the day I paid for it, I can finally do enough laundry to develop a qualified opinion:
- Sitting on concrete it is very quiet, even on highest spin. The motor itself makes no noise at all at wash speeds, only the sloshing of the water is audible. Even at loudest cycles I can hold a phone conversation next to the door with no problem. If installed on wood or second floor, I'm pretty certain it will be noisy and will probably send noise through the building.
(In our German machines, the drum was balanced by a huge heavy block of cement. GE just uses a complicated suspension system. This makes the machine much lighter and easier to manufacture & ship but makes it noisier and less stable.)
- One of the loads so far was a king sized quilted mattress cover - had no problems and we are satisfied with the cleanliness level, although we do miss our German machine in this aspect - it was a bit better.
- The remaining timer is not accurate. We watched it switch to one minute left and waited about 7 or 8 minutes for the cycle to finish. This is minor but still irritating.
- The beeper is not very loud - not even as loud as most front loader machines in their wash cycles. Downstairs or in the garage you won't hear it so it's like the machine has no beeper at all.
- The advertising claims a gajillion cycles but the documentation doesn't say much about them. It says what they're for but not how long they take, which steps are included, how fast or long the spin is, etc.
- Our particular model, WHDVH626 doesn't have a drain and spin only cycle. The model on the GE website does but it doesn't have the my cycle button. My cycle is nice but I think the drain and spin would have been better.
- I would appreciate a temperature indication for the water. There are 5 steps and a ?C/?F or even 1-10 value would help. What is the difference between "cold" and "tap cold"?
- The spin speed is slower than our German machine and we were hoping the GE's larger drum would negate the slower speed. It does but not much - the clothes are wetter than the in German machine.
The machines look good, they will wash clothes if no failure occurs, and the price would be acceptable if GE had a decent support system.
We can only strongly urge not to purchase these machines until and unless GE improves their service and the machines have been on the market long enough to have the baby problems worked out.