Pros: Reliable, inexpensive, "Extra Spin" cycle, quiet, many features to assist with energy efficiency
Cons: Possible leakage if your plumbing has any blockage
About ten months ago, our dutiful 15-year-old General Electric washer finally died. Having had good luck with two GE washers, we decided we might as well buy our third GE washer.
Our first concern was budget. We wanted to keep the purchase less than $700. The GE WBB4500 cost us $479.00. That fell right into our price range.
Our second concern was our washer/dryer alcove dimensions. The alcove is located in the kitchen with folding doors and due to its size, we quickly had to eliminate any thoughts of getting a front load washer. The GE WBB4500 is 41 3/4" in height, 27 1/10" in width, 25 3/4" in depth, and weighs about 145 lbs. It was the ideal size for our alcove.
Our third concern was energy efficiency. Although this model is not Energy Star Qualified, it is more energy efficient than our old washer.
We did some research and read reviews on the internet. At the time, most all ratings and reviews of this washer were positive. Since then, I have noticed the ratings and reviews have been mixed. I am surprised with some of the negative reviews because we love our GE WBB4500.
3.5 Cubic "King-Size Capacity" Tub
Stainless Steel Tub
5 Wash/Spin Speeds for a Total of 19 Cycles: Prewash, Easy Care, Delicates, Casuals, and Cottons.
4 Wash/Rinse Water Temperatures: Hot/Cold, Warm/Cold, Cool/Cold, Cold/Cold
4 Water Levels: Small, Medium, Large, Super
Extra Cycles: Quick Rinse, Drain & Spin, Extra Spin
Automatic Pre-wash, Bleach, and Fabric Softener Dispensers
LED Cycle Status Lights
The GE WBB4500 is a pretty basic, yet attractive washer. The control panel is very well laid out and easy to use. The cycle knob is on the right side of the panel with the LED cycle status lights above the knob, very easy to see from a distance. There are three knobs on the left side of the panel. Left to right, they are the "Water Level" knob, the "Water Temperature" knob, and the "Extra Spin" knob.
In comparison to our old washer, this washer is much quieter though it is much more powerful. When we close the alcove doors, we can not hear it unless we are in the kitchen.
Due to the larger tub, I have managed to cut down from 10-12 loads per week to 8-10 loads per week. Fewer loads gives me more free time.
The "Extra Spin" cycle really has helped cut down on the time it takes our clothing to dry. This is a plus, as the dryer is less taxed, even if there are more clothing items in the dryer. A load that used to take an hour to dry now takes only 45 minutes. Our natural gas bill has decreased a little and hopefully, this will give our dryer a longer life.
I have a habit of loading the washer a single item or a couple of items at a time. However, one day, I was in a rush and just threw in a large load of clothes by the bunch. On top of that, I forgot to adjust the water level to "Super". When I returned home and opened the washer, some of the sweat pants were all tangled around other clothes. I had to separate the clothes carefully to avoid stressing or ripping any fabric. That was the last time I tried to stuff the washer and the last time I forgot to check the water level.
The only real con that I see is that a clear flowing drain is a necessity with this washer. Our house was built in the early 1980s when Houston's economy was booming and houses were being built at a record pace. As a result, our house does not have the best plumbing. Over the years, we have used "Draino" monthly in our kitchen to keep our plumbing clear of any clogging. On occasion, we have let it go longer.
Since we bought this washer, we have been very careful not to miss our monthly "Draino" treatment. Our new washer drains extremely quick, as if it has a turbo drain motor. If there is any blockage between the washer and the sink, I can easily imagine a back-up which could cause leakage at the out-take hose area behind the washer.
We have only had this washer for about 10 months so I can not comment on the durability of the GE WBB4500. We are hoping that it will last as long as our last two GE washers.
The washer did get a super work out a few days after Hurricane Ike hit Houston. Though we regained power within 24 hours, my sister had no power in her area and was badly in need of a washer and dryer. She brought 11 loads of clothes to my house and we finished them in 12 hours. That was enough to convince me that this washer is a workhorse. My sister was also amazed that the washer is as quiet as it is and checked it a couple of times just to make sure it really was on.
All in all, I think the GE WBB4500 has been an excellent value for the money we spent. We have been very pleased with this washer because it is saving us money and time in most every way.