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Overly complicated -- but that's how household appliances are these days
Jun 8, 2011 (Updated Jun 8, 2011)
Review by Stephen Murray
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Cons:The bleach mechanism is badly designed; vibrates a lot when spinning
The Bottom Line: A blight on the brandname that used to mean "reliable."
"Maytag" is a brand with considerable name recognition. The television ads of the lonely Maytag repairmen (Gordon Jump) never having anything to do ('cause Maytags never broke down) was one of the most memorable. (It must be, because I remember it!)
Recommend this product?
The company that was headquartered in Newton, Iowa and which supplemented its prime business of making threshing machines with manufacturing washing machines in 1907 was acquired by its (inferior in my view!) competitor Whirlpool in 2006. The Iowa factory and corporate headquarters were closed and the "Maytag" name is now put on Whirlpool products. (This is unobvious from the http://www.maytag.com/home.jsp site that included "Since 1907".)
Having once had Maytag stock, I was aware that Whirlpool had swallowed its competitor, but was not aware that today's "Maytags" are not made in what had been Maytag Corporation factories and are "Whirlpools. I guess this means that Whirlpool managed to buy some of the aura of durability from the long-running lonely Maytag repairman ads!
In the immensity of a Home Depot store, I didn't realize that 3.2 cubic feet of washer is a lot. There are (of course) settings for smaller loads, but the tenant who shares use of sets "extra-large load" and "extra rinse" to every load of every size. (Can you tell that this annoys me?)
Definitely, the MVWC200XW Washer can wash large loads. It needs a little encouragement, a "love tap" after it fills with water before starting to agitate. (Thus, an extra trip to the garage, or waiting for it to fill up and administering a blow to the cover...)
In general, appliances these days (not least computers!) have too many options and seem to me to be more complicated than they need to be. (Clothes dryers seem to be a rare exception; our stove and Cuisinart convection/toaster oven require more thought than I want to give when using them... and they consider signaling completion of the task I have assigned them far more important than I do!).
There is a choice of ten different washing cycles including Delicate, Super Wash, Hand Wash. I think that that is too many, but the four
temperature settings: Cold, Cool, Warm and Hot make intuitive sense to me.
Allegedly, the washing machine's "full-width lid bumper creates a seal between the lid and washer opening for quieter operation." I'm not convinced that it seals, and operation could IMHO be quieter. I guess that this means that the trademarked "Smooth Balance suspension system" is also not impressing me. The washer monster seems to vibrate at least as much as the old Sears model it replaced. (We have a guard rail to keep the washing machines from wandering around the garage.)
Another feature I would not have been aware of without looking at the advertising propaganda is a "Spill-Catcher top [that] helps prevent spills from running down the sides of the washer or dryer." I have never put in so much detergent that any washing machine I've used has overflowed, and tend to think that someone who does should see what he or she has done!
Although I have not been inside the machine while it is going (or for that matter inside any washing machine in operation, even as a foolish child), allegedly the agitator turns a hundred degrees (of 360, not of temperature!) delivering "a sweeping arc motion that gently rolls clothes through the wash water."
I always thought that "agitator" was a good label for the mechanism churning the load back and forth. I'm glad that newspeak hasn't relabeled it "gentle roller"!
The "1/2-HP drain pump" is supposed to lead to years of trouble-free draining. And the one-piece drain hose minimizes the potential for leaks. I hope so, but, as already noted, only have six months of experience (though six months that include use by my heedless, energy-wasting tenant...)
This rubber impeller protects the pump against nails, loose change and other debris.
I'm not sure (and don't really much care) what it is that has trademark protection as " PureClean rinse" and "SpinSpray rinse." Presumably they are good things.
Within the realm of my observation, what emerges from cold-water washing is satisfactorily clean. I think that clothes (etc.) tend to knot up in top-loading washing machines more than in (the vaguely "un-American") front-loading ones.
One facet I don't like is that the liquid bleach orifice does not hold the bleach back. The owner manual (reviewing drove me to look at it! breaking the plastic seal of its wrapper) recommends adding bleach 5 minutes into the wash cycle. The only way I would be near the washing machine 5 minutes after starting a load was if I was unloading another load from the dryer — and that would mean that I had started a prior load earlier still. If I'm going to add bleach, I have to wait until there is enough water to dilute the bleach, otherwise there is nothing to prevent whatever is on the bottom of the washing machine of being soaked in the bleach I add. (That is NOT a good thing!)
Moreover, the piece of plastic over the bleach tray can (and has) fallen under the inner tank, which is more than my arm's length, so very difficult to retrieve.
According to the delivery receipt (the only way I was able to figure out what model I had!), the washing machine package weighted 154 pounds. It must weigh quite a lot filled with water! (It's good that it is confined to its place and not invading the space of the cars in the garage! And that no one has to move it while it is full of water...)
I would not recommend it for sharing with someone (like my tenant) who is heedless of conserving water and energy, but that is not the machine's fault nor the designers or manufacturers of it. The design of the bleach tray and release is the fault of the designers. Wherever they are, the machine was made in the USA.
©2011, Stephen O. Murray
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