Pros: Saves water Uses WAY less soap than previous top load Cleans whites extremely well
Cons: Installation not proper, unit wobbles loudly Machine cycles on/off too many times
Purchased brand new HE/4t Smartwash front load machine with "QuietPak 9" option and HE/4t Smartheat front load drier system also with "QuietPak 9". This is my first front load machine and replaced an older top loader style unit. So far there is only one minor issue (Cons) and many benefits (Pros).
The Cons are that the unit is extremely loud and unstable at various spin speed ranges. Installation crew leveled system corner but apparently never secured all 4 feet properly. Naturally it's the foot in back that needs adjusting so I can't get to it by myself. I'll have to call Sears back and have crew come back out. I think the unit is fairly quiet and will be much better when 4th foot is leveled properly. The machine cycles on and off many many times when filling with water and this attributes to much of the noise that I hear when unit is starting up. I can live with this noise because it is rotating clothes and sensing proper water level.
The Pros are that this unit senses load level automatically and thus saves water whether washing two garments or a whole bunch of them. My first water bill arrived with the new system and it's already apparent that I'm saving water and $$. Here in Albuquerque NM, we get a major cash rebate for installing this environmental friendly system right off the bat ($100). I switched to liquid HE laundry detergent and I can't believe how little soap is required. Soap isn't expensive but I've cut useage down to much less than half of previous volume. My city water is fairly soft (about 4 to 5 grain/gallon average) which means washing in hot water only requires 1/5 or 1/6 of a cap full of liquid Tide (HE) or else I end up in SUDS error rapidly. I think the benefit here also reaches to the environment because I generate much less chemical discharge to system treatment system. I also noticed that my first of load of whites came out cleaner (w/o bleach) so I went through the house and washed ALL whites again with equally pleasing results. Bleach is now only required when clothes are stained with foreign grease/grime/food particles.
The controls take some getting used because we are learning which function provides which temperature range of water. You CAN'T override many of the functions and make water one step hotter so you have to cancel out current selection and go back and guess which mode you need. A bit frustrating but workable (neither Pro nor Con).
I have yet to see any of the F11 error codes people list here but I know the SUDS error quite well. My unit is only 3 months old now so I will watch for problems. For a $1300 washer, I would expect to NEVER see it.