Re: washing machine information
From: Douglas G. Larson (
Date: Sat, 15 May 2010 08:35:30 -0700 (PDT)
>>we'd like to know what washing machines other co-housing communities use,
and whether the machines have served the community well:

>>What brand and model washing machine/s does your community use??Is the
washer durable/what's the repair record? Has it >>been easy to find reliable
repair service? Did the machine come with a service contract? a warranty?
>>Does it clean pretty well? What objections/problems have residents had?
>>Would you get the same machine (albeit improved in water and energy use)
again? if not, what would you get??What other >>comments do you have?

We use Speed Queen commercial washers and dryers in our community laundry. 

Speed Queen has many models, ours is what they call a coin operated
Stackable, the dryer is on top of the front loading washer. We bought two
stackables 10 years ago when we moved in. They are coin operated but we
leave the coin drawer unlocked so people can retrieve a quarter to use the
machine (essentially making it free for users). We also had a residential
pair that one family donated on move-in. We just purchased a new Speed Queen
stackable this year to replace the residential set we had. The new stackable
is what Speed Queen calls an "On Premises" model. It looks and performs
nearly identically to the coin operated models but requires no coins. 

The 2 older stackables have had various repairs over the 10 years we have
owned them. The most frequent problem is people using too much detergent. We
have also replaced various parts over the years (e.g. rubber door seal,
control switches, drain valves and the like). Overall I would guess we have
repaired them maybe 12 times in 10 years. 

The residential model (don't recall the brand) tended to break down more
often than the stackables and was especially prone to the too-much-detergent

Since we have never owned any commercial machines other than Speed Queen, I
can't compare them to other commercial brands though my pre-purchase
research determined that Speed Queen is considered a very reliable brand in
the commercial laundry machine industry. 

Cleaning Ability
I believe they clean well but cleanability of stains is a complex mix of
fabric type, chemical composition of stains, the speed with which you attack
a stain after it occurs, water temperature and soap or detergent. It has
much less to do with a given washing machine's capability. If you are
interested I can give you a more complete discussion of laundry cleaning
techniques at some other time.  

Overall Experience
All in all, I think they have served us fairly well. I don't recall if they
came with a service contract or not. The did have a warranty but I don't
recall its duration. For the first 2 years or so, we had the local company
we bought them from do the repair. But during the past 8 years or so, one of
our residents has handled all the repairs, greatly reducing our repair

Purchase Same Brand Again?
We just puchased a new stackable set this year and chose the same brand,
i.e. Speed Queen. 

Other complaints
My personal complaint is that the Speed Queen stackables tend to not spin
completely when the load is out of balance, leaving a sopping wet load of
laundry to deal with. Other than that, I like them. 

Douglas G. Larson,
Songaia Cohousing 

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