Death of the Top-Loader Washers
How Washington is making the Top-Loader washer Extinct - The Department of Energy (DOE) has been on a steady push since the late 1980's to increase the energy efficiency of all of our household and commercial products. These efficiency standards are for clothes washers to furnaces from dishwashers to microwaves. The DOE estimates that they have reduced the energy usage in average commercial washing machine by 70% from the energy dinosaurs of the early 1990's. (DOE classifies Commercial washers as less than 29 lbs. capacity.)
This is a good thing - right? If you like Front Load washers then this is a good thing. If you (and your customers) like the Top-Load washers then the DOE is your "evil empire". The DOE has been testing and rating all of the residential & commercial washing machines to determine how much Hot water and Total water they consume vs. the amount of clothes washed. The Front Load washers have a huge advantage here because they only fill up 1/4 of the drum with water and tumble the clothes in and out of this water. On the other hand the Top-Loading washers need to fill the complete drum with water to get the clothes wet.
The Classic Top-Loader - The 1980 vintage Top-Load washer cycle consisted of 1 complete wash bath, a spin and 1 complete rinse bath and then the final spin. This original cycle used about 40-50 gallons of water of which about 25 gallons would have been Hot water. As of January 2013 the current Top-Load washers have been severely restricted in how much water and Hot water they can consume and drastic measures have been performed to meet these restrictions. The current 2013 model Top-load washer has 1 complete bath with warm water (even if Hot water is selected) and then spins. After the spin cycle, the washer fills maybe 1/4 of the drum with water and then spins again and then performs a "spray rinse" in which cold water is sprayed into the spinning drum. The water is sprayed onto the clothes which passes through the clothes and goes down the drain. (A poor man's rinse.)
New 2013 DOE Standards - This severely modified cycle is the only way the manufacturers can meet the new "modified energy standard" and "water consumption standard" set by DOE & Congress. Along with the energy restrictions, the washer performance and wash results of the Top-Loading washer have declined with each mandate. In 1997, the first year of washer usage restrictions, the Consumer Reports magazine reported that they could not recommend a Best Buy for any of the tested washing machines. The only good news is that since 1997, the front load washing machines are getting better and better each year.
Death of the Top-Loader - The DOE has been putting nails in the Top Load coffin since 1997, again in 2007 and now 2013. There are further restrictions planned for the 2015 model year. The writing is on the wall that the "Top-Load" washer will eventually be a classic relic of a bygone era. Prepare yourself and your customers that once your ancient Top Loaders in your store die, that the new evolution of the front load washers will replace the old dinosaurs. Saving energy and reducing our carbon foot print is a good thing, but it is sad to see the evolutional extinction of the Top Load washer happening right before our eyes.
Depatment of Energy
Each commercial clothes washer manufactured between January 1, 2007, and January 8, 2013, shall have a modified energy factor of at least 1.26 and a water consumption factor of not more than 9.5.
Each commercial clothes washer manufactured on or after January 8, 2013, shall have a modified energy factor no less than and a water factor no greater than shown in Table 1.
Fun Stuff (with Top-Loaders)
This Top-Load washers was modified by Garden Laundry in Hamden, CT to become a hand sink. Very Creative.
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