Washers from Top Load to Front Load and Back Again

I just want to give my readers a little heads up on the evolution of washing machines to date. We went from top loaders to front loaders ...and it looks like they are pushing top loaders on us again. Why I wonder? Maybe people did not quite accept front loaders because they are too expensive, expensive to repair, bulky, and too low?


In any case, top loaders are back in play again. The stores are loaded with them. Here are some advantages:

  • Large wash capacity if you go with the 'low agitator'
  • Good energy savers because of the larger capacity per load
  • Ergonomically easier to access (my own point of view)
  • Good drum speed of up to 800 rpm
  • Uses less water than the older top loaders

But I don’t like them...of the ones I have been around. Here is why:


  • Prone to have odours and have to be chemically cleaned (tablets are available for that)
  • Control board prone to have program issues; average home owners cannot re-program
  • The repair problems are still new to many service repair persons

But the front load washers have problems of their own. Let's see:


  • High repair rate compared to the top loaders they replaced
  • Parts are expensive – sometimes very expensive
  • Mould and odour build up on door gasket/boot
  • Designed with at least two control/electronic boards, which increases the chances you will have a board failure
  • Low access, unless you buy the stand

Of course front load washers have their advantages like:


  • High efficiency
  • High speeds and therefore dryer (less wet) loads at the end of cycles

Maybe I am writing this article because I don’t like either of the new designs, top or front loader. The quality is lower than what I was used to years ago. So, what to do? Look at the comments I have shared with you so you can ask the right questions when making a purchase. Also read my article on choosing a brand.

Warranty and Insurance
I hate to recommend this, but you may have to look at the warranty programs available if you wish to have coverage in year two when many of these machines will have some failure. Not recommending; just saying. There are 4 and 5 year coverages available for between $75.00 and $100.00. I hate to spend that kind of money myself; but if your machine is going to get heavy use, this is something to consider.

Sale Prices
Do a price comparison. I have been noticing one big box store that raises its prices before the appliances go on sale. So, with your sale discount, you are paying the regular price, almost to the penny. In other words, the ‘sale’ price you pay is the same, whether the item is on sale or not.

With any questions about warranties and pricing, feel free to call Owen’s Home Appliance Repair at 416-698-3316.

Shop prudently,
Owen