Barbara Hillier’s Whirlpool Duet washer – shown here on its way to the dump – is identical to the model our columnist discussed in his previous column. (Photo submitted by reader)I received a deluge of responses supporting my observation that modern appliances are not built to last. More to the point, they seem designed to break down soon after the warranty expires, forcing consumers to purchase new appliances. In short, they win and we lose.
The Whirlpool Duet Sport WED8300SB is an electric dryer from the Whirlpool Duet series that features an AccelerCare Drying system with a painted steel drum that holds up to 6.7 cubic ft. of clothing, enough for a fairly large portion of laundry. In addition, the WED8300SB offers 9 cycles (6 automatic, 3 timed) including normal, heavy-duty, damp, timed, and quick, not to mention 5 drying temperatures. The WED8300SB also comes equipped with a 90-minute Wrinkle-Shield Plus feature, a Quiet Dry-Noise Reduction system, an Innovative Suspension system, a Duet Sport Fabric Care System, electronic controls with a child lockout, and 4-way venting. The Whirlpool Duet Sport WED8300SB retails for $799.00 in white and $899.00 in either black or ocean blue. If purchased from the manufacturer, the WED8300SB comes with a 1 year limited warranty. Optional accessories such as storage pedestals and a laundry tower are available for an additional fee.
The Whirlpool Duet WFW9600TA is the highest model of front loading washing machines offered by Whirlpool. This is one of three models which feature the steam fabric care system, the others being the and WFW9700VW. This system naturally steams out stains eliminating the need to pretreat stains, and sanitizes towels and sheets without bleach. The whitening performance is also enhanced by an Oxi dispenser, and there is a four-tray dispenser for prewash, detergent, bleach and fabric softener. It is ENGERY STAR qualified, and saves 73% of the water and 77% of the energy used by top loading washers made prior to 2004, while using the Normal cycle. There are 14 factory pre-set cycles and options including cycles for bulky items, quick wash, wool and silk, to name a few. The Ultra Capacity Plus stainless steel wash basket handled much larger loads than typical front loading machines, and is able to handle items such as rugs and comforters. Sixth sense technology determines the size of the load being washed and automatically determines how much water is required, monitors and controls the water temperature with the built-in water heater and keeps an eye on the suds level to prevent oversudsing. The direct inject wash system penetrates stains with a concentrated burst of detergent further eliminating the need to pretreat stains. The add-a-garment feature indicates how long new items can be added to the cycle without affecting the wash quality. Quiet wash plus noise reduction uses sound absorbing materials in front, sides and bottom of the cabinet helping to keep washer sounds from disturbing your daily life. The variable-speed motor spins at a maximum 1,200 RPM and uses a 6-point suspension system to reduce vibration and noise while in operation. Other features include door lock, child lockout, audio feedback, instructional control and optional laundry tower and worksurface. The matching dryers are the Duet Steam Electric Dryer and the WGD9600TA/TW Duet Steam Gas Dryer, which can be setup side-by-side or can be made stackable with the purchase of a stack kit. The WFW9600TA is available in a "new aspen" (or "light green") finish while the matching dryers come in "new aspen" and "silver metallic on white".