Alternative power and washing machine

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sisterpine, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Good morning everyone! We built our home, installed our own solar and FINALLY think i have found a washing machine that will work with our little system! Firstly did you all know that for a millisecond when the washer starts it uses like 30 plus amps! That is 3600 watts for those who do not know the math! We only have a 2000 watt inverter so guess what, a washer would not even start! Thought of a gas powered wringer type but I am getting older and really would like just this one modern convenience! By the way the washer companies Maytag etc do not know how many surge watts their own washers use! I have spent the past week trying to find one that will work on our inverter or our 3500 watt gas generator. And finally I did! Found a brand called Fisher Paykel that can be purchases through Lowes that has a "soft start" system where the AC power is converted to DC for use by the DC motor and only uses like 6-10 amps starting surge. Horay for common sense in design! This is touted as one of the most energy efficient washers available in this country and it is only 599.00 compared to all the Maytag, Whirlpool fancy ones for 1500!!!!! Needless to say I am thrilled. Even found a used gas dryer that the man will convert to propane at 7000 feet for me! All I need now is to finish the utility room and get the darn well drilled.
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    That will be really good news if using an inverter will not void your warranty. Staber has been the only brand that would let you use an inverter and keep the warranty. Their machine was around a thousand bucks last time I checked.
     

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Is the soft-start washer you got a front loader? It sounds great, I'm glad that you did your shopping around and have informed us of this.

    Many inverters have half again their rated wattage for such draws/starts, i.e. a 1000 watt inverter will put out 1500 watts on a very temporary basis.
     
  4. lostacreslady

    lostacreslady Member

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    Great info on the washing machines. I opted for a much less tech. washer, for my place in the woods. I bought a James washer, yes it uses man power and is not the most modern version on technology, but washes the clothes just fine and is very economical. Oh and to save money, I actually found a used one with the wringer included for a fraction of the cost. The James washer is still sold new through Lehman's.

    I might add that I only have laundry for myself and I can see where this system would not be adventagious for a family.

    Thanks again for the heads up on the more modern version.

    Lostacreslady
     
  5. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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  6. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I sure hope it works better than our Fisher-paykel dishwasher. You have to scrub the dishes to get them clean and then put them in the dishwasher. I would also highly recommend an expended warranty and see if they will give you a tech manual on repairing the machine. 50 miles outside of San Antonio and I can't get a factory authorized rep to come and service the machine. I'll take a Kenmore next time.
     
  7. My washer recently quit. Modern crap. Think the motor seized up.
    But, I was prepared, and now I'm doing my laundry (for a while) using my wringer washer. I'm 40 and you'd think by now that I'd have figured out that you can't mix blue shirts and blue jeans with white socks and white underwear. I now have white underwear and socks with a blue tinge to them. Oh, well, at least they didn't come out pink!
    The $15.00 for the wringer washer was a good investment tho.
    Never had that problem with the modern washer. Guess the wash cycle was too short, as I usually let the wringer washer run 45 minutes, or until I remember that it's still running out in the garage. Last night was a 4 hour wash. The water actually turned blue! Guess the wash cycle in a wringer washer has to be considerably shorter.
    Bought one of those hand crank washers from Lehman's that uses a little hot water and only a few minutes of hand cranking for a very small amount of clothing. Wasn't impressed. Guess I need to be 700 miles from nowhere to appreciate it. It's a $50 item that is sitting in the back storage room now.
     
  8. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Yucca will find out about the servicing stuff thanks for the heads up!
     
  9. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Just talked with a neighbor, seems Kenmore/Sears will not come up here for service either! they want you to bring the major appliance down to them!
     
  10. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    But at least there is someone "down there" who is a qualified service tech for the Kenmore. I dare say that San Antonio is a way bigger city than anything for several hundred miles around Montana and we don't have many who are interested in servicing the F-P, nor our Dacor ovens or ASKO washer and dryer.

    I will say though that all of these companies have been more than friendly in talking me through the repairs needed, and have been more than accomodating in sending the needed parts directly to me. You just have to have the tools needed and the ability to use a multi-meter.

    BTW - as for me I'll stay "On the Grid" until they do away with the grid and allow home sized fuel cells to be sold. A good windmill generating the right kind of power might be acceptable too. A home sized fuel cell would be the great revolution in living "off the grid".