I wasn't sure which forum to pick from the list. We are going to purchase an Amana washing machine and I have a question about the way new washing machines work. We live completely off grid, using solar panels for our power and the washing machine will be used from this power (inverter). The water will be added to the washing machine by hand via 5-gallon buckets or possibly pumped in with a Shurflo water pump. However, we will not be hooking up to a pressurized water system like we would if in town.
My questions is, can I manipulate the washing machine cycles, such as add water first (once I figure out the levels for low, medium, and high,) turn on the washing machine, let it run through wash cycle and spin cycle, then turn off (pull out knob to stop) add rinse water and then turn back on? I used to do this with a Kenmore machine that I had years ago, but I am not sure about newer machines. I am buying a plain-Jane Amana for $299 at Best Buy because it is the least expensive.
I sure hope that I can manipulate the cycles by stopping and starting because I am tired of washing by hand and for heavier loads driving 28 miles into town to use the Laundromat, which by the way, has had their hot water heater turned off and peoplethink they are using hot or warm water, but they are not and just don't know it. I used the top loaders there and can feel the temperature of the water. When I want to use hot or warm water I want hot or warm water. These are some more reasons for wanting to have a washing machine here at home.
I have not seen one recently that you can do that. Most start the cycle by running the drain pump these days. If it has the old mechanical timer style switch (turn clockwise only and go the whole way around to reset) you might have a chance. If it is electronic, probably not.
$300 will get you a rebuilt old Maytag wringer washer that will outlast you and your grandkids, from the amish or mennonites.
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What is the model number. Post it so we can google the specs. Personally if you want manual control I prefer the side by side japanese ones with the separate centrifuge wringer. You have the machine so that's not an option.
Best regards, David Baillie
Does it have a computer? The electronic ones are difficult to trick and manipulate. The mechanical washing machines are like your old kenmore, easy to manipulate.
I'm off grid with catchment water, using a small marine water pump. Like you, I prefer to control what my washer does. In the past ten years I had two washers, both electronic. They were given to me, both almost new and with no problems. Truthfully, I hated them. I could not preload gravity fed water. I couldn't shorten cycles or interrupt a cycle without it aborting the program and restarting. I couldn't jump through a cycle to shorten the time. I couldn't fool them into a short rinse & spin without the machine filling the tub with water.
I finally bought my own machine when the second electronic one developed a problem that would be expensive to fix. I bought a mechanical Speed Queen. I can manipulate it all I want. It uses very little electricity compared to any other machine I looked at. That's a major plus when off grid.
Basically you want a mechanical machine.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
I ended up in an online chat with Amana and was told that the washer must be hooked up to a pressurized hot and cold faucet and that I could not stop and start the cycles. So, we will not be buying the washer after all. We had been on the lookout for a wringer washer, but have had no luck finding one. We live in northern AZ so not near Mennonite or Amish communities. Until I can find a wringer washer I will continue washing by hand. I do have a large Sterlite tub to wash jeans, blankets, towels, and other bulky items. My problem has been wringing them out. My husband is not always nearby to help with this. My hands are not large enough to accommodate wringing out bulky items by myself. I have asked my husband to fashion some type of screw-down clamp device to hold one end of bulky items while I twist the other end to wring out most of the water. He checked on Amazon and found a clamp for $20 that he says will be easier to use for initial clamp down and release. We shall see if I can manage it.
I did look at the link Rebecca posted, but I would need something to handle quilts, jeans, bath towels and I don't think that type of washer would work for me.
I appreciate everyone's replies.
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