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on May 13, 2012
NOTE: It's my understanding that the AWN542 and AWN542S are the same machine (they only changed the model number).

UPDATE: As of 12-09-14, I've had this machine for just over three years. There have been no problems or service calls, and I have no regrets regarding my purchase.


After sixteen years of use, and without a single service call, my top-load Maytag washer finally bit the dust. I could have had it repaired. But an estimated 3,000 wash loads had worn away the porcelain finish in the tub leaving it as rough as sandpaper. As a result, my clothes were coming out worn looking after only a few washings. It was a great machine that served me well, but the time had come to say goodbye.

Because of the worn tub I'd already been looking at new washers off and on for over a year. They've certainly changed a lot in the last sixteen years. For one thing, front-loaders were mostly unavailable when I bought my Maytag. Plastic has replaced many of the parts that used to be made out of metal. And basic analog controls have been replaced with electronic touch-panel circuits and LCD screens. What was once a relatively simple appliance has "evolved" into a complex, computer-controlled, electronic device with the ability to display multiple error codes. Error codes? My old Maytag couldn't display error codes. It just worked.

From what I've seen and heard from others, washer reliability and longevity has gone downhill over the years. Why? I believe part of the problem is the complexity of the newer machines (lots of electronics). But more than any other reason, I think the market is driven by consumers who want something new and cheap to buy every few years. As a result, newer machines aren't really built to last. When I bought my old washer I expected it to last fifteen years or more with little or no trouble. I wonder how many new washers on the market today will last sixteen years and wash 3,000 loads of clothes without needing a single service call? Not many, I'll bet.

I've looked at a lot of plastic-clad washers that seem destined for the scrap heap in five years. The manufacturer could build them to last a long time if they wanted to. But in doing so they'd probably have to double the price. In order to keep the price low, longevity and reliability are no longer at the top of the list. Just like computers and cell phones, most washing machines made today have become throw away devices. And yet, who can blame the consumer for throwing away their washer when the repair bill is almost as much as buying a new machine?

As I continued to do my research for a new washer I had to decide whether to purchase a top-loader or a front-loader. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. I know several people who have front-load washers. They've told me that their machine uses very little water and detergent. That's good. They've also said that it spins so fast that the clothes don't need as much time in the dryer. That's good too. On the other hand, they've told me that the door must be left open between uses to avoid mold or funky smells. In addition, the machine needs to be periodically "refreshed" with special cleaners, bleach, or programmed cleaning cycles to keep odors under control. I can honestly say that in all the years I've used top load washers, I've never once had to leave the lid open or periodically "refresh" the machine to avoid mold or nasty smells.

Having determined that I'd much prefer a top-loader, the question then became, "Which one do I buy?" Many of the top loaders on the market appear to be simple, basic machines. Further investigation reveals that a lot of them contain sophisticated circuitry and are essentially controlled by a computer. It's not that I have anything against computers. I use them all day in the office where I work. And I used one to write this review. But do I really want my washing machine to be controlled by a computer?

Before purchasing my Speed Queen I considered several other washers, including a GE Hydrowave washer (model GTWN4000MWS). Although this machine doesn't have a transmission and is supposed to be very quiet, the direct-drive motor is controlled by circuitry that can display ten (10) different error codes by way of a flashing green LED located on top of the motor. One salesperson that I talked to about this washer suggested it would be a good idea to plug it into a surge protector to protect the electronics in the event of a power surge.

GE's own website describes how the consumer can "reset" the Hydrowave washer if it quits working because of a power spike or some other problem: Unplug it for one full minute, plug it back in, then lift and close the lid six (6) times within a twelve second period. Are they serious? Thanks, but I really don't want a washer that may periodically need to be "rebooted".

After much research and consideration, I decided that what I wanted was a simple and rugged washing machine that would last me many years without any trouble (like my Maytag). I wanted a machine that didn't contain any sophisticated circuitry or computers that might get fried by a voltage surge. I also wanted a washer that allows me to manually set the water level in the tub, rather than an electronic sensor in the machine making the decision for me. Lastly, I wanted a stainless steel tub that won't wear out like the porcelain tub did in my old Maytag.

I looked at the new Maytag top-loaders. The models I saw that have stainless tubs also have electronic touch panels instead of analog switches. I did find a model with analog controls that allows me to manually set the water level, but it didn't have a stainless tub. I also looked at some other brands but couldn't find what I was looking for. I began to wonder, "Doesn't anyone make what I really want?" Luckily, there is.

Alliance Laundry Systems (the maker of Speed Queen) makes a lot of laundry equipment for use in commercial applications. They have a well-known reputation for making rugged, reliable machines. The AWN542 is a no-nonsense washer made very much like the way washers were made twenty or more years ago. It's not the least expensive top loader you can buy. But then again, you won't need to spend a dime on an extended warranty because it comes with a factory three (3) year warranty. The tub is stainless steel so it will never wear out. And although it doesn't have the biggest tub at 3.3 cubic feet, my old Maytag was only 2.9 cubic feet in size. I've washed a queen size comforter in the Speed Queen and it worked just fine.

Unlike some machines that won't allow you to manually set the water level, the Speed Queen still has an adjustable switch that lets you decide this for yourself. However, I don't like the fact that even on the "Extra Large" water setting this machine doesn't fill up the tub as high as it did in the older models. This is due to newer government efficiency standards that reduced the water level in top-load washers. If you need more water in the tub you can hold down the reset switch until the machine fills up to the desired level. For a more permanent solution, you might look around on the Internet and see if anyone discusses how to adjust the water level in this machine.

The maximum spin speed is 710 RPM, which is higher than my old Maytag. I find the noise level to be about the same or a bit less than my old machine. Although it's not what I'd really call quiet, it's certainly not loud or annoying. Doing a long soak in this machine is simple...just raise the lid. When you close the lid, it picks up where it left off. By the way, that's another nice thing about a top-loader. You can easily add a missed piece of laundry to the machine during the wash cycle.

Speed Queen uses a balancing system in this washer that really works. I've washed both small and large loads, and it has never walked across the floor or even moved a fraction of an inch in the spin cycle. This model also has an extra rinse switch. Another nice feature on this machine is the Fabric Selector Switch. This feature gives you the ability to independently control the agitation and spin speed in most cycles. For example: In the Regular cycle, you can select a fast or a slow agitation speed. You can also select a fast or a slow spin speed. My only complaint about this feature is that the selectable speeds are only referenced by fabric type. For example: One of the selections is marked "Knits". You'll need to refer to the owner's manual to discover that this setting will provide you with a slow agitation speed and a fast spin speed.

Will this machine be reliable? Will it last sixteen years like my old Maytag? Only time will tell. However, I can tell you that it appears to be well built. It may not be flashy to look at, but it doesn't contain electronic touch-pad controls, a computer, or an LCD display to go bad just outside of the warranty period. In the event that something does go wrong, I don't think it's going to cost a fortune to have it fixed.

You won't find Speed Queen for sale at Best Buy, Lowe's, Home Depot, Sears, etc. They're sold mostly at independent appliance dealers who actually know something about the products they sell. And one last thing. A lot of the other machines that I looked at were made in Mexico or Korea. I like the fact that Speed Queen is made in the USA.
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on February 25, 2012
1 Year update

We have now used both the Washer and Dryer heavily over the past year. All my opinions and observations below have not changed. They have worked flawlessly since the day we bought them and they still look brand new.

Years ago you bought a washer and dryer and they would last at least 20 years. They were built tough and made to last. There was no HE which uses less water but in the process shreds clothes and no plastic parts or electronic controls that failed a few years after you bought them. Speed Queen is the last washer and dryer made to the old standards. They are identical to the commercial machines made for Laundromats but instead of a Coin box they have a control panel.

If you like fancy electronic controls, machines made of more plastic than steel, and don't mind being on a first name basis with your appliance repairman the Speed Queen is not for you.
But if you want a tough no-nonsense washer and dryer that cleans well and is similar to the workhorses sold in the 70's and 80's you are in the right place.

The Appliance Repairmen I talked to tell me these machines will easily last a family 25 years and probably longer. In fact, one told me he has never removed a Speed Queen Washer or Dryer regardless of age that wasn't still working.

As far as the Water Level problem- the posters are correct, it is too low. This can not be blamed on Speed Queen but is a result of the government meddling in the appliance business.
The good news is it can be fixed in less than 5 minutes. It can be adjusted where it will fill once again to that of the older machines without it being necessary to hold the reset switch.
I am not going to say how- just search the internet and you will find the answer.

For the sake of a balanced review it should be noted the Speed Queen lacks features common to many other modern washers. The cycle options are limited and it does not have the choice of a warm rinse. It also has a smaller capacity than many newer machines. My wife doubts it will wash her Queen Bedspread but her old King Size Kenmore could not wash it either. That is one item that will still be taken to the Laundromat every few months.

Unfortunately, if you are in the market for a Washer and Dryer it seems you can no longer "Have Your Cake and Eat it Too". While other washers have larger capacities they are plagued with so many other problems as to make them more trouble than they are worth.
Our friends who own newer machines all complain of problems in one form or another. The only common denominator is they are all related to something electronic. Speed Queens have no electronics so they tend to be reliable but they are not particularly fancy either.

It seems there are now only two choices. An unreliable full featured machine that looks like something out of Star Trek or a rugged well built one that looks like the washer your Grandmother had. While the Speed Queens do lack "pizzazz" it should be noted they clean better than HE machines and do not tear up what they wash.

I would recommend one other thing.
Find a dealer and go look at the machines in person. That is what we did and it only took a few minutes to realize we had found what we were looking for.

Also, these may be something best bought locally. The prices for the AWN542 Washer and the ADE4BR Dryer were lower at our neighborhood appliance store than the prices online even with local sales tax added in.

Oh by the way- one other reason to buy Speed Queens. The machines and all their components are MADE IN AMERICA.

Product Update:

We have now had the AWN542 Washer and the ADE4BR Dryer for a little over two weeks. In that time my wife has washed everything from her normal weekly wash to every blanket, sheet, and throw rug in the house.

Since the initial review was written from my point of view I decided to include my wife's since she is the one who actually uses them. She has now seen them operate in every conceivable circumstance so I felt her opinion would be more helpful than my impression when they were first delivered.

For the record the Speed Queens replaced a Kenmore Catalyst Elite Washer and Dryer.

1) My opinion the cycle options are limited is not shared by my wife. She feels the washer can handle anything she would conceivably want to put in it.

2) The Speed Queen can handle bigger loads than her old King Size washer. As others have mentioned, the agitator is smaller which may be the reason it holds more.

3) She loves that nothing throws the washer "out of round". She has not had one situation where it "clunked" or the load had to be redistributed. This even included washing throw rugs.

4) She initially missed the dispensers the Kenmore had and the Speed Queen lacks. Her Kenmore had separate Bleach, Fabric Softener, and Detergent dispensers. The Speed Queen lacks a detergent dispenser.

5) She wanted a warm rinse option.
I fixed the problem by getting two Y-hose couplers and feeding a small amount of hot water into the washer's cold water inlet. This made the warm wash a little warmer while giving her a warm rinse at the same time.

Years ago all washers including Speed Queens had the option of a Hot, Warm, or Cold rinse. Unfortunately, Energy Standards forced manufacturers to eliminate those functions or make them useless.
Today Electronic Washers have sensors which allow a Hot Wash to be only 100 degrees and Warm Rinse not to exceed 70 degrees.Since Speed Queens are mechanical the customer can "override" what the government says we are allowed to have.

6) In her opinion the Speed Queen cleans better and has not damaged anything put in it. It may clean better simply because she has hotter water during the "Warm Wash" on this machine than she had with the "Hot Wash" on the previous one.

7) The thing she likes most about both the washer and dryer is they are very rugged in their construction. She doesn't think anything can damage them which is not how she felt about her old Kenmore's.

These are her words," I think if I wanted I could wash and dry a load of rocks and it wouldn't faze them".

I hope this is helpful to other potential buyers.


6 month update:

I decided to do an update 6 months out for one reason.

Most reviews are written a few days after the purchase. But the real question is not how the product performs the first week but how is it doing months or even years later.

To me that would be more helpful since all new appliances work initially- the problem is many start falling apart a few months after you buy them. Many of our friends with newer machines have had that problem.
For the sake of time I am covering both the washer and dryer in one update. My initial reviews on both the AWN542 washer and the ADE4BRG dryer are posted on Amazon.

So how is the Speed Queen washer and dryer doing after 6 months?

They have been used heavily and we have not had a hint of a problem.

In addition, Speed Queen makes a big deal out of the fact their coatings and finishes ( think paint) are made to Laundromat standards and are far superior to other laundry appliances.
That claim appears accurate.

Both the washer and dryer look exactly as they did when they were first delivered in spite of their heavy use. They still look brand new without a trace of wear or corrosion in spite of the fact we live on the ocean.
You could put them back on the showroom floor and sell them as new and no one could tell.

I also downloaded the Speed Queen Service Manuals in order to be familiar with their construction in case I ever had to do a repair.
I discovered they were built even better than I thought.
Electronics are the primary cause of new appliance failure today. The second is Drive-Train issues.
Speed Queen has no electronic components so they are reliable in that area. All their controls and switches are commercial grade so I doubt they would ever break in a residential environment.

Second, the Drive Train has no plastic components at all. The washer transmission has only eight gears made of steel so it is unlikely it would ever break. The motor is commercial grade as well. The inner tub on the washer is Stainless Steel and the outer tub is Porcelain coated steel as opposed to plastic used in all other washers. I never could determine the type of bearings they use but from what I have seen I would guess they are over rated as well.

The washer is belt driven instead of direct drive so the belt is the mostly likely part to fail. But I have seen the belt and it looks like an alternator belt used in cars in the 70's. It is so oversized it would probably take decades to wear out.

The water pump is direct drive off the motor and made of plastic. It appears to be of much higher quality than what was in our old Kenmore so it unlikely this would be a source of failure any time soon.

Dryers are far simpler than washers so there isn't as much to tell.
The motor is also commercial grade and the drum belt it uses is oversized as well. The weak link in the dryer would be the heating element since they do burn out. The element doesn't appear to be any different than what I have seen in other dryers so it will probably need to be replaced every fifteen years or so.

The bottom line is Speed Queens are not a gift from Heaven, they are simply built the way all washers and dryers were 30-40 years ago.
In fact, if you look at Service manuals from any major brand from the 60's they all looked and were built the same way the Speed Queens are today.

They don't do any more or less than any top end washer and dryer you could have bought in 1970. But like the old machines they clean well and last almost forever.

So to repeat myself- if you want fancy paint jobs and a lot of computer functions that fail after a few years look elsewhere. But if you want clean clothes and reliability buy the Speed Queens.
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on February 2, 2013
Update, Dec 2014: Someone just asked me if this machine locks when in operation. As i understand, newer machines are now required by law to lock. I'm not sure though, so phone the company if you need to know.

I don't have this exact model, I have the sister one, awn412s. (My review is there, but I was referred to these reviews and noticed people talking about water levels. I agree with the favorable reviews here. Myself, I visited a friend who was using an expensive front loading machine and was appalled at how dirty the clothes coming OUT of the machine were. I decided then and there I would never buy one.)

I love my machine, but found I couldn't put clothes all the way to the top without them coming out seriously twisted and wrinkled. I adjusted the water level using info from a repair web site. You have to unplug the machine of course, and remove the back of the top panel box. Takes one minute. You'll find a white Teflon-like disk; mine was about 3/4 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. It has a screw going through the center. THAT's the thing that sets the water level- turning that screw. It takes time to correlate the number of turns and the direction to turn it. Truthfully, it's been a while, so I forget the details, but I believe clockwise raised the level and I think maybe ! 2 to 4 turns was about right. I had marked the water level in the machine before I started. After turning the screw, I replaced the panel and turned the machine back on to see where the water got to. By trial and error, I was able to get it exactly where I wanted it, about 1 inch from the top. It's more than worth it!!! Takes maybe a half hour in all, but you'll find you can add twice as many clothes to the washer WITHOUT MANGLING THEM. I wonder if those ripped jeans were due to an over-crowded washer that had too little water.
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on June 27, 2012
I pretty much agree word for word with T.Day's review from June 1 on this machine, I can't think of much to add. As a matter of fact I purchased this same exact machine based on their review because I too was sick of these front loaders and not having any control over the machine's water level or temperature levels not to mention the awful smell these front loading machine produce. I don't know what has happened to consumers but we seem to just roll over for anything these appliance makers shove down our throats. This Speed Queen is so anti-establishment that it makes me love it even more, I feel like we're going against the grain every time we wash a load of clothes and yes, I do mean WASH not merely dampen like our 2 year old Whirlpool Duet did.
There's nothing fancy about the Speed Queen, no buzzers, bells digital displays nothing fun. It just washes clothes exactly how WE tell it to. I can adjust the water level, I can make the hot water scalding if I want I can even add a pair of socks after the cycle has begun.... unheard of.
The one and only Con on this machine is that it's about to become extinct so you better get yours now. Actually the second Con was that I wasn't able to buy through Amazon this time. Luckily it worked out going through another vendor.
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on September 28, 2013
I want:

1. I want WATER - lots of it.

2. I want HOT WATER - no eco friendly making of hot water (stupid government regulation; Speed Queen will have to comply next year I was told)

3. I want an AGITATOR - I wouldn't feel clean if I bathed by only hopping around or bumping around in a tub of water when I bathed; same goes for my clothes.

4. I want NO locks on the lid (AGAIN, stupid government regulation; Speed Queen will have to comply on this next year I was told)

5. I want NO computers - love computers and technology but not in a washer. Washing clothes is not rocket science. If they can make one that washes, dries AND folds, we'll talk.

Simple is all I want in a washing machine. After our washer broke last week, I went to Home Depot and Sears to buy a new one. I quickly realized washers had drastically changed in the last 8 years since we bought ours; more than I had ever imagined. Needless to say, I left the stores empty handed, came home and engaged in HOURS of research looking for the things I wanted. SPEED QUEEN was and is the ONLY one that had all my simple wants. These are the last of "built to last, old school" washers. The 3 year warranty, plus 5 years for the motor, and 10 years on the transmission just happened to be a HUGE perk. I bought the mid-line model 432 for $799. I will be looking into getting a Speed Queen dryer once we pay this washer off.

If I have ANYTHING negative to say about this washer in the future, I WILL update here. The only negative thing I can say now is that they are not the prettiest things, but then again I am not trying to make a fashion/décor statement in my laundry room.
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on March 29, 2014
Exactly what I wanted. After 25 years, my GE washer was making a lot of racket at the end of the final spin, I was told it was a bearing problem, and not worth fixing. It was still washing clothes well, like a wounded soldier determined to drag fallen comrades back from the front line - no quit to it, and loyal. (It's been making that noise for two years, just getting worse. I'm going to give it to my son, just to see how long it will go). After hitting the local appliance store, asking very pointed questions, and having the manager tell me there was no product in his store that I was going to like - they were all high efficiency - (I briefly considered the last GE model with top load and vertical agitator) - I hit the web hard. The negative reviews on ALL other washers are really funny to read. My wife and I laughed, and I may go back and read some more of them if I get down. Especially the front loaders. Anyway, I found the Speed Queen. I read the reviews, and gambled and spent almost double the amount they were asking for the old style GE and purchased the AWN542 Speed Queen. I hooked it up myself in about an hour from box to washing. Adjusting and leveling the legs and getting it even with levels was the most difficult task associated with the machine's installation, but not bad for one person, and if you had two, piece of cake. The longest time was spent cleaning the floor under the old washer. Regardless, I love this washing machine. It holds tons of clothes, washes the load well and very quickly, is simple to operate, and just makes that little task in my life a lot easier. That is all an appliance is supposed to be and do. I have had it about two to three weeks, and my wife and daughter love it too, which is more important to me than my satisfaction with it. Did I buy into the Speed Queen marketing hype and do I like the fact that it says "heavy duty super capacity commercial grade" or something like that on it? Yes. Do I like the fact that it has stainless steel parts where other machines have plastic or cardboard? Yes. Am I thrilled that there is no button or screen to mash on that will wear out like a cheap volume adjustment on a mini van stereo - if it doesn't break first? You bet. I like that a lot. Do I like the fact that it has minimal electric cyborg computer chip foolishness in a high humidity environment? Yes. Do I mind that I can't turn it on or change its skin color or live stream a secure video feed of my clothes washing remotely from my office with an IPad? No. Will it last? I don't know. I hope it will, and it makes sense that it should. If it lasts, it will be the perfect washing machine - or maybe number two compared to my old GE. I wish this company made lawn mowers or gas grills.
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on May 7, 2014
When we moved to our newly constructed house last month we did not take our hard working 12 year old Kenmore 90 Series washer (made by Whirlpool) with us. The timer (the critical electromechanical "heart" of the washer which resides under the main dial) had failed on it last Fall and though it was an easy if expensive DYI fix the wife had lost confidence in it. She said it was just too old to move. SO off to the big box stores to look for a replacement. She is not a fan of front loaders and she had heard all the horror stories about top load HE machines so those were off the list. Basically she wanted a top load washer just like our old Kenmore - manual load sizing, lots of water temperature choices, multiple speed selections, and an extra rinse. All the traditional top load washer at the big box stores were basic, bottom of the line machines that had none of the extras she wanted. SO off to the internet to see what was available online. While searching on Amazon I stumbled on to Speed Queen by simply searching for traditional top load washers in order of customer ratings. It seems that nearly everyone who has bought a Speed Queen has loved it. It looked like the AWN542 model fit most of her requirements so after convincing the wife that the extra expense was worth it (Speed Queens are not cheap) I found a local distributor that handled them on Speed Queen's website and order one (nothing against Amazon's vendors, I just wanted to support our local businesses). After a week it was delivered to the house and it has been doing an average of eight to ten loads a week ever since (nothing like moving to generate lots of laundry).
So far I have been very, very happy with the Speed Queen. As others have stated it does not have any of the "bell and whistles" of more modern machines (ex. you can not manage it with a smartphone), it just cleans clothes well. It is not an exact replacement of our old Kenmore - it has one less speed combination, it does not have automatic temperature settings and it does not have a warm water rinse (no machine does now thanks to our federal government). It does have more cycle selections than the Kenmore although I have yet to figure out the difference between the Handwash cycle and the Delicate cycle. As a previous reviewer noted the added fabric selector switch on the AWN542 model is actually a agitator/spin speed selector - regular is fast/fast, perm press is fast/slow etc. The hot water setting actually gets you HOT water at whatever temperature your water heater is set at. It does not hold as much clothing as the Kenmore but despite the caveat in the manual about the 2009 mandate to reduce water levels the standard extra large load setting actually gets you a pretty full tub. If you need more water the reset function works pretty well. Just be careful not to overflow the outer tub and also beware that the agitator works really well and can splash water out. (I have my AWN542 on a washer tray I bought at the blue box store so my learning curve on load levels was not as painful as it could have been.) If you need to permanently change the load level there is a youtube video that shows how to do it but again be careful. I left mine stock. At the fast spin setting it does spin faster than the old Kenmore but it does not seem to get some items like thick memory foam bath mats as dry. It is definitely better at handling unbalanced loads - it had no issues with those thick bath mats that the Kenmore bounced all over the floor trying to spin dry. Just like the old Kenmore you can raise the lid and stop agitation to throw in a forgotten item and you can reset cycles and/or water levels without losing all your wash or rinse water. One little glitch though - if you hit the extra rinse switch after it has completed a single rinse cycle wash it will go into the second rinse cycle even though the tub is now empty. It is a traditional washer so it makes noise but it is unnoticeable in my washroom since I always run the ventilation fan when doing laundry. It does get clothes clean fast - a typical load is done in about thirty to forty minutes depending on the rinse setting.
A couple of other notes for prospective Speed Queen buyers - please read the installation instructions when your Speed Queen is delivered BEFORE it is placed into your washroom. The instructions point out (and other reviewers have noted - thank you!) that you need to wipe out the tub BEFORE you use the washer. I not only wiped the tub out; I also ran the washer through an empty hot water regular cycle as recommended by the installer (I even used a washing machine cleaning tablet). Unfortunately the installer did not mention the need to add one quart of water to the tub per the installation instructions (probably to prime the pump) before running the machine through that initial hot water cycle. Fortunately I haven't had any problems due to this oversight. He also did not use the provided rubber pads on the leveling legs. My experience with these rubber pads is that they do protect your floor from damage and they work well on cutting down on noise and vibrations on tile floors but they also make it harder to slide the washer around and they will mark up your floor. My AWN542 is on that plastic washer tray which is on a 4' x 5' piece of hardboard alongside of a Whirlpool WED4850 dryer so missing rubber pads were not an issue for me. The instructions also state NOT to put the AWN542 on a carpeted floor but if you need to do so then a washer tray on a piece of hardboard or plywood on top of the carpet would work fine. The AWN542 is remarkably vibration free. But always recheck hose fittings after running any washer for the first time. I did not and of course I had a small leak from the hot water line at the machine. Fortunately for me the aforementioned washer tray contained the leaked water. The hot water inlet fitting is a little harder to get good and tight. Also be sure to get the AWN542's drain line is good and tight in your drain outlet - the washer drains with a lot of force. Although the instructions said to strap the washer's drain line to a inlet line if you are using a wall box I have found that this is not really necessary as long as the drain line adaptor ring is tight in the drain outlet. The inlet lines provided with the Speed Queen are decent quality rubber ones but I replaced them with better steel braided reinforced ones available at the blue big box store.
For those who are wondering which model Speed Queen washer to buy the only differences are number of cycles, extra rinse, and fabric (speed) selection. The AWN412 has four cycles but no extra rinse and no fabric selector. The AWN432 adds the extra rinse switch. The AWN542 has the extra rinse and adds a separate handwash cycle and the fabric (speed) selector. They otherwise are the same - no electronics to burn out, no touch screens to wear out, no programs to reboot, no lids that will not unlock. They are old school, electromechanical controlled, built like a tank, ugly, and, according to the government, energy inefficient water hogs that just work and get clothes clean. Only time will tell how durable it will be but my wife is happy and I am happy we bought a Speed Queen!
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on October 12, 2013
We bought the Speed Queen AW 542 washing machine just over a week ago. Here's our story.

We had an older top end GE washer that we thought had a leak, so we started looking at alternate washers. It turned out we didn't have a leak - it was a problem with my wife attempting to add another piece of laundry after the cycle had started. She had to restart the machine, and it overflowed. The machine was still working well, and we had been satisfied with its performance. But, before we understood we didn't have a problem, we started looking for a new washer.

In researching new machines, we learned several things:

1. There are a number of issues with the new HE and front loading washers that we weren't aware of.

2. The current Speed Queen doesn't suffer from them.

3. Upcoming added regulations in circa 2015 will require Speed Queen to have to redesign its machines to comply or else quit supplying them.

Meanwhile, the existing Speed Queen had all the features we were looking for:

Commercial quality construction. Metal gears versus plastic. No electronics to fail. Mechanical switches. A reputation for getting clothes cleaner. The ability to choose your "real" wash water temp. Second rinse. Basically, what the other posters have been saying.

So we decided to get ahead of the upcoming changes, and buy the machine we wanted while we could still get it.

I was a bit concerned about a nominally smaller tub. But that turned out not to be an issue. I've just finished a wash that included a large fleece blanket, bedding, a large load of underwear, and three shirts. Machine had no problem in handling it.

The clothes are noticeably whiter even after one wash. That confirmed what we saw when we first washed old towels in the machine to be sure the tub was clean. Some minor grease we found on the tub and wiped away disappeared from the towels in the wash cycle. No special treatment - we were testing.

The new machine is heavier than the GE washer because of better construction materials.

Our price was $829 from a local, not big-box, store ex. sales tax. Delivery and setup was $39. That would have also included haul away, but we elected to keep the old, well functioning, washer to contribute to a needy family.

We are very pleased with our purchase, and confident we won't have to face government regulation issues impacting our washing for a very long time.
11 comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 15, 2012
After fighting one problem after another with an HE Whirlpool cabrio over the last 4 years, this Speed Queen washer reminds me of my grandmothers washer which lasted decades. It is built like a tank and YOU decide how much water to use.
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on August 23, 2011
Just replaced my 28yr old Maytag washer & dryer for the top of the line Speed Queen. The dryer gets 5 stars and I especially love the no wrinkle setting. The washer AWN 542 is very good with 3 exceptions. In an effort to go green, they compromised the water level causing me to use the reset quite often. Then there's the water temp settings...warm is definitely not warm, it's cool and I have to add hot water to it. And finally, the fabric softener doesn't mix well and sometimes I get blue stains on the clothes (downey)so I'm back to using the Downey ball (not the worst case scenario. All in all, I'd buy them again...let's keep America working.

I'd like to update my review...Had this machine over a year now & I still love it. I use the automatic fabric softner dispenser now & it works fine. My previous problem with it must have been user error. I would still like the warm to be warmer but all in all, my clothes are wonderfully clean. She's a "Plain Jane" but a work horse.
22 comments| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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