(This review is for the Silver model that I own - Amazon has not yet merged the reviews, so I'm cross-posting)
The build quality of this washer/dryer combo is inconsistent: On the plus side, the machine is heavy enough to stay put, and the drum feels so solid that you could wash bricks in it. Giving 10 years warranty on the motor is also a nice touch. On the other side, the entire front (including the secondary "glass" and shiny bezel around it) is made of plastic, the control panel gets hot (can't be good for the electronics), and I have observed kinks, such as a program starting in the middle maybe 1 out of 10 times, requiring an extra off/on.
Front- loaders are only now making inroads in the US market, and if you believe "the internet", they are magical. I can confirm at least some of the claims in this specific incarnation: First, the washer is extremely frugal with all consumables involved: I'm down to 2 tablespoons of detergent and 1 of softener with no adverse effects; water is kept no higher than a puddle at all times, and the 1 hour cold cycle runs on a measly 0.1 kWh (or 3 cents for me). Second, the machine is easy on clothes: there are Delicate and Wool modes to give you an idea, plus I have successfully cleaned neoprene wetsuits (with special detergent), which are said to be shredded by agitators.
The major downside to the design is that the horizontal drum causes vibrations that many US homes cannot easily absorb. Consider my case, top floor of a pre-war walk- up, wood- based building: even on medium spin speed, the contents of the fridge next to the machine would rattle loudly, and I only saw some relief after I bought Sorbothane Silent Feet. I'm fairly content now, but I still feel the machine should have better built-in vibration reduction, especially considering that LG is the company that showed off a washer operating on 4 glasses a few years ago!
The dryer is the weaker part in this package. For starters, a full cycle runs for 4 hours (on top of the 1 hour wash), which makes this machine unsuitable for big family laundry days. There is no lint filter, so you'll have to pry things out of the seal afterwards, and one low-temp cycle eats up 1.5kWh (= $0.50), somewhat negating the overall efficiency advantage. And as if all that wasn't enough, I swear I see more wrinkles than before, with my Brooks Brothers "wrinkle free" shirts now coming out in MORE need of ironing than regular shirts!
Now all that said... if you can navigate around those issues (also see TIPS below), the advantage of the combo design begine to shine: all you have to do is drop in the dirties, set the timer, go to work, and come back to a readily washed- and- dried package! I've gotten used to doing this during the week, and found that I have more clean clothes available than before at any time, therefore donated some, AND gotten rid of my large dirty- laundry container! That was an unexpected triple- win in the space department for me, and worth the trade- offs.
I find this machine easy enough to use, although there is room for improvement. Basically, you go from left to right: fill in the detergents, pick a cycle (cotton is the default), pick options (extra water, etc), select a dry mode, and press play. What irks me a little is that selections cross- interfere: for example, the machine may override your just-picked spin speed when you select a dry mode. Also, some drying combinations are missing: you can do time (30, 60, 120), dryness (damp, normal, extra), or "low temp", but no other permutations. For my wool pants or dive suits, a delicate wash cycle followed by 30 mins of low- temp drying would have been perfect, but nope....
One nice feature worth mentioning: you can interrupt the program at any time, change any setting or open the door, and then resume. Even with the Extra Water option selected, nothing will pour out (like I said, frugal).
This machine is specifically marketed as quiet, an important feature when you want to sell to urbanites who perhaps plan to sneak it into their apartment (usually forbidden) . And yes, the direct- drive motor is a winner: all you get is a gentle hum at normal wash speeds. However, there are two problems (three if you count vibration, above):
- The water inlet valves open/close/open/close/etc... up to six times each time water is added, and this triggered building- wide "water hammer" events in my case. I used to think that this, too, was my building's fault, but I found that many people experience this with LG machines even in new construction. Thankfully, there is a solution to it: so- called "water hammer arresters" like this Sioux model help out a lot.
- The pump that gets the water out is loud. That being a vague qualifier, I ended up measuring it (we've all got issues!): washing or drying registers around 60dB, but when the pump comes on, the sound level jumps to 70dB. For comparison, these numbers happen to be the range of human conversation: it's like someone speaking very softly (60 dB), then suddenly borderline shouting (70 dB). This keeps happening during the 4- hour dry cycle as well, not just the washing.
After a couple months of use, here are a few practical tips I'd like to pass on:
- Use powder instead of liquid detergent. You'll be able to do a pre- wash this way as well as use the timer feature. The softeners is ok in liquid form and won't drip down.
- To save on electricity and ease ironing, make sure you pick the fastest spin speed possible, then shorten the dry cycle. For business shirts or synthetics, I'm getting away with as little as 30 min drying time.
- To run the dry cycle by itself: select "drain and spin" on the knob, set your dry option, then unselect the spin speed - et voilà! - you can dry your clothes some more or use Dryel sheets this way.
One the one hand, this is the best appliance I've ever purchased: space- saving, efficient, and a heavenly luxury compared to the alternative which is an inconvenient and pricey "wash and fold". If you're in a similar situation, I predict you'll absolutely love this machine for what it does to your routine. On the other hand, there are some considerable flaws, mostly the noise level, slow drying, and the vibration issue. Overall, if you actually have the space for two machines, a separate washer / dryer would be the safer bet.
on November 11, 2011
This washer/dryer combo is absolutely awesome. Now with that said, if you have a large family or wash very large loads everyday, this might not be the unit for you. This machine has a timer as well; so set it and leave and your laundry will be ready when you are. It is compact and good looking as well. We have had ours for over 4 years and work it beyond its capacity and it never fails and has been an incredible appliance. It has also been VERY easy on our clothes as there is not direct heat. Clothes last longer.
on January 13, 2014
After reading all the reviews on the older model, I was wary of this one. That said, I think this machine is fantastic!
For a single individual or couple living the city life, this is a perfect machine. The idea that I can throw a load in and have it washed and dried without my attention is huge! The different wash settings - from normal to speed wash - are great, especially when I don't have things overly soiled. The low heat setting for the dryer is perfect, and I don't have to worry about cotton items shrinking.
It is very easy to run a load, pull out what I don't want dried, then restart with spin and dry. No problem.
The machine is relatively quiet, used very little water, and the sounding chimes are cute. Having only one machine in my small laundry closet is perfect. Now I can install shelves or cabinets to hold all the laundry essentials. Much more organized now. Terrific machine.
on August 18, 2012
My family recently did a complete kitchen gut renovation and although the contractor purchased all the appliances directly, not through Amazon, we want to share our thoughts now that we have lived with them for almost 6 months. See our other reviews for the other products.
I saved this review until (almost) last because it is the most complex in several ways. I think when you consider washers and dryers you have to consider in what category you are trying to operate. Are you using it intensively like a commercial machine? Are you using it to the exclusion of other options? Or are you using it for small loads at most twice or three times a day? For us, it is the perfect solution because we live in an apartment, have limited space and have access to commercial machines in the basement (not to mention the 5 store-front cleaners in the neighborhood who will pick up, clean and deliver laundry). But we wanted an in-apartment solution for the babies' clothes and for emergency situations ("honey have you seen my white jeans? Oh no, they're dirty and I need them tonight..."). Our contractor did a great job designing the cabinetry around this. When it's not in use you would not even know we have it, and when it is in use we leave the cabinet doors open. They are louvered but for helping the heat escape we leave the doors open anyway. We also did not have the option to externally vent the dryer. I've experienced condenser dryers before and dreaded the outcome, but went for it anyway.
- Quiet in every stage except the spin.
- It works. Given what you read in some of these reviews, that's no small feat.
- It's reliable. After 6 months of use ~4 times per week it is going great.
- It can be designed into a lower cabinet space and the cabinet height and depth are normal (leave a comment if you want pictures posted).
- There is no obvious way to do just drying (see special notes).
- The vibration in the spin cycle is astoundingly strong and loud, but yet necessary so that it pre-dries the clothes as much as possible.
- Operations are confusing. It takes some time using it and reading the manual (and who likes doing that) to figure it out.
- Unvented dryers are a pain. They are no better now than the older European ones I am familiar with (Bosch). Except that this one drains into the plumbing as opposed to having a reservoir that needs dumping. But they still take forever.
1. To do just drying, select the Drain & Spin cycle, then set the Dry cycle you want, then hit the Spin Speed button once to de-select spinning. All you have left is the dryer.
2. To speed the drying cycle, open the machine occasionally during the dry, take the clothes out and put them back in and continue. Each time you do that can take about 15 minutes off the cycle time. Be careful because the steam and the clothes will be H.O.T. hot.
3. Get used to clothes coming out just a tiny bit damp. We find that the clothes are close enough to dry that they in fact dry on their own as we fold them. If you require completely dry clothes, don't get this unit or any other condenser dryer.
4. Remember to occasionally clean the filter. We've done it twice in 6 months and I suspect that is about the right frequency (eg once every 35-40 loads).
COMMENTS TO OTHER REVIEWS
1. "Takes forever": To all those who have said that the drying takes a long time, you are correct. If speed of drying is important, don't get this or any other condenser dryer. But this unit is for a certain type of use. It is not intended to be a replacement for commercial units. For that matter if you live in the 'burbs and have the space for larger, vented, separate machines, I don't know why you'd want this machine. But if you live in a tight space and your needs are limited to at most three loads a day (that's about 12 or more hours of usage), this machine is a GREAT supplement. Compact, functional and quiet are great tradeoffs for speed and throughput.
2. "Clothes are still damp at the end": Not really. If your expectation is that the clothes are 100% dry with not an ounce of moisture the moment they come out of the machine, I challenge you to consider whether the important thing is for the clothes to be dry the moment they come out of the machine or by the time they are folded. We find that we never once have put clothes away damp.
2a. Also, don't over-fill the unit. It's relatively small at 2.7 cubic feet. For comparative illustration, AJ Madison has 288 stand-alone dryers on their site, not a single one of which is smaller than 3.0 cubic feet. Overfill, and the clothes will come out damp on almost any unit.
In conclusion, we strongly support this machine if it fits your needs. I wish more manufacturers would compete in this space because I am sure that competition would compel LG to improve the few weak points, but until then this is a great option.
on April 25, 2011
I purchased my washer/dryer through Amazon over a month ago. After reading reviews, I was a little concerned about the wash/dry times. After using the unit I have found this to be a non issue. It is important to follow the instructions and I do not over load the unit when drying clothes. I have found it easiest to run the wash only cycle first, then remove the items I don't want to dry. I then turn on the dry cycle (you do this by turning on the unit, not selecting a wash cycle, choosing a dry cycle and turning off the spin cycle). The clothes may feel damp when I first remove them, but I find as I'm folding them that they are infact dry.
The unit is very quiet which is great as I live in a very small space.
One item to note is that drying sheets should not be used, as it hampers the sensor when drying.
It is very convenient when washing large loads (such as sheets, etc) to be able to set the wash/dry cycle at once and then remove the items dry. I used to forget items were in the washer and then have to re-wash them before I could move them to the dryer.
I find I have to wipe down the door seal, which collects most of the lint, between each load. I found the water/lint removal on the bottom a little tedious, but since you only have to clean it once a week it isn't too inconvenient. Nice not to have to deal with the dryer lint anymore.
The unit was shipped from Amazon right to my door. The installation was very easy as LG provides step by step instructions. I did have to live chat with LG support to figure out how to run the dry only cycle. They were very helpful.
on March 11, 2011
I actually have the model LG was selling before this one. The only difference is that this new one is 2.7 cu ft, while mine is 2.4.
I've had mine for a year now. We have a small apartment, and saving space is very important for us. We used to have a stackable washer/dryer, that worked fine, but took too much space. Also, out building would not allow us to make a hole in the building wall, so we had to open the window when we used the dryer, and stick the exhaust vent through the window.
When I learned about this lg machine, i was very skeptical. I read reviews that said it did not dry well, took to long to go through the cycle, wrinkled the cloth, vibrated too much, etc. Now after having this machine for a year, I can say I am quite happy. Just do your research and know the limitations of the machine and how to take care of it.
It uses condensation to dry, so do not load it fully, if you want to dry the cloth.
It needs HE detergent. So use HE, and use just a tiny bit - less than a table spoon.
Clean the rubber gasket on the bottom - remove the lint that assembles there.
If you do these simple things, it will dry cloth very well. So far, after a year of using it, I have not experienced any problems.
Also, if you do not load it fully, setting the dryer to dry for an hour will often be more than enough to dry your cloth. This way you can have your cloth washed and dried in 1.5 hours - not too much worse than regular washer/dryer.
Also, for the first 2-3 weeks the mchine would take a long time to balance the load during spin cycle. After a few weeks it setlled and now balances very well.
Overall, if you have space, but regular washer and regular dryer. If space is limited, or you cannot have the dryer vent go through the wall, this machine will work fine.
on February 8, 2014
I read everything I could find about this machine after I learned it existed. I live in a condo in Chicago that didn't have in-unit washer or dryer. So I'd been going to the basement to do laundry for 12 years. While planning some remodeling, I found out about this option and investigated. I've never seen people so divided over a product. It seemed half the people loved it and half hated it. What I have concluded is that if you have a situation like mine, it is PERFECT - otherwise, stick with the old school washers and dryers.
The great thing about this product is: it doesn't require an external vent like a normal dryer so I didn't have to bust a hole in the external brick wall of my building and vent it out. This would've been a BIG issue with my condo board, especially since there's a deck and we're not allowed to vent dryers out on the deck (understandably). Secondly, this machine uses the normal electricity so no problem there. It is also just one machine so since my place is small, that is nice too.
What I was afraid of was that the clothes wouldn't get dry. A lot of people seemed to say that about it. Here's what has been my experience since I got mine 4 months ago. The clothes absolutely get dry -- in fact, I have shrunk several sweaters because they got too dry! The first time I ran it, I didn't realize you had to set the dryer function with a separate knob. So the clothes were quite damp when it stopped. But then I realized I hadn't even run the dryer part! So then I started setting the dryer and voila! The clothes/sheets/towels/etc. would be dry! In fact, I now only use the "damp" setting or the "low temp" setting because otherwise, it has practically burned my hands when I took the items out, and, like I said, I've had some shrinkage issues…
The surprising problem I had with mine initially, is that when it would spin, I was afraid it would shake the building apart! It's a vintage building and I have very nervous and nosy neighbors who were not happy about this new purchase of mine, so that added to my nerves I guess. But it was definitely loud and creating intense vibrations in the floor…
The solution turned out to be: filling it more full! I wasn't putting enough in it and that was the problem! I had been putting less and less and running it on lower spin speeds. It turns out - I needed to put more in and run it on higher spin speeds! Now it's just fine.
I also did not think it would hold nearly as much as it does. Honestly, I am running a load right now with 8 sweaters (long-sleeved, turtleneck) and some socks.
Also, people wrote about the difficulty of cleaning the seal around the edge of the opening. This is really not a problem. I take a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe it off after each load and it is fine. There's not been much lint, even with towels…
Oh and, yes, it does take longer than a normal washer / dryer. But here's what I do: I put the things in before bed, set the delay features so it starts about 2am, and then when I get up, I take out a nice, clean, dry load of laundry. It's great!
And finally, some complained that you have to clean out the soap/softener dispenser or it clogs. So sure, I take it out and run some water through it. It takes 20 seconds. Seriously?
So, my analysis is this: if you live in a "normal" house where venting and electrical is not a problem, I would not recommend this product. BUT, if you live in a small condo without a washer/dryer and you can get one of these ---- it is life-changing!!!
The end. : )
on January 20, 2012
I've only ordered major appliances on-line twice, once from Home Depot, and once through Amazon.com. The Amazon.com order was executed without a hitch, the Home Depot order - not so much. We are still hassling with Home Depot about getting a promised refund and gift card.
This unit installed and operates exactly as advertised. The only caveat is that these units take a while to dry completely, but that's a function of the drying technology used. For me, it was a reasonable trade-off for not having to install a vent.
We got this unit for my 88-year old Dad, who lives alone in a studio apartment 120 miles away from us. We basically just needed to tell him: don't put too many clothes in, turn on the water, put a tablespoon of detergent in this drawer, then press these two buttons. We decided to leave the clothes a little damp to avoid wrinkles, and he hangs the clothes (spaced out a bit in his closet) for final drying.
If you're looking for a simple, small-footprint solution that doesn't require a vent, and are willing to wait, this is the washer/dryer for you!
on February 4, 2013
I would give this 5 stars, but for the quirky "filter drain" arrangement: it is almost impossible to drain the water out of the filter chamber without spilling water on the floor. A simple built-in spout could have cured that!
I also found that the total run time was better than others have said - 3 hours total for a normal wash + extra rinse + normal dry. The clothes seem quite dry to my touch at the end.
I've also found the drying on "low heat" is equally effective - perhaps adds another hour, but since no interaction is needed, this is hardly a bother (just go do something else!). After a low-heat dry, I find the clothes are not wrinkly, and don't shrink as much.
I've only had it about a month, so I can't speak to long term issues. The routine cleaning (wipe the door seal each time; clear the filter once a week, run "cal gone" cycle every month or two) is not too onerous.
I totally recommend this for one or two people. More than that, and you'll want more capacity for sure.
UPDATE 2/19/2013 after several more tests, I've established to my own satisfaction that the clothes come out drier in the end if you select "Low temp dry" rather than "normal" - it does add a half hour or so, but the clothes are both drier and less wrinkly. One more note for first-time users: at the end it goes into "Cool Down" mode ("CD" on the display). The door remains locked until you push the "go/stop" button >|| and wait about 5 seconds for 2 distinct clicks: that's the door unlocking.
on April 13, 2014
We bought the unit expecting it to take a while to dry and to be able to wash only fairly small loads. No problem. It works well, it saves space. All that is great. However, about twice a year it stops drying. We luckily bought the extended warranty from the store, so we call, and they send the repair guy out. Each time, he takes it very much apart, cleans a huge wad of lint out of it, and puts it back together. (This lint has nothing to do with the drain filter, which is accessible by the user and which we clean regularly.) The last guy told me the problem was "these things aren't really made to do what they say they'll do." In other words, it'll dry, but it's poorly designed and clogs itself up on a regular basis. I have made sure to watch the repairmen each time they come so when the warranty runs out, I know what to do. So if that's what you want from your 1500 bucks, go for it.