Best Non High Efficiency (HE) Washing Machine, Speed Queen!

The Conflict – My Old High Efficiency Washing Machine

When I purchased my house I purchased a high efficiency washing machine from one at the local big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Sears, etc) in the middle of the price range.  It was a pretty basic 4.1 cuft capacity high efficiency machine with a variety of settings for different amounts of soiling, water temperatures, and I could even select the water level (or so I thought). Since that time I always set the water level to the largest setting and it always filled about half way.  Over the past seven years I’ve attempted to compensate for the low water level by pouring water in the drum, using less soap, and only running half a load in an attempt to get everything under or near the water line.  I never felt that my clothes were getting clean, but had no other alternatives due to government regulations.  Plus the high efficiency washing machine ran much longer than the older washers (an hour and ten minutes).  I found that laundry took all day and I had to set alarms / reminders or I’d forget about laundry altogether.

The straw that finally “broke the camels back” was when my girlfriends dog got sick on the bed and the comforter did not get clean after 4 attempts through the washing machine.  I went on one of my frequent rants bashing my high efficiency washing machine and Department of Energy for instituting these regulations while sprinkling in a few colorful 4 letter words.  I had visions of my ensuing mid life crisis, only mine did not include a fancy red sports car.  My vision included several rows of expensive laundromat quality washing machines lined up in my basement as I was certain I could only purchase them at some minimum quantity.  I also had visions of starting a washing machine company.  How difficult could it be to strap a motor, controls, and a few actuators to a 50 gallon drum to do a load of laundry.  Heck I could do a better load of laundry than my high efficiency washing machine using only a kiddy pool, garden hose, and a sturdy stick.

Before I reserved myself to beating my clothes against a rock down by the river, I decided to give my search for a solution one more try.  I scoured the big box stores web sites and there were a few rays of hope, but nothing panned out.  One machine was not listed as high efficiency, had some control over the water level, and it had great review. However, I found that it was truly a high efficiency machine after downloading the manual and finding that it clearly showed how to properly load the machine with the clothes above the water line.  I quickly found that the big box stores only market settings and features that the have some resemblance of control, but don’t include information that would allow me to make a truly informed decision (i.e. water usage and duration of the wash).  I found the solution to my laundering troubles buried in the comments of a review of this high efficiency washing machine… Speed Queen.

The Solution – Speed Queen Top Loader Washing Machine

Speed Queen!… I want to shout it from the rooftops!

Speed Queen Side Steps Restrictive Government Regulation

The Speed Queen washing machines have successfully side stepped government regulation using good old fashioned american ingenuity.  The Speed Queen washing machine’s “Normal / Eco” wash setting satisfies the Department of Energy’s government regulations and technically qualifies it as a High Efficiency washing machine; however, all other preset cycle settings on their washing machines Fills the Entire Tub with Water.  The “Normal / Eco” cycle setting uses less hot water to save energy and includes a spray rinse to reduce water consumption. There are 9 other preset cycle settings on their high end electronic model and 5 on their base model (that fills the entire tub).  There is No Lid Lock that prevents you from opening the lid at any time to stop the cycle and verify the claims of a full tub of water.  The Speed Queen top loader washer manual does recommend the use of HE soap; however, I suspect that this is only in support of the “Normal / Eco” setting.

My First Load of Laundry in the Speed Queen

This s a picture of my king size comforter during the wash cycle in the Speed Queen top load washer (3.3 cu ft capacity).  This picture was taken after my girlfriends dog had gotten sick on it (mentioned previously) and 4 attempts to clean it in my old high efficiency washer. There was some room in the tub to spare for clothes and the water level couldn’t get any higher. There was clearly some excess soap in it, but I’m not sure whether that was due to the prior 4 frustrating attempts to get it clean or was built up over time.  The comforter was clean after the first attempt in the Speed Queen and the excessive soap was removed with a second rinse.  Probably could have gone through a 3rd rinse (which is an option on the high end model), but I didn’t feel that the was necessary.  I can’t believe the ridiculous rituals I performed while trying to do laundry with the high efficiency machine.  The Speed Queen just works!

The only less than optimal thing I’ve read and experienced is that the water stops when the lid is open, but I suspect this is a safety precaution and is only a minor inconvenience.

Speed Queen Preset Cycle Settings / Display / Duration

Using the Speed Queen felt like my life was on fast forward.  The Total Wash Time Ranges Between 27:55 Minutes and 32:55 Minutes vs over an hour in my old high efficiency washer.   The time savings alone makes the Speed Queen washer a sound investment.  The wash cycle options range between 12:45 and 17:45 minutes depending on whether you use the quick wash (12:45), perm press (13:45), heavy duty (15:45), whites (17:45), or bulky (17:45) settings. The rinse takes another 10:10 minutes, and the final spin takes 5 minutes.   You may also choose to add an additional soak (37:00), pre-wash (13:10), second rinse (10:10), and third rinse (20:20) to your wash cycle at your discretion. The Time Remaining Display eliminates guesswork by clearly showing when the laundry will be finished.

The picture is of the high end speed queen top load washer controls.  The base model includes 6 of the 10 presets cycles, 3 of the 4 temperature / load size / soil level selections, and 3 of the 6 options of the high end model as defined in the following table.

 Controls Feature High End Electric Model
Base Electric
Preset Cycles Heavy Duty Yes Yes
Normal Eco Yes Yes
Permanent Press Yes Yes
Delicate Yes Yes
Rinse & Spin Yes Yes
Spin Yes Yes
Whites Yes No
Bulky Yes No
Quick Wash Yes No
Favorite Yes No
Selections Temperature Cold, Cool,
Warm, Hot
Cold, Warm,
Load Size Small, Medium,
Large, Extra Large
Small, Medium,
Soil Level Light, Medium,
Heavy, Max
Light, Medium,
Options Pre-Wash Yes Yes
Second Rinse Yes Yes
Signal Yes Yes
Soak Yes No
Third Rinse Yes No
Delay Start Yes No

It should be noted that only the controls differ between the base mode and the high end model.  All other components are identical between the two electronic models.

Speed Queen Washer Installation

The installation of the machine was no different than the standard washing machine.  Just a hot and cold water supply, a drain hose, and a plug that uses the standard 15 Amp wall outlet in your home.  I installed it myself using Speed Queens instructions without incident or concern.

The Speed Queen is noticeably heavier (195 lbs) than my prior high efficiency washer.  As a result, there was virtually no motion of the machine and very little noise during the spin cycle even though I neglected to level the machine during the initial installation. Whoops! I also noticed that when I attempted to pull the agitator to the side the machine dampened the motion significantly as opposed to flopping over like it did in my old high efficiency machine. I think the dampening of the drum compensated for my oversight to level the machine.  The Speed Queen also includes an automatic balancing system with self leveling rear legs.

The overall dimensions of the washer are standard:

  • 25 5/8 inch width
  • 28 inch depth
  • 36 inch work surface height
  • 43 inch overall height (including controls)

Speed Queen Quality, Reliability, and Warranty

The Speed Queen top load washing machines are built for commercial grade performance.  Since 1908, Speed Queen headquartered in Ripon, Wisconsin has provided commercial machines commonly found in laundromats, hospitals, fire stations, hotels, and military bases for more than a century.  Speed Queen’s washers intended for home use are built on the same production line and use the same components as their commercial products.  Speed Queen equipment is tested to last 10,400 cycles or 25 years in the average home.  This is largely due to their generous use of metal components.  In fact, it seems the only difference between their commercial products and the home use products is their generous warranty offer for their home use products.  The electronic models for home use comes with a 5-year warranty covering all parts and in-home labor, a 15-year limited warranty covering the transmission, and a lifetime warranty of the outer drain tub and stainless steel wash basket.

Where to Purchase Speed Queen

The Speed Queen top load washing machines are not available through your local big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Sears, etc).

At the time of this article, the high end Speed Queen top loader washing machine, AWNE92SP113TW01, was available for $999 and the base model, AWNE82SP113TW01, was available for $899.  I verified these prices through two of the 2,700+ authorized dealers listed on  Initially, I thought these prices seemed high until i compared the price to the 51 top loader washers listed on  Of the 51 top load washers listed on, 11 (or ~21%) were available for no less than $1,000 and none of them appeared to fill the entire tub with water.

In addition to the dealers listed on, you may want to consider searching for deals on Amazon.

Speed Queen Top Load Washers on Amazon
Speed Queen Top Load Washer
Speed Queen Electric Dryers on Amazon
Speed Queen Front Load Washer on Amazon

Speed Queen washers and dryers on Amazon

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns in the comments section of this article.

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81 thoughts on “Best Non High Efficiency (HE) Washing Machine, Speed Queen!”

    1. I recently purchased an HE Maytag and hated, hated it. No matter what I did I could not get enough water to wash the clothes, EXCEPT I had to use deep sense wash, which fills the washer, to wash my towels which are a small load. The time to wash a load was also ridiculous. Oh, would always have to add a rinse cycle to get the clothes rinsed. I thought I was going to lose my mind. After much research I returned it and traded for the Speed Queen. I am thrilled. Gives enough water, gets the clothes clean and takes half the time. Oh and I don’t have to fill the tub for a small load. So much for water conservation.

      1. God Bless you for this info!! I have given away two beautiful he washers which never cleaned my clothes and i thought i was destined to washing my clothes at a laundromat forever?! Until now?! You have given me sum hope for the future of my laundry?!!
        Why on this earth would the govt enact a rule which virtually ensures that no ones clothing will ever be totally clean again because IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CLEAN YOUR CLOTHES WITH JUST A DROP OF FRIGGING WATER?!! It simply makes no sense at all?!!! Im all for saving water but NOT WHEN I NEED A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT IN ORDER TO DO THE JOB IM TRYING TO DO?!!! There must be a way to reverse this ridiculous law?!!!

        1. Well here it is 2023 so I’m late to the washing machine party 🥳 but I sure hope I can find a Speed Queen washer today that will perform as you’ve mentioned because I am just so sick of babysitting this stupid washer that won’t clean or fill & most times drains the water I’ve taken 45 minutes to lug & dump in before it even washes.

  1. I hate, hate, hate my HE washing machine. (I thought it was just me not doing something right) Thank you so much for this info!

  2. Thank you for this interesting article. My old washing machine (Kenmore) gave out after after 19 years. I have seen washers in two stores, all he. The second salesman told me about using the he soap. That made me think of my experience of getting giant hives many years ago, after using two particular brands. When I searched the internet tonight I found many people who had severe skin problems from using the he soap. I will definitely search for a top load NON he washer that can use the Arm & Hammer for sensitive skin – no more hives in 25 years.

    1. This machine has tackled everything I’ve thrown at it. I’m 99% sure you could use your Arm & Hammer for sensitive skin soap. It cleaned my comforter that the dog got sick on and my clothes havent felt cleaner. Only one setting is HE and I never use it. Plus if you are really concerned, there is an option for a second and third rinse. I’ve had this washer for some time now and I continually recommend it. A co-worker was complaining about his front loader just this week.

      1. I was thrilled to read this article. Our beloved Maytag is around 18 year old and is now making some strange sounds so we’re thinking we should be proactive and replace it. But having used my son’s HE washer and being less than impressed (clothes smelled upon completion of wash) along with other misgivings about HE, I was not looking forward to the obvious choices I was seeing. So, thank you for writing this thorough article. Since it was written in 2017, I can only hope the Speed Queen is still available. Off to find out…….

      2. Do you know if there’s a way to alter the water sensor (or whatever it is) so the HE machines fill to a sufficient level? Also, what about creating a “protest holiday,” where everyone leaves their faucets on for 12 hours in the name of the DOE’s HE washer mandate.

        1. Where there’s a will there’s a way. However, it may also change the Dynamics of the machine too. That said, if there was a way to alter my prior machine, I would have been willing to try it.

          Not sure I’m on board with a water wasting “holiday” though. 🙂

          1. Probably because they’d never sell another HE washer again. 😛

            Thank you for this review! I have an old mismatched Whirlpool/Kenmore set which is probably 30 years old (we bought them used) and still going mostly strong, but beginning to show their age. I have loved the idea of a washer without an agitator…but not if I have to sacrifice water level, or deal with insanely long cycle times. Right now, I can do a light delicate wash in 6 minutes. That’s right – SIX MINUTES. I timed my normal regular wash once, and I’ve forgotten what it was, but I believe it was somewhere in the range of 29-38 minutes, start to finish, including filling the tub, and the spin cycle. The only disadvantage to that is that the second load has to wait a few minutes until the first load is done in the dryer. And I have a well – I have absolutely no interest in ‘saving water’ when less water doesn’t get the job done.

            Anyway, I was terrified that if these ever do die, that I’d be stuck with a crappy, but expensive, new HE machine that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, and takes forever to do it to boot.

            Thank you SO MUCH for this, I’m now off to research a Speed Queen that actually does what it says on the tin!

  3. Just purchased a TR7000 speed queen washer from FAMOUS TATE APPLIANCES in Tampa FL. I am so happy to be getting rid of my whirlpool cabrio top load worthless piece of junk. I had all the problems mentioned above and more. I have been researching washers for a long time and was glad to read this blog. You can choose the “water saving”setting or your desired water level. Yes it costs about $1000 but it has a 7 year parts and labor guarantee. It will be worth it

  4. Hi, I’m reading this in 2018. I really need a new washer (not HE, with all the problems they have!) and liked your review on Speed Queens that circumvent that (you had me sold). However, have they changed the 2018 models? Do they all have the lid lock now?

    1. As I routinely recommend the Speedqueen washers and I’ve received a couple comments recently regarding changes made to the 2018 models I gave the company a quick call to investigate. Speedqueen has made several changes to the 2018 models due to government regulations. First off, I did verify that the 2018 models do fill the entire tub with water. The 2018 models do include a lid lock, but the machine can be paused and opened at any time so there should be no issue verify that the 2018 models fill the entire tub with water or adding additional garments after the cycle started. However, it may not be as convenient to have to manually pause and restart the machine. Speedqueen has also moved away from offering mechanical rotary controls and is only offering push button electronic controls on all 2018 models. Speedqueen has also incorporated a quieter pump and a larger motor (from a 1/2 horsepower motor, to a 1 horsepower motor). The typical wash duration increased to 36 minutes, but I still find that more than acceptable when compared to the 70 minute cycle of my old HE machine.

      1. Thanks for your reply and research on this! The Speedqueen sounds like the best option so far. The first washer we bought in July was a Maytag MVWC565FW, and it never even completed ONE cycle as it got stalled halfway through. We returned it and I’ve been without a washer since then 🙁

  5. Unfortunately I have a HE washer. Except that it’s not HE because I set timers and add around 75 additional liters of water throughout each load. We are getting ready to buy a new washer–but after seeing a new Samsung HE that had no visible water in the drum (and spit out dirty clothes)– I finally gave up and started looking for older non-HE washers that I would pay to have refurbished. Or maybe I’ll try a top loading Speed Queen…

  6. OMG!!! Thank you! Thank you!!! I am going to look into this immediately. I absolutely hate my washing machine that I purchased for the same exact reasons as you have described. I have been searching and searching and searching for something like this. Thank you again !!

  7. OMG thank you so much for this article. I hope I can find someone to buy my piece of crap LG model. Is there a specific model I should look for in the 2018’s?

    Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome. I enjoy my top loader and Speed queen is currently offering 3 models. The differences are the number of features on the control panel, the price, and the duration of the warranty. Otherwise they are structurally the same, so the final decision is really your personal preference.

      Also, when you go to sell your LG washer you probably don’t want to say that you think it’s a “piece of crap”. 🙂

        1. Thank you for the articles. I’ve received a couple inquiries similar to this regarding the 2018 model and I have a couple observations for you to consider.

          Both CNET reviews start out bashing the look of the machine. I for one keep mine in an unfinished part of my basement, so this is not a concern for me.

          The CNET article faults the lower capacity of the Speed Queen machine. As indicated in my article, I went from a 4.1 cu ft HE machine to the 3.3 cu ft Speed Queen. When I did so, I found that I was actually doing more laundry per load. Since the Speed Queen fills the entire tub with water, I was no longer doing partial loads in an attempt to get all my clothes below the water line.

          Probably the most damning statements (and possibly misleading) included in these articles are with regard to the cleaning tests. They ran fabric test strips (containing wine, cocoa, blood, carbon, and skin oil stains) through a normal wash cycle and calculated the percentage of the stain remaining. They claim that most washers leave 44 to 48% of the stain after a single wash while the Speed Queen TR5 and TR7 left 68 and 71% respectively. Its difficult to object to their test methods, but I can object to their test execution. First of all, I don’t know how subjective the reading of the remaining stain is. When I look at the graphic on the CNET site, I have a difficult time distinguishing the 86% stains from the 42% stains. Secondly, you will note from the CNET articles that they used the 29 minute “Normal/ECO” settings to perform this test and I suspect that this did not exercise the Speed Queen to its full potential. Per my article, the:

          “Speed Queen washing machine’s ‘Normal / Eco’ wash setting satisfies the Department of Energy’s government regulations and technically qualifies it as a High Efficiency washing machine; however, all other preset cycle settings on their washing machines Fills the Entire Tub with Water. The “Normal / Eco” cycle setting uses less hot water to save energy and includes a spray rinse to reduce water consumption.

          I have never used the “Normal/ECO” setting on my Speed Queen washer and my clothes have never been cleaner.

      1. I was goi g to buy speed queen but it’s hard to get now. My appliance store showed me a new commercial GE that is supposedly like the speed queen in that you can manually pick your water settings, it has a 5 year warranty, it has a half horse motor, etc. Do you know anything about it? Apparently it has been in the market for 4 months. Ive seen good reviews, it costs around 900 . Please advise as my 15 year old maytag died 2 weeks ago and am desperate to buy but trying not to make a mistake.

        1. I have no knowledge of the machine. I don’t even have a model number. 🙂

          If it’s a commercial machine it might not be bad, but you may want to verify that the machine fills the tub with water completely. I could “set the water level” in my old machine too; however, the “extra large” setting would only fill the tub about half way.

    1. I don’t have my washing machine in front of me at the moment, but my digital records indicate that it’s a AWNE92SP113TW01 and it was purchased in January 2017.

      It is most comparable to the TR7000WN model in 2018.

  8. Your article hits the mark. I am looking to replace my apartment sized HE washer as it takes enormous amounts of time and leaves my clothes smelling mouldy – from the beginning.
    Does the Speed Queen come with the non HE features in a small “stacker” size?

    1. Speed Queen does sell a front load stacked washer/dryer.

      I took a quick read through the information and the “quick wash” appears to take about 26 minutes (if I did the math right). It also has a “Normal ECO” setting that uses less water during the wash/rinse cycles and colder water for energy savings. The machine measures 26 7/8 wide x 78 3/16 height x 31 3/8 deep with hoses and weighs 380 lbs. It also has a 5 yr warranty.

      Below are links to information you may find useful.

      Speed queen stacked washer/dryer web page

      Specifications Sheet

      Use & Care manual for the washer & dryer.

  9. Hi, Michael!

    I am SO happy to have stumbled upon your all-encompassing rant about those useless HE washing machines! While researching replacements for our latest pieces of junk, I came upon your blog on those ‘environmentally friendly’ washers. I swear, the whole time I was reading it, I was nodding my head and saying “YES!, YES!, and YES!

    I have not had a decent washing machine in over two DECADES and, like you, have resorted to the same futile attempts to trick the machine into doling out some clean clothes.

    My husband and I are going to give the Speed Queen a try. Thanks again, Michael, and Happy New Year to everyone!

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. My wife and I have been going nuts with a new HE model we got about 2 weeks ago and luckily we are getting to return it for a full refund. The bad part is we will not have a washer. We were going to shop for a good old reconditioned one. After reading this I will for sure be researching the Speed Queen. The quality and warranty for the extra money would seem to be worth it. The G.E. we are returning has a 1 year warranty. Shows the faith they have in their product. If someone can’t afford one I would recommend you get you get your old one fixed before purchasing a HE. JUNK!! Do your research and read the reviews. Thanks again Michael.

  11. Hi Mike:
    I’ve been headed for a rebuilt old machine or traveling to Mexico to get a non-HE washing machine. Thanks for your research. I took a look and Consumer Reports rates it very bad:
    and CNET rates it very bad:
    I did notice neither indicates cycle length or auto/manual abilities. I checked what they do recommend and those are all HE. Would you please take a look and see why they rate it so bad before I shell out over $1,000?

    1. I’ve seen the CNET article and provided my response earlier in the comments, so I wont touch on them again here.

      As for ConsumerReports, the article/video at the associated URL shows that the speed queen got a poor rating when evaluated using the Normal ECO setting. Per my writeup, “Speed Queen washing machine’s ‘Normal / Eco’ wash setting satisfies the Department of Energy’s government regulations and technically qualifies it as a High Efficiency washing machine; however, all other preset cycle settings on their washing machines Fills the Entire Tub with Water. The “Normal / Eco” cycle setting uses less hot water to save energy and includes a spray rinse to reduce water consumption.” I have never used the “Normal/ECO” setting on my Speed Queen washer and my clothes have never been cleaner.

      Of course, this is the first time I’ve seen an evaluation of the Heavy duty cycle and they gave it a fair setting. During the video at around the 1:30 mark, they appear to demonstrate the settings they used (Heavy Duty, warm/cold, auto fill, and max soil level). If I was really trying to get tough stains out I would probably use hotter water. I would probably also opt for the large load setting instead of using the auto fill option. Using the large load setting would ensure that the tub filled entirely with water. I might even exercise the soak and pre-wash settings on the washer too.

      It’s interesting that they show a Kenmore washer at around the 1:40 mark in the video when discussing the agitator design while only verbally discussing the Speed Queen and Maytag machine. Please note that the Speed Queen machines are capable of filling the entire tub with water versus what is shown in the video (using the Kenmore machine). I suspect that they used the Kenmore machine to demonstrate an agitator design since the new Speed Queens have a lid lock, but this could be misleading.

      I recognize that the more recent washers are a slightly different design than the one I have (see prior comments regarding updated design details), but if I was buying a new washer today I wouldn’t let the consumer reports article dissuade me. I would buy another Speed Queen. However, given that the Speed Queens are designed for 25 years of residential use, I suppose I won’t be making that decision again until 2042.

      1. Front-loading washing machines tumble the clothes and force water through the weave with every revolution for superior cleaning while being more efficient on water, soap, and electricity. The drawback is that the door has to be left open when not in use so that they air out because they form a moisture-proof seal when closed.

        If you read that CR article, you see that they re-ran the test on that top loading Speed Queen with the heavy duty cycle and it still didn’t clean the swatches as well as a cheap top loading high efficiency washer. There’s a design problem with that Speed Queen washer that goes beyond the top loading configuration, and its performance is not typical of Speed Queen in the rest of the CR web site. But you would have to actually subscribe to CR to see that information. The review you singled out is only a teaser that is outside of the paywall to entice people to subscribe and avoid buying a lemon.

        The sad truth is that today there’s little actual value in buying expensive. Cheap is where the value is, and singling out a couple of poorly performing HE washers to bash at either end of the price spectrum isn’t rational. A better strategy is to seek valid information and be guided by it.

        I considered getting a consumer Speed Queen front loader for the presumed 25 year designed lifespan over the presumed 10 year designed life span of competing consumer quality washers, until I read the CR reviews on reliability and cleaning performance. Then I decided that the extra mechanical ruggedness of the Speed Queen wasn’t worth the price differential because they don’t actually last any longer and they don’t clean any better either. I suspect that the user satisfaction of the Speed Queen is more related to the perceived ruggedness of the heavy and expensive machine than to its actual performance, and it’s not much more likely to satisfy someone than an LG is.

        The cost of troubleshooting and repair is a substantial enough fraction of the cost of a new washer that it’s worth it to upgrade for new features and less mechanical wear on the drive train rather than to repair an old machine that has basically zero value on the resale market. Part of that strategy includes buying a less expensive model with fewer bells and whistles to keep the cost down so that when it’s time to upgrade rather than repair, there isn’t a lot of sunk cost to entice one into throwing good money after bad.

        The lifespan weakness of modern appliances isn’t the mechanical parts as much as it is the control unit. Regardless of manufacturer, for cost purposes, all the new control units use a microprocessor with an integral EEPROM that stores the program. The EEPROM fades with time and that’s the predominant failure mechanism that takes out the control unit after 14 years like my Whirlpool that just died.

        Rather than risk the cost of troubleshooting and repairing a worthless washer, I decided on the LG WM3700HWA as a good compromise on cleaning efficiency and wear at a decent price with good reliability. It’s on sale for $700 today and ranks overall nearer the bottom of the LG washers that CR reviewed but it is also nearer the bottom in price plus it does an excellent job of cleaning with good (average) wear on the fabric and it is the least expensive model with the steam function for heavy soil.

        There are three front-loading Speed Queen washers that are slightly more gentle on the fabric, but they are noisier and less energy efficient than the LG, they don’t have steam, they cost more than twice as much as the LG, and they handle 22% smaller loads. I can afford buy two and a half washing machines for the price of one, so even if the new electronic Speed Queen lasts 25 years without repairs (it won’t, per CR reviews the LG is more reliable), I still break even on the cost, but I come out ahead on the present value, because spending more up front for equivalent net lifespan isn’t actually a good deal even if it were true. Plus instead of sinking repair money into a worthless overpriced relic I get to upgrade to newer functions once this LG breaks down, so I’m current on the technology.

        Even though manufacturers have to keep parts on hand for 5 years or offer to buy back your old failed appliance, there’s no guarantee that there will be parts available 10, 15, 20, 25 years into the future for any specific model. It depends on if that part sold out when they stopped producing it, and for machines that tend to have particular failure modes that you are likely to need that part for, it’s likely they will sell out.

        After 5 years you are out of luck on the buy-back if it’s not the drive train, and likely it won’t be. Plus with the way that the political climate is headed, the parts stock and buyback rules are probably going to be eliminated, if they haven’t been already. The cost of upgrading an LG budget model to a five year warranty is a small fraction of the cost of upgrading to a high-priced Speed Queen with the same warranty but there’s no need for that if you are willing to risk being one of the few who gets stuck with a lemon in order to save big up front on the cost of the purchase. A decent credit card doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for free.

        I’m keeping my electromechanical KitchenAid gas dryer even though it’s 35 years old because I’ve never had a problem with it. When it dies I’ll replace it with a cheap electric/steam dryer running off the solar roof. Then I’ll have the ironing function built into the dryer too and I’ll be running it for free off my array.

        1. I can’t address your claims regarding the superior cleaning and efficiency of a front loader, but I do agree that the need to air out the machine after use to prevent mold and mildew is a major drawback.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my Speed Queen Top loader. It just works (and works and works).

          I also am unaware of the design issue that you reference in your comment, but I can say that the Speed Queen warranty ranges from 3 to 7 years depending on your choice of Top loader that covers all parts and labor with no deductible or hidden fees (per their website) with a lifetime warranty of the drain tub and wash basket.  Therefore there should be no cost to me (or you) to troubleshoot or repair a Speed Queen machine during the warrantee period (other than being there to let the repair man in).  Come to find out they even offer a relatively new product “Confidence Plus” as an extended warranty option that extends the base warrantee another 3 years. 

          As for the reliability of the electronic components, the Electronically Eraseable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) failure mechanisms that you reference are well known in the electronics industry.  These non-volatile EEPROMs are typically only written to a handful of times during manufacturing to initially load the memory and are only read from in operation. The routine memory writes that keep track of which settings you’ve selected, the progress in the cycle, and the countdown on the face of the machine are likely handled with a separate volatile Random Access Memory (RAM). This virtually eliminates the read/write life limitation of the EEPROM as a failure mechanism within the service life of the machine.  The other mechanism that is listed in the wikipedia page you cited is in reference to degradation due to electrons injected into the gate resulting in charge (and memory) loss typically has a guaranteed data retention of 10 years or more (per the wikipedia page you cited). In my experience, for a EEPROM manufacturer to make that claim they have typically performed a Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) involving many devices operating at varying operating temperatures and monitoring the point at which they failed. The failure distributions for these populations are then developed and the data is projected back to a point where something like only 1% of the devices would fail under the specified temperature conditions of the device at the specified service life (i.e. 10 years). This is not to say that your Whilpool did not experience this failure, but it is likely not the leading cause of all washing machine failures.  However; as a general rule, the more electronics there are in a product, the more likely it is that the product will experience a failure of those electronics within the service life. But, these issues are not unique to Speed Queen.

          I can’t really speak to Speed Queens Logistics pipeline either, but I have to assume that they would stock replacement parts for items they have covered under warrantee.  Otherwise, it will be very costly for them to make those warrantee repairs. Given that they are offering a 3 to 7 year base warrantee on their top load models with an option to extend that warrantee another 3 years under the “Confidence Plus” plan, I’d expect the odds of getting replacement parts for those machines is extremely good for the the next 6 to 10 years at a minimum. 

          I do hope you enjoy and get as long a life out of your LG machine that you have in your KitchenAid. Wow, 35 years!  I’m with you, if its not broke and I still enjoy it, let it be.

  12. Michael, concerning the new 2018 Speed Queen model number “TR7000WN”, from my review of the operation features, this newer version is very similar to the previous “AWNE92SP113TW01”. Have you been able to verify if these two machines indeed have the same NON-HIGH EFFICIENCY features?
    Thanks for your research and info.

    1. I did a quick Google search for that model number (AWNE92SP113TW01) and found a review stating that it does fill the entire tub with water in the non-“Normal Wash” settings.

      It’s not clear what year that model number is from, but I did previously call Speed Queen to verify that the 2018 models filled the entire tub with water (and they did).

      If you have questions regarding a specific Speed Queen model you may also wish to contact them directly at (800) 552-5475. Each time I have called them they have always been more than willing to help and seem to really believe in their product.

  13. Been looking for a decent machine for months when I found your blog. I’m going today to check out Speed Queens. Do your recommendations still apply for current (2019) models??

    1. I have not looked into the 2019 models specifically, but I am still exceedingly happy with my 2017 machine and I still recommend a Speed Queen machine.

      Per my prior comment responses, I have verified that the 2018 machines still fill the entire tub with water (via a quick call to Speed Queen) and have commented on some less than stellar reviews of the 2018 models (it appears they may not have exercised the machine to it’s full potential).

      I recommend a brief call to Speed Queen at (800) 552-5475 if you have specific concerns about the newer models. They have been really helpful the few times I’ve called and are very committed to their product. Bonus points if you follow up with a response on this post as it may help others with their decision.

      Questions I might think to ask today would include:
      * Does the machine still fill the entire tub with water?
      * How long is the “Quick wash” cycle? It was 28 minutes for my model, but had crept up to 36 minutes in 2018. Still better than the 70 minutes for my prior HE machine.
      * What is the warranty for new machines? I believe the warranty began to vary between 3 to 5 years by model number starting in 2018.

  14. Thank you for the article and all the comments. I thought I was losing my mind with the HE machine I purchased in 2005. I have looked online and until I read this article I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. We have a horse and the dirt from the barn is worse than anything I’ve ever had to clean. I hated the HE washer from the beginning and have been trying every trick to get more water during wash cycles.
    I will look into the Speed Queen today.

  15. Thank you. I have had the same experience with my HE and have come to the conclusion that it is the government’s goal to eventually have us all living in caves. This will be my next machine..while I can still have one!

  16. Excellent article! I too have hit rock bottom with my LG HE washer. This week I washed my brand new shirt for the first time and it came out of the washer smelling worse than when it went in. I have to use a gallon of vinegar each week broken up into various loads and about a cup of baking soda in each wash in addition to the laundry detergent just in order for clothes to come out smelling other than moldy. My biggest complaint with the HE washer is that I spend so much time and energy cleaning the washer when I am done with it. My burning question is will I have to clean the Speed Clean washer when I am done with it for the day?

    1. I haven’t had any issues with musty clothes (except on the rare occasion that I forget I’m doing laundry and leave it in the machine for a couple days). I have heard that musty smells can be an issue with front load machines as moisture is sealed in the machine between uses. If yours is a front loader you could try leaving it open to dry out between uses (if convenient). However; I can’t really speak to the Speed Queen front loaders, since mine is a top loader.

      Another thing you might try is TriSodium Phosphate (TSP). It is a cleaner/degreaser that was in most detergents until the mid 90s when the government banned Phosphates in detergent. Oddly enough, this seems to be about the same time things like “stain sticks” became available on the market. Not sure if there is a correlation there. I continue to use TSP when I have a stain or an exceptionally dirty batch of laundry. I also use it in the dish washer where it gets a little funky. You can still buy TSP, just not in the form of a detergent. I buy TSP in the paint section at Lowe’s. A couple tablespoons of TSP every now and then might make a difference.

  17. This was incredibly helpful. Thank you! I’ve had all the same issues as previous posters. One thing I just learned from speaking w SpeedQueen is that the ‘Heavy Duty’ cycle is actually their ‘regular’ cycle, but they couldn’t call it that – the Normal/Eco cycle is the automatic cycle which fills the govt requirement for eco machines. So – just use the ‘Heavy Duty’ cycle and you’ll be all set!

  18. Sure wish I had seen this two years ago when I had to buy my SECOND HE washer because the first one entirely broke apart inside during off center spins (and I guess I was too timid to call the company to task on this, I just went ahead and bought a different brand). I was told my current machine DID have a full water fill option, but only after it was in use did I discover that the option was only for the rinse cycle when fabric softener was used (huh?). Hate my machine, willing to take the loss even though I can’t afford it, hope I can find an older model Speed Queen.

  19. Wish I had my old Maytag Neptune’s back. I just purchased a Maytag HE top loading machine/dryer from Lowe’s about a week ago. I have done a number of loads using different settings. I have never been able to get enough water in it, even using the “deep fill” option to even get all the clothes wet in the washing cycle! I am returning it to Lowe’s! I have looked at lots of reviews and it seems all brands have the same problem except for the Speed Queen. Thanks for your helpful comments about the Speed Queen. I will be trying to buy a Speed Queen but evidently there isn’t a store in our town that carries them! May have to buy this online!

    1. I wish I would have found you 2 weeks ago before I purchased my new Maytag top loader, with agitator, pain in my behind! But at the time I didn’t realize how much I would hate it!
      My husband works construction and on Power Wash I can’t get enough water to wash – it just beats the clothes “clean”. Why did I insist on having such a big spacious tub if I can’t use it?!
      AND I have been watching one load of laundry for almost 2 hours now. I would say there is nothing “efficient “ about this HE washing machine. I want to cry – I suppose I could use my tears to do a load of laundry!!
      Hey! The “bedding “ cycle adds more water to the drum going around and around in circles…that’s only a wannabe agitator in the middle cuz the clothes have not changed positions. They are still sitting on top…
      And don’t get me started on the matching dryer – to keep from having my clothes shrunk I have to take them out wet and hang them to dry or babysit the dryer while I’m trying to find ways to add water to the washer!! UGH!!! Who’s bright idea was this high efficiency concept?!?!
      Thank you Mike for giving me hope! And knowing that it’s not me, and I’m not alone in my disappointment!!

  20. Thank you so so much for this post! My Samsung HE washer has failed after maybe 7 years of use, and I typically have 2 loads a week. I was planning to purchase a very inexpensive washer simply because I figured that none last very long. And then I ran across your blog…thanks so much. Speed Queen in my future!

  21. We purchased a GE HE washer when we moved into our new home 9 1/2 yrs ago – I have hated it since day one! While I can (somewhat) control the water level, there is no warm rinse option and that darn HE detergent leaves white “skid marks” on dark clothing and is very, very annoying. I often wash the dark clothes a second time in hot water just to get them properly rinsed. In addition to the detergent issues, the wash has low disc agitator – I consider it useless. The clothes flop over it and are a tangled, wrinkled mess every time. I want to buy a new washer – one with a real agitator, no locking lid, water level options and has a warm or hot rinse cycle. Sadly – I don’t think one exists! 🙁 In addition to all of this, does anyone know of a laundry detergent that IS NOT High Efficiency???? I’ve searched high and low to no avail!

    1. I feel your pain and can relate.

      I think the Speed Queen ticks many of your washing machine requirements. There was a lid lock the last time I checked, but you could pause the cycle and open the lid before resuming immediately. Many other models have you drain the washer and effectively start over at the beginning of the cycle before releasing the lock. The Speed Queen give you the option to alter the water level and will fill the entire basket. There are also options for a second and third rinse (As seen on my control pannel ). I’ve had this thing going on three years now and I still love it.

      I’m not sure where you might find non-HE soap, but you may want to experiment with using less soap (I know it seems counter intuitive). You may also want to experiment with adding Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP) to your loads. It is a powerful degreaser that was once included in laundry detergent, but was since banned / regulated. As luck would have it, you can still find it in the paint section of most big box stores. I routinely add some to my laundry, it doesn’t foam (which may be aiding in some of your streaks), and it does a great job.

  22. Thank you for this information. With every fiber of my being, I hate, hate, hate ALL so called high efficiency washing machines. Everyone is right, it takes me the entire day to get washing done. I was reduced to soaking all of my clothes overnight in buckets before putting them in the washing machine, the only way I could get them to feel, smell and look clean. How efficient are they when you have to do several loads over and over again to get them clean? The government needs to get out of the washing machine business because there is nothing efficient about these machines and yes, they are high…in price!

  23. Thanks for the info and confirming my exact thoughts on He machines. My Whirlpool Duet (which never cleaned like the old school machines, but nice steam dryer) lasted 12 years til getting the SUDS, F35 error code. Based on your review and comments of others I’m getting the Speed Queen TR7000 combo today. I’ll try to return with my experience.

  24. Mike, thanks for the article. I just bought a Whirlpool that has a deep water wash setting thinking it would also be deep water on the rinse cycles, but it doesn’t and it is not getting the detergent out of the clothes. The third rinse would help that but do you know if the Speed Queens also fills the tub on the rinse cycle?

  25. I spent $1000 for each of my last two washing machines that were purchased over a 10 year period. I hated the Maytag, the LG is as bad or worse. Wish I never replaced my old machine. What makes a washing machine high efficiency if you have to wash everything 3 or 4 times and then take it to a laundromat to get things clean. Even with the “water plus” feature there is never enough water in the tub. I bought a large capacity machine so I could wash comforters but it is never more than 1/3 full of water. I will definitely be looking into a Speed Queen or try to find a used machine that was pre-water saver.

  26. Thanks for this excellent information. Our Whirlpool broke after 10 years of extremely heavy use and I have been reading how bad the new washers are. I was considering going to a trading center to find a new washer without all the electronics (really I don’t think anyone needs 10 choices of wash cycles), but will look into SpeedQueen before doing so. Thank you!

  27. Mike,
    Could not agree with you more on everything you said about lousy, non-cleaning, HE washers these days! Yes, they SUCK!

    It is now Oct 2010 and according to the Speed Queen website there are four models of washers available : TR7, TR5, TR3, and the TC5. What would you recommend?

    I called the speed queen hotline and they said the TC5 is the only one that has an agitator that turns, while all the TR models have a fixed agitator and the tub rotates. What is your opinion on this new feature, and which would you choose? Best I can gather they still share the same water usage.

    1. It appears the main difference between the TR7 and TR 5 & 3 is the format of the controls. The TR 3 & 5 have dials where the TR7 has push button options. The TR7 appears to have more customization options, but I can say that I rarely use many of the additional options such as delayed start, extra rinse, and pre-soak of my washer. In looking into the Speed Queen machines previously the mechanics of the machines were virtually identical, just the controls are different. It would appear that the main difference between the TR machines is the different warranty durations. This is probably the largest contributor to the cost difference.

      The TC5 is an interesting option as it appears they are bringing back the independent agitator. Over the years, I’ve received comments indicating that the newer washers didn’t perform as well in cleaning tests when compared to washing machines from other companies. You can look back at the prior comments, but it looked like these studies compared the other machines to a Speed Queen using the “Normal / ECO” setting that does NOT fill the entire tub with water (an Option that I’ve NEVER used). I suspect that this may be why they’ve brought back the independent agitator option; however, in looking at the prior cleaning tests there wasn’t a significant difference in the results (in my opinion).

      I think it really comes down to what additional features of the more expensive washers you think you’ll use and the duration of the warranty you might want. If there were an optimal solution for everyone, Speed Queen would probably only offer one option. 🙂

      I couldn’t possibly make the transition back to a truly HE machine. Too much trauma and drama.

  28. In choosing between the TR7 and the TC5 :
    Basically it comes down to a 1 hp motor that uses a combination agitator/tub turning washing mechanism versus a 1/2 hp pure agitator mechanism. No intention to ever use the normal/eco on either model! The helpline says the TR7 has the option of using auto fill by density, not weight, which sound impossible to me – which I would never use. But one can choose small, med , and large fill instead of the auto for plenty of water. My concern is about this combo wash mechanism- it may have a bigger motor, but does it really clean like the classic agitator? Helpline says this is a gentler wash that is for normal soiled clothing. I could care less about all the multiple special settings, just want lots of water!

    TC5 is half the motor size, at 1/2 hp and uses the classic agitator. Downsize is that it has no fill controls. It automatically fills to 9-11 “, unless the extra fill button is pushed and then it fills to 13” which is the max… per the helpline. Helpline says this model is noisier but designed for farmers, mechanics and heavily soiled clothing and vigorous cleaning which can be harder on clothes.
    I just want CLEAN! And water! Which is better?
    Sounds like your older 2017 model has just a agitator wash mechanism

  29. PS to my above message……..
    The TC5 model has a transmission and per hotline “a stronger agitation”.

    Do I go w the TR7 or the TC5? (Price is no issue)

    Want water to fill & cover clothes and good cleaning!

    1. It sounds like you’ve narrowed down your search to two Speeed Queeen models (TR7 & TC5).

      Your next step may be to contact a local dealer and see what they typically stock and what sort of returns they’ve seen. My guess is that unless you are a farmer, mechanic, or have otherwise similarly soiled clothes, then you might not need the TC5.

  30. I’ve been looking for information like this for years now. And *FINALLY* found it in August 2021. I grew up with a Maytag washing machine, and the machine did exactly what you told it to do. So I knew I would always be a Maytag customer. Until government regulations ruined that, and I can’t get any machine to wash or rinse my laundry properly, or in a timely manner. (Over an hour every time, even for small loads??? My dryer is faster than that!) If the Speed Queen pans out as I expect it will, even now in 2021, I shall become a lifetime Speed Queen customer.
    Thank you for your 2017 post – a million times over!!!!!!!!

  31. Based essentially solely on this article, we purchased a TC5003 after our ~9 year old Maytag2000 front load shook itself to death. Right off the bat I’m very pleased with minimalist controls, the only thing that would have made it better would be the old mechanical timing wheels. I could care less about looks for a utility device, I want long-lasting function. Fingers crossed. My wife is not so pleased though. I told her okay to stuff if full of kid clothes (she had asked, I didn’t actually look). They came out great, but after drying she filled three baskets for folding rather than the typical one. And to boot, I snuck downstairs and ran another big load before she’d finished folding the first. I guess no more “I have to wait for the washer to finish” as a valid excuse…

    Thanks for the review, spot on.

  32. Laughing, crying and throwing my hands in the air with a loud “Hallelujah!” I have been complaining about my washing machines for nearly a decade. I just want clean clothes!!!!!
    Flatly told my husband, after reading your post, “I want one. We are getting one.” THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  33. I enjoyed reading through the comments! I think SQ is a great choice. I have a SQ question that is a bit off topic if you don’t mind. Backstory is that I have a Maytag Neptune 2000 stackable that just died after 22 years. Sadly, the part I need to fix it is no longer available and I actually looked for used ones just for the parts but couldn’t find one.
    I researched another stackable that would fit in my space and decided on the SQ SF7. I called a local appliance dealer who pretty much refused to sell one to me because I would be installing it on my ground floor instead of my basement which has a concrete floor. He said it will “walk” and I’ll be displeased. I told him it would be anchored between 2 cabinets but his reaction was that it would beat up the cabinets so that’s worse.
    I cannot find any complaints about “walking” or beat up cabinets although the SQ manual does allude to placing it on a concrete floor. Any thoughts? Do the top loads have a tendency to “walk”? Perhaps I should find another retail outlet but wanted to research this phenomenon first.

    1. I’d have to defer to the dealer on this one, but I’ll share a couple thoughts. If they are unwilling to sell you one, then they likely have had previous experience with dissatisfied customers. Both the SQ SF7 vs the Maytag Neptune 2000 machines are front loaders and mine is a top loader. My machine is a quite heavy and is installed on a concrete slab, so it is very stable. The fact that the SQ SF7 and Maytag Neptune 2000 are front loader may cause the machine to walk around if there is an unbalanced load. Since the drum rotates vertically it seems likely that it may be somewhat unbalanced. In any case, I did do a quick google search for the shipping weight of the SQ SF7 (417 lbs) vs the Maytag Neptune 2000 (356 lbs). The heavier weight of the SQ SF7 may help prevent it from walking, but there may also be some difference in the forces involved during the spin cycle with an unbalanced load. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  34. Great Review, thank you! I just purchased the 500 Series SQ based on so many recommendations. I was surprised that the Normal Eco does not use hot however. Therefore, I’m curious what setting you use in its place if it’s a ‘normal’ load, but I want hot?

    1. Yes, the “Normal / ECO” setting uses less hot water and doesn’t fill the tub with water. For these reasons, I don’t believe I have ever used the “Normal / Eco” setting.

      I tend to use the “Quick Wash” setting and customize with the water temperature (typically warm), load size (typically extra large), and soil level (typically medium). I sometimes also add a second rinse to some of the bulkier loads (comforters, sweaters, etc) for additional assurance that I get all the soap out.

  35. Michael- Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! As so many have said above, I am SO HAPPY to have come across this whole thread! I despise my 2 year old HE Maytag washing machine and I thought it was only me! The clothes don’t get fully wet, they don’t get fully clean, they come out with actual dry spots on them, it makes me CRAZY!! Of course it’s now September 2023 and the models you mention are no longer available. May I ask what your recommendations are for the Speed Queen current models? Thank you again, Michael, for all of your information and research! You may have just saved my sanity!

  36. I’m late to the Speed Queen party, too! Thank you for the great article, Michael. I can’t stand the government trying to make life better for everyone. They want to ration water in neighborhoods that haven’t had a significant amount of rain but they don’t consider us with pieces of washers are all inside washing a single load 5 times. I’m buying a Speed Queen. Thank you!

  37. Thank you so much for this article. You’ve helped me a lot in my search to replace a nearly-new HE washer. Never again will I buy an appliance at a big box store.

  38. Can I use regular liquid non HE detergent in new Speed Queen TC5003 top loader washer? We have severe allergies to many, if all HE laundry detergents. We always use a special Non HE laundry detergent up until my beloved 30 year old Maytag traditional top load washer broke for the first and unfortunately last time. It is not repairable any longer.
    So just ordered the Speed Queen TC5003 as closest thing to my old Maytag traditional top loader that actually fills all the way up with water, has traditional agitator and the cycles don’t take hours on end. In addition no lid lock and uses my tap water actual temperatures for the cold and hot and doesn’t temper the water. Everything about the Speed Queen TC5003 looks to be traditional in it’s cycles except for the eco/normal cycle to satisfy government mandates. I don’t use the eco cycle. So why do they say you have to use HE detergent with this washer when has deep fill and works like traditional washer? I hope I can use my usual Non HE laundry detergent. Why couldn’t I use it?

    1. I don’t see why you couldn’t use non-HE detergent.

      I’ve paid zero attention over the years as to whether the detergent I’ve purchased is HE or not and my clothes are crisp and clean.

      I suspect it might only matter if you were to use the ECO / Normal cycle as you mention. I still have never used that setting as I prefer my machine to fill completely with water.

      1. Thank you for your response to my questions Michael. My new Speed Queen TC5003 arrived and was installed a week ago. I’ve been using my usual Non-HE detergent as usual with no issues so far. Which is very important due to every one in the household has major allergies to HE detergents. I do not use the Normal/Eco cycle and would not attempt to use anything non HE in that cycle if it was used. So far everything has been working fine with no excess sudsing with the non He detergent we’ve been using. This washer actually fills with water and washes and rinses the clothes and gets them clean! Geez…isn’t that the whole point of a washing machine? We are actually using less water as no need to double rinse and run multiple cycles to get clothes clean as with other HE machines that don’t actually wash the clothes and get them clean. As I found out after my beloved 30 year old Maytag top load washer broke for the first and only time in 30 years and I had to use a crappy HE washer until I got my new Speed Queen TC5003. Also the cycles don’t take hours on end to complete. So can get through loads and loads of weekly laundry and be done! Just like my old Maytag. And no lid lock! Great for numerous reasons.
        Thanks again!

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