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I have an old whirlpool top loading LA8800 (Maytag rebranding?) washer that leaks from the bottom.. is this usually a simple (and cheap) gasket type repair, or would now be a good time to get a more energy (water?) efficient front loading type?

Also, anyone know what the capacity is of my Whirlpool LA8800? I can't seem to find any specs on it, my current washer!)

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Is the leak from the bottom of the drum, or up in the plumbing (pump, etc.)? If it's leaking from the drum, then it's definitely time to replace. Otherwise it can be repaired. –  Karl Katzke Aug 8 '11 at 4:00
    
It depends on what and how exactly leaks. It may be for example the drain filter cover loosened - then you just clean the filter, tighten the cover and continue using your appliance. –  sharptooth Aug 8 '11 at 5:30
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@Karl, I think that deserves to be an answer. –  BMitch Aug 9 '11 at 11:51

3 Answers 3

I'd say replace it no matter what, unless you're living alone or low on funds.

For a typical household, a front-loading washer will save $10-15 each month, so a new washer would pay itself off in 5-8 years.

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I so hate my smelly moldy Whirlpool front loader, and wish I'd kept the old top loader. The front loaders have expensive parts and are terrible to take apart and work on.

The old units can be fixed forever using cheap parts. Unless the drum is rusted out (unlikely) you've just got a hose that's worked loose or a simple gasket issue. If there's a drain filter, take it out and clean it. Should be a straightforward repair. Like an old car you can see everything down there on those models: finding the leak should be relatively easy.

Short version: yes you can repair it.

Long version: there's a tradeoff in terms of water/energy use, compared to reliability and repairability. And search for "mold issues front loader" to see tales of woe with front loaders, especially the USA models.

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The August Issue of Consumer Reports had an article on this. I don't think they publish the full article on their non-subscriber site but they do have some information posted:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/august/shopping/repair-or-replace-it/overview/index.htm

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