Haier HLP21N 6.6-Pound Pulsator Wash with Stainless Steel Tub Review

Haier HLP21N 6.6-Pound Pulsator Wash with Stainless Steel Tub
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I estimate that I have used this washer for 4 loads each week since buying from J&R in early October, 2006. I live in a studio in New York and bought this one because (1) it has a sink adapter, which the front-loading 14.3-lb model didn't seem to include and (2) at 17.5 inches wide/deep, it fit through my bathroom door, which the front-loading 14.3-lb model (at 20.5 inches wide) wouldn't.
Out of the box, you have to install an included metal pan at the bottom. Install it so that it is convex: there's a reason that the legs are so high. One of the problems I had during installation was that one of the screws holding this metal pan to the body comes very close to a clamp holding the gooseneck drain tube as it exits the body. The clamp had fallen out of position, and the end of the screw is close to where the clamp goes. I don't think I was ever in danger of puncturing the drainage tube, but it's something to watch out for.
You need a place to hang the drainage tube, between 31.5 and 40 inches high. The machine cannot fill the tub with water to a height above the maximum height of the drainage path.
On my first two loads, I made a puddle of water on the ground. There were two reasons for this: the first time, the water supply hose was not tightened sufficiently at the machine end, and water dribbled out and behind the machine until I figured out what was going on. With that tightened (I used a wrench), there was no leak. On my second load, I put in too many clothes (more about that later) and there was a water-resistant nylon jacket on top. Just before the very first spin cycle, some water was cupped on that jacket and did not drain out with the wash water. When the tub started to spin, that water came out. I never loaded that many clothes into the washer again, and haven't had any spills since.
During a normal wash cycle, the machine does the following steps three times: fill, agitate, agitate, drain, spin, drain, spin, drain, spin. The second and third iterations are called the "rinse" cycle. Often, the water out of the drain is still bubbly after the second spin. (I use a quarter capful or less of All no-fragrance 3x liquid concentrate.) So, I run another rinse cycle. If the machine detects an unbalance condition during a spin, it will stop, fill the tub with water, and agitate in an attempt to redistribute the clothes before draining and spinning again. I think the machine does this two or three times before giving up and beeping ten times to alert the user of the unbalance condition.
During the agitation process, this machine tends to intertwine long or extended parts of clothing --- shirt sleeves and socks --- into braid-like knots, which often trigger the unbalance condition during the subsequent spin. For example, when I wash four or five long-sleeved shirts together, I always have to untie and separate two or three of the shirts where the sleeves have been twisted together. I think good washing is where the wash water can touch every surface of the clothes, and being tied together prevents this. These problems probably would not happen with a front-loading washing machine.
What is the capacity of this washer? Well, I would say:
2 bath towels; or
2 pairs of jeans or pants; or
2 sweatshirts and 1 pair of sweat pants; or
4 long-sleeved oxford shirts; or
6 small-size undershirts; or
8-12 medium-size boxer underwear.
That's at the "high" water level. You may be able to load more than that, but I think the clothes won't get as clean, and the machine will probably reach more unbalance situations.
I once tried to wash a terrycloth robe. The robe fit in the tub, but the machine always got to an unbalance condition when it tried to spin. I think it's sort of like trying to run a centrifuge with only one tube. Sometimes after the spin cycle I find a sock or a shirt stretched across the middle of the tub, instead of having been thrown centrifugally against the tub walls.
Using my DSC-P71 digital camera in the multi-burst 30 frames-per-second mode and a light and a dark shirt in the washer, I estimate the initial spin at 450 rpm (light shirt passed once every 4 frames) and a final spin at 780 rpm (light shirt passed about 6.5 times in 0.5 seconds - about once every other frame). If I hang the clothes in my studio (not in the bathroom), then they dry in about one day or less, depending on the humidity. It takes much longer if I hang them in the bathroom.
Update (November 2007): This machine is still running. After a year, here are my comments:
After getting tired of the drain tube clamp falling out, I made two small wedges out of a folded-up credit card to hold the clamp in place.
I made a third spill (and this one was a big one): once, the gooseneck drain hose came apart from the U-shaped drain-pipe hook. So, now I check that connection every week or so.
I always run an extra rinse cycle (or two). If I have time, during the spin cycles, I lower the drain tube to allow more sudsy water to drain out. (This is a high-maintenance tactic, though --- it can lead to floods if you're not careful.) Some types of clothes absorb and retain more water (and detergent) than others, and my skin is better after more of the detergent is rinsed out. You can take just-washed clothes from a standard washing machine and re-rinse them here to check how much detergent is left.
Update (April 2008): In the past two months, I have had two more major spills. Both times, it seems that the water-level sensor got stuck and failed to tell the inlet valve to shut off. When this happens, the water overflows the tub and comes out the bottom of the machine. (Usually, you hear a click when the water level is reached, and then the valve shuts off; but in these cases, the first click never occurs.)
Now that I live in an apartment building with a good laundry room, I use this washer mostly for small items: socks, underwear, undershirts.
Update (April 2009): It turned out that the water-level sensor had failed. The sign of impending failure is that the sensor will sometimes fail to close the valve when set to "high", but will always close at "low" and "medium" water levels. Then, "medium" will stop working and the valve will only close when the water level is set to "low". Since the manufacturer's warranty had expired, I had the part replaced under my credit-card-based extended warranty program. Haier suggested two authorized repair operators; one of them said that they didn't service this model. The other did, and charged $85 (diagnostic service call) plus $60 (labor) plus $21.52 (part). The part had to be ordered and took about five weeks (!) to arrive.

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Perfect for a small apartment or dorm room, this compact pulsator washing machine will help save on money and time wasted at the laundromat. The machine's 1-1/5-cubic-foot stainless-steel tub holds up to 6-3/5 pounds of laundry, and it connects to the kitchen sink in just five steps thanks to the included quick-connect sink adapter. Even more, the washer's smart technology and electronic controls allow for selecting the wash setting and water level to ensure a perfect load every time. Choose from three water levels based on the size of the load--save water by choosing a lower level for smaller loads. The unit's standard wash cycles include normal, heavy duty, whites, soak, and delicate; its special wash cycles include hand wash, sanitary, and unique or exclusive. The washing machine delivers a maximum spin speed of 740 rpm and its cycle status lights, estimated time-remaining display, and end-of-cycle signal provide added convenience. Other thoughtful details include a removable lint filter, a side strap for easy mobility, and an adjustable leveling leg to balance the machine if it rests on uneven ground. Fill and drain hoses come included. The washing machine measures 17-1/4 by 17-19/32 by 29-29/32 inches and carries a one-year warranty.

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