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Washer Dryer Systems

A washing machine, or washer, is an appliance made to clean laundry such as dirty clothes, tablecloths, and linens. To clean laundry, the washing machine soaks and spins the laundry in a series of cycles with the combination of water, soap detergent, and often fabric softener. A clothes dryer, or tumble dryer, removes the moisture from wet clothing or fabrics through evaporation caused by heat. Typically loaded with clothes from the washing machine, the dryer consists of a rotating tumbler, heated air, and most often an exhaust vent. Dryers are powered by either electricity or gas. Electric dryers produce heat through a coiled wire. Gas dryers produce heat from direct flame, whether it is of gas, propane, or butane. For both types of dryers, if the temperature hits a preset high, the machine will shut itself off automatically.

Washer Machine Options (Cycles)

Every time before starting the washing machine, you must first indicate the appropriate washing options. The selection includes the following:

  • The size of the laundry load (small, medium, large, extra large)
  • Water temperature for wash and rinse cycles (cold/cold, warm/cold, arm/warm, and hot/cold)
  • Cycle length (delicate, knit, permanent press, heavy)
  • The length of each cycle in minutes.

Dryer Options (Settings)

Clothes dryers have a selection of simple settings, really a system of gears indicating a selection of cycles (automatic cycles, per press and knit cycles, and timed cycles). Within each of those choices, a time length must be selected. Additional features of the dryer include a door switch and an interior light. When the door is opened, a light should turn on and the machine should stop. If the dryer doesn't stop rotating when its door is opened, do not use it: It needs attention and repair.

Front and Top Loading Washer Machines

Washing machines are either top loading or front loading. Most top loading machines roll the clothes from the top of the wash basket to its bottom and then up again. This is propelled by an agitator rotating in a back-and-forth motion from the bottom of the wash basket or by an impeller, which doesn't include the middle post. Front loading machines rely on gravity, paddles in the drum, and the rotation of the cylinder itself.

Dryers, All-in-One Machines, and Washer Dryer Combos

A dryer is almost always front loading, expect for the newer all-in-one machines. An all-in-one machine uses the same basket to wash and dry loads of fabrics. It consumes less space, requires no outside venting, uses less energy, and, obviously, doesn't require the load to be transferred from one machine to the next between the wash and dry cycles. On the downside, these take more time and only a single load can be done at a time. Another alternative is washer dryer combo. Consisting of the two different appliances, stacked with the dryer on the top and the washer on the bottom, this allows two loads to be treated simultaneously and requires less space.