Staber washer problems

James WilsonJames Wilson Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
After several years of Staber use and problems with their surly and overbearing 'support' people I thought that it might be a good idea to put out a warning... Your mileage may vary!

Here is a review that I did yesterday.

http://www0.epinions.com/content_440439836292

Review: Staber Top Load Horizontal Axis HXW2304 Washing Ma...
I got my first Staber washer back in 2000 for $1,200 with plans to run it from an off the grid home. It arrived with a banged up front cover, but Staber quickly sent me a replacement.

Everything was fine for a couple of years, we traveled a lot and used in infrequently. One day it would not turn the basket, we took off the front cover and found that the belt was worn out. We ordered a replacement from Staber. When it eventually arrived I tried to install it correctly, but the belt wouldn't stay centered on the pulleys correctly. Turns out the large pulley was warped. Of course this was now out of warranty.

When we moved into our new house I ordered a new Staber washer. It arrived in fine shape. At the same time I sold my old one to my brother. It worked for a short time then stopped spinning. He contacted Staber support and they told him that he needed a new board. Three boards did not fix the problem. We're both electrical engineers and can certainly troubleshoot, but the only person that we could talk to a Staber was this lady that didn't know how to troubleshoot and would just read off a troubleshooting flow chart. We could not get her to let us talk to a real technician.

After many dozens of lost manhours trying to fix this thing and replacing parts and testing my brother finally gave up and bought a washer that is about $900 cheaper and works a lot better. It's also very energy efficient and get clothes very clean and fairly dry. The myth that Staber is so much better is busted! The new washer can be fixed anywhere, but nobody knows how to fix a Staber. So this one is just sitting there waiting to go to the dump. :)

While this was going on after a couple of washes our new Staber washer intermittently just doesn't spin. A couple of tries running it through the rinse and spin cycle will get it to spin, but this eats up the energy and water savings and is very inconvenient.

A call to Staber 'Support' gives us the same lady, she blames our load being unbalanced, etc. Anything so that it isn't the washer's fault - must be the customer's fault!

Then she wanted me to start working on the washer! After all of the manhours lost working on my brother's washer she wanted me to start working on this new, under warranty washer! I told her that I was not going to work on it because it was under warranty. She asked me to find someone local to work on the machine. I asked her to find someone to work on the machine. A couple of weeks later I asked her when they would have someone out and she tells me that they are going to send out a new machine and I need to box up the old one. This means that I have to install the new one (again).

Needless to say, I am no longer very happy with Staber. They really want problems to be the customer's fault. Since this problem isn't getting resolved it must be my fault and now she's complaining that I won't work with her...

A lot of these were sold to people off the grid that needed a low energy usage washer, but she actually asked me if I was off the grid - I suppose that if I said that I was that would have been the problem and not the washer...

For the money and trouble it's probably better just to do a little research and go down to a local store and get a washer. If it isn't as energy efficient and you're off the grid use the money that you saved to buy a couple more solar panels.

Recommended:
No

Amount Paid (US$): 1200

Comments

  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Staber washer problems

    James,

    Sorry to hear about all of the problems! FWIW, I installed a Sears front-loader high-efficiency ("HE") washing machine in our home in August, 2004. Price then was about $400.

    So far, so good. The automatic balancing- and high-speed extractor features seem to work well. And, if there's anybody that can test/stress a washer, it's my wife! :-)

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Staber washer problems

    i agree i have a staber and it works but it has been a headache and it is way overpriced i see a new front loader in my future
  • James WilsonJames Wilson Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: fis-0004

    What's this all about?
    Delete quoted spam...

    Spam and spammer have been removed.

    Thank You,
    -BB
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Staber washer problems

    My 1962 Eaton's of Canada gas powered wringer machine still chugs along. I replaced the Briggs and Scrapiron motor with a honda a few years ago, and the wringers are getting a bit tired, but it still works great. As for energy savings, Susan washes a load of whites, wrings them out, uses the same water for a load of darks, drains the water. Rinses the lights, then the darks, adds a bit of soap and does another load. 4 loads of laundry on 3 fills. Wringer gets laundry drier than any spin machine. Uses about 1/2 cup of gas for one laundry day. (does take time to use however,,, I guess you pay for time with more energy).

    Tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    Re: Staber washer problems

    OK Tony,

    If you are not going to post a movie of your gas engine washer running, then I will have to post a Youtube of a 1942 Maytag gas washer with "hit and miss" 2 stroke engine.

    -Bill :p
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Staber washer problems

    Bill,

    Don't laugh! That is just about the way it works!

    Susan arms herself with ear protection, and off she goes. The exhaust is vented out the building with a piece of flex pipe, just like your video. (The washing machine is in it's own shed, not in the house). The old BS engine was terribly noisy, the Honda is quite quiet, except that it rattles the tin work of the case so much it is deafening!

    A note about the Maytags. They are still available, as are all the replacement parts from several sources including http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?itemID=613&itemType=PRODUCT They also sell reconditioned units with gas or electric motors. Our neighbors still use a 50's vintage Maytag with an electric motor. If I had to replace mine, I would go that route, run the genny and keep the washing machine quiet. We bought it in the days before we have a reliable genny. (My mother could start the washing machine, but not the lister diesel!

    Someday, perhaps I will join the 21st century and be able to post a video but 'till then you will have to imagine.

    Merry Christmas to all,

    Tony

    We are away for a while,, currently in Maine where we had 18' of new snow yesterday,,, felt like home.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    Re: Staber washer problems

    Hi Tony,

    I am not laughing--I am enjoying.... Sometimes I think I was born about 50 years too late (although I did miss several World Wars, a couple small "conflicts", and one world wide depression--jury is still out on the next one).

    Just started perusing YouTube on old engines... I can see I don't miss the smoke and unburned fuel that those engines spew. And it makes me thankful for most of the emission laws we have now-a-day.

    By the way:
    currently in Maine where we had 18' of new snow yesterday

    18 inch of fall? Or 18 feet of drift? And what is snow--it sort of like soap bubbles when the washer overflows--right?

    Actually, we were in the Grand Canyon last Thanks Giving, and our kids saw there first real snow fall (big, wet, flakes... Stuck on the ground for a few hours).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Staber washer problems

    Bill,

    18" Sunday, with a previous 6" the previous Saturday.(Sorry for the typo!) Fairly fierce winds, but drifts limited to ~5'. Lovely snow though, very cold, very dry.

    I think I was born 100 years too late! I think I was much better suited to the steam age. The idea of steam locomotives, and steam ships has a certain romance. It was also a time when for better or worse (mostly worse) when you could do things with little respect for the environmental consiquences. Can you imagine getting the permit to build the Panama Canal, or Grand Coulee dam today? Never could happen. (That's not a bad thing per sey, but illustrates my point).

    Tony

    PS. Thanks for your continuing good, informative opinions and moderating.

    T
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Staber washer problems

    I've had a Staber washer since 2004 and have not had one problem with it. What have you guys been doing with your Staber washers.....tumbling brass for ammunition in them, hah!?:D
  • James WilsonJames Wilson Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Staber washer problems

    The second one we got arrived broke and intermittently would not spin. We could not get Staber to fix it even though it was still under warranty and we contacted the Ohio Attorney General. By the way, we aren't the first to complain about these washers to the Ohio Attorney General. I finally fixed it myself after many hours of guessing how it worked.

    This first one that we got we actually had sold (complicated turn of events) when we bought the new one, but it also would not spin. I think I explained all that we went through to try to get it fixed in my original message in this thread.

    We took very good care of our first one and it worked fine for years. When it broke though Staber couldn't explain what was going on in their black box (the control board) and we never could get it working, even after they recommended and we changed out the control board three times. The lights on the control boards changed with each one we installed.

    We were never allowed to talk with someone technical that could even understand the basics of current flow, just the rude woman that answers the phone and reads off the troubleshooting card.

    Never again!




    Palerider wrote: »
    I've had a Staber washer since 2004 and have not had one problem with it. What have you guys been doing with your Staber washers.....tumbling brass for ammunition in them, hah!?:D
  • anotherfarmeranotherfarmer Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: Staber washer problems
    Palerider wrote: »
    I've had a Staber washer since 2004 and have not had one problem with it. What have you guys been doing with your Staber washers.....tumbling brass for ammunition in them, hah!?:D



    We, too, have had many years of good service from a Staber, and occasional problems (a faulty control switch, a worn out pump) were handled by either a guy named Jim Staber (hmmm) or a knowledgeable tech. A friend who had control panel problems apparently from using a Trace inverter of 70's vintage, was provided all the help needed to get it working.

    As I understand it, Staber is the only company that will stand behind a washer run from inverter power, not an issue with Sine Wave equipment but a definitely a potential problem with modified square wave (sometimes called modified sine wave) inverters.

    Jim Sluyter
  • James WilsonJames Wilson Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Staber washer problems

    We may have been better off if we could talk to someone else, but the woman that we always got when calling "support" was not friendly, not knowledgeable enough for the job and wouldn't let us talk to any one else.

    Last time I talked to this woman she started asking questions about whether we were on the grid or not. I started to sense trouble there so I said that we were on the grid. Don't need her blaming the washer's problems on the power...


    We, too, have had many years of good service from a Staber, and occasional problems (a faulty control switch, a worn out pump) were handled by either a guy named Jim Staber (hmmm) or a knowledgeable tech. A friend who had control panel problems apparently from using a Trace inverter of 70's vintage, was provided all the help needed to get it working.

    As I understand it, Staber is the only company that will stand behind a washer run from inverter power, not an issue with Sine Wave equipment but a definitely a potential problem with modified square wave (sometimes called modified sine wave) inverters.

    Jim Sluyter
  • anotherfarmeranotherfarmer Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: Staber washer problems
    We may have been better off if we could talk to someone else, but the woman that we always got when calling "support" was not friendly, not knowledgeable enough for the job and wouldn't let us talk to any one else.

    Last time I talked to this woman she started asking questions about whether we were on the grid or not. I started to sense trouble there so I said that we were on the grid. Don't need her blaming the washer's problems on the power...

    It certainly seems that customer support has deteriorated in the several years since we have had to call. Too bad - that may be the only thing that could keep those machines selling...
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Staber washer problems

    I can second the problems that many on this thread have reported. The bottom line is this machine is not worth the trouble, as you will find out if look anywhere on the web. It is expensive and unreliable. Even if you are handy with fixing things, why should you pay money for an unreliable product? Is that how you want to spend your Saturdays?

    We have had our Staber for 5 years and in the past two years we have experienced a series of problems that have consumed a lot of time and have left our washer unusable for weeks at a time. The first problem, within one year of ownership, was a broken controller board. We sent that one in and it was replaced free of charge (although we paid for the shipping). The second problem 4 years later was malfunctioning motor, which we troubleshooted with the help of Staber support person. I took the motor out and sent it in for a reaplacement (it was an expensive part, cost several hundred dollars). After installing the new motor, the washer sounded much louder than before during high spin cycle. After four months the belt slipped off during a wash cycle (this had never happened before). I have been unable to get the belt to stay on (it slips off after a few turns). I have called Staber and they were very unhelpful so far. The lady I spoke with did not come across as very knowledgeable and walked me through a useless checklist. Once it was clear that the problem was the one I said it was, belt slipping off, she had no ideas. She said she would call me back but so far no one has.

    For the few people on this list who love their Stabers, my feeling is that you got lucky and wound up with one of the few units that did not experience multiple failures. The level of reliability of components in this machine is insanely low in comparison to all other major competitors. It is ridiculous for a controller board to fail in one year, a motor to fail in four years, etc. These are very mature component technologies that should last 10 years easily. The fact that the machine is designed to be easier to repair by the end user does not justify the fact that it requires repair so frequently. Given all of the high-quality horizontal axis washers available from Europe and Asia, it is not worth going with the only US company (who hasn't gotten their act together).

    I should add that my machine did not experience problems with corrosion, rust, etc. that some people on the web have reported. I can imagine that this would only compound any existing problems, but in my case the problems were strictly the result of poor manufacturing/design choices leading to frequent component failure.
  • Tina HodgeTina Hodge Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Staber washer problems

    Does this machine still work for you? Do you know how many amps or watts? How much it surges upon starting?
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