My daughter’s 15 year old GE washer bit the dust earlier this week. With three kids that wasn’t a pleasant situation so she decided to replace it ASAP.

In helping her research a new model, I had some personal concerns since our own Maytags are getting up there. Granted they don’t get the steady use Sarah’s machine did but you never know.

I learned more about washers and washer efficiency than I really wanted to know. It appears that in the past decade there has been a revolution in technology in the washer biz – not to mention a concentration in brands. Not only do you not know who’s who but also what’s what. Whirlpool, Amana and Maytag are the same company today. GE and Hotpoint are brands of Haier – a Chinese appliance powerhouse.

The new buzzword in laundry is high efficiency – lower water levels, longer wash cycles, more efficient spinning and lots of digital gew-gaws. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to surf the Web on my washer or phone it on my cellphone – it’ll happen sooner or later though. High efficiency used to be the domain of front loading washers, but now the venerable top loader is also going that way. Why, even the non high efficiency top loaders are being designed with load sensors and automatic water level controllers you can’t switch off.

Anyway Sarah went over to Home Depot, was dissatisfied with the service and delivery times and ended up at a real appliance store. These folks know their business, gave her good advice and offered to deliver the next day and remove the old machine for free.

She ended up buying a Speed Queen – a brand I was not all that familiar with but apparently is built like a tank and is old school as can be – no fancy-schmantzy ¬†electronics or missing agitator. A bit more costly but she thinks it’s worth it.

As for me – well I don’t think I need a washer to last 25 years at an age when I don’t buy green bananas. I just hope we can squeeze a few more years out of the Maytags.