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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 7th Dec 2018, 12:43 am   #41
AC/HL
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

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It was a 'creel' in our part of Yorkshire.
We had one in the kitchen of our last house, a large Victorian terrace.
Brilliant, the clothes dry much quicker up high, probably a ventilation by product. They knew a thing or two back then.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 1:03 am   #42
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

Front loaders took over from twin-tubs because they are smaller and can be used in position, installed under a work surface, without having to move them in front of the sink. And being front-loaded, they don't need access from above. This is important when you have a kitchen barely 3m. by 2m., and a lot of British homes do have small kitchens. Also, there is less tending with a front-loader. You just fill the machine with dirty clothes, select the program, leave it and take out the clean, slightly damp clothes ready for air or tumble drying. It's even permanently connected to the supply and drain, so there is no need to swap the end of the fill hose onto the recirculating pump outlet to drain the wash tub before you transfer the clothes to the spin drier section.

Vertical drums used to allow faster spin speeds, with consequent better water removal (strictly speaking a spin drier works by pulling the clothes away from the water, which continues moving in its original straight line tangent to the drum) but front-loaders today routinely manage 1400 rpm or even more.

I last used a twin-tub washing machine back in 1993, while house- and cat-sitting for an elderly gentleman. It was kind of fun to use, and certainly would be an immense improvement over hand washing; but I knew I would be going back to my front-loader when my "client" returned home!

The present Montoya Mansions has a Miele front loader, which is just under two years old; its predecessor fell victim to the 2017 Chester Green Flood. Before that, I had an 8-year old Bosch, which had had just one replacement part: a new programme knob. It was still working, but was beginning to make noises that sounded horribly like bearing wear, and I had come into the money for the Miele. The Bosch wound up being given away to a friend whose washer had just packed up, and ran fine for at least another 3 years. Modern washing machines can be had inexpensively nowadays, but don't seem to last. I much prefer to "buy once, cry once" with tools, and a washing machine is a tool I use often.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 1:54 am   #43
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

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My front loading machine takes an average of 2 hours per wash
Front loaders are slow. We switched from top loader to front loader in 2008 mainly for water efficiency - we're on tank water - and I almost forgot how much slower they are until Invercargill had a two month dry spell last summer and I started taking washing up to my parents. Their F&P SmartDrive would blat through a load in half an hour or so, while our Bosch would take at least an hour - and the whole thing of it sitting for five minutes doing nothing but with the door locked at the end of a load just makes it seem sooooo much worse! You just know the minute you give up and leave the laundry it'll unlock....

Back to the original question - I remember mum having a Hoovermatic twin tub until the very early 80s, when she got a F&P "turn the dial and pull it out" top loading automatic. They replaced that with the first model of SmartDrive around 91 or 92, which died about two years ago.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 2:54 am   #44
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

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Then there was the "Sheila-maid", a wooden frame you put your wet clothes on before winching it up to the ceiling using ropes and pulleys.
In Scotland that is a "pulley" and they're making a comeback especially in Victorian tenements.
It was a 'creel' in our part of Yorkshire. A cleat for making off the doubled up ropes, a twin pulley to take the ropes horizontal, another further fron the wall for one to drop and to guide the other past, then a single pulley for the far end drop. The ropes eack supported a cast iron frame, and four wooden bars joined the frames.

Mum and dad bought an English Electric Liberator automatic washer in the middle sixties. Never mind us watching the show, ALL the neighbours were round! It was the first one in the street.

David
A "rack" or "airer" in our bit of Cheshire, and definately back in popularity.
Our son's house in Liverpool has a recently fitted one in the very tall stair well. Takes a full wash load and gets it out of the way.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 6:16 am   #45
M3VUV51
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

brings back memorys,when i first started messing about with electronics in late 60's/early 70's the oc71 transistors could be turned into the oc71p by scraping the paint off of the body to expose the junction to light,at the time mallard got wise to this and started to fill the glass with a pale blue gloop,i found if i twisted the legs together and stuffed them in one of the holes in the twin tub spinner drum i could centrifuge the gloop to the base of the glass envelope exposing the junction!,happy days! m3vuv.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 6:28 am   #46
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

There was a Philips top loading automatic in the UK. You lifted the lid then rotated the drum by hand to bring its pair of interlocking doors up to the top, opened said doors and then you could reach in to lift clothes out or drop them in.

Because there were bearings at both ends of the drum, these machines had higher spin speeds than the usual front loaders of the time. Owners loved them but they had to be pulled out from under worktops to use, or needed space without a worktop.

Nineteen years ago I bought an "AEG OKO-Lavamat 86720 update" apart from a stripped gear in the water distributor, it's still going strong. 1600 spin. A DC motor! Cast iron weights, not concrete. Metal drum and outer. Metal pulley for belt. A very strong bearing hub and sensible stress spreading. A washing machine to make engineers (not repairmen) smile. In those years it must have washed. It's taken riding breeches in its stride, and the odd numnah. There's a 30 minute wash programme that works fine. If I have time to let it take 90 minutes it'll save water - something we're not too short of in Scotland. It was expensive to buy, but it's easily outlived twice its own cost in cheap machines.

Front loaders don't have any implicit reason to be slow, but modern efficiency ratings are forcing a trend to slower programmes. They just don't have a letter rating for wasting your personal life expectancy hanging around waiting for it to finish.

When the AEG reaches its end, I think it'll be a Miele that replaces it. They seem to be the only European firm not engaged in commoditisation and a race to the bottom.

David
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 10:20 am   #47
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

My other gran had that Creda spin dryer. When she died in 1977 it ended up coming from Dover to Letchworth where my dad kept it in the garage for occasional use well into the 1990s. We used it occasionally in the summer between the washing machine and the line, and on a handful of occasions when the tumble dryer died and they waited a few weeks to replace it.

It certainly spun clothes dry enough to iron in four minutes. But not the dry we know from a tumble dryer. I wouldn't really want to wear clothes from it...but in the days of 600 spin washing machines or twin tubs it must have cut line/horse drying time by 70%.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 1:35 pm   #48
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

Hi All

My mum had a Servis Supertwin up until about 1990. She could get through a weeks worth of washing for a family of four in a morning. The spinner span at something like 3000RPM, so clothes only had to be on the line for an hour before they were dry enough to be put away or ironed(we didn't have an airing cupboard so this was very handy).
With only one tub of water used for all the loads (minus rinsing) it certainly had green credentials. It was replaced by a Servis Quartz automatic when they had their kitchen refitted. I remember mum being slightly disappointed at how wet the clothes came out of that compared to the twin tub.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 1:40 pm   #49
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

The twin tubs did spin at hellish speeds, I think the Hoovers were a bit slower, but not by much (about 2500rpm springs to mind) and certainly got a lot of water out. Making sure the washing is balanced in the drum makes a huge difference to noise levels too, it seems to be quite an art - certainly with my machine anyway
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 1:47 pm   #50
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

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There was a Philips top loading automatic in the UK. You lifted the lid then rotated the drum by hand to bring its pair of interlocking doors up to the top, opened said doors and then you could reach in to lift clothes out or drop them in.
We had a Miele slimline toploader that was the same. One advantage was you could open the drum during the wash to add things. It was quite a stretch to reach the bottom of the drum though.

The kitchenfitter put bar hatch hinges on a section of kitchen worktop to lift up so it could be used in situ!
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 2:56 pm   #51
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

Philips/Whirpool still make one I think. They're popular in continental Europe as they're compact and can be squeezed into bathrooms(!).
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 4:44 pm   #52
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

I worked in Sweden for a while, and had a washing machine in the bathroom. Seemed much more sensible, dirty clothes are taken off upstairs and cleaned cloths are put away upstairs, so why do the washing downstairs (unless drying outdoors in the garden - not all that practical in a Swedish winter).

Stuart
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 6:58 pm   #53
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

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It was a 'creel' in our part of Yorkshire.
We had one in the kitchen of our last house, a large Victorian terrace.
Brilliant, the clothes dry much quicker up high, probably a ventilation by product. They knew a thing or two back then.
I've never liked drying clothes indoors [whether by hoisting them up, putting them over a radiator/in an airing-cupboard or using a Flatley-type thing]. It always adds moisture to the air and leads to window-condensation/mould.
At least a properly-installed tumble-drier exhausts the air through a duct to the outside. (OK, I know a lot of people don't bother with a fitted through-the-wall exhaust "terminal" and just dump the hot, wet air into the kitchen).

Maybe I'm hypersensitive about ambient moisture? but I really don't like relative-humidities above 50% (so I similarly dislike cooking with gas or using those free-standing "Super Ser" calor-gas heaters, both of which dump water-of-combustion into their environment).
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 7:14 pm   #54
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

I remember one design of twintub from the mid-1960s that only had one motor, presumably for cheapness.

On the top surface, at the back between the two tubs there was a sort-of 'gearlever' knob which connected the motor to either the washing-oscillator or the spinner through some kind of clutch arrangement.

While it sounded sensible as a cost-cutting measure it had the major disadvantage that you couldn't be spinning one load while at the same time pumping-out the old water that had just been used to wash that load, ready for the next wash-fill, because the washer pump-out/circulation used a pump linked to the agitator and the spinner used a separate ejector-pump linked to the spinner.

Another twintub-memory was of a flood in a friend's house. Over the years, shed coins from trouser-pockets collected under the oscillator in the wash-tub until one day two coins rode-up on each other and then became tall enough to wedge between the underside of the oscillator and the bottom of the wash-tub. No problem for the motor, which kept on driving the oscillator. One of the coins then tipped sideways, punched a hole in the bottom of the drum, and the soapy washing-water makde a prompt exit onto the kitchen floor, which was only discovered when they came home.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 11:04 pm   #55
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

I never liked the Philips version of the top loader which to my thinking was just a front loader accessed from the top. The Hotpoint top loader was a true top loader with a drum just like a twin tub and when they went into spin you would hear a clunk as the gear box changed from working the agitator to spinning the inner tub. They worked extremely well and the washing came out as dry as with a twin tub
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 1:31 am   #56
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

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One advantage was you could open the drum during the wash to add things.
Yup, definitely miss that when we switched from top loader to front loader. No matter what happens, there'll always be that one sock you notice just after pressing "start" and hearing the solenoid click - it sits there on the floor, mocking you.
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 9:08 pm   #57
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

I only have a vintage machine and it suits my requirements well, getting used every Saturday for the weekly wash.

It's a Hotpoint Countess and although I have had examples of this model before, the one I own now is absolutely immaculate. A real find, complete with all booklets and the original hose to fit the tap. It came from the house of an elderly gent, along with a Creda Debonair spinner of the same vintage. Unfortunately the paint in the drum of the Debonair has started to flake so I use a more modern Zanussi spinner until the Creda gets some attention.

I have owned a modern front loader but grew frustrated at the inordinate length of time it took to do the washing. The Hotpoint is much more at home in my 60's kitchen too. I have the wringer that slots in the top, but generally don't need to use it. If you were in any doubt as to how quick these machines are, take a look at the recommended washing times in the period booklet....

Pictures show the Hotpoint in use this morning!

Steve
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 12:20 am   #58
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

Our "Wash 'ouse" in Bexhill looks the [semi-derelict] part but I have discovered that it was once a Dental Technicians Workshop-hence tiling and a polished floor. Long story but I met two previous owners in one week and obtained a colour photo of the whole place after a major fire in 1956 [classic Calor Gas Boiler Bathroom explosion] turned it from an Edwardian Palace into the Simpsons house

I'd forgotten how fast twin tubs can be-I'm getting interested! There would be room. When my mother's finally expired I was going to offer it to Bury Museum. Tanuki mentioned venting the Dryer. I did mange to provide an outlet via the roof over-hang but before that, I ran the tube into a bucket one third full of cold water that absorbed the steam nicely. I thought I had invented a money spinning product until two years later when I saw a slightly more sophisticated "Bucket" Condensor on sale for 20 in the Daily Mail.

Eventually my wife bought a modern washer-good but takes ages and a Dryer that has the option to empty the condensed water to a drain or into a built in box that can be emptied manually. There IS a drain in the floor but I haven't bothered yet. Is it a source of distilled water?-probably not as there isn't a "boil wash" option.

Dave

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Old 9th Dec 2018, 12:37 am   #59
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

My goodness, Steve, you really do take your period living seriously!! It would be great to see some more pictures of your kitchen.
Of course to continue the '60's theme, what you really need on the drive outside, is a Morris 1100....!

All the best
Nick
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 1:07 am   #60
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Default Re: Anyone still use a Twintub?

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Of course to continue the '60's theme, what you really need on the drive outside, is a Morris 1100....!
Surely would that not be the Wolsley one with the mock Rolls Royce front grill.
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