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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Washers and Dryers

Is there a reason that washing machines usually are started by pulling a knob out, while dryers are usually started by turning a knob? Even when you get a twinned set from one manufacturer, the interface to starting the washer is different from that of starting the dryer. Is there something about washing machines that makes them naturally a "pull-the-knob-to-start" sort of machine, while dryers are characteristcally "turn-the-knob-to-start" devices?

5 comments:

  1. I don't know. Our washer and dryer are a "matched set," and they have digital interfaces, and they both start the same way--you push the Power button, and then the Start button.

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  2. My dryer just asks that you push a button to start it, after you turn the dial to the appropriate place. The button just starts the motor.

    Washer's are more complicated because you have solenoids and such that need to be opened in a certain pattern, and apparently the traditional ones are designed in a clever way that turning the dial will open up certain solenoids and only allow in so much hot or cold water, which is activated when you pull the knob. From a short search the answer seems to have something to do with these solenoids, but I couldn't find a clear answer.

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  3. I've never had a digital interface washer or dryer.

    Sob.

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  4. If you just turn the dryer handle it will turn on? The interface on mine isn't digital, but I think pushing the button sends a current through the motor, kickstarting it so to speak. This is why if you push it fast it will start briefly but not catch, you have to hold it down.

    I was thinking to, maybe you have to pull to start it because at the end of the cycle it's easier for the dial to "fall" back into place at the end rather than popping back out, at least if the two options are pushing it in or pulling it out. Pulling is probably easier on the whole than having springs push the dial back out at the end.

    Gene, you might really like Nicholson Baker if you haven't read some of his books already, it's filled with this sort of trivial stuff that makes up life.

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