back to blog

Tiny House Laundry: Edgestar washer/dryer combo review

EdgeStar 2.0 Cu. Ft. FastDry Ventless Washer Dryer ComboWhen it comes to ideal use of my time, I think the last place I'd want to spend half a day is at the laundromat. That's why we at the Tiny Project decided to squeeze a combo washer/dryer unit into our tiny house floorplans. I've talked before about tiny house laundry options, but now I'd like to go into more detail about the specific washer/dryer combo that we've now been using for almost a year: the Edgestar 2.0 Cu. Ft. FastDry Ventless Washer Dryer Combo (CWD1510)

First, Cost

This Edgestar unit is more expensive than the cheap and/or manual washing options I've listed here, but it's far less expensive than the LG option we considered. The deciding factor was price. It was hard to justify spending almost $600 more for the LG, when the benefits were only marginal. That was our reasoning, anyway. The Haier combo unit was quite poorly reviewed, so we quickly crossed that one off the list. And we wanted something we could "set and forget" so the manual washing options (and the very , very small loads) were not gonna cut it, even though they provide a nice, cheap alternative.

Pros & Cons

Here's what we like about the Ventless Edgestar Combo:

  • More affordable than LG
  • Plenty of different wash settings - washes well
  • Dries clothes perfectly well as long as not overloaded
  • Nice size at about 30" height and 24" wide/deep

Here's what we're not so excited about:

  • 2 cu.ft. capacity is not bad for wash, but dryer performs poorly with a "full" load
  • Dry time of 2+ hours - All ventless dryer combos are like this, but even so, pretty slow...
  • Door stays locked during the dry cycle and quite a bit longer afterward for the unit to "cool" (apparently a safety feature) - there is no manual override for the door. You just have to wait.
  • Not a nationally recognized brand with as much credibility as LG, for instance
  • Though build quality seems good, longevity is unproven - only 1 year warranty

Performance

I'd like to start by saying that on the whole, I'm very happy with the way this washes and dries. It gets clothing clean, like any other washer. Drying is not perfect. Dry time is long (like all other combo units, including the LG), and often needs some extra dry time added to really get the clothes dry. But there are trade-offs no matter how you look at it, and for the price and because it's a ventless unit, all-in-all it does a good job.

Ventless drying means unlike a normal drying machine, this unit does not use forced hot air to dry and does not need to be vented to the outdoors. It's a unit designed to be set up in an apartment or other smaller space where installing a full-size, vented unit is not possible. As far as I know, all washer/dryer combo units work like this. A standalone, vented dryer is the only thing that will have significantly better drying performance.

For this model, drying effectiveness depends a lot on how full the unit is. It has a larger washing capacity than drying capacity, so to really get clothes to dry with one cycle (and maybe a 50min add-on dry), you might need to remove a few of the bulkier items from the wash before starting a separate dry cycle.

Repairs - yep, already

tiny house washer dryer combo laundry

Our Edgestar combo unit being hauled out of the house so we could drain the water out of it

So it works pretty well and cost is not terrible. But that's not the end of the story. Just recently (after less than a year of use) the unit stopped in the middle of a cycle and would not drain. I could not tell at first what the problem was, but there was no way to get the water out of the unit, no matter what cycle I set it was set to. It would show and "Error 30" code when I tried to start a cycle, indicating that water would not drain - duh!

With no way to drain the unit inside, I had no choice but to disconnect the water and drag the whole thing (all 150 lbs of it) outside on to our deck, so I could open up the "coin trap" and get the water out!

I called Edgestar support. Even though I had been using it for less than a year, I had purchased it more than a year ago, so it turns out the warranty had already expired. I understand why they need to use the purchase date (there is no easy way for users to prove when the actually started using it), but I still felt it was pretty lame for the warranty to last far less than a year as far as actual usage was concerned. Not under warranty, they were helpful, and gave me a reference for a service company -- though I would have to pay out of pocket to have it fixed.

I tried calling around to some local appliance repair companies, but none of them would work on it. Most people weren't familiar with washer/dryer combo units (or the Edgestar brand), so they would not help. However, the repair company Edgestar suggested (A&E Factory Service), allowed me to make an appointment online, charging a non-refundable $79 fee to diagnose the unit.

Meanwhile I had already drained out the water outdoors, tipped the whole thing over, taken off the bottom cover, exposed the pump and drain pipe and did what I could to check for anything that seemed broken. The drain pipe was clear, the coin trap was clear -- nothing was in there that could have been blocking it up.

A few days later the A&E guy showed up and within 15 minutes he had determined that the pump needed to be replaced. Less than a year of use and already a bad pump! He tested it, and although the pump was spinning, the the shaft was stripped and just a small amount of pressure would stop it.

He looked up the part and quoted me $200 for a replacement, plus $150 for the labor (minus the $79 already paid). I said no thank you (knowing I could find the part online for cheaper and replace it easily myself). It turned out the part was not so easy to find. This washer (and the same model sold by other brands) is apparently made by Sears and they are the only ones who sell the part. It was still far more expensive than it seemed it should be ($130), but better than $200. Ordered it online. Got it a week later. 5 minutes after that, with only 3 screws needed to replace the pump, it was good as new!

So all-in-all the repair costs me just over $200. Not a disaster, but not great after less than a year of use.

Conclusion

Would I buy it again? Probably. Even with the $200 repair, it is still far less expensive than the LG model. Granted the LG may not have as many problems as this brand, and it could last longer -- that is yet to be determined. I've heard mixed reviews about the LG as well - none of these combo units are perfect. If you have the cash, you might go all out and get the LG. But those on a budget should still consider this a very good option.


Please share

Leave a Reply

23 comments on “Tiny House Laundry: Edgestar washer/dryer combo review”

  1. Thanks so much for this in-depth review! We have been researching combo units and so far this looks to be the best for the price. Your review certainly gives us some more info to consider in our decision.

  2. I do have more room and elated over the stacking compact w/d. Dryer is ventless so I have learn to spin clothes off up to 4 times to avoid condensation problems in winter on the windows. Less electricity used too. After the sheer hell and complete misery of the tiny Haier, I will pay for the LG. I could not put up with more misery anymore, at least I would avoid if at all possible. Including your story. Have already been through too much trouble.

  3. I'm an American who has been living Europe for awhile. For clothes dryers in inside room there's a type called a 'condensor'...which somehow extracts the moisture, then you have to either have a drain hose for the extracted water or there's a water resevoir that needs to be emptied periodically - kind of like a lint filter. I don't know if this technology has crossed the pond yet but it's certainly an already tried and true method.

    1. I'm pretty sure that condenser technology is the same thing our Edgestar unit uses. It uses water to create condensation that somehow sucks out the moisture from the clothing. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but that sounds very similar.

  4. Personally I would rather pay for a new washer/dryer rather than deal with the repair issues, but it sounds like this would work great for someone wanting to save a few bucks. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I see so many tiny homes using the washer/dryer combo and I am baffled. Why waste so much time and energy drying clothes? there are small dryers that one can buy using the old fashion stacking method, I would rather wash a load, put it in the dryer and get another load in the washer. My time is too precious! I can get at least 2 loads of laundry done in the 2 hours it takes to dry with the combo units.
    FWIW
    Corina

    1. Hi Corina -- You are right, combo units are not the best solution, but for some it makes a lot of sense. For those with more space for a stackable AND who want to deal with an extra penetration through their wall for venting, then that is a really nice option. It just depends on what your prioritizes are and how you choose to use the small space you have. Many people don't have a dryer at all and maybe live in a climate where they can line dry year-round. But of course many people can't do that. So there's a different solution for each of us!

    2. I have lived in more than one place that utilized a stack washer/dryer - I've never had a positive experience with them. They either don't dry well enough or shrink and eat things. That's my anecdotal experience and why I'll be using a combo unit in my tiny house.

  6. I actually have this machine and use it my tiny trailer. It washes great, but since it's ventless, I don't use it to dry unless the clothing is of the lightweight type. Usually wash and then hang everything to dry. Great little washer, even on the speed wash (29 min cycle). Never had a problem. Only downside is that I use large utility buckets to collect drain water. Not a conventional laundry process, but works for just me.

  7. With this combo unit, are you able to just wash the clothes and turn off the dryer cycle? Like if you wanted to wash clothes then hang dry?

  8. Hi Alek,
    I recently bought an LG washer dryer combo and there is enough steam coming out the back that after a half hour or so it condenses on the wall and starts running down on to the floor. I've had repair folks out to look at it several times and they keep telling me this is the way it should function. I've scoured the internet looking for some discussion about this and there are others who have the same frustration but not as many as I would think there would be if this is standard for all ventless dryers. Does your Edgestar vent some steam?
    Thanks!

  9. I'm considering getting one of these for my tiny house. Do you happen to know how much electricity it uses per wash and dry for an average size load?

  10. what is the best way to reduce the vibration? I live on the second floor and having trouble with that. I do have a vibration pad under the unit.

    1. There will always be some vibration, but making sure the unit is perfectly level helps a lot. You may need to adjust the feet under the unit to level it. Even if you're floor seems perfectly flat, the fast spinning of the machine will cause more vibration if even the smallest bit out of level. The distribution of clothing in the unit also can make the unit out of balance. Not much you can do about that once it's started, but clumpy/heavy objects that can get lodged in one side or the other can also add to the wobble and vibration.

  11. I just started using my new Edgestar machine. Is it normal for the door to stay locked for over 1 hour after drying?

    1. Yeah, it can be kind of annoying. I don't know about a full hour, but it won't allow you to open the door until it cools down. I think it's a safety feature, but don't really understand it.

  12. Thanks for the review, I'm looking for a w/d combo for my sailboat and was wondering about this unit.... not sure which way I'll go yet...Edgestar or LG.

    At first I thought the show was a little amusing, but then I said hey dummy you live on a sailboat, whats the difference.... :-p