Whirlpool has recently introduced a new 24" front load washer (model WED7500VW) to replace the current model (LHW0050) which I guess after 4 engineering changes was due for replacement. No longer made by Merloni
of Italy, this one is direct from Whirlpool in Shanghai China, although the matching vented and vent less condenser dryer is still Merloni Built. I recently took the opportunity to pull one of these new units out of it's packaging (no box for this one), took a few snap shots and gave it my once over before returning it to the racks. Because this is a new unit, I didn't have the chance to put water and power to it, so this post will be more of a short pictorial montage giving you a quick look under the cover, and see what's new from Whirlpool.
Starting with the Top
The first thing I noticed was the tops of these units are not one piece, but made up of an outer plastic frame and an inner wood panel that is glued together. The unit I pulled was actually damaged, because it appears any downward pressure exerted on the wooden top (like a heavy basket of clothes) will cause the wood to slip away from the frame requiring the top to be removed and the wood panel snapped back into place. Something I am sure will become an issue when once a dryer is stacked on top. Also worth mentioning is the model/serial tags didn't have serial numbers stamped onto them, but rather the serial number (which doesn't follow the normal numbering routine) was printed on a separate tag and taped into place. This may be an early production issue, but I have called tech line multiple times on the LHW0050 models with the '@' in the serial number only to be told that was not a valid number, so I hope this doesn't result in the same kind of issues.
With the top removed, most everything inside this unit looks to be fairly easy to get to and service as long as you can get to it from the top. The control and display boards are mounted right up front for easy access, along with the pressure switch (the white thing pictured below) and door lock which are mounted to the front of the unit.
The drain sump can be accessed by simply removing the toe panel for easy clean out and a rather detailed tech sheet (tech sheet part 1 and part 2) is attached behind there as well. And unlike the previous model, this one has a bleach dispenser, and an associated cleaning cycle, so for those customers unhappy with the previous models inability to use bleach, this one should be a suitable replacement.
Based on what I have seen of this unit, I do like most of the changes that have been made or added as compared to the previous model. From the mounting of the door bellow, to the two piece tub and sump clean out, this unit looks a lot like a smaller version of the Duet washer, and the 1200 rpm spin speed range should be more than enough. Access to the rear of the tub and shock assemblies, however, is going to prove more difficult requiring removal of the complete rear panel so motor, motor controller, and pump diagnostics won't be nearly as easy as I would like. But it looks to be about the same as the rest of the small front load washers on the market these days. Now we just need to see how well they work in the real world.