Model #SPBD880J0WW, many of you have probably see the new design style GE has introduced for their front load washers and dryers, and if you were paying any attention to the sales pitch, you might have noticed the washer now has the ability to auto dispense detergent and fabric softener (with the additional purchase of the dispensing pedestal) into the wash load. I recently had a new washer, dryer, and pedestal pay a visit to my shop and yes I took plenty of photos of the visit. Because the pedestal has shown the biggest change, I figured I would start with it and get to the washer and dryer on latter posts. So sit back, relax, and lets take a quick tour of a detergent dispensing pedestal.
From the outside, this pedestal looks like any other storage drawer mounted under a front load washer, but once you open it up, well the picture above kind of tells the story. The space inside is occupied by three plastic containers form fitted to the drawer, along with the necessary tubing and wires needed to make everything work. The two on the outside are for detergents (fill them both with the same stuff, or mix and match scented and unscented for different washes) while the smaller middle one holds the liquid fabric softener.
Taking a look at the inside of the pedestal with the drawer removed (I removed the entire interior plate for better viewing) you can see the three pumps and connector board in the left rear (protective cover removed) along with the three hose and wiring bundle that attaches to the rear of the drawer. It is worth mentioning that there is no electrical logic within this unit and all wiring leads out the back, and connects to the washer via a proprietary 9-pin screw lock connector. The distribution hoses also run out the back and connect to the washer in a similar manner.
Attaching the pedestal to the washer hasn't changed much from the current practice, and is easily done by removing the two drawer screws and lifting it off the slide rails. Add in unplugging three wire connectors and a three hose connector, and you are four screws away from affixing it to the bottom of the washer.
The hose and electrical connections are straight forward and can only connect one way to both the washer and the pedestal. Attaching the hoses to the rear of the washer rounds at the installation.
The new features of this pedestal seem to be well designed and if the market embraces the benefits, I suspect other manufacturers will join the ranks and follow up with their own designs. My wife thought it was a great idea, but with a retail price in the $500 dollar range, it might be a difficult sell considering the time saving and convenience may not be very noticeable. Time will tell about the success of this accessory, but from technical standpoint, simple design and everything is easy to get to, so as long as the consumer reads the instructions - well I guess time will tell.