Great Washer w/ One Minor Issue
Given the issues going on in the world today with COVID, I elected to install the GE GFW550SSNWW myself. With existing hookups and an easily-accessible standpipe drain, install (short of door reversal addressed later) was a breeze. Instructions and online vids abound. If you're even slightly mechanically inclined and patient, you're supported throughout the install and can take this on.
Re: the washer, it's a great washer with many useful cleaning and maintenance settings. It has a reasonable footprint (even in our smallish '69n rancher), is solidly built, and simply looks great. Capacity is okay @ 4.8 cubic ft. The washer cleans *really* well compared to our four-year-old top loader. The GE spins out water spectacularly and uses minimal water and detergent, all done relatively quietly. The top-slide-out cleanser compartments are convenient… easily accessible and well-marked. The washer has a venting feature to keep it smelling clean (a major plus for a front-loader). Touch controls are responsive and easily identifiable. There are audible tones that beep (tone can be disabled) when the washer is done washing. The only con I experienced with the washer involved reversing the door (hence the one star off). We went from a top-loader to a front-loader in a confined space. A door-reversal was needed. While a great feature, the task was a bear. GE touts this machine as having an 'easily reversible' door. Technically that's true. You can easily reverse the hardware. Mounting the door back on the washer body was another situation entirely, at least for me. Despite reading and following included instructions and watching online videos in advance and during the procedure, to ensure I would be/was doing this right, pre-stamped holes and pre-tapped screw holes on the opposite side of the washer body (in the recess where the door hinge seats after removing and reinstalling the hole/striker cover on the opposite side) did not align. You must follow the instructions to reverse the door. If you don't, at best, you risk the washer not washing at peak efficiency. At worst, you risk the door not locking right and the machine leaking water. I'm thorough. When I run into a problem, I analyze to figure out what's going on before moving ahead. What I found was that the pre-stamped holes on the opposite washer body door-hinge recess did not allow two metal tabs protruding from the door hinge to seat fully. While I would never recommend that anyone do this, 'gentle' persuasion (with a thick towel providing lots of padding, placed over the substantial hinge, and a few good strikes from a rubber mallet) was needed to get the tabs to seat properly to avoid potentially stripping/cross threading pre-tapped screw holes and to ensure a good door lock and seal. Again, I don't recommend that course of action. You do this, you chance breaking the hinge/machine and voiding the warranty. The door sitting on the opposite side was not an option for my setup. The choice to persuade the door was on me. If the hinge broke I knew I risked the need to buy a new hinge (and possibly a new door) out of pocket. A similar choice with different outcomes would squarely fall on you. I was willing to take the chance after getting a feel for the amount of 'persuasion' the machine and hardware could take. YMMV. Once seated and installed, 45 minutes later, the door and seal worked perfectly. But, I won't be switching the door again. After a test wash (no soap, no linens… and then soap, no linens, to ensure the door was definitely seated well), I was ready to take on WiFi connectivity. Re WiFi and the app, I had no issues with connecting the washer to our network (after contacting a spectacular rep at GE support to get my full password due to the door sticker not having the password completely printed). A 'just-is,' make sure to have a landline or second phone handy if you need help connecting the washer to your home network through the GE Laundry app. Speaking of the app, the GE Laundry app (not well-rated in the app store) is iffy at best. The app connects the washer to your home network (necessary for Alexa/Google assistant connectivity and software/firmware updates). It allows you to start wash remotely (if you have delayed start enabled for a load) or stopping a load once started. The app also tells you when your wash is almost done, when it's done, or lets you know if a wash load sits too long after all cycles are done (a much nicer feature than I first imagined). Finally, the app informs you (and likely GE and third parties) about washing trends (water use, etc.). The Geneva Skill (Amazon Alexa), once launched via Alexa keyword, serves the same purpose as the app. For Google Assistant, the app is U+ Connect Action.
So, would I recommend getting this GE washer? Absolutely. Especially if you don't need to reverse the door, this is a phenomenal machine that I'm sure, given that it's backed by a 10-year motor and basket parts warranty (1 year full-appliance parts and labor), will provide years of use and a host of great, eco-friendly, and cost-conscious washes. WiFi and washer smart connectivity is simply icing on the cake. When topped off by a sleek, eye-pleasing design, the GFW550SSNWW is definitely worth the purchase.
Originally posted on www.ge.com
Yes, I recommend this product