Washing machines are of two types: Semi-automatic and Automatic.
Semi-automatic machine:A semi-automatic machine has two tubs, one for washing and one for drying.You have to fill water in the tub and also be attentive while washing clothes in a semi-automatic machine.Also, the clothes need to be manually shifted from the washing tub to the dryer.
Fully automatic washing machine:A fully automatic washing machine has a single tub.This machine needs a permanent water connection, unlike the semi automatic one. The advantage of a fully-automatic machine is that it does not need the user to do anything apart from pressing a button in the beginning.All the user has to is put the clothes in the wash tub, select the water level, the type of wash required, and start the machine.
Fully-automatic machines can be further classified into two types:Front Loading Machine and Top Loading Machine.This classification is based on the way the clothes are put into the machine.In front loading machines, laundry is loaded into the machine from the front.In top loading machines, laundry needs to be loaded from the top of the machine.
There are two versions of top loading machines: With Agitator and Without Agitator.An agitator is like a pole with fins, or one can say like a trunk of tree with branches.When the agitator moves, it moves the clothes in the tub and washes them.
However, the top loading machines have their own disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Top Loading Washing Machines:
- Higher Water Consumption: The main disadvantage of a top loading machine is the amount of water it consumes, which is approximately 40+ gallons per load.It requires enough water in the drum to cover all the clothes as opposed to a front loading machine, which fills only one third of the drum, and as the drum rotates, the clothes drop in water as a result of gravity.Secondly,top loading machines need a permanent water connection.
During operation, the top loading Machine will empty soapy water and then refill the tub with clean water before starting the rinsing procedure.It takes clean water more than twice in the whole washing cycle.Top loading washing machines are not recommended in areas with water scarcity.
- Higher detergent consumption: When compared to front-loading washing machines, top-loading models require higher amount of detergent. In general terms, top-loading washing machines consume twice the amount of detergent than their front loading counterparts.
- Higher energy consumption: Because they use more water, top loading washing machines need more energy to complete the washing process. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, front-loading machines consume 50% less energy than top loading machines
- Rough on clothes: In top loader machines, particularly the ones with an agitator, clothes take a severe beating as the agitators are rough on clothes. There is also the disadvantage of clothes getting tangled, and thereby making it difficult to remove them from the tub. On the other hand, machines without agitators are better. They are soft on clothes and ideal for washing quilts and blankets.In contrast, front-loading machines are more delicate on the clothes as they use gravity for moving the clothes within the washing tub.
- More expensive to maintain:Top loading machines consume more energy, more detergent and more water, making them more expensive to maintain. Whereas most front loading machines pay for themselves within a couple of years.
Conclusion:Given the factors above, top loading machines are less preferred in a country like India.