52 States in 8 Months

Some devices are different over here…

Posted in Uncategorized by Ulf on November 15, 2008


I have an alarm clock in my room. I set the wake time to 6:00 o’clock yesterday in the evening. This morning, I was quite amazed when I woke up without hearing any whisper from this thingy. My mistake was obvious: I set it to 6pm instead of 6am. I still have to get used to this…

But that clock is not the only device that works different here. The next one is the washing machine (Pingu calls them “Wäscheshredder” in his blog). Choosing a washing program (like for example “cotton”) is just like in Germany. But then you need to choose a water level. That means that the machine wants to know how many water to put into the drum. Why don’t we have to do this in Germany? Do our washing machines have a sensor for this? Or do they perhaps measure the inertia of the drum once it starts turning? Or do our washing machines just assume that the machine is completely full?
The next difference of the washing machines here compared to those in Germany is the way we choose the water temperature. It is not set as a numeric value here, but just as “cold”, “warm” or “hot”. How shall I know what “cold”, “warm” and “hot” mean? (To be honest: a simple “warm” actually means more to me than any value on the Fahrenheit scale. So from this perspective, this washing machine is very well suited for me.)

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Apart from how the controls work, the machine itself is also different: It’s a top loader, there is now closed drum inside. Instead they have this strange white wobbling thingy which only turns about 30° in one direction and then moves back (the movement can be seen on the right hand side picture). Although it seemed unlikely to me in the first place, the machine still gets my clothes clean. And as a last difference, they have no special place to put the soap in. You just have to put the soap into the bottom of the drum. That however implies that these machines cannot do something like “Vorspülen” (but I don’t use it anyway.)


2 Responses

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  1. Pingu said, on November 15, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Enjoy your experiences with the american washing machines. Meine waren recht frustrierend … aber vielleicht läufts ja bei dir besser.

    Und warum Deutsche Waschmaschinen keinen Hebel haben, bei dem man den Wasserlevel einstellt? Nun, weil die normalerweise alles Frontlader sind und die Wäsche während des Waschgangs durch das Wasser, das sich im unteren Drittel der Maschine/Trommel ist, durchgewälzt wird. Ob jetzt diese Methode oder die Ami-ich-füll-meine-Trommel-zu-xx-Prozent-mit-Wasser wassersparender ist, darfst Du Dir selbst überlegen (rechne doch einfach mal aus, wieviele Liter – äh sorry, Gallonen – in die Trommel reinpassen)

  2. Alexandra said, on November 17, 2008 at 4:36 am

    You should go shopping for clothes in the U.S…. This will solve the problem with the water temperatures, since you will find things like ‘wash cold’ etc. in the care instructions. Finally these instructions make sense to me! I didn’t know u.s. washing machines had these programme options.
    It’s a little annoying though, I have bought a lot of clothes in the U.S., and I keep asking myself what temperature that’s supposed to be equivalent to when using a German washing mashine. The same goes for ironing.

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