Amazon Review by Matthew Zimmer
411 people found the following review helpful
ADVANCED Install / Setup WORKS GREAT (read on, for all the parts)
We ordered the larger (10lb) Panda Portable Washing Machine / Spinner, and it arrived this past weekend.
I posted this same review on the newer/larger version that I ordered, but as most of this should be relevant to both versions, I thought someone here may appreciate my experience.
We’ve only done a couple of loads, which went swimmingly well, but I wanted to “install” my washing machine in a closet near the bathroom, and found that while the basic hoses don’t quite reach, I could extend or replace all of the necessary pieces to make this a very simple setup. Other reviews have mentioned they found extended hoses and parts, but no one really detailed WHICH PIECES they used. I’ll include all of the parts I needed below.
I would expect these should work with both the larger and smaller sized Panda washer / spinners.
Now that I’ve got it set up, I have a light-weight easy-to-store extra-long hose for water (up to 50’ I think), a simple extended drain hose (mine is 6’ longer than before), and a power cable that lines the walls to get to the nearest outlet.
The initial setup is VERY intuitive, and only took us a few minutes to get started for our first load.
There is a standard three prong outlet plug, a hose which perfectly fit our sink to add water, and a drain hose which hooked over the side of our bathtub.
I wanted to take this to the next level. We don’t have water hookups or drains in our apartment, but we have a small walk-in closet next to our bathroom. Our bathroom has the sink faucet, outlet, and bathtub I used the first time… but the plug and hoses won’t reach any of these from our closet.
Here’s what I got, all available at Home Depot (total under $80):
A simple flat white extension cord to reach from our bathroom’s outlet, along the floor edges, to our closet. The cable is flat so it fits underneath both doors at all times. I covered it with a cable cover that has a sticky back which keeps it all in place all the time. I went with white versions of each so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb in our white bathroom.
Notes: I was able to use a simple wire cutter / scissors to cut the cable cover down to size to fit our space. The hardest part of the whole setup was getting the extension cable into the cable cover, and laying the extension cable down carefully in our bathroom so it stays in place. I bought the 15’ extension cable, and it JUST reaches. I’d recommend a 20’ to 25’ one, but I couldn’t find a FLAT white one, and the one I bought supports THREE outlets… which is perfect since I also just bought the Panda dryer for the same closet!
Extension Cable: 15 ft. 16/3 Indoor Extension Cord for Tight Spaces
[…]Cable Cover: (I’m not sure if this was the exact one, but any should do) Legrand/Wiremold CordMate Channel- White
–> DRAIN HOSE:
I unscrewed the back of the Panda Washer / Spinner, to see if it’s possible to replace the entire drain hose. Turns out, it’s NOT easily replaceable. With more effort, maybe, but I didn’t think it was necessary. I figured there must be a way to EXTEND the drain hose, and took a measurement. The drain hose is about one inch in diameter (inner AND outer diameter, as it’s very a very thin hose), and I got very lucky and found the PERFECT extension for it. I bought a siphon hose, which has one metal piece on the end followed by a 6 foot hose. The plastic drain hose from the Panda slips PERFECTLY onto the metal end of the siphon. Without any tape or anything at all, it’s water sealed. I plan to leave it on at all times, so as not to stretch the plastic on the end of the built-in drain hose. (I also bought some metal ties to wrap over the plastic to hold it in place and keep it tight, but they turned out to be unnecessary.)
Drain Hose Extension: [edit - see 1 month update]
–> WATER HOSE:
This was tricky to figure out, but it works wonderfully now. I got lucky and found the perfect pieces on the first try, so hopefully others like me can take advantage usingsimilar parts Basically, I replaced the entire water filling hose with a new expandable garden hose that contracts back down to a small size for storage. One end of the hose fits snugly onto the Panda water input. On the other end I attached a quick-connect hose adapter (which allows it to snap on and off of the sink faucet nozzle without any spills). On the sink, I updated the faucet nozzle with a new one that has a ‘snap fitting’ adapter… it looks exactly like the old one, but works with the hose adapter.
Garden Hose: Ultra 1/2 in. x 50 ft. Expanding Garden Hose
Note: there is an ‘adapter’ attached to this when you buy it. I took it off and threw that piece out.
Hose Adapter: DANCO Quick Connect Hose Adapter (Note: I think it was this one)
Connect the hose adapter to one end of the garden hose.
Sink Adapter (these come in two sizes, as there are two standard sink faucet sizes): 1/2 in. Solid Brass Large Snap Fitting Adapter
Unscrew your current sink nozzle, and screw this one on instead. I needed a plyer to get the old one off, but this one screwed right on. Be careful to keep your sink’s filter pieces if there are any when you change this… I was able to take my sink’s existing filter, and stick it into the new adapter along with the included plastic ring (to prevent dripping).
NOW WHEN I DO LAUNDRY:
The machine is already / always plugged in.
I take the nice long garden hose and snap it onto my sink.
I take the longer drain hose and extend it into the tub.
I DO have to be careful not to close the doors on the hoses while they’re extended and in use, but all of the doors close perfectly the rest of the time.
So far it works fantastically, I’m very happy with my setup.
The new, larger version of this same machine (10lbs capacity) which I set up is available for only a few dollars more, here on Amazon:
UPDATE 1 Month In
We LOVE this washing machine. My wife thinks I’m a bit obsessed with laundry, but the reality is simply that it’s become so simple having our own machine. We added the Panda 8.8lbs Dryer, with an indoor vent kit, and honestly, it’s even better than the washer. (Well, our dryer’s setup is certainly simpler anyway HAHA.) While it says 8.8lbs for the dryer while this washer is 10lbs of laundry, a full load in the washer fits perfectly in the dryer. I don’t have to pay any attention to how many pairs of jeans or towels go in. If it fits in the washer, it fits fine in the dryer.
I made one change to our washing machine setup, and thought I’d share.
The original drain hose - the siphon - we used (that I recommended above) became a problem. The inner diameter of the tube was too small. It drained too slowly, and caused a water-backup during the rinse cycle. So we got a few new pieces… An adapter to go on the end of the built in hose, some waterproof tape, a garden hose, and a ring clamp to help hold it in place. Total cost of these four pieces at Home Depot was about $10.
The adapter: Watts Nylon Hose Barb (A-591) Adapter 3/4" ID x 3/4" MH
Basically, this is two sided, where one side gets shoved into the drain hose of the washing machine. It’s not perfectly snug, but it’s close. With the plastic tape and clamp below, it’s completely water tight. The other side screws onto a normal hose, and makes the setup extremely simple.
Waterproof tape: TFE Pipe Joint Tape 1/2" x 520"
This is very thin plastic non-sticky tape, which wraps over the ridges on the side of the adapter that goes into the Panda drain hose. I wrapped it over the ridges on the smaller side about 10 times, then forced it I to the drain hose. With this plastic wrap on the adapter, it’s a very snug water tight fit. The home depot guy who helped us suggested we use this tape for any other parts that screw together that leak too.
Garden Hose: Apex 6’ Leader Hose
This was simply the cheapest hose they sold at Home Depot. Any normal garden hose will do, but this one was our perfect length, and has a wide enough inner diameter to allow the water to drain quickly without issue. This screws onto the adapter, and drains into our bathtub. It’s small and light enough to store without an issue.
The Ring Clamp: SS CLAMP 1/2"x1-1/14" Diameter
This clamp fits over the built in drain hose at the end, over the plastic wrapped side of the adapter, to hold it in place tightly. It’s not strictly necessary but it was less than a dollar. A simple plastic wire-tie (zip-tie?) would work well too.
All of the new parts took about 3 minutes to put together. It’s not difficult (and Home Depot will take refunds for three months).
Now when we drain, it drains the washer in only a minute or so, rather than in 5-10 minutes. Much better!
We’re very much loving this machine, the setup, and our clothes always smell clean! Though I attribute the smell to Tide
UPDATE 15 months in!
We continue to use this Panda washer and dryer and still love it!
The only change we’ve made to this set up at all is, in the SPINNER, it’s possible for a sock to “get out” and then clog the drain… it would be a major problem if the sock went all the way into the drain, so I went to home depot and bought a small sink strainer. It’s worked well and hasn’t been a problem, but I don’t know which one it was (it was maybe like $5). and I used a yardstick to put it in place over the hole in the spinner, and I’m debating super-gluing it into place because it moves out of place sometimes. It’d be nice if PANDA updated the spinner hole with a built-in grid that lets water through but not the rare small clothing garment which could ruin the whole washer.
One other thing we’ve changed is the amount of laundry detergent we use. We still use Tide Gentle detergent (if you don’t use Gentle and fail to rinse well enough during the rinse cycle, it could get irritating), and we’ve actually reduced the amount of detergent we use to the level “1” in the cap (out of 4). It’s plenty to clean our normal clothes, and means we rarely need an extra rinse cycle. It would be nice if the next model Panda Washer had a longer-than-5-minutes spin cycle, because it really takes about 8 or so minutes to rinse, and then only another 1 minute after we turn off water to drain before going into the dryer.
Also note, for the last few months we’ve started ONLY USING COLD WATER FOR THE RINSE CYCLE. Using COLD WATER instead of warm water in the spin cycle has significantly helped prevent overheating. I’ve found that when I use hot water in the spinner for too long, the Spinner will overheat and stop working. this happens, DON’T PANIC, just stop everything for a couple of hours, and try it again later. I’ve had to wait overnight once, but it has always eventually started working again after overheating (note: the Dryer had this exact same problem a couple of times too). I’ll be honest, the rinse and spin cycle is my least favorite part of laundry – but it’s SO VERY WORTH IT to have in our apartment compared to going down our building’s laundry room.
Anyways, that’s all from me now! Hope everyone else has had positive experiences too… and I hope this continues to help others looking for a small washer =)