Any laundry room worth its suds ought to have a matched washer and dryer. Not only are the aesthetics of a coordinated set of appliances more pleasing, but also the features of modern machines are often designed to complement one another in subtle and varied ways.
But what if your washer is a champ, but the corresponding dryer is a washout? How about if the dryer is top drawer, but the mated washer is a dud? Is it worth passing up on the entire package if one half doesn’t quite pull its weight?
With a suggested retail price of $1199.99, LG’s DLGY1702V gas dryer makes some pretty bold claims with regard to feature and form, but does it hold up to its washing machine partner, or might it be the weak link in your laundry chain?
Good looks run in the family
Predictably, the DLGY1702V matches the style of the WT1701CV washer. Both feature the same handsome, dark appointments and steel cabinet construction, with the exception of the plastic top and the front door, which is a combination of plastic and tempered “Diamond” glass. The control panel is located at the same clever position as on the washer — on the front of the machine, above the door — and the two machines share an identical footprint at 27 inches wide, 41 inches tall, and 29 inches deep, with the door swinging out to an approximate 23-inch radius.
As is usually the case, the door closes with a simple anchor-shaped latch and opens with a sharp and deliberate tug; however, there is no catch to keep it from falling shut when open. If the adjustable feet are not perfectly aligned, you can count on gravity to work against you to make loading and unloading the machine just a bit more awkward. The door is reversible with tools no more complicated than a Phillips screwdriver, just in case the configuration of your laundry room changes and you need to switch the door’s orientation as a result.
You can vent the exhaust through the back or through knockout panels on the sides of the cabinet, and gas hooks up via a standard valve on the lower back-right panel, with the water inlet hose (for the steam functions) attaching on the left. The electrical panel is at the top of the machine, well removed from the water inlet and the heat of the exhaust.
Everything you need, nothing you don’t
Simplicity is the name of the game with regard to the dryer’s innards, with a convenience light and a lint screen that is accessibly located just inside the open door on the portal’s bottom lip. When the screen is removed, a plastic spring-loaded gate blocks access to the lint trap, making it very difficult to accidentally drop loose change or buttons into the cavity.
The NeveRust stainless steel drum sports three durable plastic tumbling fins and offers an impressive 7.3 cubic-feet of capacity. The access point is wide and deep, so loading from the washer can be accomplished a heaping armful at a time.
The control panel on the DLGY1702V is separated into three banks of touch-sensitive keys, each of which has its own series of LED indicators, along with a segmented LCD display and independent power and pause keys. The controls are nicely designed and are laid out in order of importance from right-to-left — perhaps not immediately intuitive to some users, but legible and convenient all the same.
The access point is wide and deep, so loading from the washer can be accomplished a heaping armful at a time.
Starting from the right, just left of the pause and power keys, the two option keys allow selection of one of the 12 program options. These include the ten sensor dry options of “normal,” “permanent press,” “heavy duty,” “small load,” “bedding,” “antibacterial,” “towels,” “delicates,” “SteamFresh,” and “wrinkle free,” as well as two additional manual options for air or speed dry.
The center bank has selections for cycle settings, including dryness level, temperature control, timed dry (which ranges from 20 to 60 minutes in ten-minute increments), and signal volume to adjust the loudness of the happy little tune that announces the end of each cycle.
Finally, the leftmost bank is where additional options can be added to a selected cycle. There’s a wide array of specific variables that can be adjusted, including the ubiquitous more or less time. The less common options include “wrinkle care,” which purports to re-freshen items that have been left in the dryer too long; a “damp dry signal” to notify you when the load has reached 80-percent dryness so that you may remove lighter items for hanging or ironing; and “rack dry,” which employs the optional drying rack for those super delicate items. Finally, the “custom program” key allows a user to preserve a special set of drying options for future use.
The dryer also features the same “smart diagnosis” utility as its washer counterpart, which should hopefully limit the time spent dealing with those unforeseen and unwelcome calls to tech support.
Next to the refrigerator, a clothes dryer is likely to be a home’s most power-sucking appliance. A dryer that heats itself via gas can certainly assuage that energy cost, usually by about 50 percent, the obvious limitation of requiring a gas hookup notwithstanding. Your available heat sources are important to bear in mind when determining which model is right for you.
When we tested the Steam Fresh feature with a single linen shirt, the garment came out of the machine dripping wet.
On our gas model, the speed dry worked wonderfully against light loads of cotton and synthetics, and comes in exactly as advertised at 30 minutes. The normal dry with a medium load suggests a drying time of 41 minutes, and completed in the same. A heavy-duty cycle finished up in just under 55 minutes, and the beast of a load within — consisting of several towels and a week’s worth of clothing — was bone dry.
SteamFresh was an option we were very excited about. Any high-tech feature that rescues us from the tedious task of ironing is a welcome one, and it’s a relatively brief cycle — clocking in at 14 minutes — during which the steam jets can be heard intermittently hissing into the drum. When we tested it with a single linen shirt, the previously dry garment emerged from the machine dripping wet. It seems that the mode is only effective when drying a much more substantial load, which would seem to mitigate the benefits of the feature, and is contrary to LGs marketing, which illustrates using the steam to sanitize soft children’s toys one at a time.
A noteworthy side effect that reoccurred during each of the more standard cycles is that loose change tended to accumulate immediately on top of the lint tray. We posited that there might be some hidden magnet or that a vacuum was being generated by the exhaust through the lint trap, but it’s more likely that the spinning of the dryer was favoring the cabinet’s slight slant, so your mileage may vary. Still, it’s nice to find any errant coins conveniently collected into one place. We tested this “unadvertised feature” by dropping a few nickels and dimes into the running machine with no accompanying clothes, but under that circumstance they did not find their way to the lint trap as they had when the machine was processing a load.
Operation is very quiet (save for the odd “clack” of a zipper or one of the aforementioned loose coins). It’s difficult to register the telltale “whoosh” of heated air coursing through the drum and exhaust, and the motor spins with barely a sound at all.
Warranty and SupportThe manufacturer’s warranty covers the dryer for one year of parts and labor. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stack up too well against competitor’s guaranties, like Maytag and GE, which in some cases offer limited warranties as long as five years on the electronics, or even ten years on the drum and motor.
As with their other products, LG tech support was courteous and responsive when we reached out to them during normal operational hours.
LG’s gas dryer is a solidly built beauty, but it also features a couple bells and whistles that left us cold (and wet). While the usefulness of some of its prestige features were underwhelming, the DLGY1702V otherwise performs admirably at its primary function: drying clothes. Its conveniently placed controls, superior capacity, and energy savings are all points in its favor. The matching WT1701CV washer is one of the best top-loading washers in its price range, and it’d be a shame not to have it paired alongside its clothes-drying partner in crime — it’s just a greater shame that the dryer can’t quite dish out everything it promises.
- Enormous capacity
- Conveniently placed control panel
- Nice looks
- Extra energy efficiency thanks to gas heat
- Steam functions are less than exemplary
- Gas heat requires extra fixtures and setup
- Higher price tag than electric alternatives