drum / tub

  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Having had the misfortune to need both replacing on my front-loading automatic recently, the "drum" is the stainless steel thing that you put the clothes in, which spins round, and the "tub" is the big white round fixed plastic thing that it sits inside.

    However, looking at the article in your link, I get the impression the two terms may be being used interchangeably. Certainly, back in the days of the old top-loading "twin tub" machines, there were two separate tubs, one for washing and one for spin-drying and I remember my mother using a big pair of wooden tongs to transfer the washing from one "tub" to the other.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you both very much. Since some of the top-loading washers on the market have a "stainless steel thing that you put the clothes in" as well, I suppose the key difference is whether the thing spins round or not?

    Or maybe you use "tub" for top-loaders because it's more suitable than "drum" when the container is placed vertically? But, whether it's placed horizontally or vertically, a drum is a drum, isn't it?
    In other words, it would still be correct to call the thing a "drum" when it's a top-loader, while it would be wrong to call it a "tub" when it's a front-loader. Correct?

     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I think the short answer is that you should call it whatever the manufacturer has called it. These days, top-loading machines are much less common than front-loaders, although they are still made and you can still get them.

    It might help us, incidentally, if we knew why you wanted to know. ;)
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I think the short answer is that you should call it whatever the manufacturer has called it.
    So do you mean it's quite possible that the manufacture might call the horizontal drum a tub?

    It might help us, incidentally, if we knew why you wanted to know.
    Good question, and I tell you why. Front-loading washing machines are called "drum-type washing machines" here in Japan (using the English word "drum"). I find it strange, because I think all mashing machines, at least those currently available on the market, are "drum-type", since they all have a drum inside. Do you agree?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    There are two main ways of moving the washing around:
    • There is a drum which revolves
    • There is an impeller which revolves or moves to and fro.
    In both cases, this happens inside a waterproof tub.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Yes, I'm aware of the two methods of washing, and the first one is used in front-loaders and the second one is used in top-loaders (at least here in Japan).
    But what I'd like to know is if the tub in a top-loader is also a drum. After all, a "drum" means a large cylindrical container, doesn't it? All washing machines have a drum, don't they?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Yes, I'm aware of the two methods of washing, and the first one is used in front-loaders and the second one is used in top-loaders (at least here in Japan).
    But what I'd like to know is if the tub in a top-loader is also a drum. After all, a "drum" means a large cylindrical container, doesn't it? All washing machines have a drum, don't they?
    Top loaders used to have a "tub" with a "paddle" which simply did half-turns backwards and forwards but the modern ones seem to have "drums" like the one in your photo (post #4).

    I've just watched a YouTube video of someone (Australian) demonstrating a similar-looking Samsung machine, and she kept referring to "the drum". :)
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    From what I remember of the old twin-tub (top loader) I took from my parents when I was a student, the washing top was fixed and had an impeller; the spin dryer definitely rotated, but both were called tubs. Technically, I suppose the dryer tub was actually the waterproof enclosure the spinning thing sat in, and this itself was a drum.

    On modern machines (almost all front-loaders in Britain), I think as other people have said, the thing that rotates is a drum. While you might find an example of someone calling it a tub, I would not rely on one or two instances to infer a general usage.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    The washing machine in the following photo is the same top-loader I've been using for more than 17 years. As you can see, it has a few paddles at the bottom. (Do you call them "impellers"? Japanese washing machine manufacturers call them "pulsators", using the English word.)



    The last time I washed clothes, I checked its tub's movement. Not only were the paddles moving (although I couldn't see them actually),
    but also the tub itself was moving during the washing process (as well as during the spinning process). But it wasn't rotating in one direction. It only half rotated in one direction and then rotated back in the opposite direction, and kept this pattern.

    Anyway, I've found another article in which the author calls the tub in the top-loader a drum. This time, it's about old top-loaders, not the recent, modern ones.

    "For many years, household washing machines sat solidly upright, with their drums oriented vertically, and no one thought of turning them on their sides. Toward the end of the 20th century, however, machine designers discovered that tipping the drum over so that it lies horizontally can result in some significant advantages in terms of cleaning effectiveness and energy efficiency."
    Vertical Drum Vs. Horizontal Drum in Washing Machines
     
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