Dishwashers?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Matt Stone, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Anybody know much about them? I recently moved into a new house, and have noticed that the dishwasher is pretty much worthless. Dishes come out with food on them unless they go in completely clean. At this point, I'm just doing the dishes manually. I was thinking about buying a new one, but I really have no idea where to start. How difficult is it to install? I could probably get one of my uncles to do it, but I like doing as much myself as possible.

    Any thoughts? TIA!
     
  2. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    When we were building our house and went to choose appliances, we looked at a GE model under $400 and the salesman said that they were essentially "dish rinsers" and that you must spend at least $500 to get a good one. I suspect this is your problem as well. We ended up with a stainless steel GE Triton XL that was just under the Profile line. It works very well. All of our other appliances were GE Profile but we felt we didn't need to spend any more, which would have gotten us a stainless steel tub and a chrome handle and hidden controls.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    We bought a maytag and it's pretty much dead quiet. Ours came in black as we weren't going stainless in our kitchen as much as I would have preferred.
     
  4. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    My house came with a KitchenAid DW. I'd always heard they were excellent. This one lives up to the hype, even though it's got quite a few years on it. No repairs in the entire 7 years I've been here. No pre-rinsing. Disgusting plates go in, clean ones come out.

    I doubt I'll ever buy any other brand of DW. That is, if I ever need to buy a DW again.
     
  5. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Maybe, but for comparison, I had a crappy 200 dollar special at my apartment and it worked significanty better than this one. Thx for the suggestions.
     
  6. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Try Consumer Reports for good common-sense advice on dishwashers. Whirlpool has the best frequency of repair record and any of their $300-400 models should work just fine. GE and Kenmore also work very well at reasonable prices. Stainless steel is very attractive but only of benefit if you wash lots and lots of stuff with tomato sauce on it. The plastic tubs will last longer than the mechanical parts on any dishwasher.
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Check the Consumers Reports for quietness. This may or may not be important to you, depending on the location of your dishwasher and where you eat and live.

    There is something wrong, according to your first post. We briefly rinse dishes (but not always) and rarely have food left on dishes afterwards. Try rinsing them a bit more before running the dishwasher.
     
  8. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    I don't have a great deal of expertise on the brands, though I did have a Kitchen Aid that worked VERY well... got 25 years out of that baby, and I did not have to wash every single dish the way I do now with this stupid POS that came with my apartment. [​IMG]
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Have you tried using a rinse aid such as JetDry? I would definitely spend a dollar on a bottle of that before buying a new dishwasher. It significantly approved the abilities of the dishwasher in my previous townhome.
     
  10. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    Check your water temp also, if your water does not get that hot, or the hot water runs out quick, your dishes are not going to get clean. See if your dishwasher has pots/pans setting or something to turn on the heating element in the dishwasher to heat up the water more...
     
  11. andrew markworthy

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    I can't really comment on best brands because what we have in the UK may differ from what you guys can get. I think a dishwasher makes sense if there's more than two of you in the house or you do a lot of entertaining. A recent report in the UK said that dishwashers are more environmentally friendly than washing up by hand provided you use the machine on average once per day. I'm always amazed at how little water they use.

    Oh, and if plates are staying dirty after they've been in (and assuming you're not putting in really filthy plates) then before buying a new one, check the following, exercising all sensible precautions:

    (1) check that the nozzles are clean (e.g. is there a lot of obvious limescale?)
    (2) make sure that you have put in the right sort of cleaning tablets, the salt level is okay, etc
    (3) check that you're using the right setting
    I know all this sounds obvious, but it's surprising how often these things can be overlooked.
     
  12. Buzz Foster

    Buzz Foster Second Unit

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    Matt, I replaced a worthless Kenmore contractor's special many years ago with a KitchenAid with built-in disposal.

    Wow. Double-wow. Incredible difference.

    Today, in my new house, I have a GE Profile with a hard food disposal. It was the quietest unit I could find that has it, and it gets the dishes unbelievably clean.

    Some dishwasher tips:

    If replacing a dishwasher, do check the CR ratings. Get the quietest one you can that has a hard food disposal, also this is sometimes listed as "self-cleaning filter".

    If you have a hard food disposal, you don't need to rinse the dishes off in the sink. Just drop them in. BUT, if the food is dried on, run a rinse cycle, then put your soap in and set a two-hour delayed wash cycle. This way, the rinse cycle water can soften the stuck-on foods before the actual wash cycle begins.

    Always use an enzyme-based detergent.
     
  13. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    In my opinion, it's important to avoid models with the bottom heating element exposed. Most of the better European models (Bosch, Miele, etc.) have the element concealed, which enables you to put delicate items in the bottom level. I would recommend a mid-level Bosch. You don't really need a million different wash programs.
     
  14. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    European brands consistently have the poorest frequency of repair ratings among dishwashers in Consumer Reports. Bosch is the best of the European brands but is still consistently worse than any American brand and they do not have hard food disposers (none of the Euro brands do). It's not that hard to select non-heated dry or put the plastic stuff on the top rack.

    I do agree on not needing lots of wash options, but heated wash and a pots&pans cycle are pretty helpful to have.
     
  15. Ken CM

    Ken CM Agent

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    One thing to check for when choosing a dishwasher is how the racks are configured. In my last place I had a stainless steel (inside and outside.) Jenn-Air. It was pretty, but the racks, despite their nifty stemware holders, were a pain to put regular plates, pots and pans into. Luckily I took the advice of the salesperson and got the model with 2 racks. The 3 rack model was really tight on space for "regular" dishes. YMMV

    My new house has the builder's special Maytag (SS outside, plastic inside). Since Maytag owns Jenn-Air they share many of the same parts. This models racks feel cheaper, but I find it easier to get more into this machine. The drawback to this lower end model is that it is significantly noisier than the Jenn-Air.

    FWIW...Two houses ago, I had the Fisher-Paykel dishdrawers. For me they worked fine for day to day dishes since I was living alone and could do small loads at a time. They weren't the best for the heavy duty pots and pans. These, too, had the manual food trap (no grinder.) I never really pre-rinsed my plates, but would scrape most chunks off. Only occasionally would I find a significant build up in the trap. I didn't have any reliability problems with them, but have seen some rants about them on an appliance forum....
     
  16. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    Can't recommend a brand, I've got a 23 year old Kenmore. Their quality may have changed, but mine is wonderful. Everything comes out spotless. It sounds like a jet engine, but it does a great job.

    Two major points that have been brought up, no matter what brand.

    Go with two racks and make sure they're adjustable. I've got friends with new homes who can't even wash standard dinner plates in their machines, the plates block the "spray bar?" from spinning. With better machines you can at least tilt one side higher or lower to fit taller items.

    Get a dishwasher that heats its own water. My hot water heater is probably 40 feet from the dishwasher. I'll run the water at the kitchen sink until it's hot, but with my machine being older, it runs about 90 minutes for all the cycles. The first cycle gets hot water, but I'm pretty sure later cycles are getting much cooler water.

    With the dishwasher heating its own water, I get great results. I've also got an exposed heating element, 23 years and never a problem.

    Another hint my aunt taught me to save a little energy, is to stop the dishwasher at the dry cycle and just prop the door open a few inches. By that time they're so hot they drip dry in about five minutes, so why let the electric element run for 20 minutes when they'll dry on their own.
     

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