BUYING A DISHWASHER

Your Budget

From the articles I have been reading and from having owned several dishwashers, you don’t have to buy the high end models to get the job done. My thinking has always been, “more gadgets = more problems”.  That is not necessarily true all the time, but buy a dishwasher for kitchen that meets your needs, just know, you don’t have to buy the most expensive model.

Cleaning

Apparently you cannot know the cleaning performance of your dishwasher based on the manufacturer or price.  There are factors such as the quality of your water, and how the dishes are placed in the dishwasher.  The dishwasher’s instruction manual will show loading patterns if you need to envision the space. How many sets of tines you are able to fold down, can you raise and lower the upper rack, and finding the dishwasher’s capacity from the manufactures’ websites, will be helpful to know and may help in your decision.

Drying

I have experience with this.  Quite a few years ago, I was renovating my kitchen and replaced all the appliances to all matching ones.  What I didn’t know was that there was new energy saving requirements placed on the manufacturers of dishwashers.  My plumber was quick to ask me if he could have my old dishwasher, which was only a few years old, and I willingly gave it to him.  Only after I started using my new dishwasher, did I understand why he wanted my old one.  My old dishwasher was great at drying dishes, I never had to dry them.  My new one, as I found out did not have a heating element and I had to use this certain rinse agent to help dry my dishes. My thinking was I am using less energy not having a heating element but using chemicals to help dry my dishes.  You can be sure, the next time I bought a dishwasher it had a heating element. NEVER BUY a dishwasher without looking inside it first.  A stainless steel tub helps boost drying, is more durable, and is less likely to stain.  As for a plastic tub, check to see if you can get it in a grey color rather than white to avoid it getting stained.

NOISE FACTOR

Before you buy your dishwasher, look up your dishwasher’s sound rating.  With the open floor plans, that we have today, the sound rating is important to know.

A normal conversation between two people is about 55-65 dB and a quiet library is about 40 dB.  You will want a dishwasher to be in between these two ranges.

Noisy – greater than 50 dB

Moderately quiet – 44 dB – 49 dB ( this would serve you perfectly)

Extremely quiet – less than 44 dB

CYCLES and OPTIONS

You want useful cycles – quality over quantity

Most dishwashers have enough cycles to suit most people’s needs.  You may wish to consider the cycle duration, water temperature, and the intensity which is the water pressure and amount of water used.

You can have upwards to 11 cycles on your dishwasher, but that is often not necessary.  Having more cycles does not make it a better dishwasher.  Choose one that suits your needs.  Here are a list of possible cycles:  Normal, Quick, Heavy, Auto, Rinse, Energy Saving, China & Crystals, Sanitization, Steam Wash, Steam Pre-Wash, and Custom Wash Options.

INSTALLATION

Dishwashers must be on their own dedicated circuit and have a GFCI breaker on the circuit.  In addition, a manual shut-off needs to be within 4 feet of the unit for safety purposes.

Most standard dishwashers are built to fit in under the counter in a space 24” wide, 24” deep, and 34.5” high”. The dishwasher high usually is from 33 1/2 to 34 1/4” and you can adjust it down 1/2”, and the width 24” is normally mean 23 1/2” can fit to 24” space. A word of caution, just measure your space to make sure that it can accommodate the dishwasher you plan on buying.

There are also compact dishwashers available that require only an 18” width.

SUMMARY

Most often the finishes are white, black, and stainless steel, however there are always other choices of finishes available depending on the manufacturer.

My current dishwasher has the controls on the upper lid of the dishwasher, which may help if you have small children wanting to always touch the controls.  It also has the handle built in, which prevents bumping into a large handle.  This may not pose a problem for some of you, but it may give you something to think about.

One thing that thoroughly annoys me, is buying the extra warranty.  What happened to the days that if you buy this product, there is no need for extra warranties, because “Guess What” our products are that great, no extra warranty needed! I am not telling you whether or not to buy the extra warranty, just letting you know that this annoys me.

MY MOTTO is more gadgets = more problems!

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