Sunday, February 7, 2016

Appliance redo redux

Now that the saga of the stove is behind us, Cookie and Husband have been shopping for a dishwasher to replace the 30 year old Kitchen Aid model that doesn't wash dishes so much as it rinses them.

Built in a time when Phosphates did the dirty work of cleaning plates, its cycles are terribly short.  A regular cycle washes the dishes and rinses them in 15 minutes and then dries them for another 15 minutes while producing enough noise that you can hear it all over the house.

The problem is, without the phosphates to eat the dried on food off, the plates get wet and covered in detergents, and then rinsed too quickly to get things cleaned.  And new dishwashers can take up to 120 minutes to run their cycles in a far more energy and water efficient fashion than the old, out of date model in our kitchen.

So like the stove, we have been looking and looking.   And we made a decision that dishwasher was not something we wanted to skimp on.  The more you spend, the more you really do get.

We looked at American brands (Kitchen Aid, GE Monogram, GE Cafe, Viking, Frigidaire Professional, Maytag, Jenn Air, etc.) and we looked at foreign made including DCS, Asko, Bosch,  LG, Samsung, etc.

We looked at drawer models and full size.  We looked at settings, features, racks, and we looked at repair issues, warranties and we spent a surprising amount of time on handles.

Yes, handles.

We honed our list, down to Kitchen Aid verses Kitchen Aid.   Thats right, we discarded nearly every brand for a variety of reasons.  Bosch and Asko because they don't offer heated dry settings, Viking because they license their name to another manufacturer, Samsung because their repair and parts departments have bad track records, etc.

One by one they fell by the way side until we kept coming back to Kitchen Aid (which is a Whirlpool built product, but far better than Whirlpool), but which Kitchen Aid was a struggle.

Kitchen Aid has a new wash arm system that looks like the old amusement park "Scrambler" ride.  We liked that.  It had the third rack for utensils, we were in different about that.  And the racks just worked better.

The icing on the cake is that it has not one, but two dry settings - heated dry or "Pro Dry" which uses less heat and a vent fan.

However, Cookie, in a weak moment fell in love with the newest feature that no one needs: A door with a window and a light inside the dishwasher.

Yup. You read that correctly.

Fortunately, my husband was keeping a clear vision of what we wanted and needed and pulled me away from the siren sound of gadgetry.

I didn't go quietly, though.  I kept repeating what the real estate agent said about home improvements, which is to keep them "sexy" to raise your home value so when you do decide to sell it, you get the max for your investment.  And the windowed dishwasher wasn't that much more.

However, in the end we went with what we needed to go with, and we got one heck of a deal by bundling points, credit card points, coupons, and the President's Day sale.  So in addition to the dishwasher, on sale, we got free install, free haul away, free five years Kitchen Aid extended warranty and we still paid less than if we would have paid cash.

So, good Lord willing, Wednesday we get an install.   I'd post a picture of it, but it looks like a sheet of stainless steel.


  1. you'll have to give us a six month update.

    when we moved into present digs years ago, we got a new KA. it got installed & didn't work. it was so new that there weren't parts available yet! it was ridiculous. it's never blown us away with its cleaning prowess, but it is, at least, something.

    1. Well KA isn't what it used to be when Hobart made them. Since Whirlpool bought them, things have been spotty, pardon the pun. But we installed on in Ohio and it worked flawlessly. This one has their new, enhanced wash system, which is the two crossbars, and on the end of each crossbar is another jet system. But I have heard that this third rack system is for the birds, regardless of whose dishwasher its in.

    2. Maybe its your detergent. We loved ElectraSol, but were not thrilled by "Finish", which ElectraSol was brought under. Target's in house brand seems to work in the old dishwasher, though.

    3. oddly, we seemed to get the best results with finish. i recently got a tub of costco soap, but haven't tried it yet. consumers report like it.

  2. A window?
    Lawdy I've heard it all.

  3. Your hubby is a wise man. My friends installed a KA w/window (yes, they fell for the NEWNESS and by her own admission, a cute salesman) and it's been bleah. The problem turns out to be SPOTS, on the window. So unless you want to wipe the inside of the dishwasher window after EACH use, you don't need a window! Besides, I think we could all see where this would end up, Cookie in the kitchen, sipping a glass of wine, nose pressed to the window watching the jet arms spin around. And the next thing you know, 120 minutes (that's TWO hours) would just whiz by and nothing else would get done.

  4. my sister LOVES her Bosch. My mother HATES her Bosch. This tells you something about their relationship. I love our Kitchen Aid - though it is now 10+ yrs old.