New Dishwasher

When I moved into my house about 12 years ago, the Frigidaire dishwasher was pretty new. It worked fine for the most part, but the soap tray wouldn’t stay closed, or if it did, it would never open during the cycle and would still have soggy soap in it when the cycle was done. At one point it wouldn’t come on at all and I had to call a repair man. I watched him take it apart and he showed me that the handle that you turn to lock it down wasn’t pressing down hard enough on the safety switch. He said I would need a new handle for $120. I said don’t worry about it and when he left I took it back apart like he had done and put a piece of cardboard underneath the switch so it would sit up higher and now the handle would trigger the switch. So either a $120 handle or a piece of cardboard would have fixed it. It’s worked for years after that.

The other problem was that the rack had developed rust spots on the ends and sometimes at the base of the tines, leaving rust spots where the dishes would touch those. I learned how to avoid those tines and eventually most of the rust spots on the dishes went away. Lately the dishwasher has started smelling bad and getting black stuff in the bottom, which can’t be good.

Jenny from work asked me what I thought about a Samsung refrigerator she was thinking about getting and that Sears was having a 20% off sale on all Energy Star appliances (the sale ended Thursday, but now they are having a sale with 20% off all Kenmore and Whirlpool appliances). Consumer Reports rated that one pretty well and she was getting it for less than the price they had listed (which CR calls the price you can expect to pay, rather than retail). So it got my blessing, but then I started thinking it was a good time to get a dishwasher.

Meanwhile, there are two different discounts coming up, one is a state tax holiday on Energy Star appliances, and the other is a federally sponsored stimulus program where the state will give you a rebate on Energy Star appliances (thought to be about $50 for dishwashers). Since Georgia’s sales tax holiday was set many months ago for October 1-4 and the federal rebate won’t go into effect until late October, they won’t overlap. Also, I figure there will be a lot of hype so the sales won’t be as good at that time or I won’t be able to get what I want. So I thought I’d take the 20% discount now instead of possibly a 7% to 12% discount later. Plus they are also rebating delivery right now. They are rebating the $10 haul away fee too, except that the maximum value of the rebate is $75 and that’s how much delivery of a dishwasher or refrigerator is, so even though they say they are rebating the haul away fee, they aren’t. But I didn’t realize that until the day the dishwasher was to be delivered. I also paid an extra $10 for Saturday delivery.

So on to the new dishwasher. You can spend a lot on a dishwasher. Some are over $1,000. You can also spend just a few hundred on a dishwasher too. So I figured a reasonable amount to spend was $300-$500. At the higher end of the range you get quieter dishwashers that get good reviews on Consumer Reports, so I looked at a Kenmore and a Whirlpool that got about equal reviews and were both less than $500 at Sears on sale. Originally the Whirlpool cost a little more and Whirlpool has a slightly better repair history than Kenmore (8 instead of 9). So I decided on the Whirlpool Gold 2300XTVQ. The salesperson at Sears tried to upsize me to a Kenmore with a stainless steel tub, but that model hadn’t been rated by Consumer Reports and I didn’t want to take any chances (not crazy about the stainless steel tubs since they make the inside of the dishwasher seem dark, plus CR says they might be overrated). I put it on my credit card to double the warranty and turned down the service contract. When I installed a new disposal I had re-wired the old dishwasher and re-routed it’s drain line, so I figure I had mostly installed the old dishwasher already and it shouldn’t be that bad doing the new one.

It showed up at about 10:15 this morning. It took until 12:25 to get it running, but most of that was because I realized I had left a 90º elbow connected to the old dishwasher (now gone; a problem with the haul away option) that I could have used. So I had to take a shower, drive to Ace, get the part, realize it was the wrong size, go back to Ace, get the right size, and return. Actual installation was probably around 30 minutes. It is running empty now on a “Glass Xpress” mode that is a short cycle. It is probably quieter than the old one, but not by all that much. And the inside of the tub is kind of a gray so that it looks about the shade of stainless and therefore is just as dark inside.

4 thoughts on “New Dishwasher

  1. Win some, lose some. Even when you do all of the homework, things go wrong, it seems. I thought Sears made Whirlpool appliances. You know I had the water heater installed last week. Guess what the date is that is on it? 2006!!! So it’s 3 years old before it ever got installed.

  2. I think it will still be a good dishwasher, though it doesn’t seem like the silverware holder is big enough and the tub color seems kind of dark.

    Kenmore is a Sears brand and a lot of things that are Kenmore are made by Whirlpool. But you never know because some Kenmore things are made by LG and others. Whirlpool bought Maytag in 2006, so now Whirlpool makes Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, and Home Depot’s in-house Admiral brand.

    After I ran the dishwasher, I thought I should check on whether any of the plumbing connections were leaking, so I removed the plate that hides the bottom of the dishwasher, and sure enough it was dripping. So I had to pull the dishwasher back out and hook that back up again and it seems to be holding.

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