Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Cry For Help

 Larry and I decided on Friday that we could not stand handwashing dishes for 7 people one minute longer.  It's been 21 months since our dishwasher died; and we're tired of playing Amish.  So I visited Best Buy (boy, that sounds familiar) with my best friend (who also has a broken dishwasher).  We swore to each other we would not leave the store without buying a replacement for each of us. 


Undaunted (or maybe just stupid), Larry and I visited another appliance store on Saturday, determined to emerge victorious.  Nada.  The fact of the matter is, we cannot understand spending 700 dollars on a machine that will last only 2 - 4 years (if we are lucky).  Can someone explain to me the lousy life expectancy of these machines? What is so hard about manufacturing a dishwasher that WASHES DISHES? 

So, what with researching dishwashers online (decibel level? repair record? longevity?) and visiting stores and arguing (IN PUBLIC) over whether our machine should be white or black, we are not having the most romantic of Valentine Days here.  Larry has gone back to searching Craigslist and I've returned to my Michael Graves dish rack, sadder yet wiser. 

But you - the readers of this humble blog - have the power to save my marriage.  Please tell me - what brand dishwasher do you have, how long have you had it,  how many loads do you do a week, and what repairs (if any) has it needed.  Got that? 


How long?

How many loads per week?

Any repairs?

For instance, I have a KitchenAid; it worked for 21 months until the control panel died; I did approximately 12 loads a week; and we needed to replace the door latch at 17 months.

If I get more than 20 responses, I'll pick one commenter randomly to receive...uh...a broken dishwasher?  No?  Okay, then, how about a Starbucks gift card? 

But you can have the dishwasher, too, if you want it...

[Dish soap image: The Ohana Mama]


  1. We've had a Maytag Quiet Series 200 for about three years. Probably about 6 loads a week now, but it used to be a lot more. I am not always thrilled with the quality of the cleaning, but that has a lot to do with our very hard water. I do like the racks. No repairs at all. It was definitely NOT an expensive dishwasher.

  2. Brand: Bosch, top of the line. Ultra quiet. You get what you pay for.
    How long: 6 years.
    Loads: Not so many at first until I convinced the family it was more sanitary to use it, but daily or more in the last 5 years (since I've been back to work - smart thinking on my part).
    Repairs: None, ever.

    The Bosch 2nd to the top of the line has been happily washing away in my rental house for 7 years with no repairs, either.

  3. Brand/Model? Bosch, top of the line. Ultra quiet. You get what you pay for.

    How long? 6 years

    How many loads per week? Not much the first year, but when I went back to work I convinced "them" it was more sanitary to use the dishwasher so it has been chugging away at at least a load a day for 5 years.

    Any repairs? Never.

    And the 2nd to the top of the line Bosch has been happily washing in my rental house for 7 years and 3 sets of tenants. No repairs there, either.

    Notice how the rental house had a Bosch a year longer than I did? Not fair, is it!

  4. I have a Bosch - can't remember the model, but you probably have different ones in the US (I'm in the UK), and it's about a middle-of-the-range. I've had this one less than a year; but the one before this was a Bosch and lasted 15 years, and the one before that (which was my first) was also a Bosch and lasted 15 years also. The new one isn't as nice as the others, but I stuck with the brand because the other two were good. I do about one load a day now, sometimes two, but did more when the children were at home a few years ago.

  5. We don't have a dishwasher, but I just turned to ask my husband if he knew (seeing as he works in all sorts of kitchens and does all sorts of remodels and has an opinion about EVERYTHING):

    Me: Hon, what's the best kind of dishwasher?

    Him: Uh, small children?

    So there you go. That's the best we can do...

  6. Our dishwasher has worked for at least 4 years (it was there when we bought the house) It's a Maytag jetclean quiet pack III and washes an average of 1 load per day.

    Wait, I just found the previous owner's information (you're welcome): purchased at your Best Buy eleven years ago for $459 and no record of repairs. That's a Maytag for you, I guess! My husband did replace the rubber seal about 2-1/2 years ago, but that was easy and cheap.

  7. Whirlpool Quiet Partner II, put in 2 1/2 years ago, no repairs yet. Takes forever to wash, but super quiet. Stinks if you don't run it every other day. We sometimes go 3 days.... Seems to get most everything clean- a spatula w/scrambled egg on it just came out dirty, but probably should have seen some scrubbing before going in.

  8. Well, we do at least 7 to 10 loads a week. But ours is obviously old, since it came with the house :) For what it is worth, ours is just a frigidare. Mom's is a Maytag and while doesn't get as much use now, used to run daily. I'd say get one with the minimum of bells and whistles, and get the extended warranty. Boy, that's helpful, isn't it???

  9. I've only had 3 dishwashers in my lifetime and have never had a problem with any of them. Knock on wood. If mine messes up now, I'm blaming you! ;-)

    The one I have now is a Whirlpool. It came with the house and we've lived here almost 5 years--so I have no idea how old it is. It is noisy and I'd love to replace it with a newer, quieter model. Since we're empty nesters, we don't do as many loads as when the kids were home. I'm gonna say probably 4 or 5. Down from at least 10 when the kids were here.

    Good luck. I've seen some good deals at Lowe's and Home Depot. I'd venture to say they'd have better prices than Best Buy, even with sales.

  10. I have also heard Bosch is the best. But truthfully, since they have taken the phoisphates out of the soap, no dishwasher actually works. sigh, good luck!

  11. Handwashing here. It's the difference between 2 people and 7. Also that we have no place to put a dishwasher unless we want to tear out cabinets (which we need for storage).

  12. GE Triton, 5 years, racks a little beat up. 5-7 loads a week. Other than the racks no problems.

  13. GE triton, 5 years, 5-7 loads a week. Racks a little beat up. Other than that it works well.

  14. We have a Whirlpool Quiet Wash Plus and it is used 3-5 times a week. It was here when we bought the house 3 years ago. It is not quiet and seems to take a long time. it does the job though and has survived my boys climbing on the door a bit. Haven't had to make any repairs yet, but if they keep climbing on the door, I am sure that will change.


  15. Been handwashing dishes for 7 people for 13 years. Well, we started out with 3 people, but decided we needed more dishwashers, so we had four more kids.

    Does that mean I'm not in the running for the Starbucks card? I could use some coffee.

  16. [A comment from kellyg, copied here because I accidentally deleted it]

    wow. 12 loads a week. And now you are doing that by hand. I'm not sure if I should be impressed or think that you are loony.

    Anyway, here are my answers:

    Brand/Model? GE QuietPower3

    How long? Almost 2.5 years

    How many loads per week? 3-4 probably

    Any repairs? none so far

    a couple of disclosures: I don't wash any heavy duty stuff like pots or pans in the dishwasher. If I did that I would need to run it every night. So those I do by hand (hmmm.... which means I wash dishes every night. I might have to rethink this). Also I don't run the heat/dry cycle. Yes. Most people think I'm crazy.

    Lastly and probably most importantly. I really don't like this dishwasher. We can't use a generic brand of detergent and we have to be very careful with how much we fill the detergent holder. Too little and the dishes won't get clean. Too much and your rinsing the dishes and cleaning the detergent residue off the door.

    In your stove post, you mentioned that Larry didn't want to get a particular stove because it was a GE. The appliances that came with this house are GE's and I'm not happy with any of them (microwave, stove and dishwasher). So.... maybe not GE?

  17. *I* am the dishwasher. It sucks. A lot.

  18. We have had a Kenmore, a Kenmore and a Kenmore - you think we would learn, having had to replace a dishwasher every 3 years. We finally did and replaed the last dead one with a top of the line Bosch 3 years ago. We usually run it once a day during the week, twice a day on the weekend. If we have company or dinner party or the boys go overboard with the hot chocolate (don't ask), then it goes 3 times a day. Had the repair guy in once as a hose got kinked during the install, so not really the dishwasher's fault. The next 6 months will be the true test, however, because it is about this point in time that the other dishwashers started to fail.
    My mother just replaced her 28 year old dishwasher this year. She got it when the last child moved out and she did a load a day and never had a repair guy in.

  19. We've had a Miele for 4-5 years, and my father has had one for more than 10. Ours gets a lot of use - probably 10 loads a week, and the only time it broke was when my husband broke it.

  20. Never had a dishwasher. It's just me now, but at top population density there were 5 in the house. At that time I made it a rule that everybody got to use only one glass (cold drinks) and one mug (for hot) a day. Yes - we marked them! It took a little "policing," but it really cut down on items used. At meals it was "clean your plate" club. It really helped make the once-a-day dish washing go easier.

  21. We had a KitchenAid in our old house, put in new and stayed ~4 more years, quiet, loved it. This house had a Maytag (I think) which was probably about 5 yrs old at the time. We had it about 7 more years with no issues, no repairs (it was a little noisy and I didn't like the layout). We tore out the whole kitchen to remodel, bought an LG because it was supposed to be quiet, and it's AWFUL. I will never buy another LG dishwasher. We've had it 5 years, it died completely while under warranty after about a year and the repairman figured out (after 2 visits) that it was the wiring in the door that had shorted out. Last summer it got really noisy and didn't clean, so we replaced the sump motor and assembly (which had been replaced during the wiring saga). THAT died about 6 months later and we actually just put the previous motor BACK in, which is still working but noisy. I'm hoping it will truly die so I can justify a Bosch (or possibly a KitchenAid. Loved that dishwasher). We do 1 load a day for 5 people, with an extra load/week. But I do most pots by hand.

  22. We have a GE Profile. I run it about 3 - 5 times a week. We've had it for seven and a half years and have not had to have one single repair on it; nor has anything broken. That is, until tonight, when I get home, since I'm bragging about my wonderful dishwasher!

  23. I have a Fischer Paykul two drawer dishwasher that has had some really bad reports but I decided to brave it anyway because the whole two dishwasher thing really grabbed me. I bought the extended warranty on it just to cover my bases. It's been four years, (knock on the stainless steel drawer) and no service calls.

    It's probably not the machine for you due to the size of your family, but for me, the fact that I can fill one drawer, run it, then fill the other and not have to rush to empty is a big deal.

    I am SO...glad I went with it...though I'll admit the drawers can get a little smelly sometimes when it has been a bit of time between washings.

  24. Kenmore Ultra Wash Quiet Guard.
    8 Years/Approximately 1 wash per day.
    One repair.
    Racks are falling apart and silverware falls through the broken silverware basket.
    Of all my Kenmore appliances, I hate it the least. It is totally misnamed as I can hear it running from the second floor.

    Also a plug for FINISH dishwasher powerball tabs. Much better than Cascade.

  25. Kenmore, 4 years old, 1 or 2 loads per week, no repairs.

    Like Beverly above, I also hope my dishwasher does not catch some sort of blog/internet borne contagious malady by being mentioned here. Have you investigated the possibility your dishwasher has some sort of computer/internet virus? Maybe it's not working because it is busy on the internet. Frequently, I ask my kids to load or unload the dishwasher and when I return, they have not done what I asked because they are on the internet instead. Maybe the dishwasher is too, I can't tell.

    I hope I win the Starbucks card, it will lead to a conversation like this at my local Starbucks, "Hi, I'm Anonymous. I won a contest, but I'm not sure where the contest was held, and they can't contact me because I'm anonymous. But I'm sure that there's sort way you can tell on your computerized cash register thingy that I'm supposed to get a gift card. You're probably better off just giving me free coffee than trying to explain to me I'm not entitled to it, because I'm just going to stand here talking to you until you do. OR, you could use your dishwasher to look it up on the internet...."

  26. Ours is the cheapest GE model,nothing special .We've used it for 2 1/2 years with no repairs but occasionally have to clean out the grate in the bottom. I do 10-14 loads a week. I'm not always happy with how clean the dishes are but the kids NEVER rinse them so that could have something to do with it, could also explain why we are always cleaning out that grate.

  27. Whirlpool put in by the builder in 2003, only worked on "light wash" for its last year, and replaced this year. That's... 7 years. We run it once a day.

    Just bought a Kenmore Bisque 24'' Built-In Dishwasher (1526) ENERGY STAR® last month. It's blissfully quiet and working just fine so far.

  28. Mine is a Frigidaire, and came with the condo, so it's less than five years old. With only me (and two cats), I run it about once a week. It's not the quietest around, but I haven't had any problems yet (knock wood).

  29. Whirpool, 13 years and running. The push buttons are a little worn, and the machine is loud (no running it while we are trying to watch television), but so far so good:)

  30. We have a Kirkland. It came from Costco like 5 or 6 years ago. We do at least 7 runs a week. It cost us like $400 and we have had ZERO repairs/replacements.

  31. You know, I think this isn't helping. I'm more confused than ever. That'll teach me to try to garner facts.

  32. Well, I won't add confusion to the issue, then, by giving you my 3-year-old Whirlpool's healthy little stats, but I will say this:

    I never saw a dishwasher that broke so often (a few times a year!) as the high-end one at the home where I nannied. We ran two loads a day there, but the nightly load (loaded by the mom) had all sorts of things tossed everywhere, unrestrained plastic flew to the bottom, and non-pre-rinsed dishes left BIG chunks of food clogging the filters. During the day, I made sure the filters were cleaned out and loaded things so they wouldn't fly around.

    Oh, at MY house, we don't run the dry cycle, either. We do it to save energy, but by the time I get up in the morning the dishes have dried themselves, anyway.

    So, whatever you get, treat it nicely. :-) Whole bowls of spaghetti, green beans, and oatmeal will not be your dishwasher's friends.

  33. I had this problem when I was shopping for stoves, because all the reviewed models had been replaced by new ones. What I did was try and get a general sense of what brands seemed reliable and long-lived, then used the the 'second cheapest' rule (never by the absolute cheapest of anything...the second cheapest is usually not that much more expensive and better quality). Of if not the 2nd cheapest, a lower end model that has all the features I really need. (Also I don't need a Starbucks card, so no need to include me in the drawing. I'm just constitutionally inclined to give advice...)

  34. Sears Kenmore Elite.
    5 years old in April!
    1-2 loads/day
    Very quiet. I'm sound sensitive & we have an open floor plan. Our schoolwork table is about 10 feet away & I can run it while doing lessons.
    ZERO repairs.

    Now that I think of it, I think I'll throw it a party on its birthday. It's been a very good thing.

  35. as a Mom of 6, I do 1-2 loads a day. I had a cheapo frigidaire that we paid under 200 for. I had it for 5 years! No breaks, the occasional clog from not rinsing dishes enough.

    5 years later, it died. I am sure I could have repaird it, but most likely for more then I paid. I mean it was under $200. I replaced it with a beautiful stainless samsung. It had ok reviews, but I love it. I will let you know after a few months, but I have done 7 loads in 2 days, so far so good.

  36. We have a Bosch, basically this model: Bosch 24-Inch Black Built-In Dishwasher

    Item #: 15743 | Model #: SHE43F16UC , although 3-3 1/2 years old.

    We do apx. 12-16 loads a week.

    We've had one major repair, the control panel. Not fun and certainly not cheap. We were halfway to a new model, but when I looked at new ones I decided I loved mine so much more we'd take the chance and fix it.

    Good luck!

  37. Okay, I've read through the comments and I have to add, I LOVE my Bosch. Truly. Also, it cleans fabulously and is very, very quiet. You should also know I do not put pots and pans in but that's just because I'm fanatical about my pots and pans, I baby them. :)

    Wooden spoons and knives get washed by hand too. Otherwise, EVERYTHING gets shoved in the dishwasher. It's amazing how much I can (over)load that baby. I have a busy home daycare and it gets quite the workout.

  38. I'm a bit late, but we have a GE Triton XL. It was in the house when we moved here, almost 4 years ago. We've never had to have any repairs. It cleans well when I remember to keep salt in our water softener. We are a household of 7 and we run the dishwasher once or twice a day. Maybe 10 times a week?

  39. My sister is on her second Miele dishwasher in 30 years, the first one worked more than 20 years.

    My rule is to ask the repair man what brand he is using at home and what brand he would buy now.

    (If I am the winner of the Starbuck gift card I want it to go to Anonymous who gave me a good laugh today!)

  40. I am the dishwasher for 6. I feel you.

  41. we have a GE from Home Depot paid around $250 for it. We are a family of 6. We run it at least once a day. I DO NOT prewash or rinse. Neither do the kids. Never had any repairs we have had this one for 2 years. We had a free one before off craigslist lasted 5 years. That came from someone remodeling their house.

  42. We have a loud, cheap GE model put in by the builder. We've had it 7.5 yrs. and it works great (I know I'm jinxing myself here). No repairs, no major problems. I cook a ton, and do probably 2-3 loads a day, every day.

  43. We had a cheap, loud GE that broke about once a year for 4 years. After the final incident, went out and bought a Bosch. It is quiet, efficient, and (knock on suds) runs great after 1 or 2 loads a day for 3 years.
    The appliance installer told me two things about dishwashers - 1) do not prewash and 2) do NOT use too much dishwasher soap. He said that overuse of soap is what leads to most problems. And, cheapskate that I am, that's easy advice to follow. My dishes come out nice and clean.

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