Sign In to join the community | Help

What To Look For When Buying A New Dishwasher

User-added image


Domestic automatic dishwashers were invented in the 1920s, but they did not see widespread use until the 1970s. The tubs on modern dishwashers are either plastic or stainless steel. Mid-to-higher end dishwashers often come with hard food disposal units, which behave like a miniature garbage disposal to eliminate large pieces of food waste from the wash water.


Many new dishwashers feature a microprocessor-controlled, sensor which detects the amount of food particles in the water and adjusts the cycle accordingly. If large amounts of food particles are detected the cycle is automatically lengthened, if a smaller amount is detected this indicates the dishes have fewer food particles on them and the cycle is shortened. Let's take a look at what's avalible.



Budget dishwashers



Budget dishwashers will typically have a plastic tub, vinyl coated racks and one or two wash arms.


They usually do not have any higher ends features such as an adjustable upper rack or a silver ware basket that can be separated into two or three sections. The plastic tubs tend to amplify sounds like a drum and they will have a limited number of cycles and no delay start or sanitary cycles. Expect sound levels around 55 to 60 decibels, fairly loud by today’s standards.



However today's budget dishwashers do a better job of cleaning dishes than top end models offered just a few years ago, and many sell for less than $300.00! They usually come with white, black or stainless steel front panels and are easier to install than older models. They make a good choice for a rental property or a vacation home where a top of the line model is not necessary.


Mid-range Dishwashers


Many mid-range dishwashers often still offer a plastic tub, but sound insulation is applied to the tub to lower noise. Mid-range dishwashers will often have nylon coated racks which are more durable than vinyl coated models and the tines in the racks are adjustable to accept larger or odd shaped items.


Mid-range models will offer three wash arms to better clean the dishes and silverware racks are designed to be separated into two or three sections leaving room for more dishes. 


Mid-ranges models often offer steam cycles to sanitize your dishes and delay start so you may operate your dishwasher while you’re asleep to avoid noise when you’re watching your favorite movie, sharing time with family, reading or talking on the phone. Mid-range models start at $400 dollars and can go as high as $700.00.



Premium Model Conventional Dishwashers



Premium Model Dishwashers offer all of the features of the mid-ranges models and will have a stainless steel tub, which is more durable and easier to clean than a plastic tub, they are quitter often as quite as 46 decibels which is below the level of normal conversation. When running all you hear is the faint sound of water splashing around in the tub.


Some models offer a third rack for serving tools and cutlery, the upper racks are supported by smooth operating ball bearing glides and have fold down holders for wines glasses and small items.  The upper racks offer a height adjuster to raise or lower the upper rack when necessary to accommodate large or especially tall items.


The tines in the upper and lower racks can be folded to rearrange the interior for large or unusually shaped items. Some models even have a provision for the silverware rack on the door to allow for more room in the interior for dishes.


Many high ends models offer a turbidity sensor which detects the number of food particles in the water and adjusts the cycle to assure the dishes are washed properly and to save energy.


Premium models also offer the controls on the top of the door for a cleaner more integrated look. These top control models also help prevent young children from playing with the controls and changing the cycle or stopping the machine altogether. Premium dishwashers sell for between $700 and $2500 dollars or more depending upon the brand model and features.

Specialty Dishwashers


Drawer Type Dishwashers




Some manufactures offer drawer type dishwashers which have two separate drawers each with their own controls. This allows you to wash delicate items in one drawer and hard to clean items in the other or just use one drawer for smaller loads. Drawer type models are often easier to load and offer more versatility. However they can be very expensive to purchase.


Portable Dishwashers




Portable Dishwashers allow you the convenience of a dishwasher without the need to have it built in. You just attach it to the kitchen sink faucet wash the dishes and then store it away until next time. Portables also allow you to take your dishwasher with you when you move.



Energy Efficiency



Appliance manufacturers’ are required to produce models which are more energy efficient. Thus new models offered today use less energy and water than previous models. Many manufacturers have removed the heating elements from their dishwashers to meet energy efficiency standards.



These changes have resulted in longer cycles and the need to let dishes sit in the dishwasher longer to dry.  In many cases you will have to wash you dishes at night to assure they will be dry for breakfast in the morning. If you wash more than one load a day look for a model with a heating element.



When shopping for a new dishwasher consider the following:



(1) Price; not everyone needs a $1000.00 dishwasher, look for a model with the features you want at the price point you can afford. Also look for models that are on sale or offer a rebate.


(2) Features;  look for a model with a stainless steel tub which is longer lasting and quieter, three wash arms for better cleaning, an adjustable upper rack for versatility and a heating element for faster drying.


(3) Warranty; all manufacturers offer a standard 1 year warranty, some offer ten year warranties on the dish racks and tub. Consider an extended warranty to protect you from unexpected repairs. The Home Depot Protection Plan offers complete protection for 3 or 5 years from the date of purchase. Ask your appliance sales associate for details.



Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2015-03-20T00:19:49+0000  by Mike_HD_OC Mike_HD_OC