Selecting a dishwasher

Most people have not purchased a new dishwasher in the last 5-10 years. In that time, there have been many advances in technology that have led to dishwashers that use much less water and energy, clean better, and accommodate more dishes than ever before.

Because the wide array of dishwashers in today's market can be confusing or overwhelming, we'll look at the different features to consider and their benefits. You can then decide which ones you find appealing and find a dishwasher that has everything you want.




BRAND

There are more brands than ever to choose from when it comes to dishwashers. Here is a list of the brands you are likely to find, and some information about each brand.

Amana: An American brand owned by Whirlpool that focuses on combining affordability and innovation
Bosch: A German company that focuses on quiet operation
Electrolux: A Swedish brand that focuses on luxury features
Frigidaire: An American brand owned by Electrolux that focuses on affordable performance
GE: An American company that focuses on innovative dispensing technologies
Jenn-Air: An American brand owned by Whirlpool that focuses on features for the cooking professional
Kenmore/Kenmore Elite/Kenmore PRO: A Sears exclusive brand, with models manufactured by Frigidaire, Whirlpool, and Bosch
KitchenAid: An American brand owned by Whirlpool that focuses on professional-style features
LG: A Korean company that focuses on steam technology
Maytag: An American brand owned by Whirlpool that focuses on durability
Miele: A German company that focuses on super-premium appliances
Samsung: A Korean company that focuses on innovative electronic controls

169 comments:

  1. Do you know if the Kenmore 1324 is made by Frigidaire or Whirlpool? It's on sale this week for 492.99

    ReplyDelete
  2. The 1324X Kenmore model is manufactured by Whirlpool, and is a very nice lower/mid-range model. The 13892 is a similar model, but with integrated controls and a towelbar handle. It's got the same price, with a sleeker appearance. Either one is a fine choice. Good question!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Randy,

    Awesome blog. Very helpful.

    Can you please comment on KitchenAid Black 24 in built-in Superba dishwasher(KUDS301VBL)? I read a lot of review on-line, but at the end each one got good as well as bad reviews.

    What do you think about the durability of this one?

    ReplyDelete
  4. The KitchenAid Superba line is a very strong series of dishwashers. KitchenAid is Whirlpool's premium brand, and Whirlpool is one of the world's best dishwasher manufacturers. Superba models tend to be quiet, with good cleaning power.

    For almost the same price as the model you're considering, I'd suggest taking a look at the KUDE40CVBL at sears.com. Right now, this model is 20% off the regular price, and this model is not just quieter, but also more efficient and has an improved washing system to increase cleaning power.

    For a good understanding of why this dishwasher is an excellent choice, check out the Kenmore Bargain dishwasher. Everything in that model is in the KitchenAid, except in the KitchenAid the ProScrub system doesn't involve rotating jets (instead, there are more jets that are stationary).

    And, finally, remember that most people don't review things they don't have a problem with. Remember the last time you did a review for a product that worked as you expected? :) Take reviews with a grain of salt. Most reviews will be about the rare duds that happen with mass production.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Randy.

    >> For almost the same price as the model
    >> you're considering, I'd suggest taking
    >> a look at the KUDE40CVBL at sears.com.
    Is this a kitchenaid or kenmore product? Did not find in in local store. Can you mention the Name please?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm looking for a portable dishwasher, space issues. My major concern is cleaning, I don't want to wash before or after. I would like to stay under $600. I've had good luck with my Kenmore fridge and love my Maytag washer. I haven't had a dishwasher for many years. Which would you suggest? Thanks, G

    ReplyDelete
  7. Randy - have been reviewing the comments on Sears web site and those brought me here. I am not clear what the difference is between the Ultra Wash HE (on the 1312 model) and the Ultra Wash as on the 1310 model.
    Additionally does the 1310 model have Smart Wash? The specs are a little confusing.
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good question!

    UltraWash is the wash system for the conventional Kenmore dishwashers manufactured by Whirlpool. UltraWashHE dishwashers have a triple filtration system rather than the traditional American-style grinder hard food disposal.

    The UltraWashHE system is far more water-efficient than the grinder, and the reduced water usage results in lower energy use as well. So, dishwashers with this system are considered high-efficiency dishwashers. The removable filter only needs a rinse every 6-8 weeks on average, and that's all it ever needs. Just a quick rinse in the sink.

    Bosch and Whirlpool (through its Whirlpool "ResourceSaver" system, its KitchenAid "SuperbaEQ" system, and the Kenmore Elite "UltraWashHE" system) are the major brands in America that have this kind of system.

    The best part is that cleaning performance is in no way sacrificed (and, in some cases, it's even enhanced), and the noise level is reduced at the same time.

    As for the second question, the 1310X model does have SmartWash, which uses a sensor to determine how dirty your dishes are, and when they're clean.

    Thanks for asking!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Randy,
    We are trying to decide between Kenmore elite 13193 and Bosch SHX45P05UC model dishwashers. Based on what we have read, Bosch seems little smaller size wise but What would you recommend?
    Thank you!
    Manoj

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're right, the Bosch is a bit smaller inside. The racks are smaller, and the tub's interior is smaller.

    If you've owned American-style dishwashers previously (Whirlpool, Maytag, Kenmore, GE, etc.), you'd probably be more comfortable with the Kenmore Elite.

    If you've had Bosch dishwashers before and like them, go for the Bosch.

    In either case, just be sure to rinse the removable filter every month or so. Just a quick rinse in the sink is all it needs.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Randy,
    Help! I am totally confused! I am replacing my 9 year old (12/1999) Kenmore Ultra Wash dishwasher model #655 15829, the electronic control panel died and the racks were starting to rust. This was a fantastic dishwasher! VERY quiet, you had to be standing next to it to know it was running, it did an EXCELLANT job cleaning, and drying the dishes, no spots, no water left on dishes.

    I researched Consumer Reports and purchased Kenmore 13899, what a piece of junk compared to my old dishwasher! It is Very noisy when running, it literally groans when the disposal comes on and the inside of the cabinet is still wet after three days. The bottom of the door leaks dripping water on the floor and the insulation is WET half way up inside the door panel. No, I am not calling the repair man, I only did two loads of dishes, it is going back!

    I ALWAYS buy Kenmore appliances, my smooth top stove was purchased in 1975 and is still GREAT, this would have been my third Kenmore dishwasher.

    Okay that said, I am now looking at the Kenmore Elite 13129 versus the Kenmore 1374? (black). Quality and durability of the different filtration systems? Noise level, motor size, how well they wash and dry, etc.? The reviews are all over the place on Sears.com and even you recomended the 13899? I just want a good, comparable, reliable, hassle free machine like my last two.

    If you have a better suggestion in this price range, let me know. I do not cate if it is stainless steel inside. Turbo wash???

    Thank you so much for your time!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. First, it sounds like you got a dud, which happens rarely but does happen, and you should be able to get it replaced if it's less than 90 days old, or repaired if it's more than 90 days but less than 1 year.

    The odds are that there's a defect that's causing the machine to misbehave, unless there's some glass or a plum pit or something stuck at the disposal. But, it's not behaving normally, so exchange/repair would be a smart move.

    However, if you're absolutely sure you'd rather get something else, the 13129 is an excellent machine. Extremely quiet (52 decibels, or whisper quiet), very efficient, with the TurboZone for added cleaning capability and cleaning power, and a removable, washable filter.

    The 13749 loses the stainless steel tub, the efficient filtration system with high pressure wash arms, and the noise level goes up to where the 13899 would normally be (don't compare to your current machine, which is not operating normally).

    Comparing performance to your current machine is rather irrelevant, as your machine is a dud or has something in it preventing it from behaving properly. Normally, all three of these would dry equally well. Washing power is greatest in the 13129, followed by the 13749, followed by the 13899. Efficiency follows the same hierarchy.

    All that said, I'd still recommend finding out about replacing or repairing. If you call the store you purchased at, they should be able to accommodate you one way or the other. But, the choice is yours.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  13. "I'm looking for a portable dishwasher, space issues. My major concern is cleaning, I don't want to wash before or after. I would like to stay under $600. I've had good luck with my Kenmore fridge and love my Maytag washer. I haven't had a dishwasher for many years. Which would you suggest? Thanks, G"

    Sorry this is out of order!

    Are there absolutely no cabinets that can be replaced with a built-in dishwasher? If not, you may want to look at the Kenmore 17762 (white) or 17769 (black), which is a 24" portable. For a portable, it's got very good cleaning power, though not at the level of a conventional built-in dishwasher in the same price range.

    If you don't have room for a 24" model, consider the Kenmore 14412 (white) or 14419 (black), which is an 18" model. The performance will be slightly diminished from the 24" models, but if space is at an ultra-premium, it's one of very few options.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Thanks Randy.

    >> For almost the same price as the model
    >> you're considering, I'd suggest taking
    >> a look at the KUDE40CVBL at sears.com.
    Is this a kitchenaid or kenmore product? Did not find in in local store. Can you mention the Name please?"

    I apologize for the delay and the out-of-order nature of the response!

    The model I suggested is a KitchenAid, and it's on a really nice sale right now. Be sure to check it out!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Randy.
    Thank you for your earlier reply to my question about BOSCH SHX45P05UC vs Kenmore elite 13193 Dishwashers.
    We are kinda leaning towards kenmore elite and would be okay with spending around $700-$900. We for sure like the 13193 model but trying to figure out if the extra cost of it is justifyable when compared to other models like 13183. What are your thoughts? Are the features/upgrades in 13193 worth enough to justify spending extra $200 (or $300 when compared to the BOSCH SHX45P05UC)?
    Thank you!
    Manoj

    ReplyDelete
  16. The major differences between 13183 and 13193 are noise levels and manufacturer's warranty. The noise difference is not huge, but it's the difference between almost silent and completely silent. If you want a dishwasher and are wary of protection agreements (some people are, for some reason), go with the 13193. You get a 3 year defects-only warranty instead of the industry standard 1 year.

    As for comparing either to the Bosch, space and drying systems are the major differences. Bosch uses a fan-assisted condensation drying system, while Kenmore uses a heat-based drying system. Neither is inherently better, just different.

    As for space, Bosch traditionally has smaller racks with shorter tines. The American consumer has pretty overwhelmingly preferred the larger racks with taller tines. Again, neither is inherently better, just different.

    If you want to compare apples to as close to apples as you can get, it would be the 13183 and the Bosch, but the Kenmore still comes out ahead. The 13193 tops both of them by reducing noise even further while keeping the great cleaning power of the 13183.

    And, be sure to read the "Tell me about" section about protection agreements. Always worth considering, especially with an investment that will be used often and play an important part in one of the most important rooms of the home.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you! Very nice response!
    Manoj

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jeff in Atlanta1/25/10, 3:29 PM

    Hello Randy,

    Can you comment on the quality and performance of the Frigidaire Gallery Model #FGBD2432KF? It is very tough to find any reviews of this stainless steel model. The feature set seems to be fairly decent especially if you can get it for less than $350 but just wondering about the reliability and performance of this model.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi, Jeff!

    That's a pretty great price for the Frigidaire model you're looking at (almost 50% off)!

    Frigidaire makes a decent dishwasher, and this one is around the top of their bottom tier. Frigidaire isn't the best brand for reliability, though. Those honors go to Bosch and Whirlpool (including Whirlpool-manufactured Kenmore models).

    For the price, though, there probably isn't a better dishwasher, especially in stainless steel. I'm just wary of the price of the protection agreement, which is higher than most models in the under $500 range, which tells me repairs are more likely within 5 years than with other models.

    If you'd like to see a good Kenmore model for a price fairly close to what you're looking at, I'd recommend looking at 13463, which is one of the lowest-priced models with nylon racks. Nylon will help prevent rack rust better than the traditional cheaper PVC plastic.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Randy,

    Thank you for the insight and for providing an option to look at. Given the current price and the feature set of the Frigidaire Gallery model, I am going to roll the dice on that one. Surprised there aren't any reviews on it but I will provide one after a few months of operation.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi

    Thanks for this blog. I am so confused and wanted to see if you can help me in choosing the right Dishwasher. I was going for the electrolux icon because of its features but many are saying not to get it.
    I have the Sears protection plan of 1300.00 I can spend.
    These are features that are important to me as we only use the DW once or twice a week only.
    I need to choose it this week:
    -stainless
    -hidden controls
    -drying heat
    -air dry
    -some sort of food disposal
    -quiet
    -adjustable or racks
    -cancel and drain
    -not too complicated to use
    - a strong brand

    I mostly wash by hand but if i get use to the DW then i will start using it daily
    I am open to all models.....please let me know and thanks again....
    Happy Super Bowl.....
    D

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Electrolux Icon is a nice enough machine, but you can certainly get a much better performing machine for that money.

    I'm aware that you're looking at KitchenAid, and that is a very good direction. I'd also recommend looking at the Kenmore Elite models, such as 13193 or 13163, which is incredibly quiet, very efficient, and one of the best dishwashers available in America.

    If you'd like to look at comparable KitchenAid models, consider KUDE70CVSS or KUDE60FVSS. If you can hold off until February 12, you'll find yourself able to get any of these machines with your replacement funds.

    The filtration system is extremely reliable, as it's the standard in Europe (which is why Bosch models all use this system). And, there's an enhanced wash system that creates higher pressure in the wash arms for increased cleaning power without using more water or energy. Just give the filter a rinse in the sink every month or so to keep it happy.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Randy,
    We have a seven year old GE Triton XL GSD6600 and it simply doesn't clean our dishes very well. Most of the time it leaves grit in the bottom of the cups on the top shelf. The holes in the top rotating arm get plugged which might contribute to the cup problem, and I wonder if the grinder/filter is working properly. I have to take the arm off frequently to clean it out.
    Another example of lack of cleaning is it won't take peanut butter (not even dried on) off a knife. People tell me their dishwashers have no problem with this.
    This leads me to my question: Should I expect a new dishwasher to perform better than this? Even a lower to mid level unit? Am I expecting too much from mine? I like the idea of the triple filtration system over the grinder (which mine has)
    So what would you recommend as a replacement to my GE? I have done some research and I think a Kenmore unit looks best. Is the removable filter in the triple filtration worth having over the self cleaning ones? 13249 vs. 13129. Is the 13129 worth the extra money as far as getting the dishes clean? I was hoping to keep it around $600 but if a little more is worth it, I will go higher. I just want a good cleaning machine, but I don't need multiple cycle options etc.
    Thanks,
    Todd

    ReplyDelete
  24. Welcome!

    When you say the cups have grit in the bottom, do you mean the cups are ending up upright and filling with water and grit, or that grit is sticking to the inside of the glass? If it's the former, it could be a loading issue, as any dishwasher with upright glasses will leave food residue (the black bits) in an upturned glass.

    However, if it's not that, and the glasses are still upside-down, then there are bigger problems.

    As there's a huge sale going on right now, and as your dishwasher likely doesn't have much more life to it, you'd do well to look into a new model.

    The 13129 is an excellent machine. I have a full description of it in the "Kenmore Bargains" section. It's one of the best performing dishwashers Consumer Reports tested last year. The 13249 is also a very good dishwasher, but you do lose many important features:

    *TurboZone
    *Filtration system (efficiency)
    *UltraWashHE wash arms (increased pressure)
    *Quiet (1312X is 52 decibels, 1324X is 57)
    *Adjustable top rack
    *Fold-down tines on the top rack
    *Quick Wash
    *Sanitizing rinse

    Wash performance is significantly better with the 1312X models, though the 1324X isn't a bad machine by any stretch. Just not as good.

    If silverware is a big concern, you might be interested in checking out a couple Maytag models. One that will be on the salesfloor at your local Sears would be MDB7809AWB (02217399000 on sears.com). It has steam to loosen tough stains on dishes, and it has SilverwareBlast, which directs concentrated jets of water onto the silverware at certain parts of the wash cycle. And, the price is right in the range you're looking for.

    With any of these, the most commonly used cycle should be the sensor washing cycle. It will save energy, usually run shorter than the other cycles, and should do the best job on every load. If you choose 1312X, use the TurboZone for casserole dishes, lasagna pans, or other baked-on caked-on stuff that you want to get clean, and stop washing them in the sink! If you choose the Maytag, be sure to try the steam on tough foods like oatmeal or egg or lipstick. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

    Order by February 16th to get the best bargain, no matter which machine you choose. Our biggest sale of the year ends then!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Randy,
    Thank you for the speedy reply. Yes, when we get grit in the bottom of our cups, they are upside down on top rack and the grit sticks to the bottom inside of the cup/glass. Once again I noticed I have more spray arm holes plugged with food pieces. I cleaned them out again, both on the very top arm and the arm under the top rack, and ran the washer. This time there wasn't any grit in the cups and the dishes were cleaner. With this GE washer, should I expect to have to clean these spray arm holes on a regular basis? They plug every 2 months. If this is normal operation I will live with it, but if it is a sign of things to come, I will buy the 13129.
    A friend of mine owns a Hometown Sears store and he can get the price down to around $650, good until Feb. 16th. Seems like too good to pass up.

    Is this a no brainer in your opinion? Or do I just need to keep flushing out my spray arms?

    Thanks Again

    Todd

    ReplyDelete
  26. I purchased a new Whirlpool dishwasher model GU3600XTVY from sears. I read a lot of good reviews about it. When I received it, I was surprised that the lower rack is not wide enough to stay level. The rack keeps dropping to where the sprayer and the heating element are. The wheels on the lower rack are also very flimsy. I don't know if the design is just that bad or I just received a dud.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi again, Todd!

    Sounds like the GE is finished, if it's gritty with the cups upside-down.

    The sale going on right now that you refer to is fantastic. Take advantage of it while it's here, because it's the steepest discounts outside of Family & Friends night (and, in most cases, even including Family & Friends night).

    By all means, go for it! You'll be thrilled with the new Kenmore Elite. It's a great machine, and everyone who's bought one from me is just head over heels for it.

    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  28. To the person with the new Whirlpool dishwasher:

    It sounds like the rack may be defective, or else the dishwasher's tub has been deformed. In either case, it's not normal and it sounds like a dud, and I would recommend that you call 800 4 MY HOME if you've had it for more than 90 days. They can remedy the situation. If it's under 90 days, I'd recommend you call or visit the store where you made the purchase and tell them what's going on. They should be able to take care of you.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Randy,
    We went ahead and bought the 13129. It will be here in two weeks. Thanks for all your help, I'm sure we will love it. Anyway, your comment about not washing dishes in the sink has prompted a few basic questions about using a dishwasher. It's just me and my wife so it can take a few meals to fill the dishwasher up. Should we wait until the washer is full before we run it? If not, how long can dirty dishes sit in the washer before we need to run it? It we don't run it after we load it, should we do a rinse or not. I have been told dishwasher soap needs food to work on, so a rinse only cycle seems like a bad idea. On the other hand, it seems like left-on food won't come off if it sits too long (especially oatmeal). Just curious on your insight on dealing with a small number of dirty dishes for each meal.

    Thanks again Randy,

    Todd

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi again, Todd!

    For maximum water/energy savings, full loads should be run every time. However, there's nothing wrong with running smaller loads more often.

    Some people were in the habit of washing dishes by hand daily because they were afraid of odor or food getting stuck on dishes. If this is the case, go ahead and run it after a day or two's worth of dishes have been loaded.

    And, take advantage of the TurboZone when you've got large baking dishes to wash. No more washing in the sink before washing in the dishwasher!

    Enjoy your new dishwasher. It's one of the very best models available today!

    ReplyDelete
  31. We have 8 kids so we are unusually hard on appliances. I have had 3 dishwashers in 7 years, not one cleaned the dishes. I spend too much time pre-washing before I load. I am certain there is a very heavy duty dishwasher out there that will wash well, I don't care about noise, features, etc, just huge capacity that will clean the dishes. I had the same problems with clothes washers, had to pre-spot, every item, took forever. Got a Maytag front loader that changed my life! I now only do 1-2 huge loads a day instead of 3-4! I pre-spot NOTHING and our clothes are super clean. I am praying for the same kind of help by way of a great dishwasher. Please help. My Maytag washer was not mentioned in consumer reports, but others I tried were and they didn't clean.So now I dont trust consumer reports on our special large family heavy use. Any help is appreciated. A workhorse that doesnt break down would be ideal

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello again Randy,

    I originally wrote to you as anonymous on 1/19/10 at 10:01 a.m.. I was asking your opinion on dishwashers 1312 versus 1374, because I was not happy with the 1389 that I had purchased, it was defective.

    I returned the 1389 and went with the 1312. Great dishwasher so far. Have always prerinsed and/or washed oatmeal bowls and baked on cheesey glass casarole dishes before loading into the dishwasher, using smart wash only, no turbo zone, they now come out spotless.

    I am still concerned that 1312 is noisy when compaired to my 9 year old Kenmore dishwasher. It was an Ultra Wash Quiet Guard 2 with a self cleaning filter. The old dishwasher was VERY QUIET, it had the self cleaning filter and a 1/5 horse motor as did the NOISEY 1389 I returned. The 1312 has a smaller 1/5 horse motor. It makes groaning sounds 3 times whenever it drains water in the first 20 minutes or so of the cycle, until the powerball tablet thumps out of the dispenser. Sometimes it will make that noise one more time when it drains, then it quiets down and I don't hear it again. Otherwise, I hear the water circulating, which I could not hear with my old dishwasher. Are these sounds NORMAL? Are the new more energy efficient dishwashers going to be noisier because of the technology? If that is the case I will shut up and be happy that it does a good job cleaning tne dishes. We did add the sound insulation blanket from the old dishwasher on top of the new one after our experience with the 1389.

    Also, the inside of the dishwasher seems to stay wet longer than my old one that had a plastic interior. The dishes are dry, but there is some spotting on the glasses that I did not have before. I always use Electrasol Finish all in 1 powerball tabs with jet dry. I have a water softener. After reading the instructions, I added the Cascade rinse agent that came with the dishwasher, it helped dry the interior of the dishwasher, but now the glasses have a funky irridescent white hazey film? Should I switch to powderd soap with Jet Dry or just go back to the Tabs by themselves and live with the wet interior? Any suggestions would be helpful!

    Thank you so much for your time, I really appreciated your previous help!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Theresa!

    With 8 kids, you're probably doing 2 loads of dishes each day, so capacity, cleaning performance, and efficiency are going to be the biggest factors.

    If I knew which dishwashers you'd tried in the past, that might help, but I can say that there are a few models that would probably make a lot of sense for your situation. Then, I'll offer some advice on extending lifespan and keeping performance where it should be.

    All are white; other colors are viewable on sears.com from each item's product page.

    Kenmore: 13102, 13742, 13122.
    Maytag: MDB7709AWW, MDB7809AWW, MDB8959AWW.
    KitchenAid: KUDS30IVWH, KUDE40CVWH, KUDS40CVWH.

    Now, for how to maintain high performance: Keep the machine clean. That means using Dishwasher Magic every couple months. Also, be sure to scrape then load. No pre-washing.

    If you choose a model with a removable filter like the Kenmore Elite 1312X, remove and rinse it at least every month (normally less often, but with this amount of use, it should be done more often). For models with a grinding disposal rather than a removable filter, I recommend disassembling the wash arm assembly at the bottom and cleaning out any debris at least twice a year. This will help prevent clogs that result in pump strain and failure, as well as clogs in the sump that prevent water from spraying at full force through the wash arms.

    If your water is really soft, I'd recommend using slightly less detergent than the dishwasher detergent package recommends for normal water. If you have hard water, use slightly more detergent than it recommends for normal water. Or, you can use pre-measured tablets or gel pacs. With hard water, try adding a tablespoon of baking soda to the pre-wash cup to help soften the water and increase the detergent's cleaning ability.

    Be sure to use enzyme-based detergents, like Cascade or Finish (formerly Electrasol). Don't use cheap off-brands, and don't bother trying any of the "crunchy granola" types, like "Sun & Earth." They simply don't work as well, and will just end up wasting your money. Whichever kind you use, be sure you have some sort of rinse-aid, whether it's built-in, like with the tablets/pacs, or in the rinse-aid dispenser as a separate product.

    For best cleaning, be sure to always use the heated wash option, and use the heated drying to get dishes dry and eliminate spots as much as possible.

    Because dishwashers deal with so much solid waste and water, maintenance is extremely important (and more important with heavy use).

    With the amount of use this will be getting, a protection agreement would also be an extremely wise investment. The annual preventive maintenance check-ups would help detect and remedy any possible issues that might be brewing that haven't presented obvious symptoms, and for more information about it, check out the "Tell me more about" section about protection agreements.

    Good luck, and let us all know what you end up choosing and how you like it!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Welcome back, "Anonymous!"

    I'm not sure what these "groaning" sounds are, but if they've occurred with both new dishwashers, I'm thinking it might have something to do with either the installation or the plumbing (though obviously I can't tell, being unable to see and hear your dishwasher myself). I would recommend having a technician inspect the dishwasher and, as part of the inspection, the installation. It may well be that something outside the dishwasher is causing noises.

    Also, I don't think I asked this, but is your dishwasher in an island? Hearing the detergent puck fall into the tub is very unusual for a model like this (I don't even hear it come out in my 7 year old Kenmore mid-range model). The 1312X model should prevent the detergent tablet from being audible.

    Your machine should be significantly quieter than your old machine. In fact, the published noise levels are based on the very loudest the machines get during a normal cycle in a normal wall-mounted cabinetry installation. 52 decibels is very quiet, so it would be surprising to hear noises from inside the machine without being in the same room.

    Regarding the tub remaining wet: are you using the heated dry option? If not, do so. While dishes will dry without heat, the tub doesn't dry as completely without heat.

    My advice is to have a technician inspect the installation by calling 800 4 MY HOME. With two separate machines of different models (one a dud) making more noise than normal, it's important to eliminate the factors that are not the machine to prevent unnecessary replacements (kind of like troubleshooting problems with a computer rather than just assuming the computer needs to be replaced).

    I'm glad that you're pleased with its cleaning performance. Make sure to rinse the filter every couple months or so (more often if you use it more than a couple times a week), and enjoy the TurboZone with some of your more challenging items.

    Good luck, and be sure to let us all know what you find out!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Randy,

    Anonymous again! You can call me Anny!

    The dishwasher is not in an island it is installed along a wall of base cabinets under a pass through snack bar, the wall behind the cabinets and on the dining room side is cement block shimmed out with drywall on top. I could not hear the dish soap tablet fall out with the old dishwasher or the 1389, I can hear the 1312 in the livingroom! I did not know the old dishwasher was running unless I was standing next to it or when the water was running out into the sink drain.

    The 1389 dishwasher was more than a minor groan, the water circulating sounded like a thrashing machine and the door leaked. The 1312 is definitely the pump motor, the first 20 minutes or so into the wash cycle when it starts to pump water out it groans 3 times (ummm, ummm, ummm,) after the soap tablet drops the motor is VERY Quiet and the only thing I hear for the next couple of hours is when the water drains into the sink. It is almost as if once it gets warmed up it quiets down. Is it going to make that noise because it has a smaller motor than my old dishwasher and the 1389 causing it to work harder to pump the water out? I only do about 3 loads a week and have only done about 6 with this dishwasher.

    My husband does all maintenance, repairs, etc. around our house and installed all 4 of our dishwashers. I'm not saying he never makes a mistake but, he is a mechanic and it is not as difficult as changing the engine in your Buick! After the problem with the 1389, he replaced EVERYTHING going in and out of the 1312 dishwasher, including adding the old sound insulating blanket on top of the new one. He did have a little pipe chatter when he first hooked it up but, he soon cured that problem.

    If I call for service is there a charge (within 90 days) if something is wrong with the installation? I have heard horror stories that the repairmen feed you a line so they can charge you for SOMETHING because the appliance itself is under warranty?

    Concerning the water spots, I have only used smart wash with heated dry. Because I have a water softener, am I using too much STUFF with the Finish all in one tabs AND the Cascade drying agent, this caused a thin white, hazy, iridescent film on glasses with no spots or excess water on the interior of the dishwasher? Should I switch to less powdered soap plus a drying agent? Or should I just go back to the Finish all in one tab alone and live with a few white water spots and no iridescent haze, but a wet dishwasher interior?

    I appreciate your input, quick response and patience with all of my questions!!! I just don't know if my concerns are NORMAL because of the new technology, if I am being too picky because my 2 previous Kenmore dishwashers were so GREAT in every way, or if I need to call repair, which does not make me a happy camper because the 1389 was already a dud now this one???

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ok, we'll start with the easy stuff. :)

    Soft water needs less of everything, so let whatever rinse-aid you've added to the dispenser run its course (running empty loads without detergent will help speed this along). Then, just use the Finish tablets.

    Also, if you're still in the habit of washing your dishes before loading them, you are going to have to break that habit. Because your old machine used significantly more water, it diluted the detergent significantly more. That means the detergent didn't miss not having food to work on quite as much. Now that you've got a much more efficient machine, you need to feed it. So, scrape, then load. No rinsing. NO RINSING! :)

    If, after these two changes, you still see haze, switch to a powder detergent and use the amount it recommends for soft water. I don't think that will be necessary, but we've always got to be prepared.

    As for the noises...it sounds like the machine might not have been installed completely level. The motor is designed to run level, and being unlevel can cause it to run noisily at lower speeds (like at the beginning of the cycle).

    Of course, I can't see your machine, so I'd recommend setting a torpedo level on the lower track of the dishwasher. If the machine is level, the track is level, too. Then, set the level along the bottom edge of the inside of the door. This should be level as well (perpendicular to the track, in other words). This way, we can determine if it's level front-to-back and side-to-side.

    If it's not level, it may be as simple as putting a shim under one or two of the wheels, or adjusting the leveling legs in front. That's something that would have to be determined based on the results of the level tests.

    And, if it is completely level, or if you set it level and it continues to make noises, do call 800 4 MY HOME. I can't say for sure if there would be any charges for the trip if it's the installation or plumbing, but they can tell you over the phone, which can help you figure out your next course of action. But, check that it's level first. It's free, easy, and fast.

    And, one other thing...I was just thinking, if you can hear the detergent fall in, that may indicate a shallow area of water, which may be a sign of being unlevel. I can't say for sure that's the case, but these things together kind of make that sound like a reasonable culprit.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Randy,

    We live in an old home and used to have a frigidaire. During winter we always had an error message regarding the water temperature. I think it doesn't come at the 120 degres expected. I tried running the water before starting the dishwasher but then we would had this problem later on...
    We are French, so we are used to appliances having an heating element and requiring only cold water to work. Meaning that this element will heat the water at the desire temperature during the whole cycle. Is it possible to find this kind of appliances here?
    Right now we are looking for a Dishwasher but we will soon have to buy a washing machine also.
    Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello there, Leila!

    It's great to get a European's perspective on appliances, as there are some definite differences between what's available for the European market and the American market.

    I'm sure you've noticed the standard of 120v in household outlets. Britons tend to be distressed at the lack of an electric teakettle.

    Your situation, however, is a little different. First, I'd recommend checking your water heater. Sometimes that's all that's required to get better performance. If it's set between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be hot enough for the washer to be happy.

    However, if winter temperatures are affecting the water coming to the dishwasher, I'd suspect your water pipes for the dishwasher run near an exterior wall with inadequate insulation. If that's the case, I'd recommend insulating that wall if at all possible, and definitely insulate the pipes with pipe insulating foam (available at most home improvement stores). Just find the right width, then put it on the pipes, taking care to notch it where there are bends, and tape the foam closed to keep it in place.

    While every dishwasher has a heating element to bring water up to the required 145-155 degrees Fahrenheit required for optimal cleaning and detergent function, if it doesn't raise the water 5 degrees within a certain amount of time, the dishwasher will assume the element isn't working properly. While it could be due to a failing element, inadequately hot water will also cause this error.

    And, no dishwasher will work properly with cold water. It is faster and more efficient to use pre-heated water than to heat tap-cold water to 150 degrees or so within the dishwasher.

    Now, you may be accustomed to dishwashers having a water softener. You'll find no such models among mainstream American models, but they are available through small independent retailers. Generally, though, it's better to use a whole-home water softener, which will be very kind to your dishwasher, washing machine, cooking, plumbing, hair, and skin.

    When you're ready for your new washing machine, let me know. I'd be happy to help. :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello Randy,

    My family is looking to purchase a new dishwasher. Our main concern is primarily the efficacy of the machine. We're not looking for sleekness (though stainless steel would be optimal) or many fancy functions. We just need the machine to clean VERY WELL and THOROUGHLY. What is the best machine out there? We're willing to shell out as much money as it takes because we've been dealing with a dying dishwasher that leaves residue of food all over our dishes and we just can't take it anymore. The extra features would be nice but really we need the meanest, toughest, cleaning dishwasher on the market right now. I cannot overstate how necessary it is for us to get a dishwasher that destroys every spec of dirt. Price is really not a factor. What is your professional opinion?

    We would really appreciate your input. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Lela!

    There are many great options for dishwashers, and the current Energy Star sale makes them even more affordable right now.

    For top-performing dishwashers that do the best job cleaning, check out the "Kenmore Bargains" section for dishwashers. The models mentioned there are fantastic at cleaning, very efficient, and quiet.

    Good luck, and take advantage of the big Energy Star sale!
    And, as always, make sure to use a good quality detergent that hasn't been sitting around forever (it goes bad after less than a year, so don't stockpile too much unless you use the dishwasher often). Cascade with bleach alternative and Finish (formerly Electrasol) powerball tabs are both great detergents.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm seriously considering the Kenmore 1389 which is about the price I want to pay and it has pretty good user reviews on the Sears site but I have misgivings about the controls and indicator lights being in the top of the door where they can't be seen when the door is closed. I guess selecting the wash type before closing the door is okay but what's the point of having lights indicating the status of the cycles where they can't be seen? Is there a similar model with front controls? By the way, I'm very impressed with the answers you provide to all the questions I've read here. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello there, Greg!

    The 1389X model is one of the top selling dishwashers we carry, and for good reason. Good performance (one of Consumer Reports' favorite models under $600), good price, and good styling.

    Generally, dishwashers are not installed with the door completely flush to the cabinets. Usually the door extends 1/2-3/4" from the cabinets, making the lights on the top panel visible. Though, the lights are kind of redundant while closed, as you'd already know which cycle options you chose, and it's not silent while running, so you'll know if it's finished when it stops making any noise.

    But, yes, you would most likely still be able to see the cycle progress lights while it runs, as well as the cycle option lights.

    Thanks for the compliment! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Greg Lippincott4/22/10, 10:00 PM

    Other than picking the features I want, my main concern is longevity without problems. My current dishwasher is a Kitchen Aid that I believe is more than 30 years old and still running. I don't expect a new one to last that long but I do want a lot of trouble-free years. It's hard to know how much weight to give the user reviews but the ones I see on the Sears site suggest the Kenmore 1389 has fewer problems and happier users than the 1310, 1312, 1348 and 1374. Do you think those somewhat pricier models are less reliable? If going to one of the higher level models brings with it more problems, I probably won't but if the reliability and general satisfaction are more or less on a par, I probably will. Your thoughts/comments?

    Thanks, Greg

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Greg!

    Those old Hobart-made KitchenAid machines were monsters, eh? You may need a shotgun to take that thing down! :)

    Honestly, all the models you mention have very good reliability. There are fewer customer reviews citing longevity for the 1389X model because it's new (it's only been out for a year).

    The 1312X, 1374X, and 1348X have all been out significantly longer (in fact, the 1312X and 1374X have both been out for at least 4 years). I'd have to check, but I believe the 1348X is also significantly older than the 1389X.

    Naturally, the longer something is available, the longer there is for issues to arise and be mentioned online. Add to that the fact that people seldom review things that work just fine, and are almost guaranteed to review things that fail, and you've got a recipe for wall-to-wall negativity.

    However, all the models you mention have extremely low failure rates, and Kenmore is one of the top brands for reliability, so I wouldn't hesitate in choosing any of those dishwashers.

    For my money, I'd rather have something with TurboZone than without, but if looks trump that extra boost in cleaning power, the 1389X is a bargain.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Greg Lippincott4/23/10, 10:36 AM

    Thanks for that reassurance. Do Sears installers come equipped with a shotgun to take down the old Kitchen Aid? One more thing, I've heard suggestions that using a surge protector can protect the machine's electronics and add to longevity. Is that a good idea and how would that be accomplished if Sears is installing the machine? In other words, can they provide a surge protector and I guess it would require a receptacle instead of hard wiring so can they do that or would I have to install a receptacle before they come? Do Kenmore dishwashers have any built in surge protection?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  46. Surge protectors are great, but dishwashers are generally hardwired when they're installed, and most are designed solely for hardwire installation.

    What might make more sense is a whole home surge suppression system, which can be installed at the fuse box or circuit panel. I'm not sure of the cost, as I'm not an electrician, but that would protect most everything in your home, especially the large appliances.

    There isn't any brand of appliance with built-in surge suppressors, because it needs to be replaced once it has suppressed a power surge.

    I hope that helps!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Randy,

    My husband and I are shopping for a new dishwasher. We have it narrowed down to the Kenmore 13249 and the Maytag mdb7609awb.

    I know the Maytag is slightly noisier of the two, but will be much nicer than our 15 year old GE. The Maytag also seems to have an "odder" top rack loading tray and less options than the Kenmore.

    With all that said, we were about to go with the Kenmore 1324, until I read that it has a self-cleaning filter (Ultra Wash)and no food disposal system, where the Maytag has both. I thought this was strange because looking at it in the store, it did have the larger grates at the bottom, unlike the Bosch model that has very fine grating at the bottom.

    After reading your remarks here, you seemed very knowledgeable and I wanted to check with you. Is it true that with this Kenmore model, I will have to remove the filter occasionally and rinse? I prefer to not have to "remember" to do this and I read a review on the Sears site where someone says it does have the disposal...

    Also, which model would you more likely recommend? And is there a way for me to tell when viewing the floor model if it really has the food disposal system installed or not.

    Thank you for your help and sorry for all the questions.

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  48. Sorry, I forgot to mention that according to the Kenmore 13249 owners manual:

    The wash module removes food particles from the water. The module contains a triple action filtration system that intermittently filters soil from the water.
    NOTE: If hard items such as fruit seeds, nuts, and eggshells enter the wash module, you might hear grinding, crunching,or buzzing sounds. These sounds are normal when hard items enter the module. To avoid damage to the dishwasher,
    do not let metallic items (such as pot handle screws) get into the wash module.

    There is no mention of a filter needing to be removed anywhere, and the above sounds to me like you would not need to clean a filter at all. Please help!

    Thanks again,
    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hello, Sara!

    The Kenmore has the same disposal system as the Maytag. For some reason, the disposal systems don't always get translated properly between manufacturer and website. But, it's the same guts. There is no filter to remove. Models like the Kenmore 13123 (on every Sears salesfloor) have UltraWashHE, and they have the removable filter at the bottom.

    That said, I do recommend dismantling the lower wash arm about once a year to check for debris and clean it out. Think of it like changing the air filter in your car. Sure, you don't HAVE to do it, but it will be much happier if to do it every now and then.

    Either dishwasher will be a good performer, though. They're both manufactured by Whirlpool, and share many internal components. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Randy:
    Primarily for noise reduction, I am considering the KitchenAid MODEL KUDE60FVSS. I have read about Whirlpool problems with 3/4" plastic male hose thread water inlet valve (instead of 3/8" NPT female brass). I understand a special adapter is required. Does the KitchenAid MODEL KUDE60FVSS use the same plastic inlet or does it have the brass fitting.

    ReplyDelete
  51. All of Whirlpool's dishwashers (Whirlpool, Maytag, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, and almost all Kenmore models) use the new adapter, which is a 5/8" inlet, just like a garden hose.

    The new adapter is available in the universal installation kit (02211000000 on sears.com), and makes it much easier to make a tight-fitting seal between the hose and the machine, without stripping any threads. It makes self-installation much simpler, and this is the new standard with all Whirlpool-made dishwashers.

    Because Whirlpool sells more dishwashers in America than any other manufacturer, as they go, so usually go the other manufacturers. While I can't guarantee the timeframe, I'd estimate that before 10 years are up, all brands of dishwashers sold in America will use the same adapter.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Would you recommend I buy a Bosch SHE55M12C, or Kenmore 13742 or Kenmore 13102?
    How important is a stainless steel tub?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi, Anon!

    To answer the first question, "yes." :) All three of those are very good machines. If you haven't had a Bosch before, though, you may be surprised by the size of the racks. I'm often told by customers that it's one of the main reasons they choose another brand. However, Bosch has improved its rack design to accommodate more/larger dishes. Despite the smaller amount of real estate they take up, they should hold about the same amount as either of those two Kenmore models.

    Also, be aware that Bosch dishwashers are going to have a triple filtration system (similar to the Kenmore 1312X model, which I have a write-up about in the right menu under the "Kenmore Bargains" section). This filtration system should be removed about once a month and given a quick rinse in the sink. It only takes a few seconds, but it does need to be done. This system increases efficiency and decreases noise without sacrificing cleaning power.

    That's not to say that an "American style" dishwasher doesn't need regular maintenance. It's just that maintaining an "American style" dishwasher (that is, one with an exposed element and no triple filtration system) generally requires tools.

    If you prefer the American style, go with either of the Kenmore models. The 13102 will be a nice step up, with a stainless steel tub. Both Kenmore models you mentioned have the TurboZone, which will blast off baked-on/caked-on food from dishes (as I'm sure you've read above!). It's an incredibly popular feature, and has helped make Kenmore's TurboZone models the most popular in the line-up for the last couple years.

    Now, you asked about the importance of a stainless steel tub. This is a good question. I did mention above the differences between stainless and plastic. Really, a plastic tub ought to last just as long as the rest of the dishwasher, if not longer. However, plastic can stain, and it doesn't dampen sound quite so well as stainless steel does. Stainless also doesn't hold heat as well as plastic, which helps a little in the drying cycle. Stainless steel is actually integral to Bosch's drying system, which is why you'll never see a Bosch dishwasher with a plastic tub.

    Honestly, they're all great dishwashers. It's going to be a matter of preference for racks, whether you want the TurboZone or not, and whether you want a stainless steel tub or not. Those are things that I really couldn't recommend for you. I'm sure whichever of the three you choose will serve you well.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  54. We would like to know if you have an opinion as to which of these machines is more reliable: GE PDWT380RSS, Kitchen Aid KUDE40CVBL, Kenmore 13123, or Kenmore 13192. We are replacing a Kenmore 1510481 which was bad in every way and is broken yet again -- thankfully Sears is giving us a full refund, and hopefully will also one day cut us a check for the floor damage. We are so gun shy, we have been washing dishes by hand for months -- are happy to have found this site!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Ford!

    First, I wouldn't recommend the GE. GE's really not a dishwasher company. Ranges, yes. Dishwashers, no.

    Among the Kenmore models and the KitchenAid, they'll be of similar reliability, as they're all Whirlpool products. Whirlpool is one of the biggest and best dishwasher manufacturers for the American market, so any of those three would be good choices.

    I do notice, though, that you mention a stainless steel, black, and white model. I assume you meant them all to be the same color, yes? Just making sure. :)

    The KitchenAid model gets you into the triple filtration system. The Kenmore Elite 1312X gets you the triple filtration system plus the TurboZone. The Kenmore Elite 1319X gets you the triple filtration system, TurboZone, and even quieter operation.

    The Kenmore Elite 1312X and the KitchenAid model are both priced about the same, so for the same money I'd take the Kenmore Elite. If noise is going to be an issue, then by all means get the Kenmore Elite 1319X, which will cut sound down to an almost imperceptible 47 decibels.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thanks Randy! Do you have any specifics as to why you would not recommend GE -- such as they break, or they use lousy O-rings or something? Just based on specs, GE seemed better to us because it used more water (which to us suggests it might actually get dishes clean like low-tech models in years gone by), forces the air out when drying (suggesting it actually dries the dishes, unlike the "convection" system in the lemon we have now), etc. Plus it was rated a decibel quieter. Based on our recent experience, we are concerned that Kenmore, aka Whirlpool, are not strong enough. We have a family of six and we use our appliances! We need something that gets the job done, day in and day out for the next six years.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hiya Ford. :)

    As much as I wish it wasn't true, GE's water-using appliances (laundry and dishwashers) simply don't perform as well for as long as Whirlpool-made products. It's not any particular thing, it's just a general thing.

    I wouldn't put much weight in water usage meaning washing power. Many models that use very little water actually have the best cleaning performance. What matters more is the shape and placement of the jets, the strength of the pump, proper water temperature, and the detergent used. Kenmore and Whirlpool absolutely dominate the Consumer Reports top 20 dishwashers, and cleaning performance is a huge factor.

    The heated drying in Kenmore's dishwashers and similar machines has proven itself extremely effective over the decades. Pushing the air out doesn't increase the drying, it just adds another component to the dishwasher. It's not that it doesn't work, it's that it's an additional layer of complexity where there needn't be one.

    Regarding noise levels: the human ear is only capable of detecting differences in noise that are 3 decibels or greater. So, a 1 decibel difference is meaningless when it comes to perceptible noise. A machine could detect it, but we never could.

    If the dishwasher is going to get a lot of use, I'd recommend going with the Kenmore Elites (or a similarly featured KitchenAid) and clean the filtration system a little more often (at least once a month). The only other thing I'd recommend, with high volume use, is using Dishwasher Magic or Finish Dishwasher Cleaner twice a year.

    The Kenmore Elite dishwashers are designed for lots of use and extremely effective cleaning. Given the very basic maintenance involved, they should give you many years of reliable service.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Randy,
    A few days ago my three year old GE dishwasher caught on fire. GE did not seem all that concerned and offered to repair the dishwasher at my cost. I, of course, declined that offer.

    So I'm now looking for a new dishwasher. I'm leaning towards either the Kenmore 1324 or the Whirlpool DU1055XTV. Right now my main requirement is a dishwasher that won't set my kitchen on fire. Can you tell me anything about the safety and perfromance of these two models.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi Lisa. :)

    As I'm sure you know, a dishwasher catching fire is extremely rare. Of course, I can't say that any particular product will or won't experience any kind of problem. That's just not possible. All I can really say is that it's extremely unlikely to experience fire with a dishwasher.

    What I can say is that the Kenmore is by far the better of the two dishwashers you mention, with features like nylon racks and a stainless steel tub.

    Both will have similar washing performance, but the durability of a stainless steel tub and nylon racks will help the Kenmore last longer (racks are one of the most common causes for buying a new dishwasher). This will end up saving you trouble and money in the long run.

    Be sure to use good quality detergent and a rinse aid if you don't have soft water, scrape then load, and use Dishwasher Magic every now and then to clean out the dishwasher.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  60. First, thanks for the great, well-written and informative blog. We're bookmarking it and will share.

    Our Kenmore UltraWash Dishwasher, model 15765, bought April 1996, has suddenly started tripping the circuit-breaker several times during the cycle. Seems to be getting worse.

    So...two questions: should we just go shopping for a new one, and...any ideas why it may have started this? I guess something is overheating or shorting, perhaps??

    One possible relevant thing is that we had a huge lightning storm a couple of weeks ago, in which the neighbors on either side sustained big losses--multiple flat-screen TVs on one side and the central air-conditioner on the other. We honestly can't remember when our dishwasher problem started--could have been before the storm but we don't know. (We probably only run a couple of washes a week.)

    Any overall thoughts on attempting a repair versus a new purchase....and what direction a repair might take? We lost nothing else at all during the storm, so don't know what kind of surge we may have had...apparently much less than our neighbors..

    Many thanks...and thanks again for the great blog.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hello, Jim!

    It sounds to me like there could be a couple things going on. There could either be a problem with the control panel that's allowing too much electricity to the heating element, and/or the heating element is malfunctioning (or a combination of the two). Of course, I'm not a technician, nor can I see your dishwasher. This is my best educated guess based on the information available.

    The fun of a power surge is it's impossible to determine in advance which particular items are going to be affected. The electricity simply does whatever it's going to do, and that's that. This is why it's always wise to have your television and computer on a surge suppressor. Unfortunately, there is not a surge suppression system for dishwashers.

    You could call a technician to diagnose the issue, but at 14 years old, the cost of repair versus purchasing new would probably make replacement more attractive. And, the savings you'd get with a more efficient machine from today would offset much, if not all, of the remaining difference.

    One thing you may want to consider as a household prophylactic is a whole-home surge suppression system. This would come before your fuse box/breaker box, and would serve to protect the home's entire electrical system from power surges/spikes. I'm afraid I don't know what these systems cost, but a licensed electrician would very likely be able to give you an estimate.

    In the meantime, what I can tell you about dishwashers is that they're currently in a model year transition (as are most appliances). I'll be in the process of reviewing a bunch of new products in the coming weeks. Right now, the Kenmore Elite 13123 is being sold off of sales floors, as is the Kenmore 13102.

    There is a new generation of Kenmore dishwashers coming, and the new series of Kenmore Elites will feature exclusive 360 degree PowerWash Technology. If you want to get familiar with this exciting new technology, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3psDKXmd8WI

    Much of the new Kenmore Elite line-up is available for order. However, right now, the only model available to view online is the Kenmore Elite 13963. The rest of the line-up should show up on sears.com within the next 3-4 weeks.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  62. PS Electrolux: re getting clean dishes: I found out from one of the techs that stainless steel lowers the water temp so be sure and have hot water which we did raise ours to 130 and we ran the hot water at the sink before starting the dishwater.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Re Electrolux Dishwasher Cascade stain at bottom of stainless steel tub can't be removed. We have tried Vinegar rinse, then poured hot water with vinegar and a little baking soda rinse over the white powder, washed dishes several times, nothing works. We have soft water. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hello Anonymous!

    Were you using powder or liquid detergent? What does the stain look like? Color, size? Is it ON the stainless steel, or is it IN the stainless steel? What part of the tub bottom is the stain on? Is it on the filter, or is it on the outer part? Is the stainless mirror finished? If you could provide answers to these questions, I might be able to suggest a possible remedy.

    As far as stainless steel reducing the temperature of the water, it has a nominal effect. If you use the heated wash option, you shouldn't need to raise the water heater's temperature above 120 or run the hot water at the adjacent sink.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thanks Randy for your response. I was using powder, the stain looks like hard water residue and is white. It is about 3x4". It is on the filter, the cucular area that has a screen like dull finish. It is not far from where the dispenser is. What happened, I think, is one day too much detergent got in the dispenser and I couldn't close it so I just left is open. That may have been the same day that I realized that the water temp from the sink wasn't hot enough.

    Now we use two teaspoons of Cascade and run the water until hot unless we have already been using the water at the sink and it already hot.

    Owning new appliances is like owning one of those fax pets or babies: there is no load and go!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Randy, excellent blog!
    We just ordered the Kenmore 13102 on this weekend's sale at 533.00. It is coming from a distant warehouse to the store here.
    I read your statement that this is discontinued now. Is it still a good choice? We need a machine now as our 16 year old Kenmore Ultra Wash 2 needs replacement, not worth repairs.
    Is the 360 washing technology worth waiting for? Any other comments on the 13102 you can make?

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hello again!

    It sounds like the detergent ate into the metal itself, scarring the finish on the filter plate. You won't be able to undo this, because it is a physical change to the surface, rather than a stain. However, it shouldn't present any functional problems. This would happen in pretty much any dishwasher. The enzymes and bleach, if left on a metal surface, will cause corrosion.

    If you decide you definitely don't want it to stay that way, you could order a new one. I don't know what the part would cost, but there should be a parts list in your user manual, and they should all be available through searspartsdirect.com.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi there, BW!

    The 13102 is an excellent dishwasher. Don't worry about the dishwasher being discontinued. Most appliances get updated annually, like cars. Appliances just don't have names in most cases, so they're not referred to as a 2010 model versus a 2011 model.

    The 360 technology is very cool, but you're not going to get it for that kind of price. It's exclusive to Kenmore Elite, and then only to the upper portion of the line-up.

    If it's already ordered and on its way, I'd go ahead with the 13102. You'll be very pleased with it. If you want to see the 360 PowerWash Technology, check out the youtube clip above. But, as most new models aren't available to view on sears.com yet, you won't be able to see much beyond that.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hi - I need a reliable, reasonably quiet dishwasher for a 2nd apartment. Nothing fancy/expensive, but good quality as I don't want to replace it in the next 10 years. What would you recommend? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Welcome to the blog!

    For a rental property, I'd recommend something very simple to use with durable design. To get the most bang for the buck, I'd recommend looking at Maytag's dishwashers.

    Consider Maytag MDB7759AWW (white), which is on sale right now for just under $500, but also has integrated controls with a stylish towelbar handle, stainless steel tub for greater durability, and it even has steam cleaning at a price point that is usually lucky to even have a stainless steel tub.

    Also, give the Maytag MDB7609AWW (white) a look, which is on sale right now for under $440. This one loses the integrated controls with towelbar handle, and loses the steam.

    Of course, I can't guarantee the lifespan of any appliance or anything else, but I can say that Maytag dishwashers have core components tested for 20 years of use (twice the industry standard). So, between that and the robust design, it should be a reliable dishwasher for you.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Would you please comment on the Samsung DMT300? I'm getting ready to order a diswasher, and each time I go through the Sears site, that one seems to come up as being well rated and as having the things I'm looking for at a good price (stainless steel tall tub, self-cleaning filter, food disposal, etc.). I usually buy Kenmore. My husband was concerned about any warranty work, but I assured him that Sears would cover it just like they do our Kenmore appliances. Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi there :)

    Samsung's dishwashers are pretty good, with very quiet operation and good washing performance. You're not going to find anything quieter at that price with comparable quality.

    You're right, Sears repairs what it sells, so it doesn't matter if it's Kenmore, Samsung, or anything else. Sears repairs it no matter who made it, or even who sold it!

    For additional peace of mind, consider a protection agreement, which gives you up to 5 years of coverage and annual preventive maintenance checks (among other benefits). The link on the right about protection agreements has lots of information about them.

    Good luck, and thanks for your ocnsideration!

    ReplyDelete
  73. When my 10-year-old Maytag dishwasher stopped running this year I grabbed my handy “Consumer Reports 2010 Buying Guide” and looked for a new one.

    I bought their recommended “Best Buy,” the Kenmore Elite dishwasher and had Sears install it.

    By the end of the week I was perplexed. The glasses and cups on the top rack came out dirtier than they went in. They were covered with a whitish film and several of them had grit stuck inside (they didn’t have grit going in).

    I thought perhaps it was just something in the new hose, so I let it go. Although I hadn't said anything to anyone, my housekeeper complained, “This dishwasher doesn’t get glasses clean.”

    I went to the Sear.com website and was shocked to see that this dishwasher had a 48% “thumbs down” rating from actual owners. How could that be?

    I found a YouTube video specifically on how to clean debris out of a valve in the bottom of the Kenmore Elite dishwasher of this exact model. I bought a 6-sided Torx screwdriver, unscrewed 4 screws and removed 3 parts. Sure enough I found a little pebble about the size of a split pea. This took about a half hour.

    The next load washed fine and I thought all was well. But on the next load it was back to making glasses dirtier. I just don’t have time to take apart and clean out this dishwasher every week.

    I went back to the Sears site and looked at all of the comments. A lot of people have this problem. Then I Googled “kenmore elite dishwasher +”top rack” I was shocked. There are pages of complaints about this specific dishwasher.

    I no longer trust Consumer Reports.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hi, Coffee!

    That's an unfortunate experience you've had. With the huge numbers of 1374X dishwashers sold over the last 4 years or so, there's little surprise that there are some issues here and there. The more sold, the greater number of issues. However, the rate of issues is extremely low.

    Have you contacted Sears about your issue yet? If you call 800 4 MY HOME (469 4663), you can schedule a visit by a Sears service technician who can diagnose the issue and take care of the problem. If the dishwasher is still under warranty, and the issue is defect-related, there will be no charge for the visit, parts, or labor.

    In the meantime, be sure to use a good detergent (Finish and Cascade are widely recognized as the best), use a rinse-aid if not already present in the detergent, and use the heated wash cycle.

    Remember, machines don't have immune systems, so any issue will only get worse with time. They won't heal on their own. They need human intervention for that to happen.

    Good luck, and keep in touch!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I am considering a Kenmore 13120 and have read many conflicting reviews. Some say it's quiet and cleans well and some say it's loud and you have to wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I am confused and wonder about the performance of this model.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hello there. :)

    I'm actually not sure which model you're referring to. There's the 13102 and the 1312X (where X is 2, 3, 4, or 9). Which of these do you mean?

    In either case, they don't need pre-rinsing, unless there's something wrong with the dishwasher. They're all designed for dishes that are dirty (scrape, then load). Dishwashers actually need food on the dishes for the detergent to work properly.

    As for noise, there are two sources of noise: pipes (coming to and going from), and the machine itself. The 1312X is quieter than the 13102. The 1312X is 52 decibels, which is quiet enough that it won't affect your ability to hear a conversation going on right in front of it. The 13102 is a bit louder at around 58 decibels, which is probably quieter than your old machine, but not the quietest thing available. Installation also plays a part, and you can always add layers of sound insulation to buffer noise even more.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Randy,
    Thanks for all the great information. I was wondering if you could clarify the difference between the kenmore 1348 and the 1374. They appear to be identical besides the adjustable upper rack. However, does only the rack account for almost $200 difference between regular prices? Is the smart wash sensor the same on both as well as other componentry? Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hello, Anonymous visitor. :)

    The 1348X and 1374X are very similar. The 1374X has the adjustable top rack as you mentioned, as well as a cutlery holder on the bottom rack.

    All components (other than the adjustable rack and cutlery holder, obviously) are identical between the two machines. Same wash system, same SmartWash sensor system, same tub (except the 1348X has a gray plastic tub instead of white), same bottom rack, same silverware basket, etc.

    It seems you're mistaken about the regular prices, though. The regular price of 1348X is only about $90 lower than that of 1374X. $90 for a significant feature difference (adjustable rack, in this case) is pretty much the norm for dishwashers.

    Either model would do an excellent job, as the 1374X has been a Consumer Reports "Best Buy" for the last few years, with excellent performance and reliability. With 1348X having only a non-adjustable rack as a variation, the cleaning performance will be the same.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Thanks for the fast answer! I think maybe the store had the wrong prices. I realized the sale prices were only about $75 difference between the two. We ended up deciding on the less expensive 1348. We have ran one load through it so far and it appears to work very well.

    I also wanted to mention that our initial choice was a Maytag jetclean MDB7609AW. However, we ended up having a real problem with that model. We noticed that when we didn't have a full load of dishes in the bottom rack (likely deflecting the water from the spray arm?) it would leak from the lower front right corner of the door as you would hear the washing cycle spin. We thought we had a defective model, so we exchanged it for another and it did the same thing! I checked leveling and seals and anything I could see. I could not see where the water was coming from or anything visibly wrong. It seems hard to beleieve that two in a row would have the same problem!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Randy,
    Please compare Kitchenaid kud30ivbl for $560 sale price vs. 2009 Kenmore Elite Stainless Steel and black 13123 for $640 sale price.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Regarding the Maytag dishwashers leaking: very unusual. If they came from the same batch, which is possible, there might be something wrong with that particular batch. Or, something could have happened to the few specimens that were sent to your area's distribution center between the factory and your home. It's hard to say. Obviously, it's not a predictable or normal feature of those machines! :)

    Glad to see you've got a dishwasher that's doing the job for you. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  82. To the anonymous poster asking about a comparison of the KitchenAid dishwasher versus the Kenmore Elite: I can't find any KitchenAid dishwasher with that model number. KUD needs to be followed by another letter, V or C most likely. And, I believe the 30 should be 03. If you could get back to me with the missing letter, that would make a comparison possible. At this point, there are several models that you could be referring to, and the best I would be able to do is guess. Also, are you aware that you're asking about models in different colors? Just want to make sure. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  83. I have been learning a great deal from your informative blog. Thank you for that! I am replacing a 10 year old Maytag which did a fantastic job with huge loads of un-rinsed dishes for all that time. I an trying to decide between the Maytag Jet clean versions and the Kenmores with Turbo zone. I am willing to spend in the range of $500 to $800 to get a machine that will clean really well. Super quiet is not my main concern. I'd value your input. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Welcome to my blog!

    Maytag's new line-up is pretty darn good. Keep in mind that "Jet Clean" is just the wash system, like "UltraWash" on Kenmore. It's not a special feature for extra cleaning power. Sounds like it is, though, doesn't it? Just one of those industry things.

    If you want the added cleaning power of TurboZone, though, you might want to check out the Kenmore 13742. It's a perennial Consumer Reports high performer. It's probably quieter than your old dishwasher, but it's in the average noise range of today's machines. It has a plastic tub and does a great job cleaning.

    If you want the best cleaning performance available without TurboZone, consider the new Kenmore Elite 13922. This model sports a stainless tub and the Kenmore Elite-exclusive 360* PowerWash Technology (see it in action on youtube), which cleans the whole bottom rack, including the corners!

    Either of these would be excellent choices.

    If you'd like a Maytag, consider this Maytag model, which has SilverwareBlast, to clean your silverware better than any other dishwasher.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Help us please!!! There is so much information out there about all of the different dishwashers that it is confusing! We think we have narrowed it down to these 2 machines: ASKO D5253XXL vs. Kenmore 13183. We are concerned about the realiability and have read pros and cons about each. Which one would you choose and why.
    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi there, anonymous visitor!

    First, I do need to update my dishwasher page, as I still have the 1312X and 1318X up there! The 13183 is discontinued and might not be available, depending upon where you live.

    However, there is a new version that has an improved wash system called 360 PowerWash Technology. I've posted a youtube link to video of this new wash system in action above.

    Check out the Kenmore Elite 13963. It's got 360 PowerWash Technology, TurboZone, the UltraWashHE triple filtration system, and it's only 46 decibels, which is virtually silent. It's one of the best dishwashers in the new Kenmore Elite line-up, and I'd definitely suggest it over the Asko for a couple simple reasons:

    Asko makes a very good dishwasher, but isn't a common brand in America, meaning parts (should they be necessary) will be significantly more difficult to get.

    Asko also won't have as many technicians trained to repair them, unlike Kenmore.

    And, of course, with the Kenmore Elite, you've got the option of the Sears master protection agreement, which gives you five years of complete coverage and annual preventive maintenance check-ups.

    I've seen other dishwashers with third racks, and they seldom perform as well as a full rack. Not to mention the reduced flexibility for loading that the middle rack causes. With the Kenmore Elite's adjustable top rack, you've got much more flexibility for dish sizes in the upper or lower rack.

    I'd whole-heartedly recommend the Kenmore Elite 13963.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Thanks for your advice Randy. I do want you to know that I can still get the Kenmore 13183 for $680. which is why I asked about it. For the money, do you still recommend the 13963 which is $1500?
    Thanks,

    ReplyDelete
  88. Wow, for $680, definitely take the 13183! You'll be thrilled with it, and it's an incredible bargain at that price. That's one of the great things about transition time: display models get reduced, and you can end up with an amazing deal. So, go for it and enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Randy: What an amazing job you've done!

    Ok - I'm not sure if anyone else is having this problem, but it seems that I'm caught between old reviews by Consumer Reports and new models being released by Sears.

    After spending a fair amount of time reading through all the Consumer Reports stuff, I had pretty much settled on Kenmore as my first choice from a brand perspective.

    Although Hotpoint and Whirlpool had slightly less "repairs" records (as rated by consumers), Kenmore was third. But when I started to do my narrowing by ratings, I chose all brands, any price, but put "cleaning" ability at the maximum and "noise level" at the second to the maxium, the top models it spit out were Bosch (2), Kenmore (3), LG (1) and KitchenAid (1).

    I don't think I want the Bosch because of the lack of heated drying, so I focused on the Kenmores.

    The models it listed were: Ultrawash 1315 ($1100), Ultrawash 1312 ($780) and Pro 1317 ($1280).

    Black is the color I have to have.

    I thought it would be easy enough to just go to Sears and purchase one of these - all things being equal, why not go w/ the cheapest (it was actually the highest rated) and get the 1312.

    Well, I can't find any of these models on Sears.com (I was able to find the 1312 at an outlet center, and am checking what type of "blemishes" it might have - it's probably a floor model and is only $680, but they don't offer delivery or installation and that has me a bit concerned).

    So - after doing a bit more reading and looking at the hundreds of (I guess) newer Kenmore models, I finally stumbled across your blog and am very excited that you may be able to help me!

    From what I've gleaned, it appears that maybe I should be looking at either the 1392 ($699) or the 1396 ($1249). Of course, maybe there are others I should look at as well. So... here are my questions:

    1) Is the 1312 at $680 worth getting from the outlet center?
    2) Are the 1392 and 1396 the right models I should be looking at? (If not, what do you suggest)
    3) If so, can you compare and contrast the two models for me?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hey Jeff!

    Well, first, $680 is a fantastic price for the Kenmore Elite 13129. Of course, I can't see it, so I have no idea what condition it's in, or what (if any) repairs may have been done to it. But, if it's in normal working order, it's a steal. You simply are not going to get that kind of dishwasher for that kind of money under normal circumstances.

    Right now is a big transition time. Lots of last year's models are disappearing, and this year's new stuff is coming in, which is why you're not finding the Consumer Reports-rated Kenmore models on sears.com anymore.

    I actually had a Kenmore Bargains - dishwasher page for the 1312X dishwasher here, and I've now updated it so the Kenmore Elite 1393X is the new Kenmore bargain model. If you go here, you can read all about it.

    It's basically the 1312X, but with integrated controls, and without the adjustable top rack or TurboZone. The 1392X has the traditional control panel. The 1394X is the direct descendant of the 1312X.

    All three of these are going to be quieter than the 1312X (49 decibels rather than 52 decibels), and all three of these will have 360* PowerWash technology rather than the higher pressure "S" wash-arm on the bottom. The heating element is also recessed, so it's got greater contact with the water to heat faster and more thoroughly.

    Give them a look. I think you'll be impressed.

    Thanks for coming, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hi Randy,

    I am interested in a portable dishwasher. I always come back to the kenmore models. Here's the one on craigslist that I may be interested in. I am hoping the man will take $300.00. I am a single mom and dollars are stretched. tired of washing dishes. what do you think of this dishwasher? I can't compare the difference with this one(is this the 17769 model and the 1774. here it is "This Kenmore Ultra Energy Star Diswasher was used twice a week by a couple for 6 months. There is nothing wrong with it. Origonal price was 595.00

    This dishwasher is on wheels and rolls to the sink, plug into faucet and roll it back when you are done. It is exactly like a built in. 24 inches. Sears offers a conversion kit if you want to put it under the counter later. Save over 200.00 and buy this if you need a Kenmore portable - this is a top rated machine. " Randy is this the model 17769. I finally pulled it up i think...what do you say....thanks for checking Ps I have the kenmore oasis he washing machine and love it brought both new and still paying for them. I have the kenmore profile refrigerator and the ice maker has stopped making ice. i still get water. help!!

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hi Debbie!

    The 1774X replaced last year's 1776X. The features should be the same, with the only important difference being the look of the control panel.

    The best portable dishwasher is basically the lowest level built-in dishwasher. It's smaller inside, its cleaning performance isn't as good, and its efficiency is often poor (Energy Star ratings really don't mean much of anything for dishwashers these days, unfortunately).

    However, if there isn't anywhere to install a built-in dishwasher, they're a better option than hand-cleaning all the dishes, as they'll still be more efficient and require far less work than a scrubbie and a sink full of water.

    If your kitchen will only allow for a portable, go for it. It will save you time, energy, and water.

    I'm glad you're enjoying your Oasis washer. It's a wonderful machine, isn't it?

    As for your refrigerator, do you mean Kenmore Elite, or GE Profile? Whichever it is, the icemaker should work (obviously), so I'd recommend calling 800 4 MY HOME to have a Sears repair technician diagnose the issue for you and give you an estimate for repair costs (if it's not covered by warranty or master protection agreement).

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hi Randy,
    I am looking for a new dishwasher that cleans well, is quiet and will last awhile. I am down to a Samsung DMT300 or a Kenmore Elite 1392. Which would you recommend and why. I have found very little feedback on Samsungs. I also have well and septic...does that make a difference? Thank you so much!!!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hi there!

    Between the Samsung and the Kenmore Elite, I'd recommend the Kenmore Elite. It has the 360 PowerWash system on the bottom for the industry's best wash performance on the bottom rack. It has a very quiet 49 decibel noise level and the UltraWashHE system with triple filtration for greater water and energy efficiency.

    Without a doubt, the Kenmore Elite 1392X is one of the most economical high-performance dishwashers on the market.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Hi Randy,
    Great Blog! We're debating between a floor model 13193 for $900 and current year 13943 on sale for $905. However, by glancing at the features, is seems that the the "replacement" for the 13193 may be the 13953 - is that so??
    We're looking to replace a KE Ultrawash 16483 from '03-'04 that died. Basically looking for the same features adjustable rack, fold down tines, etc, with the "current" technology upgrades. Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hey there!

    Your interpretation is correct. The 13193 is the direct predecessor to the 13953. The new 13953 has a couple new features, like the recessed heating element for quicker water heating, and the 360 PowerWash system.

    If you prefer the styling of the 13193, go for it. If the styling can take a backseat to even better washing performance, go for the 13943.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  97. Thanks for your answer. (re: the 13953 vs 13193). Does the 13953 have 360 PowerWash? The reason I ask is because on the Sears website it doesn't seem to include that in the specs or titles like it does for the 13943 or 13963. Also, if that is the case, is the 13953 one of the models made by Bosch? Just guessing because of the "turboclean" technology, which I was contrasting to the "turbozone with rotating spray jets" in the 13193. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  98. MY APOLOGIES!!!

    I was misremembering the dishwasher numbers. The 13953 is a Bosch-manufactured dishwasher. 13963 is a more direct successor to the 13193, as it's a Whirlpool-built machine. The 13953 does not have 360 PowerWash, but 13943 and 13963 do have it. Descriptions of the 13943 and models around it can be found at the "Kenmore Bargains" section at the right side of the blog.

    Thanks for the good catch. :)

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hi Randy

    This is a fantastic blog and I learnt a lot from reading your articles about dishwasher and washing machine. Currently, we are looking to buy a dishwasher from Sears over the thanksgiving weekend. We are looking at the Kenmore elite 1392 and the Samsung DMT800RH.
    Our concern about the Kenmore is the lack of a food disposal system and the need for manual cleaning of the filter. On the other hand, we are concerned that Samsung lacks a heated dry and there are fewer reviews of Samsung.

    I would really appreciate your advice.
    Thanks again!
    Shankar

    ReplyDelete
  100. Hi Shankar!

    It sounds like there might be some misunderstanding about how the filtration system works in the Kenmore Elite model you referenced. The triple filtration system flushes itself out at the end of every wash cycle. The most you ever have to do is pop it out about once a month and give it a quick rinse in the sink, then pop it back in.

    The grinder-based disposal systems also need maintenance, though most people don't do it, because it's nowhere near as easy as with the triple filtration system. You have to remove the bottom wash arm, remove the bottom filter, and take out about 20 screws to get at the actual disposal, and there can be bits of food at just about every level leading to the disposal.

    When was the last time you did something like this for regular dishwasher maintenance? Probably never, as is the case for about 99% of people with an "American style" dishwasher. But, failure to maintain it can result in odor, poor wash performance, sump clogging, or even failure.

    Some people confuse the triple filtration system with the filter cups that small or drawer dishwashers often use, which must be cleaned out between every use. This is definitely not the same thing.

    And, this system has been in use in Europe for a very long time, and it's the only system Bosch uses (Bosch and Whirlpool are the two best manufacturers of dishwashers - Whirlpool manufactures the Kenmore Elite dishwasher you're looking at).

    There's nothing to fear with the filtration system. It's very quiet, efficient, and effective.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  101. I am so confused about what to buy. I want something that is very quiet, washes great, and has a great repair record. Definitely need sanitizing and a delay option. I saw some good reviews on the Kenmore Pro Ultrawash 1317, but bad reviews on the 1312, 1315, 1374, and 1384 on the Sears website. What exactly is the difference between the 1317 and the rest? Why does one have such great reviews and the rest don't? I am replacing a F&P dishdrawer and want to avoid all the problems that I have had with it: leaking (ruined our newly refinished hardwood floors), constant repairs, and poor cleaning.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Hello there!

    Well, first, the 1315X, 1384X, and 1312X are discontinued, so they are no longer available for purchase.

    As for the disparity in the reviews, the Kenmore PRO model accounts for about 1-2% Kenmore dishwasher sales, while the models you mentioned account for about 60-70%. As a result, the number of duds in circulation for those models is necessarily going to be higher. More duds means more negative reviews. However, the guts of the 1312X and 1315X are the same as in the Kenmore PRO, with cosmetics and sound insulation being the only substantive differences.

    If you're looking for something with excellent performance, I'd highly recommend taking a look at the new generation of Kenmore Elite dishwashers. For a few great options, click here. If you want a model with even lower noise ratings or more premium features, let me know, and I'll be able to make some further recommendations.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  103. Great site!

    Any opinions on the Kenmore 13903 dishwasher? It has a nice 52db rating. Please explain the polypropylene with stainless tub. I was planning on purchasing the Maytag MDB7759AWS, but the price went from $466, $522, to $649.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hey Kent!

    The new Kenmore 13903 is a Bosch-manufactured Kenmore dishwasher with a stainless steel tub. The bottom of the tub is polypropylene, which helps reduce the cost.

    However, this design can reduce drying efficiency, resulting in spots or residual wetness. Generally, fully stainless tubs are superior to poly/stainless. But, if you don't have extremely hard water, if you use rinse aid (as recommended), and if you use the hottest settings, you shouldn't have any issues with it.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  105. Wonderful site!!

    I went to Sears all ready to purchase a GE dishwasher (GDWF1), priced @ $569. When I arrived there was a Kenmore 13193 floor model on clearance for $647. I was so torn, but opted for the Kenmore. I only run my dishwasher once or twice a week (live by myself). I was so torn, as I had spent hours researching and thought I had made a good pick with the GE. Comments please. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Hello!

    You definitely made the right choice with the Kenmore model. GE's dishwashers are generally not as reliable or effective as Whirlpool-made dishwashers (the Kenmore 13193 is made by Whirlpool). The machine you got is very quiet at only 47 db, it has the TurboZone for enhanced cleaning of cooked-on foods, and it even has a steam sanitizing option. Its cousin model 13173 (Kenmore PRO) rates very highly in Consumer Reports.

    Congratulations on an exceptional find. Enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi. Have a new GE dishwasher. Blue nylon rack. Problem: Upper rack rolls out half way, then supposed to glide on nylon pieces (look like rollers, but not) the rest of the way out. They are not gliding and seem to get stuck in the track. What solutions are there. WD40 was suggested, but worked for 1 or 2 washes only. Please help.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Hello!

    WD-40 won't work, because it's going to wash off. If there's resistance, it's most likely due to a physical obstacle or deformity of some kind. I would recommend inspecting the parts that glide against each other for any burrs or incompatible areas that would prevent smooth running. Try to locate where, exactly, bad contact is happening and see if there's a way to correct it. Lubricants are useless in a dishwasher. :)

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  109. Our dishwasher is a GE model with a stainless steel tub. After the heated dry cycle with added heat, the interior sides, back and top of the tub are soaked with water droplets. Other GE owners have this problem and some others don't. Would thermal insulation around the sides, back, and top of the tub prevent this? Is it possibly happening because the area under the counter where it is installed is cool due to the the winter climate and the stainless steel losses heat too quickly? (It is installed against an insulated exterior wall.) Any help is appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Hello!

    Generally, water is left behind when the water is very hard or if a rinse aid isn't being used. Do you live somewhere with very hard water? Does your dishwasher detergent have a rinse aid built in, or do you use a separate rinse aid?

    There isn't really anything you can do to insulate for heat. At least, not that will make any real difference. But, I doubt that's got anything to do with it.

    Get back to me with that info when you get a chance. :)

    ReplyDelete
  111. Hi Randy! Thank you for your informative blog. In deciding between a stainless steel or plastic tub, do you know of any health concerns regarding the plastics tubs when heated releasing any toxins like Blispherol-A? I've read that some older rack made with PVC release phalates, so I'm getting the nylon tines...
    Also, we have unfiltered well water, and would appreciate any recommendations you might have for selecting and maintaing a dishwasher for this situation.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Hello there!

    I know there's been a lot of press and worry about BPA, but rest assured that there is no discernible risk with a dishwasher's PVC racks. However, nylon is the better choice universally, because it's far more durable than PVC (10x more durable according to Whirlpool's laboratory testing). And, to quell any fears, nylon does not involve BPA.

    As for having unfiltered well water, a triple filtration system would be preferable over a grinder/disposal system, as there are fewer moving parts. Kenmore Elite, Bosch, Whirlpool Gold ResourceSaver, and KitchenAid SuperbaEQ dishwashers have triple filtration systems.

    For your own benefit, I would recommend a whole home filtration system, even if only for sediments. It would aid in the effectiveness of the dishwasher, but would also help extend the lifespan of water-using appliances in your home. There is a very inexpensive Kenmore whole home water filter available, and a much more effective and much less maintenance-requiring Kenmore Elite whole home filtration system. Unless you have PEX or similarly easy-to-alter plumbing, I would recommend having a plumber install either one.

    If you want any more specific assistance choosing a dishwasher, let me know.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Hi,
    My kitchenaid KUDI91ILBS6 dishwasher is not cleaning, doesn't sound like the arms are rotating, water is filling up and top rack is getting wet. The clean light was flashing 7 times and I reset it. heating element is touching water. The motor does sound louder than usual. I removed the bottom arms but stopped at removing the bottom round thing as it needed a special screwdriver. Should I buy the screw driver and see if the macerator is clogged? It is only 6 years old and I am disappointed with Kitchenaid. Should I repair or buy new one?
    Sears is charging $129 here for service call plus parts.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Hello there!

    Well, it's difficult to say exactly what is happening. But, yes, I'd go ahead and disassemble the bottom.

    You'll need a T20 Torx screwdriver bit. Your local Sears store has a T-handle screwdriver on a chrome rolling rack for just a few bucks, and the T20 bit you'll need is available over with the drill bits in a small set for around $5.

    I'd definitely want to get down to the pump, as there may be a chunk of bone, glass, or plastic down in there blocking the water flow. Of course, I can't say that this is the problem, but a maximum outlay of $10 to check it out would be worthwhile.

    I've done it several times myself as basic maintenance, and it's simple enough. I recommend laying the parts out in a line, so you can easily re-assemble everything.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  115. Hi Randy,
    I purchased a Kenmore Elite 1396 at Sears today. Original price was $1200 and I got it for $380 because it was in the scratch and dent section. Nothing appears wrong with it and the associate said nothing was wrong with it. I was so excited about this deal until my handyman told me Kenmores do not last, and they frequently need repairs. He recommended a whirlpool for $279 at Lowes (Model #: DU850SWPQ) instead. Please advise!! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Hello there!

    I'm afraid your handyman is wrong, and for two important reasons: first, Kenmore dishwashers have repair rates at or below the industry average, and guess who makes the Kenmore dishwasher you bought (and almost the entire Kenmore dishwasher line)? Yep...Whirlpool! Same factory, same people, same guts (except for Kenmore-exclusive features like Powerwash 360 or the TurboZone).

    Now, your handyman may see Kenmore dishwashers more often because they are the most popular brand of dishwasher in America, but they most certainly are some of the best and most reliable products on the market, and you got a fantastic bargain. Enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  117. I'm looking at the electolux dishwasher either 6305 or 6105 and the reviews I have seen are not great.

    After further research I am also looking at kitchenaid KUDE70FXSS.

    I am looking for a really quiet dishwasher that has decent features. I have to decide in the next day, any thoughts? Ideally I would like to spend a little less than these.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Hello!

    There are some things that each manufacturer does REALLY well. Electrolux is fantastic at ranges and laundry. Whirlpool is really good at dishwashers and laundry. So, given the models you've mentioned, the KitchenAid KUDE70FXSS would be the better option.

    Of course, that is the very top KitchenAid model, so there's plenty down the line to choose from.

    If you like a professional-style handle, you might want to look at the KitchenAid KUDE40FXSP. It has almost all the features of the top model, except without the third rack. Easy-adjust top rack, ProScrub jets, Superba EQ wash system, and a paltry 46 decibel sound rating for extremely quiet operation. This model is also available panel-ready, for custom cabinetry to give it a completely seamless, built-in look in your kitchen (panel and handle must be provided by you if you choose that version).

    If you like the traditional tapered KitchenAid handle, consider the KitchenAid KUDE70FXSS, which is basically the same dishwasher with a different handle.

    There are also a couple Kenmore Elite models you might want to look at, which will have the same (or better) features the same (or better) price. For instance, the Kenmore Elite 13973 has all the same features as those two KitchenAid models, but with the TurboZone jets (spinning instead of stationary for better coverage), AND it's a silent 43 decibels!

    Or, the Kenmore Elite 13963 dishwasher has the same styling as the previous model, but without the accessory caddy on the upper rack, and the same 46 decibel sound rating as the KitchenAid models, for an even lower price!

    The KitchenAid and these Kenmore Elite models have the same guts, made in the same factory by the same people, so the quality and performance should be equal or as close as you can get without it being the exact same machine. Depending on which style you like better, you can make a decision from there.

    So, now you've got models in the under-$1000 range, the $1100 range, and the $1200 range. But, it's only four. Find the style and features you like best and pick your pony.

    Good luck, and thanks for your consideration!

    ReplyDelete
  119. Thanks!

    This was extremely helpful. The reason I was looking at electrolux I am getting the induction built in range and wave fridge so thought I would match it but the reviews didn't look good.

    Thanks again for your assistance.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Hello Randy,
    been reading comments about Sears Kenmore 13963. All seem to like it, but one potential issue bothers me as mentioned by 2 reviewers. They comment that the vent is to the side of dishwasher and that this might pose a problem as steam will ruin cabinets. Our current Kenmore vents to the front, but I've noticed that very few in store models vent to the front. Do you think this side vent will be a problem?
    -Rene'

    ReplyDelete
  121. Hi Rene'!

    The side vents aren't actually to let hot air out (that happens at the bottom of the door); they let fresh air in. When the dishwasher has finished drying and has been off for a few hours, the vent will open automatically to let air in. This helps ensure dry dishes and prevents any potential odor that stagnant water might cause if it's left unattended for a day or two after finishing. The vent is closed up while the dishwasher is running. Have no fear for the vents. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  122. I have a portable Kenmore dishwasher Model# 665.17799992. I bought it used and am guessing it is 3-7 years old. It has been working great, but all of a sudden the door won't close. It acts like it is bumping into the top rack which is in all the way. There is nothing caught in the door-I checked. Does it need new latches and/or springs? How much would it cost for a repairman to fix?

    ReplyDelete
  123. Hello!

    It's hard to say exactly what the issue is, as I can't see your dishwasher. It could be that there's something caught inside where the latch enters the door, there could be something in there that's damaged and not letting the latch get in all the way...usually if it's sudden it means something was introduced that wasn't there before or has broken and is obstructing movement.

    If you're feeling handy, you might try taking a peek into the door mechanism where the latch goes and see if there's anything caught in there. As for what it would cost to fix, that really depends on who you call and what the parts end up costing.

    It's probably worth fixing, though, as the parts for the latch aren't terribly expensive, and even the most expensive fix for that type of problem wouldn't cost nearly as much as a new dishwasher.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  124. Hi -I have purchased a Kitchenaid KUDE60FVSS 18 months ago and it started blinking codes. I called a service guy and he said it was the motor. It was going to be about $350 to repair. Then on further inspection he said there was another issue with the electrical that would blow out a new motor so the only answer is to replace the whole unit. Does this sound right? I can't believe this model would crap out at 18 months. I looked around on line and a motor is about $50 (part 17 on the charts) but now I'm not sure if he meant the pump and motor (part 10) which is about $200 which is the part he took off one of the clamps. Is this a DIY project or is it time to replace?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      I'm sorry to hear you've had some issues with your KitchenAid dishwasher. They're generally very good products, so know that your experience, while unfortunate, isn't typical.

      I would strongly recommend calling KitchenAid's customer support number (866-422-1230), as the electronic control panels have a 2 year warranty. This will cover the parts only, so you'd still need a technician to install the control panel. I would not recommend trying to install the panel yourself, as the risk of damaging it while installing or installing it improperly could cause further problems. And, as the panels are rather expensive, you wouldn't want to risk having to buy one because you tried to save a buck. It would cost much more to buy the replacement AND have someone install it after it gets damaged than to just have someone install the warranty-covered panel.

      As for the motor, I would guess he was referring to the pump and motor, as they often are installed together. You might have some luck with KitchenAid directly regarding the motor/pump issue as well. I can't make any promises about what they might do, as I'm not Whirlpool nor do I work for them, but they might be willing to perhaps cover the motor damage if it resulted from the control panel's malfunction. Or, they might give you a break on the repair costs. It's definitely worth asking. The worst they can do is say no.

      At this early stage in its life, though, it's probably worth repairing, unless it was under $500, which KitchenAid dishwashers rarely are.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  125. Hi Randy, we have placed an order on the Kenmore Elite 13963 today since it was on sale. I was wondering what type of detergent you recommend us to us. should it be liquid or powder form? i think Cascade has both forms? what is a rinse aid? our water is not particularly soft. do you have other recommendations given that? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      That's a great model you've ordered. I think you'll be very pleased with it.

      I'm a big fan of the Finish products myself. Finish makes Quantum pacs (loose powder detergent inside a gel tablet) and PowerBall tablets (solid dry detergent). These pre-measured detergents ensure you're not overdosing (a common mistake), and they have rinse aid built in.

      Rinse aid (like Jet Dry and others) reduces the surface tension of water to create sheeting action, which prevents spotting on your glasses and dishes. Modern dishwashers are designed to use both detergent and rinse aid, so that's a big reason I recommend Finish. And, they have rated very well in consumer magazines. I've had much better results with them than with Cascade.

      If you have hard water, you might want to add half a tablespoon of baking soda to the pre-wash section of the dispenser to soften the water and enhance the cleaning power of the detergent. Also, if you've got hard water, use a product like Dishwasher Magic or Finish Dishwasher Cleaner every few months to eliminate mineral build-up and keep the machine clean inside. Yes, even dishwashers need to be cleaned, just as much as bathtubs do. :)

      Good luck, and enjoy your new dishwasher!

      Delete
  126. Hi Randy, thanks for the tip on the detergent. I'm now having a bit of "buyer's remorse" and am wondering if I should have gotten the KE 1392 rather than the 1396, because I was wondering if I will end up using all the "high-end" features that 1396 offers. The reason I was on the market for a new dishwasher is because our newly moved-in house has an ASKO, which has racks that are rotten and very hard to load especially for bowls. It is quiet though which is nice. The 1393 has similar racks to 1396 which are nice to load. The noise level is 51db which is more than 46dB by 1396. but that's probably still very quiet? So my question is what more do I really get in 1396 for the $300 more I have to pay. thanks. I still have time to change my mind. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome back!

      The 13963 is certainly the nicer model. In addition to having quieter operation (almost two full sound levels quieter, but, as you note, 51 dB isn't LOUD...but it is louder), it also has the TurboZone, which is fantastic for cleaning things like lasagna pans and casserole dishes the first time around. No more soaking, scrubbing, and then using almost the whole bottom rack just to re-wash it. The spinning jets in the back do the job for you without using more water or energy, and it saves you time and trouble, too.

      The racks on 1392X/1393X (same machine with different doors) are a bit more difficult to adjust, as you have to remove the rack, then put it back in on the other set of rollers. The premium adjusters are a simple lift to raise, and just press the thumb levers and push down to lower. The more difficult something is, the less likely it is to be used.

      What you like is up to you. The 13963 is definitely a terrific machine, and you got it at a great price. And, keep in mind that what you just paid for the 13963 is not $300 more than for the 1393X, but actually about $60 (see here and here). When you figure most appliances are owned for about 10 years, you're only talking about a $6/year difference. Even the 1392X is just a $10/year difference at $100 less.

      For a significantly quieter machine with easy-to-adjust racks and the TurboZone, it seems like the smart bet to me. But, it's your money. You have to decide if the time you spend soaking and scrubbing baked-on, caked-on food and easily making room for tall items on the top or bottom rack is worth $6-10/year. You've got to decide what your time and trouble are worth. I can't make that decision for you. :)

      Delete
  127. I just bought the discontinued Kenmore Elite 13953 for a discounted price of $785 due to it being discontinued. Certainly I bought the 5 year extended warranty too. Did I make a good decision Randy? Is this a good dishwasher that will serve our needs well for the years to come?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      That's a good model. It's built by Bosch, who is one of the two best manufacturers of dishwashers for the American market (Whirlpool being the other). The 1395X is quiet, efficient, and cleans well. Just be sure to use the hottest settings it has (heated wash, sanitize, etc.), use rinse aid, and rinse the filters every couple months. And, make sure to take advantage of the annual preventive maintenance check-ups, to help make sure the dishwasher is working its absolute best!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Randy...it was delivered and installed today. I am pleased to report that Sears accomodated our schedule need, and were spot on time, and provided excellent service, including giving an overview of how to operate the unit. Shortly after we washed our first load and were pleasantly surprised to learn how quiet it was, as well as how well it cleaned the dishes. Be assured that we will follow your recommendations above to the letter!

      Delete
  128. Hi Randy,
    I am installing myself a Kenmore Elite 13959 that I bought on closeout for $499. Replacing a worn out Whirlpool. Thoughts on that model (is it made by Bosch correct?)and anything to look out for when installing? I have installed dishwashers before.
    Also should I go with the extended warranty 3 yrs $105?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      At $499, that is a STEAL! That's a nice model (the person above you got it in stainless, too). Bosch installation can be a little trickier than Whirlpool installation, especially the kickplate. As with anything, follow the instructions exactly, don't try to cut corners, and always err on the side of safety.

      Keep in mind the advice I gave the person above you. That applies for yours, too. :)

      I always recommend the protection agreement for a few reasons. First, you're covering not just the appliance, but Sears will also install a replacement should something occur that requires replacement. Also, you're getting what the manufacturer covers plus a whole lot more: normal wear & tear, cosmetic defects (first 3 years), power surge damage (electronic panels, usually $200-300 just for the part!), and, as I mentioned with the previous poster, you also get annual preventive maintenance check-ups. Every year, at your request, a Sears technician will visit and give the dishwasher a complete physical to make sure everything is in proper condition and operating as it should. If they find anything wrong, they take care of it. If you ever have any issues with it, they take care of it.

      It's great peace of mind knowing that there's one fewer thing to worry about. Heck, it even covers renting a dishwasher if a repair is going to take longer than expected! And, the coverage doesn't have any dollar limits and doesn't end upon replacement (unlike a lot of other service plans out there).

      For only about $35/year, it's a great deal. The 5 year plan is probably only around $149, so for about the price of one more year, you get another two. I'm a big fan of the service, and purchase it on all my appliances. As always, it's your decision.

      Enjoy your new dishwasher!

      Delete
  129. Help! My brand new Electrolux model EDW7505HPS doesn't even get all the soap out of the dispenser unless I leave the bottom left rack empty. I'm wondering if because it's designed so quiet maybe there is very low water pressure during the wash cycle? If so could a higher pressure pump be installed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      I would recommend using pre-measured detergent, such as Finish Powerball tabs or Quantum paks. They're always the right amount (overdosing with liquid or powder detergents is way too easy and way too common), and many, like the Finish products, have rinse aid built right in. And, you wouldn't have to worry about the machine getting all the detergent out of the dispenser, as the entire detergent dose would drop out in one piece. I think you'll find any issues you're having will be remedied by this simple change.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  130. Considering the Kenmore 13293 (51dB @ $500) vs 13963 (46 dB @ $700). Not sure 5dB of quiet is worth $200. Any other criteria (reliability??) tip the scale in either direction?
    THanks for this terrific forum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The 13963 has a couple advantages. First, it has an easy-to-adjust top rack, for greater flexibility in loading. It also has the 360 Powerwash system on the bottom, which cleans the entire bottom rack (all the corners as well as everything in between). The 13963 has the TurboZone, for cleaning baked-on food off of lasagna pans, casserole dishes, and the like without you having to do the work and without using more water or energy. Not to mention the filtration system has all stainless steel components (micro-fine mesh as well as a larger main filter). And, the controls on the 13963 are touch, not push-button, so there's no contacts to wear out from use. The $200 difference is definitely a worthwhile investment, especially considering that if you figure most people keep appliances for about 10 years, it's a difference of only $20/year. I think it's $20 of annual advantages. :)

      Thanks for visiting, and good luck!

      Delete
    2. Anything else you'd recommend more than this Kenmore? Kitchenaid?

      Delete
    3. Hi!

      For the current price (11/25 is the last day of this sale), there isn't anything that comes close to what you get with the Kenmore Elite 13963. If you're purchasing later, you might want to check out the 13263 Kenmore dishwasher. You might also want to check out KitchenAid, Whirlpool, and Bosch dishwashers. There are some pretty good machines in that same price range in those brands.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  131. Who manufacturers the Kenmore 13963 and the Kenmore 13963?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      The Kenmore Elite 13963 is manufactured for Sears by Whirlpool Corporation.

      Delete
  132. Hi Randy, i'm in the market for a new dishwasher, ideally in the under $800 pricerange. before I did any research I saw a KitchenAid KUDS30IX that looked nice. but online I saw a lot of bad reviews. since that times I seen that conumer reports recommends Bosch Ascenta shx3ar7 as well as the Kenmore 1328. dishwashersinfo.com raves about the KitchenAid KUDC10FXSS & KUDS30FXSS. so it appears I've came full circle and still have no idea of what to purchase. My main priority is getting dishes clean (something my current GE does NOT do unless I basically pre-WASH everything) I know bosch tines are closer together & have read people describe them as 'awkward' to load. i'm intriqued by the proscrub option on the Kitchenaids, but would likely give it limited use. I was hoping that you could weigh in on current options available. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Hello!

    Well, first, all of those models are good dishwashers, and they'd do a great job on your dishes. If you're accustomed to American dishwashers with their evenly spaced tines, you might find the Bosch less satisfying than the others. However, they do work very well. You just have to adjust how you load, and follow the instructions to ensure optimal drying (use Auto cycle, Sanitizing Rinse, and rinse aid).

    The Kenmore and KitchenAid models are built on the same basic platform, though the Kenmore employs a triple filtration system, while the KitchenAid has the old-fashioned chopper/grinder-style disposal. Both work well, but the triple filter system produces less noise with less sound insulation while improving efficiency.

    The Kenmore also has a better auxiliary washing system. KitchenAid's ProScrub uses stationary jets, while Kenmore's TurboZone uses rotating jets with 6 stationary jets above them. The result is better coverage and, therefore, better cleaning.

    Meanwhile, the KitchenAid has a stainless steel tub, versus the plastic tub in the Kenmore. The stainless tub helps a bit with drying, and is more durable, but plastic tubs work just fine, too.

    So, the decision is ultimately yours. I hope these comparisons make it easier to pick. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Thanks for visiting!

    ReplyDelete
  134. Hi Randy. First I would like to say thank you for taking the time to answer these questions from people like me who just need help making a decision on a good dishwasher. My wife and I were looking at a Kenmore Elite 13963. My wife and I always pre wash dishes before running the dishwasher. I am a little nervous due to the 360 degree power wash as it just seems to be a lot of moving parts and more to go wrong down the road. We usually run the dishwasher about twice a week and for the most part are going to keep prewashing out stuff as we have don’t it for so long. Are there any other models you would/could recommend for comparison (Kitchenaid, LG etc…), and also is it really worth it for us to spend the extra money on a dishwasher like the 13963? Our 18 year old Maytag actually does just fine for us, but has recently started making noises making me think it’s not going to be around much longer which is really the only reason we are looking to replace it. Thanks again for your time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      The Kenmore Elite 13963 is definitely a great dishwasher. Very quiet at just 46 decibels, and equipped with the TurboZone for cleaning dirty casserole dishes, lasagna pans, and the like.

      The 360 Powerwash system actually doesn't have any motorized parts, so while there are two moving parts, one connected by gears, there's nothing to really wear or break on them. The smaller arm is propelled by water pressure, and the gears for the larger arm are entirely momentum driven.

      I always strongly recommend against pre-rinsing or pre-washing, for a couple reasons. Dishwashers, and today's dishwasher detergents, are designed to clean dishes that have food drying on them for as much as a week. And, pre-washing is wasting a lot of hot water, which is wasting a lot of money. Dishwashers are WAY more efficient at cleaning than we could ever be. With as little as 6 gallons of hot water, a dishwasher can clean an entire load of dishes. Not to mention, dishwasher detergents have enzymes that want to break foods down. If there isn't food for the enzymes to work on, they're going to work on your dishes instead. For your dishes' sake, and the sake of your wallet, I'd recommend as the dishwasher manufacturers recommend: scrape, then load.

      Other models you might want to check out are the Whirlpool WDT910SSYM, which has some similar features to the Kenmore Elite 13963. The main differences are noise (51 decibels versus 46 decibels), rear jets (Power Scour uses four columns of stationary jets rather than four sets of rotating jets), and the silverware basket on the Whirlpool model goes on the door rather than on the bottom rack.

      You might also want to look at the KUDS30FXSS, which is also very much like the Kenmore Elite. The main differences here are a stainless steel bottom wash arm (rather than the more common plastic), old-fashioned grinder/chopper disposal instead of triple filtration system (resulting in noise levels of 49 decibels despite having the same amount of sound insulation material), and the ProScrub system uses four round sets of jets rather than rotating jets.

      All three of these dishwashers are good machines, and it really depends on which you prefer the look and feel of. Stop by your local Sears and compare all three to see what you like.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thank you very much for the response and after reading it we did go out and purchase the 13963. Thanks again for your help with it. One last thing, Can you recommend a detergent?

      Delete
    3. I always recommend Finish pre-measured detergent (Quantum or Powerball Tabs). They have rinse aid built right in, and it's always the right amount of detergent. If you have hard water, put a tablespoon of baking soda into the pre-wash dispenser.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  135. What do you think of the Whirlpool WDF750SAYB. I have a 17 year old Whirlpool. The family likes the removable silverware tray in the door. The coating has come off the PVC racks. Tried recoating a few years ago but now the rust is starting to get bad again. The WDF750SAYB has the nylon racks and stainless tub. Price is currently $450

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      That's a perfectly good dishwasher. Yes, it's got a stainless steel tub and nylon-coated racks, which are much more durable (about 10x more durable, according to Whirlpool's research) than PVC-coated racks. And, it's got Sensor Wash, which uses a sensor to see how large and dirty a load of dishes it's got to clean, and checks periodically to see when the dishes are done. You might also want to check out the WDT910SSYB model, which adds adjustable tines on the bottom rack for accommodating larger items, an adjustable top rack to make room for taller items, and Power Scour, which is a series of four columns of jets on the back wall that allows you to clean items like lasagna pans and casserole dishes without doing it by hand, saving lots of time, trouble, water, and energy.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. I was able to get a great deal on the WDT910SSYB. Paid $475 with tax by purchasing from Sears.com on Jan. 5th. They had a sale on the dishwasher and an extra $100 off. Installed it Saturday and it is working great. Perhaps not as quiet as some other dishwashers but better than the 18 year old Whirlpool it replaced. Thanks for the recommendation on the WDT910SSYB.

      Delete
  136. Was leaning toward the Bosch due to great reviews. however, we have six people in our family and run the dishwasher on average of 1 to 2 times a day. Saw the 13963 on sale for $845. However couldn't find a consumer report review of this exact model. What other models should we look at? Noise is a major concern but so is reliability and capacity. Also would you purchase the 5 year sears warranty for $319? It seems computer components based on reviews are very unreliable. Currently have a 1989 Maytag dial w/center popup sprayer so likely almost anything will work better. Leaves dishes extremely dirty with dried on debris inside glasses (and we have a water softner). Your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      Consumer Reports did review sister models, like the 13973. The 13963 just lacks the Smart Dry fan-assisted drying system that the 13973 has, and the 13973 is 3 decibels quieter (43 vs 46). At 46 decibels, the 13963 is still very quiet.

      Pretty much all dishwashers today (with extremely rare exceptions) are chock full of electronics. They help make the machines more efficient, and help reduce production costs and the space needed for components. But, as most dishwashers are hard-wired, that means they're almost always susceptible to power surge issues. And, parts for modern dishwashers, with a few exceptions, tend to be pretty expensive. When annual preventive maintenance is factored in, a protection agreement is, in my estimation, a good investment.

      Of course, that is my opinion. It's not my money nor my appliance. You might want to read this page to see what, exactly, a master protection agreement can do for you, and you can decide for yourself.

      Also, as a side note, be sure to check your water softener. While it's probably not responsible for the cleaning issues with your dishwasher, it's always a good idea to make sure it's in good shape, has enough media, and is running properly. If you're unsure whether it's working as it should, consult the user manual. If you've lost the manual, it's probably available for free at managemylife.com.

      And, make sure to get the hookup kit, which will have the new fittings for the dishwasher and the new inlet hose. It's 02211000000 on sears.com, or 22-11000 at the store.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  137. Great reading here. I have a Samsung Steam washer and dryer and really like them. No problems great performance. I'd like to do my kitchen appliances in Samsung as well now. I'd like to do the dishwasher first. I noticed that Samsung dishwashers do not use the filter system that you recommend and instead uses a grinder. I also noticed that you commented that they are geared towards better electronic colntrols. My question is should I not try to stick with a Samsung just because I like washer and dryer because there are better apliances out there such as a Kenmore Elite? I want to buy the best, I guess I was hoping it was a Samsung.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kyle!

      Samsung makes great refrigerators, ranges, laundry, and microwaves. Dishwashers are a very difficult product to master. The best dishwashers are built by Whirlpool and Bosch. Whirlpool manufactures Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, and almost the entire Kenmore product line (the last remaining non-Whirlpool Kenmore model is on its way out this month).

      The better Whirlpool-built models are Kenmore/Kenmore Elite (models at or above the $500 mark in white), KitchenAid, and Whirlpool Gold (look for "PowerScour" in the description). Bosch models with a full stainless steel tub (not "hybrid," which is plastic on the bottom) are going to be the better models in their product line.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  138. Hi,

    I moved into my first home and the dishwasher started giving me problems when it wasn't even 2 years old. 3 companies have been out to fix it and none of them can figure out what's wrong with it. The panel has been replaced 3 times, the latch 2 times and it still stops in the middle of the cycle. My home warranty company is offering to replace it, but I have some concerns are the one they're offering.

    The one I have now is a Kenmore Elite 13922, the one they're offering to replace it with is a Kenmore (not Elite) 13262. It seems to be a downgrade from Elite to non-Elite, but from what I can see from the pictures is that the cycles and functions are the same, and the 13262 has the TurboZone that mine doesn't have. From the reviews, it doesn't seem like the TurboZone really contributes too much to the cleaning but rather takes up valuable space in the dish rack.

    What is your opinion of the situation? How do they compare to each other? Is one any better than the other?

    Thanks,
    Sasha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The 13262 is a good machine, with many of the same features as the 13922. The TurboZone doesn't actually take up usable space in the dishwasher, so don't give it much thought. It actually does do a great job cleaning those large baking items (casserole dishes, lasagna pans, etc.) that usually get soaked, scrubbed, and re-washed in the dishwasher. In a similar position, I'd be pleased with it as a replacement. By the way, the Kenmore Elite dishwasher line is being transitioned to new models, which is why they can't replace it with the same model. Enjoy the new dishwasher!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your help! I did notice the Kenmore Elites on the Sears website looked much fancier. Out of curiosity, could you tell me which company manufactures the 13922 and 13262?

      Delete
    3. Whirlpool builds all the current model Kenmore dishwashers, including the 1392X and 1326X models.

      Delete
  139. Good evening. This is a very useful thread. I just purchased a Kenmore Elite 13963 from a Sears Outlet. The manager, while being very helpful, told us the dish washer is manufactured by LG. I was somewhat taken aback but found it reassuring that Whirlpool actually makes it. Is there any public information where the actual manufacturer of Kenmore products is clearly stated? I would also be curious about the washer and drier I bought, the same store manager said they are LG also...
    Thank you much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      Yes, Whirlpool does manufacture the Kenmore Elite 13963 dishwasher. For a list of who makes what, you might want to check this out: http://www.appliance411.com/purchase/sears.shtml . As for your washer and dryer, if they're front-loaders, and the washbasket in the washer has a bubbly texture, it was built by LG, as was the matching dryer. If the washbasket has a smooth interior, it was built by Electrolux. If it's a top-loader, the same bubbly washbasket means LG-built (Kenmore Elite only). All of the Kenmore top-loaders (i.e., not Kenmore Elite) are built by Whirlpool. In either case, your washer should be a fine machine.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  140. Hi there! This is a great site, thank you for all of your advice!
    We're replacing an old dishwasher, we had decided on a Bosch model but upon delivery this afternoon discovered it's 1/4" too tall. Who knew dishwashers had different heights...

    Anyway, looking for a model that can do 33.5" height, black exterior, stainless tub for around or under $600. We (think) we've narrowed it down to the Kenmore 13269 and 15699. The main difference between these being the controls on the top vs. the front which we're indifferent about. Any advice? Other models you'd recommend over these?

    I appreciate your time, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ali!

      The two models you have mentioned are very good, and as you've noticed, they're the same except mainly for the controls. Either would be a good option. Choose whichever you like best, and enjoy your new dishwasher.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  141. Which is better....stainless steel tub or regular

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      It really depends on your needs and preferences. Stainless steel is generally more durable, as it can't crack or split, and it won't stain. It also holds in the heat from drying better, and is better at keeping in noise. But, plastic is cheaper, and usually lasts just as long as stainless steel.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  142. Hello Randy, thanks for this blog, it's very informative. I'm wondering if, since it sounds like Whirlpool makes dishwashers under several premium brand names, I'm wondering if there are units with the same, or similar feature sets under the Whirlpool moniker that might be a lower price?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The Whirlpool brand is the low-to-middle series, along with Maytag. KitchenAid models will start at the same noise level as the top Whirlpool model, but missing ProScrub (like PowerScour). KitchenAid models with the same filter system as Whirlpool start higher up the line. You really won't find a Whirlpool model that is the same as any of the more premium Whirlpool-owned brands. But, the top Whirlpool is a fine machine in its own right.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  143. Kenmore Elite 13262 is on a huge sale this weekend at Sears. Normally $829 now $549. Is this a good dishwasher?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! That is certainly a good dishwasher. It's got good cleaning power, a stainless steel tub, adjustable top rack, and the TurboZone for enhanced power for getting baked-on food off of things like lasagna pans or casserole dishes. Be sure to get the hookup kit, as most of today's dishwashers use a different adapter than older machines, so you won't be able to re-use the adapter from the prior dishwasher. Good luck!

      Delete

Ask The Nerd! (comments are moderated and will not appear instantly)