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ocnblu

Tell me about your appliances

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I have a KitchenAid dishwasher that came with the house, and it appears to be a real oldie, with big ol' chrome pushbutton controls. When I set it, it heats the water for a little while, then doesn't wash. I thought it was out of sync somehow, but I have not been able to resynchronize it (happened a couple of years ago and I was able to get it work properly then).

Does anyone have experience with these? Does anyone have a clue of what's wrong with it? Should I spend the money to have it looked at, or junk it and buy a new one?

This is likely going to put a dent in my pickup truck fund.

I've been washing dishes this week for the first time since I bought my house, going on 7 years next spring. It's not life-threatening, but I am spoiled.

Please post any troubleshooting tips and/or new dishwasher recommendations. Thank ya kindly.

Edited by ocnblu
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I find that things liek dishwashers and washers/dryers are things that are worth investing newer ones in. We replaced our old dishwasher which would never get things clean and finally broke with a new Maytag a few years back. Much better machine. Same with the washer and dryer.

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If you get an energy star appliance with a certain rating, the government will kick in a nice rebate.

Whirlpool, who also owns Maytag and KitchenAid, still manufactures most of their dishwashers in the U.S., but check the manufacturing point for your specific model.

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Speaking of appliances, good luck finding a new toaster, microwave or toaster oven made in USA. I looked but found nothing.

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If you get an energy star appliance with a certain rating, the government will kick in a nice rebate.

Maytag and Whirlpool still manufacture most of their dishwashers in the U.S., but check the manufacturing point for your specific model.

Good advice.

Newer appliances tend to be much more energy-efficient, but many are really junky and short term. A really good old one might cost a bit more to run but be much better built.

Trade-offs abound.

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Speaking of appliances, good luck finding a new toaster, microwave or toaster oven made in USA. I looked but found nothing.

Check on Ebay. I got my microwave there, which was made in USA.

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Speaking of appliances, good luck finding a new toaster, microwave or toaster oven made in USA. I looked but found nothing.

Kitchen Aid still makes quite a bit of their stuff here, and in Canada....

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Is the government rebate thing going on now? I heard about it, but didn't know when it was in effect. I guess I'll go looking around for a new one. My next problem is color. I have biscuit-colored kitchen appliances, and I've been thinking about switching to stainless steel, but my stove and fridge are working fine, I don't want mismatched stuff if they keep working for 20 years longer.
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I'd get a price to fix it first....It might not be bad.....

I would hate to see you spend 500 bucks when you could spend 50.....

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The subject line sounds like something your kitchen psychiatrist would ask you.

I have a KitchenAid dishwasher that came with the house, and it appears to be a real oldie, with big ol' chrome pushbutton controls. When I set it, it heats the water for a little while, then doesn't wash. I thought it was out of sync somehow, but I have not been able to resynchronize it (happened a couple of years ago and I was able to get it work properly then).

Does anyone have experience with these? Does anyone have a clue of what's wrong with it? Should I spend the money to have it looked at, or junk it and buy a new one?

I'm not sure what you mean by coming out of sync... especially if it has push buttons instead of a dial-time timer setup.

Personally, I would try fixing it... you have nothing to lose by opening it up a little and seeing how it ticks. Especially if there is a color issue with the replacement, as that tends to start a domino effect that only ends with all the appliances changed. Plus, as Camino noted, the older appliances were built better.

Most appliances are REALLY simple. Additionally, a lot of them use common parts, so a local appliance parts store can help you find what you may need. I also peruse PartsSelect.com, which has a mountain of exploded diagrams showing the parts and how they go together.

If you fail to fix it, then get a new one.

Oh, BTW, don't be too drawn in by the whole argument of the newer one being more efficient. It will be, that's no argument, but most of the Energy Guide numbers are total BS. Sure, it might be energy efficient enough to get a rebate, but the real world usage will be more in line with the old unit. I bought an Energy Guide super efficient AC to replace a unit last year. Electric didn't go down... after finding out how the Energy Guide rating is determined, I set up the unit to be as efficient as possible... but then the unit functions better turned off! It didn't come close to cooling the room, let alone the house! (15K BTU). So, its just a load of government free cheese for the appliance manufacturers.

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I thought this thread was going to be about Toyotas or other generics.. :(

I've always had good luck w/ Kenmore appliances. I have Kenmore stainless steel fridge, dishwasher, and range in Denver and Phoenix.

So if you are just now washing dishes after 7 years, A) you either have a lot of dishes and let them pile up, B) ate out all the time (that gets spendy), or C) used paper/plastic plates.. :)

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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I don't see any problem in buying a SS dishwasher and then catching up with the other appliances later.

In our kitchen, we have a SS fridge and ovens, a black dishwasher, and bisque stovetop.

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Depending upon the type of repair, it can be worth fixing an older model; however, the overall cost to run an older model may not be worth it. It isn't just the ability to warm the water that makes a dishwasher energy efficient, but the design for good cleaning and shorter wash times.

I put so much time into researching a dishwasher for us, I could sell the damned things now. With dishwashers, the scale from basic to feature-laden is surprisingly broad. When my wife and I bought ours last year, we had choices from around $300 to $1,200. Of course, the higher-buck varieties are built with better quality and longer lasting materials, versatile design and more operational features.

The most important features are different for each person; however, for us it had to be quiet, allow for short-cycling small loads with a good tray and deep basket design. We settled on a great price for an upper-level Kenmore and have been satisfied with it. My buddy bought a Frigidaire with the same features, paid about $150 dollars more and hates it because it's too loud. He asked me to take a look at it to find out what he could do. We lined his cabinets and the floor of his raised insert-compartment, as well as the exterior of the unit with pink insulation but that only helped a bit. If one is used to the sound of their dishwasher, this might not seem like big deal; however, when you're used to quiet ones, it makes a huge difference.

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our bosch dishwasher is incredible. others who have bought bosch say the same. quiet, no face controls.

Bought a Bosch last year. It's definately quiet, but it doesn't clean as well as the outgoing (15-yr old KitchenAid), and the rack tines are very closely spaced, forcing you to loosely pack it, decreasing efficiency.

ocn- appliances' average life spans are continually on the decline. Recent surveys ('05) show major kitchen appliances to have a life span of around 7-12 yrs, so if your fridge has a few years under it's belt, you may be closer to a replacement than you think... tho some of the replacement is for subjective reasons (styling, etc).

Refridgerators used to last decades and decades... there are still Monitor-Tops in use around the country.

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For some reason, my mom never liked using a dishwasher, and that trait has passed onto me. The 8 year old stainless steel Kitchen-Aid dishwasher in our house serves as a giant, dual-level dish rack.

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The older KitchenAides were VERY good dishwashers. My Grandma had on in her house that they bought when they bought the house in 1984 and as of 2005 when she sold the house it was still going. It was very quiet for such an old dishwasher and I dont think it ever broke. The 1989 Maytag we had wasnt as good.

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I was shocked at how much cleaner my dishes are when I hand-wash them. It kind of scared me that I was eating off filmy, crappy dishes and didn't know it (the Jet-Dri dispenser is full). I always use the "normal" wash cycle. Perhaps if I used the "presoak" cycle, that extra steam time would have made a difference. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll google my model and see how old it is before I decide to make an attempt at repair.
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OCN, I was just at Lowes and any EnergyStar Whirlpool, Maytag, or KitchenAid dishwasher over $397 is 20% off! The model Albert and I have been looking at is $598 and goes to $478 with this deal.... plus free shipping!

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I was shocked at how much cleaner my dishes are when I hand-wash them. It kind of scared me that I was eating off filmy, crappy dishes and didn't know it (the Jet-Dri dispenser is full). I always use the "normal" wash cycle. Perhaps if I used the "presoak" cycle, that extra steam time would have made a difference. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll google my model and see how old it is before I decide to make an attempt at repair.

Yeah, check its age... the REALLY old units... maybe before 1986 didn't clean too well, so older housemakers still don't trust even never units too much. My mother virtually washes the dishes by hand THEN puts them in the dishwasher. Ugh.

The Dishwasher is one of the few machines I haven't taken apart myself, so I'm speculating a bit here... first, I'm thinking that there is some sort of recirculation pump in the design... perhaps as that wears, the soapy water pressure is reduced.

I also would check the house water pressure... if its low, the unit might not be getting enough water or might effect the rinse effectiveness. I've noticed in a lot of houses, the water supply is piggybacked onto the kitchen sink plumbing and is an afterthought, rather than coming off a larger supply line.

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Make sure the water heater control is set do deliver at least 120°F water as well. Especally helpful if you use the energy saver settings on the dishwasher. Running the hot water tap at the sink for a minute before starting the machine can help also if the sink and dishwasher are on the same line.

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