Thread Number: 71605  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Kitchenaid Custom 21 vs. ISE Classic Supreme
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Post# 947489   7/10/2017 at 14:41 by MelissaAnn (yadkinville, NC)        

After years of trouble with modern dishwashers I got a Kitchenaid Custom 21 for $20 on craigslist. I'm thrilled. But I also want to have a back up or one for spare parts. There is one listed for another $20 that I'm considering. What parts on these might be interchangeable? Thanks! I'm new a new convert to vintage appliances but share your enthusiasm!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO MelissaAnn's LINK on Winstonsalem Craigslist

Post# 947515 , Reply# 1   7/10/2017 at 17:25 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I think the only difference is the control panel....same motor, tub, dispenser, door liner, etc.

Post# 947579 , Reply# 2   7/11/2017 at 00:29 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Yes, I would say most parts are interchangeable except the control panels and door latches.


The ISE offers more cycle options (and could operate a little more quietly than your 21 Custom model depending on whether it's a model CLSUP4 or CLSUP5), but wash action is identical on both machines.  You may not have the automatic water heating feature on your 21 either, but opinions run about 50/50 on its effectiveness anyway.

Post# 947601 , Reply# 3   7/11/2017 at 06:05 by stevet (palm coast florida)        
ISE wins out!

Most will know I am a devoted Kitchenaid fan but the ISE in the picture appears to be the unit that marked the transition to the Whirlpool Power Module pump. This is an excellent washing system and on this unit, it did have the heat delay during the main wash portions of the full cycles. That is, it would heat the wash water to approx 140 degrees and the timer would not advance until it reached that temperature.

With today's enzyme based detergents as opposed to what was available when the Hobart/Whirlpool 21 series were being built, you may see better results with the ISE machine. It also has the Rapid Advance timer and no dial to turn as on the Custom 21. The ISE is nearly 100% identical to the Kitchenaid 23 series machines.

As mentioned before, the timer and controls differ but more significantly, the pumps cannot be swapped between the machines as the power module uses a smaller opening in the sump so no advantage to having one as a spare for the other. All the other parts for the most part will swap out.
I would grab the ISE and try it out. I think you will not be disappointed at all.
That is not to say that the Custom won't perform nearly as well. Just the bells and whistles have to count for something.

Post# 947675 , Reply# 4   7/11/2017 at 12:53 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Steve, how did you spot the indicator of the power module system?  For me, it's always the different filter element around the sump, but that's not visible in the picture, at least to me.


Is there another way to identify a power module ISE?  Both of my Classic Supremes are series 21 or 22 clones (a CLSUP4 and a CLSUP5).  I might still be using one of mine if it were a 23 clone and had the heat delay.

Post# 947720 , Reply# 5   7/11/2017 at 17:16 by stevet (palm coast florida)        
My sincerest apologies...

To all involved! I was unable to download the picture of the inside of the machine this morning but I just did and zoomed in and lo and behold, it did not have the larger filter strainer that Ralph mentioned as the 23 series give-a-away nor the larger plastic piece under the wash arm. SOOOO.. it is not a Power Module pump but the Hobart designed wash system with the food DISPOSER in the bottom of the pump used on the 21 and 22 machines.

That pump will seldom if ever disappoint the user and I would still probably pick up the ISE over the Custom 21 but with both, you have even more interchangeable spare parts for either machine.

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