Thread Number: 72483  /  Tag: Modern Dishwashers
How much effort to maintain new dishwashers vs old?
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Post# 957777   9/16/2017 at 15:26 by AmyofEscobar (oregon)        

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I have an inkling of an idea as to what advice I'll get on this issue, but I thought I'd ask!
Much frustration today as my vintage Kitchenaid has over filled now 3 times, and other ailments have assaulted it. The idea was to get a vintage dishwasher for ease of repair when things DO go wrong, but I'm beginning to rethink that idea.

Let's take "energy efficiency" off the table here, and let's talk maintenance. I don't know which models are the beesknees right now, but how often are you guys repairing your modern machines? And for those of you with newer machines that are real troopers, how much did you pay initially? I simply can't fathom paying a grand for a dishwasher, and I can barely swallow my gulps thinking about half a grand.

Also, are there any new machines with mechanical controls?

(For those wondering about the vintage machine, there's another thread I've tasked my husband with reviving in case our issues are fixable. He was the op some months ago)

Post# 957779 , Reply# 1   9/16/2017 at 16:10 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Buy a 10 year old kitchen aid dishwasher, pretty much once every 5 year repair. New dishwashers will go 5-10 years but are terrible performers

Post# 957783 , Reply# 2   9/16/2017 at 16:43 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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well, you can't exactly name that in an instant.....variable factors.....

Kitchen Aids do very well, vintage as well as modern ones......I got a TallTub KA, never used for 75.00 in stainless.....and found an exact spare on CL for Free....

Whirlpool/PowerClean and Kenmore/Ultrawash are great performers as well.....I bought this convertible one brand new in 1988, only needing a wash module in all this time, minimal cost with the help of JohnL.......and again, found an exact spare on CL for 25.00.....

shop around like I did, you never know what will turn up.....but if you can find a unit inexpensive for now, and then keep an eye out for a spare/parts should be good to go for a long time....


Post# 957786 , Reply# 3   9/16/2017 at 17:04 by AmyofEscobar (oregon)        

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You mean like these?

What about the control panels? How likely will they die on me?

Post# 957787 , Reply# 4   9/16/2017 at 17:28 by jerrod6 (Downtown Philadelphia in the Historic area...The old stuff)        

I have a Miele DW which is 11 years old.  It's had one repair which was done early on when it was under warranty.  The service tech said it was a part that almost never goes bad, so it was probably a fluke error. 


It has a touch screen display, no buttons, that lets you select a cycle and then shows you the cycle step the machine is in.  No problems with that either.  It still cleans anything I throw at it. 


There are probably other machines that have worked as long without problems.

Post# 957788 , Reply# 5   9/16/2017 at 17:36 by dubguy (Dublin)        

I have a Siemens (part of BSH - Bosch Siemens Hausgerate) dishwasher, approx 6/7 years old. Flawless service so far and spotlessly clean dishes every time. Very efficient also

Post# 957791 , Reply# 6   9/16/2017 at 17:56 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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New appliances are "NEW" and old one's are "OLD". Why would ANYONE want an appliance that is over 10 years old as a daily driver is INSANE!

Post# 957798 , Reply# 7   9/16/2017 at 18:47 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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My dishwasher is 14 years. My refrigerator in the kitchen is 13 years, garage is 19 years 10 months. Washing machines are 13 and 16 years. Dryer is 13 years.

Post# 957800 , Reply# 8   9/16/2017 at 18:59 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Got you beat Glenn. My Whirlpool gas stove, dishwasher and refrigerator are going on 23 years old and still work perfect. As does my 1984 Maytag washer and dryer. If one of them died, I will go back to the same appliance dealer and buy new. Not because I want to but am not messing with fixing little crap any more.

Post# 957802 , Reply# 9   9/16/2017 at 19:08 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Among others ... I have a 906 pair in the garage. Dryer is OK, washer needs bearing job. Also have an A512 (April '84) and LDE482 (May '84) that would fire right up if put into service.

Post# 957833 , Reply# 10   9/16/2017 at 22:33 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
GE/Hotpoint still make a mechanical timer

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To be honest, and since I put in about ten BOL a year and replace/repair them, you're going to get about five years to seven out of modern dishwashers.
The vintage are vastly more reliable.
The BOL Amanas wash quite well and are very reliable compared to the higher end stuff - Whirlpool has learned how to make decent dishwashers.

On a side note, except for the microwave, nothing in our kitchen was built after 1984 and the stove and refrigerator are in their fifties.

Post# 957858 , Reply# 11   9/17/2017 at 10:44 by AmyofEscobar (oregon)        

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Panthera, 5 to 7 years for BOL dishwashers right? I can't believe every tier and brand has that lifespan. What about folks like Bosch and Miele?

Side note, the rusty clamp on my hose snapped off, which is why it had problems... THIS time. Whew. But damn it if I don't love having those dishes clean in a snappy 30 minutes. It is heaven to have some Hobart in your kitchen when u cook as much as I do.

Post# 957862 , Reply# 12   9/17/2017 at 11:34 by johnb300m (Chicago)        

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As far as my experience goes, I've not really seen a big difference in maintenance and reliability among new or old appliances, from my sampling of family and friends.
All their dishwashers, and my family's, have gone on average, about 12 years, with maybe 1-2 small or moderate repairs.

Dishwashers from the early 2000s REALLY took a bad hit when the phosphate formulations went away.
That's when machines got more energy conscious, and the smaller passages and pumps, extra filters, etc, could not handle the build-up when the phosphates went away.
That's when WP chassis machines, like the Point Voyager, really took a beating and started clogging, and having poor results in the top racks.
My parents' older GE TT with the mesh screen on the floor, had constant screen clogging issues. So those took periodic cleaning. WP machines had their chopper screens clogging with gunk.

But once the formulations finally got better, those problems seem all but gone now. And good performance is back on those older machines.

The new NEW machines today are more manual filter-based.
GE machines require regular filter cup cleaning every 2-8 weeks, depending on your usage. I clean the cup out on my PDT720 1-2x a month.
WP's filter cup machines are far more easy to take care of, requiring filter cup cleaning only 1-2x a YEAR.
Same with Bosch I believe.

For Samsung, I've heard their regular maintenance is commonly low as well. However, my neighbors' Samsung dw had a drain pump die at 3yrs old, and the OEM part was NLA. So a repair man jerry rigged a Frigidaire drain pump on it for them.

Post# 957870 , Reply# 13   9/17/2017 at 13:06 by henene4 (Germany)        
Bosch or Miele

The current platform of BSH DW has been around for something like almost 10 years now. There have been issues, but most of the were related to the Zeolith drying technology which is not avaible on US machines. Some others were the few and far between issues with controller boards.
The biggest issue with that platform that I encountered on our 18" variant (which is shockingly simmilar to the 24" versions) was their tendency to smell. I traced that back to a verry small area around the edges of the mesh filter, but that only happens if loads sit unwashed for a few days and goes away after a cycle is run.
But if you can score a midrange model which has the fully stainless steal tank (avoid the models with plastic tank bottom like the plague, they have a glued seam that leaks quite often) for about 600$, you'll be happy for a decade, give or take, and that is a good value IMO.

Miele does build awesome DW. You really have to like and learn the racking, but you can cram these to the brim, especially with mixed loads.
Miele does offer 5-year service contracts by them selves for like 300$.
But that really is the one big issue with Miele: Cost.
A midrange DW (I'll go into detail why midrange soon) is 1200$ upwards, and depending on your location, service calls start at 200$.
I would avoid their lower level DW. These still use a single speed pump which on previous generations had a tendency to develop issues with their seals and bearings after 5-8 years. Their varible pressure pump (used in all G6xxx DW) comes straight from the prfessional side and I literally never heared that one of those failed. Never.

Post# 957879 , Reply# 14   9/17/2017 at 14:23 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
Bosch 300 series installed new in October 2001

No service calls, ever. Upon delivery, the front panel had a dent, but Bosch sent a technician to swap it for a new front panel. Next month it will be sixteen years old.

This model has a bar handle and controls in the door edge, and thus cost about $100 more than an entry level 300 model with front controls. Only three cycles: Power Scrub Plus, Regular, and Quick Wash. Bosch at that time had two separate 300 series models, with a choice of Quick Wash or Rinse/Hold as the third cycle.

I thought I'd ordered the Rinse/Hold variant, but upon opening the crate learned I'd bought the Quick Wash model. I made my purchase a week after the models were introduced, and the store did not yet have a floor model, which led to the confusion, as it was basically ordered out of a sales brochure sent to the dealer. The store said they would replace it with the Rinse/Hold model, but I kept it and like Quick Wash for certain applications: light soil (say you have people over for dessert and coffee) and also for washing stuff other than dishes or glasses, like refrigerator bins and glass shelves, etc. They come out clean from the 30 minute Quick Wash and lower rinse temps are safer for plastics.

I was accustomed to such poor performance from my previous GE Potscrubber that I came to think of Rinse/Hold as vital and necessary to use on a daily basis until the machine was full and ready to run a full cycle. With the Bosch, stuff can be days old, not rinsed, and still it all comes out clean.

Modern DWs have quick cycles called "Party" "Quick Wash" or "Express Wash", but basically my 2001 Bosch does the same thing on Quick Wash.

Still cleans anything I toss at it, and does a great job.

Post# 958147 , Reply# 15   9/19/2017 at 13:50 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
Let's see

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My WP side x side fridge is 13 yrs old (2 small repairs)
WP range is 13 yo no repairs
Over the hood WP microwave is 13 yrs old no repairs and it gets used A LOT
Dishwasher is Maytag and 3.5 yrs old no repairs (knock on wood)
WP washer/dryer are 12.5 yrs old (no repairs on dryer) Duet had board replaced it's 2nd yr.
Water heater is 13 yrs old no repairs. I think it's A/O Smith or something like that

My Trane all electric heat pump is a different story - the first 5 yrs of living here, I felt like something went wrong every year....first it was a capacitor, then the coolant was leaking and that was repaired, then the compressor died (it was under warranty for parts but not labor. (all of this happened having preventative maintenance done twice yearly. As soon as I stopped preventative maintenance and decided just to keep the filters clean, nothing has gone wrong with it in years.

Post# 958153 , Reply# 16   9/19/2017 at 15:01 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        
Newer appliances

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I guess it is a whole new ballgame with newer appliances. I probably foolishly bought all the appliances for my kitchen and laundry room at Sears and stuck with the Kenmore Elite brand, so the handles all match on them and everything looks uniform right now. I know that there are really several different manufacturers that make the appliances I have. The refrigerator is made by LG, as well as the washer and dryer. The dishwasher is made by Whirlpool, not sure who made the microwave and built in stove top. The oven is strangely enough, Frigidaire from what I could tell. So far I have had numerous problems with the refrigerator in the first 2 years, but the last service call I had seemed to take care of the issues I was having. I might point out that this is the second refrigerator I have had of theirs. The first one had an internal leak and they replaced it with a newer model, hopefully improved and I have had it for over 2 years now. The new one had issues with freezing up in back and stopped cooling twice in the first year, but now seems to be fixed after they replaced the circuit board computer. I just hope they will all last as long as possible and I am happy with them all, they do a very good job of what they do. Time will tell I guess.

Post# 958158 , Reply# 17   9/19/2017 at 15:25 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Wrong about new dishwashers being poor performers. My latest Whirlpool made machine does a superb job at cleaning the dishes and as for a Kitchenaid dishwasher that is older, the absolute WORSE dishwasher I EVER owned was a Kitcheaid Superba from about 1980-81. I hated that dishwasher more than any machine I EVER had. It left food particles all over the tops of the dishes on the top rack and when using the heat boost, would shut off and heat the water for a while only to come back on long enough for the water to recirculate and cool down the sensor and shut off again. It took probably 4 hours to do a load of dishes, which at the time was ridiculous! So not EVERYONE thinks that Kitchenaid dishwashers are all that and a bag of chips! The reason I bought it was to replace a builders model GE and had always heard they were the best you could buy. Judging by the price of it, it certainly should have been! I have never been so disappointed in a new appliance before or since. I replaced it the following year with a Maytag RR TOL model which was the best dishwasher I had ever had up to that time.

Post# 958161 , Reply# 18   9/19/2017 at 15:51 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

I'm not saying that ka is the best there ever was for eternity. I can't speak of an early 80's ka, I've never owned one. My ca. 1999 ka dw was the best performing dw I have ever had, and my new LG is trash.

I would say that any 10-20 year old dw will probably perform better than any new dishwasher out there. I happen to have had an excellent experience with ka, and will be replacing my pos lg soon.

As far as your old ka , I'd say there was some sort of installation error, like they threw away the insulation, or he dishwasher was exposed to an area were it lost a lot of heat. Possibly your inlet temps were too low to begin with.

Post# 958184 , Reply# 19   9/19/2017 at 17:49 by johnb300m (Chicago)        

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It really depends on what your definition of "perform" is.
There are countless amounts of evidence in this forum of people with modern machines made after 2015, that clean dishes extremely well.
They wash, they sanitize, they even dry.

They DO take longer to do it.
So if taking too much time; more than you like, is "not performing well." Well...your opinion is noted.
But if you're quantifiably saying that modern machines cannot wash dishes as well, to a fully clean state, as a machine from 10-20 years ago, you are mistaken.

Post# 958189 , Reply# 20   9/19/2017 at 18:17 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Everybody has a different opinion. My opinion of a dirty dish is one that I scrape twice and load in to the dishwasher. My opinion of a clean plate is that it is spotless, no dry food debris, and dry.

In my kitchen aid I put in a dirty plate, and it came out clean. Further my dishwasher didn't smell like last nights salmon.

Under the same circumstances the LG did not clean. Time means nothing to me as I let my machine run at night before I go to bed.

I've been selling/ servicing dishwashers for over 15 years. I've seen and fixed more dishwashers than you can ever imagine. 10 years ago when a customer called about performance issues I most definitely found something wrong with the dishwasher. Now, when they don't clean well I have to re- educate the customer, I have to tell them they have to do a better job "pre rinsing".

Post# 958191 , Reply# 21   9/19/2017 at 18:24 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Oh, for goodness sake.

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I regard a dishwasher which doesn't even last for 10 years as a piece of trash.

So, no - most modern dishwashers do not perform. They're junk.


Now, a higher-end Bosch or a Miele or a vintage GE Potscrubber with the orbital arm are worth it. The rest? Whatever, dude. If you don't mind pre-scrubbing and post-scrubbing and waiting for hour after hour for the thing to splash two drops of water around and then think about it, sure, go for it.


I install a lot of BOL Amana dishwashers. They clean very well and last about as long in rental kitchens as high-end GE. It's pointless to spend money on KA, it's nothing but a rebadged Whirlpool.


Post# 958194 , Reply# 22   9/19/2017 at 19:11 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I have a new BOL Whirlpool dishwasher and I love it! I only use the 1 hour cycle, that really is 60 mins. and I add the heated dry for an additional 20 mins., or a total of 80 mins. per load. I run full, mixed loads evry 2 or 3 days and the only things I rinse first are the cereal/salad bowls and pots and pans. Other wise every thing goes in the way it left the table, sans the big chunks.

And the dishes come out spotless and dry, except for items that don't drain well, the same as any other dishwasher. I really can't see the point of these high end dishwashers, except the exterior style I guess.

Our last dishwasher was a MOL GE that only lasted just under 2 years before it was going to cost more to repair than replace. And it took almost 3 hours to complete a normal cycle with temp boost. The new Whirlpool gets plenty hot. I run the hot water at the sink until its hot before I press start and when the cycle is done those dishes very hot, the silverware can burn you. Oh, and it uses just over 7.87 gals of water for a 1 hour cycle, not that much extra. The Heavy cycle uses 7.4, and Normal 2.4 to 7.4, I don't think 2.4 gals would do a very good job.

Anyway, thats my experience with new dishwashers.

Post# 958198 , Reply# 23   9/19/2017 at 20:39 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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That Whirlpool and the BOL Amana are the same inside - and, yes, they heat the water quite warm and the clean quite well.

Astonishingly so, actually.

I checked my records - I've installed 28 in the past 19 months. Not one has failed.

Post# 958202 , Reply# 24   9/19/2017 at 21:06 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I know and they are great value for the money! No bells and whistles, not a lot to go wrong. Time will tell as to the longevity, but I have a feeling it will be a keeper for a while.

This post was last edited 09/19/2017 at 22:19
Post# 958204 , Reply# 25   9/19/2017 at 21:18 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Do you have a model # for this Amana?

Post# 958205 , Reply# 26   9/19/2017 at 21:23 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I don't know what the Amana model number is but the link below is for the Whirlpool that I have. I paid $279.00 on sale.


Post# 958206 , Reply# 27   9/19/2017 at 21:35 by pumpkina (California)        


What does BOL stand for?

DADOES, what brand of dishwasher do you own?

Lorainfurniture, what repairs have you done on your dishwasher?

Henene4, you wrote: "...score a midrange model which has the fully stainless steal tank..." Do you mean the walls and the floor that you see when you open the dishwasher?


Post# 958207 , Reply# 28   9/19/2017 at 21:50 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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BOL= Bottom of the Line
MOL= Middle of the Line
TOL= Top of the Line


Post# 958208 , Reply# 29   9/19/2017 at 21:50 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I have the portable version of Eddie's Whirlpool dishwasher and will attest it cleans well and is a no-nonsense machine. I tried both the Normal and Heavy cycles, but the 1-hr. cycle rocks. I'd say its weak point on the 1-hr. cycle is drying, even when using heated dry. The portable version is as loud as a riot---which I HATE---since the kitchen in my apartment is open to the living room. Maybe the built-in is a bit quieter due to being surrounded by cabinets.

Honestly, if the sound level was 45 db or less, I'd recommend it as a great budget-line machine.

Aside: I'm still amazed there are two active Eugenes on this site. There are never two people named Eugene anywhere. Am I right, other Eugene?

Post# 958210 , Reply# 30   9/19/2017 at 21:52 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

The lg has had no repair, but it's been in my house about one month. The kitchen aid I got a clogged drain hose once, and I replaced a wobbly (still worked fine) handle. Ultimately I got rid of it bc of the incoming matching black stainless appliances and the fact the ka racks were rusting pretty bad.

I bought the ka on Craigslist for $75, and used it in my home for at least 6 years.

Post# 958212 , Reply# 31   9/19/2017 at 21:56 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Nope, wrong on all counts. I paid close to $1000 for that POS Kitchenaid dishwasher which included installation. I did so with the belief that it was the absolute BEST dishwasher known to mankind, since I had always heard from everyone they were the cadillac of dishwashers. The year was 1980, possibly 1981. It was right after they started putting the separate spray arm under the top rack, but did NOT have even the little spinner on the very top. Obviously this was a serious mistake since it left little particles all on top of the glasses which was what upset me the most. There was no way to correct it since they had left no place on the top of the machine to later add the water spinner either. It had all of it's insulation wrapped around it and was built much like a tank compared to the GE that it replaced. The Maytag that replaced it a year later was not nearly as heavily built as it was, but did an excellent job of cleaning and drying the dishes and was quicker. I now have a Whirlpool made dishwasher that is very much like a Kitchenaid of today. It does a good job of cleaning, not so good on drying since they quit forced air drying. I am quite satisfied with it, but will NEVER forget the unfortunate choice of a new dishwasher I chose back in 1980. I noticed that a year or two later they again added the top water spinner to the new machines which I am sure made their performance much better. Perhaps it was an off year, I don't know. Just that I felt cheated and that I had wasted a great deal of money and have never felt the same about Kitchenaid dishwashers since. Perhaps the same thing that happened to cadillac happened to them too. After all, Lexus is a FAR better car than cadillac ever thought about being.

Post# 958213 , Reply# 32   9/19/2017 at 22:00 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Eugene, the model number was:

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Amana Model ADB1300AFW
It was replaced by
Amana Model ADB1400AGW

Which is pretty much the same.

Post# 958312 , Reply# 33   9/20/2017 at 13:34 by logixx (Germany)        

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I've had good luck with our Bosch dishwashers. My mom's one was purchased in 2006 and mine was made in 2010 - neither ever needed a repair (both are German-made). Because they heater is 230V, the cold fill gets up to temp quickly. A 158F Pots & Pans double-wash, triple-rinse and dry cycle takes 90 minutes.

Am currently using a countertop Bosch model that has been in and out of storage since I got it in 1993. No repairs on that one either.

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