Thread Number: 67033  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
A Two Speed Dishwasher? An Imperial 90!
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Post# 897330   9/5/2016 at 20:39 (2,343 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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I picked up this crazy '69 Whirlpool dishwasher off of craigslist the other day. It's nearly unused and works like a charm, just needed a color change for my kitchen.

Post# 897331 , Reply# 1   9/5/2016 at 20:40 (2,343 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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The controls...

Post# 897332 , Reply# 2   9/5/2016 at 20:40 (2,343 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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LOVE the blue speckled interior porcelain!

Post# 897333 , Reply# 3   9/5/2016 at 20:41 (2,343 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Upper spray as well

Post# 897334 , Reply# 4   9/5/2016 at 20:41 (2,343 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Instructions still intact!

Post# 897335 , Reply# 5   9/5/2016 at 20:43 (2,343 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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All done and installed. I plan on using this for a while until the next cool arrival. I had an all push button Maytag Reversa-Rack in this slot for the past four or so months, but I got tired of that fast.

Post# 897336 , Reply# 6   9/5/2016 at 20:49 (2,343 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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what a beautiful machine......

what does the two speed take part in?.....Chine/Crystal as part of a lower water pressure wash?

Post# 897337 , Reply# 7   9/5/2016 at 20:59 (2,343 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        
Just so glamorous

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If Arlene Francis didn't have help, she'd have had that dishwasher!

Post# 897340 , Reply# 8   9/5/2016 at 21:09 (2,343 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Wow, that looks almost new-in-box, Robert! Love that the cycle dial is 'push to start' like a washing machine. Congrats! Did it come with reversible panels? I noticed it magically changed from avocado to white.

Beautiful 1950s colors in your kitchen, by the way.

Post# 897342 , Reply# 9   9/5/2016 at 21:26 (2,343 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Beautiful machine!

Whirlpool 2-speed dishwashers never utilized a 2-speed motor far as I know.  The lower speed is reduced spray pressure by way of either a partial fill or an aerator valve ... possibly both methods were used at various times through production?

GE also had "two-speed" models.

Post# 897343 , Reply# 10   9/5/2016 at 21:28 (2,343 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0600-CST.))        

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Beautiful DW.  I'm not sure what the 2 speeds is but I would imagine it is lower wash pressure in certain cycles.  I'm sure John L. will have a difinitive answer.  


Post# 897348 , Reply# 11   9/5/2016 at 22:05 (2,343 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Did the instruction manual come with it too?  I think there's a similar user manual in the download library. 

Post# 897352 , Reply# 12   9/5/2016 at 22:14 (2,343 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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You didn't like the avocado?  wink



Post# 897353 , Reply# 13   9/5/2016 at 22:16 (2,343 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        
Whirlpool DW!

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Oh Robert that is one beautiful dishwasher!!

Post# 897365 , Reply# 14   9/6/2016 at 00:33 (2,343 days old) by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        
Awesome machine!

Congrats on finding this! It looks really sharp in white! Enjoy!

Post# 897366 , Reply# 15   9/6/2016 at 01:04 (2,343 days old) by A440 ()        

What an awesome find!  This dishwasher is a great cleaner!  Awesome sounds!

I had one in an apartment in New Orleans way back in the early 1980's. I thought it was fun how you had to "Pull to Start" on the cycle knob, just like a WP clothes washer.

Your Whirlpool looks mint for it's age!

This would be a fun Seger Design "window" machine!


Do you still have your windowed Lady K across the way?







Post# 897370 , Reply# 16   9/6/2016 at 01:16 (2,343 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Great looking dishwasher Robert. I love the control panel with all that chrome and the big dial. Great pictures btw too, very bright and sharp. What camera did you use to make those pictures?

Post# 897375 , Reply# 17   9/6/2016 at 02:03 (2,343 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        

Do both Gentle Wash (cycle C) and China Crystal (cycle E) have low-pressure water spray?

Post# 897376 , Reply# 18   9/6/2016 at 02:09 (2,343 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Great Machine.

Had a Mark 100 growing up.

Yes, the second speed is a partial fill for the China and Gentle wash.

That Whirlpool will definitely scrub the rust off a trailer hitch !!!

I think that is the year just prior to the Silverware Basket going in the door.

The Super Wash will without a doubt clean a Crusty Casserole. And the Short Wash can be used as a Daily Load Cycle. I'm pretty sure the Short Wash is R-W-R-R-D.

I would suggest Cascade Powder in that Baby... Congrats on a Great Find.

Post# 897403 , Reply# 19   9/6/2016 at 07:00 (2,343 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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Ditto on the blue porcelain enamel interior. Was this the first dw to put the gasket on the inside of door-frame? Wise move.

Post# 897412 , Reply# 20   9/6/2016 at 08:06 (2,343 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Wow, nice find, Robert!  I have a real soft spot for the Whirlpool models of this style and era (Hubby calls it my brain... LOL).  Hope you have fun with it. 

Post# 897421 , Reply# 21   9/6/2016 at 09:36 (2,342 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Thanks everyone. The "low speed" seems to be driven by an electrically energized aerator valve. I'm not exactly how that works, nor will I have much reason to ever use it.

I used a couple of cans of white Appliance Epoxy spray paint on the panels, avocado does not go in my kitchen lol.

The machine didn't come with it's manual and I don't have much documentation on this machine, but there is the 1968 model brochures in the Ephemera Library.

The Lady Kenmore dishwasher is still installed across the way, it's an excellent and fun machine. That wont be going anywhere anytime soon.

Louis I used my iPhone 6 Plus to take those photos.

Post# 897424 , Reply# 22   9/6/2016 at 09:54 (2,342 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Thanks Robert, darn good cam on that phone, even better than the cam om my iPhone SE so to see.

Post# 897451 , Reply# 23   9/6/2016 at 12:05 (2,342 days old) by mayfan69 (Brisbane Queensland Australia)        
Very nice

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Very nice Robert.

Looks hardly used.



Post# 897499 , Reply# 24   9/6/2016 at 17:27 (2,342 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Nice machine!


I'll have to look at the one I picked up a while ago, I thought it was a 2 speed also.

Post# 897523 , Reply# 25   9/6/2016 at 18:24 (2,342 days old) by super32 (Blackstone Massachusetts)        

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WOW! its in amazing condition!

Post# 897527 , Reply# 26   9/6/2016 at 19:15 (2,342 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
2 Speed WP Portable DW

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Nice find Robert, we have the exact machine in the DW wall at the Museum, I wish I knew that you wanted a white version of this DW I would have liked to trade front panels to get rid of our white panels for a nice set of shaded colored panels.


I found our DW brand new never used at a house that was being cleaned out, it still had all the samples inside etc.


The low speed gentile wash had a solenoid valve that allowed air to enter the main pump housing causing the washer to aerate and thus greatly reducing the water pressure. On our SAU500 1975 WP DW my Mom could wash plastic cups in the top rack without flipping them over, so it probably worked very well with light weight glass ware.


Overall these were great performing DWs, they were completely designed and built by Whirlpool, unfortunately durability of several major parts were not that great and partly because they would wash the chrome off a trailer hitch they also tended to destroy them selves more quickly compared to DWs like a KA witch did not even have a water heating element.

Post# 897531 , Reply# 27   9/6/2016 at 19:58 (2,342 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Late to the party but...

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What a stunner Robert. Congratulations!

Post# 897559 , Reply# 28   9/6/2016 at 23:30 (2,342 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
what a beautiful dishwasher!

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love the control panel and the butcher block top! and the blue interior looks so nice with those white racks! your paint job is beautiful but I always have been a sucker for avocado! it was always my favorite of the 60-70's colors. I remember I even put in an avocado double sink for my aunt and uncle when I remodeled their kitchen in 1972 as a teen.

all in all that is one fine looking machine you found there! enjoy!

Post# 897562 , Reply# 29   9/6/2016 at 23:48 (2,342 days old) by A440 ()        

John, I always enjoy when you respond with your knowledge of how things work.  Thanks!


Robert, so glad that you finally have a dishwasher that can clean your collection of "Trailer Hitches"!  I knew it would happen sooner or later.  wink

Post# 897570 , Reply# 30   9/7/2016 at 01:25 (2,342 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
I believe that this model of dishwasher

was one of the the three that were check rated by Consumer Reports in late 1968, the other two being a Whirlpool toploader, and the Maytag toploader, but I might be mistaken.

Can anyone confirm or deny this recollection?

No matter, it's a marvelous machine!!


Post# 898180 , Reply# 31   9/10/2016 at 21:19 (2,338 days old) by maytaglvr (Columbia Heights Mn 55421)        
Your Old Maytag RR

Hi Robert and congrats on your new find. My question for you is what did you do with your Maytag RR that you had in that spot? Let me know if you are interested in letting it go because I def. would like it. I have one I use all the time and I don't what I will do if it should happen to die. I don't know if anyone repairs them or if there are even parts for them anymore. Mine is the same as yours only with the brown buttons instead of the wht. Let me know Robert. Thanks


Post# 898345 , Reply# 32   9/12/2016 at 04:53 (2,337 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My neighbor had this exact portable machine when I was little, and hers was even green!  It lasted well into the '80s when she replaced it with a new KA Superba built-in.

Post# 898627 , Reply# 33   9/13/2016 at 18:07 (2,335 days old) by dishwasherfan (Phoenix, AZ)        
You always find the best.

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That is one of my favorite dishwashers. Enjoy.

Post# 1083008 , Reply# 34   7/29/2020 at 21:39 (920 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        

Robert, I have never seen a dishwasher like this before! It would be interesting to see and hear one in action on youtube.

Post# 1083017 , Reply# 35   7/29/2020 at 22:01 (920 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
The stunning question is...

How well will it wash? I think you give this dishwasher a workout she will never forget. If I had this dishwasher even if it was in mint condition and never used, I'd give it a workout immediately after being installed. You should consider giving it a whirl. I wish there was a museum with these and other washers, dryers and dishwashers near me.

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