Thread Number: 74342  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Need Advice on KDC-18 KitchenAid Hobart Dishwasher
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Post# 981251   2/4/2018 at 14:24 (254 days old) by gert (Virginia Beach, VA)        

I found this site while searching the web to find out the model number and probable production year of my KitchenAid dishwasher. It was here when we bought the house in 1987 and was not new then. I think I have now correctly identified it as a KDC-18 (which would make it 38-41 years old?), but some of you experts here may correct that. My question is this: Since this dishwasher is working fine and has never given us any trouble, would I be foolish to replace it? It has been an incredible workhorse but I always feel like we are living on borrowed time with it. And tho it's looking better for its age than I am looking for mine, it still is not exactly spiffy-new. Right now there is a very attractive sale price on the replacement I would buy --IF I buy anything to replace it. But the more I read as I looked for my model ID, the more I saw that I might have something worth keeping until it gives up the ghost on its own. Advice?

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Post# 981255 , Reply# 1   2/4/2018 at 14:53 (254 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Noooooooo !!!!!!!!

Don't get rid of that beauty. You would never find a machine that will clean that well in that amount of cycle time.

"Let the sleeping dog lie".

And welcome to the site.

If you have any problems with it, there is a BIG support group here for keeping these machines running.

Post# 981260 , Reply# 2   2/4/2018 at 15:23 (254 days old) by gert (Virginia Beach, VA)        

Thank you so much, toploader. I feel better already! My tendency is to hold on to things as long as possible and I just wanted to be sure that my reluctance not to part with this dishwasher was not silly.

Have I correctly identified the model? It does say "custom" on the control panel, so I am pretty sure about the C in "KDC," but would love some verification.

A kind of fun thing to add to my background on this dishwasher: About 5-6 years ago, quite a few tines on the bottom rack had rusted out and broken off. It was really bothering me, but I just couldn't imagine getting rid of it. Just about that time, I went for a long walk in my neighborhood and there at the curb for junk pickup was my same model in another color. I opened it, saw an almost-perfect bottom rack, and happily brought it home. Since coming to this site, I realize that I should have harvested a lot more from it...

Post# 981264 , Reply# 3   2/4/2018 at 15:31 (254 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Absolutely hang onto it.  With the stainless exterior, it has a timeless design that fits right in with any kitchen scheme.


You may not realize how spoiled you are with this machine.  You would truly be disappointed with a modern machine not only in its build quality (even a KitchenAid) but also the relatively long time it takes to complete a cycle.


As long as your machine it rendering satisfactory results, there's no reason to replace it.  Hobart built their products to last.

Post# 981269 , Reply# 4   2/4/2018 at 15:46 (254 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
Keep it...

speedqueen's profile picture
but, if you are going to get a killer deal on a new one and have the space to store it, buy the new one as a spare. Eventually and sadly this machine of yours will die, but hold on to it as long as possible because dishwashers only get worse from now. These machines are described by many as hurricanes in a box because instead of relying on really long cycle times to to the job like modern machines with their anemic pumps, these use very high water pressure.

If you buy the new one as a spare it will allow you to have a back up machine if this one ever needs service. Parts can be a little harder to come by so it will give you some time to get the old beauty back into action.

Post# 981271 , Reply# 5   2/4/2018 at 15:49 (254 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
I almost forgot...

speedqueen's profile picture
The "C" does indeed stand for "Custom". The top of the line "Supurba" model is the KDS-18.

Post# 981280 , Reply# 6   2/4/2018 at 16:29 (254 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Should be a model tag on the edge of the tank, probably left side, visible when the door is open.

18 series was in production from 11/1976 through 10/1979.

Dishwashers are not so much a life-and-death appliance like a refrigerator (not for most people, LOL) so having an immediate replacement on-hand isn't necessary unless you fall into that category.

Post# 981286 , Reply# 7   2/4/2018 at 17:21 (254 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        
Kitchen Aid!

peteski50's profile picture
This actually looks like a KDC20 and not the 18 series but anyway keep it going anyway people would do anything to get a dishwasher like that

Post# 981290 , Reply# 8   2/4/2018 at 18:26 (254 days old) by gert (Virginia Beach, VA)        
Thank you!

Thank you all for so much helpful feedback. I am so glad I found this site. I am now quite ready to let the sale price on the new Whirlpool go past and take my chances on what may be out there whenever my trusty old dishwasher finally does die. But now I know not to give up on it even then without first checking in here.

DADoES, thank you for pointing me to the model info inside the door. Don't know how I missed it. And peteski50, you are right; it IS a KDC 20 -- which makes it 4-5 years younger than I'd thought!

Post# 981293 , Reply# 9   2/4/2018 at 18:45 (254 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I think the 20 series is the last from KA that provides two rinses.  All the more reason to hang onto it.

Post# 981301 , Reply# 10   2/4/2018 at 19:43 (254 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Extra Credit peteski !!!

The second photo though blurry, below the control dial looks like the "Energy Saver V logo.

Post# 981313 , Reply# 11   2/4/2018 at 23:25 (254 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

Oh yeah, keep it til it dies!  I almost fell into the "buy something new" trap myself a few years ago when my Maytag dishwasher was beginning to show signs of age....then I did my homework.  I was fortunate to find a brand new unused Kitchenaid KUDI23 (twenty years old but still had the packaging inside!)

Post# 981630 , Reply# 12   2/6/2018 at 11:50 (252 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
You can keep it going for a very long time...

firedome's profile picture
One strategy is to look for a parts machine, another KDC-20 would be ideal, and they are out there, but even other Series 20 models share some of the most important parts such as motor, drain valve, some racks, &c, I believe. Timers are unique to each model You can usually find them very cheaply or even free, as with the rack you found on the street.

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