Thread Number: 76402  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
KitchenAid KDS-18 Front Panels
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Post# 1002465   8/3/2018 at 21:44 (325 days old) by jacz219 (Tarrs)        

Hello, Iím brand new to this thread and I would just like to first say thank you so much! You all have been gems in my quest for vintage appliances in my modern/retro kitchen Iím creating with such tremendous advice.

Now, I have a question about my dishwasher. I am doing avocado appliances and already have a Signature Menu Magic Stove and a Montgomery Ward Frostless 18 refrigerator. The front panels of my dishwasher are a wood trim kit. Are the avocado panels available somewhere? I really want it to be an avocado front as the wood trim matches nothing in my kitchen. Do you all have any pointers or suggestions? I know paint could potentially be an option but it feels like I would be cheating.

I havenít installed it yet, as I have yet to move to the new place but I have never seen one so clean and solid underneath. It came from a house where they did not use the dishwasher. The inside looks brand new as well. Anyway, hereís the front of it.

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Post# 1002473 , Reply# 1   8/3/2018 at 23:55 (325 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Avocado and wood grain were often paired together back when both were popular.  Visualize a '70s kitchen with dark wood cabinets and avocado appliances.  You might want to figure out a way to make the KA work with what you have, because I don't think panels on 18 series can easily be switched out as they can on series 20 and later.


How about some pictures of the stove and fridge?

Post# 1002487 , Reply# 2   8/4/2018 at 07:13 (324 days old) by jacz219 (Tarrs)        

I read the original sales brochure and it seemed like it could be. Idk. I have all white cabinets itís not completely retro. I just did the appliances. And sure, hereís a stove and fridge pic.

The stove is kind of funky though lol

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Post# 1002495 , Reply# 3   8/4/2018 at 09:23 (324 days old) by stevet (palm coast florida)        
"Behiind door number one..."

Your dishwasher has the vari-front kit on it that will accept a custom panel or came with the 4 different color panels inside the kit. However, since yours has the custom panel, there may not actually be the others underneath. you can remove the panels on there by removing the small screws on the side of the trim piece and see what might be there. If there is a panel underneath, you can have them sprayed at a body shop in any color you may want. Or one of the members here may have some spare panels or a whole kit for you.

While the machine is out, I would strongly suggest that you insulate the tank to cut down on the noise it will make when running. And it will also retain the heat in the tank as well. If you can find some kind of adhesive padding like Dynamat or even the rolls of adhesive flashing sold at HD or Lowes,it will help quiet it down and then add some fiberglass around it too.

Keep us posted on your project and progress.

Post# 1002526 , Reply# 4   8/4/2018 at 13:18 (324 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I like the knobs on the stove that are placed up high and out of the way of pots or what have you on the stove's surface.  I'm not sure about the stove's maker though.  Westinghouse, maybe?


The fridge was likely made by Frigidaire. 


Smart move in choosing KitchenAid over Signature for the dishwasher.  Very smart.



Post# 1002542 , Reply# 5   8/4/2018 at 14:54 (324 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
Very nice pictures!

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I like the stove, it's different with the knobs high like that. And that wide & narrow window in the door is neat. This stove looks very unique to me.

Thanks for sharing the pictures with us

Post# 1002569 , Reply# 6   8/4/2018 at 21:03 (324 days old) by jacz219 (Tarrs)        
Thanks All!

I paid a whopping 6 dollars for the stove on a local online auction and 100 for the refrigerator. The refrigerator concerns me. Though it does function, the pipe leading into the freezer gets frost on it.

The Dishwasher was 50. When I wanted to do the avocado appliances I found this forum and it was a no brainer to go after a KDS-18! I had to beg the man to sell it to me because people were going crazy over it. It was a craigslist find. Theyíre in storage right now until I move. I plan to go out one day next week and check the trim kit. I really hope avocado is underneath there!

The stove is unlike anything Iíve ever seen.

If I didnít have a brand new GE set of washer and dryer I would love to go find a GM Frigidaire. Theyíre zero to none in my area.

Thank you all so much for your support!

Post# 1002578 , Reply# 7   8/5/2018 at 00:15 (324 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Can you be more specific about the pipe that goes into the freezer?  A picture maybe?

Post# 1002588 , Reply# 8   8/5/2018 at 09:13 (323 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Avocado Appliances

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Its fun to see your vintage avacado kitchen comming together, I was always fond of avacado appliances.


The stove was built by Tappan, it is a decent range, other than its convent design about the best thing about it is it is not Gas.

The oven does not use Top-Heat while baking [ unusual for an electric oven ] so you may not get as much top browning of foods as you like or are used to. You can somewhat offset this by using the pre-heat setting when heating up the oven [ then witch back to bake BEFORE putting any food in the oven ] or by placing foods higher in the oven away from the lower bake element.


The refrigerator is most likley an Admiral built ref, I need an inside picture to tell for sure, also post a picture of the tube where frost is forming and I may be able to suggest a cause.


John L.

Post# 1002596 , Reply# 9   8/5/2018 at 10:16 (323 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Well, if ever a stove said "Montgomery Ward" and "Signature/Menu Magic"--at that, it would definitely have to be that one, Avocado, and all...

I have seen those kinds of ranges in appliance advertisements way long ago, and of course, miss how they suddenly disappeared...

-- Dave

Post# 1002597 , Reply# 10   8/5/2018 at 10:25 (323 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Range is made by Tappan

of course. Always liked the electric glass warming shelf. Hard to say of that one is self clean. Likely continuous cleaning. However, some had a lock lever, and some models used one of the knobs to lock the door. My moms gas self clean one did.

Post# 1002703 , Reply# 11   8/6/2018 at 09:51 (322 days old) by jacz219 (Tarrs)        

When I get a chance, Iíll take a picture of the freezer and the inside for you all. All the appliances are tucked away until I move in a few weeks.

The next thing I would love to find is the avocado compactor to match the dishwasher.

The stove was too unique to pass up and thereís is no self cleaning option. I looked at all the dials.

Close up pics will follow soon!

Post# 1002839 , Reply# 12   8/7/2018 at 12:42 (321 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Just FYI, Steve replied with additional information about the panels in the thread about the KD-18 sink adapter instead of this one. 

Post# 1003811 , Reply# 13   8/15/2018 at 21:16 (313 days old) by jacz219 (Tarrs)        
The Trash Compactor

Hey all. I have an opportunity to pick up the Kitchenaid Hobart Trash compactor for 20 dollars? Can any of you tell me anything about them? I know the dishwasher is primo.

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Post# 1003814 , Reply# 14   8/15/2018 at 22:41 (313 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Hobart Designed KA Trash Compactor

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These were very well designed  and effective machines, I highly recommend getting it.


John L.

Post# 1003832 , Reply# 15   8/16/2018 at 06:52 (312 days old) by estesguy (kansas)        

In 1975 I bought a 3 door SXS Ward avocado refrigerator that was definitely made by Frigidaire, as they were the only one making that design. That was only the reason I accepted buying a Wards refrigerator, was that it was made by Frigidaire. I think the compressor actually had a little crowned F moniker on it. I must say though, their electric heat strip between the doors was not a good idea. I had to replace it at some point when moisture started forming between them. GE's running the condenser tube around was just as effective and more reliable.

Post# 1005890 , Reply# 16   9/3/2018 at 00:43 (295 days old) by jacz219 (Tarrs)        
I got Zonked!

Well, behind door #3 was a ZONK! There are no panels, there is no trim kit, it just a piece of wood that was from the cabinets that the house was in. No stainless trim kit to be found!

Trash compactor is a gem!

Post# 1005905 , Reply# 17   9/3/2018 at 07:30 (294 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Trim Kit ?

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Hi Jake, are you talking about the KDS-18 DW in your first picture ?, that DW has a trim kit already installed, usually when wood panels were installed no painted metal panels would stay in place.


Glad you are enjoying you Compactor.


John L.

Post# 1018943 , Reply# 18   12/23/2018 at 21:50 (183 days old) by jacz219 (Tarrs)        

After awhile with switching jobs and renovations, I started putting the kitchen together. Stove is a gem, the Dishwasher, I have never seen or heard anything clean like that. Itís absolutelt amazing. Thereís just one problem, it wonít drain! When I press cancel drain, water comes out the front and it speeds to the end of the cycle and it will not drain. Iím not a savy person with repairs, but doing a vintage kitchen I had to get a KDS 18.

Any suggestions?

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Post# 1018967 , Reply# 19   12/24/2018 at 05:37 (182 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Does it drain into a garbage disposal? Looks like a new sink, did you remove the plastic plug on the disposal prior to installing the drain line? This would be my 1st check to see.


Post# 1018988 , Reply# 20   12/24/2018 at 11:41 (182 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Comes out the front from where?† Visual identification is the best way to troubleshoot water leak issues.† Remove the lower panel for a look-see.

Cancel/Drain rapidly advances the timer to the last drain period (after the final rinse, before dry commences), then rapid-advances again through the dry period to Off.† It may stop the rapid-advance at one increment before Off and finish to Off at normal speed.

Post# 1022066 , Reply# 21   1/22/2019 at 15:31 by jacz219 (Tarrs)        
No drain no gain

Hi there. I shop vac the water out of the tub. For some reason it will not drain. Everything else works. It sprays and cleans amazing! Just when it comes time to drain it does nothing. Iíll grab pics tomorrow!

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