Thread Number: 90718  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
GE Undersink Dishwasher
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Post# 1152158   6/23/2022 at 12:21 by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        

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I just came across this dishwasher advertisement in the June 1982 issue of "Housing" magazine.
I have never seen THIS model here on AW.
Has anyone seen it in person?
Must be a rarity!

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Post# 1152159 , Reply# 1   6/23/2022 at 12:25 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
They pop up from time to time

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I saw one at an estate sale a few years ago.  I would think it would be really awkward directly in front of a sink but it is better than nothing if that's all. you have.  This particular kitchen was small and U shaped.  It was only as wide as the dishwasher so with the DW open you couldn't even get around it to the sink.  I guess with the right set up it might work out.

Post# 1152160 , Reply# 2   6/23/2022 at 12:25 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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They still make it for some reason. It's a bad concept.

The 18" wide dishwasher is a better idea.

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Post# 1152176 , Reply# 3   6/23/2022 at 16:20 by Syndets2000 (Nanjemoy, MD)        
First generation...

My Dad's small townhouse was built in 1967 with these in the all GE kitchen. It still had the motor and pump located in the center of the tub, with blue coated racks, and plastisol coated tub ( blue with white speckles ) it was installed about 2/3 under the sink, which had the new style GE disposer. I suppose without a disposer, it could have been completely underneath the shallow sink, which had the drain opening in the rear corner... The dishwasher was not sound insulated, so it was very loud. We also had a GE washer/dryer combo, a 27 inch drop in range ( manual clean), and a single door fridge. All the appliances were shaded coppertone...

Post# 1152177 , Reply# 4   6/23/2022 at 16:31 by Syndets2000 (Nanjemoy, MD)        
Good Idea...

We serviced many later generation models downtown in DC, and given the small kitchens in apartment buildings, this design worked very well. The newer versions offer a more substantial and usable upper rack, as opposed to the half rack version that the older ones had, when u had to remove it to load part of the lower rack...

Post# 1152184 , Reply# 5   6/23/2022 at 17:22 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE Under Sink DWs

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GE has built these for over 50 years and they are sure a better bet for a compact kitchen than an 18" machine especially when you consider that the only 18" machines available in the 70s-90s in the US were POS D&M machines and now that they are gone from the market the only thing is POS Chinese 18" DWs that hold almost nothing.


[ Yes you can get a Bosch or Miele 18" DW if you have $1000-1500 to blow on a DW that you will either have to pay through the nose to get fixed or you will just have to keep buying new ones when they break ]


John L.

Post# 1152186 , Reply# 6   6/23/2022 at 17:49 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

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I've been in vacation condos with one of these--they actually work just fine. You can put shallow dishes (1 1/2 inch depth) cereal bowls flat in back, the glasses in front. The lower rack is the standard GE low-end lower rack and the wash tower is normal They never put the higher-end wash system in...but far better coverage than the 18" units and eminently repairable...only thing out of the ordinary was the molded Permatuf tub (and everyone knows how trouble-free those are).

Post# 1152189 , Reply# 7   6/23/2022 at 18:25 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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I've always thought these were a great solution to a small kitchen.  The dishwasher could be installed under a SS sink, taking up a combined width of 36".  It required a shallow (6") sink with a rear drain, suitable for a disposer.  Like John said, this would usually be a better solution than an 18" dishwasher.


GE liked to claim a focus on the compact (spacemaker) appliances, but I'm not sure how space-saving they actually proved to be.  The Mark 27 is a perfect example.  On the surface it does save space, but when you stop to consider that, unless the builder was using totally custom cabinets, the 27" drop-in would still consume 30" of base cabinet space, without the benefit of a storage drawer; not such a great idea maybe.  And I'm not sure anyone actually manufactured a 27" wide range hood, so again, you'd be forced to use 30" of wall space.


This dishwasher was a pretty good idea for a small kitchen, especially during the 1960's.



Post# 1152191 , Reply# 8   6/23/2022 at 18:50 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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These are a bad idea because of how they block up access to the plumbing connections for the sink they are supposed to fit under.

If you should have a leak back there it will be difficult to impossible to access it. That will certainly lead to other maintenance issues.

One also has to coordinate this dishwasher with the choice of the sink and fixtures. A special sink with rear corner drain is non-standard and adds to the costs. As does a non-standard sink elbow arrangement. You are limited with sink depth as well.

These dishwashers may wash fine, maybe. They are very basic looking.

An 18" dishwasher is a much better choice as it's standard install just in a narrower space and there are many models to choose from.

If a kitchen is so-o limited in space that it can't possibly fit a standard or even 18" dishwasher; it's doubtful it actually Needs a dishwasher.

This under sink dishwasher is part of the plethora of prototypes that GE was doing in the 60s with the likes of their variable speed washer, and the utility sink top washer, the combination washer/dryer, and a variety of other appliance designs that didn't make it to commercial success.

Obviously, the only reason they still make this is for the replacement market.

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Post# 1152195 , Reply# 9   6/23/2022 at 19:19 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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It just looks weird. It's an unnecessary and unplanned optical illusion.

You know when you look at the sink there is a cut-out in the counter for a recessed tub with drain.
And the dishwasher is an enclosed tub accessible from the front, so

No. Bad design. Good intentions back in the day to try and please everyone and we can appreciate that, Just no.

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Post# 1152209 , Reply# 10   6/23/2022 at 20:19 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Reply #9

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That particular installation would be a plumber's nightmare.  Although this arrangement was offered by GE, the preferred arrangement would have the dishwasher and the sink offset by 12"; with the combination using a total width of 36".  The sink required a rear drain (both right and left were available) and plumbing connections (including a disposer) could be located in the 12" cabinet beside the dishwasher.


I believe this model dishwasher was introduced with the 1962 model year.



Post# 1152216 , Reply# 11   6/23/2022 at 21:06 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I've known several people who lived in apartments with this dishwasher arrangement. All of them had it offset from the sink, and had either an 18" or 21" sink base cabinet to the side of the machine. I don't think any had disposers. The recommended sink to use is Elkay model GECR2521 L or R, which lists at $558.00.

Post# 1152217 , Reply# 12   6/23/2022 at 21:08 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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1962.  There apparently is a market for them if they haven't been discontinued for the duration of 60 years.

Post# 1152219 , Reply# 13   6/23/2022 at 21:19 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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It's just like the 24" wall ovens. The major manufacturers still make 1 or 2 models, but they are basic and they are intended for the replacement market.

No new buyer seriously considers them. New installs are 27" or 30"

Haier/GE is the only manufacturer of these underSINK dws.


I am amazed just how many choices there are these days for 18" models. Back in the 80s all I knew was Kenmore's 18" D&M made model that was successful enough to continue to be made for decades. Then other brands started putting their name on the D&M made model.

My guess is this is an international market. I know the UK has recently been taken up with the dishwasher fad that the U.S. was doing in the 70s. They are however with limited space in their kitchens.

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Post# 1152228 , Reply# 14   6/23/2022 at 22:25 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE Under Sink DWs

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Must have been a bad idea since they only built them 60 years, oh wait they are still making them, LOL


I have never seen one directly under the sink like in reply #9, I don't think that is a real kitchen installation.


If you wanted to do it like that you just put the plumbing and shut off valves to the Rt or Lt in the cabinet next to the DW.


Here I mostly see a single sink with the drain opening on the Rt or Lt because we are required to have a disposer here.


John L.

Post# 1152244 , Reply# 15   6/24/2022 at 00:42 by Chetlaham (United States)        
Big Market

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There is a huge market for these in existing rental properties.

There are plenty of economy apartments from the 50s, 60, and 70s which have these. Either original or added latter during a unit overhaul.

It lets the owner advertise the Kitchen as fully applianced. Mention heat and hot water included with the rent and the line of people interested ends up leading out of the rental office.

Just to give you an idea here is the size of a typical Kitchen:

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Post# 1152246 , Reply# 16   6/24/2022 at 01:05 by Chetlaham (United States)        
Bad Concept

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To all those saying it is a bad concept you're correct- to the household occupants who have to live with it. But at the same time you have to take into account that the landlord world is very, very different than the buyer/owner's world. And that is the spot GE has always appealed to.

Landlords just want to get someone to sign an unbreakable 1 year lease. That takes the visual presence of convinces, amenities and promises. (Like a full size {cough-under -cough- the sink- cough} dishwasher) Whether or not those offers live up to expectations or preconceived notions is another story that is not of interest the landlord after the ink drys.

In simple terms get a dishwasher into a small space at the lowest price.

*In no way am I defending this business model, rather I am just sharing insight*

Post# 1152247 , Reply# 17   6/24/2022 at 01:24 by Chetlaham (United States)        

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Except for the pop up tower being a bit different and shorter, everything else is 100% identical to a full size standard tub GE dishwasher. Water charge was the same.

At the apartment maintenance scrap pile which typically had 6-12 DWs added every week these consisted of 1/4 of the machines.

Post# 1152262 , Reply# 18   6/24/2022 at 07:50 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The main problem with the D&M 18" dishwashers is that the standard construction machine is more narrow than it is deep so the wash arm cannot provide coverage to the entire area of the racks.

Post# 1152265 , Reply# 19   6/24/2022 at 08:17 by Logixx (Germany)        

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"New [oven] installs are 27" or 30"."

Meanwhile, me, a European, wonders why on Earth someone needs an oven the size of a crematorium. 😋

Post# 1152266 , Reply# 20   6/24/2022 at 09:02 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Reply #15

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LOVE that kitchen!!!



Post# 1152268 , Reply# 21   6/24/2022 at 09:29 by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
24" Wall Ovens

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Regarding bradfordwhite's comment on 24" will ovens being basic;
I was fortunate to get a Kitchenaid Superba double electric oven at a huge discount (display model) in 2013.
Both ovens self-clean.
Top oven has convection.
It is really just as feature-packed as their 27" and 30" models were then.
Of course, that WAS 9 years ago now.
There IS a market for well-featured 24" wall ovens as not all people want to gut their kitchens just to replace an oven.
This is the third oven I've had in this house since moving here in 1970.
First was a "Custom Crafted" by Hotpoint, then a Roper and now, the Kitchenaid Superba.

Post# 1152300 , Reply# 22   6/24/2022 at 12:56 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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I'm not saying I agree with it.

All I use is a toaster oven and a air-fry oven which is even narrower than 24" oven and I don't have any problems.

I need my ovens to be portable as I almost always use them outside so the heat, humidity, and smell can just float away.


#18 Tom
They've made them all these years since at least 1978.
Friend from childhood, her mother bought a brown 1979 portable model and it worked reasonably.

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Post# 1152311 , Reply# 23   6/24/2022 at 13:53 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I put one of those GE DWs in a kitchen I designed many  years ago.  Customers were very happy to  have a DW in a tight 1920's kitchen, used it for many years before moving on.

Side note also found a way to tuck a 1/2 bath into a first floor closet by stealing a bit of space over the basement stairs for a small sink.  For folks with 2 young kids and one bath on the second floor it was a big improvement.

Post# 1152319 , Reply# 24   6/24/2022 at 15:21 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
The sinks

Elkay version


Post# 1152320 , Reply# 25   6/24/2022 at 15:23 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
The sinks

Just version.


Post# 1152324 , Reply# 26   6/24/2022 at 15:59 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Re: reply #22

The principles of physics are against them providing equal and even wash action with anything but the most standard of items. We have had them in the shop. They cannot provide the evenness of washing that you get in a 24 inch dishwashers. I know how they work. You should have seen the one John rigged up with the 220 volt heater from a full size Kenmore dish smasher.

Post# 1152329 , Reply# 27   6/24/2022 at 17:13 by Logixx (Germany)        

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Some brands have two spray arms under the middle/upper rack to facilitate corner cleaning. I've seen it in Bosch dishwashers ten years ago, as well as Electrolux and Gorenje (probably others as well).

Post# 1152332 , Reply# 28   6/24/2022 at 18:34 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
The undersink thing

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GE had a couple of flings with appliances put under sinks. This mishegas started, IIRC, with a 1962 washing machine tucked under a stainless steel sink (much more useful, IMO, than a dishwasher--I mean, to paraphrase Anthony Bourdain, if your kitchen is that small you don't deserve a dishwasher).


Thank you John L. for the pictures.

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Post# 1152334 , Reply# 29   6/24/2022 at 19:03 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

The folks who used the one I put in were happy with it.  It had it's drawbacks but having a DW far outweighed the issues. It all depends on your perspective.

Post# 1152344 , Reply# 30   6/24/2022 at 20:24 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Reply #28

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Ken, you are correct!  At the same time GE also introduced a companion High-Speed dryer that required the builder/installer to provide a field-installed top (maybe a top was optional with the dealer).  There was no console and the controls were concealed behind the dryer door.  Excepting the console, the dryer looked identical to all of the other GE dryers.



Post# 1152356 , Reply# 31   6/24/2022 at 21:08 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

and the dryer control was flat like a telephone dial. I wonder if they had to pay a royalty to WP for that set up.

Post# 1152359 , Reply# 32   6/24/2022 at 21:20 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Pics are saved from (1) unknown circa 2020, (2-10) Combo52 and (11-12) MoparGuy circa 2012.

Hmmm, 30 to 40 mins for De-Wrinkle.

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Post# 1152469 , Reply# 33   6/25/2022 at 21:03 by Chetlaham (United States)        

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@Pulltostart- Thanks! :)

Its just so cozy!

I'm not going to lie, I kind of like it as well. I love the through the wall vent, and thinking about the wiring in the 80s GE range. And a door to the back common hallway where friends can pop by.

Post# 1152543 , Reply# 34   6/26/2022 at 18:32 by Dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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When my home was built in 1968 it had an undersink GE dishwasher.  I have since remodeled and no longer have one, but many people still do in my neighborhood.  It really did save cabinet space and that is what it was really good at.  They are very pricey and not many bells and whistles.

Post# 1155726 , Reply# 35   8/1/2022 at 15:45 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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While I like the 70s retro decor, can you imagine functioning in this kitchen?

Can you imagine trying to get under that sink for.... anything? but especially to make a repair?
Trying to load that dishwasher while trying to get dishes out of the sink? There is like 10" between the dishwasher door and the parallel cabinet.

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Post# 1155727 , Reply# 36   8/1/2022 at 16:00 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Reply #35

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How could anyone deal with that!!

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Post# 1155731 , Reply# 37   8/1/2022 at 17:11 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE under sink dishwasher

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Reply number 35, I guess if you’re obese that kitchen may not work but I certainly wouldn’t have any trouble working in it.

I just put a brand-new pump and motor assembly in this under sink GE dishwasher last week took less than 30 minutes did not have to move the machine just laid on the floor in but the motor in.

John L

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Post# 1155745 , Reply# 38   8/1/2022 at 20:08 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Kitchen in #35

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As a household of one, I love it.  I love efficiency and efficiency would be required in a space like this.  While it's almost vintage, it is missing one modern convenience - a microwave (I hate microwaves for that very reason, they just didn't exist way back then and there's no way to make them look right in a vintage kitchen).   In the past, I've hidden my microwaves in the pantry and liked that solution.


One inaccuracy about this kitchen; the Mark 27 range is not original it appears.  The hood is probably original and it includes the pushbuttons for the drop-in range.  The replacement is newer (P-7) and includes it's own pusbbuttons across the top of the backsplash.  It's the kind of uh-oh that you might find on a movie set.



Post# 1155749 , Reply# 39   8/1/2022 at 21:03 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Good eye on that. The awkward dishwasher isn't the only thing here, that stove is mismatched with the hood.
They look like they are similar age.

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Post# 1156735 , Reply# 40   8/12/2022 at 14:22 by dishrich (Springfield, IL)        

GE's website is now showing all these models NLA; you can't even get them to come up except if you do a search for "undersink dishwasher":

Post# 1159203 , Reply# 41   9/10/2022 at 07:38 by chetlaham (United States)        

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It looks like GE's under-sink DW has been discontinued.

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Post# 1159216 , Reply# 42   9/10/2022 at 13:36 by kd12 (Arkansas)        

I wonder if some of the old-timers at GE back in the day remembered their electric sink designs from the '20s and 30s and thought this would be a good idea to try again.

Post# 1159275 , Reply# 43   9/11/2022 at 04:24 by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        

Tell me more about the utility sink top washer, I’m very much interested in that

Post# 1159302 , Reply# 44   9/11/2022 at 10:28 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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