The KitchenAid dishwasher that came with our house has been on the fritz for quite some time. About a year ago, I heard a terrible noise while the machine was running. I went through the machine to clean it out and found a mystery screw. While I was at it, I ran a cycle with some cleaning stuff to break up the hard water deposits. It seemed to do fine for a little while, but then it started making a terrible grinding noise and doesn’t perform well at random times. Sometimes dishes and glasses come out clean, sometimes they come out with a film on them.
Jeannie has been pressuring me for a while to get it repaired, but I was reluctant to spend the money on an old machine because I expected the cost of repairs to be near the cost of a new machine. To me, repairing wouldn’t be worth it and I’d rather get something new that is more energy efficient in hopes that it will be a long lasting appliance. With the July 4th weekend upon us, we took the opportunity to check out the sales at Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Armed with the Consumer Reports reviews of the best rated dishwashers and our iPhones to look at user reviews, we visited both stores to check out the dishwashers on sale in the latest advertisements. What did I learn? The major comparison points are:
- Price – Of course this is the biggest factor. What are you willing to spend? Prices range from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. We were looking for something between $500-$800.
- Capacity – Even though all dishwashers have the same cabinet size, the drawers inside and capacity will vary (only very slightly though).
- Noise – If you can afford it, you want to buy a dishwasher than produces 50 dBA (decibels – the A is for acceptable noise level) or less. An increase of 3 dBA is supposed to be double the noise.
- Drying – A lot of newer energy efficient dishwashers may not include a heating element to dry the dishes. The heating element simply speeds up the time to dry. We usually start/run the dishwasher overnight, so it’s not really an issue for us. However, if you run the dishwasher frequently and want a fast turnover, you may want to consider purchasing a dishwasher with a heating element.
Some minor comparison points:
- Style – Everyone wants stainless steel these days. White and black models are available, usually for a lower cost. We’re getting stainless because every other appliance in the kitchen already is.
- Display – A lot of dishwasher manufacturers are integrating the display on the top of the unit door now so the they look more sleek. Personally, I still like the full display. Plus, the full display has a countdown timer so you know when the wash cycle will be complete. Many complaints I’ve seen in reviews are that users don’t know when the dishes are done with units that have an integrated display.
- Handle – Recessed or bar handle? I wouldn’t mind having the bar handle, but it’s $100 more for that and bar handle units typically don’t have a full display.
- Child Lock – I have a little one and plan on more, so it’ a consideration. I’m not sure if it’s the same across the line, but the recessed handle unit has child lock capabilities, the bar handle does not.
After looking at, and considering many models from different manufacturers, we concluded that we were going to purchase the Bosch SHE3AR55UC Ascenta 24″ Stainless Steel Full Console Dishwasher – Energy Star. It’s the exact same model as the Consumer Reports “Best Buy” Bosch SHX3AR75UC Ascenta 24″ Stainless Steel Fully Integrated Dishwasher – Energy Star. The only difference between the models is the handle, display, and the child lock. Otherwise, they both have the same capabilities and function exactly alike.
|Model||Bosch SHE3AR55UC||Bosch SHX3AR75UC|
|Capacity||14 Place Settings||14 Place Settings|
|Noise||50 dBA||50 dBA|
|Style||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Display||Full Display||Integrated Display|
|Handle||Recessed Handle||Bar Handle|
Bosch dishwashers are available online and select retailers. The biggest is Lowe’s. It’s available right now at Lowe’s for $629 with free shipping and haul-away. Shipping is big plus for me because I don’t have a truck. Haul-away is a negligible benefit because I could just utilize one of my large item pickups from the disposal company, but it’s nice that they do that. Lowe’s also offers veterans a 10% discount. Additionally, I earn 2% from my Fidelity American Express Investment Rewards by buying gift cards for the purchase – and I get gas rewards at Chevron (my choice gasoline) by buying them at Vons. My wife uses the Just For You app, so we also get bonus points towards the gas rewards for the gift card purchases. From the tally on the receipt, we will get 20 cents off gas for the next 13 fill ups. It’s too bad points for the gas rewards can only be used up to end of the following month. There is no way we’ll fill up two cars thirteen times by the end of August.
Anyhow, I’m confident about the purchase and look forward to installing and using the new dishwasher. I’ll try to report back later on my experience with a review of the product.