20 year old KA Dishwasher

KBnTXJanuary 16, 2013

I recently updated my kitchen, but have been hesitant to replace my KitchenAid dishwasher because there is nothing wrong with it other than the color. It probably was top of the line when the house was built, has a custom panel to match cabinets, cleans great, and is very quiet. I am ready to finish this project, so I need to find a stainless model. Bosch and KitchenAid are the two brands I am looking at. Hopefully, KitchenAid still makes top quality dishwashers. Any suggestions?

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You may be able to find a stainless steel panel for your unit. Or, have a metal shop make one to swap-out for your custom wood panel.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:15AM
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While I have a 10-year old KA that I'm happy with, the older ones made by Hobart are classics and very well-made. If yours is in good shape, I'd keep it and get a new panel.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:35AM
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If it is an old one made by Hobart, I would suggest keeping it. Our last dishwasher was a newer Kitchenaid. It was noisy even though it was said to be their quietest. However, it did last 9 years, and did a reasonable job of cleaning. But, it had a healthy appetite for parts which were expensive.

We replaced it with a Bosch. The cycle time is much longer, but it cleans well, and is very quiet. Can't comment on reliability as we have not had it long. Currently we are having a bit of an issue with it, and am not sure if it is a problem with the dishwasher or something else.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Thanks for the ideas and opinions. I'll probably keep using the KA since it works great. Will check into the stainless panel for it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:40PM
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20 years ago is just about when the Kitchenaid dishwashers changed from the nearly-indestructible Hobart design to being tarted-up Whirlpools. If the inside tub is made of porcelain and the racks are blue, it's the original style (even though it was actually being built by Emerson by that time rather than Hobart). Those were excellent machines - cleaned well, quiet, nice adjustable racks, built like a tank.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:51PM
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Oh, also the KA dishwashers of that era had framed doors and access panels, and if you remove the frame you'll find a thin sheet that's a different color on each side (and sometimes another unused double-colored panel hidden behind it). You can insert a stainless-steel panel cut to that size into those two frames.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:55PM
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Keep the old one as long as possible. We had a 70's model in a previous house without problem (1990 - 1999). After moving we put in new KA stainless 2nd highest model to replace "builder" GE. Lasted about 6 years before motor failed. Replaced with another, lower cost KA stainless with same primary features. Seems OK so far, but old one was far better made.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Keep it! ..ours lasted 27 years

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:33AM
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"Hopefully, KitchenAid still makes top quality dishwashers. Any suggestions?"

Hope all you want - but they don't don't make great dishwashers anymore. Keep the old one or buy a miele if you want another DW that will last 20 years.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:57PM
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I also agree that you should keep your old dishwasher. I have not been happy with the new ones at all, and in fact had my husband remove our less than one year old one, and put the matching cabinetry we had made and put in it's place. It has been a bit of a mental adjustment to go back to hand washing dishes after all the years of being spoiled with a dishwasher, but I have a routine now and am fine with my decision.

While building our home we bought a single wide to live in during the process. We put a top end Frigidaire dishwasher in, soon swapped it out for a top end Kitchenaid. Much to my surprise none cleaned very well. We moved into our new house a year ago and installed a dishwasher that had great ratings, also a Kitchenaid, and it has been mediocre as well. It was used at least once a day, sometimes twice a day as I cook everything from scratch. In addition, we had 3 control panels replaced, as well as the upper basket roller system that broke within 3 months. The repair man said that was how all of them have been, no matter what brand. I was aggravated with having to rewash many things, the extremely long wash cycles, and the smell that it developed unless cleaned all the time with a special dishwasher cleaner. In the end, I felt the thing caused more work and time than simply washing the dishes and putting them away.

Part of the problem lies with the poor dishwasher detergents that we are now forced to use. I've tried them all. The other issues are that they simply do not use enough water to properly get the job done. I noticed the new manuals for Whirlpool, Maytag, and Kitchenaid state that Afresh must be used on a regular basis, and that rinse aids HAD to be used. Well, the perfumed Afresh is just plain gross, and I don't want rinse aid residue on items I eat from.

The owner of a large appliance dealership warned us.......he said he hates to sell dishwashers these days.

Most women will defend to the death having a dishwasher. My mother in law would never be without one, yet her glasses and silverware are filmy looking, and we found them gross on Thanksgiving. She thinks they are fine. Other people leave the water running while they "clean" the dishes before loading them. Then they load and unload a batch that would have only taken minutes to do by hand in the first place.

Don't get me wrong....I hate washing dishes. On the other hand, I also hated unloading the dishwasher. I then realized that for me dishes are no fun no matter what, and is one of those life chores that has to be dealt with. What I hated most of all though were dishes that had to be rewashed. No, I will not lower my cleanliness standards. How ridiculous.

The last great dishwasher I had was a Maytag that we bought in 1997. Prior to that we had excellent Kitchenaids.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 12:26PM
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