GE dishwasher doesn't heat water???

lserpaJanuary 13, 2008

We were talking dishwashers last night with friends of ours who have a GE Profile dishwasher. They said they would absolutely not buy one again, because before they can run the dishwasher they have to run the kitchen faucet until the water gets hot, because their dishwasher doesn't heat the water itself - and if they don't turn on the hot water the dishes don't get clean! Is this true with the GE Profiles?? Does anyone else have this problem or do our friends just have a bad dishwahser that no one is owning up to??

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All DWs these days recommend that you run the hot water before you start but I believe they all still have water heaters as well - my KA certainly does. My mother's DW is a GE Profile and I never run the water before I start and it cleans just fine - your friends may have a broken DW.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 2:23PM
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Depends on the individual machine. Not all dishwashers are designed or able to heat the water from cold (or low temps) to operating temperatures. Even if the machine has a water heater, it may be only a supplemental heater to *maintain* the temperature for the duration of the wash or rinse phase. Typically a 110/120 volt heating element can't raise the temp more/faster than about 1°F per minute, depending on what volume of water is involved. Some machines do have a thermostatic hold that delays the cycle until a specific temperature is reached. Cooler incoming water, of course, makes for a very long cycle.

Dishwashers nowadays also use noticeably less water per fill than machines of years past, which is why manufacturers recommend running the hot water at the sink before starting the machine -- to purge the supply line of standing cold water. If a fill takes only 1 gallon of water, and it takes 1/2 a gallon (or more) just to clear the line, then half (or more) of the first fill is cold. It may take two or three fills for the incoming water to reach full water-heater temp.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 2:47PM
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I, absolutely, HATE my G.E. Profile dishwasher. It just does NOT get my dishes clean like I would like them. I will never own another one again.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 5:12PM
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Lets go back to the old days. When I was growing up our water heater could be set to over 160F. We had ours set to 160F. Nowadays many heaters have a preset limit of 120F or less so that the little kiddies and us clueless adults don't scald ourselves.

In the old days the DW had a HEATING element. The wattage was high enough for it to actually do something. Nowadays the wattage has been lowered so the power is no longer there.

Also with today's Energy efficiency standards some manufacturer's just set the heater to run for a while and then if the water doesn't get hot enough well to's gonna shut off anyway but that's OK because at least the manufacturer made their energy star status. Many DW say that you should have the water running into it a 120F.

Dadoes makes a very good point. With some of today's DW taking about 1 gallon per fill(mine takes a little less) if your DW is not close to the hot water heater you will not get really hot water. In my case my WH is on the other side of the house and the pipes(insulated) run through unheated parts of the basement - my DW is connected to hot water but the water it gets during the winter months ain't very hot and you have to run more than 1 gallon of water to even get hot water up to the first floor.

If distance is a factor your best bet is to look for DWs that can heat the water rather than just maintain it.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 12:42AM
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Our GE Monogram DW heats the water just fine, cleans very well and is the quietest DW we have ever owned.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 11:06AM
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There ARE dishwashers that CAN fully heat the water to operating temperatures. These machines can typically work with a COLD water connection. Some of them are RECOMMENDED for connection to cold water to insure the cycles don't get hotter than the designed temperature (a china/crystal cycle, for example).

Did a test few mins ago. From a cold start, it takes about 2.5 gallons run at my kitchen sink faucet to get to full temp or near-about. My DishDrawer takes 0.8 gals per fill, so a Normal cycle of 5 water changes doesn't reach full incoming temp until the 2nd after-rinse, and not even really then due to stand-time between fills that allows the supply line to cool slightly. However that doesn't matter, as it will always heat the main wash and final rinse to target temps per the selected cycle. I do run the faucet just until it gets warm for heavy/greasy loads

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 3:14PM
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Your friend's GE profile dishwasher is broken. It should heat the water...just like all the others do. Almost all recommend running the water hot at the nearby tap first. However, they don't use much water and the mass of the tub and dishes will take a lot of the heat away, especially on the first fill. During the course of the wash in a "normal" cycle, the machine's element will raise the temp up to about 120F - 130F if it's operating properly. "Sanitary" cycles typically go up to 160F or so.

Info on various GE dishwashers here:

Site has downloadable manuals, too.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 3:59PM
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dadoes - what brand Dw do you have?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 5:52PM
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My DishDrawer takes 0.8 gals per fill, ...That would be a Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer model DD603SS.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 12:53AM
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I was reading something a while back that someone had written about how they liked their GE dishwasher. They also talked about heating water and drying. They said that theirs has a 1000 watt heating element so it heated up quickly. Is this correct? I thought with the Energy Star thing the watts would be much lower. I know on my Kenmore Elite it has 400 watts for drying and 840 for water heating . I would think the 1000 watts would be a fast drying cycle which I guess could save energy by getting the job done faster.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 1:09AM
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For heating water, how fast the water is heated has nothing to do with efficiency or energy star ratings. Its HOW MUCH heat is added to HOW MUCH water that matters. So having a 1000w or a 400w heater could use the exact same amount of energy in a DW cycle. The 400 would just take longer.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:06AM
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I think my mothers 1970 KA had a 1200W heater in the sump area that was used to heat water only. It had a Sani Rinse option and the water was heated to 180F as the last rinse if you selected this option. The sani rinse was the only time the motor would stop during the wash/rinse portion of the program. It would draw water and then heat it, for about 3 or 4 minutes, then start spraying the dishes. This was also in the days when the detergent instructions said that you had to have water between 140f -160F for good results.

I looked at some of the GE models last year. Some of them use a lot of water 7 to 9 gallons in some cases, so maybe they don't have Energy Star ratings, or perhaps the rating is low.

Also don't some GE's have something called HOT START. Does anyone know what this is..what this does?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 11:35AM
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The Hot Start is where the heating element comes on in the first fill to heat the water to get the dishes "warmed" before the main wash--at least this is what GE told me back when I was looking and I asked about this feature. I am not sure but I think it is designed to heat to 95degrees for Hot Start because you know that most first fills are cold water if you don't run the sink first. Even then you have the cold tub,dishes,and leftover water in sump from previous run.

About the wattage: My water heating watts are 840. When I was talking to GE before I also asked then about wattage and the model I asked about listed the "Calrod" as they call it, as being 1200 watts. When I asked the lady about this she said "I can't believe this is correct". "It is an Energy Star machine and I don't believe that this is right", but then she never found anything else on that model that said different. Although on another model I checked the wattage was 825 for water heating and 665 for dry because it too had a "multi-watt" element. My old GE just had a straight 500 watt element.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:44AM
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