How accurate are Dishwasher decibel ratings?

warmfridgeOctober 24, 2009

My current dishwasher is supposed to be KA's "quietest," but it's incredibly noisy. How accurate are the decibel ratings supplied by DW manufacturers? Has anyone tested theirs with a sound level meter?

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antss

Since there is no real standard for the industry - not very accurate on the whole.

The European makers tend to have the quietest DW's regardless of what the numbers say.

KA has never been known for quiet DW's or top shelf engineering.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 10:07PM
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weissman

A lot of it also depends on your installation - my KA DW is very quiet.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 10:56PM
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monicakm_gw

KA's current "quietest" model is advertised as 41 dB. My KA (simply because I couldn't use paneled or stainless (grrrr) is 46 dB. Can I hear it? Yes..if I listen closely. If there is any other noise in the room, no. So you have the KUDE70 and find that it's LOUD? Hummmmmm
Monica

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:28PM
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susanlynn2012

I hope my dishwasher is very quiet since I just bought the KUDE70 today which will be installed on Monday. After I get enough dishes to use it, I will give a review on it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 1:54AM
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susanlynn2012

Weissman, thanks for reminding me that installation plays a roll in how quiet a dishwasher is since if it is installed incorrectly, it may not be as quiet as the manufacturer's specs would make it out to be. I will have to watch the repairmen then on Tuesday when they are installing my new dishwasher.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:23AM
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warmfridge

I don't know what the model number is, but KA advertised this as their quietest model when I bought it 3 years ago. Unfortunately, I live in an open concept home, and my "kitchen" is one corner of a 30'x30' great room. When the DW is running, you can't hear a conversation in a normal voice or the television (unless the volume is all the way up) on the other side of the room. You can hear the DW in the bedrooms with the doors closed, so there's no escaping it. More unfortunately, it takes well over an hour to wash a normal load of dishes (total wash and dry time is 1 hour, 49 minutes).

Bottom line...no matter what the db rating is, this DW is too noisy for my living situation and needs to be replaced, but I need to be a more discerning shopper this time.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:59AM
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susanlynn2012

warmfridge, can you find out the model number for us so we can see what the decibel ratings are and if the dishwasher has a food grinder?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 2:39PM
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monicakm_gw

warmfridge, by the way your message read, I assumed you had the most up to date model (the quietest) the KA offered right now. Two months ago that was the KUDE70. As far as I know it's still the quietest KA model. Something is definitely wrong. Hope you're able to figure it out.
Monica

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 6:50PM
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susanlynn2012

I just read my posts and I meant on Tuesday the dishwasher will be installed and I will be watching to make sure it is installed right or at least looks like it is being installed properly. :)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 12:54AM
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susanlynn2012

warmfridge, please give us the model number of your KitchenAid. I would like to check the decibals and the features since I sure hope mine is quiet as well as having the layout that I like.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 5:40PM
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jaym2009

I would expect any modern dishwasher to be quiet. I have a Kenmore Elite (Bosch) that is nearly inaudible. Part of the reason is that it doesn't have a food grinder, instead it incinerates the food.

Decibel ratings don't mean a whole lot because you perceive some sounds as louder than others. In other words, humans rate loudness differently than a decibel meter.

But that said, a quieter dishwasher will likely be rated quieter.

~Jay

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 7:02PM
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warmfridge

Well, I now have actual data taken with a sound level meter...

This KA is a P-series. When I bought it 3 years ago, KA did not advertise their db ratings (as far as I know) but claimed this was their quietest DW. I've seen internet forum statements that the db rating is/was 51-54, but I have no idea where anyone obtained those numbers. The thing that really irritates me is that I had an older, cheaper DW in my old house that was way quieter than this one...should have brought it with me when I moved.

DW standing 2 feet away: 65-76db (louder closer to floor)
DW sitting on LR couch 27 ft away: 57-63 db (note there is a large intervening island)
TV from couch 12 ft away: 40's
Sound level on couch after turning up television to hear it over the DW noise: 70ish
My 2 parrots squawking at the DW: 80-90db

No wonder I have a headache. The good news is that I can buy a new DW knowing that properly installed, it will be quieter than this thing.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 8:50PM
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jkom51

Interesting: we just bought the KA KUDS30IVSS to replace an old noisy, very ineffective Kenmore/GE. I really debated about what to buy as there's been people unhappy with almost every brand for one reason or another.

The KA makes a single loud(er) grinding sound at start-up, but after that it's so quiet if I don't stand right next to it, I can't hear it running. My rangehood fan, even at low speed, is noisier than this DW.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:42PM
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guadalupe

All the new tall tub dishwashers have reduced noise levels compared to what use to be. A load size determines noise as well as whether or not you have a wood panel on the front. The euro dishwashers have enclosed sides the americans have insulated wraps (fiberglass). The search for silent appliances is ridiculous, nose is a sign of life

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 9:44AM
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warmfridge

Forgot to add that the food grinder seems to add only 2-3db to the "baseline" noise of the DW.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 9:59AM
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hopesprings_gw

warmfridge...I also live in an open plan home, and when we bought this house it had an older Fridgedaire dishwasher that we could even hear while upstairs in the master bedroom at night. We bought a Bosch and it's virtually inaudible, and that's saying something, since we have lots of hard surfaces (windows, wood, etc.) and not much to absorb sound.

Good luck in your search for something quieter!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 3:21PM
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mrtimewise

"DW standing 2 feet away: 65-76db (louder closer to floor)"
"DW sitting on LR couch 27 ft away: 57-63 db (note there is a large intervening island)"

I just cannot resist...does DW in this case refer to the "DishWasher" or the "Dear Wife"?

Sorry...but you all know that at a house party we would have all laughed!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 3:27PM
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warmfridge

LOL...since I'm female, there's no Dear Wife. ;>) I could have used DDW, for damn dishwasher though.

hope...I'll definitely look at Bosch as well as Miele. Do you have a problem fitting mixing bowls and large saucepans in yours?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 4:06PM
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antss

" The search for silent appliances is ridiculous, nose is a sign of life"

Lupe has hit the nail on the head !

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 9:31PM
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susanlynn2012

After I used my new KitchenAid KUDE70FVSS dishwasher today that is rated 41 decibels and realized I could still hear it but at least it is quiet enough to hear a TV in the other room without blasting the TV or to pick up the telephone to talk and let the person on the other end know I will take the call in the other room where there is no dishwasher running. But I see now that I would have been happy with any dishwasher much quieter than my previous 20 year old very noisy Whirlpool dishwasher and paying more for the 41 decibels may have been overkill especially since I most likely will be using the 1 hour cycle that is not as quiet as 41 decibels.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 7:12PM
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warmfridge

Lynn, if you can beg, borrow, or steal a sound level meter (stereo gurus often have one), check your DW and see if it actually is performing at 41dbs. I am still wondering how accurate the manufacturer's specs are.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 10:26PM
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