Should I swap my kitchenaid imperial dishwasher for a new one?

morahamyOctober 22, 2012

We bought a new house this September. We have a Kitchenaid Imperial by Hobart model KDI-16. It works great but I suspect it's an energy hog. I manually skip the pre-wash and the dry cycles to try to conserve, and it still works great.

Friends are redoing their kitchen and have offered us, for free, their 5 year old whirlpool gold dishwasher. (Not sure the model, could find out.) I can't decide whether I should give up my old dishwasher (which has to be at least 30 years old) or not. Any advice?

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Hobarts are primo DWs. If it still runs, KEEP IT. This is a no brainer.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 7:13PM
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It's older than you think ... KA 16 series was produced from 5/1968 through 5/1971.

Heated dry doesn't really take as much power as people believe. Estimate a 1KW (1000-watt) heater running 25 to 30 mins, at 15 cents per KWH that'd be 7.5 cents. $2.25 running a load every day for 30 days. More energy is used by the household water heater for heating the water a dishwasher uses than is consumed by a heated drying period.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 7:28PM
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I'm inclined to agree with Weissman.

The old KA may be an "energy hog" but that is a relative term. The amount of electricity you'll save with a new dishwasher may not save you very much money. It might be only $20 or $30 year, and could be even less as you are skipping the pre-wash and dry cycles.

A bigger deal with old versus new dishwashers is more likely to be the amount of water used. Some of the newer DWs are very stingy with water use. As I rather vaguely recall, some of the older DWs from the 60s might use 10 gallons of water per load. I don't know where that Whirlpool sits in the water use standards, but newer DWs may use 5 gallons and some use as little as half of that, less. Depending on the water situation where you live and whether you are on a septic system, a new DW can be a benefit in that respect.

A third consideration on newer dishwashers is whether you are bothered by the noise your KA makes. DWs madee in the last five or six years tend to be substantially quieter. Note that is "tend to be." Some just make different kinds of noise which you might or might not find more annoying. My recollection is that some recent WPs are kind of noisy and many are not.

A fourth consideration is that many of the older DWs worked pretty quickly. For the last decade, cycle times have been getting longer and slower as energy consumption has been reduced.

Another consideration is that the old KA probably has a metal or enameled tub which is pretty durable. Many of the more recent WP dishwashers have had plastic tubs. Some people think the plastic tubs are less durable. Some people do not.

A final consideration is that a five year old dishwasher is going to be run from integrated circuits and microprocessors whose durability can be difficult to predict. That old KA is pretty much an electro-mechanical device and, as you've noticed, pretty darn durable.

If you get the model number, you might be able to search for reports on the Whirlpool. Do you have storage space? Maybe you take the WP and store it for a couple of years as a spare in case the KA breaks down.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 7:32PM
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If it's working don't touch it. Even if it's Avocado Green. Ok I'll give you a pass if it's avo green.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 7:47PM
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KDI-16 uses 13.5 gals for the Full Cycle. 5 water changes.

1) PreWash (detergent in both cups) or PreRinse (detergent only in main cup)
2) PreRinse
3) Main Wash
4) Rinse
5) Rinse

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Exchanging a Hobart for a Whirlpool would be something like exchanging Tahoe for a Tercel.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 4:10PM
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I would keep it if it is working fine, over a 5 y/o GE. They are not made the same, anymore.

Sort of makes me wonder why your friends are not keeping the GE.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 5:00PM
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Well, the friends are offering a Whirlpool Gold, but Cavimum's point is still a good one. Why are your friends dumping a 5 year-old DW?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:31PM
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I'd easily keep the old Hobart. There's a reason it's lasted so long. (I still see them in use in lots of old houses, some older than yours). I had one that was probably one generation newer than yours, and it was almost as quiet as modern high-end dishwashers, and quieter than new mid-level models. And much faster than either. Drying was also better than in most new machines - hidden heating element and fan-forced drying. I'd venture the Hobart would outlast the Whirlpool Gold despite its age.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:40PM
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