Dishwashers with heaters that can be turned off

mommaseedNovember 10, 2010

We lived overseas for years and made it just fine without a heater. In our current house we don't turn the heater on, ever. Please clue me in to which brands the heater can either be turned off or simply "vent" dry.

Thanks again you'll for being so helpful!

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You should make your question more clear. I am assuming that you are talking about the heater for "heated dry", yes?

Sorry, but I deal only in Euro dishwashers and they don't have heaters for drying - so I can't really offer you a direction to go in for an on off feature.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 5:47PM
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If you're talking about drying, every machine I've owned for the last decade has an "air dry" option. What machines are you looking at?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 6:05PM
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You can easily get a European machine here. Miele, Asko, and Bosch/Thermador/Gaggenau are popular. Also, I believe the Fisher and Paykel (Australian) dish drawers use convection dry.

Almost all but the most basic American models allow you to turn off the heating, though some are more suited than others for that. The hard part is discerning exactly which ones work well without the heater, and what the option is called.

My Monogram has convection (air) dry as its standard setting. It's probably not any different from a GE (it was a complicated set of circumstances that led to this machine--not my first choice). You can select added heat which makes the water hotter (and therefore aids the convection) and/or heated dry. For my loads, with the detergent etc. that I want to use (rather than most recommended by the manufacturer), it doesn't dry well on the regular setting. Jet Dry might help. Added heat does help (and, theoretically, gets the dishes that much cleaner). Without a lot of massy dishes and pots, the only thing that gets the plastics dry is Added Heat/Heated Dry/Plastics Cycle.

The Viking has a heated fan assist. It's a beautiful machine, that I really loved, but I couldn't get it to dry well even with the heat.

Other machines call the convection option things like "econo-dry", "air dry", have a toggle on the heater, or call it something else yet. You can usually figure it out by looking at the controls, or else you can refer to the manual.

My sense of things, after reading this forum for several years, is that the DW most people really like is the Miele, which has the same convection dry that you're accustomed to. Many also really like Asko. Because they're designed not to have heated dry, I'd really recommend getting a European machine so you'll be getting something that was designed to be used the way you want to do it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 6:42PM
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Fisher & Paykel is New Zealand, not Australia. They have forced-air drying via a small blower, with residual heat from the final rinse and the ceramic disk water heating element beneath the large stainless steel filter plate.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:40PM
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Oh! Thanks, dadoes, for the correction.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:56PM
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The KA's use condensation drying, and it works extremely well. I have never, ever used the heating element in either of my DWs (first was a Kenmore/GE piece of carp). If you don't want the heating element cycling on, you press a button to turn it "off", before starting the DW. It's simple and easy.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Due to Energy Star restrictions, no DW has the heated dry as part of the default "normal" cycle. If you want heated dry, you will need to push that button to add it to the cycle you choose. Many DW's no longer even have heated drying available at all.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 3:11PM
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On my KA (the KUDE70 model, installed in September), heated dry is the default (selected) option. This can easily be turned off, but you do have to push the button to de-select it.

[Having said that, I would echo plllog's advice: you may want to get a European DW that was designed to be used the way you prefer to use it.]

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 5:42PM
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We replaced an older occasionally working Maytag with the basic model Asko about a month ago. The Maytag had the option to turn off the "heated dry". I never had a complaint about how well the Maytag cleaned (it actually cleaned very well) but if you turned off the dry option, dishes were always very wet. I routinely used the heated dry option. I generally ran the dishwasher in the late evening and the next morning, dishes were still warm so I know it got hot and stayed hot or at least warm till morning.

I was expecting the Asko to have damp dishes after running in the evening since it does not have a heating element but so far I have not experienced that. Even the plastics are dry. The only difference I can tell is the dishes are not warm in the morning. The cups or glasses that have a depression in the bottom are still damp or have a little water but no more than the heated dry Maytag.

I am hoping we are saving on energy cost!!!!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:28PM
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Heated dry perhaps doesn't use as much power as people probably assume. Lower-wattage heating elements are typically used nowadays than in the past, and they may be cycled on/off during the drying period instead of running continuously for the duration. For example, an 800-watt element running for 25 minutes would cost 5 cents at a power rate of $0.15 per KWH. Running one load every day, that's $18.25 per year, but all the better if satisfactory drying can be had without added heat. Of course, power rates vary widely, as do dishwasher usage habits.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 9:25PM
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The heated dry option is ON by default on my KA KUDE60. I've never used the heated dry cycle BUT am glad I have it in case I want to use it at some point. The Euro models don't have the heated dry option and typically have a smaller interior.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 3:48PM
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I don't turn the heated dry off ever. The purpose of a DW is to clean and dry dishes. It's not worth the hassle not to use it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 5:13PM
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Thanks you'll for the many replies and discussions!

It seems Bosch gets such mixed reviews these days and I have read the interior is small. How small are we talking as we are a family of six?

I have nothing personal against the "heater." I just don't want to put our plastics through the heat, and (weather permitting) I would rather hang our clothes on a line than run them through the dryer.

Is it possible to find anything that will meet my requests without spending a thousand dollars?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 12:43AM
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"How small are we talking as we are a family of six? "

It's not as "small" as that crowd would have you believe. Generally they (euro DW's) are about 1" shallower than their domestic counterparts. This amounts to around two plates, sorta. The euro's racking systems are spaced closer together so you gain the two plates back and sometimes more.

Where some people find a problem with the "smaller" units is when they have really thick/earthenware plates and bowls. These don't nest very well in the closely spaced tines of the euro DW's . Even in this case the loss of 1" isn't going to make a difference because loading what you could fit in would be a royal pain.

Getting a top notch Bosch for under a grand might be tough. Their top of the range, German mandeunits are pushing $2k. Their $499 plastic bottomed specials aren't worth the soap you put in them IMO.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 8:25AM
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If noise isn't your highest priority, you can get a reasonably priced KA DW and turn off the heated dry. By the way, I put all my plastics in the upper tray or the pouch on the door (plastic measuring spoons) and never have a problem with the heated dry.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 1:38PM
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mommaseed, I had my mind made up to buy a (close to the top of the line) Bosch...maybe one step down. I took my large cookie sheet, large skilet and lid and tall drinking glass with me to the store. My first look at the interior seemed small but I wasn't going to pass judgment till I actually tried my dishes in it. None of them fit :o Not only that, the tines/racks didn't have as much flexibility to rearrange as my old Whirlpool did. I was disappointed to say the least. My next choice was KitchenAid so I went home and researched their dishwasher. Boy am I GLAD I DID! 1" deeper and 1/2 wider??? I don't know. I just know that it's a heap more room! Maybe it also has something to do with the tine configuration. It's also the 3rd rack that allowed me to remove the silverware basket and have room for deep skillets or bowls. I've never used the heated dry cycle but I think I'll give it a try :) With Jet Dry and propping the door open after it's finished, I don't have any complaints about the dryness of my dishes. The KUDE60 is VERY quiet. Can you hear it? Slightly. The loudest noise is the water draining. If you'll close the strainer on your sink, that noise is reduced a good 85%. The dw has never caused us to have to raise our voices to talk, interfered with dinner conversation, phone conversations or watching tv in the kitchen. We have grandchildren and therefore plastic bowls, plates and sippy cups. I put them in the bottom all the time :) Like I said earlier, I never use the heat dry but I wanted it just in case I DO want to use it sometime. I've never found any chunks of food in my filter. I've had my dishwasher since July 2009. I've checked the filter 3 times. The only thing I find on the filter is a film and it washes off with the faucet's spray nozzle. I scrape my dishes and they may or may not get a quick splash. Depends on what's on the dishes. I don't want milk in sippy cups turning sour...ewwww! It's got a really big tub and I'm amazed each time I fill it how much I can get in there and have everything come out clean :) Favorite appliance EVER in 31 years (today) of appliance buying! :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 2:20PM
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Monica....that's quite an endorsement. I'm torn between the 60 or 70 model KA. It sounds like the 60 would do everything I need it to!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 12:26AM
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Late this summer (when I priced these models), the difference between KUDE60 and KUDE70 models was very minor, maybe less than $50. And the KUDE70 was (slightly) quieter.

Another thread here discusses selecting between the KUDE50 and KUDE60 models.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 1:55AM
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When I bought my KUDE60, I wanted the 70 due to the slightly lower dB rating, but, I needed it in black and 70 model didn't come in black. I think only stainless and panel ready. The price difference was more than $50 (but that was July of 09). I don't know of any other differences between the two models. Maybe there's an extra cycle or two?? I don't know. The KUDE60 is all the dw I could ever ask for :)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 11:50AM
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Thanks so much you'll! I hopped on the site and ordered the KUDE60 for $589.99....hoping they haven't sold out!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 8:29AM
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Good price! I think it was fairly new when I bought mine in July of 09. I paid just under $1000 before tax and $100 4 year warranty. Hope you LOVE it! :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 11:46AM
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