Before using Miele dishwasher for the first time

purpleplumeAugust 5, 2012

Our new Miele Futura Diamond DW was installed on Friday. I was not happy with the installer, who was held out to be Miele trained, but not employed by Miele. He spoke only broken English, so communication was challenging. And the few questions I asked--from reading GW forum threads--he dismissed as not applicable to my situation. (For instance, he said I didn't need to test or adjust the water hardness setting because I don't have well water. And when I asked for the DW to be connected to the cold water line for proper China/Crystal performance, he insisted on connecting it to the hot water line.)

When the installer left, the dishwasher was running (with water only, presumably to test for leaks) and he just left without a word of explanation. When the cycle stopped, I opened the DW and discovered he'd left some soft foam packing material on one of the racks!

I settled in for an evening of reading the 82 page Miele manual. This morning, I returned to the kitchen to try to get my new baby up and running. My DH has been very patient but is visibly amused that I just spent three grand on a dishwasher that--48 hours later--has yet to wash its first dish. ;) After removing the red-bar plastic protector from the control panel so I could read the display, I began anew, with the manual open to the 9 page section entitled: Before using for the first time.

Since the control panel display said to add rinse aid, I did that. Then I programmed in our water hardness setting at 15 gpg, as determined by a SofChek water hardness strip test that I picked up at the shop where I purchased Miele DW supplies yesterday. Sure enough, the factory default setting for water hardness was 1 gpg, much different than our actual "non-well water" hardness.

Next, I proceeded to the directions for adding salt, and this is where I am currently stuck. Page 16 of the manual says to add 2 quarts of water before adding salt for the first time so the salt can dissolve properly. After unscrewing the lid of the salt container, I proceeded to add 8 cups of water with my measuring cup. When I started pouring in the 5th cup, the water overflowed. Since I find it unlikely that the German engineers would misstate the quantity of water required, I now had to question whether my installer may have added some water to the salt reservoir.

DH suggested that I remove all the water and start anew. So, turkey bulb baster in hand, I removed the water. I took out the same amount of water I had poured in--just over half of what Miele instructed. Despite DH's suggestion that there could be a lower portion of the water reservoir that my baster could not access, I am thinking that my installer did not, in fact, even unscrew the lid of the water reservoir.

The Miele manual state that the salt container should be "filled" with salt, but does not say how much salt it should take. Since it took only half the water amount specified in the manual, how much water and how much salt should I put in? The manual does say that the salt container holds approximately 4.4 lbs. (2 kg) of salt. An entire box of Miele salt contains 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) of salt.

If I put in half the amount of water per the Miele manual (4 cups) would you think I should put in half the amount of salt (2.2 lbs) the manual states it takes to "fill" the salt container? I can't imagine that 2.2 lbs of salt would dissolve into the amount of available volume (approx. 1/4 cup) left after I add half the prescribed amount of water to the salt reservoir.

This must seem very amusing to those of you who happily operate your Miele DWs without a second thought, but we have never used a water softening system of any kind in our house, so the whole concept of salt for softening is new to us. Many thanks for any advice!

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Can't help you with salt - our water hardness doesn't require this - but remember reading it in the manual and sighed a sigh of relief
It will be worth it in the end.
I didn't formally test the water but we get a water report 2 times per year from the city - so used this. I also think there is an auto setting in the machine but not sure.

Using a Miele certified rep increases your warranty to 2 years - otherwise most installers can do a Miele....

That being said - I did buy the extended warranty and used it to return the first lemon after 4 years - turns out the installer did some things incorrectly which toasted the machine in time - not to scare you but things can be done wrong.

So after swearing off Miele, I studied the internet, read every review on every dishwasher, looked at the repair rates, talked to several high end appliance stores and decided - I just had the one lemon.

I purchased a new one (I received a full refund) and bought my new one which has been terrific.

Last night I tossed in the dinner dishes, a grungy baked on muffin tin, pots, pans, etc - everything came out clean.

I am currently using the Miele tablets without additional softener as they have softener as part of the cube. I might try cutting them in half for general use.

If you go with an extended warranty - I would go with the Miele version and not the local appliance store version - then they send out their repair folks. I had a minor problem with mine and explained the problem. They sent out the repair guy with the replacement part in hand - no 2-3 trips!

The repairman didn't like how the top rack was working - one of the flipper bars popped off, so he said - let me just order you a new top rack and it showed up at the door - he would have come back if I needed but was easy to swap out.

Everything comes out clean - I sometimes have a small drip ring at one spot on the glasses if they are at an angle which I just wipe off with a soft cloth. If they are straight up, not a problem - but some of my glasses will collect water in the base, so I tip them a bit.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:38PM
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I'd cross post on the Appliances forum. There are service folk and hardcore users over there.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:16PM
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Water will overflow when adding salt for the first time at least if I recall correctly. Maybe roccocogurl will see this thread and post.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Duh! Missed your post roc!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:45PM
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@rococogurl - Thanks for the cross-post suggestion. I had intended to post the initial issue in the Kitchen Appliances forum but must have landed in the parent forum instead.

@cat_mom - You are correct. I spoke to Miele tech support this morning and they confirmed that water will overflow.

@a2gemini - Our Miele DW came with a 5 year warranty from Miele. Happy to hear your experience has been a positive one--and relieved that your lemon issue was sorted out before the warranty expired.

Miele tech support told me that they get quite a few calls about the salt reservoir not accepting the entire 2 quarts of water and that they should probably edit the manual to clarify that water should be added all the way to the top of the salt reservoir before adding salt for the first time. They also told me to pour the entire box of Miele salt into the reservoir, and that some water will spill out of the reservoir as the salt is poured in.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:37PM
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@purple -- glad info you got on that was right. For 3K they could correct the instructions. DUHHHH.

They also should sing for their supper on any additional adjustments till you get it humming. It may or may not take an additional tweak or two once the softener starts to function -- you want to look for the inside of the door to be nearly dry at the end of a normal cycle.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:10PM
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