Finding a dishwasher: at a complete loss

TimDasDecember 2, 2012

Am completely disheartened - after doing endless research, I can't find a single brand/model that has uniformly good reviews - without at least several buyers claiming 'this purchase was the worst mistake of my life'. WTF!? Anyone know of a dishwasher which is guaranteed not to suck?
-Frustrated

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weissman

The only brand that tends to get uniformly good reviews is Miele and it's the most expensive - and even there you'll find an occasional bad review. Many of us have been very happy with our KA dishwashers but lately there have been some negative reviews. Bosch also gets mixed reviews - although the high-end ones made in Germany tend to get better reviews.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:47AM
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deedles

I notice on AJ Madison the 'lower end" Danby and Avanti get very decent reviews. Whatever you get, it might not be a bad idea to get an extended warranty... I never have but when we get our new stuff, I'm going to.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:55AM
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springroz

I really am pleased with my Thermador! I believe it is made by Bosch. I have used it 1 to 3 times per day since July.

Nancy

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:56AM
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KevinMP

My Bosch cleans very well, and is super quiet. It has a tendency to not try the tops of mugs and plastic very well, and needs to be emptied the day you run it or else wooden spoons may start to mildew. But, other than that, it's great.

I wanted the Frigidaire Professional dishwasher with the hidden controls because it was getting rave reviews at the time, but it was too deep to fit into my space. I had to get one an inch shallower, and only Bosch makes one small enough (or so I was told).

My Bosch was about $750.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:06PM
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cookncarpenter

had a K-A that lasted over 20 years. when it died, bought an LG, and has been working well for the past few years very, very quiet. But I miss the wood panels on the K-A the stainless panel is a pain to keep clean...

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:55PM
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alexx

I love my Bosch and will buy one again.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:59PM
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a2gemini

I love my Miele. It is SS and they put something on the SS so no fingerprints!
Love the cutlery tray - but that is either a love or hate but for me, love!

I had a lemon Miele first and they refunded my $$. I wan't going to get another one but everyone I talked to and everything I read - they were the best.

Also - with the higher end racks - I can hold a ton of dishes - 14 place setting of plates, salad plates, dessert plates, and BB plates - I might not get all 14 glass sets in depending on how I load the DW.

I put almost everything in it - including my china, Waterford, and Riedel glasses - I have not broken anything in it - I think it is safer than washing by hand!

The repair rate was one of the lowest in the industry with about 8/100 needing something vs some of the worst coming in at 25/100 (or maybe it was out of a 1000 - I can't remember). I don't want to diss the higher repair rate unit - it is popular on the GW and is a drawer model....

The new one is about 3 years old now and going strong. I would recommend using either the Miele DW soap or the Finish cubes with the red dots and episodically use the "DW conditioner". I just used it for the first time and the DW looks like new on the inside (I saved the container and might try to make my own version from Tang)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 3:53PM
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mjsee

I love my miele--will second the no fingerprints! I, too, love the cutlery tray--but it is possible to get a cutlery basket if one is concerned about the cutlery tray.

I've only been using mine for a month...but it is making me very happy. It cost us about $1000--$200 more than the other DW's we were considering...and worth every penny.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Angie_DIY

I don't think there is any product for which you will find no devastatingly negative reviews. People generally only write reviews for things they are very happy with or very upset with.

One strategy I try is to take the ratio of (excellent+good) reviews to the number of (poor + awful) reviews, and compare that number for different brands.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:41PM
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rsuburbhome

I am a new poster here, but have lurked for years. I debated the new dishwasher for 9 months because I was also frustrated by the reviews. I took my dishes, pots/cutting boards to the miele and couldn't stand how they didn't fit easy. I decided I couldn't live without an American size dishwasher, just didn't know what to pick. When my almost 10 year old one started smoking I made a quick choice, not really, but I was informed enough. I went for the cheapest quiet one I could find. I chose the Kenmore Elite 1396, 46 decibels, $805. I love the fact it takes off cheese, oatmeal and boiled potato juice, all the stuff that I had to be careful to pre-rinse. Quiet and ease of loading and quick wash were my biggest factors. We have had it for 18 months and I would definitely buy again.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:55PM
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TimDas

Thanks all who took the time to reply - much appreciated! Good strategies and tips here from you folks - glad to know I'm not the only one who's been so frustrated with this search... Will post my choice/purchase for closure - soon...

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:28PM
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lascatx

You will never find uniformly good reviews on anything. There will always be some folks who gripe -- if only the price or something that reveals they didn't do their homework before buying. There are also going to be some bad products made when thousands of anything are made. The best ones have the lowest incidence rate and the best customer service in resolving the problems.

In my last house, we put in a KA that I loved, then they changed the racking and I needed something different. I went with Thermador here -- which is a Bosch with different nameplates and typically one different cycle or different names on the cycles. I was told Bosch had the red floor light (indicator that it is running) and the Thermador had blue like their other appliances, but they are red. While I would have liked a blue light, I can't say I have been unhappy with the DW. Works well and quietly. I actually have two and they both get a workout, from once every other day to twice a day for almost 6 years now. Hard to believe.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:09PM
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cluelessincolorado

Have my first Bosch and am happy with it. Our biggest criteria was that the DW be as close to silent as possible (small open house). Fits the bill and I am so happy it has the red indicator light. Not easy to load out of the box, but I took the advice here and brought dishes to retailer before purchase to be sure they would fit well with practice. Would most certainly purchase again.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:37PM
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BerlinGirl

Happy with our 8 year old Bosch. Never looked back and would buy again in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Mom2SF

I love my Kitchen Aid. It's about 7 years old and been used every day. Absolutely no complaints!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:26PM
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sameboat

Here's a tip. When looking at dishwashers in the store take care to notice how far off the floor the display is. My utensil basket slips onto the door, and it's a PITA to fill or empty. It will also KILL your back! The display model must have been installed about ten inches higher than the floor and I just didn't notice...until we installed ours! Ouch!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 11:02PM
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function_first

Although I rely on cyber reviews for most purchases, when it came time to buy a replacement dishwasher, I went to the local library to read the dishwasher edition of Consumer Reports. That led me to a particular model of KA that I have been very happy with for the last few years. The reason I was adamant about finding out the real deal on the dishwasher was because it was replacing a Fisher and Paykel double dishdrawer ($1400) that only lasted 3 1/2 years (the last year with only one drawer operating)-- which Consumer Reports showed as one to avoid -- if only I'd researched before that purchase. Lesson learned. This KA is still going strong.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 5:45AM
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williamsem

While not a popular choice here, I love my new GE DW. It's so quiet it's hard to tell it's running sometimes. And it cleans great. We have had a few things not get clean, but only when we cram things in and end up blocking water flow (apparently DH hasn't figured that out yet, but clearly user error). We have the SS model that's like $8-900 or so.

Whichever model you get, use the recommended soap. I have read a lot about the newer machines using certain soaps to clean well due to the methods used. We use the powerball with red dot too with great results. Some places also talk about not needing to prerinse, or not recommending prerinse, so the cleaning enzymes can activate and work properly. There's a lot of info on the appliances forum.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Marie29

I am happy with our KitchenAid that is 3 years old. It's so quiet that we sometimes have to get right next to it and check the lights to see if it's on. Our only complaint is that the dishes have not been coming out dry at all lately. However, that might be because we haven't been using the rinse-aid since we switched to the Finish tablets with the red ball.

Now we are doing a kitchen remodel this spring, and this black dishwasher doesn't really "go", so we're looking into a new one that can have custom panels installed. We're deciding between another KA or the Miele, which looks like a great machine.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Lorenza5064

I am an ASKO enthusiast. Love everything about it. Seriously, you need to put your ear on the DW front to determine if it is running, it is that quiet.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:44PM
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sarends

We had a Kitchenaid in our last home - when it became old we replaced it with a (close to) bottom of the line Miele - we LOVED it - very quiet and did an incredible cleaning job.

Several years went by and we moved a few times and settled into a house 3 years ago with, yes, another Kitchenaid dishwasher - it is a "good" dishwasher and is better thsn the one we replaced in our previous house. However, we are in the process of a kitchen remodel where we took the wall out (over the top of three cabinets) between the kitchen and the family room to open things up - we love everything about our new kitchen except one little thing -

I CAN HEAR EVERYTHING THE DISHWASHER DOES! So, now I can't wait to get another Miele - I am sure there are other great dishwashers but the last one we had was the best DW we had ever had and we are going to go Miele again. Besides, we have some other Miele items in kitchen already and it will kinda make sense to my DW!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 3:05AM
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Marie29

Sarends, thanks for sharing your experience-you just tipped the scales for us. We'll go with the Miele. Any thoughts on keeping the KA as a backup in a butler's pantry?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:36PM
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xc60

We love our KA KUDE70, it's amazing and totally quiet except for when it's draining. We are once again building (been in current new home less than 2 years) and plan to get the same KA dishwasher in new build.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 3:09PM
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sarends

Marie, I am pretty sure we had purchased the Miele Futura Classic which starts at about $899 online in today's market. Our base model Miele was sooo extremely good that I would have to think long and hard before upgrading to Miele's more expensive Crystal, Dimension or Diamond models. Ours had the ability to add salt to ensure the water was the perfect PH for maximum cleaning - this wasn't really a huge need as our water was pretty good, but I believe this helped with the unbelievable quality of the resulting wash.

Let me know which model you end up getting!

We also did not opt for the top silverware tray which I am pretty sure we will opt in for next time!

We love Miele appliances and I can't wait until we have a Miele DW again.

What I respect about Miele is even there bottom of the line DW is the best we had ever had - I think this is true with some of their other appliances too - their bottom of the line is equivalent to other manufacturer's upper end models.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 5:53PM
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MarinaGal

We just purchased two Miele DWs - the Crystal and the Classic. We only have the Crystal hooked up so far and I love it. So quiet, cleans well, and what I love most of all - the way it loads. No clanging of dishes in big space-wasting slots, and the silverware tray is wonderful. My last DW was a GE and while it cleaned and dried well, it was noisy and not space efficient at all.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 6:47PM
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snowbean

I have the Kitchen Aid Stainless interior and stainless exterior Dishwasher. I bought it in 2006 and only had one problem in 2010 with the non-stop blinking lights. KA sent me the electrical part free in 2 days without hassles and I was able to put the new part in myself. I didn't have an extended warranty with KA or with Lowes. It cost just under 1000.00 so it wasn't the most nor the least expensive choice. hth :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 7:24PM
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camphappy

I have had a KA for about 3 months. So far I love it. It has a pot scrubber feature that works amazingly on pans with baked on foods. I originally was going to get a Bosch but my plates did not fit in it as well.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 9:02PM
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babushka_cat

i love my miele - no regrets, worth every dime!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 12:04AM
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tinan

I adore my Bosche, and adored the one we had at our previous home! I was so sad to leave it behind and get the Frigidaire that came with our new home, but the Frigidaire died after a few months and we replaced with another Bosche. It is quiet, cleans perfect every time and has a sanitize function and an auto-wash sensor setting which I always use. Oh, and it was about $500.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 12:09AM
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marcydc

Very happy with the Miele. Went one step up from the bottom because I thought I needed the time delay. Nope, no need since I can't hear the darn thing ever. I have to look at the lights to see if it is still running.

The cutlery tray on top saves much time unloading. I actually got a "gasp" from a male friend when he saw it. Yes, he is the organized type, but it blew him away that it could be so much easier / cleaner.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 2:13AM
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luckymom

Miele. Love ours. 1st one (11 years old) had some parts broken by the idiot that removed the kitchen cabinet- it still worked great, quiet as could be. We decided to replace with a new SS one to match the rest of the appliances. We're getting the parts to fix the old one and giving it to our son.

Both of ours have had the water softener. We've got well water and a regular water softener- but it's been known to not work all the time. This time I got the the one with the LED lights- OMG- I never realized how nice it is to actually see inside your dishwasher! Now we're debating on the wifi module that will contact Miele if there's a problem, but considering in 11 years I had 1 service call- seems kind of silly...

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 10:48AM
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mizmom

We have an Asko that is almost 4 years old. It gets run every day. Because we changed the floor elevation after we bought the previous dishwasher we were limited to only a very few models because of height restrictions.(previous dishwasher had to be broken apart to remove it) Our choices were Asko ADA, Miele, one Bosch model and a really basic low end Fridgedaire (I believe but may not be correct on the last one). I did not care for the Bosch racks, the Meile was really nice but about $400 more installed and I am not the kind that I would use the cutlery rack to full advantage. The Asko had an unbelievable 5 year warranty at the time and I could live with the way it loads so that is the one we chose. Plus it was cheaper than the Meile.
Do I absolutely love it?...No
Does it clean dishes?....Yes
Have we had any problems?....No
The Asko is very, very quiet but I am sure other brands are too.
We went from a previous domestic brand that had heated dry, larger capacity and a built in garbage grinder.....those are the things I really miss.
Heated dry: Yes, Asko is much more energy efficient but I put a lot of plastics in the dishwasher and they just do not dry. Note,if the load is all glass and china, there are no wet dishes. (the Euro brands did not have heated dry)
The way it loads: I can no longer but my skillets and certain platters in along with dishes because these Euro machines are just smaller front to back and the internal arms/sprayers interfere with certain items.
My suggestion is to decide what is important to you and then take a full load of what you usually wash to the store with you. Make sure there is plenty of clearance for sprayer arms etc and that you can get a typical load all in for one run.
(Note: my friends and family considers me a "super loader" because I can get more dishes in any dishwasher and they still get clean. It's all about technique.)
Good luck on your choice. I hope you find one that makes you happy.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 2:08PM
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snowbean

Kitchen Aid is great ! Their customer service center handled my blinking light issue smoothly. They sent out the free part, I put it in ( control board), and it's been fine for the last 6 yrs.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 3:41PM
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KitchenConfused

so which KA model should i get? i would get Miele but it's a lot pricier. Finally decided against Bosch when i heard about no heating element! i need my dishes dry at the end of the cycle!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:40AM
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lee676

Bosch does have a heating element - it's just hidden so small plastic lids won't fall through the racks and land on it and burn up, and curious kids won't burn their hands on a piping-hot heating element if they reach in when the door is open and rack extended during or shortly after the dishwasher cycle is complete.

I don't know why Ktichenaid dishwashers are so often mentioned here and Jenn-Air, Maytag, and Whirlpool (amongst others) ignored since they're all almost the same thing.

My picks: high-end Bosch for quietness, related high-end Thermador for features, high-end Miele for best rack design, overall quality, and features, Asko for best 3rd-rack design, Fisher & Paykel for best-designed drawer-type dishwasher. Amongst lower-priced dishwashers, LG and Samsung very roomy and nice stainless-steel tubs and less expensive, but not all that quiet (especially the Samsung). GE recently revamped many of their dishwashers, not familiar with these yet though I wasn't impressed upon first look. Many smaller brands I don't know well.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:34AM
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jeri

Just bought the KA KUDE60 because I wanted the top (3rd) rack and I knew this one would be plenty quiet. I believe the only difference between the 60 and the 70 is that the 70 is quieter - but we can't hear the 60, so that was a moot point.

I would probably not go with a 3rd rack again. Our cutlery does not fit very well here - we have longer/heavier pieces.

The 2nd rack (usually a top rack in most DWs) does move up/down which was necessary for me, but not as much as my old DW that I replaced. I have to wonder if this is because of that uppermost third rack - there is only so much room after all. Because of this, I am frustrated loading the machine - if I move it up so that my taller bakeware fits on the bottom, then I have items that will not fit in the 2nd rack - and vice versa. So I can never get all of my dirty dishes into the DW at one go. :-(

It's a great machine, and I would go with KA again - I just would not get the 3rd rack.

HTH

Jeri

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:40AM
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lee676

here's Bosch's heating element, right off their website:

Nice being able to put "top rack only" plastic dishes and serving containers on the bottom rack! Won't matter if you have a Bosch, but they'll melt there in a Kitchenaid.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:41AM
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jeri

With KA, you have a choice of using the heater or not.

I like choices. :-)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:35PM
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sr712

After 18 years with our top-end Kenmore Dishwasher, we needed a new one. The racks were starting to rust; other than that it still ran and washed great. Replacement racks were no longer available. Anyways, we bought a KA KUDS35FXWH from AppliancesConnection.com for $735 delivered to inside our door. No Tax. No Fees. It took 2 weeks or so to get it, but the price was very nice. This is a very very quiet dishwasher. Seems to clean very well, too. We have had it in for 2 weeks, and are so far happy with it. Not to be disrespectful, but I am surprised how many of you have no problem dropping a large amount of money on a dishwasher. Marketing must work. haha. This model seems to have most of the features that >$500 additional models do.

Quietness comes from mostly adding insulation and in some cases some kind of mass, like tarred fiberboard to the exterior under the counter. Folks, get some insulation from Home Depot for a few dollars and you too can have a super quiet dishwasher. Its not hard. They add 4 dollars of insulation at the factory and charge you another $400 for the super-quiet model.

Anyway. This seems like a good choice for a dishwasher for us.

Oh, ... to the person who remodeled their kitchen and now their dishwasher is too loud... I wonder if they "opened" the rear of the dishwasher to cabinets instead of a wall. The rear usually doesn't get much insulation as the manufacturers assume you will back it to a wall with 2 layers of sheet rock and 4 inches of dead air, or an external wall. Try getting some faced insulation and put it on the back of the appliance when you slide it into the cabinet. Should calm down the noise.

Here is a link that might be useful: KitchenAid KUDS35FXWH

This post was edited by sr712 on Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 23:17

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:06PM
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gr8daygw

Our KA Supurba has been going strong for 15 years, never one repair call. But I am starting to think time is running out. The reason I would look into the Miele is because of what posters said about the SS coating that keeps it fingerprint free. I believe it is called clean steel.

When people post a DW that they are happy with it would be so great to know which model you are referring to. I noticed that not all of the Miele's come in clean steel. If I knew how to do the clean steel coating myself I would do it, lol. I don't know if this machine would even be in my justifiable price range.

Important to me is:

* onboard food grinder
* spacious interior to accommodate 12 inch plates
* heated dry
* quiet but does not have to be silent

Other than that, I'm pretty easy to please.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Tuggy3

My understanding is that Bosch is the only DW that has the extra tub underneath in case of leaks and has a switch off to prevent leaks. We had been happy with our 10 year old GE mid model but didn't trust it wouldn't eventually leak onto our hardwood floors. This happened to our neighbors this year. We purchased the all stainless steel tub Bosch SHX55RL5UC (not the one with the plastic bottom-it doesn't have the no leak thing) and the salesman at the very reliable home owned store where we buy all our appliances said: Always use rinse agent. Clean the filter because there is no food grinder in this one. There is no heat coil so sometimes plastic doesn't get completely dry. We bought it anyway because most of our neighbors are happy with this model and because of the the water safety feature. As an added measure we have always let our water run to hot with all our dishwashers. So far, so good. Eerily quiet.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 8:05PM
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knoxmomx2

I'll throw in another vote for Bosch.

After multiple problems spanning over two years with the Frigidaire Professional dishwasher that came with the house (water leaks, escaping steam destroying wood under countertop, cheap elastic band on the door hinge broke, control board fried and the replacement board pooped out within an hour of installation) I finally ended up washing dishes by hand for over a month ... it felt like a year. I'll never buy a Frigidaire product. Ever.

Bosch is another story. Quiet. Cleans wonderfully with Cascade and Finish. Great customer service--the plastic toe kick that came with the unit was cracked (delivery issue, not manufacturer's problem). One quick phone call to a Bosch rep, a brief email with a copy of my sales invoice and a pic of the toe kick and -- voila! -- a week later the replacement shows up on my doorstep. Did I mention that I love this dishwasher? Bought the mid-level model SHE55r55uc. Love it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:00PM
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mum2gandb

My 1 year old KA is leaking; I am so unimpressed. In our new build we are getting an Asko. I love how quiet it is and I love that the whole thing is SS inside.

This post was edited by mum2gandb on Fri, Mar 8, 13 at 22:25

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Lorenza5064

I am a HUGE fan of the Asko DW. When I purchased the appliances for my new kitchen; Wolf induction cooktop, Wolf steam oven/Lseries oven, and subzero fridge, an Asko DW was a bonus thrown in with the package. I had planned to keep my existing Asko. Imagine my surprise and delight!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 7:40AM
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nikmik

Don't buy a Bosch. Bought one 5 yrs ago. Got new house and replaced it with another Bosch. This one is not the quality of my original purchase. This is made in USA however after being repaired 3 times within 3 mnths, Bosch would not replace. On top of that, their authorized repair service never submitted my repairs to Bosch to confirm my problems. After fixing that they still did not want to know my name.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:13AM
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annkh_nd

I've had a Whirlpool Gold for over a year, and I love it. It is virtually silent - my son's room is directly under the kitchen and he can't even hear it when it runs (except for the water draining). That was not the case for our previous cheap model, which stopped getting dishes clean after about 3 years. It was about $750.

One of the things I like about it is the "top rack only" feature. We don't use it much now, but expect to when our kids head off to college next year.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:33AM
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sail_away

Jeri, if your DW is like the KitchenAids we've been looking at, you can remove one or both of the trays in the top (cutlery) rack. That would give you more room on the second rack.

Also, the trays can be oriented in two different directions. If you have them inserted so that the longest side extends from front to back, the top rack is set at its highest position. If you orient them so that the longest side goes from side to side of the DW, the top rack will be a bit lower. So there is some versatility there, depending on what your needs are at the moment.

Maybe experimenting with taking one or both of the racks out or changing their orientation would be helpful.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 7:05PM
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renjamolin

In my experience, i have been using the Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR55UC dishwasher and it works great. I just bought it at an affordable price. Well, i can only purchase that dishwasher for the money i have during the time when i was looking for one to buy.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:49AM
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