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it’s important to ask yourself exactly what you want
June 21, 2010 - Chris Bennion - Coast Wholesale Appliances
Appliances have come a long way in 20 years. Just looking at a new dishwasher and its long list of features can leave the consumer overwhelmed. These days, it’s important to ask yourself exactly what you want from your dishwasher so you can zero in on the best fit for you.
Start with general questions like:
What colour do I want (Stainless Steel, Black, Panel Ready)?
How many loads of dishes do I do in one week?
A common mistake when buying a new appliance is that consumers feel they can walk into a store, look at 4 or 5 different options and be done. Unfortunately, these days you will walk into the store and have 30 to 40 different options. By answering some general questions, you can quickly narrow these options down, saving you a lot of time.
The next step is to look a little closer and determine what features you actually need. Will you require a dishwasher which has a Sanitize cycle? Or perhaps a dishwasher that has an upper rack only wash?
Dishwashers today have lots of features to explore. You can research these features on the internet or discuss them with your sales associate – they are trained to help you find the specifics of what you require.
Examples of other questions you might ask yourself:
Do I need a dishwasher that has a delay start?
Do I need a dishwasher with auto sensing wash technology?
Do I want a Domestic or Imported brand (i.e. Miele, Asko).
Something really important to consider is how often you are running your dishwasher. Make sure to let your salesperson know your usage requirements as not all dishwashers are built for heavy extended usage. When you using your dishwasher more than once a day you primarily want to look at the $1000.00 and above price level if you want a good dependable dishwasher that can handle the work-load.
If you have young children at home that like pushing buttons, consider a dishwasher that offers a child lock feature. This feature disables all the buttons so your toddler can’t turn off the dishwasher mid-cycle, or turn it on when it’s empty.
If aesthetics are important, you may want to consider a model with integrated controls. Integrated units are slightly different from regular dishwashers in that all your controls are located on top on the dishwasher door. This hides them away, leaving a sleek looking dishwasher with no visible buttons.
Having heavily-soiled dishes on frequent basis may affect what type of dishwasher you need. Some foreign dishwashers are not designed for typical North American use; putting dishes into the dishwasher without scraping and rinsing them first. Brands like Maytag, Samsung and Jenn-Air come with a Macerator that is designed to handle particles of left-over food residue. This doesn’t mean that these dishwashers have a Garburator (for grinding up food) – a common misconception among consumers. A Macerator, however does help by preventing grimy residue on the cleaned glasses and plates.
Before buying your dishwasher, always double check your dishwasher cabinet measurements. Most dishwashers are designed to handle height restrictions, but if you have recently installed hardwood flooring, you may have issues. Hardwood underneath the dishwasher can affect the height, making most dishwashers ‘too tall’ to fit. There are dishwashers that are designed to be a little shorter in order to accommodate people who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility. Check with your sales associate to find out which options are available to you.
Consider whether you want a Stainless Steel or Plastic interior. Most people currently have plastic interior dishwashers, however, the disadvantage is that plastic interiors change in colour over time. Plastic interiors also provide a surface tension that water drops can cling to – this is why water dislodges from the roof of the dishwasher when you open the door after your dishes have gone through the drying cycle. Stainless Steel interiors will never change in colour and also provide little to no surface tension for water, forcing it down the door or falling off the top of the dishwasher roof. The Stainless Steel interior also acts like a sound barrier making it a much quieter dishwasher.
Finally, make sure you consider getting an extended warranty with your dishwasher. The dishwasher is often your most used kitchen appliance and therefore is more subject to break-downs. Consumer Reports states that of the repairs that happen between 3 to 4 years in your dishwasher’s lifespan, at least 22% require major repairs. Just one service call outside of the manufacturer’s warranty can cost you nearly $60.00, and that’s just for someone to come take a look. Add parts and labour and things can get expensive fast. Most retailers provide warranty plans, and most have onsite coverage. I always recommend that my customers get a warranty on their dishwasher. This does not mean that dishwashers are ‘built poorly’, or ‘designed to break-down’ – this is not accurate at all. Simply put, your dishwasher is a delicate piece of machinery that you want to protect in case anything does go wrong, whether that be from daily wear-and-tear or other circumstances.