We Need A New Dishwasher

About a year ago, I saw a Woot deal for a package of six Water Froggies.  Essentially, they are little water sensors that look like…you guessed it…froggies.

I put them in a few spots around the house where I thought leaks could occur that I wouldn’t want to go undetected for too long.  I put two by the hot water tank in the basement, one under the washing machine, one under the dishwasher (both of these required me to unscrew the bottom panel of each appliance), one under the kitchen sink, and one under the laundry room sink.

Last week, my wife came home to the sound of beeping.  She called me and after I told her what it probably was, she tracked it down to the kitchen and under the dishwasher, where she had started a load of dishes before leaving to run some errands.

When I got home later, I took a look and sure enough there was a wet spot on the plywood under the dishwasher.  Thankfully the leak wasn’t catastrophic.

And, thankfully the leak was detected by the water sensor.  Without it, the subfloor could have been ruined, and we might not have known about the leak until it  got really bad at which point it probably would have caused damage to the finished area of the basement that is under the kitchen, not to mention that it could have ruined the subfloor and linoleum.

I put an upside down lid to a plastic storage bin under all the areas where water would be, and ran a load.  Sure enough there’s a small leak.  Right now, it’s just a small drip that is easily caught with my rigged ‘drip pan’ but it’s likely going to get worse.

The dishwasher is original to the house, so it’s just around 13 years old.  It was likely a basic dishwasher in it’s time.  It’s white and while it was probably all white at one time, the area around the control panel is slightly different plastic which has severely yellowed over time.  The dishwasher itself is extremely loud.  Now that I’ve got the panel off, I can hear that the motor itself doesn’t sound in that great of shape.

All in all, I think this dishwasher has outlived it’s useful life and it’s time for a new one.

All of the appliances in our kitchen are white, with the exception of the stove/oven which is white with a black door.  We have debated getting a stainless steel dishwasher with the idea being that we’d slowly replace the appliances over time to match or we would do the rest as part of a one-day-in-the-future kitchen overhaul.

I think we have decided to go with another white one.  Why?

  1. We’re hoping the rest of the appliances last a long time.  The fridge is eight years old, the microwave is four years old (we put that in), and I’m assuming the oven/stove is…well I’m not really sure, but I’m guessing it was original.  Still, those usually last the longest.
  2. We’d like to overhaul the kitchen a bit, but being budget concious, we realize that’s probably five years or more away.
  3. Going from two different colors to three (including the black on the stove) is taking a step backwards.
  4. The white ones are a bit cheaper.

We’re going to shop around and use Consumers Reports and other ratings as a basis to get a replacement unit.  Some of the top-of-the-line models are $1,500 – $2,000 which blows my mind.  The basic ones I’ve seen can be had for $300.  I’m thinking ours will likely be in the $500-700 range, hopefully not too much above that with taxes, delivery, and installation.  Though, we’ll see.

Any dishwasher recommendations or horror stories to share?

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31 thoughts on “We Need A New Dishwasher

  1. 13 years old is pretty good. We had ours for 7 before it went *^&*&^%&. My washing machine (maytag) 4. Incredible…

    • Those numbers are terrible and very discouraging. It is awful that they can’t make things more built to last these days. Eventually that way of doing business will catch up with them. Look at the automakers, they built crap products and got away with it for decades but eventually it hit them and hit them hard.

      • I agree with that! GM and Chrysler (aka Crapler) made bad vehicles for years, then expected the taxpayers to give them bailout money. Argh! Makes me sooo angry!

        I would just buy a subscription to Consumer Reports and check their tests for washing machines. Nobody does as comprehensive tests as they do for appliances.

        • The automakers made lots of mistakes for a good long time, but they used the bailout to actually erase their mistakes AND institute changes so that the mistakes were corrected. I hope good people don’t punish them in the future for mistakes that were made long ago.

          As far as the appliances go, I do reference Consumer Reports. It’s served pretty well I’d have to say.

  2. You know what they say, “Once you go white you never go back”. Wait, that’s not right is it? I think you made the right decision. Putting a stainless steel one in there will not only look awkward but prompt you to update your other appliances earlier than necessary.

    • Still haven’t done anything yet as the leak isn’t getting any worse and I have a catch pan rigged that’s taking care of it for now. So we could call an audible at the end, but I’m still leaning towards white.

    • Ours is pretty average as far as cleaning, which definitely lends itself to the replace versus repair option.

  3. Check your local stores for dishwashers that have been returned or have some minor cosmetic issue.

    Last year we had to replace our dishwasher. I went to Lowe’s and found a $450 dishwasher that was marked down to $250 because it had been returned and the motor had to be replaced. (The problem had been fixed, but they couldn’t sell the unit as new.)

    I talked them down to $120. 🙂

    • I will have to keep an eye out for that. That is a remarkable deal, so much that even if I were to re-do the kitchen a few years down the line, there would be no guilt in replacing it prematurely, not at that price!

  4. Good thing you caught that! Water sensors are a must-have. We have a microwave that was given to us by my wife’s grandma in 1999. It still works. It even has a burn spot where her grandfather unknowingly put a metal pan in it (he died in 1997!)

    This thing is still kicking and runs great. The door is starting to stick, though. Feels great when you are able to use something for that lon.g

  5. No specifics on the new dishwasher, but I am really interested in the Water froggies. I must check them out. Hope the new purchase goes smoothly.

    • Just Google Water Frog Sensor and they’ll come up. They’re around $15 apiece. I got six of them in a Woot-Off where they averaged about $7.50 (shipped) apiece a couple of years back.

  6. I got a kitchen aid when we finally renovated our kitchen. Our old one was mustard yellow from 1984. Unfortunately, I know no matter how high end I went, the new one wouldn’t last as long as my old one did. So sad.

    Glad you caught the leak before it got out of hand. If you are not planning on moving anytime soon, I can’t see why you’d go stainless if white suits your needs just fine.

    • My parents Kitchen Aid is from 1989 and still working. They will probably be replacing it soon as it’s time for a facelift in the kitchen.

  7. To me a 13 year lifetime sounds pretty good. Dishwashers get such heavy use that they tend to break down [relatively] often.

    • I don’t know how much truth there is to it, but I’ve heard that the new Phosphate Free dishwasher soaps that are now mandated actually cause dishwashers to break down faster. If that’s true, then they’re helping the environment one way by keeping harmful stuff out of the water, but all the extra dishwashers that end up in landfills certainly can’t be helping things.

  8. Most major appliances have a lifespan of 10+ years before problems….15+ for ranges. If you got 13 years out of your dishwasher, you did all right.

    As for white versus stainless, I believe it’s a mistake to go white. I’ve worked home-remodeling, and your kitchens are one of the places in your household where you get the most bang for your buck when doing a remodel (bathrooms are the other). Stainless or glossy-black (the new hotness) says “money”, white says “crummy”.

    White appliances, while they can be nice, are considered “lower-valued” in the eyes of realtors, and are usually used in low-to-mid-ranged flips. Stainless is timelessly valuable in the kitchen, and is always rated at a higher-value than anything else. Glossy-black is also considered higher-value, but is more of a fad of the current decade, and will probably fade into obscurity….much like the avocado green of the seventies, yeah I just outed my oldness, lol.

    But if you’re not planning to sell any time soon, an option I’d recommend if you need to frugalize is to shop around on Craigslist for a used dishwasher that’s not more than 7 years old. Contractors will often resell perfectly good used appliances when they pull them out during a remodel, so you can find some good deals if you look hard enough (or know the right people!).

    • White is not my preferred choice, but as I said, we’re not moving anytime soon so the re-sell perspective isn’t a factor for us. I haven’t considered the idea of looking for a used one and would look at that.

  9. Good job placing those water froggies. 13 years is a good amount of time for that appliance. Good luck on your hunt for a replacement. Your new dishwasher might reduce your energy consumption and save you some $$

  10. You mentioned the water sensor a few days ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Such a good idea.

    My tentants just called and said their dishwasher is going out. It’s 7 years old, I’m seeing if it can be repaired but it might just have to be replaced.

  11. I have white appliances and think they’re fine (although stainless do look nice; they show smudges).

    When we replaced our 11 year old dishwasher a couple of years ago we were amazed at how much quieter the new ones are. You’ll love it.

    • Once enough people get stainless steel appliances ‘they’ will roll out the new style that will make stainless steel old fashioned. It’s the nature of the game!

  12. I love my Blumberg, which is basically a Bosch, but cheaper. I don’t rinse the dishes ahead of time and they still come out clean. It’s awesome.

  13. One thing to consider when getting a dishwasher is delivery AND pickup/disposal. It’s great when your deal can include them taking away your old one. That saves you the hassle of having to haul it somewhere and dispose of it properly, or paying someone else to do it.

    • Our city offers bulk pickup once per month so if nothing else I can arrange for them to pick it up, but that would be nice to have it all dealt with by whoever installs the new one!

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