We Ordered A New Dishwasher Two Years After It Sprung A Leak

We Ordered A New Dishwasher Two Years After It Sprung A Leak

I wrote a post in January 2012 titled “We Need A New Dishwasher.”

I just ordered it yesterday!

In the referenced post, I noted that I had discovered a small leak under the dishwasher, thanks to a water sensor that I had placed there.  When I first discovered the leak, I figured that was it, that it needed to be replaced.

Then, I got to thinking about it, and decided to do a little investigating.  The water spot on the floor was pretty small, so I thought that I’d take a better look and see just how it was leaking.  I improvised, and found the lid to one of the storage totes that everybody has these days, and was able to slide it under the dishwasher.  I then ran a cycle and was able to observe that it did leak, but only a few drops during each time the machine was adding water.  All told, it probably leaked a grand total of a quarter cup of water.

I ended up simply leaving the lid under the machine. It was big enough to catch all of the water (protecting my subfloor and drop-ceiling underneath it), and the small amount of water made it so that it evaporated quickly.  Every couple of months I would pull the lid out and scrape the crud out, as it seemed to leak a little soapy water.

That little trick extended the life of the dishwasher by almost two years!

Unfortunately, it sprung another leak last week.  I noticed this one after coming downstairs in the morning (we usually start it before going to bed) and finding that the rug that sits in front of the sink and dishwasher was soaking wet.  Yikes.

After drying out the rug, I figured I’d take a look upon the next cycle.  Sure enough, it was now leaking out the bottom of the door.  It appeared that the seals or something were finally giving way.  I was able to jerry rig another way to catch the water so that we can still continue to run cycles, but it requires taking off the bottom part of the panel each time so that I can place a container to catch the water, which is unsightly, and with two kids that like to explore places, having the wires and such sitting exposed was probably not safe for the long term.

Funny About Money recently went through a new dishwasher purchase, and when I left a comment that we were in the market, and why we were, she wondered if we could replace the gasket around the door.

mb-201311dishwasherWe probably could, but by this point I’d had enough.  The dishwasher is original to the house, so just over 14 years.  It’s louder than all get-all.  It was likely the cheapest model the builder could get.  We also have white appliances, and while the panel was still white, the plastics around the controls had faded and were a dirty yellow.  Plus, having gotten 22 ‘free’ months out of it, I was fine with getting a new purchase.

So, here’s how we went about selecting and ordering the dishwasher.

  • Consumer Reports – My dad has a lifetime subscription, so I was able to check out the ratings and such.  It seemed as if Bosch had the best value for what we were looking for.  The top rated Bosch model was something like 6th rated overall, and was half the price of the five models above it.  There were a few other Bosch models all clustered around, so I started looking around.
  • The real price – Consumers suggested that the price should be around $700.  This was fine, but I knew I’d have to pay for installation, taxes, and accessories.  Even tax alone would make the $700 price $742 here in Michigan.  Still, my goal was to keep it as close to that price as possible, so I knew I’d have to look for a deal.  Given that the old machine was still functioning, I had time on my side.
  • First look – I looked around a bunch of sites.  Everywhere I found had the ‘total’ cost around $900, which is what I figured the $700 would turn into after installation and such.  Still, I figured I could do better.
  • Sears – I settled in on Sears as the primary store which I’d check.  I did some checking on the Slickdeals.net forums, and found that they typically have some sales right before Black Friday.  I actually got a hold of their Black Friday ad, and while they did show that dishwashers would be on sale, they were specific and none were highly rated.  Other stores Black Friday checks showed the same thing: good deals on crappy machines.
  • Sure enough – Slickdeals forums were right.  Just like last year, about 10 days before Thanksgiving had a 10% off sale on all appliances.  I also found a $50 off $300 or more purchase that I was able to apply.  That took the price of the machine down to $580.  Delivery and installation is a flat $150 through Sears.  You also have to add in an accessory kit for around $17, and sales tax.  All told, my out-the-door price was $780.  So, considering I’d started off with the $742 expectation, I figured $38 over that to add in the accessories and installation made it a reasonable deal.
  • To fridge or not to fridge – We decided to go with a stainless steel front appliance.  Even though this would be a contrast to the rest of the appliances (white microwave, white oven/stove with a black door, and white fridge), our thought is that appliances fail, we’d like to replace them, and maybe eventually have matching fronts.  The night before the sale ended, my wife brought up the idea of looking into a new fridge.  Even though ours works, we have pretty limited fridge space, and we’ve always talked about having a ‘basement’ fridge.  So, I looked into the idea.  Again, using Consumer Reports, I focused on the highest rated models that would fit into our area.  The second highest french-door/bottom-freezer model was suggested at $3,100 according to Consumers, but Sears was offering it on sale, plus with the 10%, it would have been around $1,600.  I’m expecting to get a $1,000 payout at the end of the year when we get our vacation paid out, and I floated the idea of using our budget on each other to offset some of the remaining cost (my wife was cool on this, but I think I could have talked her into it).  In the end, I felt like we came up with that so much at the last minute, that I wasn’t comfortable.  Of course, this means that my fridge will fail any day.  But, honestly, I’d rather use the $1,000 to cover the cost of the dishwasher and have a little remaning, versus applying it to something else and not even have it cover the full cost, not to mention that we’d have to go further into savings to pay for the dishwasher.  From what I’ve been able to tell, it seems a little easier to get deals on fridges, so we can continue to look and make sure we do the right amount of research, and have a full understanding of how it’s being funded.  Impulse buying is not usually my thing, and I know I would have had regrets on a $1,600 instance.
  • Panic moment – Even though I researched everything, I had a panic moment about four hours after placing the order.  I realized that dishwashers come in smaller sizes, and ohmygosh, did I order a dishwasher meant for a smaller size hole?  In other words, I knew my dishwasher was 24 inches wide, but was that the standard size for a dishwasher?  Turns out, it is.  I was fine.  Phew.
  • Delivery – Right now, delivery is scheduled for December 6th.  That seems a ways out, and I’m wondering if it’s further out because of ordering online than if I had made the purchase in the store.  Still, I suppose I can limp by, or maybe give a call and speak to someone once the order is fully processed.  For the record, I’m completely fine with paying someone to install this thing.  I don’t do well with plumbing, electricity, or working in cramped spaces, and installing a dishwasher is three for three on those, so let someone else have all that fun.

So, has anybody else done any appliance shopping?  How’d it go?

21 thoughts on “We Ordered A New Dishwasher Two Years After It Sprung A Leak”

  1. You did the smart thing by looking around/waiting for a sale. We did the same thing when we bought our fridge for our house (the previous owners took their old, very outdated and very small fridge with them for some reason). Best Buy cycles through sales on appliances about every 6 to 8 weeks, so we waited for the fridge we had picked out to go on sale before we purchased. We ended up living without a fridge for about two weeks, but we made it work and it was worth it to get an awesome deal!

  2. When it comes to buying appliances that will most likely last close to a decade, you have to do a bunch of research. We bought a fridge a couple of years ago and really had to put thought into the size, style, and color. We opted for black since Mr. LH is really particular about cleanliness and he thought the stainless steel would show fingerprints too easily. Luckily, it matched all our other appliances. But from here on out (or at least the next 7-10 years) our appliances will need to be black!

  3. When we first bought out house we had to replace everything except for the fridge. We shopped around a lot but my husband installed everything and we had a truck at the time so that saved a lot of money. We are looking into a new fridge now too. Not sure if we are going to get one just yet but would be nice to get a one within the next year.

  4. Holy Cow it’s an epidemic…first “Funny” and now you guys with the dishwashers! My dishwasher is 19 years old and has been leaking for some time …just like yours. I bought a cookie sheet at a yard sale to slide under and catch the water. This has worked great…so far. My original plan was to get 20 years out of the appliance and then go for a new one. But lately…thinkin’ maybe by the parts to fix the unit…could probably fix it for like $20 or less. With you quoting prices approaching $1K …repair may be the way to go…

    • I think the facts that it already leaks and it’s noisier than heck let this issue push us over to go new versus the repair. If it were just one of those things we could probably look a little further into repair, but as it stands we’ve just sort of hit the end of our patience with it.

  5. I always hate how appliances always fail at the worst times. It was great you could almost schedule the replacement. I replaced my dishwasher a few years ago right before Thanksgiving. I opted for a Frigidaire stainless model. As I replaced the refrigerator and then dishwasher, I switched to stainless steel. I still need to replace the (gas) stove, but it is still chugging along. I don’t really mind it may look mismatched for now. When I bought the dishwasher, I received a 90 day guarantee regarding lowest price. Within 60 days, a found a lower prices and they refunded $60.

    • I got a six pack of the water sensors and put them in spots that I couldn’t see and/or had a likelihood to leak. It’s caught them in three of six places so I’d guess I chose wisely!

  6. I haven’t had to go appliance shopping, but this is very helpful…..as our house (and appliances) are nearing the 10 year mark – which is getting close to the average end of life for some appliances. I’m not exactly looking forward to dropping cash on appliances, but it’s time to start resigning myself to the fact it’s going to happen.

    • I think the fridge is right around 10 years old. The stove is probably original, though I’m not sure. We installed the microwave in 2007, as well as bought the washer and dryer. It completely boggles my mind that those will be considered ‘old’ in less than 4 years.

  7. Thankfully we haven’t had to buy an appliances since we bought our condo. The fridge, microwave and stove are just a few years old, so hopefully we won’t have to buy any of those for a long time. We do know the furnace is older, and are crossing our fingers we get a few more years out of it.

    • I know, we had a scare last summer with our outside condensor, and the furnace itself is original so around 15 years old. I’m thinking that or windows will be next in terms of mega-purchases.

  8. I think you did great extending the use of your dishwasher for a couple years, but after the second leak you described, plus the age of the appliance, it is time for a new one. Current models are relatively quiet and don’t consume as much water and power as old models. I also think you did right to not buy a new fridge. If the old one ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (I did just fix our gas clothes dryer with a $10 part, though.)

  9. w00t! Good work on the price! And great luck having the old one keel over shortly before Black Friday.

    I didn’t want to wait that long, plus I just hate struggling around with sales and the like…so just downloaded the coupons and coupon codes I found on the Internet, which interestingly the Sears sales rep didn’t have even though they were Sears kickbacks. Printing them out and carrying them to the store was a good thing to do. 😉

    Getting 14 years out of the old one is an accomplishment. Several repair dudes have told me that ALL kitchen and washroom appliances are now engineered to crap out in 7 years. Given how much they cost, that just drives me nuts. Next time the dishwasher dies, I think, I’m not going to replace it…it’s just not that hard to wash dishes by hand, and having to buy an expensive new appliance every 7 years feels like a grand rip-off to me. As for the oven, the wonderful self-cleaning oven engineered so that you can’t run the self-cleaning cycle without breaking it — I now use the propane grill for roasting as well as grilling.

    You are gonna be SO AMAZED, though, at how quiet the Bosch is. Sometimes you can’t even tell it’s on!

    Thanks for the link. 🙂

    • I’m looking forward to the quiet. Ours has always been loud, and the one I had at my condo before this house was loud as well, so I’ve never had a quiet one. One drawback is that I’ve heard that part of how they lower the noise is to make the motor less powerful, so they extend the cycle time.

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