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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 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?