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Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 25, 2021 07:26AM
Our trusty 25-year-old KitchenAide dishwasher stops after filling, and can't proceed. I suspect there is a problem with the control board. The board is not available from KitchenAide, and apparently not from third-party appliance-part places online either.

I've got our local appliance dealer coming out to look at it this afternoon. If he decides the problem is in fact the control board, I'm wondering if it's worth trying to find a used board on eBay, and installing it myself. I don't have a service manual.

Or are we best advised to give up and buy a new one? I've heard the new dishwashers are slow and ineffective, and cheaply made. Are there any good ones? American-made ones? Any that will last another 25 years?

/Mr Lynn



"Hillbilly at Harvard"
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: vicrock
Date: June 25, 2021 07:47AM
One thing to consider is that a new model will be WAY more energy efficient than a 25 year old model.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: modelamac
Date: June 25, 2021 07:50AM
mrlynn,

If it has been doing a good job, that dishwasher is worth repairing. New units might be more environmentally friendly, but won't necessarily do a better job.

Enter your model number on this website. Find the part number on the appropriate section page. Google that part number for sources and specifically try eBay.

I have bought a couple of appliance parts recently on eBay that were not available through my local appliance parts store.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2021 07:53AM by modelamac.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: GGD
Date: June 25, 2021 07:59AM
There are also some online outfits that do board level repair of obsolete control boards.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 25, 2021 08:07AM
Quote
modelamac
mrlynn,

If it has been doing a good job, that dishwasher is worth repairing. New units might be more environmentally friendly, but won't necessarily do a better job.

Enter your model number on this website. Find the part number on the appropriate section page. Google that part number for sources and specifically try eBay.

I have bought a couple of appliance parts recently on eBay that were not available through my local appliance parts store.

Links?

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 25, 2021 08:14AM
What Ed said! I googled the part number for a piece of stereo equipment and was able to get it on eBay for a few dollars to repair the thing.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: RgrF
Date: June 25, 2021 08:23AM
Our dishwasher woes resolved themselves when the aforementioned washer fell through the floor and landed in the basement. Homeowners ins covered all but the deductible. Worked out since we needed a new floor anyway.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 25, 2021 08:30AM
.....Miguel has been my dishwasher for 20 years now......very good and never breaks down.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: RgrF
Date: June 25, 2021 08:39AM
Is he a Cascade guy or does he Finish?
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: June 25, 2021 09:05AM
Whatever you do don’t buy another KitchenAid. We replaced our original KitchenAid after about 15 years (and only because we were remodeling the kitchen, nothing was wrong with the dishwasher) and replaced it with another KitchenAid because we had no issues with the first one and had always heard that KitchenAid was a great brand.

Unfortunately the new KitchenAid we bought had some kind of failure every two years, in fact one of those failures kept recurring and we had to fight tooth and nail to keep getting it repaired under warranty (and even out of warranty because it was a design defect….had to pay for labor even then). And this was their top-of-the-line architectural series. And I’ll have to say even some aspects of the build or design seemed really cheaply done and flimsy.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 25, 2021 09:21AM
Quote
Carnos Jax
Whatever you do don’t buy another KitchenAid. We replaced our original KitchenAid after about 15 years (and only because we were remodeling the kitchen, nothing was wrong with the dishwasher) and replaced it with another KitchenAid because we had no issues with the first one and had always heard that KitchenAid was a great brand.

Unfortunately the new KitchenAid we bought had some kind of failure every two years, in fact one of those failures kept recurring and we had to fight tooth and nail to keep getting it repaired under warranty (and even out of warranty because it was a design defect….had to pay for labor even then). And this was their top-of-the-line architectural series. And I’ll have to say even some aspects of the build or design seemed really cheaply done and flimsy.

Thanks for the warning. So is anyone making good-quality dishwashers now? And ideally not in China?

/Mr Lynn



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2021 09:22AM by mrlynn.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 25, 2021 09:27AM
I bought a used control pcb off ebay some 10 years ago for our (at that time) 7yo Thermador. Been happy ever since. I had no repair manual, but it's basically plug and play, although I was a tape machine tech early in my year.

Also, while Carnos has had bad experience with his replacement KA, IMHO, there is no better built appliance maker.
However, you're gonna spend a thousand these days to get a well built dw.

LG and Samsung are poorly supported and poorly made.
Bosch and Meile are not well supported, especially where their $$$ parts are concerned.
Ask any appliance repair person what brand they recommend first, bet it's the KA family.

Additionally, our 11yo (at the time) Thermador by KA/Whirlpool SxS fridge failed 2 years ago. It was the closed (Freon) system, so not legal for me to DIY and well beyond my skills anyway. Repair guy said he wouldn't get new as nothing is made like it once was in appliances, even Aga, Wolf etc.
It cost me $1200 in labor, but $0 in parts cause that's what you get with a better device. That wasn't 3rd party insurance either.

You gets what you pays for.



!#$@@$#!





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2021 09:32AM by Fritz.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: June 25, 2021 09:30AM
I should add, at the same time we replaced the dishwasher, we replaced the built-in microwave and oven with KitchenAid appliances. The microwave failed twice under warranty, and when it failed for a third time out of warranty we just gave up on it. This was a KitchenAid branded microwave.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: June 25, 2021 09:36AM
This has been my go-to source for parts. I've replaced the control board on my dishwasher 3 times. It's a craptastic design. They vent the hot, damp air through the front panel of the dishwasher directly over the circuit board...WTF!!?!?!? Who does that?

[www.repairclinic.com]



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: June 25, 2021 09:37AM
Most folks who have them like Bosch.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: June 25, 2021 09:42AM
Quote
anonymouse1
Most folks who have them like Bosch.

I've heard exactly the opposite. I know several people that said they loved the Bosch because it was so quiet until it quit working. Then repairs were impossible and/or extremely expensive.



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 25, 2021 10:09AM
Quote
ztirffritz
Quote
anonymouse1
Most folks who have them like Bosch.

I've heard exactly the opposite. I know several people that said they loved the Bosch because it was so quiet until it quit working. Then repairs were impossible and/or extremely expensive.

I just purchased a KA late last year ... so far, it's been pretty good, though I've had some issues with it not getting the dishes completely clean. No major problems though.

I looked carefully at Bosch (as many here seem to like), but my concern was about the possibility of problems with service or with obtaining parts, especially under corona conditions. Also, I didn't like the fact that the Bosch's don't have an exposed heating element. Edit: also, it's worth pointing out that the more recent Bosch's just aren't the same as the older ones ... there's apparently been a downturn in QC with them in recent years.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2021 01:37PM by PeterB.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: raz
Date: June 25, 2021 10:24AM
Our KA dishwasher has been mostly trouble-free. There was a problem with the rollers on the upper rack, but KA sent new ones and then sent the redesigned ones. I did need to clean out the trap, but the plastic screw was on so tight I was afraid it was not removable. That cost a repair visit.

Now, the over-the-stove microwave from KA ... 3 repairs so far, and all under warrantee. I expect the root cause is my wife slamming the door (as she does to all doors, windows, ...) and knocking the contact switches out of alignment.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: davester
Date: June 25, 2021 10:35AM
Quote
ztirffritz
I know several people that said they loved the Bosch because it was so quiet until it quit working. Then repairs were impossible and/or extremely expensive.

My experience has been different. I bought a display unit Bosch with a known nonfunctional control board for a song and replaced the control unit...easy peasy and inexpensive...about the same price as control units for other brands. While replacing that it seemed pretty obvious that the rest of the dishwasher modules, valves, etc were very accessible and easy to repair.

Also, I love my new Bosch. It replaced an ancient Kitchenaid that was incredibly sturdy, just like mrlynn's. That said, it was noisy, used massive amounts of hot water and didn't clean nearly as well as the new and silent Bosch, which always has our dishes totally sparkling. The savings in water heating alone probably pay for the cost of the dishwasher in a relatively short time.

Quote
PeterB
I just purchased a KA late last year ... so far, it's been pretty good, though I've had some issues with it not getting the dishes completely clean. No major problems though.

What!? Not getting the dishes completely clean is considered not a major problem? I beg to differ.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2021 10:39AM by davester.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: d4
Date: June 25, 2021 10:44AM
Quote
davester
Quote
PeterB
I just purchased a KA late last year ... so far, it's been pretty good, though I've had some issues with it not getting the dishes completely clean. No major problems though.

What!? Not getting the dishes completely clean is considered not a major problem? I beg to differ.

Agreed. The appliance has ONE JOB.



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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 25, 2021 10:49AM
....some dish it.....but they can't.......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 25, 2021 10:52AM
Quote
mrlynn
Thanks for the warning. So is anyone making good-quality dishwashers now? And ideally not in China?

/Mr Lynn

Whats your budget?

If my new GE dishwasher (came with the house) lasts 25 years, that might be longer than I last on this earth... ;). As far a I know (at least 4-5 years ago, before they were bought), GEs are still made in the USA, and I think they have a chart on their site that lists how much of it is made from other countries. I belive Dacor is made in the USA as well. You could also check out Cove, which is made by Sub Zero... but think they are $2K to start.

DWs are a pretty basic instrument, so any decent priced one should last.

I always recommend AJ Madison as a starting point... you can filter by rating, brand, features, reviews etc and they carry just about everything.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 25, 2021 11:04AM
Quote
d4
Quote
davester
Quote
PeterB
I just purchased a KA late last year ... so far, it's been pretty good, though I've had some issues with it not getting the dishes completely clean. No major problems though.

What!? Not getting the dishes completely clean is considered not a major problem? I beg to differ.

Agreed. The appliance has ONE JOB.

Well it's mentioned in the "troubleshooting" section, I'm still working with KA to figure out what the problem might be -- it's not necessarily the dishwasher, it could be the water here, detergent, how I've been loading it, etc. Edit: and I should mention that probably about 95-98% is coming through clean... just not absolutely everything.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2021 11:06AM by PeterB.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: sekker
Date: June 25, 2021 01:05PM
Fixed our dryer with a defective circuit board last year via eBay. Was well worth it but was only 13 years old.

Love our Bosch, made in North Carolina. Had to replace a rubber seal, parts were easy to get and install.

Plenty of recent MRF threads on the ‘best’ dishwashers.

I think all home appliances are hard to get these days.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 25, 2021 02:57PM
GOOD NEWS!

Bob from Automatic Appliance, our local appliance dealer here in Framingham, MA, opened up the top and right away found a relay on the control board that buzzed. He took out the board, and discovered that one of the relay's connections was a little loose. So he soldered it back, and. . . lo and behold! the 1996 KitchenAide is back in business!

Like everyone else, Bob said they don't make them as well as they did 25 years ago. He said that if he had to buy a new one, he'd buy a KitchenAide. Yes, KA is owned by Whirlpool, but, he says, it's not the same as the Whirlpool dishwashers: it's better made. He couldn't compare it to a Bosch, which are popular on this forum, as Automatic Appliance doesn't sell or service those. They do sell GE, Frigidaire, Maytag, Whirlpool, and others.

Repair cost us $159. A lot less than a new one.

So I'm happy. Dishwasher is resurrected, and we also were able to get a mouse nest and associated droppings out from the lower back of the refrigerator, which was smelling up the place. Big job, which required wrestling the 'fridge out from its nook.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: Maddog
Date: June 25, 2021 03:18PM
We have had 2 Bosch and one Kitchen Aid. The Bosch is much better. Quieter, dishes cleaner. No problems, going on 15 years.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 25, 2021 03:34PM
We had a discussion 6 months ago about adding liquid "pre wash" to the DW -- and we started -- its actually made a big difference... give it a try...





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 25, 2021 04:52PM
Quote
Maddog
We have had 2 Bosch and one Kitchen Aid. The Bosch is much better. Quieter, dishes cleaner. No problems, going on 15 years.

There's the problem... as I posted above, apparently the Bosch's of 10-15 years ago are not the same as what they're producing now. Still good, just not on par with the older models.

Edit: I should add that I just now ran another load with my KA. Virtually everything came through clean -- it's just that I'm occasionally getting something like a spoon with some peanut butter left on the inside, or some whitish residue on stuff. I don't pre-wash anything prior to doing the dishes, and almost certainly, part of the problem is my water -- having hard water isn't helping things, so I'm probably going to try one of the additives you can use in the dishwasher for that purpose. Other than these things, I'm actually very happy with the KA -- particularly the versatility of the racks, that I can take them out completely, rearrange them however I like, etc., so as to be able to wash things that would ordinarily not fit in a dishwasher. Also the fact that it has a built-in filter that requires no user maintenance is just great, and of course the thing is just about dead silent.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2021 08:10PM by PeterB.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 25, 2021 05:15PM
.....has anyone here had a dream about a hot......Maytag repair man......???



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 25, 2021 08:07PM
Moved into apt in mid 70's... 1960's harvest gold Tappan DW was noisy as heck, and didn't clean worth a darn. Finally complained, and ~1978/79 the mgmt co. put a new, contractor grade (plastic tub) Whirlpool DW in to replace it. Still pretty noisy, but at least it cleaned the dishes for about 25 years..., then it began to degrade year after year. Around 2006, I bought an upper-mid level (stainless tub) Maytag (w/ front panel controls) that was super-quiet, worked pretty amazingly well as far as cleaning stuff, but the controller board kept failing.

Thankfully I had purchased the extended warranty, and after about five years of constant service calls, and down time waiting for replacement parts, and one replacement machine (that was just a hair noisier than the original)... Maytag finally replaced it w/ their top of the line DW about 10 years ago, and it's been flawless. It has top mount controls, and is a bit noisier that the unit(s) it replaced, but it cleans way better. When we moved about 5 years ago, it came with us, and has continued to do its high level thing.

In conjunction with our downsizing, while the DW was sitting in the garage, I covered it with sound deadener. That was $40 well spent, and I would highly recommend doing it to any new DW.... we used the stuff that's basically sticky butyl rubber on the side you stick to stuff, and thick foil on the outside that you use a roller to press it down. We put it directly on the outside of the DW, though we had to negotiate it under the insulation blanket that came on the DW.

So, lessons learned; if you don't listen to Mr. Ed, and track down a replacement controller board; get a good DW to start with that has a good track record, and spend a few bucks on sound deadening before installing it. The comparatively extra few dollars you spend, will pay dividends over a hopefully long lifetime of dish cleaning. Good luck.
==
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 25, 2021 09:00PM
Thanks, Buzz. Guess you missed my 'GOOD NEWS!' post above. Repairman fixed a bad relay connection on the control board, and the KitchenAide is working!

But I appreciate your tale of insulation. Re Tappan, I wonder if that was the brand of the first dishwasher my parents bought, in the 1950s. It was on rollers, and had a glass top.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: davester
Date: June 25, 2021 09:04PM
Quote
PeterB
Quote
Maddog
We have had 2 Bosch and one Kitchen Aid. The Bosch is much better. Quieter, dishes cleaner. No problems, going on 15 years.

There's the problem... as I posted above, apparently the Bosch's of 10-15 years ago are not the same as what they're producing now. Still good, just not on par with the older models.

That may be true, but our 2 year old Bosch is great. The dishes come out vastly cleaner than our 20+ year old Kitchenaid and it uses much less hot water too. I too started throwing in some pre-wash detergent based on the aforementioned thread. However, it didn't make much difference. I must say that I have been shocked at how much cleaner the dishes are with the Bosch. I never realized this was a problem when we had the ancient Kitchenaid, but now I realize that I didn't know what clean was back in the vintage Kitchenaid days.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 25, 2021 09:16PM
.....new season of Bosch.....starts tonight......final season.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 25, 2021 09:19PM
My take on new dishwashers is that they take 3x as long as the olden days, so naturally the dishes are cleaner - it's washing them three times! And the super heated steam doesn't hurt, either.
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: davester
Date: June 25, 2021 09:39PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
My take on new dishwashers is that they take 3x as long as the olden days, so naturally the dishes are cleaner - it's washing them three times! And the super heated steam doesn't hurt, either.

That is true, but considering that they get your dishes way cleaner, for less than half the energy/water cost, and are completely silent, does it matter?



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 25, 2021 10:41PM
Quote
davester
Quote
PeterB
Quote
Maddog
We have had 2 Bosch and one Kitchen Aid. The Bosch is much better. Quieter, dishes cleaner. No problems, going on 15 years.

There's the problem... as I posted above, apparently the Bosch's of 10-15 years ago are not the same as what they're producing now. Still good, just not on par with the older models.

That may be true, but our 2 year old Bosch is great. The dishes come out vastly cleaner than our 20+ year old Kitchenaid and it uses much less hot water too. I too started throwing in some pre-wash detergent based on the aforementioned thread. However, it didn't make much difference. I must say that I have been shocked at how much cleaner the dishes are with the Bosch. I never realized this was a problem when we had the ancient Kitchenaid, but now I realize that I didn't know what clean was back in the vintage Kitchenaid days.

True, but you're comparing (pardon the pun) apples and oranges. Any recently made dishwasher (and being relatively new) will clean better than an old one.

For anyone interested, before I bought the KA, I did an extensive meta-analysis / search for reviews on a huge variety of models, and even made up a spreadsheet summarizing everything. Of course, everyone's opinion will differ, but my analysis showed that, on average, the user reviews for some KA's were on par or even above Bosch. That was part of the reason I went with KA, but partly also because of the other factors I mentioned above.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 26, 2021 02:02PM
Peter, how did Whirlpool fare?
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Re: Dishwasher Woes
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 26, 2021 05:34PM
Quote
Dennis S
Peter, how did Whirlpool fare?

Generally worse than KA or Bosch, which is interesting because KA is essentially Whirlpool but with higher-end parts. Of course, Whirlpool is less expensive, so it's a trade-off.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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