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Dish Washers


Noise Control

Some manufactures offer very quiet dishwashers. The kitchen is an area that people spend time in or is often close to the entertaining area of the home. Look for a dishwasher that has sound insulation around the entire unit. The decibel rating tells you how noisy the dish washer is. A rating of 60 or lower is usually a fairly quiet dishwasher. The lower the decibel number is then the quieter the washer is. Some manufactures use a sone rating to describe the noise level. A lower sone rating indicates the dishwasher is more quite dishwashers. The more quiet dishwashers have a sone rating around 4.

Delayed Start Timer

Some dishwashers let you set a timer to tell it when to turn on. This can help you manage noise. For example you can set the dishwasher to turn on after you go to bed. It's also an easy way to manage hot water usage or electricity. For example you can set the timer so that the washer will not be using hot water the same time you are taking a shower. Some utilities charge more for electricity during peak usage rate times. Using a timer you can set a washer to come on at a non-peak usage time.

Water Heating

Some dishwashers can increase the temperature of hot water. If you get dishwasher that can heat water you may be able to lower the temperature of your water heater to save energy. Also, if the water isn't hot enough it reduces the dishwasher's ability to clean dishes. Cold water may be a problem if the washer is too far from the water heater and built-in water heating can improve the washer's ability to clean dishes. Hot water also helps to sanitize the dishes. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) recommends washing dishes at 150 degree for home dishwashers.

Lower Temperature Settings

If you are washing fine china or crystal you may want to be able to lower the water temperature. Hot temperatures can damage the finish on fine china or cause crystal to spot more.

Sensors

Some dishwashers have computerized sensors to help improve the washer's cleaning. For example, some sensors check how much dirt is in the water, how long dirty dishes have sat in the washer, and how much soap is being used. Then the washer adjusts the washing time and water temperature based on the conditions that are sensed.

Spray Arms

Higher performance washers usually have at least 2 spray arms. Having a spray tower also helps a washer perform better but you give up storage capacity in the area the spray tower is. Smaller holes in the spray arms are better than larger holes because the smaller holes can cause the spray to be more forceful. A common cause of washing failure is spray arms that are blocked by pots or dishes. Some dishwashers have spray-arm sensors that notify you when the spray arm is blocked.

Take Dishes Shopping

Take your dishes with you when shopping for a dishwasher. This will help you see how well your dishes will fit in the washer and help you determine how easy it will be to fill the washer with dishes. Be sure to take large dishes or unusually shaped dishes that you think you'll use frequently.

Portable Dishwashers

If your kitchen is tight on space or you bought a house that didn't have a dishwasher, then you may want to consider a portable dishwasher. Portable dishwashers are on rollers and can be moved into the kitchen The washer has a hose that is hooked up to the kitchen faucet. Some portables can be changed to built-in units if you later decide you want them built in.

Water Filling

Dishwasher use either timed filling or metered filling. Metered filling measure the water level used in the washer. Timed filling simply adds water for a specific amount of time. Metered filling is better. Timed filling can be affected by water pressure and may over fill or under fill your washer.

Cycles

A dishwasher should have at least 3 cycles: Light cycle for crystal and china, Normal cycle for everyday dishes, and a heavy duty cycle for pots and pans.

Plastic Tubs versus Stainless Steel Tubs

Most tubs are made with plastic or stainless steel. Plastic is more likely to stain or discolor. Plastic can also crack. However, plastic tubs may be quieter and plastic tends to resist chips and rust. If it has a plastic tub, check the warrantee to see how long the tub is covered. The material of the tub won't affect the washer's cleaning ability. However, stainless steel tubs may dry dishes slightly faster.

European Versus American Dishwashers

European dishwashers tend to more attractive, quieter, and conserve water better. American dishwashers tend to use more water, and are nosier but tend to clean dishes better. The reason for these differences is how the dishwashers are designed. American dishwashers usually have a grinder which chops up food particles and then flushes them out of the washer. European washers often use filters instead of a grinder. The filters are quieter and water less water is used because of the filters. However, some European models require you to clean the filter after every use. When using European dishwashers you will more likely need to pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. American dishwashers are less likely to need pre-rinsing and may be more convenient. European dishwashers are more expensive to buy but cost less to use.

Dishwasher Drawers

You can buy smaller appliances called dishwasher drawers. You can fit 2 drawers in the space that a normal dishwasher would reside. Each drawer cleans independently of the other drawer. This makes it more convenient to do smaller loads of dishes and can make the dishwasher look like a regular cabinet drawer.

Pre-rinsing Wastes Water

You probably don't need to rinse off your dishes before putting them in the dish washer. This is an uneccessary waste of water. Just make sure dishes are scraped off and do not contain liquids.

Dishwasher Features Available:

  • Rinse and hold cycle.
  • Filters remove debris from the water so that cleaner water is washing the dishes. Some filters can be inconvenient because you to manually clean the filter after each time you use the dishwasher. Most machines have filters that the machine automatically clean out during the rinse cycle. Some machines use 2 filters to filter out different sizes of debris particles.
  • Food disposal systems can grind up large food particles into smaller particles.
  • Multilevel wash system. Some washers have multiple spray arms. This can improve the washer's ability to wash dishes located at different heights in the washer.
  • Height adjustable upper basket. This lets you modify the height upper basket to let you put large dishes in the lower basket.
  • Removable racks. Being able to remove the racks can make easier to load and unload the washer. Also removing a rack may provide more room for washing large items such as highchair trays, and grills.
  • Adjustable or removable tines. Tines are the fingerlike prongs on racks that separate dishes and glasses. Some dishwashers of tines that can be folded down or removed. This makes it easier to change the configuration of the tines to hold larger or unusually shaped dishes.
  • Fold-down shelves let you double stack smaller items such as coffee cups.
  • Special inserts. Inserts may be available for specialized needs. For example a baby bottle insert.
  • Stemware holders can make it easier to wash wineglasses.
  • Water softeners to remove ions and reduce spotting of dishes. Also softer water is better when washing crystal or delicate dishes.
  • Cutlery tray. The entire tray of silverware can be removed and placed in a kitchen drawer.
  • Child safety locks to prevent a child from opening the door or pushing buttons while the machine is running.
  • Selective washing - some dishwasher let you choose which parts of the washer are used. For example if you only have dishes in the top rack, you can tell the washer that only the top rack needs to be cleaned.

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