Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dishing about dishwashers...

At the risk of sounding mind numbingly domestic, I'm going to talk a little home appliance chat here. Big ticket. Dishwashers that is. In part I have to stop focusing on BP & their colossal/catastrophic blunder a bit, so nothing like learning that your dishwasher is a part of a 1.7 million dishwashing machine Recall to provide a little distraction.
That would be Maytag & other alias names....

Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Crosley, 
Magic Chef, 
and Performa by Maytag Dishwasher Recall, 2010

Name of Product:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product
 Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below,
today announced a voluntary recall of the following
Consumers should stop using products 
immediately unless otherwise instructed.
Units: About 1.7 million
Manufacturer: Maytag Corp. of Newton, Iowa or Maytag Corp. of Benton Harbor, Mich.
Hazard: An electrical failure in the dishwasher's heating element can pose a serious fire hazard.
Incidents/Injuries: Maytag has received 12 reports of dishwasher heating element failures that resulted in fires and dishwasher damage, including one report of extensive kitchen damage from a fire. No injuries have been reported.
Well Hell's Bells! Dishwashers bursting into flames. Yes, you might have guessed,  we own one of these risky devils. How about them throwing in that little ray of sunshine.... extensive fire damage, but no personal injuries!
 Woo Hoo!
Now Maytag, aka, "The Dependability People",  are offering to install a new, free element on the machine, or give a $250 or $150 rebate on the purchase of select new machines.
Ours was crap.... it never really did a remotely good job with the dishes- we had to run it on the pot scrubber heavy cycle all the time, and even then, results were consistently marginal.

That thrust us into a frenzy to find a new machine. Would we roll the dice & give Maytag another chance? Get a higher end machine with the $250 rebate & other energy saving rebate offers?
Or did we have enough with Maytag? As we became bleary eyed pouring over spec sheets, the one glisten of levity came with reading owner comments. People are willing to candidly say what they think about the product.  So in the final hour here, I told the husband I'm open to consider the Maytag item, but was floundering. Who the hell knows? You might have 14 positive comments & then a comment from the one who got the lemon. Even the seasoned clerk at Sears said she'd never buy a high end machine, because they all last about 9 years & have to be replaced anyway. That's how it is these days. Planned obsolescence. Repairs exceed the value of the machine, cheaper to replace the whole unit. The only silver lining, is the newer the machine, the better the efficiency.
Older machines had a lifespan of 15 to 20 years- and the actually worked- well.
That being said, just as were were trying to wrap it up, I came across this wistful user comment:

Maytag Quiet Series 300 Review Summary

Most reviewers feel that the Maytag Quiet Series 300 Dishwasher is "killing the Maytag reputation." One reviewer goes as far as to call it the "worst dishwasher ever," refusing to even call it a dishwasher, preferring the term "sanitizer" instead, since it doesn't clean and just gets hot. Along with that, for being part of the "Quiet Series," it also has people asking how quiet is quiet, as they can hear it running, even though it's advertised to be the quietest on the market. Other complaints of the Maytag Quiet Series 300 Dishwasher include the distance to the floor as it "breaks your back to load it" and that the electronic control panel stops working. The Maytag name lures the consumers in, but after using the Quiet Series 300 Dishwasher, they consider it a "tragic ending to a promising beginning."

I was looking for a sign & this user comment provided the clarity I was looking for- in other words,  put the nail in the coffin for the Maytag brand name for me. Indeed, it is a tragic ending to a promising beginning for the machine that will be extracted this weekend. 
But we won't make the same mistake we made last time. If this new (non Maytag) whiz bang machine does not deliver clean dishes, it will be outta here in less than 30 days. 
I don't know what we were thinking last time. Right from the get go, the new Maytag never did do a good job. I think we were busy or distracted, but we just put up with it being a funky machine that did not do the only task it was supposed to do- clean some dishes. Before we knew it, we had waited too long. 

So after much consulting with the Consumer reports, exhaustive research on the interwebs, and those beautiful owner comments, we are giving Whirlpool a whirl. 
Please don't be a lemon!
 Meanwhile, like the pioneers before us, we are handwashing dishes, because that is more appealing than a housefire. 

So cheers to you owner comment people-- you made me laugh, and to you who wrote these comments~ I am counting on your word:

This dishwasher is the first I've had where I can put my slow cooker pot in without rinsing & wiping first & it comes out clean!!! I've only run a few loads in it so far but I've been investigating it's capabilities & so far NO complaints. Overloaded load came out perfectly clean, pots & pans (&grimy slow cooker pot) all came out clean. I even put in a pot that had rice residue stuck to the bottom- came out cleaner than it was when I got it out of the cabinet!! So far I love it!

you can pack this dish washer full to the gills and every dish will come out sparkling and very quiet, you hardly know it is running 

So thank you for making me laugh-- because frankly I hated the last Maytag machine, which makes it's final exit under a fire hazard recall. A befitting ending to it's lackluster machine life.  In fact Federal Recall law requires if the machine is not being repaired, it must be destroyed! The beast must be taken out!

That being said, we wound up getting a machine that is Energy Star rated, but not the highest rated for energy efficiency-- yet it has a 30 minute glass express cycle, that one owner commented does regular loads. 

I still don't understand how a machine that runs for 3 hours is more energy efficient than one that can be done in 30 minutes???

But if we are not completely satisfied, I will pitch a Royal fit & demand they remove & replace it free of charge. Because really, if it starts out crappy, it would not be a realistic expectation to think it would get better over time.

So click that link in the first paragraph above, if you or someone you know has the fire breathing dragon style Maytag dishwasher. Word is the heating element in question also heats the water, so they say do not run them at all. 

Ok, well I hope you were amused with my domestic rant. 
It's kind of a public service announcement, Maytag product slam (Hey! they earned it!) & tribute to owner commenters all rolled into one. 


nonnie9999 said...

i've had my dishwasher since i moved here, which makes it 20 years old (it was brand new, as was the stove and fridge). i think i've used it maybe 10 times. instead, i use it as another cabinet. i put all the pots and pans in there that i don't have room for anywhere else. i know i'm supposed to run it every once in a while so it doesn't rust up, but that would mean taking some stuff out that's not dishwasher safe. of course, instead of pots and pans, i'd rather have a cute little puppy like in that first pic.

nonnie9999 said...

oh, i forgot to add--when you find the dishwasher you like, check out the prices at lowes and best buy and places like that (if they carry it). you'd be amazed at how quickly those places will jump into a bidding war in order to get your business. home depot was ready to take $300 off the price of a washer/dryer when i said that lowe's had it cheaper, and when i went back to lowe's and told them that home depot had a better deal on the extended warranty, lowe's took another 10% off. best buy was willing to match their prices, too. i wound up buying at lowe's. unfortunately, as i feared, the machines didn't fit. they left them here and let me use them until i could go back to the store and pick out different ones. then, they took back the used ones and installed the new ones. i wound up spending $700 less that i was originally going to spend.

Fran said...

Wow nonnie you are the master of the deal!
The process was a burn out we did a bunch of running around & we got a good deal w a sale price & some extra rebates to boot.

Color me exhausted!

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