Why do all new dishwashers suck?

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on March 29, 2012

in Appliance Repair Radio, Dishwasher Repair, Podcast

Your Name: rick

Type of Appliance: Dishwasher

Brand: frigidaire

Your Precious Words:
customer is not satisfied with the drying, i checked everything is working properly. the heater comes on and the vent door opens. so he wants a new dryer [sic]. he wants me to get it for him. i was hunting for one that dries the dishes good

Rick gets more of an earful than he probably expected when Mrs. Samurai and I talked about this in our latest podcast. Click the play button below to listen:


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Strathy March 30, 2012 at 7:36 am

One thing you did not mention, but is also a compounding problem is that everyone is turning their hot water tank temp’s down. This is especially true in new homes where they are often set at 95 – 100 deg. … more unintended consequences all to save 15 bucks a year. But wait, if you have to run your dishes through your dishwasher twice, or rinse them completely clean before putting them in the dishwasher, are you really saving any energy? Things that make you go …. hmmmmm. lol.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man March 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

Hmm, indeed! Good points, Strath, domo! More unintended consequences of the command and control society.

telefunkenu47 April 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

From your lips to gods ear. The first law of the physical universe is that whenever you gain in one aspect, you lose in another. we are sooo screwed

Rtnoww April 2, 2012 at 2:19 am

Wow! Interesting, Quite diverse, and a Good try on the explanation of why dishes don’t dry, but you are making it way more difficult than it is.
1st) The only thing wrong with dishwashers today, is that they are all electronic, nothing more, which is causing a lot of fires(due to Engineers that are complete Morons these days), shorting out of touch panels(again, moronic Engineers not knowing how to design a touch panel, membrane switch, that can withstand mositure).
2nd) There is not a problem regarding the amount of water dishwashers use today.
3rd) There is not a problem with the dishwasher, that is causing the dishes not to dry!
There was only one domestic(residential) dishwasher made that actually added an additional heater and heater fan, that was designed to dry the dishes, but it did not work very well, so it was removed in later models…a KitchenAid model before Whirlpool bought KitchenAid.
4th) Rinse Aid is not the Reason dishes Dry, as was suggested in the podcast. Rinse Aid is to sheet the dishes, so the Water does not Matte on the dishes, but instead beads off the dishes, and the reason that is criticall important, is to make sure there are no water spots or stains left on the dishes when they dry. But, the water is not what spots the dishes, as most would assume, it is the Mineral Deposits in the water that stick to the dishes, and cause spots! The Rinse Aid sheets the dishes so the minerals in the water cannot stick to the dishes, which leaves the dishes to dry with no mineral deposits and thus no Stains or Spots! The Purpose of Rinse Aiud is NOT to make the dishes DRY! Wrong Information!
Dishes dry in the dishwasher through EVAPORATION, AND EVAPORATION ONLY!
Thus, to have evaporation, one MUST HAVE HOT ENOUGH WATER, especially in the Final rinse cycle, or the dishes WILL NOT DRY!
The reason the dishes are not drying these days, is due to a few factors happening at the same time, mostly due to the Eco Kick.
First, let’s start with the water temperature…
All Water Heaters now have a MAX Temp they are able to produce, which is a LOT Lower than it used to be, due to the Huge Worry in all industries of Law Suits and also energy efficiency. Water Heaters now come with w Big Warning Label on them that states, Scalding Warning, Do Not Exceed 125 degrees!
This is ridiculous, since Scalding is 170 degrees!
By the time the water gets to the dishwasher, starting at a Max of 125 degrees, it drops in temperature, to about a max of 100 – 110 degrees, which is Not Hot enough to dissolve the detergent, which needs to be 120 degrees or above, and finally when it gets to the Rinse Cycle, the water is not hot enough to evaporate fully in the dry cycle.
Solution:
Turn the water heater up to the highest temperature, 125, on new water heaters, and 140-150 on old water heaters, so when the water gets to the water line at the sink, where the dishwasher water line is hooked up, it will be the hottest possible.
Next, having the water hot enough coming from the dishwasher will not be good enough by itself to make sure the water is hot enough for washing and rinsing the dishes. So, you need to change your habits and run the faucet at the sink, BEFORE you start the dishwasher, to get all the cold water out of the line, before you start the dishwasher!! It is similar to turning a shower on, and jumping in right after turning it on….you wouldn’t do that, now, wopuld you…NO, the water is cold, until you get all the cold water out of the line and finally get hot water.
Now, if you start the dishwasher without running the sink until you get hot water, before starting the dishwasher, you are going to get cold water in the dishwasher, and because it does not fill as much as it used to, there is little chance of even getting warm water in most homes, due to the distance of the water heater to the dishwasher!
If you get cold water into the dishwasher, the dishwasher is going to have to heat the water up to the temperature that your model of dishwasher’s thermostat is set at, which can vary on different brands and models…and settings. The water heater in most dishwashers is a very low wattage heater, and only heats the water about ONE DEGREE a minute! What does this mean…it means that if the water comes in at 80 degrees, because you did NOT run the sink until the water is HOT, then the water has to be heated up by the dishwasher, to an average thermostat temperature of about 165 degrees. What does this translate to in time to heat the water? One Degree a minute, 80 degrees to 165 degrees, 85 Minutes to heat the water, times 1, 2 or 3 cycles, depending on which cycle you choose, can make the dishwasher running time be 2 to 4 1/2 hours!
To add another difficulty to the heating of the water, is that the detergent is now 6 TIMES MORE CONCENTRATED, THAN A YEAR AGO!
What does this have to do with anything?
The detergent is so concentrated, and the manufacturers are NOT putting the concentration on the label, so everyone is using the same amount of detergent, filling the detergent cup all the way up or close. This is causing a severe detergent buildup in the entire dishwasher, as well as on the heater. The heater is becoming caked under layers of detergent, which traps the heat inside the caked up detergent, and not allowing the heat to be emitted and properly heat the water, thus not dissolving the detrgent and rinsing with detergent, not clear and clean water, as well the water temperature int he Final Rinse cycle is not hot enough to evaporate, and the dishes stay wet!
Total Solution to get Sparking Clean and Dry Dishes…
Cut way back on the amount of detergent, about a tablespoon, and do NOT use the pre-packaged tablets! Run the water at the sink until it is hot, then start the dishwasher, AFTER using Dishwasher Magic to make sure the entire dishwasher caked up with detergent, is now dissolved and clean inside the entire dishwasher. No more detergent buildup, will allow the dishwasher to heat the water properly, get the dishes clean, with no detergent film, and dry the dishes at the end of the Final Rinse, because the heater will now be able to emit the heat with all the caked up detergent dissolved off of it, and the water will be hot enough to evaporate.
Technicians are making this same mistake you have made in the podcast, by blaming ALL the dishwashers for cleanability and lack of drying, and it surprises me as Engineers you have not kept it simple and used the Law Of Physics to understand HOW a dishwasher Really works! A 30 year old, Used dishwasher, will do the same job as a Brand New dishwasher, cleaning the dishes to a Sparkling Clean Result!
There are Only THREE things that are required to clean dishes properly:
1) Hot enough water to dissolve the detergent, more than 120 degrees!
2) The PROPER amount of detergent, which has become CONSIDERABLY LESS than ever before!((…about a tablespoon)DO NOT USE the Pre-Packaged Tablets! Less is More, in this case!)
3) Rinse Aid(Jet Dry): This is used to stop minerals in the water from sticking to the dishes, which cause spots and stains(It is NOT to make the dishes DRY, as also was suggested in the podcast…WRONG!)
Then the dishwasher sprays the water around, thrusting it against the dishes, mixed with detergent and it takes the soil off the dishes, and then drains that dirty water out, and finally rinses them, with a couple drops of Rinse Aid, and leaves the dishes spotless, and with the heater now able to emit the heat, minus the previous detergent buildup from too much detergent usage, the dishes dry sparling clean!
Keep it simple people!
It doesn’t take an Engineer to figure out how a dishwasher works properly, or does it….I am an Electrical Engineer, but that doesn’t do me any good with appliance repair! Appliance Repair is not about Politics or Theory! It is about common sense and knowing HOW APPLIANCES REALLY WORK!
Please be careful that you give Proper Information to Customers and Technicians! They Rely on Proper information, not misleading information as that podcast I just heard is projecting.
I guess I need to voice more to the public about HOW Appliances work and how to solve the very simple problems, as dishes not drying. I still am saying WOW, I can’t believe you would mislead people so dramatically and then rant and rave about how you can’t get a dishwasher that works today, because they are so energy efficient, which has Nothing to do with this drying problem, as you can see if you read what I wrote hear, which is Exactly Fact and try it and you will see yourself! Do Not delete this post! It is full of Extremely Important info for your readers, customers and techs! If you can’t take constructive criticism and delete this, you are not doing any good for those who demand the proper information given to them, by those of us who actually know. Thank you, Mike

JerzJim April 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

Comments should be constructive and not destructive. This is a pretty darn hostile post from my personal perspective and is totally uncalled for. Having a difference of opinion is what these forums support, but you can do it without the hostility. Sheeted water does indeed allow for more efficient evaporation and you as an ENGINEER should know that because its basic physics and a course requirement in becoming an engineer. This is not the only issue in the drying problem as it appears from the cast as well as the commentary that water temperature also contributes to the issue. I don’t know about the detergent issue, but if it is indeed clogging or coating the heating area, I can certainly see how that would effect the drying efficiency. Blaming electronics? What does that have to do with the drying issue? Fires? I personally have never heard of a dishwasher fire. Dryer, yes,… dishwasher no. Now I am not an appliance repair professional, so if this is a common issue, forgive my ignorance. I just have not heard of this. My biggest problem is with the hostility here. Condescending tone as well. I would also like to say that I think the Samurai handled your post quite professionally and I would like to commend him on his patience and professionalism. I dare say, I would probably of had a great difficulty holding my tongue in the same position.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man April 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, JerzJim. :)

Samurai Appliance Repair Man April 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

Rtnoww, thanks for your comments but you are just plain wrong on the issue of rinse aid and dishwasher drying. Watch our screencast reply:

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