I am looking for a lower-end dishwasher (don't want to spend much more than
$300 if I can get away with it), and would like to see if anyone has any
recommendations? I don't need any fancy cycles--the light, normal, heavy
will do just fine. Noise isn't too much of an issue. I'd rather have a
self-cleaning filter which I read adds to the noise but I don't care.
I've also read that a "sanitization" feature isn't really all that necessary
either. What are your thoughts?
I like the sanitize cycle. Most dishwasher have a heating element in them
to facilitate drying. The sani-cycle just allows you to heat the water with
the element that already exists so there shouldn't be much of a price issue.
The heated wash cycle allows you to set the temperature on your water heater
low, so in the long-run you should save energy by just heating a couple of
gallons of water occasionally in the dishwasher than keeping 40 gallons of
water heated hot enough to adequately clean your dishes. The boost in water
temperature on the sani-cycle in my dishwasher makes a big difference in the
effectiveness of the machine. If by "isn't ... necessary" you mean that it
isn't necessary from a health perspective, that is probably true.
The consistent winner over at rec.food.equipment for low-end, domestic
dishwasher is Maytag. I would also look at a low end Whirlpool (which is
going to be almost identical mechanically to Kitchenaid, but with fewer
features) and Sears Kenmore. Whirlpool makes many of the Kenmore appliances
to Sear's specifications. You may find that you are getting a
Whirlpool-Kitchenaid dishwasher with a few more features at a little better
price-point. If you are a Costco member, take a look there. They often
have good prices on appliances and have a lot of rebates. Their Kirkland
Signature line is made by Whirlpool.
My KitchenAid dishwasher has a bunch of cycles and features. I use the
pots-and-pans and normal cycles about 99% of the time. I never use the
china/crystal cycle. I sometimes use the short wash cycle but could easily
do without it. You really should not use the rinse only cycle as it wastes
water and energy. My dishwasher has a stainless interior and hold the heat
very well. I use the sani-wash and sani-rinse cycle and turn off the heated
dry. The residual heat dries the dishes quite well.
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