Advice on new Dishwasher Features


Hi, Guys.
I'm considering a new DW soon and wanted your opinion/experience with the following:
1) Is a stainless steel tub better that a plastic tub? I've had both in the past, but don't really know if the extra money for a SS tub is worth it.
2) Self Cleaning screen with impeller or not? I'm looking at the Bosch and Kenmore dishwashers and each has a manual clean filter vs. an impeller/self-cleaning one.
I know most people like the convenience of a self-cleaning filter, but my personnal experience with an impeller is that it's something to eventually go wrong or break. They either get jammed with an object or just fail. I don't mind periodically cleaning a manual filter. Is one superior over the other??
Thanks to everyone for your time and help,
Randy
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snipped-for-privacy@vanderbilt.edu wrote:

SS has to be better. However, all of my dishwashes have had plastic tubs and those tubs have never given me a single hint of a problem. So although the SS is better, it's probably not worth much of a price premium especially if you're on a tight budget.
If money is not an issue, go for the SS anyway ;-)

Yup, I reckon it's a toss up too.
Some of the better Bosch models have NO exposed heating element. I find that feature very attractive. It's not uncommon for some small item to move during the wash/ rince and end up being toasted by the dryer element. The damage to a plastic utensil, smell and (small) fire risk are worth avoiding I think. My next dishwasher will have that feature!
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When I did this a few years ago after reading a lot of websites and consumer reports I had the choice of two BOSCH units and a KitchenAid, everything in I went with the KitchenAid and have never regreted it. The internal layout and little extra's that they thought of can been seen as well as the fact that it has the impeller and SS inside. At the end of the day the only thing my guests and wife comment about are how clean the dishes are "Soap makes the difference" and how silent it runs... Slience is the numder one thing everyone notices...
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HotRod wrote:

Thanks, HotRod.
I too have the Kitchenaid DW right now and its 6.5 years old now. I did my homework by reading CR and web research and settled on the Kitchenaid. It has been a good machine and cleans well, but the past year I've had to replace the pump assy. once and now it's acting up again (making a grinding/squeal sound AFTER all the water has been pumped out).
I'm wondering if having a DW WITHOUT an impeller is best since I won't at least have that to worry about repairing that piece of it.
Do you think the self-cleaner/impeller is a must or toss up?
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For me the impeller was a must. I want as little to do with the dishes as possible. I've put all kinds of dirty dishes in there and never had to worry about it. I don't pre-rinse my dishes... every.... One thing worth noting though is that a few dishwashers I've seen over the years with "plastic" start to crack and parts inside the handles etc. start to fall off. My in-laws have one right now that no longer works with the handle, all the parts went to pieces and down the drain..

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Start with the basics. Any DW today will clean better than any DW from 15 years ago. If you are upgrading, most any appliance will be at least satisfactory.
Next is features. How many cycles do you want? We have a lot of them, but only use the sani-clean 99% of the time.
The more expensive models often have better soundproofing. Our Kitchen Aid can hardly be heard.
Getting back to your questions, SS has the benefit of being stainless. Some plastic interiors have discolored over time, but this does not affect performance. If it does not leak, it does its job. I've heard of some plastic housing cracking over the years.
I like the ability to be able to clean the filter. That is not a big deal and a once or twice a year thing. Most disposers can get rid of soft food. I'm old school and don't want a lot of crud in the DW. Scrape and sometimes give s one second rinse.
We bought a Kitchen Aid (third one in 40 years) and like it a lot. We looked at Bosch. Our local dealer said they are one of the best for cleaning, but they have had more service calls than any other brand they carry. Kenmore can either be made by Whirlpool or Frigidaire. The Whirlpool ones are very good; the Frigidaire are cheaper and less reliable.
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I have a high end KA, but not with the impeller. I'm amazed at how well it cleans dishes and pans. It's almost a game that I play, trying to stump the machine with baked-on, caked-on food, and I pile dishes on top of dishes, on TOP of more dishes (we have a large family, and cook every night). It's amazing, it gets them all clean, every single time. We installed a top of the line GE in our last home five years ago, and it didn't clean as well as the KA.
Definitely get something with a deep tub. They are bigger inside.
The only feature that looks interesting on newer models is the automatic detergent dispenser. That seems like it would be handy. Not sure what make(s) have this feature yet, I wish mine did.
Also, I'd like to find the mesh envelopes for small items (like child sippy cup gaskets). Our D/W came with one, but it's worn out. I'd buy 5 if I could find them somewhere.
By the way, avoid the Fisher &P(?) dish drawers at all costs. It seems that they have horrendous reliability problems, clogging problems, etc. etc. My parents have replaced theirs three times in as many years, and have to prewash their dishes prior to loading to the point where they could pretty much bypass the DW with not much more effort.
On Nov 15, 10:39 am, snipped-for-privacy@vanderbilt.edu wrote:

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Spare wrote:

The advantage to stainless steel, as Edwin pointed out, is that it can't discolor. Some plastics can be discolored over time by stains from things like tomato sauce. How big a deal that is, is open to debate. Stainless also looks much better.
As far as a manual clean filter, I wouldn't want one. My GE Profile doesn't require any normal manual cleaning. I just scrape all the main food off and in the dishes go!
I would definitely get a flat front panel, with no exposed switches. I think some of the Bosch units have the old type switches that are impossible to clean.
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