Our government is ruining dishwashers

What I learned when trying to buy a new dishwasher.

My 5-year old, $1,200 KitchenAid dishwasher is leaking again because it’s third replacement motor is failing.

Rather than re-up the insurance for $300 and spend months waiting for KitchenAid to grudgingly install a new $600 motor, I decided just to replace the unit.

So here are some of the fun facts I learned about where dishwashers are heading because of ever-tightening government (i.e., EPA) appliance “energy efficiency” standards:

1. Dishwasher life expectancy has decreased from about 8-10 years to 5-6 years, according to experienced repairmen and sales people.
2. Food grinders are being eliminated. So you pretty much have to rinse your dishes clean before they go in the dishwasher.
3. Heat drying is being eliminated. So if you want dry dishes either dry them yourself or run a load overnight and hope that when you empty the washer in the morning the load is dry.
4. Prices are going up because of the energy-saving features no one is demanding.

Keep in mind that the government has already ruined dishwasher detergent by removing phosphates from products available in retail stores.

Although I have figured out ways around that — you can either buy commercial dishwasher detergent (which contains phosphates) or add a teaspoon of commerically available sodium triphosphate with your normal detergent — the fact remains that the government is ruining one of the great time- and money-saving conveniences of the 20th century for no good reason.

6 thoughts on “Our government is ruining dishwashers”

  1. when my dishwasher broke down i recycled the pump as AC condensation water remover. In Europe it’s completely waste of money to buy a new one. Not only don’t they do the job properly, they use more energy and crap out sooner. Same for vacuum cleaners which by law are only allowed to be maximum 900 Watt as opposed to former >2 KWatt. As a result you spend way longer vacuuming for less result.

    Luckily industrial cleaners are unlimited so now huge 3 kWatt ones are for sale in any shop. But you do need good earprotection using them 🙂

  2. A new administration (Republican) should prohibit the Feds from setting ridiculous standards on most if not all appliances. Let the market determine what sells and is made. The people can decide what is best. There is a huge range of products the Feds have no business being involved in. Their decisions end up being based on political correctness, not what is best.

  3. As long as you don’t include the energy footprint for the production, transportation, and disposal of equipment that fails prematurely [compared to the life cycle we have become used to from the reliable and ~work~ efficient products we used to be able to buy] then there is a slight energy saving.
    As long as the additional work required to prepare the dishes for mechanical washing in the new appliances is ignored.
    There are certain tasks that just require a fixed number of calories to accomplish. It doesn’t matter whether the calories are from fossil fuels, so called “green” energy sources, or as work performed by an animal or human.
    One of the frauds that the eco-freaks regularly commit is to ignore whatever portions of the total energy involved in a process that they can get away with in order to make their case. We have now passed the point where any semblance of intellectual honesty is involved in their accounting, drowned out by the hysterical noise of those who are obsessed to the point of monomaniacal madness by an idea that is incompatible with an urbanized and technological society.

  4. -KitchenAid used to be part of Hobart, but they spun themselves off. Like a lot of U.S. companies, they’ve started coasting on their reputation.

    -Should have just spent the money on a 4th new motor and this time with a visit from an knowledgeable and *independent* appliance service guy who can and will bypass any design flaws. A “Factory Approved” service guy just sticks a new expensive part in and leaves. (I can tell you some stories here.) A dishwasher is really nothing but a water pump with some solenoid operated valving. Hell, with a little research and some modest mechanical ability it’s something that you can do yourself. Live an learn I guess.

    -If you want an older dishwasher that works better, reconditioned ones are out there. Hell, your old Kitchen Aid was probably reconditioned and sold to somebody else.

    -News to me on the food grinders. Are you sure about that? It’s just a mini garbage disposal after all. Maybe somebody is trying not to put them on the cheap ones, lower price point and all that.

    -Lifespan of appliances and everything else has decreased across the board because of what’s know as “Value Engineering.” You use cheaper parts to get the price point down, and thus make it more more “Buyer Friendly.” Most people respond to price point, oblivious to quality issues and the notion that “Cheap is no bargain.”

    -Pick up some Finish Powerball Quantum Max dishwasher – what? – cubelets at the market. Just throw one in the dishwasher, no using the dispenser, and hit the start button. Cleans great and with no spotting.

    -Busy-body Do-Gooders and World Improvers ruin everything they touch. After all they know better than you what’s good for you and what you ought to have. (And they keep the good stuff for themselves, but only so that they can continue their “good works.”) The people in the old Soviet Union would have instantlly spotted them for what they really are.

    Hope this helps.

    Just a thought.


  5. They honestly believe that their ideas (‘conserving energy’, reducing phosphate use) are what is best for ‘everybody’, and enforce their ideas upon industry and the public without regard to what industry and the public believe is best for themselves.
    Individual rights and freedom of choice are of no consequence when your arrogance is so great that you believe yourself infallible, your circle of friends is so limited that no one disagrees with you, and you cannot conceive of a rational and intelligent person who might have a valid idea that differs from yours.

  6. . . . and the 45min wash cycle has been replaced by a (more energy saving???) 120min one! The half-horse motor is now a (very fragile) one-third horse unit. You’re right–they’re worse! Our old one, an Admiral, is still running (albeit badly) after 17 years. The new LG will probably last no more than five.

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