Author Topic: Looking for advice on used dishwasher  (Read 1422 times)

ysette9

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Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« on: April 25, 2018, 10:56:19 AM »
The house we bought in the past year has a crappy-a$$ dishwasher that I would love to replace, but I am not interested in spending any real money to replace it at the moment. The dishwasher's transgressions are as follows.

It has about half the capacity of my parents' (admittedly $$, fancy) dishwasher
If I put so much as an extra plate in, it leaves some dishes not quite clean
It is LOUD. That wouldn't be that big of a deal except it cries and whines and moans and happens to sound just like my baby crying i the next room. We find ourselves constantly asking each other "is that the baby crying or the dishwasher?".

So my question to you smart people has to do with how to go about finding a replacement. Are all dishwashers the same form factor? Meaning, do I need to worry about external dimensions fitting under my counter, or is that all standard? Same question for hookups behind the dishwasher itself. Aside from looking up model numbers on Consumer Reports, is there any general advice for how to find something that will do a better job than what I currently have? I'm a little wary of the fact that it will require a good amount of work to uninstall the existing one, install a different one, and then run a load before I will know how well a replacement will perform.

wageslave23

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 02:37:36 PM »
I'm not an expert but I do own a few rental houses so I've had to replace a few dishwashers.  Yes, they are mostly standard so you just need to look at the correct size.  I would not recommend a used one in your case because you need it to be quiet and work really well.  There's no guarantee a used one would be any better than your current one.  Look up new ones that have good reviews.  They have decibel ratings as well that should be listed.

totoro

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 04:20:37 PM »
Cheaper new dishwashers with good ratings are generally a far better bet than a used one.  If a used one breaks you will have spent the time carting and installing and uninstalling it and then disposing of it.

AnotherFI_IT_Guy

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 04:36:47 PM »
If you are handy, you can check the 'chopper' in your dishwasher.  That is often the part that gets plugged up and causes both the noise and your dishes not getting clean.

You can google the instructions for youtube videos that walk you through the process.

Oh, and the part is usually $10 to $15.

Knowing how to do this will definitely up your 'badassity' a notch!

Pennycounter

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 10:51:29 AM »
We just got a new dishwasher so went through some of this.  Ours was  a 6+ year old builder grade (aka crappy, loud, small) dishwasher so when it started getting error messages we just started looking at new.  My husband found this article https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-dishwasher/ and went to local shops for input. The local appliance shop did walk us through the differences in the models, manufacturers and the differences as you moved up in pricing. 

We could have tried fixing our dishwasher, I think it was the heating element but it was originally a $250 dishwasher and that would have cost $50/parts or $120 for the full repair and it *might* not have fixed it.  Plus it was so loud and slow so I'd been looking to upgrade.  We could have bought a 3-400 dishwasher but something with a quicker cycle and quiet were worth the premium to us.  There are a few appliance repair places in the area or you could check the sears outlet in the East Bay, they usually have very good deals but sometimes shorten the manf warranty. 


BookLoverL

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 11:03:39 AM »
Have you considered the possibility of replacing the dishwasher with handwashing the dishes? It's certainly quieter than almost any dishwasher, and if you are efficient in use of dishes (i.e., not getting a new glass Every Single Time You Want A Drink, etc.) and you don't have a large family, it doesn't even take that long.

acroy

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 11:06:12 AM »
Yes, they are mostly standard so you just need to look at the correct size.  I would not recommend a used one in your case because you need it to be quiet and work really well.  There's no guarantee a used one would be any better than your current one.  Look up new ones that have good reviews.  They have decibel ratings as well that should be listed.
^^
Verify the size, you say the current one is 1/2 the size of a new one which sounds weird.
Get a good deal on a new floor model or scratch & dent model. Should be $300 or so.
we recently replaced ours, I spring for the cheapest Maytag, on sale still $5xx, as I have had good experiences with that brand

good luck!

partgypsy

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 11:08:19 AM »
My only suggestions are, find someone who is getting rid of a dishwasher on craigslist due to a remodel. Or, go to Lowes in-store and see if they have any that are on significant discount/clearance (for example a return). Don't get too fussed about model numbers etc, because you can't if you are buying this way. Or do a whole bunch of research and pay full price. I would think as long as you got the width right, the rest of dimensions should be similar. 


MilesTeg

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 11:57:24 AM »
The house we bought in the past year has a crappy-a$$ dishwasher that I would love to replace, but I am not interested in spending any real money to replace it at the moment. The dishwasher's transgressions are as follows.

It has about half the capacity of my parents' (admittedly $$, fancy) dishwasher
If I put so much as an extra plate in, it leaves some dishes not quite clean
It is LOUD. That wouldn't be that big of a deal except it cries and whines and moans and happens to sound just like my baby crying i the next room. We find ourselves constantly asking each other "is that the baby crying or the dishwasher?".

So my question to you smart people has to do with how to go about finding a replacement. Are all dishwashers the same form factor? Meaning, do I need to worry about external dimensions fitting under my counter, or is that all standard? Same question for hookups behind the dishwasher itself. Aside from looking up model numbers on Consumer Reports, is there any general advice for how to find something that will do a better job than what I currently have? I'm a little wary of the fact that it will require a good amount of work to uninstall the existing one, install a different one, and then run a load before I will know how well a replacement will perform.

Dishwashers are not all the same size. You'll have to verify the height, width and depth. The removal and installation is very easy (can be done in about an hour) unless someone hacked the original in there without a breather or other crap. The hardest part (annoying, not hard to do) is fiddling with the leveling if your floor is not level under the cabinet. This is pretty common as often builders will only install subfloor/vinyl/tile part way under the cabinets. If you are reasonably handy with a pipe wrench, level, a screwdriver and basic wiring you will have no problem and save yourself a bloated installation fee.

Decent new entry level dishwashers are cheap ($300 before discounts); don't mess around with used items. It won't be super quiet or have spendy pants options but it won't be as likely to leak or fail, and will have a warranty. And if you buy new most stores will take your old unit off your hands free of charge. It's really not worth the hassle to deal with used; water damage can get very, very expensive to fix. The only exception would be someone doing a remodel or similar who is getting rid of a high end washer (<2 years old) old for aesthetic reasons.

Also check your state and locality for tax rebates for installing energy efficient appliances.

Finally, regardless of your choice of used or new, do NOT try to reuse the existing supply hose (neither your existing or whatever comes with any used item you might get). This is just asking for trouble. Always, always replace these when replacing the unit, and replace them every 3-4 years even if you aren't replacing the dishwasher! Use the steal braided hoses. This applies to dishwashers, washing machines or anything else with a pressured supply hose.

MilesTeg

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 12:02:07 PM »
My only suggestions are, find someone who is getting rid of a dishwasher on craigslist due to a remodel. Or, go to Lowes in-store and see if they have any that are on significant discount/clearance (for example a return). Don't get too fussed about model numbers etc, because you can't if you are buying this way. Or do a whole bunch of research and pay full price. I would think as long as you got the width right, the rest of dimensions should be similar.

All three dimensions are important, as counter tops generally have a large range of heights and depths.

inline five

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 12:14:13 PM »
We sold our old stove and dishwasher for $140 to a guy with a rental property. Good deal for him. Our new stainless dishwasher was $300 or so and ooooooh so worth it. Quiet, cleans better, uses less energy, and looks great. Best money I ever spent.

Generally you can find used ones for around $100 locally.

partgypsy

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 12:17:54 PM »
My only suggestions are, find someone who is getting rid of a dishwasher on craigslist due to a remodel. Or, go to Lowes in-store and see if they have any that are on significant discount/clearance (for example a return). Don't get too fussed about model numbers etc, because you can't if you are buying this way. Or do a whole bunch of research and pay full price. I would think as long as you got the width right, the rest of dimensions should be similar.

All three dimensions are important, as counter tops generally have a large range of heights and depths.

uh oh I didn't know that! Got a like new dishwasher, give me luck it will work when I get to that point!

Cadman

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 12:27:56 PM »
What you want to look for is a KitchenAid KDS-17 through 21 series. These are considered by many to be the best dishwashers ever made in terms of performance, features and longetivity. Nothing new at any price (aside from large commercial models) will match it. Parts are readily available and just about every service person knows how to work on them. This is the kind of machine you buy once and enjoy for the next 20 to 30 years.

ysette9

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 01:12:49 PM »
Good input from everyone. I haven’t ever bought a dishwasher so I don’t know what they cost new. I just assumed Craigslist was the best bet, but I can pull up Consumer Reports and start looking at new as well. If and when we ever do a kitchen remodel, nothing says I can’t keep the same dishwasher.

And no, I absolutely positively hands-down will never consider hand washing dishes as an alternative. We live in a drought-prone area so I want to save water. Pretty much every thing I have ever read says that a dishwasher is more water efficient except for the oldest and crappiest models. More importantly though, I absolutely hate doing dishes. I have exactly one free hour a day during the week and damn if I am going to spend half of it doing dishes. Thanks for making sure we are considering all options though!

BookLoverL

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 01:20:42 PM »
And no, I absolutely positively hands-down will never consider hand washing dishes as an alternative. We live in a drought-prone area so I want to save water. Pretty much every thing I have ever read says that a dishwasher is more water efficient except for the oldest and crappiest models. More importantly though, I absolutely hate doing dishes. I have exactly one free hour a day during the week and damn if I am going to spend half of it doing dishes. Thanks for making sure we are considering all options though!

Fair enough. I live in a rainy area, so water-saving isn't such an issue for me.

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2018, 01:46:37 PM »
All good advice here.  Let me add Habitat for Humanity, where you can often find late-model stuff, from builder overstocks or changeouts, or remodels.

Mainstream dishwashers are simple and easy to fix, as long as you can troubleshoot correctly.  It's easier than ever to get parts, with almost everything now on Amazon.

Sears has always been my go-to for appliances.  They always had a discount if you paid with a Sears card (with even more discount if you applied for one), subsidized by usurous interest rates (just pay it off).  Not to mention sales, which were frequent.  Even now, you might find a great new midrange dishwasher for under $500.

inline five

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2018, 08:35:10 PM »
Sears has a $35 off $300 coupon pretty much all the time on retailmenot.com.

sequoia

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2018, 10:38:33 PM »
I would buy new instead of used. If you want to save some $, look for demo/floor models, or one that is slightly damaged (dented, scratched) but that means you have more limited options.


ysette9

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2018, 02:47:59 PM »
Update: we bought a new dishwasher last weekend that had a Memorial Day sale going on. Did our research on Consumer Reports and then narrowed down between three equally-rated ones via other sites where people wrote in their own reviews. The thing got delivered today and is running a load as I type. It feels so luxurious! I can barely hear it running. No crying. No moaning. No complaining. I’ll report on how it washes once it has completed the cycle.

Happy Friday!

ChpBstrd

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Re: Looking for advice on used dishwasher
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2018, 03:24:56 PM »
Be careful not to buy one that has been dry for a long time. The rubber seals can shrink or deteriorate if left dry, which is why dishwashers generally hold a small amount of water.

For the noise, try stuffing fiberglass or cotton insulation into the gaps with the cabinet and underneith. Remove the panel on the bottom and attach some insulation there.

For poor washing, try cleaning the filter, which is usually in the bottom (see manual), and the jets in the part that spins around. Beware long-lost shards of glass when doing this.

Last, check the drain hose for clogs or kinks. Also, ensure the drain hose loops up under the sink so that dirty sink water cannot flow downhill into your dishwasher. Try to get over your disgust if you find this is the case!