Saturday June 18 2005

I bought a new dishwasher: the Kenmore Elite 17262 (white).
This page is about the replacement, and a comparison to the old, and some observations.

This old Kenmore Ultra Wash model 110753613 part 3376941, circa 1993, cost $499 CDN
was so noisy that whenever I turned it on I left the house, and didn't wash my pots as well as I thought it should. In particular I have a George Forman Grill with removeable/dishwasherable grills -- but whenever I took it out of the dishwasher and put them back into the grill there would be lots of smoke which I believe was soap that wasn't washed off -- so I had to postwash the removable grills in the sink by hand to get rid of whatever was on them.
I have a steel pot that I cook stroganoff in, and I had to prewash that all the time.
The last straw that made me feel ok to replace an otherwise working dishwasher, was that one day it sprung a leak and somewhat flooded my kitchen floor.
As it turns out, it wasn't the dishwasher that leaked -- but the plumbing under it. Nevertheless I bought a new one.

Black bag contains insulation. Just top and sides, no back or bottom.
The hole is depth 24.5", height 35", width 24".

Consumer Reports said that Sears' Kenmores were the most reliable, and Bosch was the quietest, quickly followed by the Kenmore Elite 16462/16464/16489/16982
Well they don't make those anymore, but they do sell the 16292 and 17262. So I bought the 17262.
It has Quick Wash, and Quiet System 11.
There were lots of different measurements for the 17262 on the www (from 33" to 36" depending), and another set in the store, none of which seem to be accurate.

Supposidly there is soundproofing in the tub and door. Around the sides/top/back are 3/4" of white insulation as sound absorber. Underneith is another piece of white sound absorber with a black rubber piece that fits up behind the kickplate (shown on the floor not yet installed, below you can see the other side). Around the front sides of the dishwasher are rubber that press against the sides of the cabinet, but none at the top.

The original dishwasher had a 2x4 at the front just under the counter, since that dishwasher was too short for the hole. This 2x4 was visible from the walkway, and certainly wasn't put there by the cabinet maker. I removed it and replaced it with 15"x24" of marine grade plywood I had laying around, which is 3/4" shorter than the old 2x4, giving more room to push the new taller dishwasher in, but still providing a place to screw the new dishwasher into, and possibly strenghening the countertop. As you can see it fits in the 24" width, has about 3/4" spare room for the height (after leveling), but sticks out so it's really about 25.75" deep.

The new dishwasher in place. I wasn't expecting to be able to see the top of the door controls without opening the door.
See, it sticks out into the walkway, not flush with the cabinets.

I had to run a new drain pipe (white), since the old one although longer and wider wouldn't fit the new dishwasher's drain. The old dishwasher used 3/8" copper flex tubing for the dishwasher hot water supply but it was badly kinked/crushed in spots so I removed it all the way to the tap to the right of the drain. I put in a new piece of 1/2" flex copper pipe which you can see, and a silver braded 3/8" 60" line to the dishwasher (which you can see about 1" of at the bottom left). I didn't have an adaptor for the 1/2" flex to 3/8" braided, so I put a shutoff valve which came with the kit near the bottom left. This leaves me with the unusual situation of having a shutoff tap near the top right of that flex copper, and a shutoff valve near the bottom left a mere 2' down the pipe. Should be fine.

The new dishwasher's racks.
The new dishwasher without the racks. See the blue 'turbo zone' sprayers at the lower back.
There's 3/4" clearance above the dishwasher to the bottom of the marine grade plywood that it's screwed into.

With the door closed, I can still see all the buttons. Partially this is because it's 3/4" shorter than the hole, and partly because the dishwasher sticks out a bit into the walkway.
Pot placement in the dishwasher -- pointed at those Turbo Zone blasters.
Stroganoff. This is after washing using: Smart Wash / Turbo Zone / Heated Dry
Two hours later, same pot. This time after washing using: Pots / Turbo Zone / Heated Dry
Five minutes later, after hand post-washing with a plastic scrub brush (shown, to the right) and some dishsoap in the sink

Before, putting up against the back so the Turbo Zone could do it.
After washing using: Pots / Turbo Zone / High Temp Wash / Sani Rinse / Heated Dry with soap in both the main and pre-wash areas. The plate is clean, but one of the tines on the fork is not.
So I washed it again, this time positioned like below, using: Pots / High Temp Wash / Sani Rinse / Heated Dry with soap in both the main and pre-wash areas
I tried it like this again a few days later, and this technique/placement works the first time with similarly 'egged' teflon frying pans.

This is the before washing picture. Yea, I know this looks a lot like a bedpan -- but it's actually my wok. I made a spicy chicken and vegitable stir fry.
Here it is after washing it on Pots. The bottom is a little brown, and still has flakes of food on it.
And here it is after 2 minutes of hand washing with soap and a pad. Any red or brown you see in this picture isn't there -- it's a reflection.

Below is a picture taken from inside of the dishwasher facing outward, of the underside of the door. Notice how food seems to collect at the front of the tray there. I've had to clean this part of the dishwasher under the 'closed' door with a wet towel several times now.

My forks, when placed tines up (handles down) in the rack, fall through until the handles touch the bottom of the dishwasher. So I've started putting the forks in tines down, and the spoons spoon up. In a professional kitchen I've heard that one is not supposed to touch silverware after it's been washed, yet my current technique for spoons and knives means I have to touch the spoon part of the spoons to take them out.

The old dishwasher had a spike in the lower tray in the middle to direct water from the bottom up to the middle spinning washer. The new dishwasher doesn't have that. I never noticed how inconvenient that vertical tube was. The new one is better in that regard.

Another thing I've noticed, is even though I've had this dishwasher for 3 weeks now (2005/07/07) it still smells with a chemical smell when I open the door.

The George Forman Grills have been washed in the new dishwasher, and thus far seem to work on the grill without smoke without post-washing. I'm using the supplied Cascade Crystal Clear Pure Rinse (aka JetDry), which I've never used before. I think my drinking glasses feel smoother than they used to be after about five washings with the new dishwasher.

The new dishwasher is quieter than the noise of the water going down the drain, so I've separated the dishwasher measurements from the drain noise measurements. The old dishwasher itself was louder than everything else.
The measurements were taken with a Radio Shack Sound Level Meter (min is 50dB with this device).
'Below' means downstairs in the basement, so the sound is going through lenolium and a sheet of chipboard plywood.
FYI, taking a metal pen cap off a metal pen is 54 dB (c-fast) at 6".
Old Dishwasher dB(c-slow) New Dishwasher dB(c-slow) New Dishwasher dB(a-slow)
Front @ 2'70 - 7256 - 60? - 52
Above @ 2'66 - 7254-55
Behind @ 2'6554
Below @ 2'66 - 71less than 50less than 50
Peak dishwasher @ 5'826052
Peak drain noise @ 5'unknown6657 - ?