VirginiaLynne likes to share her creative ideas for DIY home renovation and maintenance.
Why Not High-End?
Tired of fancy dishwashers breaking down? You aren't alone. As my repairman and many reviewers have noted, complicated models with electrical panels are prone to having problems and are expensive to fix. With my high-end Kenmore, the electric panel cost $400 to replace! Yikes, that was far more than the whole cost of this inexpensive Amana standard dial machine.
In my case, the repair was almost as much as the cost of the original machine, even though the machine was less than two years old! Moreover, as I discovered to my dismay, the manufacturers have reduced the warranty, so that you either have to buy an extended warranty or else a whole new machine a lot sooner than you may have expected.
Moreover, I found that I really didn't use all the high-end features of the dishwasher. I generally just used the same wash setting over and over, with an occasional use of a "quick rinse" cycle. Why pay so much for things I don't need that cause the machine to break more easily?
Standard Tub Review
When I found myself having to replace my second high-end dishwasher in less than five years, I decided to investigate a different option. For one thing, I'd found the newer washers didn't clean my dishes very well. Sure, they were quiet, but I often had dishes that still had food on them. I remembered growing up with dial dishwashers that really scrubbed the dishes clean. I wanted one like that. Turns out, you can still buy one and they are incredibly cheap.
8 Reasons Standard Dial Dishwasher Is Better
You might want to get an Amana Standard Tub or another base model like I did that has a manual dial rather than an electric panel. The model I purchased is not available anymore but the link above is exactly like it. I'm writing this review with the video because I couldn't decide after reading shorter reviews online. In fact, I actually ended up hand washing dishes for our family of seven for six weeks while trying to decide! No one should have to do that! When I finally purchased the Amana Standard, I was more than happy. I like it a lot. Here's why:
- Dishes get very clean.
- The design of racks lets me get in plenty of dishes.
- Has all the cycles I really need: regular, heavy, rinse and plate warmer.
- Has a good heat dryer.
- Low overall energy cost of $25 a year.
- The cycle of the dishwasher is very short, about 30 minutes, so you can wash two loads quickly after a party, and only about 15 minutes of that is washing, so the noise doesn't last long.
- Reviews on this washer from many sites showed others are satisfied too.
- Checking with my credit card company extended warranty, I was able to get a refund on my old dishwasher which paid the entire cost of buying and installing the Amanda Standard Tub, with some leftover to buy new silverware!
Update: No Regrets 5 Years Later
After five years of use, this dishwasher is still going strong and still washes dishes better than any machine I've ever had. When this one finally breaks, I will buy another similar model. Why?
- Cleaner dishes
- Cheaper price
- Short wash time
Not only does this wash better than my previous models, but it also does so faster. Maybe it is noisier, but that only bothers us while watching a movie, so we just don't run it then. Even if there is a louder noise than you are used to, you aren't going to have that noise for very long. The rest of the cycle is drying and that is silent. When we are watching a movie in the next room, I don't turn on the washer. Other than that, the noise hasn't bothered me.
My conclusion? Skip the fancy models and shoot for the cheaper one with less that can go wrong!
Cons to Consider
While I read a lot of positive reviews, I was worried about three negatives:
- smaller dishwasher
- small silverware tray
You can look at my video and come to your own conclusions, but I didn't find any of the cons to be all that inconvenient. This is what I think:
Tub size: What "standard" seems to mean is that the interior is not as tall. If you have a lot of tall items, they may not fit. However, I don't find this to be a big problem for me. I like the straight lines of the two racks and I think that this dishwasher fits in at least as many dishes as my previous one. The updated model I linked above seems to be a taller version, so that may take care of that negative.
Silverware Rack: The silverware rack really is too small, and I did keep my previous one to use as many reviews had suggested. The Kenmore one does fit in well. I actually like being able to use the smaller one sometimes, though if I have a party and need to fit a lot of bigger serving dishes or more plates.
Noise: This was probably my biggest concern. How noisy is it? Listen to my video to see. Actually, although it is noisier than my Kenmore it is not a mechanical noise. It is a "water swishing around washing dishes" noise, which frankly doesn't bother me that much! Moreover, the noisy part of the cycle is only about 15 minutes.
Cleaning: The dishwasher doesn't have an automatic disposal to grind up all of the leftover food, so sometimes I need to go in with a paper towel and take out some bits of food on the bottom. This doesn't bother me, but if you don't want that maintenance task, you may not like this dishwasher.
Stains: Because it is white inside, the dishwasher has gotten stained over the years. I'm not bothered by that, but if you like a pristine clean inside, you'd probably have to use a cleaning product occasionally or try to find a version with a stainless steel interior.
An Overall Good Choice
"Skip the fancy models and shoot for the cheaper one with less that can go wrong!"
Without having a chance to look at the machine and hear it, I hesitated. What did "noise" mean? However, I went back over the reviews a second time and finally decided to take the plunge and purchase this machine to replace our broken Kenmore. Over five years later, I'm very glad I did and will probably purchase the same type of machine to replace this one.
I decided to write this review to help people who might be having similar concerns. I think it is also telling that there are so many different reviews and a lot of the people were just like me. They'd tried a fancier and more expensive dishwasher and wanted something less prone to break down.
Credit Card Extended Warranty
If, like me, your dishwasher broke in year two, be sure to check the credit card you purchased it with. Chances are, you have an extended warranty agreement that doubles the original warranty.
I almost missed this possibility! As I was trying to figure out what to do about our washer, I remembered something I'd read in the fine print of our card agreement. It turns out that many credit cards, like ours, have extended warranty benefits which give you an additional year of coverage equal to the manufacturer's warranty. We emailed our company and filled out all the forms. In just a couple of weeks, I got a check! This works on just about anything you purchase, so keep that in mind if your major purchases break down in a couple of years. Moreover, I'm now very careful to buy anything that might break down with the credit card that offers the best warranty.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: My new Amana dishwasher stops/starts several times during a cycle, Is that normal?
Answer: I think that my machine (which is still working very well to wash dishes) also stops and starts throughout the cycle, although I haven't really thought about it. I believe the stopping and starting is when it switches from washing to rinsing to drying. You might want to try some other types of cycles to see if it does that on all of them. If the dishes seem done when the cycle is over, I think you are ok.