Appliantology Newsletter
Three Deadly Dishwasher Mistakes
  September 2013
Samurai Appliance Repair Man
0.  The Glory Days of Dishwashers
1.  Energy Star Madness and Today's Dishwashers
2.  Basic Dishwasherology
3.  The Big Three Deadly Dishwasher Mistakes

0.  The Glory Days of Dishwashers
The dishwashers being made today ain’t like yo mamma’s dishwasher. Dishwashers made as recently as 1997 used big honkin’ motors that practically sandblasted your dishes clean and then reversed direction to pump the water out. They used a lot more energy and water than the delicate little dainties being made today. They also lasted much longer and weren’t as prone to having problems with mineral buildup inside of ‘em… but don’t get me started on that rant. Prodded along by the Beltway Bandits wielding the Energy Star stick, all the manufacturers are making their dishwashers with dainty little wash motors that drizzle the water on the dishes and a separate drain pump motor. So, for better or for worser, we’re all stuck with these limp-wristed dishwashers.
1.  Energy Star Madness and Today's Dishwashers
One of the consequences of using these low-wattage pumps and motors is that they have to run longer to get your dishes as clean as the old war horses did. Whereas yo mamma’s dishwasher would run for less than an hour, it’s not unusual for a new dishwasher to run for two or three hours. Although it seems counterintuitive (that’s one of those big words that we professional appliantologists use– please don’t try it at home as I cannot be responsible for your safety), the newer dishwashers are still using less energy than the older ones even when they run two or three times longer. It’s madness, I tell you, unmitigated insanity!
But, like with everything, there’s a downside to all this feel-good, Energy Star madness. If you have hard water (like most folks who get their water out of a well), the reduced water use and longer run times mean you’re gonna get more mineral deposit gookus on your dishes and in the guts of your new fancy-pants, Energy Star dishwasher. This can cause all kinda washability and cleaning problems for your dishes, damage to the dishwasher’s dainty little innards, and increased energy consumption.
2.  Basic Dishwasherology
I get several calls a week for poor washing complaints in newer dishwashers.  When I go out on these service calls, I often find that there's nothing wrong with the dishwasher from a repair standpoint.  
Most people don't have a clue about how dishwashers work.  Invariably, when I'm on a dishwasher service call, I find people making one or more of three common mistakes that almost all dishwasher owners make.  As a result, they have washability problems: dishes don't get clean, film left on glassware and dishes, or glassware gets etched and cloudy.
So before we get into the Big Three Deadly Dishwasher Mistakes, let's do a quick overview of how dishwashers are *designed* to work.  
Dishwashers need three things to do their job:
- Mechanical action: water sprayed from the spray arms,
- Thermal action: water heated to 120-125 deg. F to activate detergent,
- Chemical action: good quality, fresh, dry POWDERED detergent matched to the amount of water hardness, and the use of rinse-aid.
If the dishwasher itself is operating within specs (conditions 1 and 2 above are satisfied) then almost all dishwasher washability complaints come down to the third condition: bad chemistry.
Chemistry problems will involve one or more of these factors:
- Detergent
- Rinse Aid
- Water Hardness

3.  The Big Three Deadly Dishwasher Mistakes
Now that we have a basic understanding of what dishwashers need to do an effective job of washing the dishes, I'm going to reveal three common and deadly mistakes that most people make when using their dishwasher.   Click here to grok The Big Three Deadly Dishwasher Mistakes:  
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