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Saturday, November 4, 2017


Our dishwasher started making stinky smells, stinky like in burning electrical insulation. Well, this can't be good. It could be that some electrical component had failed and replacing the offending part may fix it. Or it could be that some other component, like the motor, has developed a problem that caused the suspect component to fail, in which case we won't really have fixed the problem and it will recur in short order. So if the motor is suspect, then we could replace the motor, but the motor for this 25 year old dishwasher runs $450. Okay, we're not going to do that.

Frigidaire Gallery Dishwasher
Thursday we made a return trip to Hutchins TV & Appliance and picked out a new dishwasher. Yesterday a couple of guys (Jerrod and Michael) from Portland Installation came by and swapped out the old one for the new. Dishwasher was $640, installation was $140.

First priority with my wife was that the new dishwasher should match the refrigerator we bought a couple of months ago. Friends of ours bought a Miele dishwasher because it's the 'best', and the price shows it: $1,500. No thanks, I don't need some overpriced, over-gadget-ified European fashion piece. Plain old 'merican fashion is good enough for me.

I do like the handle on the Frigidaire, it's just a very smooth curve. Some appliances these days go for the industrial style with big squarish brackets holding the handles. Cool until you run into one with your hip.

Style seems to be about the only feature that is different on the dozen or so dishwashers Hutchins had on display, which shouldn't be too surprising since most of them are all made by the same company. Our old Kitchen-Aid dishwasher was made by Hobart, the commercial food equipment company. They got out of the consumer end of the business a few years ago. Now Kitchen-Aid, Kenmore, Whirlpool, Jenn-Air, Maytag and IKEA are all made by Whirlpool.

Jerrod gave me a brief overview of the features and controls. Because it's new and modern, the dishwasher has a little display (the green number 30 in the picture above), that shows things like status messages and how much time is left on this wash cycle. Normal wash cycle now runs for over three hours! I don't think our old one ran for more than an hour, but then I never timed it. It might have run for six hours, but I kind of doubt it. I think I probably would have noticed if it was running all frigging day long. Jerrod tells me that dishwashers now have a soak phase. They spray the dishes with water and then just let them soak for a while to loosen any crusty bits. I suppose this is in the name of energy efficiency, and I guess that's okay.

Once we open it up and start loading it we notice a couple of things that we might should have noticed in the store, not that it would have made any difference, since all the machines seem be made in the same pattern, even the Miele.  The door is taller, so when it is open it sticks out farther into the room, which means it blocks the aisle more than the old one did. The door is taller because the tub is larger, which means the lower rack is lower which means you have to bend over farther to reach it. The racks seem flimsier, but plastics have improved in the last 25 years, so maybe they will be okay. Now that I think about it, maybe taller is better. Loading dinner plates AND tall glasses in the old machine required a certain amount juggling to get everything to fit and let the upper spray arm spin freely.

We are planning on remodeling our kitchen sometime in the near future. The biggest problem is that the cheap lacquer finish on the cabinets absorbs water, so everywhere that people have regularly touched the cabinet doors, the finish has turned into a kind of gray goop. Refinishing would solve that problem, but we've been here 25 years and my wife wants a new kitchen. I mean, all her friends have new kitchens and she's feeling a little pressure.

If we go ahead with remodeling the kitchen, I am thinking we need to raise the dishwasher by about a foot., just to make access easier. Unfortunarely, we would then lose two feet of counter space. The space under the microwave is kind of cramped, so could combine the two appliances into one stack so we wouldn't be losing any prime counter space, but the dishwasher really needs to be near the sink, so we are going to be interrupting the counter. Bah. Maybe we need an elevator for the dishwasher so we could raise to a convenient height for loading and unloading and lower it when we need the counter space. Gah, that sounds like a Japanese solution. This is America, why don't I have enough counter space in my kitchen?

P.S. After we bought our refrigerator, we stopped by Lowe's for something and since refrigerators were on our mind, we took a look at what was on offer. Geez, they must have had a zillion. Made me glad we went to Hutchins. Too much freedom of choice can be overwhelming. The selection at Hutchins was entirely adequate for my purposes and it freed me from too much freedom.

Devo - Freedom Of Choice
DEVO's Freedom of Choice (link goes to original, un-embeddable, video) mentions
In ancient Rome
There was a poem
About a dog
Who found two bones
He picked at one
He licked the other
He went in circles
He dropped dead
So what was the poem?  A post on StriaghtDope points us to Burdian's Ass.

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