Dear Jim: My old dishwasher leaves food on the dishes and I cannot even hear my husband talking five feet away. What are the newest, quietest designs available? Will they save much energy and are they attractive? – Tamara R.
Dear Tamara: Actually, many wives might consider not hearing their husbands a blessing. Seriously though, there are some new dishwasher designs that will fit your needs perfectly. They are extremely quiet and efficient, so the energy and water savings will offset the cost.
Some of the new models of dishwashers are designed so they are totally hidden when closed for a modern, contemporary kitchen decor. With a matching cabinet front covering, they look exactly like the other cabinets. The electronic controls are built into the top edge of the door.
The very newest designs are actually called “dishdrawers.” These models are built into a standard drawer area with one mounted above another, like double drawers. Although the inlet and drain plumbing is shared, they can be used independently for efficient small loads or together for large loads.
These designs are convenient for today’s smaller, efficient kitchens. To save cabinet space, clean dishes can be left in one drawer. Your family uses the dishes from the clean drawer and places the dirty ones in the other drawer. When it is full, clean those dishes and reverse the procedure.
Washing controls have become more sophisticated on new models to save energy and water and to reduce the noise level. For example, for partial loads, only one or two of the spray arms function instead of all three. Special timed wave patterns are used so the sprays do not interfere with each other.
Most of the highest efficiency and quietest dishwashers use a two-pump system. This uses one powerful, high-pressure pump for the spray cleaning and a low-pressure, high-volume pump for the draining of the dirty water.
A two-pump design requires a smaller reservoir of water since each pump is physically smaller. This saves hot water. Your present dishwater probably uses about 12 gallons of hot water per load. The new dishwashers use as little as 4 gallons and they have their own preheater for more savings.
Many models now have automatic water soil sensors to determine the optimum water temperature and cycle times. By measuring the food soil in the first cycle water, the electronic brain makes all the appropriate settings.
Some other features to consider are built-in mini-water softeners, self-cleaning filters, large particle food grinders, high-temp sanitizing cycles and condensation drying to keep excess moisture out of your room air.
Write for (instantly download – www.dulley.com) Update Bulletin No. 538 – buyer’s guide of the 16 most efficient, quiet dishwashers listing water usage, number of pumps, wash cycles, convenient features, prices and efficiency tips. Include $3 and a business-size SASE. Send to James Dulley, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.