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Old 07-14-12, 02:32 PM   #1
bennelson
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Default What's the best WATER-SAVING dishwasher?

Hey Folks,

It's time for a new dishwasher. Fortunately, I have enough in store credit, won through a contest a while back, that I can just run out and buy one. (Thanks Instructables and Sears!)

The thing is, the WATER bill at my house is the most expensive thing, so what I really want is an automatic dishwasher that uses as little water as possible.

The trouble is that with the Energy Star system, all that talks about is Electricity use! We don't have any similar system about WATER USE. In fact, I've found it very hard to find information about how much water dishwashers use at all!

Any advice for finding the best WATER USE dishwasher? I've heard good things about Bosch, in being both well-built AND water-saving.

Your thoughts?

-Ben

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Old 07-14-12, 03:15 PM   #2
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I own a Bosch and like it a lot. It has a built-in water heater, so if you live in an area that has hard water they recommend you install a water softener to keep the minerals from clogging the heater. It cleans well and is very quiet. The water use varies widely depending on which cycle we select - rinse and hold doesn't use much, sanitize uses a lot. Unfortunately I don't have exact numbers on the consumption.
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Old 07-14-12, 04:33 PM   #3
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http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...ch_dishwashers

unfortunately the sort by water consumption doesn't seem to be working properly. You can get the excel version and sort it yourself though.

Looking at the list real quick it looks like you can get some energy star models that use half the water of other listed ones and they tend to be quite efficient on electricity. Bosch has a few at 2.22 gallons and 200 kwh/year that look excellent in the list definitely dl and sort to verify that though.
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Old 07-15-12, 06:38 AM   #4
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I'd definitely do what Strider suggests and download the excel file to sort them. I know of no other list that will give you that kind of info.
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Old 07-17-12, 01:01 PM   #5
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We ended up ordering a Bosch through Sears.
It's a Bosch Ascenta Model# SHX3AR72UC

Looking at the specs on the various models, they all basically have the same motors, filters, and other components. It seems like much of the variation on water use depends on the wash cycle used, but in general, the machine clocks in at 2.95 gallons per wash.

We ordered the one-notch up from entry level, as that had a few features on it (delay, couple extra wash cycles, etc) that the least expensive option didn't.)

Some of the higher levels are a little quieter and use a little less water, but the cost goes up quickly, and it's diminishing returns.

The other thing that I noticed is the Bosch has a really nice, simple filter system to it. It looks almost like a stainless steel mesh oil filter, which just drops right in to the bottom of the machine. Very easy to just reach and, pull out, dump, rinse, and pop back in.

To do essentially the same thing on my current washer requires 45 minutes, a cordless screw-driver, and three different sizes of torx bits!

The only model of Bosch dishwasher that I saw that looked like a real jump in terms of "performance" - in this case, water conservation, but it used less electricity too, was the ADA-approved model. This is the American's with Disabilities Act version. It's designed to fit under lower than stock counters (low counters for people in wheelchairs) It only uses 2 gallons of water (but has a slightly smaller interior as well) and has all the bells and whistles. It's also only available in stainless steel, rather expensive, and I don't have the handicapped-height counters anyways!
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Old 07-17-12, 02:32 PM   #6
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Cool, 3 gallons would be half of what my somewhat recent Whirlpool energy-star dishwasher(installed by previous owners) measures running its light cycle. Mine uses 6 gallons(my measurement) and seems to use the same amount with the standard wash cycle except it doesn't kick the heating element on for the high temp wash and cuts probably an hour out of the total time it washes the dishes. I usually raise the temperature of the water heater to be sure the dishwasher is getting 140 degree water, then use the light cycle to avoid the resistance heating of the water and even with the heated drying, the washer only uses 2-3kwh. It ran this morning and my meter shows 2kwh but it increments in full kwh's so it is somewhere between 2 and 3kwh. Energy use and water usage on modern energy-star dishwashers is extremely low.

I'm still trying to figure out how people think that washing dishes in the sink uses less energy and water. There was a guy at the Midwest Renewable Energy Expo who wrote an e-book and presented and gave tons of bad information and the turning point where I walked out was when he started talking about how much energy a dishwasher uses to heat the 'copious amounts of water' during its cycles. ...sure that 6 gallons and 2kwh is less than what you use to fill the sink with hot water every time you need to wash your dishes? I walked away a bit livid and noticed that throughout his presentation other people were leaving too. I stuck around for as long as I did because I wasn't interested in any of the other presentations that were going on for that specific block of time but should have known to walk away sooner. I ended up watching the presentation on straw-bale construction, not something I'm looking to do but it had good information that they were able to back up so I respect that. ..sorry got into a bit of a rant there.

How much electricity is yours rated to use for a cycle? I figure it will be very little.

Edit: Looked it up - SHX3AR7#UC - 1.298kwh NICE!
As of August 11, 2009, ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers are required to use 5.8 gallons of water per cycle or less

The current ENERGY STAR criteria for dishwashers became effective January 20, 2012.
Standard(non-compact) sized models - ≤ 295 kWh/year (1.372kwh/cycle) and ≤ 4.25 gallons/cycle

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Old 07-18-12, 10:55 AM   #7
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I have a friend who got a Fisher Paykel 2 drawer dishwasher, which they like a lot in that they can just use one of the drawers most of the time and its very energy and water efficient in that mode.

But, when we looked at the reviews, some people were having problems with it.

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Old 07-18-12, 03:21 PM   #8
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The drawer dishwashers are great in many respect but it is true that they tend to need service more than other models and styles. Also there are only several on the market ATM. Maybe this will change. I hope it does because they are much more convenient. I have installed a couple of the Fisher Paykel units and everyone is very happy with them even after several years.
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Old 07-18-12, 05:56 PM   #9
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I have a Maytag Energy Star rated dishwasher that was rated as one of the best on cleaning effectiveness at the time (3-4 yrs ago). It works great, but one thing I would recommend to anyone is to spend the extra and get one with a stainless steel interior. The white plastic interior ones like mine don't stay white! Same is true for non-porcelain lined washer/dryers. The discoloration won't hurt anything, but it just looks crappy after a few years.
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Old 07-18-12, 06:36 PM   #10
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My mother has a container of the powdered beverage called Tang in her pantry. When asked she told me she will occasionally run a load of dishes with it to clean the water marks off. By God it works! Apparently it's a tip she got from my grandmother.

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