Repair or Replace?

The underbelly of a Kenmore Elite model 665.1393xx dishwasher.

Well, I have to admit defeat in my attempt to repair our dishwasher.  I was confident that I could fix it, consistent with my philosophy that it is better maintaining and repairing, than discarding and replacing (a tenet of the “steady state economy”).  But after weeks in this broken condition, while ordering candidate replacement parts, watching dozens of YouTube repair videos, with hours on the floor trying to access, test and replace components, and after dozens of wash and diagnostic cycles, not to mention the dishes I broke while tipping the (still loaded) unit on its side, I am giving up.   

I considered a repair service call.  But even beyond the unacceptable cost to my ego, the labor and replacement parts bill would approach the price of the dishwasher itself.    And after discovering that the average life of a dishwasher is ten years(!), and remembering that I had already repaired it once before, I finally abandoned my effort and redirected my energy to figuring out what to replace it with.

I am a devotee of the New York Times “Wirecutter”, one of their departments that does what I once subscribed to Consumer Reports for: reviewing products that we all use and sometimes need.   I don’t know how they compare to CR, but I have come to value their evaluations, methodology, and… good writing.  I have followed their recommendations several times now and have been pleased with each.  

Today I learned that they recommend a Bosch model 300 dishwasher.  The review made a strong case and so I investigated and learned that indeed, this is a highly regarded brand.  But I have some “constraints” on my choices for kitchen appliances.  They must be quiet and (of course) they must be energy efficient.  And they must be white.   Fortunately, Bosch has models that meet these requirements.  Unfortunately, the company has suffered covid supply line delays, and inventory is limited.

If I could tolerate stainless steel, it might not have been a problem, there are plenty in inventory, but I’m one of the few kitchen designers (having done it twice now), that has never understood the attraction of stainless, preferring a clean white look in a contemporary space. But that’s just me, and Steve Jobs.

If I considered the next model up, the Bosch 500, I could get it in white!  So I placed my order and will now have to suffer an even quieter dishwasher cycle, and figure out what the new features are, because it comes with PrecisionWash®, AutoAir™ Drying, Rackmatic® middle rack, 24/7 Aquastop®, InfoLight®, FlexSpace™tines, and EasyGlide™ upper rack!  

I can hardly wait for my new dishwashing experience!

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