Saturday, July 12, 2003

The Dishwasher Epic

It all started in August of 2002. We were moving to the small town of Bristol, Tennessee from the smaller town of Florissant, Colorado. We went to Lowe’s and picked out a high end KitchenAid Superba. Never did we realize what troubles lay in store for us.

The dishwasher worked well. After about a year or so we noticed some trouble. Occasionally it wouldn't respond when you pushed a button, or certain lights flashed erratically at times. This kept up for awhile, until one day, it wouldn’t respond at all, and acted as if it were unplugged. Naturally, it was the day before thanksgiving, the biggest meal of the year. We ate thanksgiving on real plates, but we bought paper plates and bowls, so life would thus be easier. But the dishwasher man, Mark, Didn’t make it out until a week later. He looked at it, decided the heating element was the problem, and all the dishwasher parts come special from KitchenAid. So another week passed. Mark came back with the part, installed it, and noticed that the drain motor wasn’t working right. We didn't bother with it, since an inefficient drain motor is better than having no dishwasher at all.

It worked for two loads. Then all that happened was the lights would flash if we tried to start it. Finally, it worked! It started, ran for awhile, and then died. Power seemed gone, and it wouldn’t start. Mark, who knew us on a first name basis by now, decided that the electronics had gone bad. By now, we had gone back to normal plates and bowls, because paper is too expensive to use for very long, especially when you have real dishes right there. We had to get a large drain board, which unfortunately proved to be a wise investment. A week later, Mark came back with the new circuitry. He put it in, and it worked!

Another load; another failure. This is ridiculous! Our friends the Gildners were staying with us for our late October feast. Mr. Gildner helped us to remove the dishwasher from its tight spot. You see, the folks before us had tiled he kitchen without removing their dishwasher. This left no easy way to get it out. But eventually, it was out. Mark hauled it to his shop, where he was better equipped to work on it. Well, the drain motor, which hadn’t ever worked right, was on “National Backorder”, whatever that means. It did mean months of hand washed dishes, because we didn’t get it back until February. The day Mark called to tell us, we had a celebration. 

Everything had been replaced except the racks and chassis, right? Well, almost everything. It worked for almost a week, and then lost it’s mind again. What!? The drain board came back out. We finally decided the only thing left to replace was the keypad. Sounds silly, but a faulty keypad could generate false input, or ignore real input. So we got that replaced. Now early March, and everything seemed OK. Then on March 19th, it died again. Mark came Monday, diagnosing a burnt out fuse. 

That fixed it, for the next two loads. Bang! Another fuse. We can’t keep paying $60 a pop to get a fuse replaced! At this point our options were to fix it again, get a warranty replacement (the whole thing) or buy a new one. For now, we thought, we’d just get it fixed. Mark went to work with KitchenAid to get our problem solved. He advised not to get the dishwasher fixed, because we would be ‘very happy’ if all went well. Meanwhile, Sunday the 28th unexpectedly filled dup with dirty water. It leaked, too – so we cleaned it up, and didn’t run the tap very much. We had to wash dishes very carefully for the next weeks until our new dishwasher came in. April 12th, no dishwasher yet, but supposedly it had shipped from Whirlpool Monday. Mom called up the CEO of Whirlpool– OK, just the returns desk – and they agreed to get us a brand new dishwasher for $100, installed and everything. Thus ends the epic of the dishwasher.