26th Feb 2008
Dishwasher. Useful Information
You have lots of choices when it comes to buying a dishwasher. Department stores, electrical retailers and DIY stores are good places to start. Well known catalogue stores are also an option, although you may find that the range is a little limited in terms of the number of brand names and styles on offer. Most major high street retailers’ offer online shopping and can arrange delivery. Commercial dishwashers are available from retailers that specialise in machinery for the catering trade.
Installing a Dishwasher
All dishwashers come with a manufacturer’s instruction manual. This manual contains the specifications of your machine, including not only a description of the machine, the location of parts and their function but also instructions for installation. If you follow these instructions carefully, you should generally be able to install the machine yourself. Your instruction manual will also include a problem-solving checklist, in case you come across a problem once the dishwasher has been installed. Common problems include things like the dishwasher failing to start, failing to drain properly or leaks occurring.
If on the other hand, you’ve never done anything like this before there are alternatives, such as calling out a plumber (which can be expensive). However, if you buy your dishwasher from a large electrical retailer, they can usually arrange delivery and installation of your machine for an extra fee. This way you can feel confident that your dishwasher has been installed according to current safety regulations.
Hints and Tips
- Generally, you should fill your dishwasher completely before you use it to get the most energy efficient performance out of it. As some models offer half-load or specific wash programmes it’s important to choose the correct cycle.
- Make sure you use the right kind of detergent in your machine, one that is specifically manufactured for use in dishwashers.
- Dishwasher salt is essential to maintain the efficiency of your dishwasher so remember to keep it topped up, especially if your machine doesn’t have an indicator light to let you know when it’s running low.
- Ideally, you should give the filter a quick wash after every use of your machine, although some dishwashers do feature self-cleaning filters.
- There’s usually no need to rinse off dishes or pans in hot water before you load the machine. Most modern dishwashers are well equipped to deal with the odd minor scraps of food.
- Dishwashers should be connected to cold water if it’s possible. This way you can make use of lower temperature programmes if the dishes are only lightly soiled.
- There are certain things you should generally avoid placing in your dishwasher, including hand painted dishes, wooden items (expensive cutting boards will warp over time if they are soaked in water) and some plastic items. Many utensils and types of crockery are helpfully marked ‘Dishwasher Safe’ but if they’re not, you can always ask.
More people than ever are concerned with the environmental issues involved in running household appliances these days and manufacturers of white goods have responded by producing more energy efficient models. So much so that, recent consumer reports have shown that modern ‘A’ rated dishwashers can actually use less energy than washing the same amount of dishes by hand!
As well as buying a more energy efficient model, there are also other things you can do to conserve energy and water (and cut down on your household bills). You should look for a machine with a choice of temperature programs. Much like the latest washing machines, you can save energy by choosing to use a lower temperature wash cycle (the hotter the water used, the more energy is needed to heat it to the correct temperature). Also, you don’t need to rinse your dishes before loading the machine – scraping them down is fine. Modern machines can cope with small food scraps, so rinsing them is just wasting water. Finally, unless you have a dishwasher with half load or similar programs, make sure the machine is fully loaded before you run it.