Choosing the right Dishwasher
Interested in buying a dishwasher, but you are not sure where to start? This guide just might help you decide what sort of dishwasher would suit your requirements.
What type of dishwasher?
A simple freestanding model is by far the most popular choice. In New Zealand they come in white or stainless steel, usually with the controls on a front panel on top. With the stainless steel look still popular, they outsell integrated and white models by far. For those who prefer to avoid stainless steel, a white dishwasher is still a popular choice. Integrated dishwashers are for those who insist of a fully fitted look and prefer to have appliances such as fridges and dishwashers hidden away behind cabinet door.
What features to choose?
For those who just want their dishwasher to wash dishes, a simple one will do but avoid one that has less than 5-programmes as it is likely to be missing just the programme you need. Wash programmes are generally: intensive, heavy, normal, rapid, soak with some newer models having a 3-in-one wash cycle for those who use the gel tablets for pre-rinse, wash and rinse. Timer delay is good if you have off-peak electricity as you can set it to come on when the cheaper power is available. The timer delay is also useful if you want it to come on in the early hours and finish when you get up so you can air the hot dishes.
Other features you'l find are electronic controls, LED display, cutlery drawer and internal lights. If these features are important to you then you'll pay a premium but you might also get improved sound insulation, which might be an attractive feature if you sit in the same room whilst the dishwasher is on. The improved noise reduction can be quite marginal though so if you're expecting silence, prepare to be disappointed. Bear in mind also that the cutlery tray dose reduce height in the dishwasher so if you have large plates or platters it will pay to take these to the showroom and try them out.
How much to pay?
With prices from as little as $500 to over $2,000 dollars you take your pick. They'll all wash your dishes if you set it to the correct programme but some of the pricier ones do feature an extra long drying cycle. Although price may have an influence on the overall quality of the product, its features and the level of sound insulation, most dishwashers are made by three major manufacturers and differ little in their essentials. Branding is the major influencer of price even if the same product is sold under a number of different brands, the fancier the brand, the bigger the ticket. Most modern appliances are fairly reliable and will have a warranty of at least 2-years. There's no point in paying for programs and features you might not need unless the look or the brand name is particularly important to you.
Remember that the big well-known brands spend an enormous amount of money on promotion and this cost must inevitably result in higher prices for the customer. With so many appliances being built by large OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and and simply badged for the brand owners, there's no reason why lesser known brands or even unbranded products can’t be just as good as those with well-known names stuck on them. Remember that New Zealand's biggest brand stopped building in NZ in favour of badging OEM products from overseas. There is no dishwasher manufacturer in New Zealand any more. If you're a brand junkie though or have a fixed preference for whatever reason, there's no advising you here. You already know what to get!