Samsung Makes a Great Looking Machine
It was last Saturday night, after dinner. We started our dishwasher, which always sounded like we were in the middle of a bombing run of London during World War II, and went downstair to watch a movie more so to hide from the grinding and mashing of our dirty dishes - each minute sounding like an admonishment of our eating or cleanliness habits - than to assault sensibilities by watching a contrived Hollywood exploitation of violence. When I came upstairs half an hour later, there was a pool of water spreading out from under our year old dishwasher on our hardwood floor. I’m not a genius, but I don’t think that is a good sign. I mopped up the mess and then unscrewed the kick plate to the dishwasher to figure out where the leak was coming from. Once that was located, I push some dish towels under the leak to catch the remaining dripping and called the Sears Repair Service Center. Fortunately, the Kenmore washer was still under warranty. Unfortunately the repair technician could not find anything wrong with it. The dishwasher worked fine for the next month, and then started leaking again. The process was repeated and yet again, nothing could be found wrong with our dishwasher. Are you serious?! I videotaped where the leak was coming from. I actually got on the ground with my video camera and filmed the leak dripping from this white piece of plastic. I showed it to the same technician when he returned to our house for a third visit in a month. “I’m sorry,” he said. “The only thing we can do is start replacing parts and that is going to get real expensive.” His message was clear. You need to buy another Kenmore Dishwasher so you can get this same great service in the future. Uh, I think not. Needless to say, I scratched Kenmore off our list of possible future purchases of any kind.
So, now I’m in the market for a new dishwasher. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never really spent a whole lot of time thinking about dishwashers. I mean what is there to think about it? It’s not like I’m buying a classic Mustang or anything. They wash dishes. I put the dishes in, I close the door and punch a few buttons and they spin and spit water at the dishes and then magically dry the dishes and in an hour or so I have my kids put the dishes away. Out of sight out of mind, right?
After a few weeks of trolling appliance store showrooms, this is what I learned about the must have features of modern dishwashers:
Must Have Features:
- The Price - Obviously, price does matter, but surprisingly, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean a better dishwasher. A more expensive unit will usually mean a quieter dishwasher and more features, but the bottom line is how clean the dishes come out at the end of the washing process and you can save some many and still get the same quality of dish cleaning.
- Reliability - This is going to be a big one for me. I don’t want to be in the market for a new dishwasher two years from now.
- Noise Reduction - Most dishwashers will output sound levels between 50-60 decibles. The low end models will drown out all conversation at an ear splitting 70+ decibels. The more expensive models will reduce noise to whisper like 42 decibels.
- Energy Efficiency - This is one area of technology that has been significantly improved with the new age of dishwashers. Especially with Energy Star rated models vs. non Energy Star rated models. The difference being an incredible 41% improvement in Energy efficiency. Which ultimately saves the owner a significant amount of cash in the long run
- Additional Features - Some of these features are more functional than others. But in the long run, they probably have less to do with the actual cleaning dishes performance of thedishwasher.
The Samsung DMT 400RHS/XAA
One of the first dishwashers that I considered was the Samsung DMT 400RHS/XAA. A quick review of the internet showed a lot of interest in Samsung brand of dishwashers and I have to admit, when I walked into my local Best Buy, this dishwasher attracted my eye. So, after extricating myself from the pimple scarred sales person who seemed largely bored with his assignment in appliances and could only offer me help in the form of reading the information card associated with each dishwasher (um...thanks Karnac), I decided to systemize my approach and consider four dishwashers at the same price point and rank them according to my features list.
My First Look:
So, here is what I found out about the Samsung DMT400:
- Price - With a limited budget but also feeling a little bit burned with my last dishwasher purchase, I decided to shoot for the midrange of dishwashers. This put me in $500-$700 range; although, I really didn’t want to spend $700. At that price, I’ve got three kids and they might just have to learn how to wash dishes by hand. The Samsung DMT 400 was competitively priced at $599.99 at Best Buy which put it in the same ballpark as the other dishwashers that I was looking at.
- Reliability - I had to do some searching on the internet at home and found a number of different references to reliability that each offered their own rankings that didn’t seem to substantiate one over the other, but looking at them overall, it seems that the Samsung models were not as highly rated as the other brands that I was considering. Also, Samsung offered only a 1 year warranty with this dishwasher, which again was concern of mine after my previous experience.
- Noise Reduction - The Samsung seems to be a very quiet machine. at 51 dBA, it was one of the highest ranked dishwashers at this price point.
- Energy Efficiency - Another plus for Samsung. It was Energy Star Qualified with an Energy Consumption rating of 280 KWh (kilo watt hours) per year. This put it on the top of my list.
- Additional Features - Here’s where some emotion plays in. I loved the way the Samsung dishwasher looked. Between it’s silver metallic front, simple controls and hidden control panel, it seemed like it would be a very unobtrusive addition to our kitchen. I hate appliances that scream, “Look at me!” whenever you walk into the kitchen and this wasn’t one of those. Additionally, the stainless steel tall tub design which fits up to 14 sets of dishes was a real plus for our family of five. The last feature that I liked about the Samsung dishwasher was the Hard Food Disposer. This was another problem with our previous dishwasher because our kids get lazy and don’t rinse their plate completely, we had an issue with the dishwasher getting clogged. With the Hard Food Disposer, this problem is eliminated because this act as an internal garbage disposal within the dishwasher and theoretically eliminates the need of prewashing the dishes.
Overall, I was not completely sold on the Samsung 400. Although I wouldn’t eliminate it from my list of considered dishwashers either. It is a really good looking machine and from that standpoint it surely stands out from the rest of the machines that I am looking considering.