(18 of 21 customers found this review helpful)
Wash OK If You Rinse; Some Nits to Pick
SS Tub Liner
Clunky Silverware Basket
Doesn't Dry Well
This machine is surprisingly quiet compared to our previous Whirlpool Gold (Quiet Partner III) tall-tub model (about 10 years old), and the capacity is about the same. We are pleased with it overall, but having lived with it for a few months, we note the following quirks (or maybe they are actually ingeniously designed Features that should have names?)<br /><br />- Rinse them Yourself feature. In other words, shockingly, there is no traditional Rinse and Hold feature. This is surprising given that this machine is almost at the top of Whirlpool's line-up. It's also difficult to make your own rinse-and-hold, (ie., let the dishwasher fill, rinse and drain, then cancel the whole cycle), because it's too quiet to know for sure what it's doing.<br />- Mystery Pulse motor/pump. It's probably okay, but the motor runs in several pulses (about half a second each) before starting the cycle. Probably it's priming the drain pump, or centering the motor shaft, or something...but the fact that it never seems to pulse the same number of times twice, or at the same times, does make you wonder what the heck it's doing. In the case of the beginning rinse cycle, the various pulses are then followed by a bizarre pattern of starts/stops. Hard to believe it can rinse better by constantly interrupting itself...but...the dishes do come out clean.<br />- Auto Fall silverware basket falls automatically, and spills its contents, if you try to pull out the bottom rack by the attached silverware basket. Very tempting to do so because the basket's great big handle is front-and-center when you open the door. You have the option of mounting the basket on the door, much more securely, but then the silverware doesn't get as clean because one side of the mesh basket is blocked.<br />- Mystery Attach silverware basket provides hours of brain-teasing amusement as family members try to reattach it to the front of the bottom rack, by two tiny positioning pegs. The rack and the basket are not perfectly square, so you have to flex the basket a little while positioning one peg at a time--making this operation a painstaking, two-handed effort every time. And every time is often due to the Auto Fall feature described above. Everyone in the family, from know-it-all teenagers to frail grandmothers, have complained about this feature.<br />- Find the Slot silverware sorting game. The top of the basket has snap-in guides to hold various pieces of silverware--evidently to keep them from nesting and not getting clean. Given the limited number of slots, and the fact that silverware with slightly large handles only receive a few slots, you will probably tire of this game soon. To end it, you can snap out the guides and toss them aside--just like the stemware holders in the top rack that take up way too much space on a day to day basis.<br /><br />This is an Energy Star model, so if you choose any of the eco friendly settings, be prepared for lesser levels of performance, especially in drying. When researching a new dishwasher, I saw a lot of reviews for all makes complaining about slow wash cycles and lack of dry dishes. Well, that appears to be life with Energy Star efficiency. You must use the scorch-the-earth, high heat dry option to get anything near traditional dishwasher results, and even then, Whirlpool's literature tells you that you MUST use a rinse aid to get anything near satisfaction in drying.<br /><br />Also, if you're an owner of an older model, be prepared for marathon run times (necessitating the great sound insulation). Like most low-water consumption models, this thing will run for MANY HOURS (6 or more is possible) while using a small amount of water and high-performance detergent to wash your dishes. That's true of any make, but if you haven't bought a dishwasher in a while, be prepared! If you rinse your dishes well and want them done in a hurry, there is a one-hour wash cycle, but again, expect to dry them yourself for the most part.<br /><br />The build quality is very good, with the exception of the silverware basket, and the stainless steel tub liner is very nice. My DIY installation was a snap, although I had to convert an old 1/2 water supply line with compression fittings to the new, apparently standard 3/8 fitting. An elbow fitting is provided. Your Home Depot or Lowe's will have whatever parts you might need for such conversions from older type supply lines/connectors.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.