Posted in Dishwashers, Noteworthy Links

7 Things You Don’t Know About Dishwashers

Do you pre-rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher? If you do, then you are like most people who do not know how to use their dishwasher properly.

Check out this quick read on Dishwasher facts first published Aug 2, 2010 on KBBonline.com: 7 Things You Don’t Know About Dishwashers and next time you load up your dishwasher you may just know how to save energy and get cleaner dishes.

Posted in Consumer Reports, Dishwashers, Green Design

A Message from Consumer’s Reports

Consumer Reports, always looking out for consumers, has just published 5 valuable tips consumers can implement to go “green” without breaking the bank. In this time of uncertainty, buyers must be judicious in knowing what is truly an eco-friendly product.

We are seeing first hand what deregulation has done to our financial institutions and Consumer Reports reminds us in their newest publication, Shop Smart; “There are no federal regulations for items marketed as eco-friendly so some green products might not be as green as you think”.

The experts at ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, spent months sizing up fridges, running dishwashers, burning light bulbs, and punishing faucets to find the best green kitchen products.

  1. Get a water-saver faucet

· Why: A gleaming new faucet is an easy upgrade, but kitchen models can be water wasters compared with some bathroom faucets. Low-flow bathroom faucets with the Environmental Protection Agency’s new WaterSense label are about 30 percent more efficient.

· Easy Green Fix: Until the EPA comes up with criteria for low-flow kitchen faucets (they’re in the works), for $3 to $11 you can make most new or existing taps more efficient simply by attaching an aerator.

· One Possible Draw Back: With lower flow, it might take a bit longer to fill that pasta pot.

· What to Buy: Two Kohler models that aced ShopSmart’s most recent tests and can be ordered with custom-fit aerators for about $10 are the Vinnata K-690-BX , $550, and the Forte K-10433-VS, $250. Another green choice is a hands-free faucet, like the Danze Parma D421058, $480.

· Tip: When you find a faucet style you like, make sure it has a lifetime warranty that covers stains and water-wasting leaks.

  1. Switch to watt-stingy lighting

· Why: Modern kitchens can use up to 2,000 watts for lighting because standard incandescent, halogen, and xenon lights are energy hogs. All that excess heat from lights might prod you to turn down the A/C to cool things off.

· Easy Green Fix: Switch to cool-burning compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in overhead fixtures, and also consider adding some LED or fluorescent undercabinet task lighting. This easy fix costs about $200 for five fluorescent fixtures.

· One Possible Draw Back: Some—but not all—CFLs and LEDs cast a bluish or other funky-color light. Before you buy, ask if you can return the fixture if you don’t like the way the light looks with your décor.

· What to Buy: Strips are the most common type of task lighting, round “puck” lights are best for casting pools of light onto a counter and linear lights are best if you need more versatile fixtures. Both round “puck” lights and linear lights are available with LEDs.

· Tip: If your cabinets don’t have a built-in valence to hide task lighting, either add one or choose a fixture with a sleek housing that’s not as noticeable.

  1. Put in a ceiling fan

· Why: Kitchens get hot, and if you use an air conditioner to cool things off, it will gobble up a lot of energy and money.

· Easy Green Fix: A ceiling fan in the kitchen will use only a fraction of the electricity that an A/C would.

· What to Buy: ShopSmart tested models from Hampton Bay, Harbor Breeze, and Hunter, and most performed pretty well in air-movement tests. So rather than shop for a particular brand, go for a style you like and remember that lighting affects energy use.

· Tip: You might be able to find CFLs designed for ceiling fans that can replace the original bulbs and save energy.

  1. Renovate with recycled stuff

· Why: A new countertop or cabinet style can change the whole look of your kitchen, but manufacturing them keeps power plants polluting the air and some green goods aren’t as green as they might seem.

· Easy Green Fix: Before you buy new, see if you can find secondhand products.

· What to Buy: Salvage shops are stocked with new or gently used stone countertops, hardwood flooring, decorative lumber, and kitchen cabinets, so they’re a great place to look for bargains. Habitat for Humanity sells used and surplus building materials at outlets called ReStores.

· Tip: If you must have new, look for greener cabinets and other products made from sustainable lumber and materials.

  1. Trade in the biggest energy hogs

· Why: The appliances in your kitchen that take the most energy to operate are refrigerators and dishwashers. The older these appliances are, the less energy efficient they are and the more costly they are to run.

· Easy Green Fix: It usually doesn’t pay to replace working appliances with new ones. But when you do update, look for models that use less energy and are quieter. Though energy efficient models can cost more, you’ll recoup the money as your utility bills shrink.

· What to Buy: ShopSmart found that the Amana AFD 2535DE [W], $1,550, saved up to $72 a year in annual operating costs compared to a 15-year-old fridge and the Bosch SHE33MO [2]UC, $540, saved up to $51 a year compared to a 7-year-old dishwasher.

· Tip: You don’t have to ditch the clunkers all at once. Start with the least efficient ones. It pays to replace them when repairs would cost more than half the price of a new appliance.

###

A side note on Tip # 2, “one possible drawback to lighting”.
My favorite lighting tip is changing recessed can lights to LED. Times are changing, and here is an example where regulation works in our favor. It used to be there was no standard way to judge a good LED from a bad one. Recently, in an effort to standardized the lighting industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed test methods that manufacturers should use to standardize color specifications of LED lamps and LED light fixtures. With this new standard manufacturers will use, consumers will be able to compare total light output, energy consumption, chromaticity and color quality.
For more information on lighting on Lighting standards start with the article form Light Search.com: http://www.lightsearch.com/lightnow/2008/0708/0708_nist.htm

Posted in Consumer Protection, Consumer Reports, Dishwashers, Green Design

A Message from Consumer’s Reports

Consumer Reports, always looking out for consumers, has just published 5 valuable tips consumers can implement to go “green” without breaking the bank. In this time of uncertainty, buyers must be judicious in knowing what is truly an eco-friendly product.

We are seeing first hand what deregulation has done to our financial institutions and Consumer Reports reminds us in their newest publication, Shop Smart; “There are no federal regulations for items marketed as eco-friendly so some green products might not be as green as you think”.

The experts at ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, spent months sizing up fridges, running dishwashers, burning light bulbs, and punishing faucets to find the best green kitchen products.

  1. Get a water-saver faucet

· Why: A gleaming new faucet is an easy upgrade, but kitchen models can be water wasters compared with some bathroom faucets. Low-flow bathroom faucets with the Environmental Protection Agency’s new WaterSense label are about 30 percent more efficient.

· Easy Green Fix: Until the EPA comes up with criteria for low-flow kitchen faucets (they’re in the works), for $3 to $11 you can make most new or existing taps more efficient simply by attaching an aerator.

· One Possible Draw Back: With lower flow, it might take a bit longer to fill that pasta pot.

· What to Buy: Two Kohler models that aced ShopSmart’s most recent tests and can be ordered with custom-fit aerators for about $10 are the Vinnata K-690-BX , $550, and the Forte K-10433-VS, $250. Another green choice is a hands-free faucet, like the Danze Parma D421058, $480.

· Tip: When you find a faucet style you like, make sure it has a lifetime warranty that covers stains and water-wasting leaks.

  1. Switch to watt-stingy lighting

· Why: Modern kitchens can use up to 2,000 watts for lighting because standard incandescent, halogen, and xenon lights are energy hogs. All that excess heat from lights might prod you to turn down the A/C to cool things off.

· Easy Green Fix: Switch to cool-burning compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in overhead fixtures, and also consider adding some LED or fluorescent undercabinet task lighting. This easy fix costs about $200 for five fluorescent fixtures.

· One Possible Draw Back: Some—but not all—CFLs and LEDs cast a bluish or other funky-color light. Before you buy, ask if you can return the fixture if you don’t like the way the light looks with your décor.

· What to Buy: Strips are the most common type of task lighting, round “puck” lights are best for casting pools of light onto a counter and linear lights are best if you need more versatile fixtures. Both round “puck” lights and linear lights are available with LEDs.

· Tip: If your cabinets don’t have a built-in valence to hide task lighting, either add one or choose a fixture with a sleek housing that’s not as noticeable.

  1. Put in a ceiling fan

· Why: Kitchens get hot, and if you use an air conditioner to cool things off, it will gobble up a lot of energy and money.

· Easy Green Fix: A ceiling fan in the kitchen will use only a fraction of the electricity that an A/C would.

· What to Buy: ShopSmart tested models from Hampton Bay, Harbor Breeze, and Hunter, and most performed pretty well in air-movement tests. So rather than shop for a particular brand, go for a style you like and remember that lighting affects energy use.

· Tip: You might be able to find CFLs designed for ceiling fans that can replace the original bulbs and save energy.

  1. Renovate with recycled stuff

· Why: A new countertop or cabinet style can change the whole look of your kitchen, but manufacturing them keeps power plants polluting the air and some green goods aren’t as green as they might seem.

· Easy Green Fix: Before you buy new, see if you can find secondhand products.

· What to Buy: Salvage shops are stocked with new or gently used stone countertops, hardwood flooring, decorative lumber, and kitchen cabinets, so they’re a great place to look for bargains. Habitat for Humanity sells used and surplus building materials at outlets called ReStores.

· Tip: If you must have new, look for greener cabinets and other products made from sustainable lumber and materials.

  1. Trade in the biggest energy hogs

· Why: The appliances in your kitchen that take the most energy to operate are refrigerators and dishwashers. The older these appliances are, the less energy efficient they are and the more costly they are to run.

· Easy Green Fix: It usually doesn’t pay to replace working appliances with new ones. But when you do update, look for models that use less energy and are quieter. Though energy efficient models can cost more, you’ll recoup the money as your utility bills shrink.

· What to Buy: ShopSmart found that the Amana AFD 2535DE [W], $1,550, saved up to $72 a year in annual operating costs compared to a 15-year-old fridge and the Bosch SHE33MO [2]UC, $540, saved up to $51 a year compared to a 7-year-old dishwasher.

· Tip: You don’t have to ditch the clunkers all at once. Start with the least efficient ones. It pays to replace them when repairs would cost more than half the price of a new appliance.

###

A side note on Tip # 2, “one possible drawback to lighting”.
My favorite lighting tip is changing recessed can lights to LED. Times are changing, and here is an example where regulation works in our favor. It used to be there was no standard way to judge a good LED from a bad one. Recently, in an effort to standardized the lighting industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed test methods that manufacturers should use to standardize color specifications of LED lamps and LED light fixtures. With this new standard manufacturers will use, consumers will be able to compare total light output, energy consumption, chromaticity and color quality.
For more information on lighting on Lighting standards start with the article form Light Search.com: http://www.lightsearch.com/lightnow/2008/0708/0708_nist.htm

Posted in Dishwashers, Small Kitchens

Small Space Kitchen Options

In a small kitchen, more than not, compromises have to be made.

Not all compromises are a bad idea. I love small space kitchens and they can be executed with charm and function.

The benefit of a small, but well designed kitchen, is that they can be efficient with fewer steps between the appliances, and fewer but well designed counter and cabinet storage space. The problem with small spaces if designed poorly; poor storage, lack of counter space, and inefficient appliances can send one through the loop trying to prepare a simple meal.

Photo from THS Sensational Space Saving Kitchens

A client befuddled with her small space condo. kitchen, came to me for help. She said she is considering eliminating her dishwasher to gain much needed drawer space. You could do this if you do not use the dishwasher much but I think a dishwasher is good for resale value, so in a small space I have some other options for you to consider.

I have walked into many condominium kitchens and suffice it to say, many builders stick to the same cookie cutter and most decidedly ugly and awkward kitchen layout imaginable of: Narrow Pantry or no pantry, the 30″ Range cornered between a refrigerator with a 39″ x 12″ deep cabinet above it, and one Blind Corner base, a 39″ Sink Base , a 24″ dishwasher and maybe one or two base cabinets 12″ or 15″. And in today’s market, buying a condominium priced at exorbitant prices with these pathetic kitchens is highway robbery. There is no thought, no creativity in these kitchens, never the less, it is done time and time again. So let us look at what can be done.

So you say your kitchen storage is lacking in storage with blind corners, narrow drawers or not nearly enough drawers. Here are some design options that will expand your storage and still afford the luxury of having a dishwasher without compromising drawer space.

In this kitchen, designed by chef Michael Lomonaco, the plan for the 7-by-10 foot galley kitchen was simple: use every available space efficiently, without changing the basic layout. So he moved the sink faucet into the corner and the microwave to over the range—the only configuration changes he made—freeing up counter space for food prep. Photo from THS: A Chef’s Small Kitchen

Let me preface, I do not recommend shrinking a dishwasher to 18″ if you have proper base storage already in your kitchen. What is adequate base storage? Besides your sink base, a small kitchen equipped with at least a minimum of one bank of drawers 15″ or larger for storing flat ware, dishtowels and small hand appliances, or bake ware.
Besides the sink base, at least one 21″ or larger cabinet to store pots and pans with top drawer space for cooking utensils. A third drawer or cabinet with roll out trays would be optimal for additional storage needs. Photo credit: THS

No space to build out in your small kitchen? Consider using an 18″ dishwasher in place of a 24″ dishwasher to pick up another 6″ of base storage. This makes a huge difference if your small kitchen has only one narrow bank of drawers. You can gain 3 sq ft of additional storage in a standard 24″ deep base space. This makes a huge difference in terms of better storage capabilities.
An 18″ dishwasher generally is adequate for 2 – 3 persons and can hold up to 6 or 8 standard place settings.

Bosch Special Application Dishwasher, srv53CO3UC measures 18″ wide.
To accommodate large or oddly shaped dishes, RACKMATIC® allows you to raise or lower the premium upper rack at the touch of a lever (even when full), giving you up to 14″ of space on the bottom or 10″ on top. Features: QuickWash: allows you to wash six place settings in just 30 minutes. It’s perfect for times when you need to wash a small load quickly.


Miele Slimline Series offers two models. Model G818SCVi Dishwasher is fully integrated with the control panel concealed at the top. Model G 832 SCi locates the control panel on the front.
Features of the Miele Slimline:

    Upper basket features:

  • Deep, height adjustable basket
  • Fixed spiked inserts
  • Two, single-section cup racks
    Lower basket features:

  • Hinged spiked insert
  • Removable spiked insert
Standard feature in the slimline dishwashers have a device that measures the hardness of the water intake at every stage of the program and manipulates it, when necessary, with a salt additive that makes the water optimal for dishwashing.

The flat ware tray at the top frees up space for dinner ware or pots in the bottom rack.

The removable spikes are great for modifying the baskets.

Ge Monogram Model no. ZBD180GSS has easy to use controls- the mechanical dial turns easily to the desired wash cycle: heavy, normal, light, china/crystal and rinse. The racks are adjustable to accommodate for taller items. The silverware basket is located in the bottom basket.

GE Spacemaker Model #GSM1860JSS

The upper rack is completely removable. Pulls out completely to allow for washing large items.

China/Crystal selection — Protects delicate glassware and dishes by lowering the water temperature during the cycle

Pots and Pans Cycle — Scours off burned-on food with hot water and maximum water pressure

Frigidaire Model No FMB330RGC features
          • 4 Wash Levels
          • Adjustable Rinse Aid Dispenser w/ Indicator
          • Convection Drying System
          • Detergent Dispenser
          • Leveling Legs
          • Stainless Steel Interior
          • 4-Level Direct Feed Wash System
          • Space-Saving 18″ Design
          • UltraQuiet III™ Sound Insulation Package

Fisher & Paykel was the innovator of the dish washing drawer. Model No. DS605SS fits in a 24″W x 16″H space. It has a bevy of cycles: Heavy, Delicate, Fast, Normal, Rinse, Heavy Eco, Normal Eco, Delicate Eco, Fast Eco. A single dishwashing drawer accommodates long stemmed wine glasses, hold plates as large as 12″, holds 6 place settings and has interchangeable racks.

Single
EZKleen Stainless Steel
Posted in Counter tops, Dishwashers, Kitchen Storage, Small Kitchens, Stainless Steel

Small Space Kitchen Options

In a small kitchen, more than not, compromises have to be made.

Not all compromises are a bad idea. I love small space kitchens and they can be executed with charm and function.

The benefit of a small, but well designed kitchen, is that they can be efficient with fewer steps between the appliances, and fewer but well designed counter and cabinet storage space. The problem with small spaces if designed poorly; poor storage, lack of counter space, and inefficient appliances can send one through the loop trying to prepare a simple meal.

Photo from THS Sensational Space Saving Kitchens

A client befuddled with her small space condo. kitchen, came to me for help. She said she is considering eliminating her dishwasher to gain much needed drawer space. You could do this if you do not use the dishwasher much but I think a dishwasher is good for resale value, so in a small space I have some other options for you to consider.

I have walked into many condominium kitchens and suffice it to say, many builders stick to the same cookie cutter and most decidedly ugly and awkward kitchen layout imaginable of: Narrow Pantry or no pantry, the 30″ Range cornered between a refrigerator with a 39″ x 12″ deep cabinet above it, and one Blind Corner base, a 39″ Sink Base , a 24″ dishwasher and maybe one or two base cabinets 12″ or 15″. And in today’s market, buying a condominium priced at exorbitant prices with these pathetic kitchens is highway robbery. There is no thought, no creativity in these kitchens, never the less, it is done time and time again. So let us look at what can be done.

So you say your kitchen storage is lacking in storage with blind corners, narrow drawers or not nearly enough drawers. Here are some design options that will expand your storage and still afford the luxury of having a dishwasher without compromising drawer space.

In this kitchen, designed by chef Michael Lomonaco, the plan for the 7-by-10 foot galley kitchen was simple: use every available space efficiently, without changing the basic layout. So he moved the sink faucet into the corner and the microwave to over the range—the only configuration changes he made—freeing up counter space for food prep. Photo from THS: A Chef’s Small Kitchen

Let me preface, I do not recommend shrinking a dishwasher to 18″ if you have proper base storage already in your kitchen. What is adequate base storage? Besides your sink base, a small kitchen equipped with at least a minimum of one bank of drawers 15″ or larger for storing flat ware, dishtowels and small hand appliances, or bake ware.
Besides the sink base, at least one 21″ or larger cabinet to store pots and pans with top drawer space for cooking utensils. A third drawer or cabinet with roll out trays would be optimal for additional storage needs. Photo credit: THS

No space to build out in your small kitchen? Consider using an 18″ dishwasher in place of a 24″ dishwasher to pick up another 6″ of base storage. This makes a huge difference if your small kitchen has only one narrow bank of drawers. You can gain 3 sq ft of additional storage in a standard 24″ deep base space. This makes a huge difference in terms of better storage capabilities.
An 18″ dishwasher generally is adequate for 2 – 3 persons and can hold up to 6 or 8 standard place settings.

Bosch Special Application Dishwasher, srv53CO3UC measures 18″ wide.
To accommodate large or oddly shaped dishes, RACKMATIC® allows you to raise or lower the premium upper rack at the touch of a lever (even when full), giving you up to 14″ of space on the bottom or 10″ on top. Features: QuickWash: allows you to wash six place settings in just 30 minutes. It’s perfect for times when you need to wash a small load quickly.


Miele Slimline Series offers two models. Model G818SCVi Dishwasher is fully integrated with the control panel concealed at the top. Model G 832 SCi locates the control panel on the front.
Features of the Miele Slimline:

    Upper basket features:

  • Deep, height adjustable basket
  • Fixed spiked inserts
  • Two, single-section cup racks
    Lower basket features:

  • Hinged spiked insert
  • Removable spiked insert
Standard feature in the slimline dishwashers have a device that measures the hardness of the water intake at every stage of the program and manipulates it, when necessary, with a salt additive that makes the water optimal for dishwashing.

The flat ware tray at the top frees up space for dinner ware or pots in the bottom rack.

The removable spikes are great for modifying the baskets.

Ge Monogram Model no. ZBD180GSS has easy to use controls- the mechanical dial turns easily to the desired wash cycle: heavy, normal, light, china/crystal and rinse. The racks are adjustable to accommodate for taller items. The silverware basket is located in the bottom basket.

GE Spacemaker Model #GSM1860JSS

The upper rack is completely removable. Pulls out completely to allow for washing large items.

China/Crystal selection — Protects delicate glassware and dishes by lowering the water temperature during the cycle

Pots and Pans Cycle — Scours off burned-on food with hot water and maximum water pressure

Frigidaire Model No FMB330RGC features
          • 4 Wash Levels
          • Adjustable Rinse Aid Dispenser w/ Indicator
          • Convection Drying System
          • Detergent Dispenser
          • Leveling Legs
          • Stainless Steel Interior
          • 4-Level Direct Feed Wash System
          • Space-Saving 18″ Design
          • UltraQuiet III™ Sound Insulation Package

Fisher & Paykel was the innovator of the dish washing drawer. Model No. DS605SS fits in a 24″W x 16″H space. It has a bevy of cycles: Heavy, Delicate, Fast, Normal, Rinse, Heavy Eco, Normal Eco, Delicate Eco, Fast Eco. A single dishwashing drawer accommodates long stemmed wine glasses, hold plates as large as 12″, holds 6 place settings and has interchangeable racks.

Single
EZKleen Stainless Steel
Posted in Dishwashers, Planning, Sinks, Small Kitchens

Will it fit?


I received this email today:

I came across your blog after trying unsuccessfully, to get an answer from a Kohler technician whether a built-in standard dishwasher would fit under the work area of the PROLOGUE sink. He still could not give a definitive answer after viewing the PDF. Have your ever installed a Prologue sink for a client, and do you know if a dishwasher can be housed under the work space? Thank you!

JJ the short answer is no, a built-in standard dishwasher will NOT fit under the work area of the PROLOGUE sink. If you go back to the installation specs, http://www.us.kohler.com/
onlinecatalog/pdf/1066440_2.pdf
you will see what I am referring to. You will see that they use a large enough sink base cabinet to accommodate this 42″ sink, including the shallow work surface. The Prologue that you want to use has a “work surface” is only 17 1/8″ x 18 3/4“. Kohler conveniently (sarcasm intentional) leaves off the thickness of the work surface in their specs. Can you get to a store that displays it to see how deep it sits into the cabinet? It may be ok, the work surface looks shallow but assuming is not the way to go. What is your counter thickness? An under mount typically sits 3/4″ below the finished surface. Call Kohler back and ask for a supervisor and demand to get a definite answer. This cannot be a guessing game, (but enough of the rant on appliance and fixture specs. I’ll save that for another post).
In any event, if there is space for a dishwasher to slide under the work surface, you can get a little creative. Take a look at what I did below. I put an under cabinet refrigerator under my work surface. It slid in with no problem.

I installed an under cabinet refrigerator under the drainboard- similar to the Prologue. The sink base is 30″ to house the 20″ bowl. I centered the bowl in the 30″ base. The overall sink with drainboard is 36″ wide. The drain board is shallow, so I can slide an under cabinet refrigerator or a dishwasher adjacent to my sink base.


Posted in Dishwashers, Manufacturer Recalls, Noteworthy Links

Appliance recalls

Here are the latest recalls to watch for:
Asko Cylinda recalls DW95 series Dishwashers due to fire hazard.

August 24, 2007

The hazard associated with the recall product is that

an electrical component in the dishwasher can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The firm has received 21 reports of dishwasher fires. Product and property damage has been reported. No injuries have been reported.


BSH Home Appliances Corporation, of Huntington Beach, California, today announced a voluntary recall of Thermador(r) Brand Built-In Ovens.

August 22, 2007

The name of the product is Thermador(r) Brand Built-In Ovens.

The quantity of the recalled product is about 42,000.

The hazard associated with the recall product is that the

oven can have gaps in the insulation where overheating can occur and when used in the self-cleaning mode it can cause nearby cabinets to overheat. This can pose a fire hazard to consumers.

BSH Home Appliances has received ten reports of incidents including one which resulted in a fire that caused extensive property damage. No injuries have been reported.