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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

First Impression Review Of Bosch SHE33M02UC Dishwasher

The new dishwasher I had ordered on Monday was delivered and installed at home yesterday. I got a chance to load it up and run it yesterday night, so I thought I would record my first impressions about the dishwasher.

The dishwasher is in white, with a full stainless steel interior. The official description of the dishwasher lists these features:

Silence

  • Two-Pump Motor System
    By using two small pumps to individually wash and drain instead of a single large one, vibration and noise are dramatically reduced. Smaller parts and a more contained motion contribute an important part to our sound-reduction system, leaving you amazed that the dishwasher is even on
  • Suspension Motor
    The more isolated a motor is, the less its vibrations can be transferred. So we've suspended our two-pump motor to help absorb and minimize any vibration and noise to the housing, as it is absorbed by rubber hammocks, letting you enjoy your time in the kitchen whether the dishwasher is running or not
  • Solid Molded Base
    Preventing noise and leaks are what makes a good dishwasher a great one. That's why we're the only U.S. manufacturer to give all of our dishwashers a solid molded base. The single-piece base effectively contains sound, and prevents leaks by automatically shutting down if water is detected in the base
  • Insulation
    Noise is also buried beneath the three layers of insulation inside our near-silent dishwashers. Metal, cotton fiber and heavy-duty bitumen sheets capture and dampen sound to create a decibel level no louder than raindrops. (Insulation package varies by model.)

Efficiency

  • ECOSENSE
    An advanced sensor system determines the soil level in the wash water and automatically deletes fresh water fills if they're not needed, saving you time and money while cutting energy usage by 20%
  • Flow Through Water Heater
    In conventional dishwashers, water falls randomly onto an exposed heating element. And since not all the water touches the heating element, this results in slower and less energy-efficient heating. Bosch dishwashers, on the other hand, channel 100% of the water through tighter coils in a confined heating chamber, which heats the water quickly and efficiently up to 161 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Condensation Drying
    Built with a solid stainless steel tub, Bosch dishwashers utilize condensation drying to save you money on your energy bills. Condensation drying works by heating the dishes with hot water from the final rinse. Moisture condenses on the cool stainless steel tub and is drained, so your clean dishes dry without an energy-wasting active drying element
  • ENERGY STAR Qualified
    Proving once again that Bosch is committed to efficiency, all of our dishwashers are ENERGY STAR qualified
  • NSF Certified Units and Cycles

Safety

  • AQUASTOP Leak Protection
    Bosch is the only U.S. manufacturer to offer a high-tech leak protection system like AQUASTOP in their whole line of dishwashers. A precisely engineered tub and sensor system detects leaks in the solid molded base of the dishwasher, shuts down operation and automatically pumps out water before contact with floors. This eliminates the risk of costly water and mold damage
  • PERFECTDOOR with AUTOCLOSE
    Falling dishwasher doors are a thing of the past. Bosch specially engineered PERFECTDOOR to stay in a fixed position when it is open more than 10 degrees. This increases safety by eliminating the possibility of the door dropping open or springing closed suddenly
  • No Exposed Heating Element
    Because our Flow Through Water Heater is not located in the tub and has no exposed heating element, it prevents plastic items on the bottom rack from melting. It has the added benefit of protecting you from accidental burns during unloading

Convenience

  • Extra Capacity
    More capacity means more convenience. So Bosch dishwashers have extra-large interior space, allowing you to fit 14 place settings rather than the industry standard of 12
  • Stainless Steel TALLTUB
    The specially engineered Bosch TALLTUB is not only space efficient, but energy efficient. Allowing up to an incredible 22" of usable space when you remove the top rack, its high-quality stainless steel construction retains heat better than plastic tubs, which helps dry dishes faster and more efficiently

Features:

Core

  • Stainless Steel TALLTUB
  • Two-Pump Motor System
  • Suspension Motor
  • Triple Filtration System
  • Flow Through Water Heater
  • Five Level Wash
  • Condensation Drying
  • Nylon Coated Racks
  • NSF Certified
  • Electronic Controls
  • ENERGY STAR� Qualified

Silence

  • dBA: 57 dB

Energy

  • kWH: 259

Wash Cycles

  • Wash Cycles: 3
  • Power Scrub Plus (160�) (NSF Certified Cycle)
  • Regular Wash (140�)
  • Rinse & Hold

Wash Sensor

  • ECOSENSE�
  • Turbidity

Upper Rack

  • Upper Rack: Standard
  • Adjustability: Manual
  • Place Setting Capacity: 14
  • Flip Tines: 1 Half Flip-Down Row
  • Cup Shelf: 2
The looks of the dishwasher are quite pleasing. It is very minimalist with an on/off button on the left (this is a feature that seems to be unique to Bosch dishwashers. Every other brand I have seen, the dishwasher turns on when you choose any of the wash or other options and turns off when it is done, but Bosch has a separate on/off button that you have to press before the dishwasher will acknowledge presses of any of the button on the front panel). On the right are three buttons labeled "Power Scrub Plus", "Regular Wash", and "Rinse and Hold". There are no other controls on the dishwasher.

Dishwashers in this price range (I got mine for $559) made by US manufacturers are usually packed full of options like 6 different wash cycles (how many actually use any of these is questionable. My old dishwasher had 5 wash cycles and I used only 2 in its entire life), different options for wash temperature, rinse temperature, air drying/heated drying, etc., etc. In addition they usually have a delay start option that allows you to delay the start by up to 10 hours. This dishwasher does not have any of those fancy features. It is a disappointment that way.

The tub was very clean with a dull grey stainless steel finish. The dishwasher is supposed to be able to hold 14 place settings rather than the standard 12. But, it looks as if the racks are slightly smaller than the ones on my old dishwasher. Since I don't have the old dishwasher anymore, I can not do an objective comparison, and looks could be deceiving. The user manual has detailed instructions on where to load different kinds of dishes. The racks themselves have various different kinds of tines and other features to hold dishes in place. They are different from what I am used to with the old dishwasher, so I am sure there will be a learning curve while I learn how best to load the new dishwasher.

The upper rack is adjustable in height because it has two sets of rollers. By placing the rack guide either between the lower and middle rollers or between the middle and upper rollers, you can adjust the height of the upper rack by about 3 inches. There is a silverware basket in the lower rack that is removable.

One of the striking features about the interior of the dishwasher is the lack of a heating element at the bottom of the tub. This dishwasher has what is called through a pass-through heater that uses a concealed heating element instead of an exposed one at the bottom of the tub. This is supposed to prevent the melting of plastics loaded in the lower rack.

I loaded the dishwasher with what I would consider a moderate load for my household. Once switched on, you had to put your ear to the dishwasher door to hear any noise at all. It was really that quiet. I could hear my old dishwasher, however faintly, pretty much throughout the house, but this one could not be heard even in the kitchen. The main indication that the dishwasher is on and working is in the LED lights on the control panel. The dishwasher does not tell you whether it is washing or rinsing or drying. The same light is on throughout the entire cycle. When it is all done, an LED lights up to indicate that the dishes are clean. Very minimalist, as I mentioned before.

My wife took the dishes out today morning and was highly impressed with the cleaning ability of the dishwasher. She was absolutely certain that this dishwasher did a better job of cleaning than the old dishwasher had, even when it was new. A few more days of varied loads will have to pass through the dishwasher before I am convinced, but the first impression is that this dishwasher does as good a job at cleaning as it does at being quiet and looking good!

The main disadvantage I find with this dishwasher is the lack of a feature I used a lot on my old dishwasher. My old dishwasher had a cycle called "Soak and Scour". Essentially, with this cycle, the dishwasher comes on for about 30 seconds every 15 minutes or so for the first 4 hours of the cycle. This is the soak part. After 4 hours, it drains and refills with new water and starts the washing in full swing. The advantage this gave me was that I could load the dishwasher and switch it on right after dinner, around 7 PM. But I could continue loading it up with glasses and dishes as and when we were done with them as we snacked our way through the rest of the evening, all the way until we went to bed at 10 PM or so. All the dishes got washed because the actual wash cycle did not start until about 11 PM.

With the new dishwasher, we either have to switch on the dishwasher after loading all the dishes just before going to bed at 10 PM (this is a problem because I might forget to do this, especially on days when I think I might snack and then end up not doing so). Or I could switch it on as usual around 7 PM and let the later dishes accumulate in the sink for the next day's wash. This is also inconvenient because it restricts the amount of space available in the sink and my wife likes a clean, empty sink when she enters the kitchen in the morning.

What is the bottomline? There are lots of things to like about the new dishwasher. It seems to be good at cleaning dishes, first and foremost. It also looks pretty good. The interior is very hygienic, low maintenance and reasonably spacious. The quietness of the dishwasher is truly surprising. It is also very water and energy-efficient. But it is not as feature rich as you would expect from a dishwasher in its price-range. If you can live with that, then I would recommend this dishwasher without any reservations.

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