SWH* Dishwasher Dilemma - Thoughts?

Updated on February 27, 2017
M.6. asks from Woodbridge, NJ
15 answers

We have had a dishwasher for the last 20 years. The one we have now, we've had for just over 8 years. I've never loved it, plus I had to have it repaired at year 3 and year 5. Now, the repair it needs is too expensive to justify, so we have elected to get rid of it. I'm on the fence on how to replace it - or even whether to.

There are just 3 of us left at home. Right now, I cook for 6 or so pretty consistently between family meals, cooking for my mom, etc. Not really a ton of dishes (considering that I have been cooking for about 12 up until fairly recently) anymore. However, as you saw in my previous post, my daughter and granddaughter are moving away, so I won't be cooking for them much anymore come summer.

Just normal/nice dishwashers are like $800+ bucks! We have to have the stainless steel to match the rest of the kitchen. We plan to move from our house in about 2 - 3 years.

I feel like I have 3 choices:

1. Leave the broken dishwasher in there and when we sell the house, advise of it being broken (I don't really consider this to be a real option).

2. Buy a really cheap dishwasher or a used/refurbished one, and basically only use it at Christmas/holidays, and handwash the rest of the time.

3. Buy a regular $800+ dishwasher and just use it daily (cause if I am spending the money, I am using the gosh darn thing!).

It's not that we can't "afford" the $800+, but we'd really rather not. We have the trip to TX in two weeks for AF grad, I am flying to ID for my brother's wedding (which the tickets are super expensive), hubby's car needs some help soon to keep it on the road. We have a lot of places where money "has" to go - to me, the dishwasher is a luxury at this point, but I have the resale of the house in 2 - 3 years to think about.

Thoughts? Anyone have a dishwasher they are totally in love with they purchased recently? Ugh, I tell you, I wish I'd have never bought the hunk of junk in my kitchen right now and the stupid thing cost me $800+ 8 years ago! Plus the 2 repairs cost a total of $400!

Thanks for any advice!

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So What Happened?

Really great responses!!! I have to admit (weird, I know), that I actually kind of enjoy handwashing my dishes. I'm sure that as soon as a holiday or event comes along, I will be shaking my fists at the sky screaming "why didn't I get a dishwasher!" I think that part of the reason I don't mind is we basically had to wash the dishes anyways with the old dishwasher so it actually feels like I'm saving time :)

We ARE definitely going to get a dishwasher. We don't have a scratch/dent store near us and if I factor in the gas in the truck for 300+ miles round trip to the nearest one (plus stopping for lunch or dinner), I feel like I probably won't save a ton as if we lived closer to one. We do have the normal "chain" stores about 50 miles from us - and we shop in that town once a month, so no extra trip. I may also just order online during a deal where they offer free shipping.

One poster made a very excellent point - since we are only going to live here for 3 more years, to get one that has a 3 year warranty so no matter what, cheap or expensive machine, I won't be on the hook for any more repairs. That is probably my biggest worry at this point. We have had terrible appliance luck (on good brand name quality appliances, too) over the last few years. Dishwasher repaired twice; washing machine blew a bearing just months after purchase and after squabbling for 4 more months, I finally got them to return it; stove was a lemon and we had to have 5 separate repairs done before they would swap it out for a different one (then ours was recalled for fire hazard right after the last "repair" anyways), and our mounted microwave was busted when we took it out of the box. All just in the last few years!!!!! Ugh - now I am worried that since I bought the fridge at the same time as the dishwasher, that is going to die as well.

Thanks again! I really loved the well thought out responses. I also appreciate the fact that you guys really took the time to think about my situation based on my prior issues and factored that into your responses (like knowing how much I have on my plate, my concern about finances, etc,)

Featured Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

You'll need a dishwasher to sell the house.

I am only cooking for 3 and I still run it daily. To me it would is a necessity. I would bite the bullet, buy it and enjoy it.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Las Vegas on

Get a really good dishwasher. Use it every day (you have enough on your plate without hand-washing dishes after every meal!).

You probably have a fairly large home, given that you've had a family of 8 living in it, so it's likely that families with kids (vs. a retired couples or singles) will be your largest pool of potential buyers. No one with a big family wants house without a good dishwasher.

There are so many appliance sales going on right now. Check out consumer reports for best brands and search for sales.

We have GE Monogram appliances, mostly quite happy with them. Dishwasher has had to be repaired after several years.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You sound like me, except I have two littles. We are planning on moving in three years. Our dishwasher came with the house and was the top of the line in 1995. After 22 years of service it died. To replace what we were use to, we would have had to shell out $800+ also. We decided to replace it with a cheap $300 model that does the work just as good as the other. Our original had a lot of bells and whistles that we never used. So, we figured out what we could and could not live without and bought the cheapest model that would work for us. We are very happy with it and don't notice the difference. Sears has stainless for $400+ right now, if you have one in your area. Oh, and I work mine just as hard as the other one. It has a full warranty for 3 years, so as long as it lasts until we move, we are happy. Good luck! It took us a few weeks of piled up dishes to come to our senses.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I was my mom's dishwasher till I was 16 and she bought one.
I LOVE dishwashers!
We use ours every few days and at holiday time - more than once per day.
Getting a good new one would be a plus at house selling time.
Plus the newer machines are more energy efficient.
I know people who think dishwashers are for lazy people and others who couldn't live without them (me).
It's up to you - but if you want my vote - I'd opt for getting a good new dishwasher (check Consumer Reports before buying new appliances) - and shop on a sale if you can (we purchase appliances on Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc) - you can knock off sometimes a couple hundred bucks that way.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I wouldn't go a day without a dishwasher. My younger kids have dinner with their dad on weeknights and my oldest son tends to get a lot of takeout so many nights it just me eating at home and even so...we generate enough dishes with breakfast, lunch prep, my dinner, weekend cooking, snacks and drinks that I easily fill it up every other day. So if I were you, I'd definitely buy a new one. And if I were buying a new one, I'd buy the fabulous KitchenAid that I have. We got it on sale at Lowe's (Black Friday deal) for $600, which was $300 of the full price. The one we bought a few years prior to that was cheap and it was the bane of my existence - loud, smelly, dirty, made the dishes dirtier, etc. My current one can wash just about anything, no pre-rinse needed. I like it so much that I had it moved when I sold my house and moved into a rental. I technically had to leave a dishwasher in the house I was selling, so I bought a used one and shoved it in the opening (the kitchen was being gutted so they would have thrown mine out anyway - a lot buyers change over the appliances when they move so I don't think a dishwasher in need of repair would be a deal breaker in a sale).

If you invest in one that you love, keep the broken one and stash it in your garage or basement. When you sell, if the newer one is better than whatever is installed in the place that you move to, just swap the broken one back (disclose that it's broken) and bring the good one with you. That way you're not spending $800+ on something that you'll only use for a year or two.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

Since you have other more pressing expenses right now (you've prioritized) I would take my time and save a set amount each month and then pay cash. I would check the scratch and dent in lowes and Home Depot. Also if you have a habitat for humanity restore I would check there too. You're not in a rush and that can play to your favor.

Personally I hate to make decisions fast for appliances. I had to do that with a refrigerator and I hate the one I have. Take your time, research models and make a decision when you don't have the other stuff going.

Have fun in Texas. Congrats on another boot camp graduate and please thank her for her service.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We built our house in 2000 and I'm on my 3rd dishwasher.

1st one was GE Profile that was s piece of junk and lasted about 3 years.

2nd was top of the line Maytag .. around $1800.00 which was a piece of junk as well and lasted about 3 years.

3rd is top of the line Kitchenaid $1800 range that is perfect!!

I live alone now and rarely cook but I still utilize my dishwasher.

If I were in your situation, I would put in a good dishwasher which would be 1 less thing a new buyer has to consider when choosing your house vs another one.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Considering your upcoming trips, expenses, and eventual sale of your home, here's what I would do.

For now, I'd leave the dishwasher alone. Just don't use it. With all the traveling you're going to be doing for the next couple of weeks, you probably can just hand wash dishes for a while.

Then, I'd consider the other appliances in your kitchen. If you have a very basic stove and refrigerator (what they call builder's or contractor's grade, which are the simplest of appliances), then get a basic dishwasher in the next six months to a year.

But, if you have a nice fridge and oven and stove with upgrades and all the features, a potential buyer would probably expect a dishwasher along the same lines. Take your time and start putting some money aside, a little each month, and watch for good sales. And just plan to replace the dishwasher within the next year.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My sister just redid her kitchen. She was able to purchase appliances that were top of the line, but dinged. Her stove/oven is way better than she expected. It was a floor model. She got her dishwasher dinged on one side (tiny) and you don't see it. My mom did something similar when she bought her fridge. If you're in no rush, get to know your Home Depot sales person and let them know that's what you're interested in.

I would sell a house with the appliances all fully functioning. I agree with you. I'd just take that option off the list.

When my kids are all at camp, we still run our dishwasher. I just fill it more with pans that I'd normally wash by hand. Makes up full loads. I think it's smart to have one.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I bought a Kitchenaid 2 years ago that I like. It's really quiet. But it was $800.

Have you considered a scratch and dent store? Sears has one here and you can get great prices on things as long as you aren't picky about the exact brand. I got my refrigerator there - it had a small scratch on one side that you can't even see because that side is against the cabinets. Definitely worth looking at.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I just bought a $650 dishwasher at Sears at 0% interest for a year. So I'm paying at off at about $50 a month and I don't even feel it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If you are truly not going to use the dishwasher if you don't have one then wait, buy one right before you move out and advertise a brand new dishwasher. Never used dishwasher.

Then look for sales. We got our nice dishwasher on sale at Sears during President's Day about 4 years ago, it was about half price.

Sometimes if you don't have a credit card in a store they'll give you a 10-20% discount if you purchase something that day.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Wish you lived near me. I have one for sale. Really nice one that came with the house we built. GE Profile. Never used.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

We replaced our ge monogram with an lg that we bought from Home Depot. I miss the old one. I don't mind washing dishes but it's really nice not to have to. We are a family of four that cooks twice a week at best. Dishwasher still gets run 4+ times a week. If you buy one, by all means use it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

3. it will help sell the house to have a working decent dishwasher and you won't have to handwash

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