Vol.1, No.12

Buying used: how to buy a dishwasher

Should you buy a used dishwasher? With a few simple tips, the educated consumer can feel comfortable with the purchase of a used dishwasher.

A dishwasher full of dishes
With the rising cost of appliances, sometimes it just makes sense to buy a used dishwasher. Research the different brands, features and costs of new dishwashers to get an idea of your cost savings. Research older models, especially on the internet, to find information that will help you choose the best used dishwasher for your needs. There are hints for repairs, model information and used appliance forums that will help in your selection process. Some internet sites offer wiring diagrams and schematics for your model. Manufacturer information and instructions are also available online.

COST

If you are considering buying a used dishwasher, cost is important to you. A new dishwasher can cost between $250.00 all the way up to $1,300.00 with the average cost just under $500.00 Used dishwashers can cost as little as $25.00 at a yard sale to $1,000.00 at a restaurant supply store. Don't forget to add the cost of delivery and installation if needed.

ENERGY COSTS

New dishwashers are much more energy efficient than older models, especially those built before 1994. Those built after 1994 can save between $25.00 to $50.00 a year in energy savings. The highest energy use of any

dishwasher is heating the water. Many new dishwashers include a mini hot water heater incorporated into the dishwasher. Older models rely on the household water heater. This means the full tank must be heated for the

dishwasher. Many older dishwashers also do not offer a no heat drying cycle. If the used dishwasher does not have a no heat cycle, simply prop the door open after the last rinse. Water temperature and the length of cycles

also determine energy costs. A tight door seal and adequate insulation also improve energy costs.

FEATURES

Features to consider when buying a used dishwasher should include the types of cycles available. Some older dishwashers offer only a regular cycle and a pots and pans cycle. These limited cycles do not offer a varied temperature or time, they are pre-set at the factory. If buying a used dishwasher consider buying one with a short cycle and gentle cycle as well. The more cycles available, the higher the cost of the dishwasher. The control panel may be a simple rotary dial, pushbuttons or electronic keypad. A removable front panel has been available for years and can be an important consideration to match existing kitchen decor.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

The age, brand and model of the used dishwasher will determine availability of replacement parts and repairs. Carefully measure the opening you now have for a dishwasher to make sure it will fit. Measure the height and

keep in mind that most dishwashers have adjusters for height and leveling. Measure width and depth as well. Most used dishwashers are sold "as is" so be sure to run a cycle before buying. Some used appliance stores will

offer a warranty valid between thirty and ninety days after purchase. Consider also how you will get this used dishwasher home and who will hook up the electric and plumbing to finish the installation.

A used dishwasher can be an excellent buy for the educated consumer. Knowing current prices and available model features will help in your selection process. Remember, an educated consumer is a wise consumer!