I have a question about dishwashing machines and garbage disposals.
July 21, 2010 6:31 PM   Subscribe

My #@%(! dishwashing machine is about to die, and I'm trying to pick a new one. I have a question about dishwashers and garbage disposals.

The current dishwasher is hooked up to the kitchen sink's garbage disposal, and I presume its replacement will be, too.

My understanding is that some dishwashers have built-in disposals, and that the ones without the build-in disposals have filters that need to be cleaned periodically. I don't want to clean any filters, but dishwashers with built-in disposals seem to be noisier and more expensive.

Since any replacement dishwasher I get will be hooked up to the in-sink disposal, does this mean I don't have to worry about cleaning filters and I can pick a model without a built-in disposal?
posted by The corpse in the library to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have an Asko, (sitting upside down in the middle of the kitchen, because it broke and I'm going to give one shot at fixing it,) and I'm not recommending that brand, but it has a metal screen where the food debris gathers, and a sprayer that pulverizes that, and washes it through the screen. It is a very quiet machine, but overpriced, with an awkward rack configuration.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:40 PM on July 21, 2010

We have a dishwasher and a garbage disposal, and as far as I know, there's no cleaning of filters, and there is no built in disposal.

{I'm willing to believe this is because we're doing something wrong, but I don't think so, because we've been doing it for four years and everything is okay; my parents have been doing it the same way for a lot longer and everything is okay.}
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:41 PM on July 21, 2010

Best answer: Just about every dishwasher on the market has some form of "disposal" built-in. There's no good reason to get one without it...if you can even find one without some sort of chopper/impeller/etc. These are not in the same category as your under-sink disposer, though. The dishwasher "disposers" are simply meant to destroy larger bits of food so that the dishwasher drain doesn't clog. Without it, you'd soon have a washer full of water because the works are plugged.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:42 PM on July 21, 2010

Look into Fisher/Paykel drawer dishwashers. I've had one for a few years now and it continues to be miraculous in form and function. It has great built-in disposal and filtration systems. The single drawer is perfect for a smaller household.
posted by Pennyblack at 6:56 PM on July 21, 2010

I am in love with my Miele dishwasher to the point that I excluded it from the house I sold and brought it with me to my new house. The realtors, buyers and movers seemed quite perplexed by this and when they asked me why, I answered:

First, it is very quiet to the point that we often open it to load it when it is running. In an open floorplan, this is a huge plus. No more yelling over the sound of the dishwasher. You can run it any time of day!

Second, there are three racks--one for dishes, one for glassware and one for silverware, which keeps the first rack for dishware free from the utensil basket and open for pots,pans, etc. I thought this might be a pain in the butt before I owned it, but I love it.

Third, I NEVER pre-rinse anything and the dishes come out spotless. I know there is a filter in the bottom that I maybe open once a year and it always looks clean. I put ridiculously dirty pans and plates in there and with only a handful of exceptions in the past 6 years, everything comes out clean.

Fourth, I have never had any problems with it or needed any repairs.

The downside--they are pricey. I got mine new as a floor model for half price, which is why I dragged it with me to my new house...would never be able to match that price.

I have no clue about the built in disposal situation for this dishwasher but it is hooked up to my garbage disposal. Seriously, this is my favorite appliance EVER!!
posted by murrey at 7:51 PM on July 21, 2010

Best answer: I'm not recommending that brand, but it has a metal screen where the food debris gathers, and a sprayer that pulverizes that, and washes it through the screen.

Most reasonable dishwashers have something like this. If you get a cheap dishwasher, it may not have any method of self-cleaning the filter (or it may not have a very good method) and you will find yourself having to clean gunk out of your dishwasher regularly. Don't buy a cheap dishwasher - it just isn't worth the hassle. I have made this mistake and I will be very careful never to make it again.

Your in-sink disposal will do nothing to prevent your dishwasher filters from getting gunked up. The dishwasher filter is inside the dishwasher, while the disposal is below the sink, so there is no possible way for the disposal to do anything to the filter in the dishwasher. Water only hits the disposal once it has left the dishwasher and passed through the filter.

The filter in the dishwasher is there to prevent little bits of food and junk from being forced through the dishwasher pump (possibly damaging it) and then out through the sprayer(s) (possibly getting jammed in the little nozzles).
posted by ssg at 9:28 PM on July 21, 2010

Best answer: Garbage disposals have D/W ports to allow the water from the dishwasher to flush the disposal (final rinse water is pretty clean). While all dishwashers have blades to chew up soft food and the occasional chicken bone they aren't designed to replace a garbage disposal; IE: the two devices don't compete for the same job anymore than a motorcycle and tandem box truck would compete to move freight.
posted by Mitheral at 10:25 PM on July 21, 2010

Bosch dishwashers have a filter that needs to be cleaned all the frickin' time.
posted by wryly at 12:48 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the explanations. And thanks for the recommendations, too -- it's overwhelming, how many choices there are.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:32 AM on July 22, 2010

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