The Saga of the Dishwasher

I know I haven’t updated in a while, and yes, the kitchen is done.  I’ll post on that soon.  But for now I have a story to tell about our new dishwasher.

We bought a GE Profile Dishwasher PDWT480RSS because of a rebate offer.  If we bought 5 appliances together then we got a nice $500 rebate.  Our remodeler installed the unit rather than Hahn, where we bought it.

We were able to start using it a little before the rest of the kitchen was finished.  At first it seemed that everything was working fine, but we were not using it much since the kitchen wasn’t finished and we were still using a lot of paper and plastic.  I would usually run it just before going to bed, so that the next morning the dishes were done.  Then one Saturday afternoon I ran it and noticed that there was a small dripping leak at the bottom left side of the door.

I called Hahn and they had someone come out to check it.  Yep, sure enough it leaks.  So he checks the door over and can’t see anything wrong with it.  Just in case, he replaces the door seal.  It still leaks.  He calls GE and they tell him that it is probably a small crack in one of the spray arms.  So he orders a new spray arm (they don’t have spares in stock).

A week later, after I have to call and find out what the status is, they come out and replace the lower spray arm.  Guess what, it still leaks.  Another call to GE and now he’s going to replace all the spray arms (there are three in this unit).  Of course, they aren’t in stock so he’ll have to order them.  They’ll call as soon as the parts come in.

Another week goes by (actually more than a week, since I’m busy with other things at home and work), I call them to find out what the deal is.  “The part should be in tomorrow.  They’ll call tomorrow and set up a time.”, they say.  Anyway, he finally comes out and replaces all the spray arms.  It is still leaking!  He has brought his supervisor with him this time.  The supervisor tells me that this should satisfy GE that the dishwasher is defective and they will replace it with a new one.  Great!

A week later the new unit is in and they come out to install it.  As they are installing it I notice that the door gasket is kinked in the upper left corner.  “Is that going to cause a problem?”, I ask.  “Nope, the door should seal just fine.”, they say.  I also notice that an optional sound buffer is not installed.  Hey, can you install that, I really like a quiet dishwasher (especially at the price this one cost).

They make an attempt to get it installed.  But with the buffer installed they can’t install the floor trim piece.  Finally they give up.  They tell me that the dishwasher is pretty quiet already and that this piece doesn’t make it that much quieter anyway.  Ok fine.  I can’t remember if it was on the first dishwasher or not anyway.

They run a little water through it and it doesn’t appear to leak.  Fantastic!  I finally have a dishwasher that I don’t have to put towels under to sop up leaking water!  They take all the extra bits and the empty box with them.  That evening I go through the installation guide and noticed that on the back page they have a procedure on putting the sound buffer on.  You have to remove a metal bracket first in order to get it to fit.  No wonder they couldn’t get it on.  It proves that even the installers need to read the installation manual.  I just wish that they had left me that part.  I could have put it on myself.

The next day I run a load through the dishwasher.  I don’t see any leaks, but I do notice that there is a lot of condensation on the top panel (where the controls are) and under our granite counter top.  I open the door and notice that there is some water in the corner of the door that is past the seal.  There shouldn’t be any water there.  It should be dry.  Oh well, at least it isn’t dripping from the door.

Wrong!  After a couple more loads I notice that the door is leaking again.  A call to Hahn, gets someone out to check it.  I told them on the phone to bring a new door seal because it looks like there is a bad one on the unit (remember the kink I noticed earlier?).  Well they can’t do that, the service man will have to come out and check it first.  Besides, they don’t have them in stock anyway.  OK, sure, fine, whatever.  I’m just trying to save myself yet another trip across town.

He comes out, and looks it over.  Runs some water through it.  He can’t see anything wrong with it.  Again I point out the kink in the seal.  No, that shouldn’t bother anything.  Then he tells me that GE has reported that on some units the door vent sometimes leaks (probably the problem with the original unit).  But that doesn’t appear to be the case here.  So just in case, and at my urging, he orders a new door seal, and says he’ll be back out as soon as it comes in.

A week or so later, after another phone call, the part is in and he comes out to replace it.  I watch carefully as he replaces the seal.  Then he runs a test and doesn’t notice any water.  But, he tells me that if I notice anything to call.

This time I decide to run a test myself.  The installation manual indicates what the installer should do to test for leaks.  It is a special cycle that fills, runs and drains, in about 10 minutes.  I run the test.  Now the door leaks worse that it did before!  Good thing no one else is home because I am screaming mad!  The service man’s ears must be on fire right now!

I open the door and look the seal over.  It just doesn’t look right.  There is nothing in the installation manual about how it should look, but it doesn’t look like I remember it from before.  After a bit of study I notice that maybe it’s in backwards.  I pull it out and reinstall it (good thing I was watching closely before) the other way around, and run the test cycle again.  Hurray, no leaks!  I think it’s finally fixed!

It’s been over a month since the new seal went in and no leaks, no condensation, and no water where it shouldn’t be.  The dishwasher works fine now.  But because of all the hassle I went through, I’ll not ever recommend a GE dishwasher to anyone.  Factory quality control is bad.  Hahn’s service was not the best either.  I think that they need to train the staff better.  Some of the mistakes they made were just dumb. 

In the end I do like the dishwasher, but I’ll never buy another one from GE.

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