Friday, November 16, 2012

The Latest Menace - Your Dishwasher

If you have an old electric dishwasher, it's about time to either rebuild it with as many new parts as you can get, or have your favorite appliance repair place do it for you.

As of May 2013, dishwasher manufacturers are not going to be allowed to make or sell a machine that works, according to this story at the Laissez Faire Club

Why?  The environment, of course.  It's for the children. 
The excuse is energy and water conservation of course. The presumption is that consumers and manufacturers have no interest whatsoever in saving energy and water even though everyone pays for both and, for the most part, our usage determines what we pay. The reason that companies and consumers have not adopted the new standards on their own is that they are incompatible with clean dishes.

There’s a pretty good chance that your current dishwasher using 6.5. gallons in a load. In the future, only 5 gallons of water can be used in the course of washing dishes. Maybe the manufacturers can ramp up the intensity of spray? Think again: new “energy efficiency” standards require that they use even less energy. Less energy plus less water equals dirty dishes. Plus, the new energy standards will substantially increase the cost of the appliance, taking it out of the affordability range for elderly people and the poor.
The Regulations are your typical legalese/bureaucrat speak and painful to read.  The final ruling is a pdf here.  

The fed.documents show that the average cost of these inferior dishwashers is going to be $48 more than the dishwashers which work better.  The annual energy savings will get you back those $48 in 11.8 years, or not quite $4.07 per yearThe typical dishwasher appears to last somewhere between 8 and 12 years so some owners won't ever see economic payback.  Wow.  Sure am glad Fed.Gov is looking out for us.

Commenter Sofie Miller of the George Washington University Regulatory Center writes:
“Thousands of Americans will spend time washing dishes by hand as the price of dishwashers increases,” she writes. “The value of time reallocated to washing dishes by hand totals between $241.4 million and $963.6 million, or almost $1 billion, even at a very conservative estimate. The cost of this time, which will most likely be borne by low-income and elderly Americans on fixed incomes, was not taken into account in the Department’s analysis of the direct final rule.”
I've written on the problems with single-agenda agencies like the DOE when I examined the problems with their rulings on top loading washing machines. 
The DOE, of course, is driven by the agenda that energy efficiency is the single most important characteristic in any appliance, and if you consumers don't always buy the most efficient, then you're just too stupid and need to be nudged into the right choices.  Consumers, however, seem to consider a wider variety of factors in choosing things to buy, not just the energy efficiency.  In reaction to how consumers were not always buying what their algorithms concluded were the most efficient machines, the DOE created rules that effectively eliminated top loading washing machines - protested by almost 3:1 among consumers.  One study showed that the average family does fewer loads of wash per week than the assumptions built into the rules did.
The same problem with the decision being based on assumptions that may not be realistic are here in this dishwasher study, as well.

Back to the Laissez Faire Club article for a comment on dishwashers and clothes washing machines:
These two machines together were the greatest boon to American women in the twentieth century, doing far more for women’s liberation than all the legislation and political activism. They created that greatest gift, free time. They allowed women to emerge as full public citizens, to spend time with their kids instead of slaving with household routines, and created the space in life to cultivated the mind and civilization itself.

The regulators want to drive us back, back, back, imprisoning everyone in life of drudgery so that the “earth” can flourish and the rest of us languish, die, and be buried in soiled clothes.
 Back to the... past, not future.  Coming soon. 


  1. I've lived in four apartments that had dishwashers, and every one of them routinely returned dishes that were dirtier than they were when I put them in. I doubt that the landlord was providing the best stuff, but as far as I'm concerned dishwashers don't work anyway.

    1. I've had good ones and bad ones over the years. The current LG works much better than the previous Maytag. There are good and bad ones, for sure.

      The detergent issues they talk about in that Laissez Faire article (no phosphates) seem to me to have been in place for some time. They took phosphates out of laundry detergents in the 1970s. I wasn't aware they could use them in dishwasher soap.

    2. Oh well. I'm not going to be in a position to buy one for the foreseeable future, since I don't plan to buy property for quite a while - not in this country, anyway. I basically handwash the dishes and use the washer as a sanitizer.

  2. We make a grave mistake when we allow ourselves to think the ecotards are concerned about how the environment affects humans. They would be much happier if there were no humans to affect the environment. Except for themselves, of course, as they are the only humans who can be trusted to "do the right thing".

    Here in Montana they have effectively shut down the timber industry (as they have elsewhere), and the forests - including private lands as well as the national forests and state forests - are dying because of it. Beetle-killed trees which could have been harvested, reducing the number of beetles which could move to healthy trees, are allowed to stand and continue to infect the remaining timber.

    1. I meant to add that the ecotards need to be culled, in order to save the environment. We need to do it for the children.

  3. We have been needing to replace a dishwasher for a few months now, and were basically waiting for my annual bonus from work to do it. After reading this, we went shopping yesterday morning and by noon I was installing a new dishwasher. Up until recently, I received Appliance Magazine and can remember article after article about the new efficiency standards and their effects on performance of the machines. The general feelings was/is that the eco-nazis are killing the appliance industry with ridiculous regulations and physics-defying efficiency mandates.

    The magical thinking of libtards says that if the .gov mandates something that our "ingenuity" will make it happen. The only people who really believe that are people who don't understand science ('cuz teh maths iz hard) and for whom all these wonderful devices operate from magic or something. Those of us who actually have some understanding and/or experience with physics understand, as its been said before, that the low hanging fruit of efficiency gains is all but picked - just about all of the possible process optimizations have already been accomplished, and the law of dimishing returns has kicked in. Each successive round of "improvements" will result in a tradeoff with performance. That's okay, I suppose, with the magical thinkers but it will lead to the death of the American appliance industry (but perhaps that's a feature instead of a bug?).

    1. These systems, (dishwashers, washing machines, etc.) have been very highly optimized over the years to get things cleaner. Just like the drop in performance of air conditioners when Freon12 was outlawed, and low-flow toilets meant everyone had to flush three times as much and keep a plunger handy, arbitrary restrictions on these machines will penalize people who are always getting less of what they pay for.

      I tell anyone who will listen that "you can only break the laws of physics in car commercials". Ingenuity? Listen: if you can come up with a 19" long antenna that performs as well as the quarter wave long (~300 foot) towers the AM broadcasters are using, you will never have to work a day again in you life. You can't even bend Maxwell's Equations, let alone break them.

  4. Major appliances have been rocketing downhill for some time now, in terms of reliability, efficacy and (time) efficiency. I'm not sure that dishwashers represent a true labor savings as do clothes washers/dryers; I continue to promise our next home will not have a dishwasher as it seems to me a 2nd place to store dishes, either cleaned or dirty.

    The system has been dealt a severe blow with removal of phosphates - we are on a septic system so phosphates are not an issue. BTW, has Cascade w/phosphate! available - get it while you can. Or, you can add TSP - from home despot or amazon- to make detergent work better. Depending on your local water chemistry phosphate may not provide a boost - I understand that phophate neutralizes compounds which interfere with detergent.

    For a clothes washer, I'm thinkin' a older speedqueen commercial unit front load is the way to go. Never thought I would become so "passionate" regarding appliances, but this programmable crap with remotes has got to go. What else could one expect from the same AH's that brought forth the 3 flush toilet?


  5. All of the so-called improvements and efficiency mandates have manufacturers looking at other ways to cut costs. Granted, plastic parts such as a washing machine tub are OK, but when gears and cogs are plastic, they just don't hold up to years of operation. They should be made of stainless steel. Who cares if the noise level goes up 0.5 db?!!! And why does a tub liner need to be made of stainless steel? That, too, is impractacle. No wonder washers and dishwashers have nearly doubled in price over the last 12 years.

  6. Hogtie us to menial manual tasks so we will not be fomenting sedition...or counting coup as we take leviathan's lackeys to their demise.

    1. Sshhhh - they're not supposed to know that we know that's what they're doing.

      This sort of stuff seems to tie into the UN's Agenda 21 - it makes our life more miserable in the name of mythical "sustainability", but it's really a plan to give dictatorial control of where we live and how we live over to the UN.