With all the lovely sunshine recently it's hard to remember what a nightmare last summer was for us and many other households in the UK. Record rainfall in June 2012 resulted in many flooded households and ours was one of the unlucky ones. Despite all the trauma and upheaval of ruined carpets and flooring, one silver cloud on the horizon was the promise of a brand new fully fitted kitchen. Despite having lived in our house for 17 years, until last year we had been making do with the kitchen we inherited with our house. We had plans to remodel it, but never really got round to it as there were so many other more important jobs to do. The flood forced our hand, and we were getting a new kitchen whether we were ready or not :o) Along with brand new cream units and oak worktops, our insurers also agreed to pay for new integrated appliances in the form of a cooker, washing machine and dishwasher (as our old stand alone cooker, washing machine and dishwasher couldn't be accommodated into the new kitchen design).
The dishwasher was by far the easiest of our newly installed appliances to master, and with it having been plumbed in approximately ten months ago now, I've had ample time to put it through its paces and now give it a through review on its strengths and weaknesses.
== FEATURES ==
The Beko DW602 dishwasher is a full sized machine and it can accommodate up to twelve place settings. Although the dishwasher is allegedly silver, because it's integrated it matters not a jot as you never really see the front of the unit as it's encased behind a cream painted kitchen unit. The dishwasher has a front loading door that pulls down very smoothly.
The controls are all encased in the top of the dishwasher door. On this particular model there are five wash programmes and four wash temperatures from pre-wash/no heat to an intensive 70°C wash. The shortest programme (P1- Pre-Wash) is a 15-minute pre-wash cycle with no hot water/heat which is ideal for freshening up the inside of the machine if you don't yet want to put on a proper load. P2 (Rapid) is a 30-minute 35°C quick cycle. P3 (Eco) is an economy cycle operating at 50°C for a thorough yet eco-friendly wash. P4 (Quick and Clean) operates at 60°C. Finally we have P5 (Intensive) which is a 115 minute cycle operating at 70°C. We tend to use the P1 programme if things are getting a little stagnant smelling inside the machine but we don't yet have enough cups, plates and saucers to justify putting the machine on. When we do have a full load we tend to use the P4 programme which takes approximately an hour. The machine also has a Half Load button which shaves about 15 minutes off the usual timings on your chosen cleaning cycle.
As well as the programme buttons in the top of the dishwasher door there are also a salt indicator light and a rinse aid light to show when you need to top up both your dishwasher salt and rinse aid. If either of these red LED lights come on then you need to top up with salt or rinse aid.
Inside the dishwasher there are two racks (upper and lower) and a moveable cutlery tray with handle. The lower basket has racking for 12 large plates and smaller rows of racking for side plates and bowls. However, the beauty of this machine is that it has folding tines throughout the lower basket making the interior space very flexible and user-friendly. Saucepans, baking trays and bulkier bowls can easily be placed in the lower basket by flattening the racking. There are four separate "folding plate support rods" in the lower basket. One can either fold one section individually or all four at once depending on how much space you need to accommodate larger and bulkier items. You simply press the rods/tines firmly and they fold over to one side and lay flat.
The grey cutlery basket takes up to 12 sets of cutlery and has been designed to so you can put it anywhere in the bottom basket of the machine thus working around the crockery or bakeware you've put in the dishwasher.
The upper rack is for smaller items such as cups and glasses. This basket also has racking that can be folded away if you need to place larger items in it. However, we tend to use our upper basket purely for cups and glasses so all the support racking tends to get used. Wine glasses can be leant against the racking to give them plenty of support during the wash cycle. The racking can also be used to support high ball glasses though I must say that it is rather poor in this instance. We have some thick and heavy highball glasses and they need to be carefully wedged against the racking side by side before we can put the dishwasher on. Unless there is adequate support from similar highball glasses they tend to fall over and could smash as the racking is simply not supportive enough for taller glasses.
You can also adjust the height of the upper basket (even when fully loaded) as it has a lifting mechanism to the side, and you don't even need to remove the basket from the dishwasher. I haven't tried to alter the height of mine so I am unsure how easy or difficult this may prove. However, if it operates like the rest of the machine it will be simplicity itself.
== OPERATING ==
The Beko DW602 has a pull down door with the control panel embedded in the top of the dishwasher door. The controls are incredibly simple to operate. You decide which programme you want to use by pressing the large silver button labelled "P". By pressing this button it moves the indicator light from P1 through to P5. By taking your finger off the P button the light will stop on the programme you want. You then need to depress the large silver button with the "go" arrow to start the programme. The machine bleeps three times and you then need to close the dishwasher door before your chosen programme starts. It's incredibly simple to operate. However, I must say that this machine is so very quiet in operation that you often have to really strain to hear whether the machine has started up! Many a time I've thought that the machine hasn't been correctly programmed and I'll need to start again, but invariably it has started and it was my ears deceiving me.
Halfway down the door of the machine are the hollows for the detergent and rinse aid. You need to flip up the panel and place your dishwasher tablet inside the compartment and then close the panel shut. Next to the detergent slot is the rinse aid receptacle. Once this is full the visual indicator button above it turns dark. We don't use additional rinse aid in our dishwasher as we find that the rinse aid added to the Finish Quantum dishwasher tablets we use perfectly adequate for our needs. All our crockery and glassware comes out perfectly clean without any signs of scale or water marking so we're happy to continue using Finish Quantum tablets and do without the rinse aid. However, if the water in your area is hard it may make your household utensils more prone to scaling etc, so you might feel the need to add rinse aid to your machine. It only needs to be topped up every 40-60 washes so it's fairly unobtrusive and easy to monitor.
Finally you do need to add dishwasher salt to your machine as this will soften the water used in the cycle. The salt receptacle is located in the very bottom of the machine. You therefore need to remove the bottom rack of the machine to get at the salt dispenser. The cap has to be unscrewed anti-clockwise and the salt poured in via the funnel provided. Once filled the cap has to be screwed firmly back in place until you hear a clicking noise. This will activate the salt indicator light in the top control panel of the dishwasher. It can be a bit of messy and fiddly job, but luckily the salt lasts for a good long while (the receptacle takes 2kg of dishwasher salt) before you have to do it all again. Based on two to three cycles a week, 2kg of salt lasts us about three to four months.
On final word of warning for not just this model but any dishwasher is that before you press the "go" button on your chosen cycle you must make sure the spinning blade is able to rotate freely and easily and is not obstructed by any high baking trays or saucepan handles.
== THE RESULTS ==
Without fail, our dishwasher always produces excellent results - and that's with our just relying on dishwasher tablets and not bothering with the rinse aid. I drink rather a lot of tea and tea stains are really hard to remove from cups with simple hand washing (unless you soak the cup in something like soda crystals first). However, my Beko dishwasher removes any nasty tannin stains for all my cups every single time so I have no nasty brown rims in the bottom of my cups.
Similarly, by folding down the racking in the bottom basket of the dishwasher, I can easily fit in the grimiest and greasiest of baking trays, shut the door and, hey presto, an hour later, my scuzzy cookware is grease free and sparkling clean. I no longer have to soak that tray overnight before tackling it in the sink with plenty of Fairy Liquid and elbow grease the next morning.
The machine is incredibly quiet, and I mean very, very quiet. You really do have to strain to hear whether any of the dishwasher cycles have started. My old dishwasher wasn't noisy, but you could definitely hear the water sloshing about inside it. Not so with the Beko - it really does tiptoe its way through the washing process.
Once the machine has finished doing its cycle, I tend to open the door and leave the items to cool down and dry off a little before I empty the machine. On the whole, all the crockery and glassware come out bone dry so you can remove them from the machine and put them straight into the cupboard. There is never any streaking or scale on my glassware which is a real bonus. My old dishwasher did send some of my glassware a little bit "cloudy" after prolonged sessions through the dishwasher. Not so here - the Beko delivers excellent streak free and sparkling glassware time after time. Tupperware and plastic items do tend to come out with droplets of water still on them, so they need a bit of a shake and a spell on the drying rack by the sink before they can be put away. The cutlery tray can sometimes have a few stray stubborn droplets of water on it too, but a good shake of the tray usually sorts that out.
== ANY DIFFICULTIES OR DRAWBACKS? ==
I have really very little to complain about with this dishwasher as it gives excellent results time after time. My main criticism of this machine is that the upper basket has not been designed to give adequate support to tall glassware. Our highball glasses are made from rather thick glass and unless they are laid carefully against the rubber racking side by side, they can fall over and roll about - potentially chipping or smashing them. The system works fine if we put three highball glasses side by side so they support each other, but one highball glass on it's own just doesn't work as there is nothing to keep it fully supported and upright.
As both upper and lower baskets are on wheels/runners you do need to exercise some gentleness when pushing the baskets in and out of the dishwasher. Just occasionally the lower basket will come off its runners which can be tricky if you have a full basket of kitchenware in it. You need to carefully lift the basket back into its runners, but it's easy enough to do.
However, these are purely very minor irritations, as nothing is ever really perfect in this world is it? All in all, this machine is incredibly reliable, and it gives super results every single time. It's quiet, unobtrusive and you rarely even realise it's on.
== MAINTENANCE ==
Maintaining our dishwasher is very simple. We only need to top the salt up every 3 to 4 months. Other than that, it's a case of keeping an eye on the internal filters inside the machine. The filter in the Beko DW602 is a three-layer metal filter and it's both removable and washable.
I cannot comment on how easy or otherwise this dishwasher was to plumb in as I had no involvement in it. The dishwasher was plumbed in by the team appointed by our insurers to repair our house after all the flood damage. That said, they seemed to have no problems in fitting it, but they were professionals (allegedly...though we did wonder at times as our flood renovations seemed to take forever...). Finally, the dishwasher has that all important 'A' rating for energy efficiency.
The user manual that came with the machine is as user-friendly as the machine. It's written in simple and clear language and any diagrams are useful and relevant.
== PRICE AND SOURCE ==
We paid £248 for this dishwasher last November from www.appliancesonline.co.uk and that price also included free delivery. However, after a quick look on good old Google it seems this model has come down in price slightly, and you can now buy it from the same company for £239. Currys are also selling it cheaper than we paid for it at £240, but Amazon are miles out and have it on offer at £266. If you do purchase from www.appliancesonline.co.uk do remember to go through a cashback site like Quidco or Topcashback as they'll give you a further 2% off the price you'll pay. 2% is not huge I know, but when you're buying a cooker, washing machine and dishwasher all at the same time then it all adds up, and we got £35 from Topcashback.
== RECOMMENDED? ==
The Beko DW602 dishwasher is a full sized machine which can accommodate up to twelve place settings, so it could be argued that it's possibly too big for a household of two and half (the half is for the dog.....). However, we find it more than suitable for our lifestyle. We tend to pop the dirty crockery and cutlery in the dishwasher as we go and switch it on as and when it's full - which tends to be every three to four days or so. During hot weather or if we've been eating particularly pungent food, things can get a little stale smelling inside the dishwasher so rather than put on a half loaded machine, we tend to use the P1 programme (a quick wash programme of 15 minutes) and it freshens the interior up a treat and removes the nasty niffs.
What I love most about this machine is the quietness. It sits quietly and efficiently in my kitchen, always produces excellent cleaning results but does it in such a quiet and unobtrusive manner you rarely even realise its on. It's easy and simple to use, produces excellent results every single time, and saves me hours in the sink with a scrubbing brush.
Five stars from me.
== FULL SPECIFICATION / KEY FEATURES ==
* Full size integrated dishwasher
* 5 programmes
* 4 wash temperatures
* Accommodates 12 place settings
* Dimensions are Height: 82cm Width: 60cm Depth: 57cm
* Weight is 36kg
* Electronic programme selection
* Quiet operation - 49 db(A)
* Height adjustable upper basket
* Upper basket with folding racks
* Folding plate supports in lower basket
* Half load option
* Salt and rinse aid indicator lights
* Removable cutlery basket
* The dishwasher is rated 'A' for energy efficiency
Further details at: http://www.beko.co.uk/Item/DW602
Dishwasher features: Designed to be built-in / 4 temperature settings / Sequence indicator light / Salt refill indicator / Rinse aid refill indicator / Overflow protection / Hot air drying system / Filter system / Cold water fill / Cutlery holder / 2 foldable plate racks / Water softener / Programmes: 5 programmes / Economy programme / Half load programme / 30 minute quick wash programme / Intensive wash programme / Performance: Energy efficiency class: A / Capacity of 12 place settings / Estimated annual energy consumption: 328kW/year / Estimated annual water consumption: 4200litres/year / Drying performance rating: A / Cleaning performance rating: A / Noise level 49dB / Estimated water consumption per cycle: 1.15 litres / General features: Size H82, W60, D55cm / EAN/MPN/UPC/ISBN: 5023790030632 / By Beko / Short name: Beko DW602