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When I moved into my place a year or two ago this dishwasher came as part of the property. I grew up having a dishwasher in the house, although I often prefer washing up to using one, as I was always allocated the chore of emptying the dishwasher at home and it was the bane of my life. I loathed the process, and could not understand why my mother insisted on using it so frequently when it effectively cleaned less than half the items placed in it. It also seemed a great waste of energy when so many of the items required two cycles to get them clean. For that reason I had not been planning on buying a dishwasher for myself, but it was a nice addition to the house.
The Bosch model is nothing special to look at, and in many respects is a very simple machine. It is white in colour and is what I would consider an average size for a dishwasher. That is, it is boxy and requires a similar size space in your kitchen as an oven. In the top central area of the machine is a handle, which you need to slip your fingers under and push up, then out, in order to open it up. This is not so fluid a process as I have encountered with other dishwashers, and it feels a little clunky when the handle pushed upwards, almost as though you are going to damage the mechanism. I do not know how long the previous owner had the dishwasher for, but it looked virtually unused when I moved in. However, the door does groan slightly when you lower it, and this can be somewhat disconcerting. On the top right of the machine is a programme panel, where you can choose the setting you prefer. The choice of programmes extends to:
- 65° (Normal)
- 50° (Economy)
- 35° (Quick Wash)
- Pre rinse
The only programmes I use are quick wash and economy. This is mainly due to environmental concerns. Quick wash, despite its title, does not take very much less time than the Economy cycle, however. This is disappointing in some respects, as if you, like me, are reluctant to leave the house while an appliance is running, you may well benefit from a speedy washing programme. On the other hand however, it is understandable that the longer the hot water and soap are in contact with the items inside, the more effective the cleaning cycle will be. I use Economy Wash over the Normal cycle because when I have used it on this setting and opened the machine mid-wash, the water is very warm to the touch and leaves the items very hot. For this reason I deemed a cycle that used a higher temperature unnecessary, in addition to the extra energy it would require. I have found that when I do open the machine in the middle of a cycle the machine tends to let out a great deal of vapour. While comforting that the vapours are treating my dishes however, this is not good for the lungs or the kitchen.
The Bosch has an upper drawer and a lower drawer, the latter of which contains a plate rack for larger plates, a rack for smaller plates and a detachable cutlery holder. The plate racks will fold down in case you need the space for other items. The cutler holder is stable in the machine despite its being removable. It is also very durable, and having been used for some time now it has sustained only moderate damage in the form of one of the slim plastic separators becoming a little coarse due, I suspect, to being exposed to the hot water so many times. One thing that does irk me about the internal arrangement of the dishwasher is the salt tray. I use dishwasher tablets, and you have to slide the cover over the tablet when loading. Unfortunately, this cover does not like to stay in place, and instead of clicking into position when closed, it very often snaps back in the other direction, and does so so quickly it has grazed my knuckle on one or two occasions.
The real drawback of the SGS43A52GB is that, like the dishwashers of my childhood, its cleaning capacity is hit and miss. Initially I tried loading it as full as I could in order make the most of the energy and water it used, but found that only around a third of the items were clean enough to put back in the cupboard. Since then I fill the dishwasher moderately, but not overly. On the Economy cycle perhaps three quarters of the items will be clean enough to use afterwards. To encourage the machine to be more effective I often rinse or soak items prior to placing them in the machine, but I do feel this defeats the object somewhat.
This is not a bad dishwasher, but it is not great, either. The front of it is very easy to clean, and aside from one occasion last year when a small amount of water leaked out of the machine, I have not had any need to make any repairs to it. It is nice to have a selection of programmes, and the inside layout makes it easy to wash objects of different sizes. I still retain my original opinion however, and the Bosch has not convinced me that I would ever hand over any cash for a dishwasher in the future.
You know, my wife and I are a couple of impulsive people. Without fail we always take the plunge and do something reckless and seemingly illogical. Consider this Christmas. We decided, quite out of the blue, to break with the norm and have turkey. Now I am sure you will agree that turkey is the exception rather than the rule, and we certainly do aim to be different from the norm. There was one thing this Christmas that made me so happy to have moved to Herefordshire, and that is what I intend to write about today! When we moved to our bijou residence in the posh part of town (posh! I should think so! They get of the bath to have a wee here, you know!), we noticed that there were extra pipes sticking out here, there, and everywhere under the sink. The foreman then said 'Aaar' (in a thick Gloucestershire burr that is impossible to transcribe into the written word), 'that'll be the plumbing for them there dishwasher!'. Darlingest and I looked shocked at one another. You see, we had just moved from Lincolnshire, a region so insular and inward looking that they thought they were with it having just discovered fire. As far as Darlingest and I were concerned, I was the dishwasher, and once we worked out what one of these new-fangled thingummybobs was, we resolved to buy one. Now I am not renowned for profligacy in my family (I once dropped a five pence piece and it hit me on the back of the head as I bent to pick it up), but we knew that we would need a good quality machine from a good quality make. Having consulted with such luminaries of the dishwasher world in my family, namely mum, brother Stu and Auntie Marje, we decided that Bosch was best. We didn't buy our machine through what you could call normal retail channels. The machine we bought, the SGS 43A52, has a retail price of around £300, but we bought ours, legally and with a one year guarantee, from the Comet Auctions website. Here we could buy machines at reduced
prices because they had cosmetic scratches on them and little dents. We decided that we wanted dents, as they would match the saucepan marks on my head, and we purchased our machine for around the £160 mark, with £15 for delivery from Scotland. Not bad eh? The machine was duly delivered and plumbing in was reasonably simple- connect the hose to the cold pipe and fit the waste pipe very snugly over the waste pipe bit and tighten up with the jubillee clips provided! The machine is realtively simple to use. I need that in life. There are five buttons on the front. On the left is the main on/off switch. The other four buttons are for the programmes- pre-rinse,35 degree quick wash, 50 degree economy wash, and 65 degree full wash. We tend to use the full wash programme, as we only dop a maximum of 2 washes per day. On Christmas Day, it did 2 before lunch, but then again I was cooking! The machine is large- well, normal appliance size, and can accommodate 12 place settings. There is also a special cap to place over the spray bit at the back (don't you just love technical jargon!) should you wish to was large items like oven trays and shelves. The blurb says it is quiet. I hear it but it isn't deafening, plus I don't have anything to benchmark it against. In terms of effectiveness, the full programme gets nearly everything clean. Burnt on scrambled egg takes a few washes, but that's more down to my cooking! The drying is not quite as effective as the washing, but if you leave things to cool, they do eventually dry pretty well. There are two lights on the machine, that indicate if you are running low on salt or rinse aid, although when the salt LED is on, the Rinse Aid one glows a touch as well! Overall though, this is a splendid machine (ah yes, noise 54 dB- is that noisy?). It has saved me a great deal of fuss and bother, and has not sharply raised our water bill (the average wash consumption is 14 litres).
Simply wonderful, in fact. The one major criticism I would have is that the child lock is a little weak- if you forget the machine is on, the lock makes the door stiffer, it doesn't make opening it impossible, which is what I would have hoped. Specifications =========== Consumption (50ºC economy prog.) Energy: 1.05 kWh Water: 14 litres Programme time: 140min Energy Ratings ============ Wash Performance A Dry Performance B Energy Performance A Dimensions ========== H 850 x W 600 x D 600 (mm) Enjoy the machine and take the stress of washing up away (although wooden spoons may need doing in the sink!) Neil February 2004
Short name: Bosch SGS43A52GB