Newest Review: ... it does just as good a job with pots, pans and heavy cutlery as it does with glasses, plates, mugs, etc... There are times when my fryin... more
Christmas is coming...
Member Name: grahamt
Date: 21/01/09, updated on 22/01/09 (1845 review reads)
Advantages: Good value for money ; ecologically sound
Disadvantages: No hanging space for wine glasses
Just a day or so before Christmas is not exactly the best time for something to go wrong. In our case it was the dishwasher. The prospect of hand-washing everything for the family's Christmas meals did not sound attractive. Mind you, I suppose I couldn't complain. The old one - a Zanussi - was, admittedly, around 12 years old and had been slowly falling apart for some time. Maybe the second of the two door springs snapping (the other had broken a couple of years back) only days earlier, was an omen of which I should have taken notice!
So, rather than spending my time decorating the Christmas Tree I was sent out to get a new dishwasher with the only absolute demand being that it must be delivered before Christmas. My own personal agenda added to that that it must be cheap and whoever I bought it from must take away the old one.
It was probably too late by this time to buy it on the Internet and, to be honest, items like this I want to see before buying anyway, not an easy job on the Web! To be honest, I wasn't too worried exactly where I bought a new one. Currys, Comet, Euronics, they're all pretty much the same and when, as they are locally, they are located more or less next to each other, you know that the prices are not going to be a lot different.
As it happened I ended up in Comet, mostly because at 8.50am, they were already open whereas the others still seemed to be having their staff "prayer meetings". Also, I recently had problems with a Philips DVD recorder that I had bought from them (and reviewed here) and when I took it back they were very straight with me over replacing it and refunding my money. I believe that good customer care deserves repeat business.
The range of dishwashers is enormous, as is the price range. Bearing in mind just what they do, how complicated can it be? For the price that some of these machines were going you would expect them not just to wash the dishes but to load, unload and put them away in the cupboards as well! That I was likely to find one with those features was not promising. Finally I spotted a couple of Indesit models (they appeared not to have any Zanussis) and the sales assistant looked them up for me on his terminal.
One of the two couldn't be delivered before Christmas, even though it was in stock but with the other, I was in luck. As there was little to choose between them other than the unavailable one was slightly more expensive (a relative term), I chose to go ahead with the other one. The Indesit IDF125 was just over £215 plus £20 delivery and £7 to dispose of the old one.
The new machine was delivered as arranged and I had already unplumbed the old one for them to remove. These machines are pretty much all the same size and so fitting in the new one was relatively straight-forward. There are only two pipes to connect; cold water feed and the waste water pipe plus an electricity plug. At least, that's what I thought!
The machine has very simple controls. The Indesit is an A category machine on the Energy Efficiency Ratings and in keeping with this, one of the five settings on the main switch is "Eco". Surprisingly, this is actually the longest wash cycle of all at 2hrs 20mins but the user guide states that it uses the lowest amount of energy nevertheless.
The others range from "Intensive" (2hrs 15mins) to "Rapid" (35 mins). There is also a "Soak" setting, which gives the dishes an 8 minute pre-wash so as to soften food residue if a full wash is not immediately required. We have mostly run the machine on Eco so far and the results seem to be satisfactory. To start the machine requires two buttons to be pressed, the On/Off button, followed by the Start/Pause button.
The initial setup requires you to press combinations of buttons in order to set the water hardness level for your area. We set ours a soft as we have a water softener installed. In this case it isn't necessary to use salt as is normally the case with dishwashers.
The Indesit adheres to the standard design of having upper and lower sliding baskets. The separate cutlery holder confused us at first. Rather being in a fixed location it is capable of being slid from side to side in order to fit dishes and plates in around it. However, the top of the cutlery holder was covered in plastic grid into which it seemed the cutlery had to be slotted. However, eventually we figured out how to remove them so that the cutlery could just be dropped into eight larger compartments.
What the Indesit doesn't have, and this is probably it's only real draw-back is hanging space for wine glasses. The old Zanussi had them and I was surprised that the Indesit didn't. They just have to stand in the basket like all the other cups and mugs.
I ran the first wash on Intensive and it seemed to do a good job of getting everything clean. The next time we tried it was on the Eco setting. It seemed to run for about five minutes and then the Finish light came on. When I opened the door, everything was still dirty! I tried this a few times, on different settings but with still the same result.
I pulled the machine out but could see nothing wrong so, leaving it out I tried again. This time it worked perfectly! From this I deduced that what must have happened was that the cold water supply tube must have got kinked when the machine was slotted into place and the water simply wasn't flowing into the machine. Perhaps on the second run the water pressure was down compared with the first time. Anyway, with the aid of a piece of string to hold the tube up and out of the way, I put the machine back again and since then it has worked unfailingly.
So far we have been very happy with the Indesit. It seems to do a better job than the old Zanussi at getting everything clean. It certainly was put through its paces over Christmas and earned itself full marks. Of course, only time will tell if it proves as durable as the old machine. For now it receives a recommendation from me; not perfect but good value for money nevertheless. And full marks to Comet for service.
Summary: A simple, decent quality dishwasher that works effectively
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