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Brand: Smeg / Dishwasher Type: Portable / Control Type: Electronic / Number of Wash Cycles: 5 Cycles / Drying Type: Thermal Drying / Place Settings: 12 / Sound Insulation: With Sound Insulation / Noise Level: 51 DB / Door Integration: Semi Integrated / Adjustable Rack Height: With Adjustable Rack Height / Drying Performance: A / Washing Performance: A / Energy Efficiency Rating: A / Height: 85 cm / Width: 60 cm / Depth: 60 cm

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      07.10.2013 13:35
      Very helpful



      Initial reservations- some attributes- some negatives.


      One of the reasons that I rarely write reviews on home appliances and white goods is that my opinion has to be made, not only on the machine as it is in use, but how long it lasts. If a machine is to be given 5* it has to be value for money, and by the time it leaves this world it is probably not going to be available for purchase. This poses a serious problem, as obviously a purchaser needs to be given all the facts on which to make a decision, and for this reason I have decided never to award any appliance 5* from now on.

      To further quantify this I refer to my previous dishwasher purchase two and a half years ago. This Bosch dishwasher was of a good standard, but I concluded my review, written at the time, by saying "TIME" would tell. It did and this year it washed its last run of dishes before succumbing to heater failure. My husband often fixes parts on white goods, but on this occasion he decided that it was not going to be cost effective, or worth the time to do so, as the machine had also had other faults that occurred just outside of the warranty period. I was very surprised and disappointed by this Bosch appliance, as I have a lot of faith in this brand generally, but it did concern me enough to decide to try an alternative make this time around. It was also brought to my attention that early heater failure could have been due to over reliance on 5 in 1 tablets, without adding extra salt. It seems that, after extensive research, that the consensus of opinion by experts is that in medium and hard water areas, although these 5 in 1 products claim to be adequate by the manufacturers, in reality they are not. With this in mind I have now opted to add extra salt, even though I am using the same 5 in 1 dishwasher tablets as before.

      Choosing a new dishwasher was really determined by make and price of equal importance. We have had a lot of expense this year, with other white goods reaching the end of their lives, and university bills at their highest for some years, so I opted for a Smeg model that I found on the website Appliance World. I have used this company before and was satisfied. They are a firm that have diversified into supplying white goods, following on from 25 years in the kitchen refit market. They have very competitive prices, but the only drawback is that you have to wait until they take their van to your area. In the case of my dishwasher this was a full 3 weeks, which was a little longer than I would have liked. However the price for the Smeg dishwasher was £250 with free delivery, which I found to be extremely competitive.

      The problem with buying appliances online is that, unless you have a showroom close by, you are often buying blind, and so I rely on reviews and recommendations solely. In this case I knew that the model I had in mind was an older one, and had been superseded by newer technology, but of course this gave me the discount I was looking for. The point that really made me decide to purchase was that it had been sold originally with a 5 year parts and labour warranty, which although no longer being offered, made me feel I had something to base a purchase decision on. I felt that the manufacturer was confident in the machine to make this sort of offer.

      My first thoughts on the dishwasher were less than positive. I said to my husband that the overall feel of it was cheap, and it resembled a make much less known for quality and more for budget.
      The door felt very lightweight and not sturdy like my Bosch, and the inside of the machine seemed smaller, even though it was a 12 place setting as my Bosch had been.

      The overall rating of this dishwasher is A, and it is a free-standing model 600mm wide. It has a noise level of 51db and a water consumption of 15 litres. The warranty is 12 months and the machine has 5 programmes.

      I think my personal opinion of this has to be influenced by the times that I have had a lot of dishes to load. It really is badly designed, and requires a lot of thought to stack them all in. Even my Mathematician husband finds it a challenge! I still can't really work out why, but there are some definite niggles. Firstly the cutlery baskets are not suitable if your cutlery has wide handles, as the spaces are minute, and also the cutlery baskets are always falling over. I do however value the fact that there are two cutlery baskets to use on the lower level, meaning that it is possible to take one out if you wish to free up more space for other items.

      There seems to be little space in which to put tall glasses without them toppling over, which they do with monotonous regularity as you slide the door closed. The layout of the trays makes it very difficult to load, and the cutlery trays seem to take up an inordinate amount of space in the bottom shelf if you have a full load, leaving limited space for large dinner plates.

      There are many ways to configure the top shelf with fold down flaps and so on, and the shelf can be adjusted in two positions which is a positive attribute.

      The Programmes
      The choice of programmes is very limited compared to my previous model, and the ecological setting takes 3 hours to complete. The digital display is very simple, and has three buttons - on off, programme selector, and start and pause. There are also lights to show the salt and rinse aid levels. In terms of having cycles, the shortest for light soiling still takes over an hour, which is quite a long time compared to my previous model, in fact the normal programme is only a further 30 minutes in length. There is however a cold wash of 15 minutes duration which is a soaking programme. This is good if you had casserole dishes, for example, but were waiting for a full load to put the machine on. This programme cannot be used with a full load. There is also an intensive wash that is called the ultra clean, and this program terminates with an antibacterial rinse. My issue with this model though is that there is no way of knowing how long the programme has left to run, and I think this is a safety issue, as I do not like going out leaving appliances on.

      The machine has been built to run using the 3 system- powder, rinse aid and salt, and so if you choose to use tablets or liquitabs instead, these must be placed into the cutlery rack, and not into the door. I must admit this really surprised me, but as this is an older model it is perhaps reflective of the way that dishwashers are used in 2013, rather then 2009 when this machine was originally designed.

      I think the manual that is supplied with the machine is excellent and very informative, with information relating to both the dishwasher and dishwasher use in general which is very helpful.
      There are detailed instructions given on how best to load the machine, including advice to put the most dirty dishes on the bottom shelf where the force of the jets is highest.

      I have been pleased with the noise of this machine as it is quiet and does not interfere with thoughts or conversations that occur in the vicinity.

      Final Thoughts
      I think it remains to be seen as to how this machine will perform over the years to come. My husband has high hopes for its longevity, I remain on the fence. My initial reservations still stand with regard to the flimsy and rather tinny appearance and feel of the machine, and the way that the trays are made that makes loading quite a task. However so far so good, it has cleaned the items well - I don't think they come out quite as dry as my Bosch, but this may be due to the way I load them as it isn't an easy task at all and as I have said is rather fiddly.

      Price-wise this was a bargain, and Smeg have impressed me in recent years with my fridge which is absolutely brilliant, so I hope this dishwasher becomes the workhorse I am hoping for. One thing is for certain it won't have to try hard to beat my last Bosch which was cradle to grave in under three years.



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    • Product Details

      Short name: Smeg DF612WE

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