I recently purchased this dishwasher to go in my fitted kitchen . It certainly looks good as it's not fussy quite simplistic and appears simple to use. But unfortunately when I first tried mine ( on various settings) it just continually washed , so even on a basic wash would still be washing dishes 5 hours later! I tried all the settings and decided it was not normal and called Smeg who very helpfully sent out an engineer within 48 hours and have now replaced it with a new one that works perfectly well! I find I especially like the pots and pans setting that really cleans and washes all the difficult pots and pans ghat you can often spend ages scrubbing if you were to do by hand! Overall I am pleased with this dishwasher but it was a Shane there was a fault with the first one but Smeg dealt with the issue efficiently and I would buy from them again.
I ordered this dishwasher as I was having a new kitchen fitted by Homebase and decided this was a good time to reorganize everything and have a dishwasher plumbed in. It's the first dishwasher I've ever had and I did wonder whether there was any point. There are only two of us in the household, and I always thought that in the time it takes to stack a dishwasher I might was well have washed the pots in the sink. But my hubby wanted one and promised to load and unload it, so I was soon sold on the idea.
The Smeg fully integrated dishwasher is concealed totally behind a door front, and the only thing that gives it away is that the handle has to be horizontal to pull down the door, which looks a bit odd with the rest of my kitchen, as I have long vertical door handles. Otherwise you wouldn't guess what's behind there. Mine is under the sink, which was necessary because of the way my kitchen is plumbed. It's an ideal position as I can stand at the sink to sort out what goes in the dishwasher and what doesn't, and also pour any liquids such as gravy or coffee dregs down the sink before putting things in the dishwasher. On the other side of the dishwasher I've got cutlery drawers, and then a plate cupboard, so it's easy to unload and put things away. I've mentioned this, because it can be really hard trying to plan where to put things when you have a new kitchen, and I find my layout works really well.
Some dishwashers come semi integrated which means the controls can be seen at the top front of the door. The one drawback about having a fully integrated dishwasher is that the controls are concealed inside the top of the door and you have to pull it open to use them. I haven't found it to be a problem, although if I heard something going wrong in there it would be tricky to open it to switch it off without getting splattered.
The controls are fairly simple. There are five different wash options:
1. Soak - a 15 minute cold prewash for pans and dishes awaiting a further wash.
2. Light - an 80 minute wash immediately after use for dishes with light dirt.
3. Bio - a 180 minute wash immediately after use for dishes with normal dirt.
4. Normal - a 120 minute wash for dishes with normal dirt. Although this is shorter than option 3, it is a hotter wash.
5. Super - a 140 minute wash for very dirty pans and dishes, except delicate items. This is the hottest wash and uses most water.
I find I can use option 3 very often, and only use 4 or 5 if I've got messy pans that I've use for a roast, or curry or casserole. Occasionally I find even on the hottest wash that sometimes baked on food doesn't come off and needs an extra scrub. However by this point it's usually quite easy to remove with a pan scrubber. It also depends on what kind of detergent I'm using. This particular model requires salt to reduce the water hardness, rinse aid, and detergent. The salt is poured into container in the bottom of the dishwasher. This has a green indicator which rises to the top to show there is sufficient salt. Once it disappears from view this means the salt needs topping up. In three months I've only used one pack of salt, so it isn't expensive. The door has a container for rinse aid, which it dispenses with each wash, and I haven't even used up a full bottle of this yet, so again that's not too expensive. There's a flip open dispenser in the door for wash powder or tabs. I mostly use Finish wash powder and rinse aid, with cheap Morrisons dishwasher salt and get good results. My pans come out gleaming and my glasses sparkle like new. I've tried using the really cheap tabs, but found my glasses came out scratched, so I suspect the dishwasher throws around chunks of undissolved tab. Fairy all-in-one dishwasher tablets are quite effective, but I've a feeling I'm not supposed to be using them, so won't be buying any more. Some dishwashers have a 3 in 1 program especially for using with these kind of tablets and would dispense them at the right time, but mine doesn't have this program.
This dishwasher has the following energy ratings; Energy: A, Wash: A, Dry: A. It has a 12 place setting capacity, and some foldable racks in the top section, for cups, glasses and cutlery. It doesn't have a delay timer. At 17 litres per cycle on the normal setting, it isn't the most economical dishwasher on water consumption so this needs bearing in mind if you have a water meter. However, I consider that even 17 litres to do the whole day's pots is economical use of water compared with running hot water in the sink two or three times a day to wash pots by hand. For energy usage it's 1.05 Kw/h which is about comparable with most dishwashers of this size. The noise level is 53dba which is a bit on the high side, compared with some which seem to range from around 42dba to 55dba. However, even at that it's not very loud. I can hear it gently swishing around when I'm in the next room, but it's not an obtrusive or annoying noise, and much quieter than a washing machine.
Dishwashers come with a default water softening setting, so it's important to set it to your own local water hardness. The manual comes with a water hardness chart, and instructions of how to reset your machine, and it's quite simple to do. First I had to go onto my water supplier's website to find the water hardness and then I was able to set the machine accordingly. This means I'm using the right amount of salt, compared to the default setting which would have been using too much.
Up to now my Smeg dishwasher has worked well with no problems. I load things into it as the day goes on and set it to wash every night. In the morning I unload all the clean pots and start again. I find it was very worthwhile buying as it's easier to keep the kitchen tidy. There are never any unwashed cups etc lying around as they're all hidden away in the dishwasher. Altogether, a very worthwhile buy, although it worked out more expensive buying it with a fitted kitchen from Homebase. You can buy this for £289 at Appliance City, but I paid about £90 more than this, including delivery and removal of old appliances. I can't see any way around this, unless you ask the kitchen fitters to fit in appliances you have bought yourself. There would still be the fitting charge, but you could save quite a bit on appliances.
UPDATE: A year after buying it I'm not having any problems.
Short name: Smeg DI612CA9