Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Safety aspects while using Dishwasher

Well after a long gap, I thought I'd write a topic. Before that our Dishwasher has been working fine, I signed a maintenance contract (this is must) as the Controller Board went off twice and company replaced it.

Let me give some Safety tips and will cover it under two headings - Personal Safety and Equipment Safety.

Disclaimer: The safety aspects that are discussed here are based on my experience and Please read the Manufacturers User Manual and adhere to them stricktly. My views given here are in addition to what is mentioned in respective user manuals and doesn't neccessarily replace what is conveyed there. Any incidental damages/death caused by following or not following the tips given here is purely at your risk and I can't be held responsible.

Personal Safety

Earthing

This is applicable for all people whether they use a Dishwasher or otherwise. Whether you reside in an apartment or individual house. Ensure that all your electrical lines are properly Earthed.  You might have experienced as well, if you touch any appliance accidently and you feel a mild shock or feel like current is passing then this is the reason. Either the Earth wire is missing or not connected properly. The easiest and best way, as far as I'm aware, is, to engage an Electrician who works in the Industry who is certified and well versed in handling Heavy Current. The electrician employed by the builder or by your building contractor or a person from nearby Electrical shop cannot be relayed generally. I got in touch with a person who does contract work for Industrial and Corporate offices - Cost is marginally high but Safety is assured. If you are working in an MNC or Corporate company or in Core Industry, definitely you company is going to have a certified electrician.

Socket (Amperage) and Internal Electrical Wire
This is applicable for all people whether they use a Dishwasher or otherwise. Your Dishwasher would draw any where above 2000Watts and for such kind of heavy machine, you need to have atleast 16A socke/plug and supporting internal wires. Any inferior quality wires / socket / plugs would be a strict NO. Ensure that you are using Socket, Wires and Plugs from a branded company and wires especially should be of right gauge. An electician from Industrial background would be able to advice correctly.

Extension Box
Don't ever think of using an extension box. I can't say any further. If you ask me extenstion box should be banned. This along with poor quality wires and loose connections are major cause of accidents. Don't do it.

General Inspection
This is applicable for all people whether they use a Dishwasher or otherwise. Have an habit of performing this small check. You have operated an heavy duty machine like Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Microwave Oven, AC, etc, after you have switch off the appliance and the main socket, check if you feel any heat around those Socket / Plugs [ensure you are properly protected from any accidental shock]. If so it is time to call a Trained Electrician and ask him to inspect and replace neccessary Socket/Plug/Wire with a good quality material. Additionally check the wall / floor for any dampness and take rectification steps.

Running Dishwasher while you are away or asleep
We use to do this before and considering all the safety measures that I talked about, you could avoid this if you plan it well. Some times there are huge fluctuations happening during night (depending on the area you reside), I happen to notice one night that our fan was running on Inverter power inspite of Mains working, due to low voltage.

Opening the door when the Dishwasher is working or wet
This generally happens when you want a particular vessel which is being cleaned currently and you can't wait until the entire cycle gets completed.

(Please read Disclaimer again)

Ensure that you have switched off the Dishwasher completely. By completely, I mean, the on/off button in your dishwasher is in off position and that switch near the power plug on the wall is in off position, if you are extra cautious remove the plug from the socket. [Take neccessary care]. After you have ensured that there is no power supply going to your dishwasher and that Dishwasher has stopped operating, you can think of taking out the vessel. Remember that water or water vapour inside the dishwasher is going to be hot depending on, at what stage, you want to retrieve. So be careful while opening the door.


Equipment Safety

Proper Earthing, Socket and Internal Wiring are important as mentioned above. It is better to have a good voltage cut-off equipment to protect the Dishwasher from getting exposed to huge voltage fluctuations while it in operation. Su-Kam has a equipment, you could explore. IFB suggests a similar unit but I'm not quite happy with the product as it went bad just after a year.

Any good / standard product available in the market with proper Load specification should help. It is not absolutely necessary though. But what happens generally is, the controller board used inside the Dishwashers are imported from outside the country and hence they are generally not stocked in Franchise office but in the Regional Offices,so if it goes bad, you are going to see some delay in getting it replaced. Develop contact with your Branch Office service head, so that the delays are minimal.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Filter (External)

Water being the main source for this appliance there are many filters both inside and outside of the dishwasher to filter dirt and food particles. In this post I'm going to cover one important filter that is present outside the dishwasher.

The filter I'm talking is present in the extreme end of the water inlet hose. The basic use of it is to filter out any sand/dust/rust particles coming from the over head tank.

If you find your dishwasher is not working or taking long time to complete then you may want to check this filter. Regular check once in 2 weeks and whenever your over-head tank is cleaned would avoid problem.

So far I've come across two type of filters and I'm posting pictures related to both of them here.

First Type of Filter - Inlet Hose

Filter and Washer all-in-one

Just place this filter under running tap and put back

Second Type of Filter - Inlet Hose
 (see some dust stuck at the centre of the filter)

Filter and Washer are not one single unit here
 Clean the Filter by placing it under running water and put back

Pre-Installation Work

Before your Dishwasher arrives you could keep certain things in place. I'm going to talk about Water Source and Water Outlet that needs to be ready apart from the Power Point.

Water Outlet
Any regular drain hole could be used provided it is on the floor, don't use drain hole fitted to the side wall.

Water Source
Go for Sink Valve instead of a regular tap as it would be a perfect fit and would avoid plumber making some ugly modifications. I am posting some pictures along with some reducers that are available in the market.

Use Sink Valve instead of Regular Tap

You would get this reducer in Plumbing Shop 

Valve with Reducer connected

Entire setup mounted to the wall

Just need to connet the inlet hose of the Dishwasher to this setup


Power Point


Ensure that you have a 16A Power Point of Good Quality / Branded Company and ensure that the electrical wire and wiring material used is suitable for running Heavy Duty appliances as Dishwasher is expected to take over 2000 Watts during it running cycle. Additionally have 16A MCB. Don't ever think if using Extension box, 5A to 15A convertors or poor quality materials. When you are investing so much money on Dishwasher, you are not at a loss to spend an extra Rs 1000 for your familie's safety. See my latest post about Safety. Try to get a copy of the Installation Manual / User Manual online, if not, visit the show room and ask them for the copy and read it completely.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Consumer has more options now

In recent times, I have seen following companies entering the Dishwasher market in India

Bosch
http://www.bosch-home.com/in


Kaff
http://kaff.in

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Arranging Vessels in a Dish Washer

Arranging vessels is not a rocket science however would need some bit of understanding.
  • The vessels are getting cleaned by the force of water along with heat and detergent, that would mean you should arrange vessels in such a way that water from the spray falls on all the vessels. 
  • Some simple DOs would be, place your vessels bottom up always.
  • Big vessels on Bottom Tray with vessels evenly spread out
  • Smaller vessels on Top Tray with Glass in appropriate compartment
  • I personally feel that the cutlery basket is not needed as we can find about 20-25 small places (in the Top Tray) where we can place the spoons and forks
A typical placement of vessels would be

Top Tray


Bottom Tray

  • Most important thing - After arranging the vessels and before you start the machine, try to rotate (both) the spray arms to ensure that they are rotating freely without any obstruction otherwise you may end up with uncleaned vessels.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Maintaining Dishwasher

Following are the things you may want to keep in mind.

1) Once in a week or every fortnight you could do some preventive maintenance run that would include, removing the sprayer arms and filters and inspect for any blockages caused by food particles. You clean them by using a old tooth brush. Fix the sprayer arms and filter back.

2)  After completing Step 1 above, set the program to minimum level and try run the dishwasher empty without any vessels loaded. When you start hearing the sound of sprayer arm moving, switch of the power, open the door and add two small cups of Vinegar - This would help in cleaning the interiors and switch on the power and allow it to complete.

4) Inspect the outlet hose to see if they are properly aligned, sometimes the outlet hose might have come out of the pit hole on the floor and water might be spreading all over the floor before it eventually drys. Look for any blockages.

5) Check the inlet hose, you might see a small filter that is used for filtering any sand or rust particles that come from the over head tank -- this happens typically when your overhead tank is cleaned. Remove them by keeping the filter under tap water and put them back.

6) If you are in a Flat, then keep an eye on what kind of water is being supplied to you. It might vary from Bore water (hard water) to Govt/Municipality supplied water (generally soft water) to the one supplied by Private Water Tankers (these are generally very hard (water), depending on the source). You may want to adjust the water softener level accordingly for getting good result.

7) Whenever your Salt indicator is Red, try to refill the Salt at the earliest, while you could still run with out the salt, this might result in poor cleaning (depending on the water you use, if you are using soft water you may not see any difference) however the softening system helps in preventing scale formation on heating filament and other internal parts that are invisible. (Don't add salt that contains Iodine, go for Non-Iodized salt or the one that vendor supplies, see my earlier post)

8) Inspect the rubber beading around the door for hardness and dirt, you may want to replace or clean them accordingly.

9) Keep an eye on the Warranty and renew or take necessary steps, the machine has to run at least for about 6-8 years (depending on Maid rates in your area) to get back the money you have invested.


See Post: Pre-Installation Work

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some alternatives to additives

If you search internet for home made additives for Dishwasher, you would get lot of details, I'm going to share my experience and how much you could save.

Non-Iodized salt and Vinegar are said to alternatives for Dishwasher Salt and Rinse Aid respectively. For Detergent some sites have mentioned few alternatives and I checked with (Borax, Washing Soda, Vinegar) it worked to certain extent but could not match Dishwasher detergent in performance.

Let's see how much we could save with these alternatives...



Non-Iodized salt is an alternative for Dishwasher Salt. I'll start with a word of caution. You need to use crystal salt that DOES NOT contain Iodine, if you use the one containing Iodine then the membrane inside the softner unit would get damaged and you may have to change it completly. I bought it from agencies that sell Industrial salt though they may expect you to buy atleast one bag (~ 25 kgs). I bought 25Kg bag for Rs 75. That's Rs 3 per Kg. I have changed my softner setting to maximum to match the performance and I refill every 7 days and that works to about 5 kg per month (maximum). That works to about 15 Rs per month or Rs 0.50 per wash.



Vinegar (synthetic should be fine) is an alternative for Rinse Aid, it costed me about Rs 30 per 500 ml bottle. I increased the rinse aid level in the dishwasher by one point so that it could match the performance. For me 50ml gets consumed in 15 days and that works to Rs 6 per month or Rs 0.20 per wash.



Dishwasher Detergent - Though I could find some alternatives given in the internet like Home Made detergent - Borax, Washing Soda, Vineger it doesn't match the performance of Dishwasher detergent. I did try adding half quantity of Dishwasher detegent added with half quantity of Home made detergent however the results were satisfactory only. For this reason I'm not considering this as an alternative thougth we could save some money with mixing them with Dishwasher detergent.


The overall revised cost works to



Dishwasher Salt : Rs 0.50 per wash
Dishwasher Detergent : Rs 2.80 per wash.
Rise Aid : Rs 0.20 per wash.
Electricity Expense : Rs 3.37 per wash.


Total Rs 6.87 per wash or Rs 206 per month