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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 883692  
Subject: Re: New Dishwasher Arrives in the Morning! Date: 12/15/2012 9:31 AM
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That's still true. The Sears salesman pointed out that they don't have a heating element.

The heating element serves two functions.

1) It heats the water to 160 degrees, hot enough for sanitizing, and typically 20-30 degrees hotter than hot water heaters are set (by recommendation, to prevent scalding in showers). Those units "without" a heating element (the circular piece of metal at the bottom of the basin) do it in a sealed chamber underneath. They have a heating element, you just can't see it.

2) It heats the air to dry the dishes after the final rinse cycle, if you choose that setting. It speeds the drying, at some significant energy cost (and danger to plastic items which fall or which are put on the lower rack, which is why you see "top rack only" on some things.) This is pretty unnecessary, dishes will dry just fine by themselves, faster if you open the door a crack after the cycle is complete. This also adds moisture/humidity to the air, which is good in winter, not so good in summer. I don't know if Bosch or other manufacturers which eschew the bottom ring have a substitute for this, but in any event it's an energy waster and unnecessary, in my view.

The heating element is the most common part failure in a dishwasher. It's also (usually) a pretty easy repair, except that it is one of the few things which actually penetrates through the basin (for the electrical connection underneath) so it's a potential leak point for the basin, from which there is usually no recovery. Not having it in the bottom is feature, not a bug.
 
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