At Home with Tech

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Tag: Bosch dishwasher

What Does Error Code E22 on a Bosch Dishwasher Mean?

The good news is when something goes wrong with your dishwasher these days, if it’s got an LED display, it may try to tell you what the problem is. You just need to speak its language…

For me, dishwashers are simply supposed to do their job, and you shouldn’t have to think about it too much. Over the past four years, I’ve been totally satisfied with my Bosch dishwasher. The only oddity I’ve discovered (and the salesperson warned me about it when I was considering my choice) was you shouldn’t leave dirty dishes in it for days at a time without running it. That’s because there’s no heated drying cycle.
(An environmental friendly choice of Bosch’s)

Of course, that’s exactly what I did during the first few weeks and found that the residual dampness left behind would interact with the dirty dishes and create something of a stink after a few days.
(Of course)

The solution was simply to run the dishwasher every day or two, and the offending olfactory ‘ripeness’ immediately evaporated.

In Search of Code E22
Fast forward four years to last week…
I ran the Bosch overnight, and when I woke up and walked down the stairs to a dark kitchen, I was greeted by an eerie red glow on the front panel.

 

 

 

 

 

Something was very wrong, and the mysterious error code on the display was #E22.

Awesome.

I took a peek inside. The dishes seemed clean, and I could feel some residual heat from the washing cycle. I figured the problem occurred somewhere mid-flight or after the cycle had mostly completed.

Now, I just had to figure out what #22 meant.
After a little online research, I came upon the following clue:

‘Residual water in the dishwasher’s sump pump’

Clear Out the Sludge!!!
And then I remembered one other warning the salesperson had given me…
(I suppose you might question a dishwasher that comes with multiple warnings… but let’s not go there.)

He told me you’ve got to regularly clean out the filter that captures all of the food particles at the base of the Bosch dishwasher. Because the ‘passive-catch’ filter can get pretty gross.
And it leads to the sump pump.

How gross?
I pulled the filter out…
Take a look…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d say all of that organic goo constitutes an official clog!

Do you think this alien-like slime can create E22?
You betcha.
(There was about a cup of undrained water lurking at the bottom.)

So, I cleaned away all of the sludge, removed the remaining water in the dishwasher and popped the filter back in.

And then… everything was just fine!
I ran the dishwasher that night, and no more E22.

You’ve Got to Clean the Filter!
You might be wondering… How long had it been since I’d cleaned out the filter?
Yeah, good question.

I’ve washed the filter before, but it’s obviously slipped my mind over the past few…
…months?

Yes, this story squarely falls into the category of
‘User Error.’

Perhaps the code should have been-
“E-User”

Now, that makes more sense!

Let’s not talk about this again.
Thank you.

Did You Know Your Dishwasher Can Do This?

When your hot water at home goes on the fritz, life can get pretty wonky. On the other hand, life (and your dishwasher) might surprise you…

Our gas-powered water heater stopped working last week. As a homeowner, it was one of those moments you know will eventually happen and dread for years. Not so much because you lose your hot water, but because of the legendary ways water heaters tend to break…

Your Old Water Heater is an Accident Waiting to Happen
The Simple Homeowner’s Guidebook in 50 Steps* says a home’s water heater will usually last 8-10 years, and after that, it just “lets go.” The leak creates some level of flooding. There’s no warning. It just happens. That’s the myth.

I think the reality is not always as dramatic, although it certainly can be. I spoke to a contractor about this, and he told me it’s more often a ‘drip’ that simply grows over time. The trick is to pay attention. But if you really think about it, that’s harder in practice.
(These days, I can barely pay attention to whether I spring a leak!)

Anyway, the good news is our thirteen-year-old gas water heater didn’t lose its structural integrity. It just stopped lighting up.
(And yes, it’s been living on borrowed time for over three years. Someone should tell that homeowner to buck up and stop playing roulette.)

I had a handyman take a look. He told me it was probably the gas valve. That’s a few-hundred-buck fix. On the other hand, it could have just been the thermal coupler. That’s only a $35 part.
(Plus a plumber’s time)

Pop quiz:
What do you do?
WHAT DO YOU DO??

Okay… this one wasn’t so hard.
You go buy yourself a new water heater!
(And be thankful that your old hunk-of-junk unit died in such a graceful and non-destructive way.)

Option A or B?
So that’s exactly what I did.

The problem was the timing.
This all went down the day before we left for a little New Hampshire hiking trip with friends in the White Mountains.

The good news is we were going to be away for a few days.
(We’d find our hot showers elsewhere.)

The bad news is I wasn’t able to schedule the new water heater installation until four days after we’d get back.

We actually had the choice to delay our trip and get the new water heater installed the very next day. I seriously considered it, but my wife reminded me that a glorious hiking trip in the mountains trumps a little hot water.
(Another example of the wisdom from my better half that helps to keep me on track!)

Roughing It
We drove off to the mountains knowing that when we returned, we’d have to live for a while without the modern convenience of an always-available hot water supply.

What do you do?
WHAT DO YOU DO??

Well, first off, you don’t freak out, like I did on the first morning back.
(My wife was much more sanguine about the whole thing. My seven year old was even more psyched, because he didn’t have to take a bath for the foreseeable future.)

For me, the big question was how to take a shower.

Our gas-powered stove was still working… so I tried heating up a big pot of water, bringing it into the shower and then mixing it with another big pot of cold water.
(That makes two big pots of warm water.)

You know, it’s amazing to find out how much (or how little) water you actually need to take a shower.
(My two-pot strategy worked just fine!)

The Dishwasher Dilemma
So you might be wondering by now what this all has to do with being at home with tech.
(Your iPhone and new Panasonic pocket camera can’t help you take a hot shower.)

This is actually about our Bosch dishwasher, which I purchased after some extensive research.
(And yes, I’ve really liked it!)

Doing dishes isn’t the easiest thing without hot water. But on day two of the Lester Hot-Water Crisis I figured I’d run the dishwasher anyway and see what happens.

Well, I opened up the dishwasher door after the cycle finished up and grabbed the first plate. My hand recoiled in pain. For a moment, I was entirely confused.**

My fingers felt the sting of heat. This plate was… hot?

I looked into the dishwasher and realized I had a perfectly clean, hot batch of dishes ready to go.

How was that… possible?!

Always Question Your Assumptions
Okay, I know it must be obvious. But it did take me a moment to process…
My dishwasher heated up the cold water.
(I had figured that dishwashers simply used incoming hot water.)

I told my silly (sad) tale to a friend. He cracked a small smile at my puerile understanding of how dishwashers work.

In fact, they do use hot water, but they also regulate the temperature to better accomplish their washing magic. And that means they have the technology to heat up the water.

And if all that’s coming in is cold water… well, voilà! Now it’s hot.

Your Dishwasher’s Secret Power
I know it’s taken a while to specifically articulate my little Aha moment.
But here it is:

If you lose your hot water at home, your dishwasher doesn’t care.***

So our dishes were sparkling clean.

And everything else worked out:

  • I successfully took four stove-based showers and didn’t run into anyone who questioned my hygiene.
  • I’m happy to report that the Lesters have hot water again.
  • And our hiking trip was indeed glorious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve got to keep it all in perspective…

*I’m not aware of any such book.
**Not the first time
***And a big pot of hot water from your stove can get it done for a quick shower!

In Search of the Perfect Dishwasher

While on a family field trip this weekend to replace our kaput dishwasher, our son suddenly lost interest in the dishwasher section in favor of a reflective oven door. This innocent moment set off a cascading series of events that almost derailed my mission!

While on a family field trip this weekend to replace our dishwasher, our son suddenly became fascinated by his reflection.
This innocent moment set off a cascade of events that almost derailed my mission!

Our old dishwasher sputtered to a halt last week.
Jessie White came by and presented us with a $500 repair bill.
Ouch!!

Our next move was a clear one.
We sent him on his way…

Time to buy a new dishwasher!

Okay, now what?!!
It’s the kind of tech you take for granted, and when you don’t have it, it can get pretty inconvenient.

You have to wash dishes by hand?!
OMG!!

So it was time for a new dishwasher…
And the selection process needed to be a swift one.

The problem is… It’s not the kind of purchase you make every day.
(Dishwashers are supposed to last over a decade…)
And honestly… I’ve never actually bought one.
Every place I’ve moved into already had a dishwasher.

So I was starting from scratch…

Not Your Mother’s Dishwasher
I’d say the dishwasher is a pretty mature modern technology, right?
Heck, it’s been around since the 1920s!
How hard could it be to choose a new one?

Believe me… today’s dishwasher is not your mother’s Maytag…
There’s a lot of new tech under the hood…

Of course, I immediately went online to do my research.
I headed to Consumer Reports to check out their recommendations in an attempt to cut to the chase.

But I was barraged with 183 choices and 28 recommendations.
And the prices ranged from several hundred dollars to well over a thousand.

The top spots went to Kenmore Elite, followed by Bosch, KitchenAid, LG, and Miele.

So many choices…
I was paralyzed.

Seen but Not Heard
As you might expect, technology has continued to make dishwashers more effective and efficient.

  • Today, a $500 dishwasher can do just about as good a job as a $1,200 model
  • But more expensive dishwashers are quieter
  • And they consume less energy and water

Sure, there are other bells and whistles to consider like dirt sensors and turbo wash jets.

But the big feature is ‘silence.’
The lower the decibel rating, the more you pay…

A lot of dishwashers today are really quiet.
So quiet in fact, the more expensive ones project a light on the floor to let you know they’re actually working.
Otherwise, who would know?

Remember the old days when your mother’s dishwasher boomed throughout the house as it wrestled the dirty dishes into submission right after dinner?

I do.

When I was a kid, the rumbling of the dishwasher was the nightly audio cue that the day had ended and everyone had relocated away from the dining room to get ready for sleep.

In hindsight, I see now it was more of a nightly retreat to a space where you could hear yourself think or have the hope of watching a TV show you could hear!

Okay… so a little evolution on the sound-dampening front is a welcome development.

The Devolving Dishwasher
Dishwashers have also been simplified in their march towards operational perfection.

Their look is now a ‘clean’ one.
(Clearly someone took a design cue from “Apple.”)

Now, there are no more buttons and LED panels in front.
They’re hidden out of site on the top lip of the door.
That’s apparently the new rage.

I can hear it now…
“Let’s pretend it’s not a dishwasher at all.
Now, it’s just a sleek door!”

Cool…

Wait a minute! Not so fast…

Show Me All That Tech Bling!
I want lots of blinking lights and a cool LED display on the door to tell me what’s going on while the dishwasher is operating.

I like a countdown timer that tells me how many minutes are left till the cleaning cycle is over.
(If I’m prepping some dishes right before a party, I’ve got to know exactly when those dishes are going to be ready!!)

I enjoy the convenience of loading a dishwasher after dinner and hitting the delay button so the wash cycle begins later.

Is all that so much to ask?
It didn’t used to be!

Clearly the R&D folks at Dishwashers of America have ignored these standard features from the old days.

Because guess what I’ve uncovered after my little research project?

  • Most American dishwashers don’t house countdown timers anymore
  • And a majority of new dishwashers have banished all controls away from the front of their doors
  • And the delay timer?
    That’s no longer a given. You’d better look closely at the specs to see if that little feature still remains.

Got to love progress…

Breaking Up a Good Thing with Kenmore?
But I would not be deterred.
I wanted my old-school features, and hoped I could shop smart and end up buying something better than our old Kenmore Elite.
(which by the way, worked just fine)

And Consumer Reports rates several of the new Kenmore Elite models tied for #1.
That’s hard to beat!

So why not re-up on the Kenmore?
(Are you ready?)

Kenmore’s don’t have the countdown timer anymore.
I want that silly LED display!!

I know… call me wacky.
Clearly no one else in America cares about countdown timers.

Your Dishes Need a Little European Care
Maybe I’m just a Renaissance man from another time.
European dishwashers are so much more… civilized!

  • They don’t use as much water.
  • They expend less energy.
  • They’re even more thoughtful about how to clean dishes.
  • Their strategy seems more focused on prodding the food to leave as opposed to blasting the dishes with the force of the Guns of Navarone!

Yes, European models are a little slower… but it just seems like they care more about making the world a better place.

Bosch or Bust
The two European companies I looked at were Miele and Bosch.
Both are German.
Miele is wicked expensive. So I had to pass.

Bosch, a name I admit I was not familiar with, gets really high ratings in Consumer Reports.

I was thrilled to discover Bosch offers front facing LED displays on a variety of their models.
(You can tell those German engineers still value that little feature.)

The brand also offers a couple new differentiating items for me…

  1. The upper rack has a ‘RackMatic’ feature, which means it easily adjusts upward to allow for large plates to sit comfortably underneath.
  2. And there’s a third rack.
    (kind of like The Fifth Element)

The Annoying Basket
Most dishwashers have the top rack for glasses and the bottom rack for plates and a flatware basket.

Don’t you hate that basket?
You have to jam dozens of knives, forks and spoons into such a small space?
And of course, you have to position the sharp edges facing up to ensure the surfaces don’t get buried underneath. Otherwise they won’t get cleaned.

Removing these dangerous objects can be a hazardous venture, if you’re not paying attention.
Come on… who hasn’t pricked their finger on a steak knife waiting for retrieval?

The Rare Third Rack
Now, you can avoid all that pain and place your dangerous cutlery on a flat top rack. How civilized!
(yes, there’s also a basket for the bottom should you happen to be an experienced circus knife thrower)

The Third Rack

You’d think this added flat rack feature should be a no brainer for all dishwashers.
But alas, it’s still a rare item, even for Bosch.
Only a few of their higher-end models posses it.

Perfection is Hard to Find
As warm and fuzzy I was feeling with the Bosch brand, I did find two design downsides…

  1. Their models don’t offer heated drying, which quickly sucks the moisture out of your rack of dishes after the wash is done.
    Europeans are happy enough just letting their dishes dry naturally… drip dry.
    (and yes, that takes longer)
    But the upside is you won’t melt anything plastic on the bottom rack if it’s too close to the heating element… because it’s not there!
    If you tend to run your dishwasher overnight, you shouldn’t have a problem with wet dishes when you wake up.
  2. Bosch dishwashers don’t employ a self-cleaning filter.
    (that’s code for ‘noisy food grinder,’ like a sink disposal)
    They use a passive catch-filter, which you need to occasionally pop out and clean manually.
    (How often depends on how much solid gunk you leave on your dishes.)
    But remember, you don’t have to listen to loud grinding noises to interrupt your otherwise uber-quiet washing cycle…

The End of My Search?
I poured through Bosch’s website to find a model that met my preferred feature list and also fit our budget.

That wasn’t easy.

I kept coming back to their high-end ‘800 Plus line.’
The least expensive 800 model is the SHE7ER55UC.
(I know… there’s no ‘800’ in the name…. go figure.)

I reviewed my checklist:

  • Front facing LED display- Check!
  • Countdown timer- Ready for action!!
  • RackMatic option- Easy peasy!!!
  • Sound factor- a whisper-quiet 42 dBA
  • Third rack- Yes! (I think I’m in Nirvana!!)

But it lists for a hefty $1,299.00.
(It feels crazy to spend more than $1,000 on a dishwasher when you know you can spend half of that to get the job done.)

The repairman who flatlined our old Kenmore Elite suggested you can get a ‘decent’ dishwasher for $700.

I decided to shop around for sales to see what I could find.
(you never know!)

I found my Bosch for $949 at Aitoro, my local appliance store, because the ‘800’ line is about to get a refresh.
(what a great time to buy!)

On top of that, there were two available rebates totaling $150, which brought the price down even further.

So $800 didn’t feel like I was blowing the budget.

Repair History
So sure… I could feel cool owning a technologically and socially advanced machine. But would I be making regular dates with the repairman to keep it going?

Fortunately, Consumer Reports rates Bosch first (a tie with Whirlpool) for reliability.
(LG comes in last, by the way…)

So I was covered there!

But I wasn’t at the finish line yet…
My selection process required one more important step!

No Man Is an Island
It was time to take the family to the store and kick the tires.
(And after all, it’s my wife’s kitchen, too!)

So my Bosch pitch was on!

The very nice sales lady showed us the Bosch and a couple of competing American brands.
We opened them up and took a look.

Honestly, after a while they all started to look the same.
And the cheaper American models seemed perfectly fine.

I started losing my focus…

And then fate suddenly jumped in to shake things up even further…
My preschooler lost interest in the dishwasher aisle, finding the cool circular door on a washer machine and his reflection in an oven door infinitely more engaging.

While I followed him in his exploration to the other side of the store, I left my wife was alone with the sales lady. And their conversation continued…

From the distance, I saw them looking at other dishwashers!
Oh no!!!

And then the clock ran out.
It was 5pm, and time to give our son some dinner.
(never a good idea to shop with a hungry little boy!)

We left the store that day well educated, but without a decision.

That was Saturday night…

The Next Day
My wife and I agreed to share our opinions today, and hoped we could come to some resolution by sundown, or before the store closed!
(or face another week washing dishes by hand!!)

This morning, I furiously gathered all my notes to present my case to my better half.

And then I had an epiphany-
I already had my closing argument.
It was the draft of this blog post!!
(the final section as yet to be written)

When we sat down to talk, I showed her my weekly opus.
I didn’t have to say anything.

I’ve often wondered what kind of impact my blog has on my readers.
Now I had my wish!
My wife began unraveling the opportunity as I saw it.

I watched, looking for non-verbal clues…
She suddenly asked who Jessie White was.
(I nervously explained he was the original Maytag repairman.)
She continued reading and offered nothing else.

My heartbeat increased as time began to slow down.
Then…

She looked up and smiled.
I had her at hello.

Woo-Hoo!!

The Bosch arrives on Thursday.

My Bosch Dishwasher

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