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Treacodactyl

Dishwasher

Does anyone know much about dishwashers? We're considering getting one for the new place as it might work out more environmentally friendly than washing in a sink - subject to a few questions.

1) Do they always require salt? I know it acts as a water softener but as our water is already very soft (i.e. acidic) can we do without it?

2) Does anyone use more environmentally friendly dishwashing powder/tabs? Could you even get away with using nothing if the machine was only half filled and washed on a long hot wash? The waste water will go into a septic tank so I don't want to use anything that would harm it. Water is completely free here so a rinse and hot wash could always be used.

3) Is there a way to hot fill them? Same question applies to washing machines, could I fit some form of thermostatic valve before the machine to fill with warm water? The valves exist and would feed in water at 40C - anyone done this?
Dee J

Yes we use a dishwasher, it's a Bosch Exxcel.
We have acidic soft water so we don't use salt.
We use Ecover products and the waste goes into our septic tank (10 years and no noticeable ill effects).
Haven't tried to run it without detergent - but have occasionally used a spoonful of sodium carbonate (washing soda) when we've run out of the Ecover stuff - works ok.
Haven't tried to to set up any sort of hot water feed - it uses such small amounts of water that it wouldn't run the cold out of the pipe before the hot... I suppose it might work if the washer was right beside the tank...

Dee
alison

We sound Like DeeJ for our dishwasher.

We also have a top loading, hot water filled washing machine, that fills straight from the solar hot water tank. It is a Maetag.
MornieG

Washing machines used to be hot or cold fill but most are cold only now. It's more economical to use cold and for the machine to heat what it needs as the amounts of water used are vastly reduced from the old days, than to rely on having a constant supply of hot water to do the job.

If you constantly run washers on low temperatures which is obviously more economical and the washing powders these days are geared to being efficient at these low 30/40 deg temps, the manufacturers do say you should run an empty machine at 90deg every once in a while to flush out the machine.

''Low temperature washing is good for saving energy but can cause long-term damage to the machine. When washing constantly at low temperatures it can produce build up with body oils and dead skin cells, which in time can damage the rubber parts of a washing machine. This build-up can be observed by a stale smell in the machine or laundry and black mould around the door seal. A regular 90 degree maintenance wash can keep your machine fresh and free of such build up by . Put a few dish cloths in the load to prevent over-foaming.''

Mo. XX
Treacodactyl

Thanks for the reply Dee, sounds like what we want to do.

So, no salt either Ali? Do the instructions say they can be run without salt at all?

We used to run a slim Bosch dishwasher for several years but as that was when we had proper hard water we used salt.

I understand the principle of using a low temp clothes wash for most people but if the hot water is virtually free it makes more sense to use a hot wash and less powder. We also need to avoid the modern powders that have bactericides in because of the problems washing in low temps.

The hot fill is not that important at the moment but in a couple of years might be more important.
pollyanna

Been using Aldi tabs for years with no problems. Put a dishwasher cleaning liquid through most times we finish a box of tabs. Often forget.

We use no salt. We have a cesspit so we use only chemicals that are deemed suitable. Ditto loo cleaner and clothes washing tabs. Not impressed with Ecover products. Shame as I would like to use them.

We have a Bosch which is badged Hotpoint. I will never buy any machine made by Indisit again after a terrible experience with a washing machine.
wellington womble

I have the same issue with hot point.

I know it wasn't the question that was asked (but who answers that anyway!) but my Neff was truly amazing, only you couldn't disable the endless beeping when it had finished (it beeped 7 times every fifteen minutes for about two hours after it had finished. We couldn't put it on to run at night in the end.)

I now have the same one, but badged bosch. You can disable the beep, although you have to put up with all the warnings being in German. It's preferable.

Is there anything stop you just connecting it to hot, so it gets hot water fill whether it likes it or not? I suppose you would always have to set it to a wash that is hotter than the fill, or it would throw a wobbly, but that won't matter (not like with a washing machine where you need lower temps in case stuff shrinks)

I also have a samsung washing machine with Eco bubble clever stuff. Before I had children and only put in things that were nearly clean anyway, I ran it on occasional pinches of Eco washing powder and low temperatures. I never bothered with empty hot washes and it worked just fine. Unlike the previous hot point, where you had to get an engineer out and pull the machine out to empty the filter which was at the back. Unbelievably poor design.
RichardW

We use a dishwasher.

We only use the eco type tabs. We do use salt. I have set it up to use pre heated water via a TMV. As its next to the sink we run the tap before hitting start to make sure that all of the water that goes in is pre heated. We only do it this way as our water is solar / wood fire heated & our electric in from an inverter so more costly than grid power. If I was on grid I would not bother. All of our washes are dong on the 30 min quick cycle. It seems to do the job & uses the least total energy.

Using pre heated water can be a problem with foods like egg that can cook / bake on if the fill water is too hot.
sean

Re: Dishwasher


1) Do they always require salt? I know it acts as a water softener but as our water is already very soft (i.e. acidic) can we do without it?


You can adjust the rate that they add salt at according to the hardness/softness of your water. If our water was a litle bit softer we wouldn't need any salt at all. As it is I top the salt up once every six months or so and don't buy all-in-one tabs/liquid.
Ty Gwyn

How can a dishwasher be more environmentally friendly than washing by hand?
Pilsbury

Because a dish washer uses a remarkably small am out of water to wash and rinse an entire load.
Filling a 5 liter washing up bowl 3 - 4 times plus rinse water uses a lot.
RichardW

It only heats the water actually used.

Filling the sink uses extra water while you run it till its hot & then when you turn the tap off all the water in the pipes that you paid to heat cools down. Ok that heat does go into the room but its not going to alter how much heating you use.

When we built I designed in very short water pipe runs. Most houses have excessively long pipe runs.
Treacodactyl

Re: Dishwasher


1) Do they always require salt? I know it acts as a water softener but as our water is already very soft (i.e. acidic) can we do without it?


You can adjust the rate that they add salt at according to the hardness/softness of your water. If our water was a litle bit softer we wouldn't need any salt at all. As it is I top the salt up once every six months or so and don't buy all-in-one tabs/liquid.

Thanks for that, I didn't think to check as I don't recall our old dishwasher allowing use to vary the salt. I've just downloaded a modern set of instructions and it does indeed say you don't need salt in suitably soft areas.

I had a assumed our water would be soft as it has a low pH, but it doesn't seem as simple as that. I note SWW say our, and your, water is soft and we don't need salt (I'm assuming a spring in the area will also be soft).
Mistress Rose

I wouldn't assume a spring is soft because the normal water supply is. I know of three springs in Devon which are hard water, and the only water fit to drink imo, coming from a hard water area, but the local water supply is soft.

We have a hot/cold fill washing machine and dishwasher that we have had for a long time. With dirty clothes I find that modern clothes washing powders or liquids just don't get them clean, particularly at 30 deg. C. I tried it for a while, but have had to go back to 40 C and add a booster to the powder, as stuff just wasn't cleaning. I know we probably produce more really dirty clothes than most people, other than the farmers and smallholders among us, but most washers and powders are just designed to 'freshen' clothes these days.

I am not sure if you will find running a dishwasher without tablets any good Treacodactyl. I find there is a difference between brands, particularly with things that stick on in the cooking.
Treacodactyl

I wouldn't assume a spring is soft because the normal water supply is. I know of three springs in Devon which are hard water, and the only water fit to drink imo, coming from a hard water area, but the local water supply is soft.


It's an educated assumption, the pH is 6.1 and I gather drinking water has to be 6.5 or higher. I am assuming the more acidic the softer it'll be, I may even get a hardness testing kit but it doesn't seem worth it.
Nick

Between 6 and 8 is the standard.

Love,
Nick, inside Northumbrian water labs, currently testing newcastles ph.
Treacodactyl

My water quality failed as the pH was under 6.5, so I had assumed that was some form of standard. Mistress Rose

It will be fairly soft I would think. Good for doing the washing though. VM

We use a dishwasher but we are in a very hard water area so have to use salt.

I have used Ecover and other eco-friendly products for ages and they are alright. It is true that when once in a blue moon I run out and have to buy Finish from the Coop, everything comes out sparkling just like in the adverts - but I can live with just clean!
Nick

My water quality failed as the pH was under 6.5, so I had assumed that was some form of standard.

My apologies. Drinking water is 6.5-10.
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