About eight months ago I went into purchasing a smart dishwasher with the mindset that I might find a useful feature or two, and I love playing with gadgets, so why not give it a try?
TL;DR – some thoughts at 8+ months in on a smart dishwasher. No complaints yet.
It’s usually been my goal to not do IoT on major appliances as I don’t want to be the recipient of a worldwide hack that turns my refrigerator off and ruins everything, or being forced to wait for an update to use a stove. But yeah, this was for science…. I’ll keep telling myself that.
I purchased an LG LDTS5552S when my previous dishwasher’s main water pump cracked and dumped dirty dishwater everywhere. Old dishwasher was repairable with some parts, however it had been in service long enough that the leak was the final nail and not the first one. I’d loved to have fixed everything on it but yeah, more than just the motor (seals were not, buttons were hit or miss, broken parts held together with super glue to keep the upper arm running, rust, age).
A nearby appliance store had the LG unit in stock for several hundred off of MSRP and I wondered what horrors of modern technology was I going to expose myself to.
Turns out, not many. The only horror I seemed to run into is that the password for my Wi-Fi has a space or four in it, which rendered the unit unable to join (I have a backup network so not a huge issue.) I assume that was the issue with the Wi-Fi, but this has been eight months and that’s been the issue with a lot of IoT things.
I get useful alerts on my phone for things such as to refill the drying agent, when it’s time to run a sanitary cycle, and when loads of dishes are done which is occasionally used at Thanksgiving and Christmas if you’re not in the inferno that is my kitchen. I have found the alerts useful about seven times in a year, which is not a whole lot but my life does not revolve around dishes, except for those couple of times a year.
I will note that alerts on my phone get noticed and acted on by me as opposed to ignored and cleared by the wife and kids. This means I know when it’s in need of something and that gets done so the dishes are sparkly.
On a side note, I realized I have never received an alert to clean my filter, perhaps because I do it somewhat regularly. If you’ve never cleaned your filter and you’re considering getting a new dishwasher because it doesn’t clean well any more, clean your damned filter and see if it does better. It’s easy, uses no tools in most dishwashers, and can be done in the sink. Also learn how to use pre-wash. It was in your manual and makes the cheapest powder detergents clean better than a $30 box of gels.)
The dishwasher has multiple downloadable sequences for specific items, however general use has served as I have never had a situation where I needed a specific downloadable sequence. The default works well.
If you’re billed different rates for power throughout the day if I remember correctly you can set a smart routine to run during certain hours… I may be misremembering this though. Not that a dishwasher uses that much electricity (1.8kWh for an average run.)
At the end of the review, the Wi-Fi connectivity added a few smart features that if you’re in complete control of the unit probably aren’t incredibly useful, but if you have others who open the unit mid-wash, or start loads without telling you, are. Plenty of times I’ve been informed that the unit finished running and I had no idea someone had started it (I get to unload it due to my Power of Tall and ability to put things above where a 10yo can reach.)
I dig the smart features, but if this unit had not been under half of MSRP I don’t think I’d have gotten my money’s worth on it. Other smart dishwashers may be different, but I can’t think of much smart device improvement one could get.
I find the smart portion ever so slightly appealing, although I wish they’d have thrown in a few cameras in the thing so I could watch my dishes being cleaned.. man I’d watch a livestream of that.
Useful, I dig that I’ve never been locked out of the thing for a forced firmware update, and it worked during last weeks’ internet issues. Different manufacturers smart implementation will obviously vary, but this one seemed at the very least, not detrimental to the overall process and useful occasionally.