Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dishwasher Beware!

Last night I woke up my husband due to a burning smell in our house. I get paranoid about stuff like this because of all the scary stories you hear about on the news (it's because of those sad and scary stories that I rarely watch the news!). Anyway- even though we were both really tired, I wouldn't let him go back to bed until he checked out what it was. A few minutes later he came back to report that it was most likely due to one of our furnace filters being full. He changed it, and was very sure we had nothing to worry about. My wondering mind didn't like that answer, so I went downstairs where the burning smell was much stronger. I ran around checking all the outlets (we have child safe outlet covers on the ones below counter level, but we also have a very curious toddler who for all I know could've figured out how to dismantle one and stuff something inside one of the plugs!) but found nothing. I scanned everything else I could think of around the rest of the house, but still couldn't figure out what it was. Defeated and tired, I went back to bed praying nothing would happen to us during the night. This morning when Bart was emptying the dishwasher, we found the culprit: a melted plastic lid. Somehow it got loose and caught in the dishwasher causing it to heat up and melt, hence the burning smell. I had heard of this happening but guess I didn't have enough reason to put cautious practice to action. After looking this problem up online and realizing how common it is, we will be sure to only run when at home and never during the night. I encourage you all to be extra careful with your dishwashers as well!

I was shocked today when I smelled smoke from an electrical fire. Followed the smell into my kitchen to see my 4 yr old Kenmore smoking and arcing blue light flashes. I ran down to the electrical panel to shut off the dishwasher breaker. We proceeded to dismantle the door to find the circuit board cooked. Lots of melted wires and black soot. I am so glad we were home! How often have you gone to bed or went out for a few hours and left the dishwasher on?
I have my wife and 2 young boys to worry about. Thank God we were not in bed. That would have been much more traumatizing for the kids.

I was very surprised to learn about this known problem on the internet. There are many known cases of Whirlpool (branded Kenmore) dishwashers catching on fire. This is crazy. I read about families who have died due to these fires. What can I do here? Should I go back to Sears and voice my concerns? I paid $700 4 years ago for a higher quality dishwasher stainless lined, that I had hoped would last longer than 4 years. I feel something needs to be done to help others, as peoples lives could be at risk.

If you own a Kenmore do not leave it on and go to bed or leave your home while it is running. Better yet, remove it get a different dishwasher. Do some research and read the history. I am not sure I want this replaced with another Kenmore or Whirlpool model.

Read more here.

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