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GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: AMBIVALENT
GTOlover   8/2/2013 9:20:08 AM
NO RATINGS
I have to agree about the diverse weight of three year olds. My first born started out at 13 pounds (My wife is still recovering from that one 19 years later)! By age three he was the size of a 5 to 7 year old (he was not fat, he is now over 7 feet tall)! No engineer could anticipate his needs (even modern automobiles fail in this regard)!

However, I have had to fix a whirlpool door in a similar manner. Not from children sitting on the door. Rather children slamming the door open. They were notorious for opening the door and throwing it open. One too may times and the plastic door popped. Had to re-inforce the door with a couple of galvanized angle iron bought at the local home improvement store. I would ask, does the dishwasher manufacture do reliability testing (like slamming open the door)?

ungarata
User Rank
Gold
Disagree - this is not a monkey design issue
ungarata   8/2/2013 9:14:32 AM
NO RATINGS
If the dishwasher door had failed due to the weight of a loaded rack of dishes, then it would be monkey-designed.  To fail under the load of something other than a loaded rack of dishes is completely reasonable.  A small child sitting on the very edge of the door puts a much larger moment on the door than a loaded rack, which is usually "evenly" distributed over the door (the rack on my dishwasher has six wheels on it).

 

If you want to make the case that the plastic design is cheap and inferior to steel, that's valid, but you will find that low-cost appliances are built with low-cost methods, so again this shouldn't be a surprise. 

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
AMBIVALENT
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/2/2013 8:48:14 AM
NO RATINGS
When I saw the title, I knew I'd be in for reading a "juicy" tale of how the consumer is again being ripped off by inferior appliance products.  However, after reading through the text & the comments, my emotions are considerably tempered.  I agree w/ BOTH sides in this debate.  It's hard for me to believe that NONE of the engineering team designing this appliance had young children at home, and so would have first-hand awareness of the unpredicatable antics of a 3 year old.  That being said, there is great disparity in the weights of 3 year olds, and so what test weight do the design engineers use in assessing the strength of the door? 

The response from GE I think could always be predicted, since they're well aware that ANY admission of culpability COULD lay them bare for a massive recall, should a gov't agency get involved.  One has only to look at the rigorous defense stance that the automotive industry assumes when faced with any product deficiency issues.

in this particular instance of the dishwasher, it would be interesting to observe what effect a 35# weight would have on a SIEMENS washer, or an LG washer, or a WHIRLPOOL washer.  Would they survive?

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mixed feelings
Nancy Golden   8/1/2013 3:40:09 PM
NO RATINGS
I think there should be some expectation but after carryying in a 30 lb. bag of dogfood - I think 35 lbs. is a bit much to expect. I really do like the author's fix though.

mattd
User Rank
Silver
Re: Mixed feelings
mattd   8/1/2013 2:28:37 PM
I have to disagree.  I have been in engineering for 29 years and as an engineer, a part of product development is to try as best to foresee all uses and reasonable abuses of a product and try within reason to mitigate any problems that may arise as a result.  No one can foresee everything and not everything can be mitigated, but in this case, I don't think it was too much to consider that a toddler might sit on the end of the door and the effect of mitigating the problem that creates is a VERY minimal increase in a part cost.  Change a stamped piece of plated metal from 10" to 30"...in a mass produced product like this, that's pennies.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mixed feelings
tekochip   8/1/2013 2:03:46 PM
NO RATINGS
Probably not monkeys at work, but......  the good people at Shure have overbuilt one of the most revered microphones for decades.  The SM57 is often dubbed "The Hammer" because of its a ability to shrug off the rigors of the road, and still sound great when plugged into the board night after night.  Is it because musical equipment manufacturers put more care into their product design, is it because musicians constantly critique their equipment with other musicians, or is it because musicians demand more from their products and are willing to pay the extra money for it?  I'll pick the latter.  You can buy 5 Chinese microphones for the price of an SM57, and I'll bet Shure still outsells them 5:1.
 
It kind of reminds me of "The Blues Bothers" when he traded the car for a microphone.  Nobody would do that for a dishwasher.


NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mixed feelings
NadineJ   8/1/2013 1:35:12 PM
NO RATINGS
The average 3 yr old is about 35 pounds.  I think it's unfair to expect an open dishwasher door to support that.  Part of parenting is helping kids navigate the world we live in (dishwasher door is not chair, the cat is not a chair, etc).

The fix was good.  It could be an aftermarket add-on offered to busy parents.

mattd
User Rank
Silver
Re: Mixed feelings
mattd   8/1/2013 1:24:16 PM
NO RATINGS
I do realize there is a lot to consider in the design of an appliance and lines have to be drawn somewhere, but to not give consideration to a toddler seeing a place to sit and using it...or what of the person who simply presses down on a bit too much while trying to get a large item into the lower rack.  I don't really think it is a case of not considering the loads, they have to have calculated some loads considering the lower rack pulls out onto the dishwasher door for loading and unloading; it's a case of being so cheap that they produced an inferior product to save a few pennies.

 

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mixed feelings
TJ McDermott   8/1/2013 12:07:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Nancy, I agree with you that this may not be monkeys at work.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Mixed feelings
Nancy Golden   8/1/2013 10:53:02 AM
NO RATINGS
Hmmmm...not sure about this one. I certainly see your point but on the other hand, the dishwasher is simply not designed to take weight on the open door. Flimsy design - yes, agreed. But would I expect a dishwasher designed to wash dishes effectively to also support a toddler's weight? Not sure - and yes, I have kids and grandkids with mine. As a test engineer we are constantly thinking of scenarios that could affect the test set but a limit must be drawn somewhere. I would be very disappointed in GE's lack of quality but it does seem to be the going trend unfortunately and when you buy a higher end dishwasher it would make you tend to wonder what they mean by "higher end." I have mixed feelings on this one...

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