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Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
GE dishwasher design
Jim_E   8/5/2013 11:11:09 AM
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We have a "builder's grade" GE dishwasher that came with our house when it was built.  After upgrading our countertops to a dark color, I decided to paint the front of our white dishwasher black, to match the new countertops.  I figured that I'd just remove the metal front fascia and paint it.

When I started to disassemble the thing, I was aghast that the thin metal front was the entire structural support of the door!  It was basically the thin outside metal, and a molded plastic interior.  Really small, thin pieces of metal at the bottom by the hinge if I recall correctly.  I'm amazed that the front of the dishwasher doesn't warp or get damaged in normal use.

Yes, I was able to successfully paint the front and get the unit back together again.  Not the best solution since the plastic operator panel up top is still while, but it looks better than it used to.

szyhxc
User Rank
Iron
They do NOT know their customer
szyhxc   8/2/2013 7:25:34 PM
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I have a medium size dog (30 lbs) that is always checking out the non-GE dishwasher contents from atop the open door.  I have not suffered the same damage and would not be pleased if I did.

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mixed feelings
bob from maine   8/2/2013 4:13:53 PM
NO RATINGS
As a tool buyer/user I recognize there are industrial, commercial and home-owner grades of tools. The dishwashers from GE are obviously of the home-owner grade. The convection ovens used in resturaunts cost big $$ but run continuously for many years. Convection ovens for hosehold use cost probably a tenth of the commercial units and have a life expectancy of 10 years of fairly light use. We really do get what we pay for. I note that  there is a lot of high-end and high $$ appliances coming from Europe. One wonders what the target audience these European companies are seeking. Also, what are their margins compared to GE?

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mixed feelings
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/2/2013 2:44:05 PM
NO RATINGS
 "....I do think the most successful manufacturers are the ones that make the best balance between cost and longevity."

OH!, you mean like the perpetually sleeping MAYTAG repairman when it was MAYTAG, and NOT WHIRLPOOL-MAYTAG????????

Someone else in this rant hinted on the problem.... I think that with the almost infinite power of the company's computer system at the hands of the Marketing & "Bean-Counter" depts., they look at the statistics of every minute detail of design, and shave wherever & whenever it can be done.

One MUST constantly remind oneself when screaming at a faulted appliance OR, for that matter, any other piece of merchandise, "the ONLY real goal of any for-profit corporation is to make a realizable monetary return to their investors.  EVERYTHING else is secondary!!!!!

mattd
User Rank
Silver
Re: Not the design
mattd   8/2/2013 1:20:47 PM
NO RATINGS
I am not necessarily just blaming the designers, but the company as a whole.  Yes the way I put it does direct more at the designers and you are corect that the project has a lot more input than just the engineers; however, I have butted heads with management and customers alike on projects where what they want is not right and for the most part, I win.  So from an engineer point of view (my point of view) I put most of the blame on the engineers for not refusing to allow such a poor design to be produced.  That said though, the blame does go to the whole company and is just one of the "applicance driven" reasons I will never again purchase an appliance made by GE.

As for the requirements, I don't think my toddler was up to 35 pounds yet, that number was introduced by someone else commenting, however, the addition of two strips of aluminum angle, held to the hinges by the mounting screws (as opposed to being a solid extension of the hinge metal) easily extended the doors' capacity to handle that toddler and a few more after!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Disagree - this is not a monkey design issue
Ann R. Thryft   8/2/2013 12:58:35 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree that the toddler test may not be fair or appropriate, and the child's weight--35 pounds--is nothing to sniff at. But designing a door that must be opened and closed hundreds of times during its lifetime without a frame and with inadequate hinges sounds like a very cheap approach to what's not at all a cheap-looking model. Yet another line of appliances to avoid, and also a good fix.



npitech
User Rank
Iron
Not the design
npitech   8/2/2013 12:53:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Can't blame the designers. Most projects are prioritized with three criteria: factory cost, schedule and performance.  Management chooses the order for each project. If either factory cost or schedule came ahead of performance you can bet the mechanical designer was ordered to cut corners. 

 Another scenario where the designer was left out is when original designs are outsourced and the contract manufacturer is judged on cost. Designs are changed to accomodate local suppliers and their capabilities and part selection is based on cost, not performance.

 

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mixed feelings
bob from maine   8/2/2013 10:23:16 AM
NO RATINGS
I've spent a career re-designing and repairing things that probably could have been designed better. I've had heated discussions with engineers from all walks about the benefit of strengthening a part and the common answer is to question how much money should a manufacturer spend to correct a 0.2% problem? I think that the current crop of repairmen have great difficulty getting paid their hourly wage by making unauthorized repairs which switch the warranty costs from the manufacturer to them. A great many actually do make these repairs and their customers are happy to pay whatever it takes to own a product that is dependable. Though I've never seen a design that couldn't stand some form of improvement, I do think the most successful manufacturers are the ones that make the best balance between cost and longevity.

Alan55
User Rank
Iron
Dishwasher Failed the Toddler Test
Alan55   8/2/2013 10:23:15 AM
NO RATINGS
Perhaps GE can offer the child membership in Weight Watchers to  compensate for the marginal design.

BobDJr
User Rank
Gold
Re: Mixed feelings
BobDJr   8/2/2013 10:04:21 AM
NO RATINGS
@mattd: 30 years ago they were teaching their engineers to get the same function at lower cost.  I remember an exercise where we looked at the dual solenoid valve (hot and cold water) for a clothes washer. IIRC we took out 2 then 3 of 4 (5?) screws that held a plastic body to a metal plate.  (Sadly, this was all on paper; no actual parts were harmed in the training of us entry-level EE's & ME's back then.)

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