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Dishwasher question

(19 Posts)
BertieBotts Sun 11-Nov-12 13:17:24

I've been using just the all-in-one tablets, but my dishes are no longer getting clean. I read on here that they're no good, so I've bought salt, rinse aid and separate tablets.

So... the tablets are pretty self explanatory. How do I know when it needs rinse aid and salt? Do I put both in every wash, or is it something you leave and top up when it's running low?

How much do I put in and how do I know when they've run out (if it's something you leave) and what should I turn the rinse aid setting thing too - it seems to have some kind of dial? confused

Nobody in my family has ever had a dishwasher before <tiny violin> and it was second hand from ebay, it didn't come with a manual.

chocolatespiders Sun 11-Nov-12 13:21:31

Cant help with the tablets question as I have never had a dishwasher sob sob..

But you may find the instructions on line.

I bought a second hand shed few weeks ago and was dreading putting it together but then found the instructions online smile

emsyj Sun 11-Nov-12 13:22:25

Doesn't your dishwasher have an indicator light for salt and rinse aid? Mine does. Are there any little lights and symbols on the front that you don't recognise? Our rinse aid indicator is a little sunray type thing and the salt is sort of curly arrows.

emsyj Sun 11-Nov-12 13:24:17

Oh, I didn't read thoroughly first time sorry - the salt and rinse aid should have wells for you to fill. Then when they are low, the dishwasher should indicate that they need topping up. Our salt well is in the bottom underneath the lower basket, you slide out the basket and then unscrew the big cap and fill with salt. The rinse aid well is next to the tablet container in inside of the door.

I agree with chocolate, look up the instructions online!

vodkaanddietirnbru Sun 11-Nov-12 13:24:18

my dishwasher has lights that come on to warn of low salt/rinse aid. The salt reservoir gets filled to the top and then it lasts at least a month or 2, the rinse aid last less time but the reservoir for that is smaller. What you set the rinse aid at depends on your water hardness.

I use all in one tablets (when on offer) plus own make salt/rinse aid.

Also clean out your filters and check the rotor arms are clean too

BertieBotts Sun 11-Nov-12 13:44:15

It has no lights, well, it has one - labelled POWER grin

It's pretty old school.

PigletJohn Sun 11-Nov-12 16:46:33

Then you can fill up the rinse aid and salt as often as you want. If you take the lid off the salt vessel and oke your finger in, and see that it is nearly full, no need to top up. If no more rinse-aid will go down the hole under the cap, it's full. You will by observation observe that it needs refilling every X weeks. If you ever see limescale forming on the heating element, it needs more salt, or you need to increase the frequency of regeneration using the blue adjuster top left inside doorframe per instructions book.

Instead of lights, older Bosch machines (and many others) used the blue float in the top of the salt vessel, and the black dot in the red eye of the rinse-aid container.

If you have lost your instruction book you can probably get one off the maker's website.

BertieBotts Sun 11-Nov-12 17:03:04

I did download an instruction manual when I plumbed it in smile

I now have another question - went to fill up the salt compartment, and it was full up to the top with water. That isn't supposed to happen, I don't think? What does it mean??

PigletJohn Sun 11-Nov-12 17:08:22

yes it is.

You tip the salt in (preferably with a plastic jug or wide funnel) and the water spills out of the top as the salt pushes it aside. The excess water just goes into the sump under the filter. It will be pumped out next time you run the machine.

The vessel is then full of salt and salty water. It sucks some of the salty water out to regenerate the water softener, filling with fresh water which dissolves more salt ready for next time. The vessel is always full, either with salt and water, or (if the salt has all been used) just with water. It never has air in it.

Look at the cap and see if there is a blue float in it. If so, when you can see the blue, the vessel still has salt in it. When the float sinks, there is no salt left.

GlaikitFizzog Sun 11-Nov-12 17:09:43

Yes water should be in the salt bit, just keep filling with salt until it displaces the water.

It's where the water comes from during the cycle, the salt softens hard water. My rinse aid goes in a little compartment next to the powder bit. Dishes are much better after switching to separates!

PigletJohn Sun 11-Nov-12 17:11:02

What make is it?

Can you see the heating element at the bottom inside the cabinet, under the lower basket? Is there limescale on it?

PigletJohn Sun 11-Nov-12 17:14:22

BTW the salt is not added to the washing water, it is used to regenerate the calcium-absorbing crystals in the miniature water-softener under the base of the machine.

ImperialStateKnickers Sun 11-Nov-12 17:20:26

I thought my dishwasher (inherited along with the rest of the kitchen from previous owners) was on the blink. The all in one tablets she'd blithely recommended didn't seem to be working anymore. I got quite stompy about this, and the dishwasher being crap was added to the growing list of lies and omissions that dp and I used to moan about whenever the subject of Mr and Mrs x the previous owners came up.

I then discovered you were meant to clean it every few months, with dishwasher cleaner. blush

Mr and Mrs x remain guilty of not telling us the cellar had flooded three out of the last five winters, but the dishwasher has run perfectly ever since.

Waitrose ownbrand 5 in one, with dishwasher/washing machine cleaner sachets (twin pack, do them both the same day) from market stall.

prettybird Sun 11-Nov-12 17:20:49

In a soft water area you don't need salt.

Agree about checking the rotating arms to make sure that none of the wee wholes are blocked. The arms won't spin if they're blocked and therefore the dishes won't be cleaned properly.

GlaikitFizzog Sun 11-Nov-12 17:21:45

Oh we'll ill add the salt thing to the list of lies my dad has told me!

GlaikitFizzog Sun 11-Nov-12 17:22:44

Now you tell me prettybird!! grin

PigletJohn Sun 11-Nov-12 17:31:56

you can usually tell by looking at the heating element (if it is visible). mine is bright and shiny, so is the inside of the cabinet (I never clean it) so I know there is no limescale and the water is properly softened.

I have seen some that are like the bottom of an old kettle.

FishfingersAreOK Sun 11-Nov-12 17:33:29

We had an old Neff one and no lights to tell me when stuff needed topping up - however:

Glasses started getting a bit "cloudy" told me I needed salt
Little bits og gunk/grit left on things - rinse aid.

Salt (with blue floaty thing like PigletJohn described) was in a turny thing under the bottom basket - undo, fill with salt. My old instructions said to do just before ou turn on so stray bits of salt are not sitting around on bits of your machine

Our rinse aid filler was in the door - had a clear plastic window next to a smaller Turny thing - undid that, shoved rinse aid in and you could see it filling the plastic window up.

BertieBotts Sun 11-Nov-12 18:08:19

Oh! Okay.

It's a Zanussi DS17. I can't see any limescale anywhere on the machine but I think we do live in a hard water area (Midlands). The pipes/elements aren't shiny but they're not encrusted or flaky, anyway.

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