If your home improvement New Year’s resolution includes the purchase of a new dishwasher, make sure that you understand – in addition to dishwasher features and nifty cycles – what dishwasher capacity can do for you.
Dishwasher Capacity: Super Capacity, Tall, Large or Standard Tub?
Size does matter. A family of eight needs a bigger dishwasher than a family of four; simple math underscores that running your dishwasher every other day versus twice a week is more expensive and wasteful of natural resources. In short, the dishwasher needs to have a larger interior to accommodate more dishes.
Dishwasher capacity is measured in tub size. Manufactures, such as Whirlpool, may call their bigger appliances “super capacity,” “large capacity” or “tall tub” models. A regulation sized model is a “standard tub” and should hold as much as 12 five-piece place settings – if properly loaded.
Before you head out to get your very own tall tub or large capacity dishwasher, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. A great way to talk business with the sales person is to ask about the maximum number of place settings the appliance can handle. Why? Because GE understands its tall tub model GLD5950NCS to hold 16 place settings; Bosch defines “tall” – for its model SHV98M03UC – as holding 14 place settings. Talking about place settings (as opposed to “tall” versus “large”) leaves less room for error and misunderstanding.
Dishwasher Capacity and Under Counter Installation
Enhanced dishwasher capacity does not automatically require you to opt for a stand alone unit. Instead, a look at Whirlpool’s large capacity (14 place settings) model DU915PWWS reveals that it measures 24½ inches in depth, 34 3/8 inches in height and 23 7/8 inches in width. GE’s tall tub model GLD5950NCS holds 16 place settings and measures 25 inches in depth, 33 ¾ inches in height and 24 inches in width. Both dishwashers fit into the same standard opening.
Understanding the Mechanics of Increased Dishwasher Capacity
The Houdini like quality of the dishwasher to cram either 12, 14 or 16 place settings into the same under counter gap might make you wonder about the nuts and bolts of dishwasher capacity. In truth, the difference between 12 and 16 place setting capacities is not only an increase in tub size but also rack innovations.
For example, rather than featuring rigid tines, upper and lower racks offer rows of adjustable and folding tines for larger items or those with odd shapes. Silverware baskets may be modular for space saving placement in a full appliance. In addition, tine placement allows for the side positioning of additional plates and bowls, which is not usually possible with standard sized tub models.
Once you are ready to install your new dishwasher, be sure to check out my tutorial entitled “How to Install or Replace a Dishwasher.”