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Dave Harnish
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Dave's Repair Service
1911 Heath Hill Rd
New Albany, PA 18833

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The DRSNews
March 2008

A Very Happy Spring to you! (I know, I know, but it's ALMOST here!)

Published by 'double opt-in' subscription only,
by Dave's Repair Service, (c)2008 All Rights Reserved

If you enjoy this issue, you're welcome to forward its link
to any friends or associates who might find it useful.

(There's an unsubscribe link in every issue if they decide
it's not their 'thing') Thanks!


In this issue:

1) Top 10 Dishwasher Installation Mistakes
2) Subscribers-only 'Two or More Ship Free' sale still going strong

I thought we'd shift gears a bit this month and run through the most common mistakes to avoid when installing a dishwasher.

Dishwashers aren't at all hard to replace, but like any other job, it's the details that'll make it or break it.

Here's the 'top 10 list' of installation mistakes I see regularly:

10. Wired with undersized cord, or old cut-off extension cord - another detail that needs little comment. Use 12-2WG, or a cut-off heavy duty grounded extension cord with at least  16 gauge conductors if you have to plug yours into a wall receptacle.

9. Junction box ignored, with wire nut junctions 'hanging out in space' - I've never quite figured this one out, and it also doesn't deserve much comment. It doesn't take longer to make the wiring connections INSIDE the steel box, rather than outside. Just demonstrates laziness on the part of the installer, who hopefully carries really good liability insurance, especially against fire damage!

8. Hoses routed against outside wall in cold climates - I've seen it a lot out here in the boonies, in older country homes without good wall insulation. If a dishwasher's fill and drain lines are run back along an outside wall, they'll freeze when it gets really bitter outside. It's best to keep them as far away from that back wall as possible when installing in older homes.

7. Another concern in winter - storing/trucking a dishwasher in freezing temperatures - If you live in a climate with below freezing winter temperatures, be careful when trucking a machine, new or used. If it's exposed to freezing temperatures for very long, traveling in the back of a pickup or stored in a garage, etc, there's a very good chance the residual water in the fill valve will crack. The tank sump, which normally contains a bit of water, can also be damaged. New dishwashers ship with some water in both of these areas from factory testing, so be careful if you have to move one in winter (applies to clothes washers, too).

6. Not level - years ago, when machines used several gallons per fill, maybe this wasn't quite as critical, but today's water-frugal pot scrubbers must be as close to level as possible. Lay a torpedo level on the bottom basket track to measure front to back, and along the top edge of the console to check it side to side. 1/4" hardboard shims are fine, if needed, to bring a tank up to where it should be.

5. Plumbed to a cold line - another one that doesn't need much comment, but I see it on occasion. A dishwasher must be connected to a HOT water line.

4. Not connected to GFI supply - not a bad idea, after all - I've done a 180 on this one! Here's one place - the only one I can think of - where an appliance with a motor can benefit from being connected to a GFI. We've talked about this before, but in many cases, a GFI can catch a water leak down through a motor early enough to save it.

3. Not attached to underside of cabinet or floor, allowing tipping forward when the door's opened - should be another 'no-brainer', but I see a lot of machines just sitting in the cabinet opening, not attached to anything, waiting patiently for some unsuspecting soul - probably a 6 year old - to open the door - or crawl up on it - without holding on. Amazing!

Note: some newer countertop materials - marble, for example, just aren't 'friendly' when it comes to drilling a pair of holes into them to secure a machine normally. In those cases, there's usually a place in the frame rails to run a couple of screws down into the floor. Not as strong, but better than nothing.

2. Garbage disposal knockout left in place - new garbage disposals ship with their dishwasher connection blocked by a 'plug' that has to be knocked out to open the connection.

This plug isn't at all obvious and it's easy to overlook. If you do, you'll end up with a dishwasher full of water that can't drain, and it'll make you scratch your head a minute. Use a hammer and 3/8" ratchet wrench extension to knock these out. The good news is, this is one of those mistakes you'll only make once, or maybe twice max. 'Tends to stick with you, especially if any of your buddies witness it.

1. And the winner is: No drain high-loop or air gap to prevent grey water migration - the #1 most common mistake I see made by installers, both DIY'ers, and pros who should know better, is not running the drain hose through either a high loop or air gap. Without one or the other, sink grey water can migrate over into the dishwasher tank, creating odor and sanitation problems.

In some locales, building codes require an air gap, and they're not a bad idea, but a loop of drain hose cable-tied to one of the sink mounting clamps will do pretty much the same thing. Strap the hose as high as possible up in under the sink, and you won't have to worry about grey water. Where code allows it, it's a better looking solution than that air gap protruding up through the countertop. Not to mention the hassle of cutting a hole through the sink or countertop to accommodate a gap.

In the 'old days' when drain hoses were rubber, we had to come up with ways to keep high loops from kinking. Plastic drain hoses have eliminated that worry, and they're nearly always long enough to form an effective high loop.

So there you have it, folks. My own top-10 list! What do you think, should I send it to Letterman?

2) A whole bunch of you have taken advantage of me ;-) with the '2 or more ship free'
sale, and again this month shipping and handling are no charge for any two or
more online products, to any US address. But only for DRSNews subscribers.  Regrettably, this has to be limited to US subscribers, as international shipping rates have gotten pretty crazy. 

Here's the current list of parts and tools included: Sale Parts . If you don't see
the one you need there, and you're a subscriber, just ask me .

One of the incredible rewards I get from writing this newsletter is the encouragement
you all have been to me over the years. I want you to know I appreciate you, and this
is just one small token 'thank you' that I'm happy to do for you.

Please feel free to send me any other ideas you might have for subscriber 'perks' I can
add for you, and I'll do my best to make them happen. And any suggestions for article
topics and/or manuals are always welcome.

Swing by and check out my new Appliance Terms Glossary Project if you haven't yet -
it's still a work in progress, and the full downloadable pdf version's almost ready.  Here's what I have so far: Glossary

Help Fix Our Broken US Tax System!
(Are You as Disgusted with it as I Am?)
Check out: www.FairTax.org


Thanks again for allowing me into your inbox! I don't take the privilege lightly, and needless to say, never share your name or email with anyone, for any reason.

May God richly bless you in 2008, 

Dave Harnish
Dave's Repair Service
New Albany, PA

I'm registered Republican, but I'm really a Theocrat. When The King of Kings reigns, there'll be no political corruption! Hope you know Him, too, because He's coming soon! Revelation 21

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"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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