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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Is a dishwasher worth it?
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rockies
Member
# Posted: 30 Sep 2019 19:26
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I could possibly add an 18" wide dishwasher to my year round cabin. I could hand wash dishes everyday or I could run the dishwasher 2-3 times a week.

The dishwasher obviously uses electricity but would I save on heating and using water compared to hand washing? There's also the time difference - who wants to hand wash dishes everyday?

Would adding a dishwasher be too big of an electrical draw on a battery system?

ICC
Member
# Posted: 30 Sep 2019 20:22 - Edited by: ICC
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Depends on the battery bank capacity and on the dishwasher. When we include the cost of heating the water used a good modern dishwasher saves energy as well as saving on the quantity of water used.

Have a look here. Today's dishwashers use considerably less water than those of a decade ago. My full size Samsung uses about 3 gallons of water for a full normal load. An 18" model will use less water and energy. I have one in my RV that uses 2 gallons of water for its smaller load. Both are also extremely quiet.

RV or small cabin sized, 7 place settings

Most of the better modern dishwashers also often have a delay start setting. That was designed to allow people whose grid power is cheaper at night to delay the start of the dishwasher until cheap power rates kick in. I use it to delay start until afternoon when the batteries are almost always recharged. Then it runs on the sun's excess power.

rockies
Member
# Posted: 30 Sep 2019 21:02
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Hmm. If the "cabin sized" Fisher and Paykel uses 144 kWh/yr based on 4 wash loads a week that's 208 wash loads per year so that's ....... carry the two.......not too much energy used per wash load.



Drat, the Energy Star website is down for maintenance.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 30 Sep 2019 21:32
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Pots and pans are still done by hand. I don't use a lot of them on the road as I do a lot of make ahead and freeze. I also use an Instant Pot a lot; easy to clean S/S inner pot.

creeky
Member
# Posted: 2 Oct 2019 10:01
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The fisher paykel model is pretty sweet. check the reliablity rating tho.

I use a dishwasher. But I don't have hot water in the studio. So the dishwasher heats the water.

If you're using high drain appliances like dishwashers. Make sure you have a lithium battery pack. Or you are using the device after your older battery pack is full and the sun is shining. This will avoid excessive wear on the battery.

The thing I really remember after going lithium is putting the dishwasher on at 10 at night as I went to bed. Because I could!

rockies
Member
# Posted: 2 Oct 2019 23:15
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Now would it be worthwhile to go from a dish drawer model at 144 kWh/yr to a standard size at 199 kWh/yr? I'm guessing I'd run the standard size less since it would hold more dishes.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 2 Oct 2019 23:58
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Quoting: rockies
it would hold more dishes.

Probably depends on how many dishes you have, and how many days you want funky dishes fermenting in your dishwasher.
For us. Its just the wife and I. So doing dishes isn't a real big deal. We recycle the gray water for landscape plants and even garden veggies.
When it comes to small cabins. Storage space is important. In the same amount of space for a dishwasher. You could probably store enough can goods and food, to make dirty dishes for a month or more.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 3 Oct 2019 15:21
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Big/small, yes/no, all a matter of personal choice.

I chose small for the RV because space was at a premium, but I did want a dishwasher. I've had it several years and mine works fine.

At home I chose full size and wanted a dishwasher as it does save water (rain water collected) as well as saves time and bother.

rockies
Member
# Posted: 3 Oct 2019 19:18
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ICC. which does bring up an interesting point. How do you make sure that the rainwater you use is contaminate free? Do you have a well for drinking water, showers, laundry etc?

ICC
Member
# Posted: 3 Oct 2019 22:38 - Edited by: ICC
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1. All water in storage tanks and cisterns gets a dose of chlorine once a month. We do a test and make sure the level is between 1 and 2 PPM. Sometimes it hits 3 PPM. As tanks are emptied through the year I wash out any sediment and give them a chlorine dose to carry it safely over to the next refill. Mostly May through August-September rains. Some snow melt.

2. All the water that enters the habitable spaces for any type of consumption by people goes through a two-stage UV light purifier, after being filtered for particulate matter, just to be sure. Irrigation and animal husbandry uses are taken straight from the storage system before entering the UV system.

3. All the water that is plumbed to sinks, baths, showers, where it may be used for cooking or drinking or other personal use, also goes through a filter to remove the chlorine. I'm sensitive to Cl, hate the taste or smell.

If I had drilled a well, the well would have been 600 to 700 feet deep. Not cheap. The old place had an old 500 foot well. It has lost recovery capacity starting back about 10 years ago. Plus the natural arsenic level is on the high side and should be treated. So rainwater, even with the tankage costs and the filtration and treatment is still a good deal. My annual costs are less than what friends pay in a medium-size city a couple of hours away.

hattie
Member
# Posted: 4 Oct 2019 17:24
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I have had a diswasher in the past and would never recommend one unless you have a very busy lifestyle. I find that having others help with the dishes is a good bonding time. If you do the dishes alone, it is good thinking time. I do a LOT of baking and cooking and I don't miss having a dishwasher one bit.

spoofer
Member
# Posted: 6 Oct 2019 19:57
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A Dishwasher.... I don't even have running water at my cabin

Ontario lakeside
Member
# Posted: 6 Oct 2019 20:37
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We got rid of ours 20 years ago at our home in the city. I agree with Hattie, the few minutes a day spent doing that chore is a good time to talk and an easy task. And as a bonus we have had the kids doing the dishes most nights for years.

jos_davies
Member
# Posted: 8 Oct 2019 04:39
Reply 


About water, it shouldn't make a difference so long as the dishwasher is full. So if you have enough dishes that you can let it fill up every few days without running out of dishes, it would be better than using the sink. You'd have to wash off the scraps either way (you don't want chunks of food in the dishwasher).

Part of the equation is also just personal preference. Doing dishes by hand is a task I really dislike for whatever reason. So we bought portable dishwasher for our RV and we use it in the cabin as well.

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