NOTE: Due to the length and nature of this particular review, I will be writing two reviews; one on the installation process, and one on the dishwasher’s function and performance.
We bought our current house in April of 2016 and moved in June of 2016. Like most mid-range homes on the market, the appliances the old owners left behind weren’t the greatest. Our “new” dishwasher was no exception. The tiniest specks of food on a plate and the thing would clog and back up. We took the shop vac to the lines, cleaned and gutted everything, but it just wouldn’t drain well and it certainly didn’t wash well. In October 2016, that dishwasher completely bit the dust and I was washing dishes 3x a day just trying to keep up with a family of 6 (plus two bonus babies). We needed a new dishwasher and pronto. Unfortunately, it took us a while to get one (partly saving and partly the local store being out of stock).
Let’s start this with a funny story. In our very first house, we had a very old avocado green dishwasher keel over on us. My husband bought a new one and set it in the kitchen; and there it sat for months and months while he repeatedly told me “I’ll install it on my next day off.” In a fit of rage over having cracked and blistered hands from handwashing the dishes for months, I decided to install the dishwasher myself. Problem was, I couldn’t get it out from under the counter. I was so angry and frustrated, I took a sledgehammer to it. I broke it out, bit by bit, only to realize when I was done, that the entire reason it wasn’t working anymore was because it had come unplugged from the outlet behind it. Oops. I just sledgehammered the crap out of a dishwasher in a fit of pregnant hormonal rage, only to discover it wasn’t even broken, just unplugged. Needless to say, I installed the new one (and struggled to do so; many tears were shed) and didn’t breathe a word about the sledgehammer incident to my husband for almost three years. In our second home, I was lucky enough to have the plumber install the dishwasher and didn’t have to deal with what would have been a day full of tears and frustration.
As you can see, dishwashers and I do not quite get along. It’s not that I don’t like them; don’t get me wrong. I love dishwashers… But I don’t love installing them. The Whirlpool Gold Series WDT720PADM built-in stainless dishwasher was no exception to this.
First, I need to get something off my chest. The Whirlpool WDT720PADM Built-in Stainless Dishwasher is part of what Whirlpool has designated the “Gold Series.” Can someone please explain this to me? They are stainless steel. Maybe there were black and white ones, I don’t know. Dan picked it out and had it delivered. Either way, I searched online and there was nothing available in gold color. Maybe they’re supposed to be worth their weight in gold? I’m no marketing expert, but the name threw me off. Regardless of the name, this dishwasher is a beauty. I got so excited looking at the stock photos online! Way better than the one that came with the house and was probably made in the 90s.
I’ll admit. I was feeling way more confident about my dishwasher installation skills than I apparently had a right to. I woke up the morning of delivery and told my husband I would go ahead and get the old one out on the porch for the delivery guys to haul away. He was supposed to do it the night before, but someone (I’m not naming names) procrastinated and had to go to work by the time he remembered. No big deal. I’ve done it before, I can do it again, right? Dan heads out to work. I go flip the breaker to the dishwasher, test that it is off and start undoing the wiring. We’re all good, the coast is clear and I’m still feeling pretty confident.
Then comes the water valves. And boy, was that a fiasco.
I’m not stupid, and I’ve done this a time or two. Obviously, when working on appliances or plumbing, you MUST shut off the water valves to avoid a flood. I know this. You know this. I get under the sink and shut hot and cold water both off… And flood my kitchen. What the hell? I look again, and joke’s on me… There’s 3 valves. One is just super small and apparently contains nothing but scalding hot water eager to flood my kitchen and burn my arm. High pressure too, might I add. Holding my thumb over the end did NOT work.
So, my dishwasher installing day… Was certainly not off to a good start. I flooded my kitchen. And when I say flooded, I mean that hot scalding water was shooting out of this stupid hose all the way across my kitchen and dining room. High pressure. High speed. When I was disconnecting it from the old dishwasher, it was spraying out, but I figured it was just releasing pressure as I unscrewed it. Every other dishwasher I have disconnected did the same thing. Not a big deal. right? Wrong. I keep unscrewing and by the time I realize that it’s not just releasing pressure, it’s too late. Water everywhere. I’m trying to kink the hose and begging the three-year-old to get me a pot to contain the massive stream of hot water long enough for me to grab the pliers on the counter just out of reach and the kid just stands there with her hands on her cheeks saying “Oh no! Oh no!” At this point, I just have to let it flood. I crimp it and do my best to stretch across the kitchen while holding onto this really hot metal hose I have crimped in my hand and grab the pot. Let go of the hose in the pot and get the pliers, while the pot didn’t contain too much of the disaster… Finally get the water shut off, but my entire kitchen and dining room have standing water. And of course, I start crying at this point, so add those tears to the standing water situation and I had to use every towel in my house and a few bedsheets to mop up the disaster.
I contained the disaster, cleaned everything up, and got the old dishwasher taken out, wiring removed and hose removed. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling the urge to take a sledgehammer to this one too.
So, the delivery guys get there. They get a kick out of the story and tell me I should have waited for them, they could have helped me (which is funny because the delivery contract specifically says they cannot and will not help with removal or installation of any appliances). They get the new one upstairs for me and I’m ready for action. I thought “Well, it can’t get any worse, can it?” Installing them has been tough in the past, but not nearly as bad as taking the one I just took out was. The rest should be a piece of cake.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
So, I search my house for a box cutter. No box cutter to be found. I swear, I just saw one a couple days ago. Where the heck did I see it? I check the garage. Check Dan’s random box of stuff that often contains tools. Can’t find anything. GAH. I considered using a knife, but I didn’t want to hurt the dishwasher, especially with it being nice and stainless steel. Scratch the knife plan. I end up using scissors with a plastic coating on the edge, mostly because I felt like it would protect it from scratches. Two extremely cramped hands and ten minutes later, I have my Whirlpool Gold Series WDT720PADM Built-in Stainless Dishwasher out of the box. It’s a start. And of course, it’s beautiful and I get an excited renewal of my motivation to get this bad boy installed. It can’t be much harder than it was to get the old one out, right?
Side note: Whirlpool, PLEASE start labeling your pieces with what they actually are and not just the part number. It would really make everything so much easier for the consumer.
I decide to start with something easy. I’ve already had my mishaps for the day and don’t want to tempt fate by jumping in too hard and too fast. So let’s just leave the dishwasher where it is and run the lines. That will be easy enough. The water line is already run, and so is the waste line… But do I need to replace it with the new one that was inside my new Whirlpool Gold Series dishwasher? Heck if I know. So I do what I do in every situation I’m clueless… I call my grandpa. He asks me what condition the old one is in… Dirty. Really dirty and gross. Yellowed. He tells me to replace it with the new one then, or I’ll end up having to do it later. Got it, gramps. So I hang up and onto the instructions for that. Everything is going great until I find this green tag on the hose.
I guess mistake #1 is that I removed the tag, when it clearly says “Do not remove tag.” Perhaps it’s the universe’s way of punishing me for not following instructions. No matter how I try, I can’t seem to figure out what plug I need to knock out in the disposer… And frankly, the image of taking a hammer and screwdriver to the garbage disposal does not sound like something I feel comfortable doing in the first place. I hate garbage disposals. They make me nervous. I’ve seen too many horror movies where people shove their hands down a sink looking for a ring and they lose an arm. No sir. Not happening to me! So…,. I call my grandpa again, because I can’t figure it out. He says the dishwasher company is assuming my garbage disposal is new as well, and when brand new, there’s a plastic plug where you hook up the dirty water line. Alrighty then. That’s been done. I get the waste water line hooked up and threaded through the cabinet wall. My confidence is renewed. I’ve got this and I’m doing great. I’ve got this!
Now, onto the easier part. Wiring! I go downstairs and double check that the breaker is off. I am paranoid about these things and I figure, it’s just extra exercise running downstairs again, so it doesn’t hurt to check and possibly prevent your own self-electrocution. In the past, I had always wired my dishwashers to a cord. I never bought the cords they designed to wire to dishwashers, since you can actually just buy a cheaper extension cord in the length you want and cut the receiving end off of it and wire it that way. Those were always pretty easy. This was my first time wiring a dishwasher into the electric on the house. I figured it would be about the same. You connect the proper wires. Electric tape them. Cap them. But the wiring on the house was difficult. It was actually really thick and I couldn’t just twist the wires together like I had with the extension cords in the past. After cutting my thumb trying to twist it together I ended up hunting down that pair of pliers again and using that to twist them together. I was kind of worried about it because I didn’t feel like I was able to twist them well enough, but I twisted, taped and capped, ran downstairs and flipped the breaker. Ran back upstairs and sure enough, the dishwasher turned on. The electrical worked. Ran back downstairs and shut the breaker off, so I could go back upstairs, connect the water lines and put the dishwasher under the cabinet.
So here’s the part that really makes me mad. I’m upstairs, feeling pretty damn good about it all. I’m almost done, it’s going great. I just need to connect the water line and waste line and we’re golden. I get the waste line on and secured. Perfect. I go to connect the water line and I can’t freaking find it. Uhh… I’ve done this before. The water line is pretty standard. They’re all the same, look the same and should fit the recieving end of the water line. The dishwasher doesn’t freaking have one!!!! Color me confused. I go back to read the manual again and apparently, you have to buy a rotating elbow fitting that goes between the dishwasher and the water line.
What. The. Hell. Whirlpool.
I call my grandpa again and talk to him about it. My husband is at work. I have three very grouchy toddlers running around the living room. I’ve had a day from hell. And now, I have to go BUY a dinky little part for this dishwasher that frankly, should have been included with the damn thing, just to finish installing it?! Not cool, Whirlpool. REALLY, not cool. My grandma is amazing though and she volunteered to come over and sent me to the hardware store where I proceeded to wander around like a lost puppy with a dishwasher manual desperate searching for some metal part that looked like an in-counter public bathroom soap dispenser. Some old guy took pity on me, realizing that I was not in my natural habitat and found the part for me.
A freaking part, that was $8.97 and Whirlpool couldn’t include the damn part with the dishwasher? Seriously? It wasn’t an optional part. There was no way around it. You had to have this part or you could not install your dishwasher, end of story. Jack the price up $8-10, Mr. Whirlpool CEO, but at least include the part so you don’t cause so much unnecessary stress on your consumers after being forced to follow your extremely unclear and poorly drawn installation instructions on your products. Talk about adding insult to injury. This process was tough enough… Now I have to go search a hardware store for a part?
I get home. Get the stupid-and-should-have-been-included-part installed. Hook up the water line and tighten it with pliers to be sure there won’t be any leakage. Set the dishwasher back upright. Back it into the spot, only to realize I forgot to put the insulation around it. Pull it back out, line up the insulation on it. Push it back very slowly, wedging the insulation into the space between the dishwasher and the cupboard. It’s a tight fit, but we get it. I screw the feet to adjust the height on the dishwasher. Then I get to the brackets. I see where they slide into the top of the dishwasher, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how the heck to insert them. I consult the manual. Again, the drawings are soo poorly done that despite the clear differences in the two sides of the brackets, neither my grandma nor I can figure out which way they go. I get pissed and decide Dan can deal with it when he gets home. It’s in. Everything else is done. That’s all I care about.
It’s in. The kids obviously have to touch it and leave their fingerprints and handprints all over it immediately. But it’s in. Now for the moment of truth. I run downstairs and flip the breaker. I come back upstairs and turn it on. VOILA!
It lights up. Good sign. I didn’t screw up the electrical pulling it in and out from under the counter a few times. I get all excited and start doing my “Oh yeahhhh” celebratory dance, when my grandma tells me we should run a rinse and drain cycle just to see if it leaks, if it’s got water flow, etc. I guess I was excited prematurely. Way to rain on my parade, Gigi. Parade raining or not, she’s right. We probably should check to make sure there are no leaks. We start the cycle. Let it run a few minutes. Open it up, there’s water in the bottom. Steam everywhere. Nothing on the floor. Nothing leaking out. We cancel the cycle. It drains how it should. Everything is perfect. At that point, I install the footboard for it and we call it good. I do need to say I love the footboard on it. It’s a flexible plastic that lines up almost perfectly with the floor so crud doesn’t get stuck under the dishwasher when you sweep. It’s great.
Of course, my husband gets home and tells me “You didn’t have to do all that. I could have done it when I got home.” Seriously, dude? It took me all flipping day. He couldn’t have just done it when he got home. I tell him he gets to do the brackets because I am just done. I did everything else. He can deal with those because I can’t figure it out. He looks at the brackets, looks at the manual and thirty seconds later, they’re installed and screwed in. My grandma and I tried for HALF AN HOUR to figure those stupid brackets out. Although, he did enjoy telling people “She did all of the hard stuff… Water, waste line, electrical wiring… and for some reason, the brackets were too much.”
At the end of the day it took me, a toddler, a pot, every towel in my house and a couple sheets, a whole lot of tears, some pliers, a few phone calls to my grandpa, some insane acrobatic stretching on my part, a lot of frustration, a Gigi to babysit, a trip to the hardware store, $8.97, several trips up and down the stairs to flip breakers, electrical tape, a screwdriver with a bit I’ve never before seen in my life, and thirty seconds of my husband’s time, but it’s installed.
*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I receive any complimentary products. I have purchased this item on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.