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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

1 year with the Samsung DMR77LHS (the Basket Adjuster saga continues)

It has been a year now since we installed the Samsung DMR77 in our kitchen. It has been a mixed bag...the machine has performed reliably but we have had some issues. The first, like the many others commenting on this blog, is the poor design of the basket adjusters that break prematurely. After that, we find that cleaning performance seems to be intermittently not very good, and we are not really sure what the factors are in getting a load consistently clean.

First, about the rack adjusters. We called in Sears service at the same time we ordered our annual inspection for the washing machine on July 9 in order to get the upper rack adjusters replaced. Not surprisingly (reports from blog comments had us prepared) the parts were back ordered. The tech confirmed a delivery date and we rescheduled for August 5th. The tech calls to confirm, but mentions that he "thinks" he has the wrong parts! Sure enough, the basket runner wheel assemblies were in the parts boxes marked "rack adj ass'ly". The tech calls his supervisor, and after a frustrating 5 minutes trying to ascertain that he was looking at the right diagram, managed to find out that yes, the parts were back ordered. The parts were called "Basket Adj ass'ly" (note the subtle difference) which is apparently why we received the wrong parts. (This make me realize the importance of a good taxonomy, especially when a bad naming scheme results in dispatching a tech 3 times to make a simple repair, but I digress.)

We now have a scheduled appointment for August 29. On the positive side it would appear that the "basket adjusters" have been redesigned. We will see at the end of the month. Fortunately this is a minor problem, and does not affect the operation of the machine. It make me wonder, though, if it would take 2 months for a major repair.

Wash Performance. When the machine was new, we were quite impressed with wash performance, but this seems to have gradually changed to where it has become intermittently bad. Often, I can troubleshoot the problem, such as a blocked spray arm, or an item like a cutting board blocking the opening of the soap dispenser, or not paying attention to the Add Rinse Aid indicator (which makes a huge difference on this machine). But often we are now finding residual guck stuck to items in a way that says filtering is not working properly. We have tried different detergents and quantities, and checked our hot water temperature, but this does not seem to make much of a difference. Out of a rack of dinner plates, bits of baked-on food are appearing with greater frequency.

We will mention this to the tech on the 29th during the inspection, and see if there is nothing wrong with the filter or the grinder.

Stay tuned for an update on the 29th.

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