When I renovated my kitchen three years ago, I put in a Bosch dishwasher because I heard they were well-rated and energy efficient. Let me just say - these energy efficient models work differently. The unit that was in the kitchen when I moved in was an almond colored Kenmore. It wasn't pretty to look at, but you could seriously take dishes straight from the table to the dishwasher, bypassing the sink altogether - and get spotless dishes. The energy efficient dishwashers operate by using high heat and less water - the opposite of the "other kind". However, the manuals tell you nothing about how to properly use these new smarter dishwashers.
I called the dishwasher repairman because I noticed the dishes didn't seem to be getting as clean - they looked cloudy - and I noticed about an inch of water standing in the bottom of the tub. I read the manual to attempt troubleshooting on my own, then finally called the help line. After a few maneuvers, it was clear that I would need a technician. Considering the unit wasn't very old (however, was just out of the warranty), I was disappointed to have a problem so soon - especially since I don't have a large family with children.
When the technician arrived, he first noted that I was using too much liquid detergent. He said I should only fill the tiny cup about half full - otherwise, the dishes would come out looking cloudy (problem number one). He also said it was normal for there to be standing water in the bottom. This water apparently lubricates the motor. Each time you start the dishwasher, this water is drained out and then the cycle begins (problem number two). He also said it was to my benefit to run the water in the sink until it is the hottest it can get - just prior to starting the dishwasher. He said this helps the dishwasher more quickly get through a cycle - otherwise the dishwasher can run a cycle upwards of two hours because it is taking more time to get the water super hot. I wondered why it seemed the cycles ran so long! Also, he pointed out that because water does sit in the bottom, it is important to use the machine frequently and not let it sit for a week or so without running a cycle, because you would obviously get a soured smell going in the machine.
Some other tidbits he told me were the importance of buying the extended warranties, particularly when you invest in high end appliances. If you are buying base models or low-end units - don't bother. Just buy a new unit when something breaks. He said companies aren't manufacturing appliances to last a long time, so if you spend good money on appliances - get the extended warranties, because in one service call it will have paid for itself.
He called his company to find out about extended warranties for my six appliances: dishwasher, refrigerator, range, microwave, washer, and dryer - and they quoted me $369 for one year of coverage on all six combined. I paid this technician $111 for this visit on one unit, and there really wasn't anything wrong with my unit in the end. Two years of coverage would be $643, and so on. But you can see if you make a large investment in appliances, this coverage is worth it. He told me my refrigerator has lots of problems with the ice maker (which I actually read about online only recently) and that a new icemaker is $400 - which an extended warranty would cover. Hmm...makes you think, doesn't it?
I learned a lot about operating my dishwasher and about investing in appliances. Hope this helps you, as well. I used Sears Home Service for the repair, though I did not buy my appliances through them. You can also buy extended warranty coverage through them even if you did not buy the units through Sears.