LG Dishwasher Review (Performance, Features, Quality, Reliability…)

March 19, 2010 | by Fred (email) |

lg-dishwasherThree years ago we purchased the predecessor to this LG Dishwasher from Home Depot. (The marketing picture of the dishwasher we actually purchased is shown on the right).

We bought it because the salesman at Home Depot convinced us that this dishwasher was one of the top performers, especially in terms of quiet operation, which is an important feature to us.

This Cadillac of dishwashers included an all-stainless interior, garbage disposal in the bottom, and a special air-dry mechanism that allowed the dishwasher to dry dishes without the need for a heater, saving energy.

About six months ago, due to repeated mechanical failures, we were forced to replace the LG with a Kenmore Elite that looks very similar (excepting that it sports 3 LED lights on the front indicating wash/dry cycle).

Fortunately, we purchased the extended warranty on the dishwasher through Home Depot (though we didn’t use one of our Home Depot Coupons, which we should have!). The warranty service (underwritten by GE) paid for a full replacement of the dishwasher after the mechanic determined the cost of the last repair exceeded the full value of the unit.

Read on for our complete review of this LG dishwasher.

LG Dishwasher Review

  • lg-dishwasher-in-kitchenThe Highs: Extremely quiet operation; dishes cleaned well; beautiful, clean look with integrated controls; huge capacity.
  • The Lows: Terrible reliability, requires rinse aid to dry dishes, premium price.
  • The Verdict: A poor performance that will dissuade us from purchasing LG in the immediate future.

Let’s start with the good… Four years ago, this LG dishwasher was one of the most aesthetically pleasing offerings on the market, especially for the price. It’s competition at the time was Bosch and GE Profile, both of which were selling for several hundred more than the $850 price tag on this LG.

The dishwasher featured a digital time readout on the top of integrated control panel that would indicate how much time remained on the cycle, and it played a little digital tune when the dishes were finished… a nice reminder for the kids that it was time to empty the load 🙂

Dish cleaning was pretty good, but rinse aid is absolutely required since there’s no built in heater. Drying without rinse aid results in wet dishes, as the LG uses a condensing drying system that saves energy. With rinse aid, drying performance was as good as any dishwasher we’ve used, and we were happy to buy rinse aid in bulk and add it to the large reservoir about once every two weeks.

The unit has a very large wash capacity, and includes a nifty built-in garbage disposal that allows you to essentially skip pre-rinse activities in the sink.

Unfortunately, the unit’s reliability was terrible. We experienced four major repair visits in just three years, all covered under warranty. The failures included a motor failure, leaks in the front panel of the washer, and a damaged main circuit board.

The last repair visit, which would have entailed replacement of the entire front of the unit, would have cost nearly the entire price of the whole unit. We were fed up with the dishwasher, and contacted Home Depot’s warranty service for help.

Home Depot Warranty Review

Fortunately, Home Depot’s warranty service (GE, in this case) paid for the dishwasher–and without much hassle. I sent in our original receipt, they contacted the mechanic, and they credited us the original purchase price for the unit via a check.

We researched Consumer Reports before buying the next dishwasher. In the class and price range we were targeting, the Kenmore Elite rated very high (second only to the Bosch, which was more than $400 more). Interestingly, Consumer Reports noted that LG is one of the poorer performing brands for appliances, even though they don’t rate individual dishwashers for reliability.

We scoured our Sears Coupons for a few weeks before landing on a 20% off deal for the new unit, which we installed and will be reviewing soon.

Will We Purchase New LG Appliances?

When you’ve had a bad experience with a brand, it’s hard to consider purchasing another appliance from them in the future.

But as the recent news with Toyota has shown, brand quality can change over time, so we’ll remain open minded to new products from LG, keeping an eye on what Consumer Reports has to say about their reliability over time.

For now, we’re hoping our Kenmore Dishwasher outperforms the LG. So far, so good.

What do you think? Have you owned an LG appliance? What’s your own experience been?

16 Responses
  1. George says:

    I don’t have a lot of experience with LG. However I did purchase one of their French door fridges back in November. When I read the reviews, there were comments about the unit being noisey. As I don’t have an open plan, I felt I could deal with that. In the meantime, it is the quietest fridge that I have ever had. In regards to dishwashers with stainless steel tubs, the sales person told me that particularly if you don’t have the drying cycle on, that you have to open the door for proper venting to avoid water spotting. Since they made that comment about the Bosch and other current units, I imagine it was the same for your old unit.

    I was a little nervous about buying an LG product as before they rebranded, they were Goldstar. In the US, they were the bottom of the discount units. However their quality is much better these days.

  2. Fred says:

    George, thanks for adding to the review, but I’m going to have to disagree on LG’s quality, at least on the dishwashers.

    Right now, they rank last on (you must have a subscription). From the site:

    “LG and Fisher & Paykel were the most repair-prone brands of dishwashers. That’s what we found when we asked almost 114,000 readers who bought a dishwasher between 2005 and 2009 about their experiences. ”

    The numbers for LG were nearly 3 times worse than that of HotPoint (GE’s discount brand), and slightly more than 2.5 times worse than Kenmore.

  3. George says:

    I agree with the dishwasher, the reviews for LG are one of the reasons I bought a Kenmore.

  4. Julie says:

    I bought LG french door fridge, and front loading washer and dryer 4 years ago.
    The fridge after warranty was over, melted in the light area, but LG replaced the entire fridge. I think that there was some sort of issue/fire hazzard, didn’t see a recall notice, but the new one is great and has a different lighting structure.

    Washer and dryer have been fine except for the front loading musty smell issue with all brands.

  5. LB says:

    I bought an LG DVR in July 2008. The DVR I had then had died after 5 years and the repair would have cost more than the price of a new machine ($400) so I upgraded. I had a choice of 3 models and I chose the LG because I thought they were a reliable name and because it was the mid priced machine.

    I instantly hated it. I assumed that this machine would be heads and tails better that the old one – you know technological advancements and all. But it wasn’t. So fine, I got used to it and then in July 2009 about 10 days after the warranty was up, it started acting up. Now if I want to record something on to a disc, I have to waste about 4 or 5 discs first. This machine is crap and I will never buy another LG product ever.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would have paid the $400 to fix my other machine.

  6. My cross was Maytag, washers, dryers, and fridges. wax motors, compressors, mainboards, etc.

    I think just about every appliance mfg. is selling sizzle rather than steak. . Major appliances are classed as ‘durable’ goods, which means that they were ‘durable’ like a generation. Our parents for the most part had one of everything that did the job, there was little to go wrong, and they lasted our childhoods.

    Maytag started in washers, and then expanded into every appliance niche. So has LG which started out as a small electronics mfg. like cell phones. About the only thing that doesn’t have an LG logo on it is bread and toilet paper.
    Electrolux was a vacuum mfg, and now they are everywhere also.

    Nowadays ‘durable’ means three years. This year it is stainless steel, next year faux marble, and so on. A lot of folks just want stuff to work, and not sweat if it is trendy. Manufacturers are on a bottom line, stock price, treadmill that may go some distance in explaining the low quality, short life and high repair cost.

    Most of what passes for energy saving green ‘features’ are just the minimum sized units(compressors, motors, etc.) that will have it last for three years.
    Save 10 bucks on your utility bill and pay 500 bucks for a replacement.
    We live in interesting times.

  7. Nancy says:

    LG Dishwasher Nightmare! After careful consideration and a limited amount of space for installation I purchased an LG dishwasher from Future Shop. After 3 washes the lights started flashing like crazy and it stopped working. A call to the company directed me to the wrong service agent in my area. A second call finally I got the right service agent who advised me that the motor, electronics etc were all faulty. Several weeks later the new parts arrived as it was the policy to repair first prior to replacing and the repairman advised me there was a squealing noise now that “might” go away after a few cycles, NOT. It always had a funny smell – like hot metal. I called to LG who advised they would authorize and pay for a new installation. I emailed the company when the install happened and faxed the copy of the bill they promised to cover – several follow up emails later and 8 months – NOTHING! No more LG for me

  8. Linda says:

    Sorry to hear about the issues with your LG. I hope you checked which company made your Kenmore Dishwasher as LG produces appliances for Sears. You can check the Serial number for the company code.

  9. Fred says:

    Linda, we didn’t – but we haven’t had any trouble with our Kenmore… Consumer Reports rated this model a best buy, so I’m guessing it has very little in common with LG 🙂

  10. Linda says:

    Here is the link to find out who made your Kenmore. This may help in your purchasing decisions.

  11. john63 says:


    I read your article on the LG dishwasher—and found that it contains several significant errors.

    The lack of MODEL & SERIAL NUMBERS does your readers a disservice as well. Anyone reading the article will come away with the incorrect perception that *their* LG dishwasher may indeed exhibit the same symptoms/disappointment that you have experienced—which is not the case at all.

    Your experience with the dishwasher is not an unusual one. It does however, depend on the BUILD DATE (Serial Number).

    I’ll offer my critique of the article:






    No dishwasher that I am aware of has a GARBAGE DISPOSAL feature. Though this is sometimes *marketed* on commercials—it is false.
    All residential dishwashers use what is commonly known as a MACERATOR. This is simply a flat chopper (like an old biplane propeller) designed & intended to cut/chop infrequent soft food debris such as noddles or other very soft material.
    Dishwashers should never be loaded with dishware/glasses/utensils that have *solids* on them. Scrape or rinse off all types of debris before loading into the dishwasher.
    By design—a garbage disposer works more like a *cheese grater*.
    After the faucet (water) & sink disposer have been turned “on”—items added to the garbage disposer are forced against metal *slots* in the disposer chamber to be broken up into small enough particles to safely drain without clogging plumbing.
    Only *frangible* items should be added to a GARBAGE DISPOSER. These are things that *break into* smaller pieces (such as egg shells).
    Certain types of food waste—such as cantelope rinds—will become long strands similar to wet spaghetti noddles and cause a blockage/restriction in the drain trap or further downstream.





    All LG dishwashers sold at the introduction to the US-market in 2004 to the present have an internal HEATING ELEMENT.
    The energy savings comes from how it is used.
    On all LG dishwashers—the HEATING ELEMENT is energized only two times during a cycle. The first is during the beginning of the cycle (MAIN WASH) and the second heating activity occurs during the FINAL RINSE cycle—before the last of the rinse water drains and the DRY CYCLE begins.

    During the DRY CYCLE—a vent on the door opens and the BLOWER FAN MOTOR begins to pull steam from the dishwasher.

    This steam/moisture is forced down a DUCT to be vented to the atmosphere from an opening at the bottom of the door on the left side.

    This DUCT has been redesigned *four times* to improve dryability results in the LG dishwasher.
    The first two DUCT TUBES were similar in size except that the “2nd” DUCT design vented to the atmosphere while the original DUCT vented back into the dishwasher at the lower left corner of the tub.
    The third DUCT (and a larger BLOWER ASSY) was introduced in 2008 or 2009 and was significantly larger—resulting in an improved dry-cycle performance. There was however a problem. Several drops of condensation were dripping onto the floor directly underneath the vent outlet. Not good for kitchens with wood flooring. The fourth & last DUCT design is identical to the 3rd with the exception of the vent outlet at the bottom of the door. It has a 90 degree turn to the outlet—which prevents water condensation droplets from exiting the vent onto the floor.





    RINSE AID changes the *surface tension* of water.
    If RINSE AID is *not* used—hundreds of droplets of water will remain at the end of the FINAL RINSE CYCLE—clinging to the roof of the dishwasher and the underside of both the upper & lower racks.
    This is also a significant aspect to be aware of.
    In all dishwashers that do *not* use the HEATING ELEMENT during the dry-cycle—the drying performance will suffer.

    By design—the stainless steel body of the dishwasher & the thermal insulation cladding that is wrapped around the outer shell—traps/contains *heat* from the MAIN WASH & FINAL RINSE CYCLES to be used later for the DRY CYCLE.

    You’ve indicated that the dishwasher was purchased about three years ago—which is approximately 2007.
    This is yet again—significant information.
    The 2007 models did not have the latest (best) DUCT design–dry results were less than ideal for many consumers. Especially so for those not using RINSE AID liquid.






    This is where I think you’ll find the following information interesting.

    All LG dishwashers built from 2004 through approximately spring 2008 (going by memory here) were prone to the following symptoms:

    1) Noisy During Wash Cycle
    2) Wash Results/Performance Degrading (grit / residue on glasses/plates)
    3) Intermittent / Then Permanent “LE” Error Displayed

    This was caused by an error in manufacturing of the WASH MOTOR. During production—the WASH MOTOR components (some of which are stamped metals) were made in machinery in which special lubricants are used.
    This “lubricant / coating” was discovered to be causing a *chemical reaction* in the WASH MOTOR parts—degrading the motor.

    The original motor assemblies (called the SUMP ASSEMBLY) had the following part numbers:


    Every single one of these SUMP ASSYs had a very high potential for the WASH MOTOR failing.
    New / corrected SUMP ASSYs were assigned new part numbers:

    AJH31248604 (in current production)

    Any LG dishwasher built **after** approximately May 2008—had the new SUMP ASSY & thus will not have the symptoms that you’ve described.
    LG recently began offering a 10 year warranty (part only for 3rd thru 10th year) on the most recently introduced model (this model has the steam clean option).

    The other significant aspect of LG dishwashers is that—the original THERMAL CLADDING on the stainless steel tub assy was made of a “tarlike” material (this also provided sound deadening).
    Models built from 2004 to approximately 2007 were prone to having damaged wiring (usually low voltage-thin wires) inside the door assy.
    The “tar” becomes soft during heated cycles—and the wires in the loom become imbedded in the sticky compound. When the compound cools/hardens—the wires are being stretched when the door is opened / then closed. Over time—one or more of the wires will become pulled apart—triggering an error display. The dishwasher will not function correctly. Some “technicians” can easily misdiagnose this and assume the fault lies with the MAIN BOARD.
    All subsequent LG dishwasher use a *cloth-type* THERMAL / SOUND DEADENING material.

    I **rarely** encounter a FAILED MAIN BOARD on the LG dishwashers. The few that I have—were usually due a failed HEATER RELAY on the board. This would trigger an “HE” error.

    Of the hundreds of LG dishwashers that I have serviced (both in & out of warranty), I think that I’ve replaced only 3 or 4 DOOR LINER ASSYs.
    If the dishwasher has a leak at / near the door—this is most often due to a worn / damaged DOOR GASKET.
    However—if the rubber “splashguard” at the very bottom of the stainless steel door becomes deformed / warped—this can ONLY be resolved by replacing the stainless steel DOOR LINER (relatively simple procedure).
    Other (more common) causes of leaking from the door are:

    1) Failed BLOWER HOUSING ASSY (wax motor / seal not closing properly)

    2) Leak from the earlier style DUCT TUBING where it connects to the BLOWER

    3) Over-use (or incorrect type) of detergent causing excessive suds

    4) Failing/Intermittent GUIDE ASSY. Heavy iron accumulation from well water
    causing water overfill due to high iron build-up at the HALL SENSOR of the
    GUIDE ASSY—computer cannot “see / read” amount of water entering tub.




    A complete waste of time.

    The *quality* of useful data from CR is appallingly lacking.

    Consumers would be advised to do THEIR OWN research online.
    Spend about as much time as would be spent reading a CR publication (30 to 60 minutes) reviewing a multitude of different types of internet information / consumer feedback / forums etc.
    Consumers end up with far more different types / levels of information than would EVER be possible through CR (like this thread for example:)




    Most likely—this is an LG rebadged with the Kenmore label.
    With the exception of the above-mentioned corrections—the LG built Kenmore dishwasher is the *same* dishwasher as every model built from 2004 to the present.

    Beginning 2010—LG will be the primary appliance suppliers for Sears Kenmore branded products. This agreement between LG & Sears is subject to review / renewal every 3 years.
    Previously (for more than 70 years) Kenmore appliances were primarily made by WHIRLPOOL CORP.
    The PREFIX NUMBER (1st three numbers) of the Model Number identifies the manufacturer of Kenmore branded products.




    That statement is really the main reason that I even bothered to reply.

    It’s an honest statement.

    Most professionals—tend to think this way:)

    Good Luck


  12. john63 says:

    Are you being deliberately OBTUSE? 🙂

  13. JustME says:

    Well this is pertinent information for us since our eight year old top of the line Maytag dishwasher has stopped working. Hubby has yet to check and see if he can figure out what’s wrong, but if not we’ll be on the lookout for a new one. I sure will miss the three racks though. Last time I looked with a friend there were none to be found.
    I’m hoping I just missed your review because I’d like to know what you think of your new Kenmore Elite.

  14. Sheri says:

    For Mr. John63: Wow, you are so knowledgeable! Could I please pick your brain? I need a new dishwasher. I’ve been reading and researching trying to figure out the wisest purchase to make. The more I search the more confused I become. The Bosch Aascenta was highly recommended by Consumer Reports, but after looking at it I wasn’t all that impressed with the interior of it……clip was broken on basket, the inside was small, the metal finish appeared cheap etc. Perhaps it functions better than it looks. The Lg’s had a quality look interior…..the racks’ coatings looked thicker and they rolled more easily, and the inside was very roomy. The metal interior had a better finish too. But “pretty is as pretty does”. The reviews that I have in countered on both have been a mixed bag. What do you think? I very much appreciate your help with this matter! Thank you!

  15. What’s up, its pleasant piece of writing regarding media print, we all understand media is
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