DEAR SUN SPOTS: I hope you can help me with a Crossley dishwasher I bought last February from Jay’s Small Engine and Appliance. He charged me $349 for the dishwasher and $172 to put in a new hook-up.

He said the one I had was too far from the furnace and the water wasn’t hot enough. He took the copper line from the old hook-up with him.

I have to soak the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher because if there’s any food at all on them it stays in the dishwasher and all over the dishes.

Jay told me my water’s not hot enough. It’s scalding hot.

I called the dishwasher company, and they sent someone from the appliance warehouse. He told me it doesn’t have a garbage disposal and I have to scrape the dishes.

He wouldn’t even look at the dishes that come out dirty. They can’t fix it and they won’t take it back.

I bought it February 2012 and have been trying to get them to do something ever since then.

If anyone has a Whirlpool model 225052, I would like to buy it. — Louise, Mechanic Falls

ANSWER: Sun Spots spoke with Jay, the owner. He said that he has been out to your home numerous times to check out the dishwasher, and that there is nothing wrong with it.

He did say that it is an inexpensive model, which you preferred because it has a dial rather than electronic controls, and that it does not have a hot-water booster, which many models do have.

Jay said that while your water may feel scalding to you, for a dishwasher it must be much hotter than what you can touch. He said he showed you a thermometer reading indicating that the water temperature is too low for the dishwasher to work properly.

He agrees with the Crossley representative that there is no garbage disposal in the dishwasher and that dishes must be scraped before washing. Dishwashers will cope with small amounts of food through their “soft food” disposals, he said, but not any quantity of food.

As for the hook-up fees, Jay said there was no charge for that, but that he had to make some repairs to your plumbing, including a corroded drain, and put in a loop and air vent. If you are concerned about the plumbing, you could ask a plumber to review Jay’s work and see if it’s adequate.

Jay also said you bought and returned a dishwasher from Lowe’s before buying from him and that you wanted to buy the same model as your old dishwasher because it worked fine. However, that model is no longer available.

Sun Spots does not know if your old dishwasher had a hot-water booster. Perhaps it did or perhaps the older model had some other feature or used more water, which may be why you didn’t have the problems you have now.

Jay is adamant that there is nothing wrong with the dishwasher but said he wants to make you happy. He offered a couple of options to fix the situation.

1. If you call your furnace technician out to check your system and the hot water temperature and there is nothing wrong with it, he will pay for the service call. He does want to be there when the serviceman comes. 

If there is a problem, this means you might have to pay for repairs. But if your furnace is not running efficiently and repairs are made, you may have the added benefit of possibly lowering your oil consumption as well as making your water hotter for the dishwasher.

2. If you will upgrade to a dishwasher with a hot-water booster, he will take the Crossley back and install the new dishwasher, charging you only for the price difference between the old dishwasher and the new one.

If Jay fails to follow through on whichever offer you accept, you have other options.

1. You can call the Consumer Protection Service of the Maine Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-436-2131 (9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday), email [email protected], or write the Attorney General’s Consumer Division, 6 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. Details of this protection may be found at

2. You can go to small-claims court. If you take that route, you’d probably want to get a third party (perhaps a plumber?) to review your dishwasher setup. Otherwise the court case will simply turn into “she said/he said” contest.

Although the dishwasher is nearly a year old, you are not up against the clock yet. Jay said the dishwasher has a three-year warranty, plus the state of Maine imposes a four-year guarantee on consumer products being free from manufacturing defects.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.