Maytag/Jenn-Air dishwashers recalled due to fire hazard

Anyone who tells you owning a house is a pure joy has never owned a house. Yes, yes, the American Dream, pride of ownership, blah blah blah. Bottom line? When you become a home owner, you take on all the problems your landlord used to handle, and then some.

Case in point: my dishwasher is being recalled. The manufacturer (Maytag) says liquid rinse-aid (e.g. Jet Dry, which I use and just refilled two days ago) can leak into the dishwasher’s internal wiring, short circuit, and catch fire.

Maytag Corporation has received 135 reports of dishwasher fires, resulting in product and/or property damage.

Anyone find it ironic that a device that fills with water during its use might catch fire? Yeah, me too.

My model, a Maytag that came with the house and is somewhere between six and ten years old, is within the serial number range, so I called and, after several minutes of Automated Phone Tree Hell, they confirmed I’m covered, and offered either to pay for an in-house repair, or give me $75 toward the purchase of another Maytag, Jenn-Air, Whirlpool or KitchenAid dishwasher.

I took the cash.

While I look for a new dishwasher, I’m not supposed to use this one. Three separate times on their website, Maytag says those with affected units should

  • Stop using the product(s).
  • Disconnect the electric supply to the product(s) by shutting off the fuse or circuit breaker controlling it.
  • Inform all users of the product(s) not to use due to the risk of fire.

Stop using the product and wash my dishes by hand? Are you crazy? I’ll just keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Four injuries have been reported, including three reports of smoke inhalation and one serious hand laceration when operating a fire extinguisher to put out a fire in the dishwasher.

Shit. I need my hands. I can’t hold a perfect chilled martini without them.

Well, I’ve been using it for two years without trouble. What are the odds of it igniting after I read about the recall but not before? Hm?

Does the dishwasher really need to be disconnected if it is working fine?

Yes. Customers that have an affected unit should (etc.)

By the way, this is one reason why you should register your purchases. If the previous home owner hadn’t done so, I may never have heard about this. If you have a Maytag or Jenn-Air dishwasher, take a look at the Maytag recall website to see if your dishwasher is affected.

Well, I’ve been wanting to buy a new dishwasher anyway. Now it’ll be $75 cheaper. Now, if I can just find a good sale….

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