Kenmore Elite 14763 Dishwasher Review
Kenmore’s latest dishwasher innovations, all in one machine
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With its MicroClean filter, spiral pattern 360° PowerWash spray arm, and TurboZone Reach wall jets, the Kenmore Elite 14763 (MSRP $1,259.99) is filled to the brim with Kenmore’s latest and greatest dishwasher innovations. Coupled with interior features that make loading dishes less of a chore, this model is a fine entry in the high-end Elite line.
But does it stack up against others in its class? Our tests found the 14763 is great at cleaning dishes. Across all tests this dishwasher avoided trouble with redeposited food, thanks to MicroClean filtration. However, there are some numbers we weren't so happy with, like long cycle times and comparatively high utility consumption.
Still, if all you want are clean dishes, an attractive stainless steel shell, and a filter that rarely needs cleaning, the 14763 certainly delivers. It’s cheaper than the very similar Kenmore Elite 14793, and most users will hardly notice difference in performance and features.
By the Numbers
When a dishwasher cleans especially well, we’re particularly interested in its numbers. Usually, there’s a drawback somewhere, whether it's higher water consumption, power usage, or time. Sometimes, it’s the number most buyers are concerned with: the price. In the case of the Kenmore 14763, it seems to have boiled down to cycle times and resource draw.
This Elite’s Pots & Pans cycle did something only a handful of other dishwashers have accomplished: It completely removed our baked-on spinach stains. While this is a marvelous feat, not all of the 14763’s stain scores were quite as nice.
Two things were common across all the cycles we tested. First, the good news: Thanks to MicroClean, no instances of redeposit were spotted. Ever. The bad news: items loaded at the rear of the upper rack weren’t as clean as those loaded closer to the center.
We’ve encountered this water coverage problem on other dishwashers, but the TurboZone Reach jets are specifically designed to combat it. While they certainly help the 14763 deliver better cleaning results to hard-to-reach items, there’s still a noticeable difference in cleanliness depending on where an item is loaded. It’s a step in the right direction, but not across the finish line.
Normal Wash behaved strangely as an everyday cycle. Even after multiple runs, we found this cycle lasted around three hours and used a large amount of water and electricity, resulting in above-average cleaning ability. This sort of programming would make more sense for a heavy duty cycle, and we guess that most consumers would rather have a Normal cycle that finishes faster.
Design & Usability
If it’s red, it sprays water.
Monolithic and monotone on the outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell this is a Kenmore if it weren’t for the Kenmore Elite emblem on the door. That's a good thing if you're planning on mixing and matching brands.
With that said, you still won't be able to tell which Kenmore Elite this is. If this sort of minimalist, industrial look works for your kitchen, then the 14763 is a perfect fit.
Contrasting the muted exterior, the 14763’s interior pops with color. All of the spray nozzles are painted an eye-catching race car red: the row of nozzles lining the walls, the four high-intensity sprayers in the back, and the rotating wash arm on the bottom. It’s an impressive display of what is essentially the dishwasher’s arsenal. This is one washer sure to earn ooh's and ah's from friends, if you have the sort of friends who like to look inside your dishwasher.
Aside from looking nice, the 14763 also feels nice to use. The hidden control panel’s touch-sensitive buttons are responsive and simple to use, and the LCD timer gives an accurate estimate of how long a cycle will take. Our only gripe is that the panel’s glossy finish is prone to smudging.
We were able to easily fit 11 standard place settings and a serving setting inside the 14763. The cup shelf, steak knife holder, and three-piece cutlery basket provide good homes for utensils and other small items, while height adjustment for the upper rack and collapsible tines on both racks offer flexibility for non-standard sized items. Also, the upper rack’s rail rolls on ball bearings instead of wheels, which makes for a smooth glide even when it’s weighed down.
According to our calculations, the 14763 will run you about $37.41 per year in utility costs. This is about $7-8 above average, and it’s mostly because this dishwasher’s Normal Wash cycle uses extra water and electricity. On average, each run consumes 1.17 kWh of electricity and 5.49 gallons of hot water. The regular, everyday cycles on most other consumer dishwashers use between 0.70 kWh and 0.90 kWh per run, and only need around 3.5 gallons of water. In fact, some efficient models need just 2.5 gallons or less.
Interestingly, the Pots & Pans cycle was more efficient than Normal Wash, using only 0.98 kWh of power and 4.4 gallons of hot water. We ran multiple passes just to be sure, and this heavier, stronger cycle consistently used less than the Normal Wash. Express Wash used 0.75 kWh and 6.03 gallons, which is more in line with what we expect from a quick cycle.
Plenty of buttons to push
Many of the 14763’s advertised features, such as its MicroClean filter and 360° PowerWash arm, aren’t things you’ll directly interact with. Most people are fine with hitting one button and walking away, but this Kenmore does provide a lot of control over how you want to wash. The general-use Normal, Pots & Pans, and Express Wash cycles are joined by specialty cycles China Gentle, Smart Wash, and Quick Rinse. On default settings, they accomplish exactly what their names imply.
Of course, default isn’t enough for all loads, which is where options like Hi Temp Wash, Sani Rinse, and Turbo Zone come in. Each of these options help to removing extra-tough stains, and there are additional options for extra light loads too: Using the Top Rack Only or Bottom Rack Only settings can save time and money.
Non-wash options include a child lock and a sound off feature. The Cancel button is a convenient way to quickly interrupt a cycle, and it’s only worth mentioning because—as simple as this concept is—not all dishwashers have it. Additionally, hitting the Start button with no cycle selected will tell the machine to repeat the last cycle, which is a nice touch for people who really dislike hitting buttons.
We were able to fit 11 place settings and a serving setting inside the 14763. The interior has a few features that make loading easier, such as a splittable, three-piece cutlery basket, a steak knife holder, and heigh adjustments for the upper rack. There’s also a cup shelf and a pair of stemware holders on the upper rack, but they feel flimsier than the interior's other components.
Where'd all the spinach go?
We test dishwashers using a variety of stains, but one of our toughest is baked-on spinach. Even on heavy duty cycles, most machines leave some of this stain behind, and particularly poor performers will spread the stain onto other dishes. The 14763’s Pots & Pans cycle was one of the few that completely obliterated all traces of our spinach stains.
That said, the Elite isn't perfect. We found, despite TurboZone Reach boasting complete water coverage, some of the items loaded on the rear of the upper rack weren’t as clean as items placed closer to the center. The difference wasn’t drastic, but it was noticeable.
This Kenmore’s Normal cycle took 3 hours to complete and used slightly more water and electricity compared to the common workhorse cycles of other dishwashers. Additionally, we were surprised to find the Pots & Pans cycle on this machine actually used less resources to do a better job cleaning. With results like that, you might be better off using Pots & Pans everyday loads, rather than Normal Wash.
Unsurprisingly, this dishwasher has an above average annual utility cost: $37.41 per year. That's about $8 above average, due to long cycles and high resource consumption. For what it’s worth, the dishes do come out clean, and some of these costs can be offset by disabling the drying option or washing only one rack.
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This Kenmore comes with an industry-standard 1-year warranty, wherein all parts and labor related to fixing defects are covered. During the second year of ownership, you’ll be responsible for the labor costs, but not the costs of replacement parts. Similar coverage extends for the upper and lower racks for up to five years (you pay for labor, Sears pays for parts), and the stainless steel tub and inner door panel are covered for the life of the machine.
Why We Like It
Not the best, but close
The 14763 is not the best Kenmore Elite dishwasher, but wise consumers might stick with this one, instead of shelling out an extra $250 for the 14793. That’s a pretty wide dollar gap, and you wouldn't be missing out on much by "settling" for the 14763.
Compared to dishwashers outside the Kenmore family, the 14763 has some tough competition in its price range. If you want raw cleaning power and more water jets, the GE Profile PDT750SSFSS is still one of the toughest high-end dishwashers out there. If you want a touch of luxury, the German-manufactured Miele G4925SCU may turn more heads. But of course, all three of them will clean plates.