Archive for February, 2012

Dishwasher db noise level ratings by brand and model

Monday, February 27th, 2012


Kitchen Noise – Dishwasher db levels by Brand and model

An example of relative noise levels from our surroundings, are shown below:

Normal conversation   60db

Moderate rainfall          50db

Quiet conversation       40db

Whisper                        30db

Decibels (a measurement of noise) are logarithmic and not linear in measurement.  This means that a 50db dishwasher will be twice as loud as a 40db dishwasher.  Most dishwashers rated below 50dbA can be considered quiet, and dishwashers rated below 45dbA can be considered silent.  I only listed Dishwashers that had a MSRP over $500, and that had available sound level ratings, and did not have any obvious bad ratings.   I obtained the following information from the manufacturer websites.


No Dishwashers over $500 MSRP




D5894XXLHS  44 db  MSRP  N/A


D5654XXLHS  46 db  MSRP  N/A


D5634XXLHS  48 db  MSRP  N/A


D5434XXLHS  48 db  MSRP  N/A


D5434XXLHB  48 db  MSRP  N/A


D5434XXLHW  48 db  MSRP  N/A


D5893XXLHS  45 db  MSRP  N/A


D5253XXLHS 47 db  MSRP  N/A


D5233XXLHS  49 db  MSRP  N/A


D5152XXLS  47 db  MSRP  N/A


D5152XXLW  47 db  MSRP  N/A


D5122aXXLS  49 db  MSRP  N/A


D5554XXLFI  46 db  MSRP  N/A


D5534XXLFI  48 db  MSRP  N/A


D5894XXLFI  44 db  MSRP  N/A


D5893XXLFI  45 db  MSRP  N/A


D5253XXLFI  47 db  MSRP  N/A


D5233XXLFI  49 db  MSRP  N/A




SHE9ER55UC  39 db  MSRP $1999

SHE8ER55UC  40 db  MSRP $1499

SHE7ER55UC  42 db  MSRP $1299

SHE68R55UC  44 db  MSRP $1099

SHE68R56UC  44 db  MSRP $999

SHE68R52UC  44 db  MSRP $999

SHE55M15UC  47 db  MSRP $999

SHE55R55UC  46 db  MSRP $899

SHE55M16UC  47 db  MSRP $899

SHE55M12UC  47 db  MSRP $899

SHE55R56UC  46 db  MSRP $799

SHE55R52UC  46 db MSRP $799


SHE43R55UC  48db MSRP $799


SHE43R56UC  48 db MSRP $699


SHE43R52UC  48 db MSRP $699


SHE43R56UC  48 db MSRP $699


SHX9ER55UC  39 db MSRP $1999


SHX98M09UC  42 db MSRP $1649


SHX8ER55UC  40 db MSRP $1499


SHX7ER55UC  42 db MSRP $1299


SHX68R55UC  44 db MSRP $1199


SHX68R56UC  44 db MSRP $1099


SHX68R52UC  44 db MSRP $1099


SHX55R55UC  46 db MSRP $999


SHX55R56UC  46 db MSRP $899


SHX43R55UC  48 db MSRP $899


SHX43R56UC  48 db MSRP $799


SHX43R52UC  48 db MSRP $799




EIDW6305GS   45 db MSRP $1399


EWDW6505GS   45 db MSRP $1549


EIDW6105GS   45 db MSRP $1299


EIDW6405HT   45 db MSRP $1199



Fiskal Paykal

Db not available



No models below 50db



GE Profile PDWT480VSS  48db  MSRP $1449

GE Profile PDWT500VBB  48db  MSRP $1499

GE Profile PDWT500VWW  48db  MSRP $1499

GE Profile PDWT502VII  48db  MSRP $1599

GE Cafe CDWT980VSS  48db  MSRP $1649

GE Profile PDWT505VWW  48db  MSRP $1699

GE Profile PDWT505VBB  48db  MSRP $1699


Trifecta JDB8700AWS 40 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB3600AWX 42 db  MSRP N/A


Trifecta JDB3650AWY 42 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8000AWS 49 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8200AWP 46 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8700AWS 40 db  MSRP N/A

Trifecta JDB8000AWC 49 db  MSRP N/A


Kenmore Elite 1392   49db MSRP $999

Kenmore Elite 1393   49db MSRP $1050

Kenmore Elite 1394   49db MSRP $1117

Kenmore Elite 1396   46db MSRP $1170

Kenmore Elite 1397   43db MSRP $1264

Kenmore Elite 1317   46db MSRP $1769

Kenmore Elite 1404   43db MSRP $2250

Kenmore Elite 1395   48db MSRP $1030



KUDE6QSXSS  43 db MSRP $1799

KUDE70FXSS   40 db MSRP $1749

KUDE60HXSS   43 db MSRP $1699

KUDE60FXSS   43 db MSRP $1599

KUDE50CXSS   40 db MSRP $1499

KUDE40FXSP   46 db MSRP $1499

KUDE48FXSS   46 db MSRP $1399

KUDE40FXSS   46 db MSRP $1299

KUDS30SXSS   49 db MSRP $1149

KUDS30FXSS   49 db MSRP $999

KUDS35FXSS   49 db MSRP $999

KUDS30CXSS   49 db MSRP $949

KUDE20IXSS   46 db MSRP $899

KUDS30IXSS   49 db MSRP $849



Db not available



Db not available



Db not available




DMT800RHS  49 db MSRP $899



DWHD651GFP  41 db  MSRP N/A

DWHD650GFP  44 db  MSRP N/A

DWHD630GCP  45 db  MSRP N/A



Db not available



Db not available

Kitchen Noise – Refrigerators & Freezers

Monday, February 20th, 2012

If you have the “urge” to splurge with fridges all over – A subzero fridge with 2 compressors, fridge drawers in the bake center, a built in wine cooler, an ice machine, and an all freezer unit, you might want to think about what it’s like to have all those compressors “singing” at the same time (For an entertaining viewpoint on refrigerator noise:

With most fridges in the 40 dbA – 50 dbA range, and no readily available sound ratings, it makes it difficult to select a quiet fridge (Don’t depend on your ears in the showroom where other sounds will mask it).  Fans (external and circulating), compressor, icemaker, and defrost components all contribute to noise.  With an assortment of whines (compressor), hums (fans), clicks, pops (defroster), and thuds (ice maker), it will only get worse as these components get older. 

If you want a wine cooler, consider placing it in the pantry, wine cellar, or other remote areas.  If you want the wine cooler closer to the kitchen, consider choosing a wine cooler that is not built in, with a Thermoelectric Cooling System (electronic, so it’s quieter), or a high end model such as a Monogram or Perlick. 

Upright freezers (especially the garden variety non built-ins) and icemakers (60 dbA) can be particularly noisy, and probably should be in another location such as the pantry, laundry room, rec room snack bar, or even garage (depending on climate).  If looking for a quiet built in all freezer, consider looking at the Bosch, Thermador, Viking, or Electrolux Icon.  I have no experience with these brands, but from what I’ve read they sound like they should be reasonably quiet compared to a standard upright freezer.   Another option for icemakers is a portable icemaker that can be used for special occasions and stored inside a cabinet until needed). 

For the main fridge, consider a fridge with a variable speed compressor (quieter and also more efficient).  If fridge drawers are used, consider a location where they don’t face into the adjacent rooms in an open floor plan.  If the fridge backs up to a wall that is a bedroom wall, you might consider sound remediation techniques for that wall , so the noises don’t wake you up at night. 

Personal Experience – I have a Kitchen Aid 42” French Door Built-in with a variable speed compressor (very quiet).  I had U-line fridge drawers, which had a typical fridge noise level.  It died within 3 years, and was replaced with Kitchen Aid fridge drawers (HELLO  – READY FOR TAKEOFF!)   Isolated from the Kitchen in the pantry/laundry room are a built-in wine cooler which has a typical fridge noise level and a GE upright freezer, which I consider very noisy, and is going to get replaced someday.

Kitchen Noise – dishwasher

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

According to a survey by AEG Electrolux, 40% of the people surveyed long for a quieter kitchen and 25% of the people surveyed take noise into consideration when buying an appliance.

The most important element in designing a quieter kitchen is to select quieter appliances.   An example of relative noise levels from our surroundings, are shown below:

Normal conversation   60db

Moderate rainfall          50db

Quiet conversation       40db

Whisper                           30db

Decibels (a measurement of noise) are logarithmic and not linear in measurement.  This means that a 50db dishwasher will be twice as loud as a 40db dishwasher.  Most dishwashers rated below 50dbA can be considered quiet, and dishwashers rated below 45dbA can be considered relatively silent.    Industry standards for measuring dishwasher sound levels now allow you to compare between brands as well as models in selecting a quieter dishwasher.  Technical specifications on appliance websites or customer service 800 numbers provide you with access to the db rating.

 Proper installation and placement can also affect how quiet a dishwasher will be.  A dishwasher that is surrounded by cabinets and on an outside wall will probably be quieter than a dishwasher that is placed in an island with only a thin sheet of wood separating the dishwasher from the room.  The access hole for drain and water lines (side of the sink cabinet) allow pump noises to escape under the sink unless the hole is plugged with insulation.  Drain noises at the end of a cycle can be minimized by choosing a good garbage disposal such as the Insinkerator Evolution, which has a special rubber drain flap designed to minimize drain noise.  Insure that the bottom dishwasher kickplate cover sets flush on the floor, and add additional sound deadening material to the back of the plate if necessary. 

If the noise level is still too loud after installation, you might consider upgrading or adding soundproofing in the following locations:

        If insulation behind kickplate is fiberglass or thinner than 2 inches, you might consider replacing it with a 2” absorbent soundproof mat.

        If there is a gap between the dishwasher and the cabinet/counter, fill this with a flexible round foam weather stripping material from the local hardware store.

        If room allows, line the dishwasher cabinet space and under the counter with ½” absorbent sound mat or drape soundproofing mass loaded vinyl over the dishwasher before installing.

        If only a small piece of foam is between the inner and outer door, replace this with a soundproofing absorbent mat the same thickness. for materials and additional info

Personal Experience – I have a GE profile dishwasher rated at 47dbA, and I hear a very light swooshing of water.  Noise level seems quite tolerable.