Have you ever wondered why some dishwashers are $250, and others are $900? I mean, really, how many bells and whistles can you add? Itís a dishwasher. Well, I found the answer during a recent trip to an appliance store. The price difference is all about how quiet it is. In other words, most machines are fairly equal, quality-wise Ė and the price increase is mostly for increased insulation.

Basically, if the dishwasher goes in a far corner of your home - where noise wonít be an issue Ė you can go with the cheaper version. But if itís somewhere the noise might bother people Ė like, near the family room where everybody watches TV Ė youíll want something quieter.

And the lower the number of decibels, the better. For a quiet dishwasher, the salesman recommended 51 decibels or less. But how can you tell if the dishwasher youíre considering is a quiet one? You could ask the sales staff to look it up, or check the brand and model number on the Internet. But thereís actually a cool, easy way to tell Ė right there in the store. Just grab your cell phone, and play a song on it with the volume turned up; then stick it inside the dishwasher and close the door. (Obviously, you donít want to try this in a dishwasher that could be turned on!) If it sounds like the phoneís sitting right on the counter, itís a loud dishwasher. But if you canít hear the music, or itís really faint, you know itís a pretty quiet one. Ahh Ė the magic of technology!

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