We have had a Miele Incognito dishwasher for quite a few years. Mostly, it is a wonderful machine; does a great job of cleaning the dishes and does so extremely quietly.
It does, however, have a couple of design flaws that I wanted to record here for other Miele owners to potentially stumble across when googling their frustrations.
Recently, or dishwasher would intermittently stop mid-cycle and flash the “Intake/Drain” light, indicating that the dishwasher either had no supply or the drain had failed. When this first happened, cleaning the filter basket was enough to let it complete the cycle (even when the filter basket didn’t have anything in it). Lately, the dishwasher wouldn’t even complete the initial drain cycle (the dishwasher always fires up the pump when first turned on to clear any sitting water).
Apparently, this is not an uncommon problem.
Once the filter basket is removed, there is a bit of wire that holds down the drain pipe on top of the pump impeller. For most with this problem, taking off the drain pipe reveals that the impeller is jammed by a bit of glass, a pit, hair, or other debris.
Not in my case. The drain pipe is actually not just a pipe, but a gravity/pressure activated ball valve. It exists to prevent backwash from the disposer or sink from entering the washer. That ball valve was entirely clogged with debris.
In particular, there was an olive pit wedge behind the ball valve such that the ball valve was barely opening. This led to bits of food being wedged between ball and pipe, quite effectively clogging the drain pipe. Once fully cleaned, the dishwasher works just fine again.
The real problem is that once there is any kind of problem in the dishwasher that prevents drainage, removing the filter basket causes whatever food bits that haven’t settled into the filter basket to end up falling into the pump intake area.
To avoid this, use a shop vacuum out any standing water (and food) in the bottom of the dishwasher before removing the filter basket.
On the inexcusably stupid front, the dishwasher — like most dishwashers — has a filter basket at the bottom of the dishwasher that is designed to catch bits of food and stuff before it hits the pump. The sump filter basket has a hinged bottom so you can open it up and clean it out periodically.
Unfortunately, the hinge isn’t actually a hinge. Miele’s designers cut a corner and the “hinge” is really just a thin spot connecting the door to the filter basket. Obviously, it is cheaper to make a single injection modeled piece than to actually have a mechanical hinged connection.
Expect the hinge to fail every 3 to 5 years. Replacement cost? $135 as of the spring of 2010.