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IEC Publishes a More Inclusive Dishwasher Performance Test Procedure


New York, Apr 19, 2004

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) recently released the third edition of IEC 60436, Electric Dishwasher performance test procedure, which supercedes the previous edition, published in 1981. An important reason for the third edition was the need to take into account the needs of all countries, which comprise varying voltages and frequencies, different water supply temperatures and water hardness, and availability of specified soiling agents.

IEC Sub-committee 59A/Working Group 2 began the process of a complete revision of the IEC standard in late 1996 with a view to making it more repeatable and reproducible all over the world. This has required significant development work and has drawn on local experience in all regions. The new test procedure has also drawn on the European standard EN50242 as a base document.

Larry Wethje, vice president of technical services at the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, expressed AHAM’s support. “The publication of the IEC dishwasher test procedure marks an important achievement for the international standards community, and recognizes current technologies.”

IEC 60436 defines the important characteristics for determining the performance of household electric dishwashers in order to inform the consumer, and describes the standard methods for measuring these characteristics. The document specifies a standard load type consisting of dinner plates, bread and butter plates, dessert bowls, soup bowls, cups, saucers, glasses, cutlery and serving items of the claimed rated capacity. The energy, water, washing and drying performance is measured during the test.

The new IEC test procedure contains many significant changes, namely: an improvement in the reproducibility and repeatability of results by the introduction of a reference dishwasher; an alternate AHAM-type test load, an evaluation of dishwasher filter systems, and alternate food soil drying methods. Also, the standard has updated the formulation of the detergent and rinse agents to reflect currently marketed products. This revision represents a major change in the development of international performance testing of dishwashers with the inclusion of test methods beyond the traditional European methodologies.

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