Earth Notes: A Note On the Zanussi ZDS2010 freestanding slimline dishwasher: Review

A like-for-like replacement of our 10-year-old Zanussi model...


  • Zanussi ZDS2010 freestanding slimline dishwasher
  • Reviewed by: Damon Hart-Davis on 2012/01/07
  • Works, but not much more efficient than the older model, and can be occasionally unreliable.
  • Decent simple range of settings including Eco/50C, plus delay button for carbon-footprint trimming.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Our old dishwasher, after at least one repair some years ago (photos of the expired Zanussi DW24), started failing to fill but turning the heating element on anyway 2009/12/10, which I assumed meant that the logic was failing. The pump had been getting weaker for some time too, so the money to buy a replacement had been put to one side...

(2017/01/01 note: DW24 was purchased 1999/12/29 and delivered mid Jan 2000. Bought from Tempo for £299.99 with delivery £9.89, inc VAT@17.5%. I also took out 4 years' extra breakdown and accidental damage cover starting after basic 1 year warranty for £99 from Domestic&General, AKA 'extended warranty'.)


Though less urgent than replacing our washing machine we still wanted a replacement fairly quickly, so having done a quick survey of the alternatives I selected us another Zanussi (AAA-rated), more-or-less a direct replacement for our expired model, but with the addition of an 'eco' programme.

The astonishing thing to me is that a decade of dishwasher development doesn't seem to have made an enormous difference to (energy) efficiency. For example, the main and quick washes seem from the manual as if they will use more-or-less the same energy and water as the just-expired appliance.

What we seem to have gained with the new model is a greater variety of programmes which presumably allows more efficient use in its own right for users that take the time to choose the correct cycle. We also get a cooler (50°C) 'eco' wash that washes for longer to use only the energy of the quick wash while apparently managing the thoroughness of the main (65°C) wash and the convenience of a thermal dry.

We also gain a 'delay' button to help reduce electricty costs and carbon emissions, and an even-more-intensive (70°C) pot-and-pans wash...

I shall be evaluating the wash performance vs energy consumption!

First Impressions


  • The appliance front is still clean and simple, and only slightly more complex than the DW24.
  • There is a delay button to help shift load to a better (cheaper or less-carbon-intense time).
  • The manual claims an extra place setting will fit in the machine, and the top rack in particular is better arranged to allow this.
  • Maximum power consumption is down from ~3kW (rated 2.8kWh) to about 2.2kW, which is kinder to the grid, and the appliance plug and cable don't get as warm as for the DW24.
  • Filters seem better and easier to clean.
  • When off at the dial/controls the machine draws < 0.1W so far as I can tell, which is good; with the display lit, eg at the end of the prewash/rinse cycle, consumption is ~1.5W, which is still good.


  • The drain hose is considerably shorter than that of the DW24, so we're immediately having to buy an extension which is not good. (It seemed to stretch with time, allowing us to ditch the extension.)
  • The holes in the cutlery grid/basket are too small for the handles on some of our forks and the handles do not have handy slots for small spoons, etc, so we may use the cutlery basket that we had saved from the DW24!
  • The delayed start is (only) for 3h; we tend to go to bed by 10pm and the best time to run it from a grid-carbon-intensity point of view is ~2am, so 3h is a bit short.
  • It looks unlikely that this could be left set up and ready and then started by turning the power on, eg automatically in response to low grid carbon-intensity.
  • The machine sometimes seems to 'stutter', starting to wash, then stop a few seconds later, then wash a again for a few seconds, then stop, then wash again.
  • There is no visible indication of progress until the cycle finishes, unlike the mechanical dial on the DW24.
  • It seems easy to upset the machine by opening the door and interrupting the cycle; after the second rinse on my first ECO run the machine seemed to just do nothing for an hour before finishing without apparently doing the final rinse or thermal dry, though this may be 'normal' behaviour!


  • Noise levels seem acceptable; similar to the DW24.
  • The back of the appliance gets warmer than I expected with the stainless-steel tub and a thin layer of foam insulation apparently exposed.
  • The prewash may be taking a little longer than the DW24, but nothing significant.

ZDS2010 Performance

Here are some observations:

ProgrammeWash Temp Wash TimeEnergy Use Inlet TempComments
Intensive70°C 75m^1.7kWh* 10°C Did a reasonable job of some baked-on food on a glass dish, and got a well-used tea mug pretty clean too, though I'm not sure that it's worth twice the energy of 'ECO'.
Normal65°C 110m^1.5kWh* 10°C Wash quality (and drying) was fine overnight on a mixed full load (having first done a prewash/rinse and emptied the filter).
Quick65°C 30m^0.9kWh* 10°C Wash quality (and drying) was fine overnight on a smallish load (having first done a prewash/rinse and emptied the filter). Another moderately-full mixed run during the day used 0.8kWh and did not quite clean a peanut-butter jar.
ECO50°C 130m0.9kWh* 10°C Seems to be a better wash/rinse than the quickwash on the old machine, with better drying if time is left after the cycle, eg overnight.
Prewashcold 11m~0.02kWh 10°C Tiny amount of energy (less than boiling the water for a small cup of tea) to get most of the crud off your plates before starting the wash proper!
  • *Machine run overnight on delay timer.
  • ^From manual; not measured.

I expect that ECO will be our usual overnight cycle, with the occasional Intensive/Normal 'maintenance' wash, and 'Quick' if we need to catch up during the day.

I will use the Prewash during the day when necessary to prevent food from drying on, and before a Quick wash to ensure that milk is rinsed off first in cold (as an immediate hot wash may cause it to stick worse to dishes), and to empty the filter before a full wash of plates, etc, are especially dirty.

Load Profile

I measured the (electrical) load profile of the dishwasher:

  • When 'off' at the dial (an no lights on), it consumes ~0W (<0.1W). (This measurement taken with newer meter 2014/06/10.)
  • When idle (ie just front-panel lights on) it consumes ~2W.
  • When filling it consumes ~9W.
  • When washing, ie pumping water around inside, it consumes ~100W.
  • When heating (while washing/rinsing), it consumes ~2200W (peak 2285W).

For the "ECO" 50°C wash, with at 13°C water inlet temperature, basic behaviour was:

  • 0m--20m: prewash, cold, <0.1kWh cumulative consumption.
  • 20m--60m: wash, hot, consuming ~0.4kWh in first ~12m, 0.5kWh cumulative.
  • 60m--70m: rinse, hot, ~0.9kWh cumulative consumption.
  • 70m--125m: quiet, thermal dry.

(Note: the instruction manual seems to claim one more rinse than I observed.)

Thus, two bursts of ~0.4kWh consumption (>2kW) at 20m and 60m for ~10m each, the first 70m otherwise being a fairly constant ~100W, and the last ~60m being a fairly constant ~2W.

Fairly similar (though more bursty with lower total consumption) to the Defy Dishmaid "Normal Wash" 60°C for example.


I haven't kept a full track of all repairs, but here are some:

2016/06/19: ~£100 (including call-out charge) to replace the drain pump which was leaking. No evidence of control board or sensors on way out as I had feared. (New dishwasher would be £200 upwards, eg for Beko A++ model.)

2016/11/21: further repairs/investigations and and leaks, eg around door seal, means this machine probably won't make the 5-year mark. Another A++ slimline freestanding dishwasher now seems to be available, the Hotpoint SIUF32120 ~£329, and the brand is less worrying than Beko.

2017/03/13: we seem to have a stay of execution: ensuring a hot maintenance wash once per week seems to have kept the machine going, without further mishap, even though we were resigned to replacing it months ago.