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Old 06-02-10, 09:56 AM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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Baby-proofing a Dishwasher

I think I have become well-versed in baby-proofing anything, but every once in a while something that seems like it should be really simple stumps me.

This time it's an older dishwasher in the new house: the catch is that the dishwasher has a dial that is set into the front of the door. I am trying to figure out how to keep the two-year old from turning the dial and thus starting the dishwasher!

I know how to keep the door closed with a latch (basic stuff at this point), but I can't keep him from turning the dial/knob and starting it.

--If I keep the door closed but not latched, he can turn the knob and it won't run, but the little bugger knows that if he pushes on the door a little bit, then it will latch and turn on.

--I thought that maybe I could unplug the dishwasher between uses, but I can't find where it is plugged in (I suspect it is plugged in downstairs, but I can't find the power, so maybe it is hardwired as is the garbage disposal--house was built in '39, before codes were written, so who knows where they ran the plug for the thing).

--It's a galley kitchen, so there is nowhere to install baby gates to keep him out of the kitchen. Besides, the rest of the kitchen is baby-proofed just fine, except the dishwasher knob.

--Everyone responding to queries via Google say to use stove knob covers, but the dishwaser dial is recessed, so that won't work. The dial also won't come off, so I can't remove it between uses.

--The kid understands "No!", but, uh, he's almost two...only those who have had exceptionally curious two-year-olds would understand that comprehending an authoritative "no" isn't any more reasonable than a cat trying to skydive.

So, any ideas of how to cover the knob? It seems that more modern dishwashers have buttons and "child lock-out" features, but our dishwasher has to be from 1965 with the mint green interior and all.
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Old 06-02-10, 10:03 AM   #2
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Sounds more like late 70's.

Given that it's that old, you might look at the bigger picture and consider how much you spend on water and electricity to run it, and compare to a new model. Over the course of 3-4 years, you might come out ahead by getting a new dishwasher. Failing that, sticking some heavy-duty velcro around the dial, and covering it with a velcro-backed cover is the best I'm coming up with.
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Old 06-02-10, 10:13 AM   #3
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I could see making a knob cover of some sort that locks on using a hasp. Would take some fabrication and would make the front of the dishwasher a bit unsightly.
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Old 06-02-10, 10:19 AM   #4
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You need to insert something to keep the door open, stop it from latching.
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Old 06-02-10, 10:20 AM   #5
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I could see making a knob cover of some sort that locks on using a hasp. Would take some fabrication and would make the front of the dishwasher a bit unsightly.
If the dial is recessed flush with the face of the appliance, you could make a flat decorative cover with a locking hasp and hidden hinge, and it wouldn't even be unsightly.
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Old 06-02-10, 12:20 PM   #6
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Find the interlock circuit (that which prevents it from turning on when the door is open) and add another switch. Mount the switch on the counter top or wall.
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Old 06-02-10, 12:22 PM   #7
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Alternatively, get large velcro strips. Mount one side on the bottom of his feet and the other right in front of the dishwasher. Let him get stuck a few times for reinforcement.

Then he'll stay away on his own.
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Old 06-02-10, 12:24 PM   #8
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By the way, it's not called "terrible twos" in relationship to having achieved the age of two. It's called that because of the duration of the phase.
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Old 06-02-10, 12:25 PM   #9
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if you are rewiring it, make it where you have to be INSIDE it to turn it on. Tell him that is his new job, chief dishwasher.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 06-02-10, 12:30 PM   #10
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don't ask me, my kids rose to the challenge of solving/picking every 'safety-first' item i installed
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Old 06-02-10, 12:38 PM   #11
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Teach him how to load it and add the detergent, too.
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Old 06-02-10, 12:58 PM   #12
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if you are rewiring it, make it where you have to be INSIDE it to turn it on. Tell him that is his new job, chief dishwasher.
Win. And then tell him that he's wet behind the ears.
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Old 06-02-10, 01:15 PM   #13
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Teach him how to load it and add the detergent, too.
He already does, when he's in a good mood. Freaky to see a 22-month old load the dishwasher without breaking anything, pick up a bottle of deteregent at almost his own weight, and slam the door.

The problem is the rest of the time when he is being a normal two year old.
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Old 06-02-10, 01:23 PM   #14
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He already does, when he's in a good mood. Freaky to see a 22-month old load the dishwasher without breaking anything, pick up a bottle of deteregent at almost his own weight, and slam the door.

The problem is the rest of the time when he is being a normal two year old.
So you're telling me that in just 18 short months my son can help with the housework?! Ooooh!
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Old 06-02-10, 02:01 PM   #15
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So you're telling me that in just 18 short months my son can help with the housework?! Ooooh!
My son is a clean freak! He grabs the broom and sweeps his dinner messes on the floor into nice piles! I am not kidding one bit. Then he runs and draws on the wall.
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Old 06-02-10, 02:20 PM   #16
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What do they call a combination of OCD and ADHD?
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Old 06-02-10, 02:21 PM   #17
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Not sure, but my five year old has it. The boy loves to clean. He will spend 20 minutes with my shop vac cleaning up the garage floor after I do anything with sawdust involved.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 06-02-10, 02:23 PM   #18
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In my experience most dishwashers are wired in directly. However, this doesn't mean that you can't install a switch somewhere. That may require some electrical skills, so don't shock someone or burn your house down doing this if you feel unsure.
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Old 06-02-10, 02:25 PM   #19
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Not sure, but my five year old has it. The boy loves to clean. He will spend 20 minutes with my shop vac cleaning up the garage floor after I do anything with sawdust involved.
can I borrow your son for a weekend?
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Old 06-02-10, 02:25 PM   #20
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Cover the dial with duct tape. If he gets that off, he'll forget about turning the dial. Wait till he's 3, much, much worse.
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Old 06-02-10, 02:48 PM   #21
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Thompson's Water Seal the kid.

Eventually he's gonna get past whatever interlock you come up with. Don't baby-proof the dishwasher. Dishwasher-proof the child.
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Old 06-02-10, 11:39 PM   #22
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put the kid in the dishwasher and close it...cant get out then and create havoc on the rest of the house!

Shock collars work good in the yard

and NO, I don't plan on having kids!
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Old 06-02-10, 11:59 PM   #23
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Masking tape the dial along its edges to the door of the machine so it won't turn.
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Old 06-03-10, 01:27 AM   #24
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Wait, I'm confused. Are you trying to babyproof the dishwasher from the inside or outside?

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