Breaks the noise ordinance but otherwise full of features.

Jun 9, 2012 (Updated Jun 9, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Lots of features.  Largest silverware basket.  Can modify racks.

Cons:Very noisy.  Finicky about detergent and rinse aid.

The Bottom Line: Carefully measured name-brand detergent and a full well of rinse aid makes a huge difference in noise and performance.


Our old dishwasher was still plugging away but didn’t seem to be getting the dishes as sparkling as it once had and I suspected hard water had taken its toll.  I wanted a new dishwasher but definitely did not want to replace it with the same dishwasher.  We were not ready to replace all the appliances, so we settled for one that matched well enough to hold us over until the big appliance makeover.
 
The dishwasher I planned on getting was out of stock so the salesman swayed me to this model.  I purchased the Frigidaire FGHD2433KF because I liked the spacing of the racks and the price was inexpensive.  I got really nervous when I got home and saw the reviews from other owners.  I’ve been waiting for things to go sour, but now that I’m 10 months in I am still content with the dishwasher.  The quality of the dishwasher definitely seems questionable, but the performance is okay and certainly better than the one I replaced. 

The control panel is on the top is more convenient for me because I don’t have to bend or strain my eyes to see the buttons.  The counter covers a little of the control panel but we can still read it.  The dishwasher remembers the last setting so start is all that needs to be chosen.  There is a very bright light that illuminates when the rinse aid is empty.  I keep the dispenser full because the light is very annoying to me.  

A feature of this dishwasher is automatically accommodating the wash based on the soil level of the dishes.  It is beyond me how that dishwasher determines this.  I always rinse the dishes before dropping them in and normally select the normal wash.  This really gets our dishes clean; even a knife with peanut butter comes out clean.  Pans and baking dishes on the other hand sometimes result in food baking on making it even harder to get off.  My wash time is normally projected to be 99 minutes but the time will randomly drop a little depending on what the “smart sensor” determines the soil level to be.  You can count on the wash being the entire length of a movie so the delayed wash is a feature worth having because it competes with the television in the next room. 

The product is marketed as having a noise-reduction design.  Ours started out as pretty quiet but as the days progressed we noticed it began to squeal and make odd and very loud noises.  At first we thought there was something wrong with the machine but realized that’s just its personality; loud and obnoxious.  In addition to the unidentifiable noises, I can also hear the water splashing against the panels, the draining into the sink, and the normal transitions through the different cycles.  Some days I think we need to get a repairman out, other days I don’t notice it running.  Oddly enough the screeching goes away if less detergent is used.  

I’m able to fit everything from dinner into the dishwasher at one time including pots and pans, bowls, and tiny items due to the flexible racks and the inserts that come with the dishwasher.  I wish there were more room between the plates. 

The adjustable racks and removable baskets give more options for a variety of sizes.  The middle section of the upper rack folds out for a wide flat area in the middle.  This is helpful for bowls but also creates a larger area for things to slip through.  There also a basket that folds down over the area that coffee mugs normally go.  There is a 3-piece silverware basket and a long catch-all basket.  What I don’t like is the racks are very flimsy and the top rack has already bent.  I also have to find somewhere to store all the removable baskets when they are not in use. 

The silverware basket is my favorite part of the dishwasher.  The silverware basket opens from the top only so there’s no chance of a latch giving loose and the silverware spilling all over the floor.  The silverware basket also has two pockets with dividers to make an even larger surface area so silverware can be spread out for cleaner silverware, or for wider items like ice cream scoops or pizza wheels.  There is also a long removable long basket for little things.  I’ve put in things like My K-cup filters or canning lids.   

The drawback of the silverware basket is large cooking utensils like ladles and spatulas are too tall for the area and interfere with the spray arm.  We put our cooking utensils on the upper rack diagonally so they don’t slip through.      

I have noticed the dishwasher does not clean well at all if I run it without the rinse aid.  Jet-Dry Finish rinse aid works best for me but we sure go through a lot of it.  I have to refill well at least once a week.  I have settled on Cascade with Dawn liquid detergent as that gets our dishes the cleanest with the least amount of noise.  I also had to run a dishwasher cleaner through after 6 months and it solved the problem of dull dishes.

We use clear classes and our family refuses to drink out of a glass or use silverware that has a film, haze, or water marks on them.  With the help of just a touch of Cascade and a whole lot Jet-Dry this dishwasher does a very nice job of producing a clean streak-free glass and silverware.  Less expensive dishwashing detergents and off brand rinse aids have been tried but this is what I have found to be the perfect balance for clean dishes with our very hard water.  It’s tempting to save money by getting whatever is on sale or using a less expensive dishwashing detergent or rinse, but in order to avoid the dying sounds the dishwasher I have to stick to what the dishwasher seems to want.    

The dishwasher does a great job with pre-rinsed dishes but doesn’t rise to the occasion with pots and pans or baking dishes.  This product is National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified to sanitize 99.9% of common household bacteria.  I feel extremely confident that my dishes are completely clean based on how clean and piping hot they come out. They are also perfectly dry when it is complete.

I don’t know how long other dishwashers take, but mine takes 90-99 minutes every single time.  That’s a very long time to wait.  Luckily the dishwasher seems to be very energy efficient and our electric bill has actually gone down since we’ve purchased it. 

The door is stainless steel and I’m surprised how clean it stays.  It has a smudge-proof coating and if my other appliances had this I would be tickled.  What an improvement to stainless steel.  When the door is opened it doesn’t just drop to the ground.  It has a stay-put feature so it you want to crack the door to let the steam out, it will stay that way.  One thing I really do not like about the dishwasher is how far the door goes to the ground.  When the door is completely open it sits at my ankle.  I feel like it’s a tripping hazard and is a little difficult to bend over so low to get the dishes out. 

Overall

I was nervous when I first got the dishwasher because we were experiencing a lot of noise and it was hard to adjust to the new loading style.  It is now 10 months later I am content with the dishwasher as long as I don't use too much dishwashing detergent and the rinse aid is kept full.  

The racks do seem a little cheap and mine have bent from use.  The top rack and bottom rack sprayer is also made of plastic and seems cheap.  The interior is plastic and is loud when the water from the sprayer hits the plastic.  I really do not like how low the door sits to the ground or how far over I have to bend to get the dishes out. 

I really prefer the location of the silverware basket and moving it from the door has been a huge improvement for clean silverware.  The timer is a nice feature and the programming cycles meet my needs. 

This dishwasher definitely does a better job than my old dishwasher and the flexibility of removable baskets (will hold 180 items) and folding racks make this a good match for our family (can hold 14 place settings).  This does seem to fit more items in at once and certainly bulkier items fit better than other dishwashers. 

Our dishes come out clean and shiny most of the time.   

Product of the USA


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