Frigidaire Quietly Gets Dishes Clean, But it Takes Time

Feb 11, 2007 (Updated Feb 11, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Gets dishes clean; Very quiet; Display shows minutes remaining

Cons:Wash times too long; Auto start feature

The Bottom Line: This is a good dishwasher but it needs at least one wash setting that takes less than 60 minutes and the auto start feature needs to be eliminated.

Washing dishes has always been one of the few household chores that don’t bother me much. I’m not saying I look forward to the task. I’m only saying that, among my daily routines, it is the cleaning job that I dread least. For this reason, I never really cared about owning a dishwasher and unless I was staying at a resort that included a dishwasher, I continued to wash my dishes with a rag and soapy water.

Now that I have experienced owning a dishwasher, however, I have grown to appreciate their value and I realize that this value goes far beyond the task of cleaning dishes. Just a few months ago, my old dishwasher gasped its last breath and I was forced to search for a new one. Rather than stick with my previous brand (General Electric), I decided to branch out and try something new. My choice was the Frigidaire FDB2320RE Dishwasher, a built- in dish washing appliance.

Facts About This Product:

This Frigidaire Dishwasher features six cycle options (Pots & Pans; Normal Wash; and Upper Rack, each of which can be paired with an option for a Hi- Temp wash or a normal temperature wash, for a total of six washing cycles). There is also an option to rinse only; an option to sanitize; and an option to dry without heat. Washing can also be delayed from one to ten hours by pressing a button.

In the middle of the push/touch buttons there is a digital display that shows a countdown of the number of minutes remaining in the full washing/rinsing/drying cycle. If a problem occurs or some other information needs to be known, a pair of letters will show in this display. For example, if there has been a power interruption, the letters “PF” (power failure) will show in this area. If the dishwasher door isn’t closed tightly, the letters “CL” will display. “LO” indicates that the rinse aid dispenser is low and needs to be refilled and “HO” means that there is water heat delay. If everything is running smoothly, the display will simply show the number of minutes remaining.

To help save energy and reduce noise, this Frigidaire dishwasher is manufactured with Frigidaire’s Precision Direct Washing System- a patented system that uses energy more efficiently and cuts down on motor noise. There is also a food disposer system to prevent clogs; adjustable racks to accommodate different dish sizes; and enough space to hold up to fourteen place settings.

Customer Service/Product Info:

More information about this and other Frigidaire appliances can be found by visiting the web site, If questions arise that the web site cannot answer, customers can call 800-944-9044.

Final Thoughts:

Frigidaire FDB2320RE Dishwasher is one of several new appliances I have purchased in the past six months to enhance the appearance and functionality of my kitchen. Unlike the other new purchases, however, this one was borne out of necessity. My old General Electric Dishwasher was gradually wearing out and was making very loud, grinding noises. It was so loud, in fact, that I had to turn up the television when the dishwashing was running in order to hear the dialogue and I had to raise my voice if I was trying to talk to someone in the kitchen from another room. Repairing the old dishwasher was an option, but with the high cost of labor I decided to go ahead and buy a brand new dishwasher instead.

This Frigidaire model caught my attention for a few main reasons. First, I liked the digital display that lets the owner know the number of minutes remaining and any other pertinent information. Second, I liked the arrangement of the racks and the ability to hold so many different place settings. Third, I liked that it has a built- in disposer to prevent clogging. All of these reasons helped to influence my initial decision to buy this model over the others.

Whether I made the right buying decision remained to be seen and I would only know when I started to use the dishwasher in my home. Now that I have used this dishwasher for a few months, my satisfaction level is above average and I can easily recommend this dishwasher to others. The initial impression was one thing, but using the dishwasher and observing what it could do was what really mattered and most of what I have experienced with this appliance has been positive.

One of the many pleasant surprises I experienced with this dishwasher is the quiet operation. Now remember, my older dishwasher had a noticeable problem with the noise and I fully expected a reduction in noise when I purchased this dishwasher brand new. But what I didn’t expect was how drastically the noise level would be reduced. I can remember the first time I used this Frigidaire dishwasher. I was concerned that I had a lemon on my hands because I couldn’t hear any noise. I thought it wasn’t running and had already developed a problem. But I quickly learned that this dishwasher is specially designed and insulated to reduce noise to a minimum level. When Frigidaire claims that its Precision Direct Wash System reduces noise, they are not exaggerating. The noise level is very low, almost whisper quiet at many points in the cycle. One reason the noise remains low is that the vents remain closed during most of the cycle. They only open up to release steam near the end when its time to dry (don’t be alarmed when you suddenly see steam shooting from these vents- it means the cycle is almost complete) and remain closed during the rest of the cycle, to cut down on the amount of noise that escapes.

The other thing that matters with a dishwasher is its ability to clean and this is another area where this Frigidaire model shines. It cleans dishes thoroughly through the use of three spray arms: one on the bottom, one on the top, and one in the middle. This is much better than my old dishwasher which had only one arm on the bottom. With this dishwasher, water is sprayed from three different places and it makes a noticeable difference on dishes. They come out clean and ready to use. I still pre- rinse most of my dishes before I load them in the dishwasher, but I have pre- rinsed with other dishwashers that failed to get the dishes to a satisfactory level of clean.

I like the Hi- Temp option and the Sanitizer setting with this dishwasher but consumers have to be careful with these because they can crack some dishes- either directly or indirectly. Using the Hi- temp setting, the dishwasher’s heating element will raise the water temperature to 140 degrees. Using the Sanitizer setting raises the temperature even higher- to 155 degrees for several minutes. Temperatures this high can crack some dishes that are made from thin glass. Also, if these high temperatures are selected and the normal heated drying option is used, you will have to let your glassware cool off before use. I made the mistake of not allowing the glasses to cool and some of them cracked as soon as a cold beverage was poured inside. This is one of the reasons I often opt for the no heat setting. It saves energy and it prevents the problem of cracked glass from excess heat.

The cup shelves in the upper rack of this dishwasher are nice because they help to hold the cups and glasses in place. I also like the silverware baskets and utility tray. But one thing that I would change with this utility tray is its shallow design. This try is good for washing larger utensils, small bottles, and other like objects. But it would be much better if it was deeper. With its minimal depth, it cannot hold more than a few things at a time and this could render it useless for some families.

One other area where the Frigidaire FDB2320RE Dishwasher can get annoying is with its Auto Start feature. This feature automatically starts the dishwasher when the door is closed and snapped shut, but it doesn’t activate immediately, after each snap. No, it activates after a few closes and this can be an annoyance if you are the type that closes and shuts your dishwasher door a few times during the unloading process. Once you get to, say, the third open and close, the dishwasher will automatically start. This problem can be avoided by not snapping the door shut but this isn’t practical if you have young children. Kids will grab hold of the door and pull it open unless it is latched shut.

Another thing that deserves mentioning is the long length of the complete cycles. When I first started using this dishwasher, I was shocked to learn that the Normal Wash cycle runs for 95 minutes. I then tried the other cycles and found that they take 115 minutes and 83 minutes. Only the Upper Rack cycle runs for a short period of time- 65 minutes. At first, I decided I would use the Upper Rack setting as my main washing cycle because I didn’t want to wait 95 minutes to get clean dishes and I didn’t want to waste all that energy. But I quickly learned that, depending on how soiled the dishes are, the Upper Rack option may not be sufficient. Like its name suggests, it washes only by use of the upper washing arm and that means there won’t be as much water sprayed on the bottom rack, which could lead to unsatisfactory cleaning results.

Overall, I am happy with my Frigidaire FDB2320RE Dishwasher and it has proven to be a good addition to my kitchen. I would like more washing options- particularly one that limits the amount of washing time- and I don’t like the auto start feature. But this dishwasher succeeds at getting dishes clean through its three cleaning arms and it doesn’t make much noise at all. It is better than my General Electric Dishwasher of old and it is yet another appliance purchase that has added greatly to the performance in my kitchen.

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