Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Frigidaire's three dishwasher spray arms clean the same

As dishwasher features go, the lower spray arm is vital to the wash process, ever present beneath the racks no matter where the other sprays are situated. So when Frigidaire introduced three new dishwashers with three different spray arms, Consumer Reports brought them into its labs to compare washing performance.

The three models have been added to our dishwasher Ratings of almost 90 models. All Frigidaire Gallery units, the FGBD2435N[W], FGBD2445N[F], and FGHD2465N[F] range in price from $400 to $600 and are more alike than different, with slight variations in water use, cycle time, and a few features. Except for the spray arms.

The lowest-end model of the trio, the $400 Gallery FGBD2435N[W], has a traditional spray arm. The company makes no specific claims—other than the general "high-performing"—on the Frigidaire website. In the $550 Gallery FGBD2445N[F] the spray arm looks like a spinning capital T. The company says the blade spray arm "provides more water coverage for better cleaning" on its website. And the $600 Gallery FGHD2465N[F] departs further from traditional arms with a circular spray outlet (see photo) that spins at the end of an arm to provide, "four times better water coverage and a clean no other dishwasher can beat," according to Frigidaire.

You can't blame a manufacturer for trying out new innovations. A Frigidaire-commissioned study found that 78 percent of dishwasher owners admitted to re-running the dishwasher—with 22 percent of them doing so because the dishes weren't clean, according to Appliance Magazine. But will reconfiguring the spray arm solve that problem? In our Ratings, the three Frigidaires were all mid-pack models with virtually identical wash performance. Another concern: Frigidaire is among the most repair-prone brands of dishwashers, according to the Consumer Reports National Research Center's Annual Product Reliability Survey.

If you're in the market for a dishwasher, don't miss our buying advice, which includes a video on how we test.

Via: Frigidaire's three dishwasher spray arms clean the same

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