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Thermador lights up its new dishwasher line

Consumer Reports News: June 11, 2012 01:38 PM

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To create the look of a custom kitchen, dishwasher manufacturers have been adding such features as wooden panels and hidden controls. But trading up in style resulted in a trade-off in convenience when consumers could no longer tell how much time remained in a cycle. Now Thermador has come up with a creative solution—a light beam that projects cycle status on the floor in front of the dishwasher. Gimmicky? Maybe, but the new model also proved to be a good performer in Consumer Reports tests.

One of 12 models just added to our dishwasher Ratings, the feature-filled Thermador DWHD651JFP, also includes a "sapphire glow," deep-blue LED lights that shine down upon the dishwasher's contents when the door is opened. Fortunately, the Thermador has substance as well as style scoring very good on our tests for washing, energy efficiency, ease of use and noise.

At $2,200 the Thermador is the most expensive model we recommend. (The least costly is the $420 Kenmore 1327.) For that price you also get a flexible third rack, a variety of cycle options and a holding tank for hot water, among other features. The company claims the holding tank is useful for running the unit's special 20-minute cycle when you need "the ability to make use of prep dishes, utensils, plates, and fine stemware multiple times over the course of an evening or daytime get-together."

After pre-heating before the first quick load, the tank supplies hot water to subsequent loads. But there's a catch—pre-heating takes 35 minutes, something you'll have to plan for. And that quick cycle is for lightly soiled items only. For the usual icky dishes and pots, it's back to reality: The normal cycle takes two hours.

Ed Perratore

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