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Whirlpool dishwasher's overnight cycle not the stuff of dreams

Consumer Reports News: April 29, 2013 12:08 PM

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With more and more delay-start options to choose from on today's dishwashers, you might assume that a cycle called "overnight" would be quiet enough not to disturb your slumber. But when Consumer Reports tested the overnight cycle on the Whirlpool WDF735PABB, not only did it take as long as a decent night's sleep, almost seven hours, but it was noisy too.

Curiously, the Whirlpool WDF735PABB, $550, spent roughly the first four hours of the cycle spritzing the dishes with soft, light sprays that essentially kept them wet. Then, as if getting a wake-up call, it kicked in and did a full wash in the typical time. That cranked up the volume, which wouldn't be welcome in the fleeting hours just before dawn.

Despite the volume of the Whirlpool WDF735PABB, it was stellar in our wash test, which uses a full load of very dirty items, and did just as well at drying plastic items. It was also exceptionally energy-efficient. The normal cycle takes 130 minutes and uses five gallons of water. The overnight cycle takes 405 minutes, used more energy and about the same amount of water with roughly the same results.

In addition to the Whirlpool, we also recently tested the GE GDT550HSDSS, $650, which was excellent at getting dishes clean and saving energy but didn't rise to the level of a top pick. Our top-rated dishwasher is the Kenmore Elite 12783, $1,200. Top-notch washing paired with stellar energy and water efficiency elevated this dishwasher to the top of the Ratings. And it's one of the quietest in our dishwasher tests.

Ed Perratore

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