Trying to tell the difference among dishwashers at an appliance store can be a challenge. From the front they almost all look alike. And within a brand, the model numbers can be so similar that they become a confusing jumble of letters and numbers. Of course, it’s what’s inside that counts. We just tested three GE dishwashers that range in price from $900 to $1,400. Here’s a look inside each one, and what you get when you pay $500 more—or what you don't.

The GE Profile PDF820SSJSS, $900, GE Profile PDT846SSJSS, $1,100, and GE Profile PDT855SSJSS, $1,400, performed similarly. They were excellent at cleaning a full load of glasses and very dirty dishes that were scraped of food debris but not rinsed. Plastic items are among the most difficult to dry, and these dishwashers were good, not great, at drying—meaning some water droplets remained on the plastic.

What's the Same

All three of these GE dishwashers have a new, industry-first feature: water jets that spray up from below the silverware basket. They got the job done in our tests, but cleaning was comparable to dishwashers without the feature. Each dishwasher used 6 gallons of water to wash our test load and took 150 to 155 minutes (some models in our tests take as little as 95 minutes). Other similarities include:

  • A stainless interior, which tends to resist staining better than light-colored plastic.
  • A soil sensor that adjusts the cycle's time and water use to the load's soil level, improving cleaning and energy efficiency.
  • An upper rack that can be moved 2 inches up or down to accommodate tall glasses above or large platters below.
  • Bottle-wash jets in the upper rack that send water deep inside narrow bottles and travel mugs.
  • Manual filters that you clean by hand. The dishwashers are quieter because there’s no food grinder, but to avoid funky smells you must monitor and empty the filter periodically.


Find a dishwasher that will last:
Check our exclusive brand reliability data, encompassing 42,108 readers who bought a new dishwasher between 2012 and 2016. Brands covered included Bosch, GE, Kenmore, KitchenAid, and Samsung. Also see our dishwasher buying guide and dishwasher ratings.
 

What's Different

  • The GE Profile PDF820SSJSS has controls on the front of the door, including a time-remaining display. This basic model is available in white, black, and stainless.
  • The GE Profile PDT846SSJSS has hidden controls for a sleeker look, and the cycle status is displayed on the door. And it’s available in slate as well as stainless.
  • The GE Profile PDT855SSJSS in addition to hidden controls and cycle status, has a third rack on top for laying out flatware and large serving pieces. This dishwasher is the quietest of the three, and comes in white, slate, and stainless. This model is equipped WiFi and has an app that notifies you when you have a leak, the filter needs cleaning, rinse aid is low, and a cycle has ended. Or you can track cycle status and estimated time remaining on your smartphone. The only remote capability locking the controls so that others—in particular, young kids—can’t start a wash cycle. We tried the app 50 miles from our lab, and it worked as promised.

The Bottom Line

If you want a dishwasher that you can monitor on your smartphone and which has a third rack for cutlery, take a look at the GE Profile PDT855SSJSS. If a sleek look and slate finish are important to you, consider the GE Profile PDT846SSJSS. But if all you want is a very good dishwasher, the GE Profile PDF820SSJSS will save you $500. All three GE dishwashers may qualify for a rebate from your utility company.

Email questions about dishwashers to kjaneway@consumer.org.