Frigidaire FPID2497RF review: Many unhappy returns: Frigidaire's dishwasher can't keep your dishes dirt free

Inside and out, the FPID2497RF looks good and has plenty of room for dishes. We fit our standard load of 10 place settings easily. The FPID2497RF claims it can hold 14 place settings and I believe that claim. But for $1,100, I wish it had a third rack for silverware and small dishes, or something else to help it stand out.

The bottle wash jets flip up and let you clip your bottle to them.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Once you select your cycle and hit start, the display will prompt you to close the door (you need to have it open to control the dishwasher) and the FPID2497RF will kick into action at an appealingly quiet 47dB, according to its manufacturer rating. But the display turns off. The FPID2497RF stays pretty accurate to the time it predicts as you select your cycle and options, but I would have appreciated a countdown timer as the dishwasher runs.

Pesky dirt

When the dishwasher's finished, a blue light shines on the floor along with a traditional chime to subtly let you know your dishes are clean. At that point, if you've rinsed your dishes, you'll be pretty happy with the results. If you didn't do the extra preparation beforehand, the Frigidaire FPID2497RF will let you down.

This wheel of water jets does a good job of reaching every corner of your dishes.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Frigidaire refers to the blue wheel of jets at the bottom of the dishwasher tub as Orbitpower wash technology. The wheel spins as the longer spray arm that holds it rotates, and those jets -- along with the spinning spray arm beneath the top rack and the one at the top of the tub shooting down -- do a great job of reaching into the nooks and corners of your dishes.

When we load our dishes for testing, we follow the manufacturer's recommended loading pattern and make sure to give the dishwasher a fighting chance by avoiding any nesting dishes. Even so, the plates didn't have a lot of room between them and the spoons and forks in particularly were grouped tightly. But we didn't find many spots that the FPID2497RF outright missed in any of our tests.

However, the average cleaning scores of the FPID2497RF weren't impressive.

Redeposit hurt the cleaning scores, and water marks hurt the dry score.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The jets do a good job of getting dirt off of the dishes, but the filter doesn't do its part to keep dirt off. Redeposit is a problem for the FPID2497RF; we found bits of spinach, noodles, and chili spread across many dishes, even ones that weren't covered in those foods initially. Again, we're deliberately hard on our dishes and they're slathered with enough food to put stress on even the best filter. But the filter of the LG LDT9965BD and the GE PDT750SSFSS fared much better in our cleaning tests.

The Frigidaire FPID2497RF didn't keep up as a cleaner with the high-end dishwashers from GE and LG.

Steve Conaway/CNET

The FPID2497RF didn't keep up with the other high end models we've tested on our dry tests either. We test with a normal cycle without any additional drying options, so we don't actually expect high percentages, but 10.4% is well below the 36.9% from the GE PDT750SSFSS and the 35.6% of the LG LDT9965BD. The FPID2497RF also left ugly water spots all over the glasses and silverware, and we used rinse aid. When we added the Air Dry option to the normal run, this Frigidaire produced an improved average of 41.4% dry, but that number still isn't impressive.

The verdict

You shouldn't have to make allowances for an $1,100 dishwasher. To get the most out of the Frigidaire Professional FPID2497RF, you'll simply need to scrape off bulky foods or rinse your dishes, then the FPID2497RF will perform well. But at this price point, you shouldn't have to help out your dishwasher.

The FPID2497RF looks great and is easy to use. It's not a bad machine if you can find it at a steep discount, but if you're looking for a high-end machine that backs up a professional decor with powerful performance, I'd recommend the LG LDT9965BD or the GE PDT750SSFSS over this Frigidaire model. The FPID2497RF looks polished, but the dishes that come out of it don't.

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