Fisher & Paykel DD24DCHTX7 Drawer Dishwasher Review
A dishwasher that opens like a drawer might be the right fit for your kitchen.
Only one company on earth builds a dish drawer—a dishwasher split into two tubs, whose cleaning systems and racks pull out like a set of drawers instead of sliding out from behind a single folding door.
New Zealand-based manufacturer Fisher & Paykel's DishDrawer series encompasses a wide variety of white, black, and stainless steel dishwashers, all with different handle designs, panel-ready or not, under both the Fisher & Paykel and DCS names. That lineup includes the Fisher & Paykel DD24DCHTX7 (MSRP $1,399), which we spent over a week installing and cleaning dishes with in our labs.
The stainless DD24DCHTX7 is a double-drawer unit, but still measures a standard 24 inches wide and has no significant capacity penalty. While it should be easy to fit in the space left behind from a traditional machine, there are some considerations to take into account before switching to a dish drawer.
While our tests found the DD24DCHTX7 did a great job cleaning, the verdicts on installation, ergonomics, and long-term reliability are less cut and dry.
What is a DishDrawer?
Two washers in one
Two separate, self-contained drawers make the DD24DCHTX7 essentially two dishwashers in one. The taller upper compartment draws hot water from the same inlet as the lower one, but both can run either independently and concurrently.
Many users find this setup easier to access, since washing dishes in the upper drawer requires less bending over. However, unloading dishes from the bottom drawer may be more difficult for some users. We recommend checking out this machine in an appliance showroom before committing.
Heavy stains on top, delicate glassware on the bottom? Won't be a problem. Separate timers, detergent dispensers, and even rinse aid reservoirs mean each drawer can tackle dishes in its own way. There are also separate salt compartments to compensate for water hardness.
Controls are simple: There are three small buttons (power, pause, and control lock) near the upper right corner of each drawer's face, below illuminated screens for the countdown timer. You'll need to open a drawer to select its wash cycle, and this is accomplished with an electrostatic touch-sensitive button that's painless to use. An Eco mode toggle can be paired with any cycle.
Of course, all those functions won't work if you don't install the dishwasher correctly. We have installed hundreds of dishwashers in our labs, but this was perhaps the most finicky. If you don't level it perfectly, water can leak out the bottom of the machine mid-cycle. Be careful with the drain hoses, too—we found that its drain pumps couldn't overcome gravity as well as other machines we've tested.
If you're having someone install the DD24DCHTX7 for you, don't let them leave until you've run test cycles on each drawer for at least 30 minutes.
While we didn't experience any reliability issues with the DishDrawer during our tests, the online user reviews we've read were more critical of this style of dishwasher than others in its price class. However, since no other manufacturer makes a dish drawer (DCS is owned by Fisher & Paykel, and Maytag no longer makes a drawer model), there isn't any competing model we could recommend instead.
Does it Work Well?
The results are unimpeachable
Regardless of whether we used the upper or lower drawer, our test dishes emerged clean. If you examine your results as closely as we did, you may notice that items positioned on the adjustable shelves near the top of each tub are less likely to get thoroughly scoured—but that's only because these items are slightly further away from the wash arms in the physically taller upper drawer. Other than that, cleaning results and utility consumption are equivalent.
Tricky stains like baked-on spinach tripped up the Fast cycle to some degree, but the Normal and especially Heavy cycles resulted in near-spotless dishes and plates. That's exactly what we'd expect from a premium dishwasher like this one. Redeposit, which happens when stains wash off one dish but back onto another, did occur, but was barely noticeable. We're talking pinpoint specks here.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Test Results Page.
Before you buy the Fisher & Paykel DD24DCHTX7, take a look at these other dishwashers.
Need the Manual?
Fisher & Paykel doesn't make their full user manual available online, but in a pinch, you can read the handy-dandy User Guide for this model by clicking right here.
This Machine is Worth a Look
There's nothing else like a DishDrawer
The noble dishwasher is America's forgotten appliance, often thrown in for free with the purchase of a full kitchen suite. Eye-catching models like the Fisher & Paykel DD24DCHTX7 are rarities in the average home, and that makes them an easy way for a kitchen remodel to stand out.
With a simplified electricity hookup and streamlined water inlet, the DD24DCHTX7 is a "plug and play" drawer dishwasher that looks more advanced, more complicated, and more integrated into your kitchen design. Still, the finicky installation we encountered in our lab means we recommend patience—or professional help.
Each drawer can be regarded as its own, separate, easy-to-access dishwasher, capable of blasting away almost all stains with the Normal and Heavy cycles, not to mention some very solid results from the one-hour Fast cycle. The extra cost of the DD24DCHTX7 is divided equally between looks, features, and cleaning.
And if online user reviews or ergonomics scare you away from the whole drawer idea, the same budget will still buy a great machine. For the best of the best, consider something from Miele's Futura Dimension series, which includes some of the most beautiful and thorough washers we've ever seen.
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