Fagor dishwasher could flood your kitchen

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Some dishwashers clean better, faster, and more quietly than others; of the dozens we test each year, only the Fagor LFA-65SS, $1,000, repeatedly drenched our lab floor with water. We've judged it a Don't Buy: Performance Problem as a result.

We bought and tested two samples of the Fagor. The same thing happened through five separate runs: Food from our test load of dirty dishes clogged the machine's filter after the initial rinse, prompting its control system to add more water, which rose in the tub and spilled out through the door. The control system eventually shut off the dishwasher and sounded an alarm in each case. But by that time, the Fagor had already leaked for two to three minutes and spilled roughly 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 gallons of dirty water onto our floor. We called an authorized repairmen and were told that the "unit was functioning properly."

Most dishwashers have a float at the bottom of the tub that's designed to cut off the water supply if the level rises too high. The Fagor's float is beneath the circulation pump, not in the tub. That means the float can help prevent leaks at the pump—but can't control water levels inside the tub.

The Fagor LFA-65SS did its job without leaking after we cleaned its filter and screen. Most dishwashers require those cleanings regularly but without flooding your floor if you forget.

Our advice: If you're dishwasher shopping, choose the Kenmore Elite 12793, $1,200, or Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR7[5]UC, $700, instead. Both topped our tough tests and cleaned superbly without spilling a drop. And if you already own the Fagor LFA-65SS, we suggest pre-rinsing your dishes—a water-waster we don't recommend for other dishwashers—and cleaning the filter and screen after every load.

—Ed Perratore

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