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Firstly, I should say that we've never had a dishwasher before, so this has been somewhat of a new experience. We recently moved house, and for the first time ever, we had a spare slot under the kitchen worktop!
There are literally hundreds of dishwashers on the market, and when you're new to something like this, you have to go with a well-known make. This Hotpoint dishwasher met all our needs at the present time, and was sold at a price we were prepared to pay.
I think that these days, we're all a little more conscious of our energy consumption, and we do try, where possible, to select the most energy efficient product. This particular appliance was A-rated throughout which seemed good. The fact that it also had the option of just doing a half-load was a real bonus.
It boasts space for 14 place settings, but in fairness, how do you in real terms define this? It may well have space for 14 place settings, but I doubt this includes pots and pans and other cooking implements. There are three adults in this house, and we find we need to put it on at least twice a day, though this depends on what cooking implements have been used.
Pots and pans in particular take up a lot of space in the bottom of the two draws, and as you can only stand dinner plates in the bottom draw, it can get full very quickly. The top draw has racks for small plates and saucers as well as a raised area for mugs, and fold-down flaps which keep wine glasses secure. I reckon that in real terms it will hold 12 mugs and 12 wine glasses at the same time, leaving some room in the middle of the draw. You have to be careful not to pile things too high though as they'll interfere with the mechanism of the machine. The bottom draw can take taller things like dinner plates, and has a moveable rack for cutlery.
The machine boasts eight programmes, including full and half load; delicates; super wash; daily 60; pre-wash; eco; speed; and baby cycle. In fairness, we've only so far used the ordinary full load setting as this seems to clean everything we've put in perfectly adequately and without problem. This cycle takes 1 hour 50 minutes which seems perfectly reasonable for washing and drying items before the next meal! In reality, I don't think the half-load setting has much use as if we've used less things, we just wait to turn it on until it's full. You can also delay the start which is useful for having clean things first thing in the morning.
In the end, we had to get a plumber out to install it as it needed to be fitted to the waste pipe under the sink, and therefore, the pipe included wasn't long enough. I guess that if you already have all the necessary plumbing there, this wouldn't be an issue.
When it's finished, the items are dry, but very hot so you do have to be careful. You have to open the front to allow them to cool down before unloading, and this can make the room very hot indeed.
You have to be very careful as to not overload it; not because it won't work, but because things won't get properly clean. It's easy to try and fill every space, but in reality, it's a false economy. You cannot put aluminium or wooden items in, so that still leaves some things which need hand-washing - wooden spoons, knives etc.
Overall, we've been very pleased with it. It's been running for about six weeks and we've only just added more salt as it had run out. The tablets are pricy, but we've been lucky that they always seem to be offer somewhere or other! For completely novices, the appliance has met all our needs, though in the future, I might consider a machine with less settings, as these aren't really necessary. I can see that the space might be an issue for a larger family, and it would easily need to go on after every meal. Even so, I still think this is a better bet than standing over the sink!
Short name: Hotpoint FDF784G