Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ Dishwasher Review
An inexpensive dishwasher that actually gets your dishes dry
If you're looking to replace your 20 year-old dishwasher, you’ll appreciate the features the Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ dishwasher (available at AppliancesConnection for $539.00) brings to the table. Although it's a basic model, it rocks an internal fan that ensures dry dishes, a top rack you can raise and lower, and a 51 dBA sound level that's much quieter than your old machine.
We spent a week testing this dishwasher in our labs, and discovered a lot of positives about it. It cleans dishes well and dries them almost perfectly, as long as you have plenty of time to wait for it.
Design and features
The fingerprint resistant stainless steel finish on our test model gives the dishwasher an elegant look at an affordable price point. Black, white, and black stainless are available, too.
The control panel on top is very clear, and the limited number of choices makes it easy to operate. There’s a timer, in case you want to monitor cycle progress, and a tiny green light that displays on the front of the machine when a cycle ends.
Charcoal gray is too dark a color for the interior. Whirlpool calls this a feature, and claims it hides stains, but white spots show on it, and the dark color can makes it hard to see inside.
The silverware basket, on the right side, has a grid that allows optimal space around each knife, fork, and spoon. Other Whirlpool models have the basket on the door, so utensils can spill out. The current placement makes more sense to us.
An adjustable top rack is a bonus in a dishwasher at this price point. You can raise it to make room for big pots and pans on the bottom shelf, or lower it to accommodate tall glasses on top. It’s straightforward to use—push down on the buttons to change the height.
Delaying a cycle makes sense if you pay less for electricity at night, or you’d just rather run the dishwasher while you’re asleep. This model offers an unusual range of delay options, up to 24 hours.
Definitely stick with the Normal cycle on this model. In our tests, it obliterated every food stain except a small amount of dried spinach. (That’s the equivalent of a viscous sauce that sticks to dishes, and almost all dishwashers struggle with it.) Every single dish we unloaded was 100% dry. The downside: Normal takes a full three hours to finish.
If you’re in a hurry, you might be tempted to run the 1-Hour cycle, which we timed at an average of 63 minutes. In our labs, the average cleaning score was 90%. Again, spinach clung to our test plates.
You might expect the most thorough cleaning to come from the Heavy cycle. When we tested, it took no longer to run than the Normal cycle, but it only removed half of the melted cheese from our test dishes. Dishes that are really cheese-y benefit from the Soak & Clean cycle, an extended prewash.
The drying is impressive. Just about every dish we unloaded in our test runs was dry. The fan seems to be helping that happen.
What users say
We always check owner reviews to find out what it’s like to actually live with an appliance. In this case, 90% of people who posted comments on retailer sites recommend the dishwasher, and many praise its quiet operation. A small minority complain about standing water the tub after a cycle runs. A few reviewers say they are dissatisfied with the drying, but our test results showed near perfect drying.
Whirlpool Corporation warranties the dishwasher for one year from the date of purchase.
The bottom line
While it isn’t an exciting dishwasher, this made-in-America model washes and dries very well on the Normal cycle. For an under-$500 dishwasher, we find that it’s a good value.
Before you buy, compare it to the GE GDF610, which also scored very well, and costs about the same. The GE has a ton of features, and it gets dishes clean in about a third of the time.
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