Refrigerator Insanity, LG or Miele

cgaraiFebruary 19, 2013

My wife and I just went to an appliance store to look at either the LG or the Liebherr refrigerators. The LG is the LCF25776 at 25cf and the Liebherr was the CS2060 at 20cf. The simple question was: is the extra $3+K worth it?

Of course it never is simple. The Liebherr build quality was only slightly better than the LG. So is the dual compressor really worth it? Reading here I find any opinion I want on that topic.

Then BAM! She spots the 48" Miele combo 18+30 freezer+fridge, which net out about 24cf

So now we are trying to compare a $1700 reefer with a $12K reefer. Am I nuts, or just going nuts? Yes, the build quality of the Miele is in another universe to the LG. As is the price.

We are building an off the grid house, so power consumption is critical. The LG is 416KWhr/yr vs 750 for the Miele. I like quality and will pay for it, but it insults me that a $12K unit can't compete energy wise with a cheapy!

The other thing driving me around the bend is volume measurements. I measured the volume of the 36" Miele freezer and it was 3cf not including the icemaker. The rated spec on this freezer is 6cf. The only way that makes any sense is if they are measuring the entire volume of the controlled space. I measured the baskets.

I'm sort of ranting and rambling due to incredible frustration. Any suggestions for making sense of this? I have read this forum for hours, not to imply I've read even 10% of what is written on the topic. I don't have time to make this a career!



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"I'm sort of ranting and rambling due to incredible frustration."

Welcome to the world of appliance shopping where very little actually makes sense. :-)

I think the way manufacturers state their measurements is misleading, and has little do do with actual useable space. You were smart to actually measure the baskets and get a more realistic figure.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:19PM
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I think you'll find that the power rating for the LG is nowhere near reality, especially if it contains an ice maker. LG is notorious for under reporting their power ratings.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Another thing for consideration is that the miele combo is actually TWO separate units !!! needing two different circuits.

If you got two LG units you'd be well over the Mieles' power consumption assuming they aren't fudging consumption.

That said, your fridge is going to be your largest energy hog in the house, so if you are TRULY off the grid, two fridges with an ice maker don't make any sense at all.

"Any suggestions for making sense of this?"

stop reading all of this stuff ! especially the manuf. specs for size , ect....

No built in fridges are good values or smart plays for a simple, off the grid lifestyle. The economics will take forever to pay off if they even can.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Before I bought my new refrigerator about 2 years ago, the repairperson/salesperson whom I knew pretty well gave me one strong piece of refrigerator-buying advice: "Stay far away from LG refrigerators." He also cautioned me not to buy the dishwasher that I insisted on buying (which I bought anyway). Sadly, he turned out to be dead on about the dishwasher. I didn't, however, get the LG refrigerator that I had been lusting after, and have been very happy with his Maytag recommendation.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:47PM
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lol - I figure if could run a virtual pub for GW appliance shoppers, I'd make an absolute fortune!

I'd avoid LG - they look flashy, lots of really thoughtful bells and whistles, but it's as if the engineers forgot to consider LONGEVITY when they came up with their designs - they seem to be fraught with issues, most of them expensive. I've also read that they couldn't care less about customer service, ymmv.

Liebherr - they're definitely getting their foot firmly stuck in the N American door now. My mum has one in Scotland, and it's run happily for 8 years without one single issue. I wasn't impressed with the finish, but it's certainly lasted well, and looks as good as the day we bought it. Keeps food at the right temperature, on the whole, too. ;)

I don't know the Miele, but if it's any help, all other Miele appliances work better than many other appliances, so, I'd say, go for the Miele - ? (do you have the style # for it? I'd be interested to see which one it is. Plus, try just googling that number alone - you might get some reviews, and best prices from retailers you might not otherwise have considered...).

The volume claims are a bit misleading imo. It's not so much the cubic volume (woo - you can get more 500ml water bottles in YOUR fridge, Mr Brand A, than Mr Brand B can?), but how efficient AND user-friendly the interior configuration is. easy is it to get prompt and competent after-market service, of course.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:35PM
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I've also found that cu.ft. measurements in refrigs aren't that useful. My replacement frig was technically smaller than my original frig - yet it holds just as much, if not more!

I might have to shuffle things around a bit more, but even after seven yrs I'm constantly surprised how much I can fit into this frig (Amana).

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:05PM
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"LG - they look flashy, lots of really thoughtful bells and whistles, but it's as if the engineers forgot to consider LONGEVITY when they came up with their designs"

You know, I find this logic really surprising.

Let's say, you like all the other aspects of LG.

Is Miele really going to work 6 times longer?

Technically it could. My parents had a fridge for 40 years.

However, do you want a fridge for that long?

First of all, if you move, will you take it with you? In some states, people do take them while in some others, the fridge is part of the house and stays.

But even if you do take it with you, large appliances often do not survive the move and never function the same.

And what about ever changing technology? I am sure something more energy efficient and possibly better in other ways is "just around the corner". :-)

For example, I really wanted a Miele washer 10 years ago but bought a Whirlpool Duet pair instead for several reasons, one of them being a larger capacity (it was right before Miele started making full-size washers for the US market).

The Duet still works though the washer may be slowly dying.

The new models have a lot of nice options unavailable 10 years ago, like steam, etc. I will not feel the least sorry replacing a $1200 washer after 10 years by something more advanced but I would if I paid $12K for it.

However, I do not have disposable income. If I did, I probably wouldn't hesitate to get something I really loved, no matter how expensive.

I am not saying OP should get an LG. I too have heard reports of service problems. But if it has a reasonable longevity expectation, I wouldn't spend 6 times more just in hopes of something working longer - unless it is a fully integrated unit and I know I will not be able to match the panels down the road because I am using some exotic wood or something.

BTW, there are reports of problems with Miele as well.

Just my two cents...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:16PM
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there are problems with EVERY brand eleena, the advice around here tends to steer people in the direction of brands that have the LEAST number of problems, which stacks the odds in the consumers' favor for getting something that works right the first time and for a long time.

The opposite is also true, you may be the lucky person that gets a really good appliance that lasts decades from a company with a crappy brand reputation.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:44PM
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Will your house have propane or access to natural gas? If so you may want the very simplistic gas fridge. They are pretty small but supposedly quiet.

In terms of volumes I've heard/read that they lay the units on their backs an fill with water. Which explains the useable space differences.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gas fridge

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:24PM
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I am not the only "lucky person", many people report being happy with their Whirlpool Duets. :-) BTW, I am not buying it for the next round.

I was addressing a different issue. Nobody is arguing that quality is worth paying for. But is getting an appliance that is more likely to last and have fewer problems worth, say, $3K? Probably, at least to me.

Is it worth $9K? No, IMHO, especially if the price tag does not guarantee it will be problem-free. Plus, I do NOT want it to last that long for reasons listed above.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Eleena - miele's American sized washers didn't cost $12,000 ! They were around $2000-2500.

The $12k units are true commercial units for laundromats, fire houses, dorms, ect... They were never designed with residential use in mind.

My take on one's odds still holds true.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 8:50AM
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I believe that Eleena was referring to the cost of the refrigerator in question, not the washer. And her point is well taken. One could replace the LG refrigerator six times for that price assuming absolutely everything went wrong with the first five! Of course, that would be a huge PITA, but how likely are five refrigerators to completely fail?

Like her, I'd pay more to have both a model that better suits my tastes and has a better reputation for quality. However, there is a limit to what I would pay and that limit is quite independent of my wealth. For me, $12,000 is above that limit. The only question for the OP is whether it is above his or hers.

For what it is worth, we have owned two LG refrigerators and both have worked flawlessly. One has been in service for ten years and the other for only two. No, individual performance is not conclusive about overall brand performance. Still, it is worth noting for posterity.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:35AM
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I'll be in the minority here, but we went the 30+18 route and really love the units. They are Gaggenau not Miele but both brands are made side by side in a joint plant in Turkey and the quality is way beyond anything else I've seen. The combination does approximate a 25 cu. ft. single unit but we have found the greater accessibility and the larger door shelves give much more usable space. In addition they are totally silent compared to the Maytag we had previously. The annual consumption shows as 319 kWh for the fridge and 370 for the freezer.
That being said, we managed to get them for about 40% of list as part of a package and they were much less than we could buy the Miele units for. Just another variation for you to consider:)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:58AM
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