Do any refrigerators last any more?

davenFebruary 4, 2012

I am disgusted by the short lifespan of todays appliances. I had a Kenmore freezer die after 4 years, my Fisher-Paykel oven required repairs after two years or so and now my 3 year old Samsung is dying. Repairs for the fridge would involve $1000 in parts alone so it is not worth the expense.

I'm looking for a refrigerator, preferably all refrigerator, that will work well and last a decade. I see that almost all manufacturers offer a one or two year comprehensive warranty at most. In desperation I thought about a commercial True fridge but reports of really high noise levels have deterred me.

Does a reliable, well built fridge exist anymore. If it does, please point me in the right direction.



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I've had this basic Frigidaire (mine is badged as Kenmore) all fridge unit for 7 or 8 years now. I added a second one about 5 years ago. Both are in an attached garage environment & they run like a top. The older unit has to have a constant thermometer that alarms when the temp goes above or beyond a certain temp range & it hasn't tripped yet! Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: All Fridge Unit

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 1:05AM
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Yep, here ya go:

Here is a link that might be useful: fridges that (still) last:

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:20AM
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I just bought a 36" all fridge from Sub-Zero. It was the "old" model that was just replaced with the compressor on the top. I was able to purchase it for 1/2 of what the new model is. I am thrilled. We went with freezer drawers since this is just fridge.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:52PM
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Just got rid of our old whirpool that was over 20 years old.
My parents had a GE running in the basement that was over 50 years old.
I am hoping our new fridge has a long life - I am blessing it now! (Elux)
Good luck

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Maybe I'm just lucky, but I don't think particularly. In 4 decades of ref. ownership -- various locations and various brands; el-cheapos and quite expensive ones -- I've never had one yet last less than 10 years. Had a compressor start-solenoid go bad on one unit a few years ago, but that was a 70-dollar plug-in part and five-minute replacement so I don't think it really counts.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Of course "new" specimens don't compare to those of 10 to 15+ years ago. My grandmother has a Whirlpool top-freezer unit bought Nov 1984, had its first repair December 2010, compressor start relay which I replaced, cost of $34.

I have a KitchenAid (Whirlpool) top-freezer bought in Nov 1997, no repairs to date.

My GE Actica SxS (April 2004) had the main controller board and freezer evaporator fan replaced at 6 years.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:53PM
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I have a 1982 model 42" Kitchenaid fridge/freezer that is still going strong....yes, it is 30 years old! We've had to do some repairs on the ice maker, but it still works; just leaks some on the outside. We are starting our kitchen remodel in a few months, and I am mostly sad to let go of this warrior! They just don't make them like they used to.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:19AM
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I have a 17 cuft Frigidaire at my place that was made in 1983. I have had the building for 6 years and have made no repairs to it since. I am getting rid of it this week. It has seen better times for sure,the cabinet is ugly and rusting in a few places, the door seals don't have much magnetic hold left. My one cat figured out how to open the door and sometimes scores a snack.But it still runs and cools. last summer it seemed to work very hard though. I think being 29 years old it's time to retire it likely parts are not made like the door seals any longer and there are more efficient models now.

The other unit in the building has a Whirlpool that I some how have the paper work for from the last owner. that one had a 2002 energy star certification. so far since I had it no repairs either.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:37AM
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Yes, if it is ugly, or you really don't want it anymore. Years ago, I moved my 6 year old avocado fridge to my new house, figuring it would last a couple more years before I would have to spring for the $$ to replace it. 18 years after that, when we sold, it was still going strong!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:31PM
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we also have a 42" KitchenAid, a built in with cabinet panels. It was installed in 1998 and so far no problems with it. We also have a small Kenmore without icemaker in the laundry room for drinks and overflow, and it was purchased around 1995. Prior to 1998 it was in the garage full time. It still works too.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Samsung has a 5-year warranty on the "sealed system," meaning "compressor, evaporator, condenser, drier, connecting tubing"

So if your failure is in those areas, Samsung is on the hook to pay for it, not you.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Main logic board is bad.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:35PM
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We just sold our 19 year old and still running perfect 29cu.ft Kenmore fridge for $350 and bought a 24cu.ft Counter Depth Samsung (Kenmore Elite)so that it would fit our kitchen better.

So far no problems.

Also I believe your Samsung is still under warranty.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:14AM
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Well, this one is a longshot, Daven. You do not mention which model Samsung you have, but there are about 50 Samsung refrigerator control boards on ebay for sale right now ranging in price from $45 to about $200. So you may not be looking at quite the expense you anticipate.

However -- and this is a big however -- the logic board may not be the real problem. The fault could be induced by a secondary peripheral issue, a bad motor, shorting wire in the harness, etc. That is why I hesitate to recommend a simple logic board swapout unless you can definitely isolate the problem to the board alone, either through a thorough diagnostic check, or by symptom matching, e.g., known problem, high failure rate component, well-documented symptoms, and a high probability fix.

Anyway, this may be TMI for you if you are certain you want to simply replace the unit, and who could blame you for that? It's just that there is no panacea brand to recommend. For instance, I have had great luck with our LG, but the reports from people who have had failures with them are atrocious. For that reason I could not recommend an LG, even though ours has been great.

antss's recommendation of a subzero is right on the money, if you can afford it. You get the best quality but it costs thousands more.

In the end I think any brand you buy has the potential to break. If you do buy a new unit, perhaps you should look at an extended warranty for it. (Shop around for that, Square Trade has a good reputation and may prove cheaper than a store-offered extended warranty. Best of luck and sorry about your fridge troubles.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:20AM
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I am trying to let go of my 38 year old ColdSpot Kenmore refrigerator. I am finding it hard to do because from the reading I've done and friends I've talked to, the new ones don't compare to the old ones.

I have no need for anything fancy, just want a top freezer, don't need an ice maker or water. I have looked at Kenmore, Whirlpool, Frigidaire and what I like the least is the big shelves on the door. Being so big that means I have to reach in further to put things on the shelves in the refrigerator!

I can't believe it is good for these refrigerator doors to have one or two gallons of milk on them. What are the designers thinking? I want small useable shelves on the door like I have now. The vegetable/fruit bins are a joke- they feel like they are going to crack pulling them out empty!

I have done no repairs on my Coldspot that I remember up until last week when I needed a new relay, power cord and overload. With those repairs done it kept tripping the breaker and they found the defrost element needed replacing. Replacing the defrost element would mean another $200; I've already spent $290. If I thought this would be the last repair for a couple of years I'd do it in a heartbeat. They did say the compressor seems fine; but for how long?

I find it sad that so many things being built these days are not near the quality of products built years ago.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:44PM
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It wouldn't hurt to call up Samsung and complain that your fridge should not be a boat anchor after just 3 years. I did that with a 6 year old Asko washing machine and Asko supplied the new parts required. I did email them a link to the laundry forum here in my complaint where I had posted my dilemma.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 3:56PM
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The model is rf267aars. I looked but can't find the control board part number. Repair would beat replacement. Do you have the part number?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 5:56PM
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We had a technician out months ago and I thought that he told my wife it was the main board. I googled again and found what looks to be the correct one, DA41-00413C , on ebay for $28. I can replace all of the boards for under $100.

The problem is water under the slide out deli drawer. I need to get back with the technician to see what he diagnosed.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 6:09PM
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I am going to look at the layout of that model, but the first thing I am thinking if you have water pooling is evaporator condensate failing to drain during the defrost cycle. Every 12 hours or so your fridge runs a defrost cycle. That cycle melts the ice on the evaporator coils. There is a drain tube to the pan under the fridge that can plug up. If it does, you will have water that can drain into the fridge. That would be my first line of investigation prior to buying ANY parts. Make sure every drain in the machine is clear. I will take a look at the parts breakdown for the machine, but that is the first thing that pops into my head.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Well, the tech will have to explain how the logic board is puddling water. Personally, I would look drain, then maybe just a water leak at a fitting somewhere, or maybe a bad door seal. But you always want to check the easy fix first, which is proper draining. Good luck and I hope you can just fix it yourself for free. Also, always make sure you don't have a bunch of dust bunnies clogging up the cooling fan and condensor coils under the unit. You need good air moving through there to keep the system cooling properly.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Though it is not a frig...I have a JC Penney freezer (13 cu ft upright) that I bought in 1973. It is still running and never had a service call. It is a manual defrost (which my wife hates). No complaints on this model!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Update. I decided to take a look myself. Everything was relatively clean around coils/base. When I opened the board area I could smell the burnt smell that the tech talked about. I removed the board an it looks o.k. but the capacitor has a strong burnt odor. I ordered another board for $60. If it wasn't the cause I was told that I could return the board.

How do I check the drain? I see the hose leading to the bottom of the fridge. No obvious water.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 4:06PM
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