Is there a reliable french door refrigerator out there???

mpagmomMay 10, 2012

I usually hang out in the kitchen forum, but I thought I'd go to the experts on this one.

I want a stainless-steel, standard-depth french door refrigerator with an internal water dispenser. There aren't that many out there, so I should be able to just pick one, right? I've picked one three times now, and every time I do I read the reviews and find out that it will ruin my new wood floors in the first three months. Or I'll have to replace the condenser after 2 years. I know I shouldn't read reviews...

So does anyone who sells or repairs appliances (or just has magical knowledge) know if any brand is reliable? I'm looking mostly at Samsung, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid. I like the inside of the Samsung best and the looks of the Whirlpool best.

Thanks for any help you can give me!!!

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I have had a french door Amana for about 7 years. The first year it had a problem with the compressor which was replaced at no charge. Since then it has worked well and had no issues. Since there is no perfectly rated appliance
out there - all have issues, I would look at overall brand reliability and customer service. Consumer reports rated kenmore, whirlpool gold, and samsung as the best models.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 3:03AM
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We have a Kenmore for 2 1/2 yrs minus the water dispencer and have had no problems. When you decided and if it is a bottom freezer make sure the freezer bins have a solid bottom and not a wire basket. Ice cubes will fall in the bins and evaporate, if it is a wire basket they will fall thru and on to your floor. If you do not realize it the ice will melt on the floor. My husband pointed that out when we were looking and the sales person never realized that and thought it was a good point.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:57AM
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I'm not an expert, nor do I play one on TV, but we have had a Samsung French Door refrig with water and ice in the door since Nov or Dec 2009. We have had no problems.

We picked black, 26 cubic feet (RF26XAEBP) but the same model is available in stainless. Before, we had a KA side-by-side, which we moved to the garage to use as a back-up fridge. We like the French Door design much better than the s-by-s.

As AvidChef says, every brand is going to have both good and bad reviews. But we've been very happy with our choice.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Thanks for all your replies. I went out last night looking again and have it narrowed down to the Samsung RF266AEPN and the Whirlpool Gold GX5FHTXV. The Whirlpool looks cheaper to me, but if it costs a lot less I may get over that. Both my brothers have the Samsung and are happy with it. I don't know which will match my GE Cafe range better and I haven't been able to see them side by side. The Samsung SS looks too shiny, the Samsung platinum looks too brown, and the Whirlpool SS doesn't look quite right either. Ughh.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Just a thought that may help: consider where in your kitchen the refrigerator will be. A stainless that looks very shiny in the store, sitting right under all those lights, might not look as shiny at home, depending on where it's located relative to lighting.

For example, our black refrig would show finger prints an dust if it were in direct sunlight. But it's on a wall that only gets direct sunlight very, very early in the morning -- and I'm too sleepy-eyed at that point to notice!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Any thoughts on lg refrigerators or the kenmore cafe

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 10:50PM
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Sub zero french door with bottom freezer
Liebherr french door with bottom freezer

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:01PM
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We have a FD LG (5 to 7 years old) and wouldn't buy another one. We selected it because the interior configuration was the nicest we could find at the time. Construction is quite shoddy, and, while we haven't had any mechanical problems with it, the interior plastic parts break easily. The piece of plastic that holds one of the doors shut broke off about 6 months ago, can't be replaced, and now we need to make a really conscious effort to remember to push the door really tight and make sure it is closed. LG won't be on our shopping list when this needs to be replaced.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Homeimprovementmom, I wish I had the budget for a Subzero or Liebherr! They look so nice.

Needinfo1, I agree completely about LG. I bought one 7 or 8 years ago and the plastic parts to the crispers started breaking pretty quickly. I was able to get replacement parts and fix it myself, and it was fine for a few years. Then the lightbulbs stopped turning off when I shut the door, which I realized when I smelled plastic burning. I was so glad I noticed it before it caught fire. We took out the bulbs and lived with a dark refrigerator until LG was threatened with a class action suit and started fixing the problem for free.

To update this, I ended up with the Samsung, and it has not been the most reliable. After about 6 months (and unfortunately over Thanksgiving weekend) the refrigerator evaporator fan stopped working because of a buildup of ice. It was repaired under warranty and has been fine since. Just outside of warranty it stopped making ice, but I haven't fixed it yet. The refrigerator in the basement makes ice and I bring it up once a week or so.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:31AM
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We bought an LG french door about 3 yrs ago from Home Depot. We have loved it, but a couple of small complaints. Quickly developed some cracks in the plastic holding the drawers and is real easy to not get the doors completely closed. It's the only french door we've ever owned. Funny how experiences with appliances are. It's not like repeatedly buying a brand of shoes because they fit well. Not sure how much we love the LG - or the french door concept.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:04PM
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If you like your wood floors, don't buy a KitchenAid. Pretty much every night ours releases water from the floor of the freezer onto our kitchen floor. Fortunately we have vinyl floors, but it is a slip hazard and I hate leaving an unsightly towel on the floor.

We have shallow depth model obfuscation s20evbl3 in black that cost $1900. The going price of a shallow stainless model was $2500 -$2700 at the time. It was the only thing we could install because the fridge is on the main isle way.

It is 3 1/2 years old. Ironically the matching KitchenAid convection range has been outstanding.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:05PM
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I too have the LG. I know I love the FD concept, but the brand itself is lacking in construction quality.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Samsung RFG28MESL will be perfectly matching your requirements. In my opinion, it is the best in the market of its class.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 4:28AM
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Had the same problem and it warped the baseboard of my new cabinets. A repairman came out and "notched" the drain to widen it, and it has not happened again. It's as if the drain hose gets clogged and causes ice to form under the freezer drawer. When the defrost goes on the ice melts and runs onto the floor. Hope you can get yours fixed. It's a great refrigerator.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:22PM
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All ice dispensers on French door refrigerators have an inherent issue: the ice maker is in a compartment at 34 degrees. Duh! In a side by side, the ice maker is in the freezer at 0 degrees.

If you are a heavy door opener or tend to open the fridge to stare at stuff you will probably encounter problems, as the ice maker will not be in a 34-36 degree compartment but warmer. This causes the ice to sweat, refreeze, etc. this makes the mechanicals strain to operate. Problems occur.

Lets make this simple: a fridge is really a freezer with a separate chill compartment we call the refrigerator, which really just works by allowing a small amount of 0 degree air to move into the 34 degree section. On cheap models this causes food to freeze near the inlet.

Want French door? Get one without water and ice in the door. Better? Save money and buy a side by side.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:43PM
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