Kitchenaid v. Jennair Built In Refrigerators

runninginplaceJune 14, 2010

Searching for a true intregrated refrigerator for my remodel. It's a splurge, but also a priority because it will hugely impact the look of a long galley kitchen. Other constraints are: has to be a side by side, no water/ice through the door. Clearance is a big issue too. Refrigerator will be at the end of a run, with only a 9" pullout broom closet between the fridge and wall.

I was ready to finalize an order for the Kitchenaid 42" SXS model KSS042FTX. It's integrated, right configuration and no water/ice. And, $2500 less than comparable SZ!

And the appliance dealer I was shown the Jennair 42" SXS model JS42NXFSDW. The salesman/owner said that it is identical to the Kitchenaid with the exception of the hinge set up. And, he told me that hinge makes a difference in terms of how the refrigerator can be installed in a tight space.

So, I'm trying hard to figure out if it is worth the extra $1000 to get the Jennair, or whether the Kitchenaid will work as well for less. ANY input or suggestions or experience is very welcome. If I have to spend extra to get what I really want, I will. But if I can do the built-in look for less...hey, what's not to love about that?!

Thanks in advance.

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I don't know about the Jennair hinge, but being able to open your door wide enough to pullout your drawers and easily get to everything for food or cleaning is worth not getting another fridge.

Jennair became a Maytag label, which was in turn bought by Whirlpool -- the maker of Kitchenaid, so they should be essentially the same in terms of major working parts.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:12PM
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I wish somebody would really look into that, lascatx,
"they should be essentially the same in terms of major working parts". I did a lotta studying before we bought our Fridge, (5 years ago), and one of the things that attracted me to it was it's "Varible Speed Compressor".
Now Liebher braggs about having one. We like it, find it is very quiet as it's not "Full On" or Full Off , like a conventional compressor, thus not creating power surges etc that a conventional one would---and I really have to get my ear up to the thing to tell if it is running.
We bought it before maytag bought JA and before Maytag was bought by Whirlpool.
So the Question is, "Does Jenn-Air still use that compressor" did all the Whirpool built fridges get that compressor, or did all of them including Jenn-air quit using that compressor?
Knowing the answer to this, I think we can give better and more "factual Info" to the user.
Generous Motors, Mercedes Benz BMW Ford etc etc builds different models (Caddy and Chevies with different engines), isn't it possible for an appliance manufacturer to do the same?


    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:21PM
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I think thoe 42" shares the same platform but the rest of the line does not.

Neither are going to totally disappear so if that is the look you're going for then your options are very limited at 42" and will be well north of $8k.

I think the JA will give a cleaner look than the KA model when installed flush.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:49AM
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There are differences in installation between these two refrigerators. You said you want a true integrated refrigerator. The Kitchen Aid would not be considered true integrated but the Jenn Air may be. I would ask the salesperson to demonstrate again how the hinges are different.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 4:09PM
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Well, Since we did not get any answers to whether Jenn-air continues to use the Variable Speed Compressor, I went ahead and did the research, myself, and Yes It Does.
"Precision Temperature Management system with variable-speed compressor "

There are several good sites , including the one I will list below, that show all the Features of this particular JA Fridge---and at least according to the descriptions I read, as well as looking at installation pictures on those sites, it does appear to be a "Fully Integrated Type".

It has a lotta other features too, like extreme accuracy
( +/- half a degree maintenance of chrisper temp settings)
It is energy star rated and is about in the middle ($70/year) for similar Fridges.

Any--way---- looks for yourself by looking at the URL I post below or just goggle "JS42NXFSDW" and then do the same for the KA Fridge---This way you can really see the difference----Kind of a pity that most appliance Salesmen and even Owners, haven't really taken the time to see what these appliance "Really Are--features etc". Doing so, you will see that there really are differences in the various makes that are under thw Whirlpool Umbrella---why should that NOT Be The Case---Are you guys saying that everything that is made by "Mama Bosch" is the same be it a Gaggenau, A Bosch, A Thermador or etc etc etc.
I mean using that "Train of thought" we would even "Deduce that the Miele Fridge is the same as the Bosch Fridge" at least until Miele starts making their own, and not in the Bosch Factory!


Here is a link that might be useful: Jenn-air Fridge Specs

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Thanks to all for your responses.

I am going with the Jenn-air. I have reviewed the spec sheets and there is definitely a big advantage over the Kitchenaid regarding how much space is needed for side clearance.

As for 'truly' integrated, I've decided 3/4" just isn't worth $2,000 more, which is what the SZ would cost, to me at least. I'd rather save the money and use it for other areas of my kitchen. Although I must be deep in obsession territory; never dreamed I'd spend $6K on a refrigerator and call it a bargain!

Again, thanks.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 7:22PM
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I'm sure you made the right choice.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:23PM
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Please keep us posted as to how the installation went (did it meet your expectations as far as "Integrated" goes.
Is it quiet, well lit, well organized inside etc etc. This will make it easier for other folks that may consider this Fridge. We see a lotta Liebher, SZ Samsung and LG info so kinda nice for the folks to be "As well Armed as Possible" when they walk into that appliance store or order a Fridge off the net--- Don't ya thinks?


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:42PM
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Runninginplace - Is your Jennair 42" installed? Can you post your comments on this particular model? We just purchased a home that has a space for a 42" built-in so I now find myself doing the same research. Thanks for your feedback!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 12:27PM
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Well, it's been quite awhile since I posted about getting a Jennair integrated refrigerator. The kitchen is finished, and the refrigerator is installed. I wanted a paneled look so it is now in place with the panels attached. It's a beauty, however I"m having MAJOR issues, unfortunately.

To start with, the installer set up the enclosure at 24" deep. The installation guide seems to indicate that is ok although it recommends 25", but it ended up leaving a small side piece exposed. My contractor figured out a way to add some shoe molding on the sides, which looks pretty good.

But the major and really puzzling-and infuriating-problem seems to be with ventilation at the top, in front of the compressor. The cabinet company made the panel to fit over the compressor to specs, but to my shock when it was installed there was a large gap, at least an inch wide and quite visible. Not acceptable at all for an *integrated* refrigerator. I've spoken to Jennair who referred me to their installation expert. He hasn't been very helpful and indeed in the installation guide it seems to indicate the large and very unsightly gap is necessary. This is not what I expected when I spent $6200 for a refrigerator that was supposedly going to fit like a piece of cabinetry.

The contractor tried adding some molding to cover the gap but that resulted in obvious overheating. He's not giving up and I'm going to check back in with the 'expert' next week. At this point we're discussing trying to put some kind of louvered cover up there to help with ventilation.

Sorry for the long ramble, and I should include a picture but don't have the camera available now.

Anyone have the Jennair integrated? Anyone ever hear about this issue?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Runninginplace - on the off chance you get notified or see this posting almost 2 years later!!

Whatever happened with your JennAir built in? Did you find away to get rid of the space without causing overheating?

I am almost ready to pull the trigger on the 48 but really want the completely hidden look.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Google the model# of the JA Fridge, then chose the Jenn-air web-site. It has several pictures of the "Integrated Fridge"
there. You can even expand the pictures. It looks like "True Integration" (to me).

My self, back in 2006 I could care less about
"True Integration". I wanted a built in and paneled fridge.
I did not like the "Gills" that the Sub-zero showed up on top, alto a lot of folks have bought those.
We liked the look of a paneled fridge, and the ease of keeping the exterior clean (Piece of cake)" compared to our old stainless GE.

Strange, when I watch "House Hunters" on TV, there is all kinds of "Griping and Complaining" if the kitchen does not have a fridge, yet folks spend "Big Money" to hide them, nowadays---but I've never seen one that I can't look at the kitchen and says, "There's the Fridge"---usually the handle give it away---Oh Well, Strange World (to Me) but "Different strokes for different folks" ROFLMAS!

Anyway, good luck with your pending decision.
I saved You a little work---Just click the link below to see the Jenn-Air Fridge pictures!


Here is a link that might be useful: Jenn-air Integrated 42

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Bumping up to see if this was ever resolved as I too would love to hear about how the ventilation problem ended up....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:17AM
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I am in the same place with refrigerators. How is the Jenn Aire performing? This is such a big buy!
Thanks for any update

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 8:15PM
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