Viking Refrigerator - cost to replace compressor

arch123June 26, 2014

We have a Viking frig 9 years old. (VCBB363LSS). We love it. We need to replace the Aluminum pipes - $1100. OK - so I went out and looked at $2000 - $3500 - frigs - disappointing. If I replace the Alum pipes - what could potentially go wrong that would be a high dollar item? I am thinking only the compressor - $?. What else?

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The compressor will likely run $600-$1000 to replace. The evaporator would be another high ticket item along with the main control board.

then you've got the hinge safety issue.

Personally I would not spend the money on that unit. I find it curious that they are the only ones that use aluminum piping while others use copper.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:36PM
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I paid $500 to have the Freon replaced in mine last year. The door hinges have been replaced twice. The controller board, which got fried when the electrical line to our house broke in 07 (no fault of the fridge) cost $1200 to replace then.

Viking has been sold. The new owners are very nice and are responsive in a way that the former owners were not. They stood behind the recall of the door and sent a competent repairman.

But my lower crisper drawer is cracking and no longer rolls properly. That costs about $350 to replace.

After the freon replacement a year ago, the repairman told me the fridge would last another 10 years. So that's 20 (it came from the Amana factory so I expect 20-25). I certainly hope so. I shopped around for a replacement last year before I found out the freon could be replaced. The options for a built-in were the Liebherr French Door 36" (problemmatic reports) $6K or or one of the SZs. My first choice SZ is $12K.

The math made the choice obvious to me (but we've replaced both our septic and our furnace in the last 2 years so I freely admit I'm still suffering from 'money pit' sticker shock.)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Thanks for the input and info rococogurl and xedos. We decided to go ahead and repair our existing (will put a surge protector on the frig - thanks rococogurl). I have to say out if I were going to replace I would probably go with the new Viking freestanding ($3200).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Surge protector is very important with this fridge archie. Good idea. We had a whole-house protector put it and it's helped. We get power outages and the fridge has stood up very well.

However, I began with a "Viking kitchen" and slowly have been replacing it, usually with Miele. When the Viking leaves so do the problems. Just noticed yesterday the decals on my cooktop are starting to wear off again -- this is the 2nd or 3rd cooktop rim. I've honestly lost count.

These repairs have been going on for 10 years now. They've been continual and numerous. Every single piece -- the fridge, the oven, the cooktop & the hood has been repaired or replaced once or more. They had to send their own tech to reinstall the vent hood which didn't work for years because the installation instructions were wrong. It and now works but that's the best I can say. The refrigerator has been recalled twice.

Neither my original Miele DW or the 6 year old oven (which replaced the Viking) have needed a service call.

We owned a Liebherr fridge in our other house and it was a great fridge. Even DH, who could care less about appliances, gave it high marks. I would definitely go with another Liebherr and I know from experience it is much quieter than this one, which has such a loud fan buzz I can hear it upstairs. Or I would buy the SZ glass door fridge which would update my kitchen visually.

What I would never do, based on this experience, is pay one single cent for another Viking product. I'm done.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 8:39AM
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Hey, Rococogurl.
We were remodeling kitchens about the same time 10 years ago.

Our 36" built-in Viking refrigerator with custom panels has been nothing but problems from literally Day 1. We bought it in 2003, the year before we ripped out the kitchen. Repairman had to come repair something faulty before it could even be installed originally. Besides the hinge repair, we have needed several other repairs to replace the pull out tray and drawers. Repair service has been out twice in last week because the temp alarm kept going off. Now the coil, the condenser and evaporator seem to be going out, as we cannot make ice and the ice cream is melted in the freezer. The handles on the meat and crisper compartments have fallen off. The freezer rollers bent, making smooth sliding impossible, so those were replaced. The paint has worn completely off the rails in the freezer. Did I mention the pull out catering tray has been replaced and its hinged door has broken twice?

Viking Warranty service is now telling us it will be a minimum of $1,500 to work on evaporator and condenser, with the parts being covered by a 12 year warranty. Another service company estimated $1,500 to $2,400, parts included.

What is left to go bad are the compressor and the main control board, with one year left on warranty. We discovered the coils really need to be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis to support operation, rather than my casual attempts to climb up on a ladder with a vacuum hose once in a while.

We are asking ourselves how much to invest in an 11 year old appliance, but now the cost of replacement for a built-in panel ready model is so much higher. I too would prefer a SZ at this point but we also have a number of money pits we've been supporting. A Maytag, Kitchen Aid or a GE would give us fewer problems, I suspect, if they would fit the space. I like the Viking's layout, but the design of the freezer ice basket is not my favorite, with ice falling overboard through the open basket when it works.

We too would not buy another Viking product, even to try to save and re-use our cabinet panel fronts. Thankful we did not buy the Viking range or hood, only the BBQ grill, which also had issues.

We are discussing whether to repair or move-on, but we will probably continue to repair since less expensive mainstream friges do not fit the space.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 5:22PM
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Repair man was out today for our Viking and after a few hours covered the hinge replacement. He diagnosed a complete failure of the sealed air system, which now has to be totally rebuilt. It just squeaks by under warranty, so we would paid only labor charges of $1,500. We are at odds over whether to invest any more in almost 12 year old equipment which the serviceman estimates has a life expectancy of 15 to 18 years or to buy new now. Hubby wants to repair it and get another few years out of it. Since it is a built-in professional series, looks like only SZ or Viking would fit 84" opening. Viking man said current style is changed so we cannot reuse custom cabinet panels, but could go for a color instead of SS.

Pay now or pay later, looks like the cabinet overlay investment is lost.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 2:11PM
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"paid only labor charges of $1,500. "

uh, no you don't .

Is the guy going to spend 15 hours at your house working on that POS ? Or two guys for 7.5 hours?

That's pretty much a service call for parts and labor on a sealed system all rolled up into a a nice "package" by a sales weasel making you think you're getting "warranty" coverage.

I'd have this viking set sail.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:16PM
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$1500 MAY have been worth it if the refrigerator being fixed were actually GOOD and there was no way to get an affordable replacement for the space. Viking took over that line of built in fridges from Amana back in the late 90s and then butchered it completely. Kind of like Maytag did with the Amana washers (anyone remember the "Legacy Series"?).

Poor Amana.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Wed, Jul 23, 14 at 0:59

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:54AM
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Labor charges in the Northeast are typically through the roof on everything. This is a owner/operator of small family business who works only on Viking says it will take one full day for him and his helper. He has overhead to operate his business, but parts come under warranty. Viking keeps him very busy and it will take about 4 weeks for the repair. He did a temporary fix so we could get some cold back into the box for now. However, we did lose several hundred dollars worth of food when it failed.

We did get a second quote from a non-authorized Viking repair service and they want $2,500 including parts.

We should live in Texas where the cost of living is more affordable.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:39PM
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