catastrophe! lg french door is dead..8 months old!

ardcpJune 21, 2014

so we heard this loud humming vibrating sound from our lg french door frig bought in nov 2013. my husband thinks it sounds like a fan or compressor and sure enough, we pull open the freezer and almost everything is melted! what a mess, soupy popsicles and ice cream everywhere! i have never had a frig actually die on me and certainly not one under a year old.
i bought the extended warranty from HD and called it in but they can't get someone out til tuesday. so of course it's sat, by tuesday no food will be left! thanks home depot, you are great!
i am now on the phone with LG as it is still under their warranty. not holding out a whole lot of hope for a timely fix though

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guess you know never to buy there again. I bought some top soil from them that had oil in it. Nothing would grow there afterward. They said they had no other complaints. Also they have a very bad reputation regarding things like this.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you really expect them to send out a repairman on Sunday morning?!? Tuesday isn't great, but it isn't terrible - some warranty repair places won't show up for weeks.

When my fridge went on a Sunday, the private repair place I called on Monday morning would have shown up on Monday afternoon if I had wanted them to. In my case, I didn't mind waiting until Wed. which was more convenient for me - of course i had a backup fridge in the garage. Sometimes, the warranty (or you homeowner's insurance) will cover some loss of food.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

honestly what i expect is for a brand new fridge to actually work! i shouldn't need to repair it at this point and when you pay extra for an extended warranty, you do so to not be out of an appliance for 3 days.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that it should work, but these days, everything is cheaply made and breaks down. Does your extended warranty include expedited service? Typically they just extend the manufacturer's warranty for an extra year or two. I avoid extended warranties because they lock you into a repair service - I'd rather be able to choose who I call when the manufacturer's warranty is up.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think even today an expensive item like a refrigerator should reasonably be expected to give at least two years of trouble free service. Based on ardcp's unfortunate experience, GW members have been forewarned to beware of LG refrigerators. Ardcp, I'm sorry to hear that you're having this headache. And according to my calculation, your refrigerator has only been installed seven months.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As previous posters have said, this can happen with any brand - American, European, or Asian, and nowadays, it's more common than ever. If you don't believe me, you can look through Gardenweb a bit... Nothing about your experience sends up red flags - they're honoring the warranty and not making you wait a ridiculous amount of time. I feel your pain somewhat though, in that I had to go through three dishwasher brands before I got one that didn't have a major failure in the first few weeks of service. Of course, being without a dishwasher is nothing like being without a fridge.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

texasgal47 - you are right it is actually only 7 months! thanks for the commiseration
hvtech42- it is under warranty with lg and they can not be contacted due to phone problems. i was disconnected 6 times. the tech that is scheduled is through the Hd extended warranty that I paid extra for.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry to hear about what happened. I don't think this is typical. Lemons do occur. LG has a 10 year warranty on their compressors, which is the most expensive part that can break on a fridge. One of the reason I bought mine about a year ago. So far, so good. Fingers crossed.

Hope it works out for the best.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It would be nice if you didn't "have to repair it at this point", but that's the point of a warranty, isn't it? It's not a guaranty that it will work, it's a promise to fix it if it doesn't.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


And the really disappointing thing? Lately, all FD fridges now seem to have equally bad failure and problem rates.

I'll come back to this in a moment, but for now, my ranting is not going to help ardcp.

First thing: get some big blocks of ice from the grocery store, leave them in their bags, and put them on the top shelf in the fridge section. That will turn your fridge into an old fashioned ice box and will keep most of that food from spoiling.

Clean out the freezer as best you can and leave it closed. If memory serves, the LG's have twin evaporators, so you probably won't be losing much cold air from the fridge section while you clean the freezer. (You could use coolers, too, but it is probably more convenient to do the ice-box thing so you don't have to remove everything right away. Get the coolers for when the techs come.)

Third, now that the fridge has been off for a day, you might try starting it back up. What you described might have been the result of ice building up on the evaporator and fan from the freezer compartment. If you start it up, and don't get the noise, then you might be able to keep the the fridge section's food from spoiling.

Fourth, besides reading your Home-insurance policy (as somebody suggested), also check the fine print in the LG and HD warranties. Some of them cover up to a couple hundred dollars in spoiled food, some do not.

WIsh I had more and better advice, but I don't.

Now, for my rant riffing on warranties.

Used to be ---, well, three years ago --- you could improve your odds against failure by avoiding LG as a brand. Back then, the French-door LG fridges had a 22% failure rate in the first five years of ownership according the results of the annual surveys of Consumer Reports' membership. (Think about having more than one in five customers with big problems.) At the time, Whirlpool and Kitchenaid fridges had a much lower rate of around 8%.

What those statistics meant was that one in 12 WP/KA customers faced failure problems in the first five years, not that nobody had problems. The statistics simply meant you had better odds with a KA/WP product.

Now, we don't have even that comfort. LG has pulled its defect rate down to 15% -- roughly one in seven customers. But everybody else's defect rates increased to the virtually the same dismal level. The most recent CR membership surveys show all brands of FD fridges with statistically insignificant differences in reliability. (I note that CR didn't get enough responses to rate some of the smaller premium brands such as Miele, F&P (now owned by Haier), etc., so the odds with those brands are unknown.)

Compounding this, some warranty service is worse than than others in terms of time and responsiveness. Despite the current commercials showing a new Maytag man, there are no Maytag men employed by the company. Virtually all warranty service has been outsourced. Depending on who the service contractor is, and when your problems occur, the service ranges from good to okay to the truly abysmal. Read the complaints on brands at, and there are tales of woe and horror about all brands.

Okay, rant over.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 16:28

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

jwvideo- thanks for all your info and advice. so fd fridges are worse than sxs or the regular 1 door? good to know for future purchases.
so here's the weird thing, we did what you said about unplugging and plugging back in several times yesterday and this morning when i checked the freezer, it seems to be freezing again?! i haven't returned anything but the water bottle i was using as a barometer for temp. how odd is that?
also i finally got through to LG cs after 30 mins on hold and they are sending out their own? tech on tues am. i really think the bad noise was coming from the area where the compressor might be so i hope they can find what caused the defrost.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My take on the french doors having more issues thing is that they just tend to have more features. French doors are what's "hot" now, so that's is where manufacturers are going to focus most of their feature development.

-My new design GE french door is absolutely loaded with electronics. When I put a cup in the dispenser, it will use ultrasonic sensors to determine the size of the cup and dispense the right amount of water. The next model up from mine has a hot water dispenser! There's something to break!

-It's much more common for french doors to have ice makers and dispensers PERIOD, which are high failure rate items.

-I would venture a guess that the icemakers in french doors are even more unreliable than the ones in side by sides, because think about the two fridge designs. On a side by side, the dispenser is located on the freezer door. The ice maker can be located in the freezer right behind. On a french door, the dispenser is located on one of the refrigerator doors. It's not so easy to just stick an ice maker in the fridge! In addition, some people want MORE ice making capacity and don't want to have to rely on the in-door dispenser, so many french doors have a SECOND ice maker in the freezer. Not only do you have two icemakers, one of the them is significantly more complicated!

-Then, there's the method of temperature control in the fridge and the freezer. My french door, and many others, have dual evaporators with a single compressor. This is probably the most unreliable design out there, but food definitely lasts longer. Most side by sides and bottom mounts have a thermostatically controlled damper that lets the colder air from the freezer into the fridge when needed. Many top mounts don't even have any separate control of the freezer and fridge, with a single thermostat located in the fridge. These usually have no electronics at all! The only way to get the preservation ability of fridges like mine combined with the reliability of basic fridges is to get a dual compressor/dual evaporator system a la Sub-Zero.

-Finally, inverter compressors. These are more energy efficient and give tighter control of temperature. They also add yet another control board that could fail. Pretty much all higher end french doors/side by sides have them, they are less common on top mounts.

I didn't read the CR reliability data referenced above, but I'll take at guess at it. JWVideo, tell me if I'm right or wrong!

1. Top mounts (most reliable)
2. Bottom mount single door
3. Side by side
4. French door (least reliable)

By the way, ardcp, I apologize if it seemed like in my earlier post I was trying to brush off your frustration. That was not my intention. I was just trying to make the point that you shouldn't feel like you made a grave error by buying the fridge you did. Buying appliances is a crapshoot, and as JWVideo pointed out above the odds aren't much better elsewhere.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually, its top freezer fridges, then bottom freezer fridges (which include FD models) and followed by SxS as the most trouble prone.

There doesn't seem to be much (if any) difference between single-door bottom freezer fridges and FD models, at least for models with rated capacities under 24 cu ft.. For those, the FD and single door bottom freezer models are basically the same units with different doors. Very large capacity units (26 to 32 cu ft.) can only be had in the FD style. Those are high-style with a lot of whiz-bangery that, as you observe, can provide additional points for failure and probably skew the curves accordingly.

For years, SxS fridges have been least reliable type of fridge. It used to be a pretty wide margin but the gap has narrowed considerably in the last couple of years. Very probably, a big contributor to the diminution of the gap has been the increasing of FD fridges with through-the-door ice and water dispensers. However, I haven't seen anything that suggests that in-door dispensers in FD models are any more or less unreliable than the dispensers used in other models. At one point a year or so ago, I saw some data that indicated through-the-door ice and water dispensers accounted for between 30% and 40% of service issues with SxS and FD fridges, Can't find the source on that right now, though.

you shouldn't feel like you made a grave error by buying the fridge you did. Buying appliances is a crapshoot, and as JWVideo pointed out above the odds aren't much better elsewhere.

That pretty well sums it up.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 2:39

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 2:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Supplementing what I just said with some additonal reflections on the CR survey results..

Top-freezer models without ice and water dispensers are running about a 7% to 8% failure rate while those with the dispensers seem to average around 11%. The non-icemaker top freezer fridges have half the failure rate of the bottom-freezer models and less than half that of SxS models. Clearly ice and water dispensers can add significantly to the problem rates.

Regarding SxS fridges, something that does bear noting from the latest Consumer Reports survey is that "LG and KitchenAid have been among the more repair-prone brands of side-by-side refrigerators with icemakers." Kitchenaid and LG models of SxS fridges are showing a 21% problem rate which is five to six points worse than everybody else and three times the rate for top-freezer models sold without dispensers.

Another statistical tidbit relating to hvtech's suspicions about increasing problem rates stemming from the proliferation of electonics as well as the most expensive FD models having the more complicated dual ice systems:

At least when it comes to Whirlpool's brands, I suspect that it is the proliferation of electronics that is the culprit. WP's Amana brand single door bottom freezer (SDBF) and FD models are made on the same production line with the same chasis and mechanicals as the other WP brands's SDBF and FD models. (WP's FD and SDBF models are basically just different doors hung on the front of the same box and with variations in the cosmetics and quality of bins and other such interior furnishings,) . The Amana-branded models are WP's "value" line, so a large percentage of them are made without icemakers and water dispensers. Enough of those non-icemaker Amanas are purchased that CR's survey can break-out the non-icemaker Amanas as a separate category. The non-icemaker SDBF and FD Amanas have a nearly identical rate of failure as the other WP brands of FD and SDBF models and close to those of the SxS models. This suggests that WP has seen an increase in quality control probems with its electronics and compressor systems more than ice-maker failures.

But here's a curiosity: the non-ice-maker SDBF models sold under the Kenmore brand are, IIRC, built by Whirlpool and CR has them with only an 8% defect rate. Some may be made by for Sears by LG.

Is buying a new fridge a roll of the dice? Sort of. Having a 15% failure rate still means that 85% of the customers don't have a problem. That's better odds than shooting craps at a Vegas table, but only from the perspective of the manufacturer. There is no comfort for those like ardcp who find themselves with one of the 15% of fridges that have major problems in the first five years of ownership.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 12:41

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 11:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Appliance warranties are repair not replace and the HD extended warranty does not supercede the manufacturer's warranty but it does give you food spoilage production so after the repair is made call the HD warranty for the food loss.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

update: appliance repairman just left. i thought now that my freezer is magically working, there would be no diagnosis but this freezer issue seems to be quite common at least with LG.
apparently for anyone with a bottom freezer, if your door doesn't shut hard enough,(he checked the gaskets and they seem fine) condensation causes ice build up on the freezer fan and stops it from working. i was told to keep an eye on the ice cream in my freezer as that will be the first to get soft thereby indicating a cooling problem.
the resolution in my case is some sort of grill that protects the fan from ice over.
hope my saga helps others in the future and thanks all for your kind support! i can hope this is my last repair on the fridge(hahaha)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for sharing. I will keep an eye out for it on my LG FD bottom freezer. Good to hear it wasn't a major part like the compressor or evaporator that went.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the update.
Glad it is working again
The appliance doctor recommended the penny test to verify freezer temps - place a penny on top of a frozen cup of water.
If you check it and the penny has sunk, freezer is not holding its temp.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 9:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
smallest microwave (width) ever ? Please advise
I'm looking for the smallest microwave in terms of...
Can Viking refuse a refund on a range?
On a cobalt blue range and microwave actually. Both...
Buy 2 individual wall ovens or one 2 oven wall unit?
Hi - I'm looking for appliances for a house we will...
Capital Culinarian oven latch
My wife and I have a nearly new 36" self clean...
760 cfm vs 900 cfm
I purchased a 36 Jenn Air (6 burners) range. I doubt...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™