Refrigerator and Gas Range

spinartJuly 13, 2012

I have to quickly replace my refrigerator and gas range due to a recent fire. Therefore, I need to stick with something comprable to what I had in terms of size and cost (insurance). I will have about $3800 to spend on both. I currently have a 25.0 cubic Whirlpool Gold side by side and would love to try and get a French Door (doesn't have to be Whirlpool). My current range is a Maytag. Both are currently stainless and would like to replace in stainless (or stainless look) as well. Family of 4 with one away at college and the other will leave in two years. While I do cook dinner most nights, I don't need anything too specialized. I do want something that looks nice, cleans nicely, and is reliable. I never had to buy a refrigerator or range before (and I am almost 50!)so don't really know where to start. Thanks!

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I've been looking for a french door (FD) fridge but, fortunately, do not have to replace immediately. I've veen looking now because we're coming up on the yearly model change time, so prices may be in flux and you may be able to get a good deal on claose-out or clearance sale of last year's models.

Two suggestions from my research.

Whirlpool Gold Model GX5FHDXVY, 25 cu. ft. It has stainless doors and "stainless look" sides. Roughly $1500 but can be had for less on sales. Consumer Reports rates it as excellent every category except noise where it gets an average rating. Consumer Reports membership surveys report Whirlpool fridges as the most reliable brand. (From the CR survey results, it looks like Whirlpool is in a tier with an 8% repair rate on bottom freezer fridges followed by Kitchenaid at 10% while everything else is at 12% or higher. If you read the fine print, though, the difference between Whirlpool and the others might not be statistically significant.) Note that the model number I gave you is for the one that has an internal ice maker but no water dispenser. There is a version that has through-the-door external dispensers and it costs about $100 more. (Sorry I do not have the model number.) If you are a Costco member, and do not live in Montana or Wyoming, you might be able to get delivery and "white glove" set-up for the $1500 price). I've heard that Costco may be offering Daewoo fridges as the next model year, and do not know anything about them.

There is also the Samsung RF263 which is another 25 cu. ft. FD fridge that is on CR's recommended list. CR gives it gets excellent and very-good ratings in all categories. It gets great on-line reviews except for when they break. In some parts of the country, Samsung service is variously said to be inept or non-existent or a bureaucratic horror show depending on which reviews you read. Running through the Consumeraffiars website reports ( I found very few complaints about this model and a lot more about older models, particularly the Side-by-Sides. Over on Consumer reports, CR's survey data rated Samsung reliability as pretty good and numbers of my friends have had trouble free ones. Lowe's currently has them on clearance sale in my area (new model year, doncha know) and is asking about $1250 for the white model. If you are near a Lowe's, you might check to see if they have any stainless finish ones left. It might be a little more money for the stainless finish.

I have looked at couple more FD fridges in your budget range (which is pretty much what mine is, too.) One is the Kenmore 7106. It is about $1600 in stainless-look finish with an internal ice-maker and no water dispensers. CR rated it very highly but I decided it against it because (a) it is more money than the others without apparent appreciable benefit) and (b) CR mentioned that they thought it had "poor crisper performance. The other one I looked at was the Maytag MFF2558 which was locally available on a clearance price of about $1300 with a stainless/stainless look exterior. UNfortunately, nobody had them in stock and the new ones are now back up in the $1700 to $1800 range locally. AJ Madison has them for $1550.

With these and most fridges these days, the weak points seem to be water dispensers, ice makers and door seals. (CR inidcates that 1 in 5 fridges of all brands will need something in the first three to five years but the breakages are almost always ice, water and seals. These costs less to fix than the charges for extended warranties. Of course, that won't help you if you get the lemon that blows a compressor after 13 months.)

I'm not very current on gas stoves, but there have been several recent postings on them, so do a search. If you want something with "pro" styling, you might want to check into the NXR stoves. I know somebody who put one in and thinks it is excellent, but I've only seen pictures and do not have any hands-on experience. However, there there have been several recent threads here with lots of recent postings about NXRs. Nunyabiz seems to have had the longest experience with them and he has been very pleased. Costco Online and AJ Madison are both selling the 30-inch wide NXRs for $2000. That and the Smasung or Whirlpool FD fridge would fit within your $3800 budget.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Ooops. Gave the wrong web site name for the Consumer Affairs site. Correct link is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Consumer Affiars

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:20PM
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