KitchenAid Fridge

Lee2404July 15, 2012

We are looking into buying a KA french door, 21.9 cubic ft. fridge - stainless. Don't have a lot of space in our older home. The guy at Lowe's claims KA is Whirlpool's "high end." ??? I've never owned a KA before.....any feedback very helpful - thx.

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flevy

KA is part of the Whirlpool family

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:31PM
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breezygirl

I've had good luck with KA fridges over many years. Long lasting, holding temps well, repair-free, etc. For my new kitchen, I purchased a 36" built-in KA. Very happy with it. I wouldn't necessarily call KA high-end. They certainly aren't low-end, but they're not in the same league with SZ, Miele, Gaggenau, etc.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:03PM
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weissman

KA makes great fridges - my current one is 10 years old without any problems, and my previous one is a Whirlpool that's still going strong in the garage after 31 years.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 5:03PM
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jwvideo

If you are looking at the model KBFS22EW, it is one of the models I have been looking at. Here's a summary of what I've been able to find out.

Consumer Reports rates it excellent for temperature control, very good for energy efficiency, and average for noise levels and for "ease of use" (which seems to refer to subjective feelings about shelving layout, control arrangements and displays and interior lighting. Curiously, CR reports that Kitchenaid claims this has a 25 cu. ft. capacity when, in fact, Kitchenaid only claims 22 cu. ft. Might be a typo.

As for the relationship to Whirlpool, the bottom mount and french-door Kitchenaid fridges are made in the Whirlpool plant in Amana, Iowa, along with those branded as Whirlpool, Whirlpool Gold, Amana, and Maytag. (See the link below.)

Kitchenaid branded fridges come with a limited 10 year warranty. Full warranty on everything for one year. Sealed systems, parts and labor through year six, and parts only (you pay labor) through year 10. Virtually every brand --- including factory-mates Amana, Maytage and Whirlpool --- now gives only one-year warranties and wants you to buy an extended warranty. When you look at the cost of Whilrpool extended warranties, it seems to cover most of the cost difference between the Kitchenaid brands and the others. So, what actually seems to be going on is that the higher price for the Kitchenaids seems to include the extended warranties for which you otherwise would be charged separately with other Whirlpool products.

As best I can tell, the Whilrpool and Kitchenaid warranty divisions are actually the same office and use the same service companies. Warranty service seems highly variable from pretty good to abysmal. For a sense of how abysmal service be, see the tales of woe at:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/kit_refrig.html

Here is another oddity. Consumer Reports membership survey on refrigerators over the last five years (61,000 responses) show, for bottom mount & french-door fridges with ice makers:

Whirlpool branded fridges have an 8% repair rate;

Kitchenaid branded ones have a 10% repair rate,

Maytag branded ones have a 14% repair rate

Amana branded ones have a 16% repair rate (those without ice makers are a bit more reliable with a 12% repair rate).

Obviously, Whirlpool is cutting some corners with Maytag and Amana brands. In CR's fine print, they say that diferences of 5 percentage poitns or less are "not meaningful." They do not explain what they mean by that statement. Might be the margin of error in reporting. Might be the possibility of year-to-year variations. Or, it might have something to do with the statistical adjustments they make for the age of the fridges reported on in surveys. About all I can distill from these reports is that KA is in the top tier of reliable fridges.

To put this in some perspective, Kitchenaid says that one in five new fridges (20%) will experience a serious problem in the first three years. So, if Kitchenaid really does have "only" a 10% problem rate, that makes it seem like an attractive buy.

Both Consumer Reports and the Consumer Affairs websites also indicate that most of those problems (the one in five new fridges that need a repair) are mostly relatively inexpensive things like ice makers, water lines and door seals, and that the cost of parts and labor is usually less than the price of extended warranties. I can replace door seals myself and do not really have a use for the water dispenser or ice-making functions, so these kinds of defects do not particularly concern me.

What does concern me are the complaints on the ConsumerAffiars website from folks who had a major failure (such as compressor failure or mainboard burn-out) and then had major difficulties with Whirlpool warranty service.

I've had brief looks at this KA model in a store and comparing it to the Whirlpool Gold 22 cu. ft. FD (model GX2FHDXVQ) in another store. There did not seem to be much difference. The KA model has an internal water dispenser and comes with a warranty you have to purchase for the WP.

Here is a link that might be useful: Where Whirlpool Products are built

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 5:46PM
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jwvideo

Correcting a mistake in the fourth from the bottom paragraph. It is CR and ConsumerAffairs, not Kitchenaid, who made the statements about 1 in 5 new fridges needing repairs in the first three years. Sorry for any confusion.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 5:50PM
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gwbasic

I just installed my new KitchenAid KSRS25MWMS. It's a side-by-side with no ice maker, water dispenser, or any of the other fancy do-dads like alarms, digital readouts, touch pad, internet, etc. It's got slider temperature controls and aside from a thermostat, I'm not even sure if it has a motherboard (computer). Hopefully that means there's less that could break.

We bought it for the extra space and smooth clean look on both doors.

So far, it's keeping everything cold, so I can't complain.

In addition to the 10 year warranty, there is also a lifetime warranty on the door bins.

My model was manufactured in April 2012 and made in Mexico.

Here's a generic picture.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:26AM
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eam44

I had the counter depth 19.8 cu ft french door fridge in my cottage. Loved it. It was beautiful, worked perfectly, water and ice were fresh and plentiful. It was an awesome fridge and a huge step up from my GE. It is less expensive for sure than a subzero, but has a better repair rating. I would buy another KA fridge in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:09PM
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mike_73

I have had the 21.9 ft kitchen aid French door in stainless steel since late Febuary this year. It has been a good unit keeps food cold nicely I never had issues with the temp it does has some Problems with moisture showing up this summer but if I press the humidity control button that handles the problem. Mine has inturnal water and an ice maker both are working great. I never had those items before and they are nice to have. Mine seems energy efficient My bill came down some compared to the 28 year old little 17 cubic foot top freezer one I had. Over all it is a very nice fridge I am pleased with mine. How much is it selling for at lowes? I got mine at hh Gregg They wanted 2099 regular price but were not going to Carry that model any longer so I got the floor model with no dents and only a few tiny scratches were the price thing was for 1149

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 7:57AM
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