Need a new refrigerator, any recommendations on which one?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAAugust 10, 2012

I usually use Consumer Reports for a starting point on purchases. I used to think they were pretty objective and really put a product through it's paces. I've made some pretty happy purchases using their reviews. But, I have in recent years, bought their highly rated and been disappointed.

So I tried to read the reviews by customers online. But lately, I have my doubts about how helpful the reviews are. For one thing, you get a lopsided view because more people post a bad review when they are mad about a purchase that didn't work out, then people who have no problem with it and don't get online to review a product. For another, I do wonder if competitors and the companies themselves might 'plant' reviews to influence the consumer.

Still...some of those stories in the reviews are hard to ignore. I've read horror stories of refrigerators that leak and make unreasonable levels of noise, all the way to stories of how compressors had to be replaced within months of a purchase. Bad technical support, when a problem does come up. And it's pretty much across the board. Every brand. Even the highest rated on Consumer Reports, the Whirlpool. And I see that Whirlpool now owns Amana, Kitchen Aid, and Maytag, which is a big disappointment because it doesn't seem like it is a real choice then. One of the only purchases I made in recent memory that I didn't do any research on before buying it was a Whirlpool dishwasher, that I absolutely hate, so I'm not feeling very positive toward Whirlpool.

Growing up we had a Frigidaire refrigerator that lasted 25 years. Now this last one, was an Amana and it's 15 yrs old and the freezer won't keep anything frozen. The refrigerator has typically been the least problematic in the house. We have never called a repair person for a refrigerator. And I'd like to keep it that way.

So, does anyone have any experiences with refrigerators or recommendations that could point me in a direction?


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Well, Whirlpool/KA makes good fridges. My 10-year old KA in the kitchen is doing fine and my 31-year old Whirlpool in the garage is still going strong. I saw on your other thread that you can't find a fridge that will fit your space - just a thought - have you looked into having your current fridge repaired - might be cheaper than buying a new fridge and redoing your cabinets. Generally it's better to replace an old appliance but may not be in this case.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:04PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

weissman, yes, we originally rejected the idea of fixing the refrigerator, but that was when I thought it was going to be a piece of cake to find something better and before I knew about it possibly not fitting. I am definitely going to think about it some more. And we do have a favorite place to get repair service, that I plan on calling to discuss. Maybe I can get a free estimate of the work/cost. Thanks for reminding me to revisit that direction. :-)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I'm in the same boat. We need a new fridge, and I spent all day looking over Consumer Reports. I think they're still objective, the problem is that they have preconceptions about what's important in making up the ratings, and they don't seem to "punish" the items they test.

I agree you tend to get reviews from the people with complaints, but it really does seem that today's appliances have an appallingly short life-span. I would just spend another $200-300 repairing our fridge for the 3rd time in 5 years, but it's over 15 years old now. I was hoping to upgrade, but it seems like every brand has quality issues. Someone reviewing a Bosch, says "never again" and someone reviewing Kitchen Aid says the same. I guess the one statistic that has some meaning is the repair rate as reported by CR. I get that survey every year, and I suspect that they get a very large sample size. The independent appliance repair man who we've gotten to know too well in the past 6 years recommends Whirlpool for least problems.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Love my Kenmore Elite badged Samsung SxS. Even though it's the counter depth model, plenty of space for frozen veggies, icecream, meats, pizza, etc in the freezer compartment & the fridge is set up efficiently as well including a bottle rack and can rack, a deep deli drawer, 2 fruit & veggie drawers that keep produce fresh for much longer than any other fridge we ever had, LED lights, & it even has one of those sliding shelves so you can put taller items in. Performance has been great so far and its quiet. I really only ever hear it dump ice every so often and that's it. Samsung makes full depth and counter depth in a variety of sizes. I would recommend them to anyone.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:04PM
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I've missed your other post. What kind of fridge are you looking for: French door (FD), bottom freezer, top freezerr, side-by-side (SxS), counter-depth or built in?

Generally speaking, the Whirlpool branded bottom freezer and French Door fridges (inlcuding Amana, KitchenAid,Maytag and some Kenmores are all made/assembled int he WHirlpool plant in Amana, Iowa. Mostly all similar nechanical compnents, as far as I can tell. Some differences in the sheving and bins. I think (but am not sure) that the Whirlpool top freezer friges are made there. The Whirlpool branded ones get very high reliability ratings from CR members. There will be some lemons in the line, and Warranty service is another story and the reason for a lot of negative postings. Servicing companies vary by area, and range from from decent to kafka-esque.

Another consideration is how much energy your old Amana uses and how much you pay for electrical power. A 15 year old Amana might be an old-style fridge which uses 1200 to 1400 KwH per year. Or, it might be like my 14-year old Maytag (pre-Whirlpool and pre-management driving the company off a cliff) which was built to meet 2001 Energy Star ratings and only uses about 500 kwH per year. A comparably sized new fridge from Whirlpool will use about 460 kwH per year The energy savings might be substantial or not.

So my suggestion is to call up the Amana service company that you like and ask them what they think.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Okay, I just found your other posting. You've got a bootm freezer and it fits in an opening that is aparently 35" wide and 69" high and non-counter depth. So, I gather you are looking for a 22 cu ft. model, either french door (with bottom freezer) or standard bottom freezer

If you look at the Whirlpool standard bottom freezer (GB2FHD***) and the french door 22 cu. ft, fridges, you will find that they are slightly less than 69" tall and a little less than 33" wide. The 70+ inch dimesion is for the top of door hinges. The hinges on standard depth fridges will be 15 to 16 inches out beyond the cabinets. Standard depth of upper cabinets will be slightly more than a foot. So, you can probably fit a FD or BF in the space withou having to modify your cabinets. (Assuming, of course, that you floor does not slope the wrong way.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 12:07AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mushusker, Yes, Consumer Reports does base the reliability ratings on that survey, I forgot that. On the other hand, I see that Whirlpool owns 3 other big name companies and yet, they all have different reliability, which doesn't make any sense to me. Especially if it is true, what JWVideo said about them all being put together in the same plant in Amana, Iowa. And it's odd that those same four companies are at the top of the Consumer Report ratings. And the reliability ratings don't necessarily reflect the kind of service you get, when you do have a repair. But....they are probably the only one that does that extensive product testing and the survey, so that's about all you can use.

The one thing we own that we are totally happy with is our cars. Foreign made unfortunately, but I wouldn't give them up for anything. They are so reliable and trouble free. I wish Honda and Toyota would start making appliances. (g)

Mydreamhome, thanks, I'll take a look at the Samsung brand in the stores today.

JWVideo, Sorry, I should have said I am looking for a Bottom Freezer and since the install is next to a wall on one side, I don't think I can use a french door application. Unfortunately, we had custom cabinetry in our kitchen with a deep cabinet above the refrigerator, so I won't have that extra 15-16 inches that the top of the refrigerator would have nothing above it. Our current set up, the cabinet above the refrigerator comes out 30" from the wall with a beaded side panel on the right, floor to ceiling and a wall on the left. The Amana bottom freezer, comes out 32 and 3/4 inches from the wall not counting the handle, which is not an issue. The width of the space between the wall and the beadboard panel is 35 inches. We are going shopping today for the first time, and we plan on observing all the measurements and position of the hinge in case there is some arrangement that will work for us.

And how did you know our floor slopes? (g) We do have hardwood floor in the kitchen, and I was looking closely at the refrigerator this week and notice that the left side where the hinge is, is definitely higher than the right side, so I guess the floor slopes the wrong way. *sigh*

I am going to put in a call to a local appliance company, that is family run and services all the appliances they sell. We've been buying appliances there for two generations. Rarely have used their service but they've been good when they do come. I am going to call them on Monday and go over our situation with them and ask for recommendations. They only carry what they can contract to service. The brands they carry are : Amana, Danby, Fisher Paskel, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, Maytag, Summit, and Whirlpool. And I notice they have a ton of Fisher Paskel and that brand is at the bottom of the ratings on Consumer Reports, claiming the most important feature, temperature control is not up to par. So, that makes me wonder why they choose to sell so much of that brand if that's the case. Summit and Danby also do not do well in the ratings. Frigidaire used to be the most reliable when I was growing up, but I see they only offer the french door bottom freezer style. And I wondered why Consumer Reports did not include them in their reviews? They don't carry Samsung or LG. I will have to ask them why.

Yes, energy efficiency is another reason for getting a new one. Believe me I'm ready for a new one, just want to avoid buying a 'problem'. Another problem I just noticed I will have, is the ice maker. I haven't seen a refrigerator without an ice maker. We use filtered water at the sink to fill our ice trays and feel that an ice maker takes up too much room in the freezer, so we don't really want one. Plus, don't you have to have a plumber install a water line to the refrigerator?

Geez, buying a car was easier than Why did the manufacturers change the height of their refrigerators? Grrrr!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 5:34AM
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You are so right about the shopping process. It can be demoralizing.

The sloping floor was just a guess from working on my old house and having just done the floor-leveling thing in my own kitchen.

On your kitchen set-up, I'm wondering if the over-fridge cabinet is set against the ceiling or maybe has a filler piece or trim above it? If it is, you might be able to raise the cabinet a bit to get the clearance you need. It could be as simple as taking out the screws in the back of the cabinet (and, hopefully, the beadboard is not glued to the side), skooching the cabinet up an inch or so, and then putting the screws back in the studs. My cabinets hang off a board/bracket, so I had to completely dismount my cabinet, re-set the bracket and then reninstall at a height that will accomodate the current models of avialable fridges. (My old Maytag is only 66 inches high but the new ones require cabinets at 70 inches or higher.) Anybody with basic carpentry skills can do this If the box is already set against the ceiling ... well, rats.

You are correct that your 35" wide corner space is too narrow for a french door (FD) fridge. FD fridges in the 22 cu. ft. range will fit the space, in the sense that they are 32 to 33 inches wide. But you would have trouble getting the doors fully open to be able to pull out the crisper and pantry drawers. The space would require one of the 30-inch wide units which are only 18 or 19 cu. ft. capacity and may too small. Two or three cu. ft. less does not sound like much, but it affects a lot of things. No gallon door bins,for example, if those matter to you.

You mentioned having a local appliance company that services the appliances they sell and that you have liked the service in the past. That is excellent.

Make sure that they can perform warranty service and that the maker (or extended warranty supplier) does not require the use of a some other company or contractor. In my area, most warranty service and all the extended warranty service has to go through the kind of low-bid buffoons who require a 3-week advance appointment to come out to verify that the fridge is dead and then make you wait another 2 weeks or more to get somebody out to do a repair and that person may or may not be an ill-trained dolt and may or may not be so overscheduled that he (or, occasionally, she) cannot possibly make the schedule on the appointed day. I've heard a dozen first-hand horror stories from friends about being without a functioning fridge for weeks while waiting for service. (Fortunately, we usually have snow on the ground from October through April, so it is easier here than some places to use coolers as ice boxes.) It is because of who does the service here that I will not consider buying an extended warranty.

As for the Fisher & Paykel brand, too few of them are sold to Consumer Reports members to generate usable information from the membership surveys on reliability, but I would not be put off by F&P/DCS being "down the list" in CR's test result ratings. I'll offer several reasons. First, CR's laboratory testing results weight subjective judgments about "ease of use" that favor larger capacity fridges. When you actually read CR's notes for the particular fridge, you find CR saying that -- on the DCS/F&P FD that I checked out -- it is a very good fridge with excellent crisper performance. That seems to belie the apparently low ranking.

Second, you interpreted CR's "temperature performance" ratings for these fridges as "subpar" when CR actually rated them as "good." Personally, I find CR's ratings on this to be somewhat uninformative or, maybe, mis-informative because the temperature rating is only a graphic button that represents "excellent," "very good," "good," "fair" and "poor" as an average of the results of of five different tests.

You have to read the fine print and watch their video to discover that "temperature performance" may not reflect what you might assume. The five tests are: one that measures how accurately the controls set the temperature (i.e, does the digital 37° F you punch in actually produce exactly 37° F or, if there is a slider, does the recommended position produce the 37° ideal temp?); a second set that measures how well the unit holds the fridge section at 37 F while simultaneously holding the freezer section at 0 F; a third set that measures how even the temp is in all parts of an empty fridge and how even the temp stays in boxes of frozen spinach when the freezer is full of them; a fourth test of how constant the inside temperatures are as the room temperatures fluctuate widely; and a fifth test of how well the unit maintained temps when subjected to very hot temps such as those you would see in an uninsulated garage on a scorching summer day.

I do not mean to suggests that these are not good things to test and know. They are good things to test and know. I just wish that CR would let us see the individual scores for each of these things ratherr than assembling some kind of collective average represent by a graphic button. Averaging the results may not accurately reflect how I would use the fridge if, for example, my kitchen never gets overwhelmingly hot and I will not have a fridge in my garage.

You also have to look at the notes for each individual refrigerator as I mentioned above. CR tests crisper performance but does not include those test results in the graphical ratings. Reading the notes for indivdual fridges shows that most of the F&P/DCS fridges rated by CR have "excellent" crisper performance while many of the top rated FD fridges turn out to have only "fair" or "poor" crisper performance. In my case, to get excellent criper performance, I am willing to accept having the empty top fridge shelf be 36 F and the empty bottom shelf be 38 F as opposed to getting a fridge that holds both empty shelves at exactly 37 F but has poor crisper performance. WHen you stuff your fridge with food, all this changes, too. (And, for others reading this, I am aware of the USDA studies on nutrient levels declining with long term storage of vegetables in crispers. What I'm interested in here is with lettuce and similar greens and things like mushrooms where we're talking crispness and flavor in roughage in foods that do not have significant nutrient levels to start with).

All that being said, the F&P/DCS fridges might not work for your situation. They are all "counter-depth" models (meaning that the outside depth is less than 27"). All of the F&P CBFs are only about 17.5 cu. ft. capacity, which may be too small for what you want or need. IIRC correctly, there is one of the models that is about 67" tall but all the rest of them are close to or above 70 inches tall.

You also asked why CR's members report different repair rates for the various Whirlpool brands that are made in the same plant in Amana, Iowa. This has puzzled me, too.

For the benefit of other readers who do not have access to CR, that organization does annual membership surveys on things like appliance reliability. The most recent results had 61,000 responses from members who bought CBFs and FDs from 2007 through 2011. These were all lumped together as "bottom freezer" fridges without distinguishing FDs from CBFs. Whirlpool branded bottom-freezer units had an 8% repair rate in the first five years of ownership, Kitchenaids had 10%, Maytags had 14% and Amanas had 16%. Amana without water or ice dispensers were slightly better with a 12% repair rate. So, the question is why the differences when all of these fridges come out of the same factory?

Actual data is difficult to find. My list of probable explanations stems from on-line research, talking to a highly skilled repairman and with long-established independent appliance vendor in a nearby city. Here are the probable reasons:

First, the survey results probably include a significant number of Amana and Maytag products made before Whirlpool fully absorbed them and instituted its designs and quality controls. From about 2000 through 2007 (and maybe into 2008), Maytag (which had absorbed Amana) had terrible quality control and reliability. Even after the Whirlpool acquisition in 2006, it took time for the changeover and integration. These older designs contribute to the high defect rate reported in the recent CR surveys. I have found no hard data to support this theory but it does sound plausible.

Second, through the door ice and water dispensers are failure prone. Apparently, both Maytag and Amana have had quality problems with these components. Note that the Amana defect rate of 16% drops to a more mid-range 12% for units sold without ice and water dispensers.

Third, differing product mixes affect the reported defect rates. For example, the Whirlpool-branded line apparently sells a greater proportion of plain-jane units without dispensers while the "higher-end" Kitchenaid line has more units with ice and water dispensers. Since ice and water dispensers account for a signficant portion of the complaints in every maker's lines of fridges, you would expect more problems in the KA line simply because more of them come with dispensers.

Fourth, the four Whirlpool brands apparently use the same sealed-system componentry (compressors, etc.) and the brands all have similar failure rates in those systems. I have no way of verifying this. I'm only repeating what I heard from the folks in the business, but it does sound plausible.

Fifth, some interior fittings and components (pantry/deli drawers, crispers, bins, etc.) differ between the lines and, I am told, the Maytag and Amana ones are more likely to break than those in the Whirlpool and Kitchenaid lines.

I might conclude this dissertation by saying that I'm looking for a new fridge because I want a larger capacity unit and not because I need to immediately replacing an dead unit. This is why I've spent ridiculous amounts of time trying to segregrate useful information from marketing hoopla. Thanks for the opportunity to give somebody else the benefit of my research. ;>)

Regarding your question about Samsung fridges and why your local retailer does not carry them, Samsung seems to concentrate on very large volume retailers (Sears, Lowe's, Best Buy, etc.). Although I've seen Samsung carried by regional chains, they do not seem to do much with local retailers. Samsung has had major problems with their SxS units, but the FD and CBFs and seem to be pretty highly thought of. There are numbers of favorable reports here on this forum. Samsungs have twin evaporators, one for the freeser and one for the fridge. It is not quite the same as having separate compressor/sealed systems for each compartment, but it gives you most of the perceived advantages of a two-compressor system (ala Subzero) at much less expensive price. The Samsungs have LED lighting which is considerably more efficient than incandescent bulbs but not to everybody's taste. My personal take was that I didn't like the look but would probably learn to live with it. In theory, the LED bulbs last much longer than incandescent appliance bulbs. That LED lighting uses a great deal less energy is nice, but how much will you really be using? It is not like we use the fridge lights for kitchen lighting. Okay, some of you with teenagers may be thinking otherwise ;>)

Folks seem very happy with Samsungs until the unit breaks or turns out to be a lemon. Those things are inevitable in any product line and Samsungs have a middling reputation for reliability. The CR surveys show them at around a 12% defect rate in the last five years. (JD Powers gives them a high Customer Satisfaction Rating but I suspect that only means people were pleased when they bought them and says very little about long term durability. They may be durable but JD Powers strikes me as mainly concerned with purchase price and appearance and immediate post-sale feelings.) All my friends who have Samsungs have only had them for three years but all have been pleased. (Those who replaced newer GE models being particularly pleased). That being said, these are all FD models. I do not know anybody who has a CBF.

I do not know much about LG fridges because only the very high-end models seem to be stocked locally. LG uses what are called "linear" compressors that are supposed to be more durable and more efficient than the more standard traditional compressors. Many people here have reported favorably here on their LG fridges (other than SxS models). However, GE has reportedly sourced many of its CBF and FD fridges from LG and those fridges have terrible reliability according to Consumer Reports surveys. From reading the postings on, I gather that LG warranty service has been plagued by reliance on the same subcotnractor-bozo-factor that has plagued other makess and that has left a well of internet bitterness.

Like Samsung, LG tends to concentrate on the big-box chains and large regional retailers, which may be why your local retailer does not carry them.

Everybody I know who has an LG branded bottom-freezer fridge (all FDs, by-the-way) has been as pleased as the Samsung buyers.

My research is that this can change radically when you need service, especially warranty service. There have been problems with the availability of Samsung and LG parts and these problems have been severely compounded by the warranty service entities that these companies rely on, per my rant above.

So, in your situation, I would be inclined to go with the well established retailer with a good track record. I would say that you will have a statistically smaller chance of problems with a Whirlpool product. If you do get problems, you will have a reliable servicer that you know.

After you've had a chance to talk with your local folks, please share what you learn and or decide.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:06PM
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What a great, informative post. As someone shopping for a new fridge, I appreciate the time and energy you put into your research.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:32AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi JWVideo,

We did get out to the stores yesterday and if I was discouraged before I went, my husband and I were even more so when we got home and I just had to put it away and do other things.

Our first stop was the local family run appliance store. We were pretty disappointed there. The older family patriarchs are now retired. The younger generation are running it now and have divided the responsibilities, so that one is in charge of delivery, one in charge of service, etc. And only one of six service people are family members. We were not happy with selection. The one gentleman we spoke to is a service person who used to be a Maytag repairman and answered questions for us.

The only refrigerator that would fit for us, was a Maytag bottom freezer with a single door on top. Taking off the cover on the hinge would have managed to just squeeze it in to our space by our measurements. But, we hated it. lol Every other refrigerator in the store was either a top freezer model, or a 36" french door refrigerator. Amazing. They don't carry Samsung or LG, of course, not Kenmore either. They had Electrolux and Frigidaire more than anything else. Both of which I might like, but they do not have sizes that we need.

The repairman did talk to us awhile about different brands and some of our issues. No suggestions about the size, except to cut down the cabinet. We can have them take out the ice maker if we don't want it, which we don't.

He said he worked for Maytag before Whirlpool bought them out. That Samsung and LG were trying to buy them because Maytag had a 50% share of the market. Then Whirlpool just swooped in and bought them. He said that it has been 7 years since Whirlpool bought out Amana, KitchenAid and Maytag and now they are all being made with basically the same Whirlpool parts in the Amana Iowa plant and that they are interchangeable. He told us that Kenmore is not actually using LG appliances, but is buying whoever has what they want to buy, so it could be LG, or Samsung or who knows what else. You don't know what you are getting.

He also told us that if you buy an extended warranty and don't use it they refund the purchase price. That was good news.

I asked if everything they carried was on the floor and he said it was, but that if I found a model of the brands they carry, they could order it for me. So I haven't given up the idea that we could still purchase there, which I believe would be a better situation for service. They absolutely will service everything they sell and I trust them to be honest and capable. Now if they just had what we need.

I hated to read your account of the available service in your area. I just don't understand why they don't 'triage' service calls, like they do in an ER, and I would expect that refrigerator repairs should come first, since the loss of food can be so costly. You must be pulling your hair out. Are you in a rural area? I noticed that they now have a refrigerator that can be used with solar panels and is even more energy efficient than the major brands. It's called SunFrost brand, have you heard of it? If I had enough space to have solar panels I might consider that

I also discovered yesterday that LG used to be Goldstar brand, which was a brand I didn't like. So that was not helpful.

Next we went to Lowe's, and found one row of bottom freezers and the rest were top freezer, side by sides or french door bottom freezer. We were astounded at the cheap materials on just about all of them and the careless way the models on the floor had been put together. Loose handles, the seal around the door coming off. A few were plugged in, in the kitchen display area and 2 were broken. One was leaking water between the two french doors and the other had frost build up in the freezer. We could not get out of there fast enough. And I need a white and I have a very nice white textured exterior that is great for hiding fingerprints and looking clean, but of course, no one makes that any more. They have this very cheap looking 'smooth' white finish that looks like flat white paint on thin metal. I'm seriously thinking of changing to stainless steel although we just replaced all the other appliances in the kitchen with white. (g)

So, trying to pick it up again today to take advantage of the tax fee weekend. We were considering going over to Best Buy, who had a good selection online and sale items, but then I read that they offer a 3 year service contract that begins at purchase date, instead of when the manufacturer's warranty runs out. What's up with that?

On Fisher & Paykel, good point, I hadn't thought of that. Too few owners to give useful info. But the complaint that bothered me in CR was yes, the temperature regulation, which is measurable and not really subjective. And you are right, their designation for 'good' is something I interpret as fair compared to the higher rated refrigerators that receive an 'excellent' which is two selections higher than 'good'.

Very interesting about how they test for temperature. I have a new computer and my video player has to be adjusted so I couldn't watch that video, so thanks for that explanation. I am not surprised, that CR does that very comprehensive testing for temp regulation. And we do not always have our house air conditioned and the kitchen in summer does get pretty hot at times, so that would matter to me, since the freezer problem we are now having with our old Amana is not holding the temperature when it gets hot out. It keeps the ice just about frozen on cooler days and has puddles in the ice bin when it gets hot out.

As for the overall ratings given by CR, I guess I prioritize on similar lines as CR. I don't really feel I can consider crisper performance if the refrigerator struggles with temperature regulation. I want to nail that one down first. And then reliability and good service comes next, and when I get a 'pool' of refrigerators that have those two criteria in spades, then I select the best features and performance from that group.

And yes the C&P don't work for us bc we don't want counter depth.

On the different ratings for reliability between all the Whirlpool owned brands, I did ask the repair person yesterday and he thought that it takes 5 years after purchase of a company for them to convert the old brand with the Whirlpool parts. And since it has been 7 years since purchase of some, then future surveys should reflect that, I would assume. Which is about what you came up with too.

I also like the other reasons you suggest, it makes sense to me.

I looked at all the examples of KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana and Whirlpool and really did not find them attractive. I came home and looked at my old Amana and the materials have so much more substance then the newer models. Everything feels and looks cheap and quickly put together. Naturally, I am drawn to better construction and features. I like the LED lighting but you are right, how many times do you have to replace a refrigerator bulb? (g) I have done it once in 15

I agree with you about the reliability ratings. Just reading customer reviews online, you see probably 80% or higher of the reviews are written just after purchase, which is just the new purchase excitement, but that would apply across the board with all brands. I do wonder when CR does their survey if they are using long time owners ratings more than new owners?

I really appreciate your in depth discussion with me. I always do a lot of research before buying a product, with one exception. We were in a hurry at the time we needed to replace our dishwasher because we were trying to make a purchase before a rebate deadline. And I called this local appliance dealer who we've bought many appliances from and actually ordered something over the phone, sight unseen with very little research. It was a Whirlpool dishwasher that looked good on paper. Very energy efficient. I'm very unhappy with that dishwasher and it really does not clean well, takes hours to cycle through due to the energy efficiency and the inside of the machine is stainless steel that I thought would stay cleaner than enamel and not rust, but it is a horror. I rarely had to actually 'clean' the inside of a dishwasher in the past and then only the edges. Now I could clean the door and the interior once a month. It always looks dirty and some of the screws on the side are already rusting, after 2 years. So I'm definitely dealing with some resistance to Whirlpool right now. (g)

But, I do believe in researching products. Not only to save money and get what you need, but to save headaches. My husband and I were just discussing and in over 30 years we have lived in this house, we've only had to have a service person come about 4x for any appliance and then it was under warranty. The one time it wasn't, the evaluation was that it was not fixable and that same local appliance dealer, applied the cost of the service call to a new dryer. The broken one was 25 years old.

Now that I've said that, I'm sure I've jinxed myself! lol

Well, my plan for today, is to head over to Best Buy to see if I can see any other models in person that I haven't seen yet, and maybe to Sears. Not sure who else has a lot on the floor. If I could find a Whirlpool that I liked. Maybe a higher end with better features, I might lean toward getting a model # and ordering it from our local appliance company. I'm leaning away from LG, but still on the fence about Samsung. I'm still measuring different models, because the way the hinge is placed and covered, might make the difference on some.

If all else fails, I have been contemplating finding an inexpensive no-frills top freezer refrigerator from a reliable manufacturer that fits our space. And since they still have trouble with ice makers that perform right, why do I want to spend money on that? And get a headache to boot. I was told yesterday that new refrigerators aren't expected to last as long as the one I have. Not even the 15 years ours has worked without service. Let alone the 25 years of the Frigidaire we had before that. So if it's expected to last 10 years or less, why do I want to invest in something that is basically disposable? I might buy with disposability in mind. I read stories of people replacing 4 year old refrigerators yesterday. Now that would drive me crazy. I also looked on Craig's list for used to see who was selling what brand and were a lot of GEs.

Well I should keep this to novella size ... (g)

I will update when we make some decision. Thanks again for everyone's help!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 8:25AM
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Not to excuse the issues that you encountered at the stores, but if you went early in the a.m., many of the refrigerators would be "recovering" after the night long power cut. That can give you the water condensation issue a bit if they've been used. And, ever since Lowes took away the commissions from the appliance people and nearly all of the experienced people quit, the remaining 12 year old boys that staff the place don't always do the best job in setting up the new displays. They'll not tighten the handle screws, or leave on plastic that interferes with the cold air circulation, or a dozen other things that impact your perception of the merchandise.

I also have to tell you that your "wish list" for a fridge is not likely to be met in person at any store. White bottom freezers just do not sell. Consequently, they aren't displayed or stocked. The same with a 33" fridge. There is very very little demand for that, and the assortment in store will reflect that. That's not saying they aren't made, just that not very many are made, and most that are have that stupid swinging door rather than the much more convenient freezer drawer. And EVERYONE wants ice makers. Popping trays is a PIA, and you won't realize how much so until you run that water line (SIMPLE!) and get an ice maker in your fridge.

Most people these days also want full size 36" refrigerators, so the displays cater to that want. You will have to delve into the catalogs to find a better selection after you've gotten a general idea of layouts and components in person. That means a special order.

So, I really have to suggest to you here that you consider an "auxiliary" fridge in the meantime. Buy an old top freezer one on Craigslist if you have to to get you by until your special order comes in. Almost every household here has the "garage fridge" and with you only being able to have a 33" fridge in the kitchen, it's probably an idea that you should explore.

As is the ice maker. I think you'll like it a lot more than you think you will. If you don't, you can always take it out after 3-4 months of giving it a try. I think my ice maker is currently my favorite small appliance. With a couple of months of temps in the high 90's and 100's, I can't even image owning enough ice trays to keep up with the demand. And I have one of the much maligned GE refrigerators----that works flawlessly. Sometimes you get the diamond, sometimes you get the lemon. No matter how much you research. So don't paralyze yourself from too much information. You sometimes just have to take a bit of a leap of faith after you've done the legwork.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:42AM
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I don't have one to recommend but our Maytag refrigerator has gone through probably about 3 control boards in the 10 yrs we've owned it. Prior to this I had a Kenmore for 7 yrs that never had a problem but I didn't move it to this house. We also put a brand new high end Maytag dishwasher in 10 yrs ago. It lasted about a year and we replaced it because it never got anything clean. The Kenmore we replaced it with has been here 9 yrs, never had a problem and cleans great. Based on my experience I would not buy Maytag again.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:17AM
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I do indeed live in a very rural state, although I live in a town.

As for SunFrosts, we do not have any of them in town because my town has had electrical service since 1892, and the Federal REA had power to much of the county by the late 1940s. We have some non-gridden private holdings plus a bunch of leased Forest Service lands with cabins where non-grid power suppies are necessary. I've got a couple of friends who built in off-the-grid areas and run Sunfrosts.

The Sunfrosts strike me as very basic, smallish, very well insulated, very efficient, manual-defrost chill chests. You actually could use them as ice boxes. My recollection is that they have separate evaporators for the fridge and freezer compartments. The interior layout and capacities remind me of fridges from the early 1950s. (Yes, I am that old.) One friend has a pair of SunFrosts built into cabinets where they look like the old-fashioned built-ins you sometimes see in movies from the 1930s. Between the the small size, absence of features (not even a crisper), and manual defrost, I rather suspect you would not be happy with one as your primary fridge in a modern kitchen.

As for the disappointing physical appearance of in-store fridge models, I know what you mean. When I recently looked at the white Whirlpool and Maytag 21 cu ft CBFs, the drawers and bins seemed cheap and fragile. In one store (I think it was our local Lowe's) a Kitchenaid 22 cu ft FD model in stainless steel stood next to the Whirlpool CBF. The KA FD was very similar to the CBFs except for having the different doors, , a full-width temperature controlled pantry door (as opposed to the small, rack-hung lucite box in the CBFs), and an interior water dispenser (whose cooler coils ate up space at the back of the crisper drawers.) While I do not care for shiny SS appliances, and, while this one did show fingerprints (oh boy, did it ever), it also looked a lot more substantial than than the painted finish on the two brandmates. I was told they had a white KA in stock in the warehouse but I did not have time to check out its finish. I'll try to do that the next time I get out to Lowes. Hopefully it is better than what I saw on the brandmates. On the display model's interior, the KA's interior drawers still looked like cheap plastic, but appeared more substantial than those in the WP-Maytag stablemates. More like what I have in my present, 14-year-old Maytag, which suddenly seems more substantial than the replacement candidates.


I think that there must be some regional variations in displays because in my rather rural area, the big box stores do stock white fridges, and do have them out on display alongside the otherwise ubiquitous stainless and stainless-look finishes. Our regional appliance chain, as well as the local Lowes and the Sears stores even have white CBFs on display alongside the FDs and SxS fridges, some of which are stainless (or stainless look) and some of which are white.

Also, every CBF I have seen lately in stores in my area is one that has the freezer drawer rather than a swinging door for the freezer compartment.

I appreciate what you say about ice makers. Actually, I think some of my friends see their refigerators as an add-on to their ice and water dispensers. Although I am completely indifferent, I am nonetheless contemplating a connection for the new fridge simply because so many other people like the ice and water. If had to solder copper lines, and tear-out the basement ceiling to get access, and etc., I probably would not do it. But, my renovations already have replaced the plumbing with PEX lines and there is even a line accessible in the wall behind the fridge, so why not do it? I won't go so far as to get a fridge with a through-the-door dispenser (those dispensers take up too much room in the fridge and are a another thing to go wrong), but I may still hook-up the internal icemaker. We'll have to see.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:12PM
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One further thought re the CR lab tests for temperature performance.

The problem I see with drawing very much from the temperature performance test reports is that we do not know how CR averages or weights the results of the component tests nor does CR tells it what quallfies as good, bad or indifferent. I wish CR could dislose that information because it would allows us to make much more informed choices.

Priariemoon says that she thinks temperature performance is important, an I agree. I would just like to know what is being measured and what the measurements are instead of an average that may not tell me what I think is the most crucial information for me.

For example, take the test that measures temps for evenness in an empty fridge. Remember that this is just one test whose results get averaged in although it seems to me that it ought to be something that could be reported in its own right. CR ratings (we assume) will give an "excellent" mark for the fridge that holds exactly the same temp from top to bottom in the empty fridge. Presumably, that will be 37F because that is the oft recommended ideal for fridges.

But what I would like to know, and cannot find out, is how much variation qualifies for the lesser marks of "very good," "good," and etc.

Take the example I gave previously, where the temps are 36 F on the top shelf and 38 F on the bottom shelf. The ideal might be to have everything at exactly 37 F everywhere becuase that should say something about how well the fridge will keep food. From personal experience, I know that the full-fridges will have variations, and that some variation variations really does not matter.

With my old Maytag fridge, for example, I tested it when I first got it using remote probe thermometers in glasses of water. Using the thermometers, I was able to calibrate the slider control to find the position which gave me 37F (plus or minus one-half degree) on the top and bottom shelf the one above the crisper). This told me that the recommended slider setting was a bit off which might get a downgrade from CR in the first temp performance test. THis would likely earn the fridge some mark below "excellent" because the recommended slider position did not give the exact temp setting.

This will affect the CR average even though it really has nothing to do with how well the fridge will hold temps. It has to do with how easy it is to get the ideal setting. In my case, I would probably do this test anyway just to verify that my particular individual unit has not developed a variation from the earlier unit that CR purchased and tested.

That is also an empty fridge test. When I stuff the fridge with food --- its normal operating condition --- things change. I ran similar tests a few weeks ago on the full fridge, as I do every few years. (What can I say? It's a habit like checking cylinder compression when I change spark plugs in my vehicles.)

I found that the top shelf is steady at 36 F except around the cool-air louvers where the temp can dip to around 33 F when a cooling cycle is blowing in cold air. I found that the bottom shelf hovers around 38.5 F at the very front edge -- next to the door bins which go up to not quite 39F in the gallon storage. At the back of the bottom shelf, the temp was exactly 37F. The crispers hold just around 40 F. The deli-meat-cheese drawer is around 35 F (it could go lower if I wanted but this temp seems sufficient to me for keeping cheeses in the drawer.)

What I know from my tests is that I am getting what seems like very good food storage longevity from these temperatures. For example, I buy six-packs of romaine lettuce from Costco and can still have a crisp, clean head three and a half to four weeks later. Liquids never freeze unless I put the jar right up against the cold air vents. (Four or five inches away, and it won't freeze.). Things like cottage cheese and sour cream, or containers of leftovers never mold unless I forget a previously opened container on the bottom shelf for a month (out of sight, out of mind, doncha' know.)

If Consumer Reports testing reflected individual test results, and told me what variations corresponded to which rating, I could make a more informed decision about their results and the fridge I might want to buy or not buy. For example, if fridge variations from shelf to shelf of =/- half a dgeree were what qualified for "very good" and =/- 1 degree are the "good" range, then I know from experience that a "good" rated fridge will be sufficient for the kind of food lingevity I want. If I (who live in a place with 8 months of winter per year and somewhat limited access to affordable greens) have to choose between a fridge with "excellent" temp performance but poor crisper performance and a fridge with "good" temp control with "excellent" crisper performance, I am going to pick the latter. Somebody else, who lives in California next to a green grocer or a farmstand -- or who has a year round garden --- might very well choose the opposite compromise. Right now, CR does not give us the kind of information that allows us to make those choices. And, by averaging everything together, may not be giving Prairiemoon as clear a picture of her choices as she might want.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 7:12PM
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People I know don't want a fridge that has the ice-maker. I am grateful that with the rest of our problems that is one problem we don't have. The funny thing is of course is that people with the problems we are going through are frantically looking for leakage from the ice makers they do not have. Re longetivity of a fridge - we were told 5 years. We do not overfill our fridge. We too are thinking that if we do not end up buying a short high end fridge that we will buy a lower-end fridge - I can just imagine the horrors of the stainless steel on one of those - and keep replacing it. Warranties in Canada are generally one year - LIMITED. If you pay by Amex you get an extra year warranty - but it is LIMITED to the warranty offered by the fridge company. Even our Bosch sub-compact, very expensive in Canada washer and dryer only came with a one year warranty. Miele comes with a much longer warranty but heaven forbid you have to pay for a service call. Something like $800 - and I am not kidding. Re quality of the products today, I totally agree. We can't really put a small freezer in the basement - actually we are afraid to - to add insult to injury - during all of this mess there was a major main sewer back-up in Toronto - many areas were hit - and of course we were as well. Bound to happen again. Then of course there is getting it down the basement....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Following up on the discussion of models, I found that a friend of mine had replaced an old Amana CBF with a Kenmore CBF in a kitchen with a set-up rather like yours. His is a Kenmore Elite model which seems to correspond to the current Kenmore 76202.

The interesting thing for you is that the top-hinge-height dimension was 68.5 inches.

Consumre reports lab testing rate this fridge as having excellent termperature performance, very good energy efficiency, and being good (i.e., average) for ease of use and noise levels. My friend tells me that the fridge makes some knocking or rattling sounds for about 10 to 15 seconds when the compressor starts up for a cooling cycle. According to him, all of these models do this (according to his reading of the owner�s manual and his internet research) and it has never been a problem. He has had his Kenmore for a little over two years. It is in a corner at the end of kitchen counter, in a space that is not quite 35 inches wide. The door swings from left to right, opening against the wall when the fridge tight against the counter run. It appeared to me that you could readily access the contents of the three pull-out drawers but because of the gallon storage bin on the door that you might have to roll the fridge out from the wall to fully extract the right-hand crisper and the pantry/deli drawer for cleaning.

The pantry-deli drawer is in bottom of the fridge compartment. It seemed shallow, maybe 4 inches tall. (Sorry, I misplaced my measurement sheet). This drawer does not have temperature controls. There are two humidity controlled crisper drawers above the deli drawer. (The drawers seemed a bit more substantial than what I remembered seeing in the Whirlpool CBF that I looked at a while ago, but that is not saying much.) My friend reports keeping Costco lettuce in usable shape for up to three weeks in the crispers. (The plastic drawers seemed more substantial than what I remembered seeing on the Whirlpool CBF, although that is not saying much.) The shelves were glass, half-width, and readily adjusted, so there was good flexibility in configuring the storage and easy cleaning. None of the shelves were on sliders.

My friend has never hooked up the icemaker and was not aware that it could be removed altogether from the freezer drawer. Online, the main source of complaints about this fridge seem to be ice-maker related problems.

The finish is a shiny, smooth paint. To me, the paint looked thin. My friend says he prefers this finish. He described other fridges having what he described as "that textured, expoxified, plasticky fingerprint-resistant s*%# on them." His kitchen�s back door is on the wall against which the fridge opens, and it swings towards the fridge. A few weeks ago, wind blew the kitchen door open with the brass door knob striking the fridge�s door handle. The blow knocked off a small divot of paint (maybe 2 mm in diameter) from the fridge�s door handle.

If the foregoing does not put you off, you might check with your local Sears store to see if any are on display.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 2:53PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Back again'.

Hi JWVideo,

I thought I was detailed minded in checking things out before I buy them but you outdo me by a mile' lol. On the temperature issue, yes, I imagine having all the raw data on the different areas they tested might help you figure out if it will fit your needs, but to some people all that data can be overwhelming. And to me, figuring that the refrigerators that CR deems 'Excellent' over others that are 'Good' or 'Very Good' is enough of a distinction. It seems that you are in a situation that is different than the average person. We live 15 minutes away from a Whole Foods, grow vegetables and rarely save leftovers. So I don't feel I have a need to be that precise. I can see why you do.

Isn't that interesting that no one has gone for the SunFrost in your area. I was curious about them and took a look at the photo online. Yes, they are not what we are used to. I do imagine though that if you are off the grid, being able to use it with Solar Panels is an interesting option, but I also was under the impression that Solar Power will power all the electricity in the house if you have enough, right? So any refrigerator could be used, I suppose.

As for the appearance of the new refrigerators, it's really just so disconcerting after decades of coming to expect that ten years after you make a major purchase, that the newer model is supposed to be BETTER than your old one, not worse. lol It's a new reality I guess.

We saw a LOT of refrigerators in Sears on Sunday. We managed to get a look at all the brands that we had not seen yet. I actually saw a Kenmore, 33" French Door, w Pull out Bottom Freezer in not only white, but a textured surface. It was a little too tall still, but we decided against it for a couple of reasons. One it was actually an LG with a Kenmore name, and I just feel too much doubt about reliability to go with it. I read a lot of horror stories in reviews last week. PLus I have the doubt about Sears staying in business and getting stuck with one. And the second reason was that we have a wall up against the left side of the refrigerator and even though the 33" would fit, we would not be able to fully open the left door. And a few changes in layout of the interior, plus a flap between the french doors that gave us pause about possible problems with it. I did hate to give up the white textured surface though.

We got to see the Samsung, which seems more substantial, but it is tall and expensive and the idea of the LED lights was great, but in reality, I didn't like the quality of the light or the position of the lamp that shines in your eyes when you open it.

Hi Green Design,

Thanks for all that information about Lowe's taking away the commissions on appliances. As for the condition of the refrigerators in the store, I do take into consideration that they will be better put together at home and what weighs more in my decision are the stories people are reporting online about their bad experiences with repairs in the first two years and horrible service.

As for my 'wish list', it really is more my 'need list'. I have all white appliances that I just replaced in the past two years, so I need a white one. I do understand that stainless is the most popular finish. As for the 33" width, I can not figure out how that is not the standard size. I do realize that everyone 'wants' a nice wide refrigerator, but I thought most kitchens have a standard space that is 70" by 36" and that a 36" width would not fit in that. If you live in a large house, or are renovating your kitchen or building, I can see how you could accommodate a larger size, but aren't the majority of houses of small or average size? Not to mention the apartments and condos.

Ice makers. Well, to tell you the truth, I often find myself in the minority. I'm not the least interested in an ice maker. Half of the reviews I've read about problems with refrigerators are due to the ice maker or water/ice dispenser.I value trouble free performance over an endless supply of ice. We also have a water filter built in under our sink and use that for filling ice trays. And popping ice trays is a PIA. ?? LOL I find it a mindless easy job that is really no trouble at all. Plus I don't need to hire a plumber to come out and install a line to the refrigerator, which then would need a water filter since it would now be coming off my pipes, and I would need a higher end refrigerator to get a water filter in it and even then, the water filtration in a refrigerator is not as comprehensive as the water filter I bought for our tap.

I am not in need of an 'auxiliary' fridge, since ours is still working. It is just the freezer that is not keeping a freezing temperature in it. We also have an upright freezer in the basement, which leaves us doing fine.

And by the way, we were in Sears on Sunday and they had at least six 33" bottom freezer refrigerators in the store that I counted. And two of them were french door, which surprised me. They also had three white bottom freezer models and an almond model. And about a mile of stainless steel.

And some salespeople suggested we take out the ice maker but I discovered that if you do, it voids the warranty.

So, we ordered a refrigerator today. I did do a lot of research this week and my husband and I shopped Saturday and Sunday. We thought we had as much information as we were going to have and waiting until the refrigerator goes completely and we have to scramble is not my idea of fun. 

Then I logged in here and the first thing I saw was my other post where someone had just posted not to buy the brand that we ended up Oh well. 

We ordered the Whirlpool Model \# GB2FHDXWQ, in white. It;s a single door bottom freezer 22 cu ft refrigerator. Sears had it on the floor, so it was the first time we got a good look at it. We both felt that the top refrigerator section was very similar to the model we have now, which we are very happy with. We liked the pull out bottom freezer instead of the door which we now have. AND, when we measured it, it looks like we may be able to squeeze it into our space without the cover on the hinge. It is supposed to be 69 and 15/16ths, but we measured 69 and 1/2 to the top of the hinge. Repeated the measurement 3x. And we can pick up another 1/4 of an inch taking the hinge cover off. So even if we have to trim the cabinet, it won't need a lot. And most of the other models we were considering would have needed it too. 

It is one of the recommended models on Consumer Reports and the company is supposed to have the lowest % of repairs of all the brands. Reliability is the biggest factor for us. We just don't want headaches. And I thought about it and even Consumer Research online, suggests that Consumer Reports is the only one that does all the extensive testing on products. So I am relying on the information they provided and if it doesn't work out this time, I guess I will have to accept that their reviews and ratings aren't what they used to be. 

But, I am not kidding myself that we have bought 'trouble free' performance, by a long shot. I see a lot of people complaining about Maytag and Whirlpool control boards needing to be replaced, etc, so we may be in for it. But as far as reliability, it seems like none of the brands is a home run in that department. 

We could have bought an LG at Sears, but I didn't want Sears as our service contact. I wanted to purchase from our local appliance dealer who doesn't carry LG or Samsung. I would have liked a Frigidaire but they are all 36" wide. So, in the end, we haggled with our local appliance dealer, over the lower sale price at Sears on a model he would have to order for us, since they hadn't had one on the floor. And we bought a 5 year extended policy from them. Knowing the type of service they give, we feel it is worth it. Plus their policy was half the price of the same thing at Sears. And if you don't use it before it expires, they refund your money. 

I'm not crazy about this fridge. I like to really love what I buy, especially on a big ticket item, but I didn't think I was going to be able to in this instance. I hate the door handles and even though the white finish is not the completely flat and smooth finish as some others have, it has some texture to it, it is not the vinyl textured finish that I really wanted. Which I don't understand why it is not popular any more. It is so much easier to keep it looking nice. It never shows fingerprints or anything. Of course, I am old enough to remember fondly the actual enamel refrigerators which would be my first choice. Stainless is great, if it really is stainless and not a finish, and in a different kitchen I would like it. But on the bright side, it will be more energy efficient. We won't use the ice maker, but it is really small and won't be in the way and we won't remove it. We didn't have to go down to a smaller size when we need larger. So, that's that. 

They can deliver it next Monday and will reverse the door for us and take away the old one. I don't think I want to keep the old one, since it may not be long before it doesn't work at all and then I would have to have it carted off. We did ask about repairing it and the estimate was they thought it sounded like a leak and that it would be $200. just to find the leak and then between $200 \- $400. to repair it. That didn't seem like a reasonable choice to us. 

I hope I won't be back here crying in a few months. 

Thank you all for the help and all the conversation. This seems like a great forum. I will have to remember that the next time I am shopping. I do need a dehumidifier and a new window air conditioner. But I think I am going to take a break from shopping. (g) That's next. 

Wish us luck, we'll probably need it! Hope we all end up with a great dependable refrigerator. Let us know what you end up buying JWVideo. 

Thanks! :\-) 
    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 5:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

eccentric and mic111, thanks for sharing your experiences with your refrigerators. You have my sympathy. I wish they would start making refrigerators that instead of being innovative were dependable. They worry about energy efficiency, but how earth friendly is it to force people to replace and junk refrigerators after short periods of time instead of making them last? I can only imagine all the landfills that are overrun with these refrigerators.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Isn't it funny that we want to get something that would be as exciting as a great new car but we wind up hoping that what we bought is something we can take for granted and never have to think about? FWIW, I'm also probably going with a WP-made fridge as the least unacceptable combination of compromises and tradeoffs.

My reaction to that posting in your other thread is that it sounds like the many other postings I have read about ghastly service from contracted (out-sourced) warranty service on every brand of fridge. It seems that everybody is outsourcing their warranty service, and often to the same few service companies who seemingly pride themselves on shabby (sometimes unconscionable) treatment of consumers and employees.

The thing I see about buying a fridge made in Whirlpool's plant in Iowa is that you get the best odds that your new fridge will not need service and you do get to take it for granted.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:11AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


Well, we'll see JW. I'll be back after delivery and hope I have a boring report to make about that. And I'll try to remember to update on this thread over time for those trying to figure out what to get as well. I'll put it on my calendar to do, because I know I often don't remember to update on a product review and I think most people would really benefit from hearing how something works out. I hope you will too.

Do you have any more options for better service in your area?

Thanks for the help....good luck!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:53AM
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I'm still trying to get real info on whether, if I happen to need warranty service, I can have the warranty service through the highly skilled repair guy in the next town or would have to get on the endless waiting list of the Sears subsidiary from 70 miles away.

Back to my whining about the lack of details from CR's temperature performance testing. Turns out that there is a website that does provide that kind of detailed data for some fridges. Deedles posted here about this site a couple of weeks ago and I finally got around to checking it out during lunch. Their reviews give you all the temp testing data, plus graphical and numerical measurements of comparments, shelves,bins etc. and detailed interior photos and a lot of other stuff that makes appliance geeks and on-line shoppers happy. No data on longevity or durability and only a few models have actually been tested. Most of the listed models are labeled as "specs" meaning specifications but no test data.

Be warned, though, that the site has very annoying pop-up ads that appear and have to be shut down almost every time you go to a different page on the site.

They do have detailed testing on your Whirlpool GB2FHD 21.9 Cu. Ft., Bottom-Freezer. The link below will take you to the "performance" page for that fridge. Temp seems to be dead bang even throughout the fridge. The recommended control setting (#4) turned out to give a temp that was a couple of degrees too high, so the control needed nudging to a cooler setting to get the ideal 37F. Crisper performance tested out as very good, as well. A little post-hoc confirmation of your choice.

Here is a link that might be useful: on Whirlpool GB2FHD

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:37PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


I cannot see why they would not let you go to the repair person in the next town. So many products come with a list of service centers to choose from it seems to make sense, that they don't 'assign' you a service center. But making sense is not always what you get, I know. I was reading a comment on that website you linked to, from a woman who had a 7 month old Samsung defrost all her food one day and lost $300. worth of food and had to wait 2 weeks for a repair. And someone from the website responded that 2 weeks is average time to get a repair. That's amazing to me. I think I have had few appliance repairs over the years, but those I've had have come out to the house, either same day or next day. I never had to wait even a week, let alone 2 weeks. I wonder why things have changed so much.

Where did you find that website?! I love it. I wonder why this site never came up in a Google search for reviews? And they review more than refrigerators. Thanks for the warning, I shut off pop ups and plug ins before I went to the site.

Strangely, they rated the stainless steel model a little differently than the white one. They do seem to be the same refrigerator. They fault this model for a smaller freezer, but that was not an issue for us, since we have an upright freezer in the basement. Plus we really buy a LOT of produce and store things in the refrigerator that not everyone does, like flours, pastas and nuts and seeds, etc. So having a good size refrigerator space was important to us. It was also considered expensive and we feel we got a good deal on it, considering free delivery, an added 5 year extended warranty & no tax, brought the total to less than the MSRP. The other complaint was about the flimsy produce draws and it is true they are flimsy, which is annoying. The drawers I have now are much heavier although clear as well. Although when we looked at different brands, I thought you had to go up in price significantly to find less flimsy drawers. I do worry that they won't last. I've wondered if my old drawers would fit the new

I was looking at their ratings at the end of the review and it's interesting where they put the most weight in the ratings.....power use, running cost, refrigerator useable space, freezer useable space, then fridge and freezer temperature rating.

If I compare this Whirlpool to let's say a more expensive $3100., 29 cu ft model from Samsung', the Whirlpool has equal or higher ratings in those categories ( in order of how I listed them)....


It is almost as well rated on useable space in the refrigerator, as this 29 cu ft Samsung. And the only other score that is lower is the Freezer Useable Space, which is the one that doesn't effect us at all. So on paper, it seems like a reasonable choice, considering our space constraints, but the website staff person who responded to the Samsung owner who waited 2 weeks for repairs, said they can't judge the longevity of any of the refrigerators. And the repair problems and doubts about longevity are significant enough to take the pleasure out of a seemingly good choice on paper.

Thanks for that website link!

Here is a link that might be useful: Whirlpool Model # GB2FHDXWQ

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:53AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Back was delivery day for our Whirlpool Refrigerator. Amazingly, it went without a hitch. After all that worry and after all the literature saying that the Whirlpool Model #GB2FHDXWQ was 69 and 15/16 inches tall, it fits in our 69" space. We did measure it at the store and found it to be 69 and a 1/2 inches from the floor to the top of the hinge, (with the cover on the hinge) so we hoped that we would be able to squeeze it in, at 69 and 1/4 inches maybe. We had our son here in case we had to cut back the cabinet, but we really got lucky, that it fit right in. Looks like a custom fit. There is enough room between the top of the refrigerator and the bottom of the cabinet above it, and when we left the cover off the hinge, it JUST fit. The hinge actually touches the cabinet, but we didn't have to squeeze it in or anything. VERY pleased!

The width was right, the depth was about the same as the old one. There is a very brightly lit open interior to the refrigerator. All the drawers are completely clear, so you can see everything that is in the drawers. It is cooling off quite quickly. All leveled, the door was reversed easily, they took the old refrigerator and it's clean and all the food is back in it.

So far there are only two things that bother us at all. One is we could use another small shelf on the door. Two, the crisper drawers are actually smaller than our old refrigerator, the celery won't fit, and they are really flimsy. That's it. Everything else suits us fine, so far. It is very much like our old one. The drawers on the door, are clear plastic and we can see even the labels of what is in them, rather than just the tops of bottles sticking up.

So, to anyone struggling with the problem of height, it pays to take the same tape measure you measure your refrigerator opening with to the store with you to see what you may end up with.

Now we'll just wait to see how it performs and I will try to come back and update for anyone wanting to know how this model performs.

Thanks again for all the help from everyone... :-)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:16PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Update :

It's been about a month since our refrigerator was delivered. So far, very happy with it. We did have one issue. I opened the freezer one morning and some of the ice had been melted and refrozen into a sheet, and there was frost on all the wire baskets and the back wall of the freezer.

So, I called the company where we bought it, who we have an extended warranty with and they came out the same day. Evidently, what they felt was the problem, was that someone had not shut the freezer door all the way. And since then we have been careful to shut the door and have not had any further problems.

We love the new pull out freezer over our old door style freezer. The organization of the door is working great despite wishing for another shelf. The shelves on the door are clear, which works out so much better. We have plenty of space and very easy to see what you need with clear bins. It is working out to be just what we needed.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 3:17PM
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Prairiemoon2 - I bought the same Whirlpool refrigerator as you, only in SS, about a year ago, around December 2011. Also like you, I was NOT interested in an icemaker nor a water dispenser - they are noisy and problematic, and the filters are expensive. Been there, done that. We disengaged the icemaker, and make ice in trays using filtered water through a pitcher. Our previous JennAir side by side "died" and I had to shop rather quickly. For this Whirlpool model which we both bought, I have been disappointed in space, and noise. We have a small living area and hard floors, so all sounds are magnified. They are normal noises and cycles, I am relieved to say, and not the ungodly rattles and noises I've read about in various refrigerators. Still...I wish we had a quieter refrigerator. My bad, I downsized too much. With 2 of 3 kids gone I thought we could get away with a smaller unit, but holidays and homecomings put us in a pinch. I find myself using an ice chest on the deck for overflow. The freezer in our Whirlpool unit is waaayy too small, and I didn't catch that. I do love the configuration of the bottom freezer/single door unit, and will stick with it. I recently ordered a small freezer from to supplement, but it arrived all banged up and I had to return it, and am reluctant to order another one (they don't have in store.) Now, I'm contemplating buying ANOTHER refrigerator, and tucking this Whirlpool we have downstairs in a corner for overflow. With 2 refrigerators about this size, I should be fine! But I need a quieter fridge...really...please someone just make a quiet, simple refrigerator. How hard is it? They've been making refrigerators for a long time; this is not rocket science! "Keep the food cold, quietly. That is your task."

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:10AM
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edit. did you know you cannot completely remove a post? I am bypassing the system by typing something in this space!

This post was edited by mominator61 on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 18:02

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Editing post.

This post was edited by mominator61 on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 18:01

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:19AM
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edit message

This post was edited by mominator61 on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 18:00

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:00AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


It's been SIX MONTHS since I bought this Whirlpool Refrigerator. Still very happy with it. I'm sorry to hear mominator61, that you found you needed more space. I have not had an issue with space at all. This refrigerator replaced an old Amana that was almost equal in size, so that was not much of a change. As a matter of fact, I would say I fit way more on the door, the arrangement of the drawers and shelves has allowed for a little bit more room maybe. The freezer is holding more than our old bottom refrigerator/freezer. And we LOVE the pull out drawer freezer. My DH thought it might be harder to access than the old bottom freezer door with stationary shelves because he thought he would be bending over more, but this is easier to access.

We also had an upright freezer already because we do make a lot of meals ahead of time and freeze them. And like to buy meats on sale. Also hope at some point to freeze our own homegrown vegetables. So any freezer compartment in a refrigerator would have been too small for those purposes.

As for performance. It's been great. Keeps everything as cold as it should be, the freezer too. It has been easy to keep clean. We did have some initial noise. At first we didn't, then we started noticing something would 'cycle on' and it would be a loud almost humming sound. We have a great retailer that we buy appliances from that is three generations family operated and they've been out a couple of times for other appliances and I mentioned the sound to them and they thought it was the fan in the freezer. They were back out with a new part in two days and since they replaced the fan, which was about the size of an old fashioned alarm clock, it has been blissfully quiet.

I see that mominator's post repeated a few times. I think there is an edit function that you could delete the extra posts if you wanted to.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Prairiemoon2, thanks for letting me know my post repeated, wow, so many times! You can't completely delete a post - I tried - but you can edit and leave a few words and it works.

My space issue is my own fault - we had a larger SXS, and with most kids gone I thought I could get away with downsizing, but I forgot they come back! We live in a remote location and it was dumb of me to go so small, because when we are in "the city" we tend to load up. I need another fridge anyway...just makes sense for where we live, and we should've had an extra all these years...don't know how I did it! The Whirlpool seems fine, either I'm getting used to it's hum, or it has calmed down, it doesn't bother me anymore. Actually, since we tore the wall down since my last post, and it is in a different location (farther from the living area) I don't notice it as much, so the new and improved kitchen layout is a plus in more ways than one. I will eventually get a French door counter depth, though, because we are installing an island, and this single door fridge just barely clears it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We also have grown kids who are here often enough to require more refrigerator/freezer room then just the two of us need. But it's funny, when they come over our refrigerator is always full and the kids want to know how two people need so much food. lol
It's just that we don't buy prepackaged foods, or canned goods, and we put a lot of things in the fridge that other people don't. All of our oils, any raw nuts we bring home. Even flours and pastas. Plus a LOT of produce every week. So I understand if you are loading up when you shop that you need more space.

Don't feel bad, we all make those decisions that we scratch our head wondering why we made them. (g) I did that with our last dishwasher purchase. We've replaced all of our appliances in the past 4 years and that was the only purchase I was unhappy with. And the only one I made an impulsive, quick decision on. That will teach me. :-)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Too funny. I'm like you - need more room for fresh food than pantry food because I cook from scratch. They are still making produce drawers too small - they need to catch up with the times! Fresh Farmer's Market produce fills up my fridge!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:31PM
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I have a question.

Why is that Whirlpool fridge considered "mid-level"?

It keeps the temperature and seems to be well-designed. What makes it "less than high-level", iykwim?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 2:35PM
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>>>"Why is that Whirlpool fridge considered "mid-level"? "(a) price

(b) the crisper drawers are pretty lightweight and slide rather than moving on rollers

(c) the deli drawer is small and, IIRC, does not have an temp controls

(d) this unit does not have through-the-door ice and water dispensers. Actually, IIRC, it has an ice maker in the freezer but no water dispenser.

(e) it has a single door rather than french doors.

(f) Temp settings use an arbitrary 1 to 7 scale rather than a digital temps and display.

(g) total lack of designer appeal

I was looking pretty hard at this same WP unit myself and figuring on getting it during Labor Day sales last fall.

However, the holiday pricing at Lowe's that weekend was such that I was able to get the stainless, slightly upmarket KA version with french doors (KBFS22) for only about $75 more than the standard door bottom freezer 22 cu ft. WP & KA models. They are all basically the same box, just fitted different doors and slightly different interior appointments. The KA SS FD version was usually about $400 to $500 more than the single door models, but I'm guessing that they had an overstock on the SS FD models by KA. I suspect this because the white models were not discounted that weekend. (See my post above about the prevelance of and preference for white models in my rather rural region.) Or maybe somebody just got confused and put the wrong price on the things.

Anyway, I grabbed one of the KA FD models. The slight upcharge was worth it for me because that French door arrangement works better for me in my narrow kitchen. There is a trade-off in that the the door-bin space is noticably less generous (which is what you'd expect with a FD set-up). OTOH, the FD models have the full width temp-controlled deli/pantry-drawer, which I find handy for an extra crisper space. (Great place to stick those long English cukes, for example). The KA has an internal water dispenser, which I do not use, but it is mostly buried inside the walls and only a small spout protrudes a little. The KA has the same freezer set-up as the standard door BF models, including ice maker. Which I also do not use. Maybe I'll hook up the water lines next summer. (But, maybe not as I'm unlikely to use it much.)

The freezer drawers are wire baskets; my recollection was that the WP BF models had plastic baskets which probably work just as well. The compartment is the same size as on the standard door-bottom freezer models, which is to say, that it is small and serves me mainly for near-term storage and staging. Long term and bulk items go in the upright freezer in the basement.

I've had a couple of times when I've wanted more fridge space and have thought about adding a small fridge to the basement where I would use it for overflow storage (as when prepping for large parties or during the summertime ovrflow of produce) and for my sausage and meat curing projects. I don't have room in the kitchen for a bigger fridge. As I live in a cold climate, so I've had no problem packing some snow in a couple of large coolers and using them for overflow on the holiday occasions when I've need extra capacity. We'll see how I feel next summer when the produce really flows in.

I've set my fridge to 37F on the internal display Random temperature testing shows temps at different positions are well maintained at around 37.5F +/- 1F depending on the shelf and how much is on it. I find that pretty impressive. I'm guessing that the the BF models will be equal if not better.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sun, Mar 3, 13 at 15:58

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I guess it is really all about what fits your need.

I have a kitchen that was gutted and redone about 15 years ago and still looks very good for it’s age. I don’t need to renovate it for awhile yet, but my appliances were needing replacing. The kitchen was designed using all white appliances, so stainless steel wouldn’t work, and white was my preferred finish.

The fridge has been excellent at holding the temp, regardless of not displaying a digital temperature reading. I have not had one problem with temperature. Haven’t even had to adjust it beyond the first week.

I did not want through the door ice or water dispensers. I actually didn’t even want the ice maker that comes in my refrigerator and have not turned it on. I use filtered water from our own filter to fill trays and prefer that. If you research refrigerators you learn that a majority of repair issues are with the ice maker and I value care free performance over an ice maker and don’t find it a burden to fill ice trays.

I prefer a single door over french doors. I also do not have room for french doors, because my fridge is up against a wall on one side and one door hinged on the left side, allows me total access to the fridge without bumping into anything.

Lack of designer appeal? Not sure why. Some people prefer the clean white color and simple lines. I know that stainless steel is probably the most popular finish.

The crisper drawers and deli drawer have not been a problem at all. They seem to perform well and have had plenty of room for us. We actually rarely buy deli meats and keep mainly cheeses and butter in that drawer.

In different circumstances, I might want a higher end, stainless steel finish, larger refrigerator. But for what I need, this is working out great. So it all comes down to thinking through what you really need or want and trying to find something that fits that as much as possible.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 9:52PM
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I didn't want stainless either, but the sales price was good enough that it overcame my aversion. I also didn't want a stainless range but wound up with one and for pretty much the same bang-for-buck reasons.

On the "features list." I agree that its a pretty trivial list of differences and that the WP BF gives good bang for the buck.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sounds like you got a good deal JWVideo. I wish you long care free performance with your fridge!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:22AM
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Have been trying to research the dreaded refrigerator replacement for several weeks, intermittently, and had almost given up hope when I stumbled onto your dialogue this am. THANK YOU!! This is just what I have been hoping to find.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:54PM
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This was very helpful, both the research and the updates after using the refrigerator. Is it still working fine?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 11:48AM
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My KA F/D model is. Only had it for about nine months, though.

The one and only problem was that the pivot points for the deli-drawer's lid broke. (Front of the deli drawer has a lid that rotates up when you pull the drawer out). Simple fix and under warranty. (5 minute phone call to WP/KA warranty service with most of the time spent finding the part diagram online to confirm that we had the right parts which they sent out that day.)

Fridge and freezer temps are still very even. Crispers hold greens from Costco for weeks. Never got around to hooking up the water dispenser and ice maker (both internal) and probably will not bother since I don't use those things, anyway. Having once left a door ajar, I can say that the "open door" and "hi temp" alarms work. The alarms sound like every other device alarm, though, so it took me a minute to figure out which thing was giving the alarm signal.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 1:10PM
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JVVideo, I'm really curious about your comment that Samsung has had major problems with their SxS units; I've been going nuts for the past week trying to pick a refrigerator and the 30sf Samsung (RSG307) was the one I had decided on (but not ordered yet).

At first I tried to find a SxS that doesn't have an ice/water dispenser (for the same reasons as prairiemom, plus I like the extra door space) but the only 2 seem to be the 22cf and 25cf KitchenAid models which I hated (flimsy thin cheap feeling plastic on the shelves and bins, wire freezer shelving, just a complete turnoff) and the Fagor which absolutely nobody carries on the floor (don't want to buy a pig in a poke, plus they had a fire recall on these not too long ago!).

I have back problems (spasms) and so a bottom freezer model is out, and I don't like top freezer ones. I love the organization possible in a SxS.

Love the freezer depth in the Samsung, the glass shelves, and the twin cooling. But now I'm wondering about what kind of issues the Samsung SxS models have had; can you elaborate?

Was it temperature stability issues? noise issues? issues with the ice/water maker (I could easily avoid that by not connecting it up, LOL)


    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Boy, it has been a while and I had no idea that I had said anything about SxS fridges here.

This thread really doesn't cover SxS models and the only pertinent thing that I can see that I said here is that Samsung, like LG, has had issues with warranty service and availability of parts.

Maybe I said something about SxS models in another thread?

Anyway, SxS fridges in general have the highest problem rate of all fridge types according to Consumer Reports membership survey results. Pretty much every brand has about the same problem rates. CR surveys have almost all brands running around a 15% problem rate in the first five years of ownership and no brand stands out as better or worse in SxS models except LG which, at a 22% defect rate, is the worst by a significant margin. For everybody else, about 14% to 15% of their SxS fridges have some kind of breakdown or problem but 85% of the owners chug along for years without a problem.

I don't know that Samsung's current SxS models have any particular failing or weakness. Models made five or six years ago had issues with the cooling coils freezing over and that led to a class action lawsuit against the company. AFAIK, Samsung's current, twin-evaporator designs don't have those same problems.

You could check through and see if you can find any patterns in the complaints (other than ire about warranty service.)

As for performance on things like temperature stability and such, CR's lab testing rates the current Samsung RS265 and 263 models as its # 1 and # 2 top performing SxS models and has both on CR's best-buy list. Your choice, the RSG307, is a tier below in performance ratings according to the CR testing: above average for temperature evenness and control, above average for energy efficiency and ease of use, and excellent for noise levels. Other Samsung SxS models have had poor perfromance test results which suggests that they should be avoided for that reason. does not have a review of the RSG307, but it does have one for the less-large RSG257 which got a "buy" recommendation.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 13:56

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 4:20AM
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Hi JW, thanks for the great info! Actually you do mention SxS models in this thread; your post containing it is located about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way down from the top: " Although I've seen Samsung carried by regional chains, they do not seem to do much with local retailers. Samsung has had major problems with their SxS units, but the FD and CBFs and seem to be pretty highly thought of. "

That's what caught my eye and prompted the question. ;-)

But I'm happy hear that their RSG series seems to be performing acceptably. I had visions of having to start from (a very small) Square One again, LOL

I don't doubt that the SxS's have a shorter lifespan than the other types; my current GE Profile Arctica which was purchased in December 2002 started producing a lot of frost, along with temperature swings, in the freezer about a year ago. So apparantly 10 years is the magic number for these things. Pretty pathetic when you think about how much they cost; essentially it's like renting the appliance for $200 a year. ;-) (or $16 per month if you want to make it sound more like a "bargain", LOL)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 9:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


Okay, it's been a year since we bought this refrigerator. Overall we've been happy with it. It maximizes the space we had for a refrigerator and the inside dimensions and arrangements have worked without any issues. Really, the interior arrangement, especially the door, works better for us than the old one did. We've had the repairman out twice for it. Once for the bottom freezer drawer that didn't shut right and started defrosting our freezer, which then started to lower the temperature in the refrigerator section. Evidently, the temperature of the refrigerator depends on circulating air from the freezer. We got through that without losing food. They replaced the entire metal framework that allows the drawer to roll in and out and we haven't had a problem with that since.

The second problem we had, was with noise. We were hearing loud humming or running that was annoying us and they came out and replaced some part that was responsible and we haven't had a problem with that since.

Over the summer, in the humidity, I noticed that there was the usual effect inside the refrigerator. Also the switch that turns the light on in the freezer started sticking and you would have to unstick it every time you open the freezer. As soon as the humidity went away this problem stopped. Also I found the temperature regulation was affected when the humidity was high for some reason. I had some lettuce on one of the shelves freeze at the back end of it. So I was pretty annoyed with that, in light of the fact that one of the major reasons I bought this particular model was because CR reviews reported it to be excellent at holding the right temperature. So, now that the humidity is better, that issue has gone away too.

So, overall, we are happy with this purchase. If it were not for the two repairs and the humidity issues we would be completely happy with it. It has worked very well and the two problems we had, were minor and were fixed quickly and correctly the first time by the local company we bought it from who have a good reputation. I'm very happy I have a 5 year warranty with the company we bought it from, because even though they were minor issues, it makes me a bit apprehensive to have two repair calls in the first year. And I can't remember the part that had to be replaced when we were having the noise and I thought it was an important part. I will try to remember to look it up so I can post it.

The bottom freezer is working out better than the old refrigerator we had. We had a door that swung open on a side hinge on the last refrigerator and this one has a drawer on the bottom that pulls out. My DH anticipated that being a problem, but it has actually been easier. It slides open easily and I can reach everything in the drawer, and there is a shelf on the top that slides forward easily to access it. I pulled my back this summer and was going to PT for a couple of months and only in the first couple of weeks, did I have to get my husband to get things out of the freezer for me. At PT they taught me to kneel on one knee to access the freezer, and not bend over from the waist to do it. So even after a pulled back muscle, I'm still able to get into the freezer without hurting my back again. OH...and I didn't hurt my back opening the freezer. Pulled it in the garden. (g) And the bottom freezer allows for eye level access in the refrigerator and no bending to see what is in that, so that is actually easier on the back. We go into the refrigerator way more than we use the freezer.

I'm trying to update on this refrigerator for as long as I can to give everyone some real first hand experiences to go by. I put it on my calendar to make the updates.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 2:41AM
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Thank you for the update.

As everybody knows from my previous posts here, I wound up buying the French-door version of the same fridge, this one sold under Whirlpool's KitchenAid brand.

I live in the relatively dry northern Rockies, Not surprisingly, I have not encountered any humidty-related issues with my fridge. We've had unusual numbers of very heavy rainstorms this summer, though nothing like what happened in Colorado, so none of those "humidity" problems, either.

The KA version has a few extra features including an internal ice maker in the freezer and an internal water dispenser in the fridge compartment. Because I have not installed a water-line to the fridge, I have never used those features and cannot comment on their suitability and durability.

Ran some tests a couple of weeks ago and found that the temperature remains very even throughout the compartments. Haven't had any problems with freezing lettuce in the fridge either, and I've been awash in greens this summer.

I have had one warranty issue which was the hinge-pivots broke for the pop-up cover on the full-width drawer at the bottom of the fridge compartment. Made a brief phone call to the KA/Whirlpool warranty support line (they were helpful). Sent me two replacement base-side panels. Easy fix. Took longer to clear and reload the fridge than to replace the parts.

Over the last year, there have been a couple of times where somebody left a door ajar, setting off the open-door and high-temp alarms. I discovered that rebooting the fridge --- unplug for five minutes then restart --- makes the alarms go away and the fridge seems to come back to temperature faster. Without a reboot, I the alarms would persists for an hour (unless switched off) and the temp readout climbed above 50F. Rebooting made it take a whole lot less time for the over-temp alarm to go away and the temp quickly went to the 37F set-point. Made me wonder if the circuit-board software is Windows based? ;>)

As with prairiemoon2, I really like the bottom freezer set-up. I've found it has pretty good capacity for me when loaded with stackable things. Again, I also have a large stand-alone freezer in the for long term storage of mass quantities of food.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 15:03

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:59PM
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I am in the middle of a major kitchen remodel and dreading purchasing a fridge. I want a Stainless - French door, in the 25 - 28ish cf area with ice and water in the door. So I came over to Appliance from Kitchens in hopes of a quick easy answer.
Too hopeful I guess. I wanted someone would say, buy _____ and don't buy_______.
I understand that there are only a few major companies still making appliances under the umbrella of one name, and that's fine, it's all marketing but again, I just wish someone would say something like "LG" and all their various fridges are good. Then I could go check out the various ones that meet my needs and appeal to me, and then find the best price. I can't seem to find that answer.

I live in the suburbs in CT and we too have a 3rd generation funky hardware/appliance store. They have a great reputation, but let's face it, whether you go to a local private store, Sears - which BTW is going nowhere- any of the box stores or Costco, online like AJ Madison etc. they are going to sell you the product line that is offering them the best commissions. That is commerce.

I still go back to my hope for some easy answers i.e. GE is good, LG is bad or something to that effect. I am just not getting it, and I need to make a decision in the next week because the one I pick will determine where certain walls are placed.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:42AM
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Hi Lynn, Electrolux. We just did a major remodel in our kitchen, and after much research, that is what I bought. I wanted something quiet, and it is. I bought it at Sears and bought the extra warranty because it seems every refrigerator has issues anymore, and we live in a remote location. I did not want ice and water in the door, so did not get that model, but I recall that they make one with those features. Mine is SS, French Door, Bottom Freezer, Counter Depth. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:19PM
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This is an amazing thread full of great information. Thank you prairiemoon2 & JWVideo for for sharing your very detailed research & then your reviews on your refrigerators, after time has passed. That helps so much.

JWVideo, can you please tell me what model FD KA you bought? I really don't want to go back & have to read thru all of this again, or even skim, to try & find it! If you still get notices on this thread & can post that, I'd appreciate it very much! Otherwise, I'll get back on here later next week to look thru & find out which one you bought! I've narrowed it down to a FD KA, just no model yet. If you can share that w/ me, I'd be very grateful.

This has been a great bedtime read! I'm ready for a good nights sleep now!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:15AM
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    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 11:01PM
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I posted my GE French door fridge has black mold on gaskets. It's a mess. Door shelves broke quickly. Food freezes if I put too much food in there. There are only 2 of us. How much food is too much for a fridge to handle?. I wouldn't get this again.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:58PM
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prairiemoon, Thanks for your detailed posts on your Whirlpool frig. I am considering buying that model shortly. Are you still happy with it?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Wow, tons of great information. I'm so glad I read this post. We're remodeling our kitchen and I need all new appliances. I've been to all the major retailers and feel so confused. I was going to go with all GE appliances until I started reading this thread. I was looking at whirlpool too but felt the appliances just looked cheap. I will give whirlpool a second chance. Whirlpool is what I have now and I am happy with my frig. Thank you for all your research.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:11PM
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The local upscale appliance store (which has 3 showrooms) encouraged GE, the Profile & Monogram. Profile has won awards. Actually, they had many good reasons to buy the $7000 and above brands, but not in my price range.

If I had room for standard size, I also liked the Jenn air. There is one model with water outside, which would have been nice in SE. I settled for water inside fridge.

My s/o and I were disappointed that so many fridges don't have LED lighting, all the trays look flimsy, etc. We didn't see much difference between Elux, Dacor, Jenn Air. The GE Profile and Cafe had more bells and whistles, as do the Samsungs and LGs. Their doors are huge, and would stick out. My fridge will go between 2 pantries, so tried for built-in look. The 80" Liebher wold look best, but I couldn't reach the top 2 shelves.

Fridge arrives tomorrow. I still have a few months to decide to take out the warrantee.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 7:41AM
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First off I really appreciate the members that go into depth with their experience and opinions with buying these appliances. I'm in the process of remolding my Kitchen and I'm in the hunt for a new Fridge/Range/Dishwasher. I've been hard sold on the Jenn Air SD JFX2597AEP with the Jenn Air Range JGRP436WP, and they give you a free Jenn Air Dishwasher (with a heating element). However, I was unsold on them by another retailer with reasons like Electronic vs Mechanical and Brand Identity. IE: Jenn Air vs Samsung (which I was told was rated #1 for Fridges over the last 5yrs), as well as the Thermador Pro Harmony vs the Jenn Air Pro-Style range both selling at the same price point. Its hard to deny the WOLF, SUB-ZERO, Thermador and brands alike that have made a stamp on their appliances, but I find myself Vacillating because they all them competent.

I do agree that one Brand will not rate the best across the board from appliance to appliance and don't necessarily subscribe to the aesthetic value of matching handles and the like, however, it is a nice approach to continuity, even if its a compromise in performance. The caviet being a Bundle price.

I have found it hard to find any Jenn Air products rated high in CR or JD Powers, so this makes me apprehensive. I found a very nice Kitchenaid Fridge with the new GREY interior but read some very negative reviews on it.

In closing I'm reaching out for guidance here in the hopes I can get some clarity on making the correct decision. Because like everyone, I don't want to do this twice.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Yes daniel, this is an amazing site w/ incredible posters that help in so many ways.

I feel your pain on the appliances. At such a cost, you want to make sure you do it right. I'm curious as to what Kitchenaid has a grey interior? I'd like to look that up & see what you're talking about.

Thank you & good luck w/ your remodel & appliance purchases. If you can, post after pictures when thru. It's always nice to see what people did after talking about it for so long.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 3:32PM
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we are also looking at the KA with platinum interior. It is sharp. Here's the model:

Here is a link that might be useful: platinum interior led lights

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Thanks illinigirl! I'll take a look.

Good luck w/ your purchase!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Quick pitch to evaluate based on noise. Consumer Reports evaluates this. No matter how good it looks if it's noisy it will drive you nuts.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:36PM
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This post was incredibly helpful in our recent refrigerator purchase. Wanted to contribute something back. Here are the 5 steps we took to research which manufacturer, model, store and price we chose.

1. RESEARCH the RELIABILITY of the major manufacturers.
We picked Whirlpool based on stat's below:
To summarize: % refrigerators sold that needed repair or had serious problems

Top Freezer with icemaker
07% Whirlpool
10% Kenmore
10% Frigidaire
13% GE

Bottom Freezer with icemaker
11% Whirlpool
11% Kitchenaid (made at Whirlpool factory)
13% Maytag (made at Whirlpool factory)
13% Kenmore
13% Amana
14% Samsung
16% LG

Side By Side
14% Whirlpool, Maytag, Samsung
15-17% Kenmore, GE, Kitchenaid, Frigidaire
23% LG

2. RESEARCH the Whirlpool Models
We looked at all 12 Whirlpool french door, bottom freezer models
We picked the WRX988SIBM
Had 3 freezer drawers that rolled smoothly - most others were difficult to pull out
Had ref rig deli drawer that will be super-convenient for snack foods
Icemaker took up minimum space (it can take 3 cu ft in some models)
It was white (we have a sleek, modern, white kitchen; SS would look out of place)

Tradeoff 1 - hi capacity vs good looks
We chose 28 cu ft capacity vs avg 20 cu ft for counter-depth refrig

Tradeoff 2 - we did not want/need external water dispenser. This doodad accounts for more than 75% of repairs; we liked everything else about the refrig, so what can you do?

3. RESEARCH appliance stores
We visited 14 appliance stores 1-2 years ago in San Francisco Bay Area: Airport, Atherton, Best Buy, Cherin's, Davies, Fry’s, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Meyer, Pacific Sales, Sears, Standards of Excellence, University Electric, Western.

Criteria: if something goes wrong with appliance, will they do more than hand us the phone number for the manufacturer's customer service. In 13 cases…no they would not. In Lowe's case, yes they would.

We waited and watched for advertised sales on the refrigerator we wanted at any of the above mentioned stores. We then took that price to Lowe's and they matched it 100%. They only give a 110% match if the item is in stock. But still, we saved 30% off the MSRP.

$3563 = MSRP + tax + 5-yr protection plan
- $933 = Less: price match + 5% CC + Appliance sale + 50% off 5 yr protection plan
$2630 = Discounted price including tax + 5-hr protection plan

Not every sales associate is thorough and offers above-and-beyond service. So we went to the appliance department and observed each associate. We picked the one who was knowledgeable and conscientious.

5-yr protection plan runs concurrently with the manufacturer's 1-hr warranty. However, the Lowe's plan is more comprehensive. It compensates you up to $250 for food spoilage. They estimate 2 days or less to dispatch a repairman. Maybe 1 more day to order, receive and install a new part. And if it will take longer than 3 days, they will deliver a loaner refrigerator.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:13PM
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They estimate 2 days or less to dispatch a repairman. Maybe 1 more day to order, receive and install a new part

This part of their plan must be new. We got our appliances through Lowe's for our last remodel (in 2006). The refrigerator was the first to need a major repair, 8 months in. Lowe's was fairly competent about it, but there is no way we saw a repairman within two days, and it took weeks for the right replacement part to arrive. They outsourced the repairs.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:40PM
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I'm in the market right now to replace a 12 year old Kitchen Aid refrigerator. It cannot be repaired reliably. I think it was a bit of a lemon. The similar Whirlpool model we purchased 6 years earlier is still running. Interestingly enough the repair guy that was out indicated that he wasn't often called out to repair LG fridges.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:12PM
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2 years later my Whirlpool is still purring with no issues. With our remodel last year, I had to buy a different refrigerator for the new space, and so put the Whirlpool downstairs (our kitchen is upstairs.) The Whirlpool was always a bit loud for me, so I am glad it is away from our kitchen and living area. Our new Electrolux (6 mos) is quiet, the quietest fridge we've ever had, and I am very happy about that. It does, however, have occasional, random 'popping' noises, and I have no idea what they are. They don't happen often. I love the LED lighting in the Electrolux fridge and especially the freezer (bottom drawer). The Whirlpool bottom freezer drawer does not have a light at all, and having one of each, I can say it is definitely helpful to have light.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:32PM
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I appreciate hearing other people's personal experiences with specific appliances, and estimated repair rates from their trusted professional repairmen.

I find buying a major appliance is hard because of all the contradictory information and because online reviews are skewed towards negative experiences. Since parts and manufacturing change, even if owners with a 5-, 10-, 15-yr old refrig relate a good experience, how do you know that applies to this year's model? Add to that the reality that appliances cost 3x what you paid for the last appliance (10-20 yrs ago) and have a shorter life span, and you wind up with the situation I found myself in - paralysis - until I absolutely needed to buy a new refrigerator. I have to remind myself that only 15% of refrigerators need to be repaired or replaced. That's 85% that are OK!

It was GreenDesigns' post on 8/12/12 that got me to move off the dime - "You sometimes just have to take a bit of a leap of faith after you've done the legwork."

This post was edited by francesca_sf on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 13:16

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:15PM
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Francesca, I hope your statistic is good! I'd never seen that before. I like your post, I have experienced that paralysis after researching and shopping to death. After deciding, I just cross my fingers and hope for the best with my new appliances! Frankly, I think it's a crapshoot anymore. BTW, my Electrolux fridge is not hooked up to water/the ice maker is disengaged. Many fridge problems in general have to do with icemakers and water dispensers. We didn't want one anyway.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:31PM
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mominator61 - Thanks for your good wishes. Trouble is…we want the ice maker but not the water dispenser. Can only have both or none. So, we have crossed both fingers and toes. At worst, we will do what you have done - disconnect the line entirely and use ice cube trays.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:46PM
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I too am very grateful for this thread. We are exactly in the same place - a kitchen re-do requiring new appliances and paralyzed by the fridge choices out there. Like many of you, we also don't want water or ice - which we've never had and think that's why our Amana has lasted 19 years! We also want a large fridge - we have a 24 cf now and can't seem to find any top freezer's that are even that big anymore as they all have a bulky control panel over the top shelf and smaller produce drawers. It's also seems crazy to me to spend $3k for a fridge that is only suppose to last 8 years...I've been to countless independent's and we hear the same story. Ironically although many of you have had good experiences with whirlpool, one local independent told me that's the brand she services the most and don't bother with it! Just goes to show everyone's experience is different. Regarding the electrolux - consumer's doesn't even rate them - and the independents around here (boston area) don't sell LG or Samsung, I guess because they don't service them....welcome your thoughts!!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Thank you for the compliments to Prairiemoon, me, and the others who have contributed here. As you can see from my commentary over the last year or so, I have felt your pain. I do not mean to sound overly cynical in saying this, but I am so glad that it is you and not me who has to shop for another fridge. ;>)

Sounds like you've hit the point of information overload that all of the rest of us hit when shopping for appliances.

I wish there was a way around it, but there isn't. I like francesca's analysis of her process. It does not pretend to be simple, but following her prescription probably gets us where we need to be.

To start with, it sounds like you would like one of the E-lux fridges but it gives you pause that CR doesn't report a reliability rating for Electrolux on fridges? Well, that is probably because there weren't enough of them purchased in the last five years by the CR members who responded to the membership surveys, (CR apparently has some statistical standards, Blue Star range owners' commentary to the contrary notwithstanding).

You can probably get a pretty good fix on overall reliabilty for E-lux from the survey results for Frigidaires which is an E-lux sub-brand and is included the reported reliablity survey results.

OTOH, CR does include Electrolux fridges in the product testing ratings and generally rates them good to very good.

Some folks think "good" is never "excellent" enough. For anybody other than a "tiger mom". though, good is not "don't buy" but, rather, "good enough." For those with the yuppie diesease, "good" means "unacceptably deficient" and a product that is "terrible" only because somebody conisders it to be less than the "best in class." (And, never mind that "best in class" is often s subjective judgment that may be based in whole or in part on subjective opinions that that you might or might not share.)

So, you might ask, what what do CR's grades of "fair" and "poor" mean if "good" means average or terrrible? What, indeed?

Apparently, to some folks, a rating of good (rather than the "best there ever has been") means the product is a fraudulent cardboard facsimile of an appliances that nobody should have considered even a century and more ago.

To me, the the facts are that not-so-good fridges of today are far and away better than the "vintage" units I grew-up with in the 1950s.

The important thing is that, with a little bit of luck, you want to wind up with something that is not trash. A good way to get a sense of what is trash in the current market is to talk to servicers, as you did.

But the comments of servicers still require evalutation. Personally, I suspect that your appliance servicer's comment that "we repair more WP fridges than anything else" might simply reflect WP's very large market share. Mind, I'm not suggesting that Whirlppol is any kind of paragon. There are plenty of internet reports of abusive arrogance and misbehavior in warranty claims. Note, for example, the persistent reports of the controller boards in WP-made dishwashers spontaneously combusting and WP's "attack the consumer" responses.

If you play the statistical odds, you may have a better chance of getting a problem free fridge if you buy a product made in a WP plant. That is statistical probablity, not a certainty, however.

For me, when I bought by my new fridge a year and something ago, the KA model that I bought was simply the lesser of several weasels While that pun --- get it?. ;>) ---might be seen as a cheap shot, I mean it as more than mere flippancy To me, it seems inevitable that any appiance purcahse these days has become a bit of a gamble on the odds of reliablity and durability.

Bear in mind that most consumers wind up with a perfectly fine fridge. If CR's surveys show that a maker has a 15% defect rate in the first five years of ownership, that means that 85% of the owners don't have a problem in that time period. It may be 75% with LG fridges, but that is still a lot of satisfaction. Trouble is, when you are in the 15% or 25% with defective products, the statistics are no comfort.

I think about the CR-recommended Maytag top-freezer fridge that I bought in '98. If you read the CR survey data that came out in years afterward, my Maytag fridge should have died long before 2012. Instead, its still going strong, Built to meet the year 2000 Energy Star standards, it costs only a tiny bit more to run than most of the current crop of latest and greateest/ I replaced that old Maytag only because I needed/wanted larger capacity. The friends who bought the old fridge from me me have had no problems in the almost-two years since i sold it to them. Is it "the best" they could buy? Of course not. But, for them, my used, "bisque-colored" Maytag It is far and away better than the 35-year old, dark-green colored, Coronado that it replaced.

So, Is it "crazy to spend $3k "for a fridge that will only last 8 years? You betcha!

Beyond that (i.e., my generally negative view) your comment about the absence of large capacity top-freezer models is accurate.

At present, it seems that anything with a capacity over 24 cu. ft. only seems to be available in FD and SxS models or in or specialized all fridge/all freezer models. (Actually, the large and separate full-freezer-full-fridge combos are not a bad idea if you have the 60"-wide space in your kitchen for the two units).

You do not need to spend $3k for a fridge unless you need a counterdepth model. (Seems to be no way around that high costs of those units.)

Seems to me that the "8 year life " figure that you mentioned --- I think that is a mean or average for replacement, not a measure of reliability or longevity. As in my case, a fridge may get replaced for reasons other than failure. Sometimes, the fridge is replaced because it died but often it is replaced for reasons other than failure, such as remodeling or need for larger capacity.

Those fridgea may get trashed or they may live on in another's kitchen. Plenty of the fridges will last longer than 8 years.

But I do agree that we are gambling (the "crapshoot" as it were) that the fridges that we buy today won't be one of the fridges that dies in the interim.

As for "bulky control panels," my observation is that that is now pretty rare with the current crop of models of bottom-freezer, FD and top-freezer models. The control panels in my KA FD model take no usable space.

OTOH, through-the-door ice-makers and water dispensers are another matter,. Some of those consume huge amounts of otherwise usable space. I'm with you on not wanting them.

I wish I could tell you that there is a clear choice but, unfortunately, there is not a "best" or "only buy this" kind of choice. The most that I can tell you is that the statistical data indicates not what to buy bur, rather, what you might want to avoid --- LG fridges and older GE models (possibly made for GE by LG) being the statistical outliers at the present.

If you really like an E-Lux fridge, you probably will will not be dis-satisfied. But note that I said, "probably."

Best of luck.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Jan 30, 14 at 1:17

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 1:08AM
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I just want to say that with my Electrolux appliances, I did buy the additional, extended warranty through Sears - and this is the first time I have ever purchased an extended warranty on anything, but I felt I needed to do it this time. My oven probe didn't work at Christmas and I called Electrolux for help and they couldn't successfully trouble-shoot it over the phone. I then called Sears and they did fix it over the phone - turns out the instructions in the book were wrong. Electrolux was eager to send someone out to fix the probe, but I live in a remote location and so refused the help because their service provider charges a fee to come here (and Sears does not.) The following week I began to receive phone calls from Electrolux...they wanted to purchase my oven back for what I paid, because there is no one in my area to service it! Uh...thanks, but no thanks, I love my oven, but I thought it was good service that they would offer to purchase it back. My E-lux fridge is so quiet...and that was #1 on my list.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 10:50AM
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I plan on buying the extended warranties on my appliances, as well. With everything you hear about them not lasting very long, I feel it's a given. I hate to spend the extra money & have never done this before either, but it will give me a little peace of mind.

That's great that Sears was able to fix your oven probe. Too bad Elux wasn't, but that was nice of them to offer to buy it back since there wasn't a provider in your area. That says they are at least good on service. How long have you had your refrigerator?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:09AM
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JW Video - what a great post! (P.S. we paid mega-bucks for a "fancy" fridge for a new remodel -- it kills me to do that, but we don't expect to be in this condo all that long, and in my area, high-end appliances are "expected" -- my agent told me we should pay more attention to the appliances we put in than the cabinets, which should look good, but don't have to be "name brand").

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:51AM
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Bicyclegirl - I've had my Electrolux fridge, Electrolux Induction range/oven, and Bosch DW all for 7 mos - when we remodeled last year.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:00PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


Hi! I am surprised to see so many posts here. I checked back for a few days and then got busy, last time.

So it's been 18 months since we bought this Whirlpool and in the six months since I last updated, have had no issues whatsoever. Still enjoying the bottom freezer and the larger capacity on the door. Have not noticed any temperature problems since the summer humidity.

Have not had to call the repair company for anything.

So, I just wanted to remind everyone, that we had shopped around for best price before we purchased and brought the lowest price to the Company that we wanted to purchase from. They offered us a reduction in their price, but not quite as low as the lowest, but what they did to entice us to go with them was to offer us a 5 year warranty included. That suited us perfectly, since our major concern with the refrigerator was longevity and potential repairs. We were going to go with them anyway, because they've been a family owned business in the same location for over 25 years and we'd done business with them before. They had an excellent reputation. That to me is important when you are buying appliances that are not the same quality as they used to make in the 1950s/1960s, when refrigerators had a life expectancy of about 25 years.

Okay, that's about it. I will check back here for the next week to see if anyone has any questions, but so far so good. I wish I was as happy with the Whirlpool dishwasher we bought. Grrrr! That will probably be replaced long before it should. Does not clean well at all and the interior of it, despite having a stainless steel finish, has to be cleaned about once a month. A pain in the neck. Older Kitchen Aid dishwashers we had, we just took for granted because they just did their job with no problems. Oh well.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:08PM
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Thanks prairiemoon. Keeping my fingers crossed my Kitchenaid is just as good! I've bought it but it's probably going to be another month or so before it's brought in.

I know your reviews are going to help quite a few people on their decision. I wish others were as diligent as you've been w/ their appliances performances! I'm going to try & do this w/ my few that I'm installing. I wish there had been a lot more when it was time for my decisions to be made!

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi bicyclegirl, I hope you do too!

The way that I've been able to update consistently, is that I used the calendar program on my computer to set up a recurring appt with myself to come back to the forum and update. It has a message and a sound pop up on my computer screen to remind me. Maybe you have the same thing on yours!

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:07AM
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Refrigeration is not Frigidaire/Electrolux's best area. I've had bad experiences with one of their dishwashers too. All the research I've done agrees with my experiences. I'd stick with their cooking products only. I had one of their fridges that had compressor problems very early on (common for them according to my research). Lots of icemaker problems, and servicing was a pain because instead of just using the cold air in the freezer, the ice maker had an integrated evaporator. WTF?! One of the worst designs I've ever seen. Screw consumer reports and look at the way the fridge is actually built and designed.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Great minds think alike prairie! That's exactly what I plan to do! There is no way I can count on remembering to do it on my own! It's still going to be a month, maybe 2 before my appliances are even in my new kitchen....considering I have no resemblance of a kitchen at the moment!! But, things are rolling along, so I'm hoping for a month...but not betting on it!

I hope you keep having the great results w/ your Whirlpool.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:41PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

One thing we did, was take out the ice maker in our fridge. When the repair person was here last time we had him disconnect it and remove it altogether. When we researched refrigerators, it seems that a large percentage of repair calls are for the ice maker. We didn't have one before and we don't miss it.

Good luck with your new kitchen bicycle girl! Sounds like there's light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:18PM
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Just wanted to hear more current opinions

This post was edited by lynn_r_ct on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 14:44

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 2:41PM
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Hmmm. A subtle ambiguity in the question, which is an inevitable problem with print where you can't hear the inflection. :>)

Are you asking for "more opinions" that are current?
are you asking for opinions that are "more current" (that is, opinions from people who bought more recently than a couple of years ago)?
are you asking the posters to update their previous posts (making them "more current?")
are you asking for opinions from more than the stalwarts of this thread?

All of the above seem like good questions, so maybe we can get some responses to each?

It has been six months since my last update on the KA that I bought in 2012 and it has chugged along without incident since then.

One update on the general subject is the most recent results from the Consumer Reports membership reliability surveys. The reliability of bottom-freezer fridges -- both french door and single door --- made by Whirlpool has slipped considerably from a couple of years ago. There no longer seems to be any statistically significant reliabilty differences between the various major manufacturers (GE, Whirlpool/KitchenAid/Maytag/Amana, Frigidaire/Electrolux, LG and Samsung. (Models without ice-makers sold by GE and by Sears' under its Kenmore brand are the exceptions, and are significantly more reliable.)

This post was edited by JWVideo on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 20:21

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Great question to my question! I have delayed in my fridge purchase due to construction/remodel/husband delays. I hoped to receive opinions on the purchases posters have made over the last few years or more recently, and are they, or are they not happy with what they ultimately bought. Obviously, brand name and model number or series is important. I am so confused with all the research which seems to change daily, that I am ready for some down home advice.

I am looking for a French door with ice and water in door for under 3K. I don't need to hear about how much you love the one you bought for 6K - you would hear me weep through your computer! TYIA Lynn fr CT

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:32AM
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I replaced an 11 year old kitchenaid side by side with a new kitchenaid side by side. Three defective refrigerators later and multiple repair visits made me realize this was a mistake. I wish I'd purchased something other than a kitchenaid.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:26PM
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Oh Kippe I am sorry to hear that! I am in the market to replace my Bosch fridge for the same reason except they only replaced it twice and are now buying this one back. I wish I knew what to go with. I thought I was set on KA but something is telling me NO. I dont rely on CR anymore since my defective fridge is rated #1 for counter depth SxS!

I swear I am tempted to just go with Frigidaire and know I will replace it sooner. Oh the headaches of decisions.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 6:01PM
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I bought a Samsung RF263BEAESR/AA 25 cubic foot french door refrigerator with ice and water dispenser 9 months ago. Has always worked perfectly. It was slightly noisier than my last refrigerator, but nothing very noticeable. It was $1800 on sale at Home Depot. There are a couple models that are deeper for a few hundred more dollars. It's by far the best refrigerator I've had.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:01AM
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If you are looking at s x s I would not buy Samsung R267TDRS with ice maker. We purchased this refrigerator on July 4, 2010. Shortly after the warranty expired the compressor broke. Now the fan is making funny noises. If you pay $1000 ++ for an appliance the expectation is that it will last for awhile. I'm very disappointed.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:33PM
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In the middle of a kitchen remodel and ordered the Sub Zero French Door. It hasn't arrived yet so I can't comment on that. However, we have a 2 year old counter depth Samsung French Door that works perfectly and a 15 year old Whirlpool Gold side by side that works perfectly. Never had an issue with either one!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:31AM
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I just paid my $30 for an annual subscription to CR, and I already feel defeated. As I went through their "recommended models," all had negative customer reviews. And I mean negative! One and two stars. There was a Samsung that did seem to receive good marks from both, but it is a monster frig and too big for what we need. Sad that even the higher ranked refrigerators are still not great out in the real world.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Bad news/Good news: This past weekend my 12-year old KA fridge stopped cooling - it was still running but not cooling. Up until then, absolutely no problems - even the ice maker has worked perfectly. Fortunately my 33 year old Whirlpool fridge was still running fine in the garage so I transferred all the food.

I was freaking out a little in case I needed to replace it - all fridges these days seem to get bad reviews. Anyway, the repairman came out today and all it needed was a new relay. Now it's up and running again. Whew!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:28PM
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Funny thing about refrigerators I have one that I bought for my daughter in 2007 she used it for 6 months I moved it to my place when she went to Calgary. The funny thing is it sat in my place until owners fridge broke down I connected it and it works fine, there is a loose piece on the compressor so makes noise but otherwise been running for 2 years and is fine. Just ask lots of questions, talk to your friends, you never know.

Here is a link that might be useful: fridge

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:26PM
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With the passage of time Catalog of refrigerators manufacturers are adding new more advance models which makes it quiet difficult for a consumer to make a right choice.Following are the few factors you always has to be considered when buying a refrigerator.
1. It should by energy efficient.

  1. Design of your desired model should advance enough to fit in any space.
    3. Always prefer to use external water dispenser refrigerator.
    4. Try to buy a refrigerator with the top freezer to keep away unauthorized access of children.
    Last but not least above all tips help you to buy a perfect refrigerator but still you have to research the market for comparison among different refrigerators.

Here is a link that might be useful: Reviews About Refrigerator

This post was edited by jenniferbuttler on Sat, Sep 27, 14 at 11:42

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Hey there if you'll reading reviews you must be looking to purchase a new refrigerator...well so am I.
We purchased a Samsung about 10 years ago SS, ice maker, bottom freezer 22cf. I love this refrigerator but on Dec. 26 2014. I notice the refrigerator was warm. We pulled it from the wall and vacuum the expose coils at the bottom thinking it would solve the problem. NO it didn't. We took all the food out and put it into our coolers, took out the shelves and called the repairman he took the back off inside the refrigerator and used something like a hair dryer to defrost the coils and replaced the computer board. Well needless to say 4 weeks later we had to call him again.
He defrost the coils again and said he would have to contact Samsung. I emailed Samsung two weeks ago but never heard anything. It's been a week since the repairman was here and I haven't heard from him either.

After reading reviews on the best refrigerator to purchase I'm in the same boat as everyone else.
One of my clients work a well known hardware store. I told him my ordeal he was telling me that the average refrigerator is design to last only 10 years regardless how much you pay for it. At this point if my Samsung lasted a little over 10 years I may want to purchase another one, but I saw a K-aid that look good, but looking good isn't were it's at. I want it to work and last without complications. So .... what do you do? By the looks of it the major appliance manufacturers have consumer over the barrel.
Best of luck to us all all on picking a half way decent appliance. I'll do a follow up on my new refrigerator. :-)

1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 9:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Feb 18th and another update. Our refrigerator is still running great. Haven't had any issues at all since the last update. :-)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 4:42AM
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Anyone with recommendations on 24" bottom freezer refrigerators?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2015 at 5:32PM
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February 20th and time for a 2.5 year update on mine -- running fine and no issues since the last update, either.

ttkogi: sorry that I know nothing about the 24" part of the market but your question might get overlooked in this thread coming at the end of one as long as this one has become. You may have better luck getting responses if you start a new thread of your own with your question as the title.

I recall some discussions here from two or three (maybe four) years ago about smaller fridges for tight spaces. IIRC, the discussion was was mostly about Liebherr and Miele units for upscale NYC flats with very small kitchens. Those discussions might or might not reflect the current market and might or might not reflect your interests.

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 20, 2015 at 6:16PM
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Thanks jwvideo. I'll try starting a new post.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2015 at 5:55AM
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