Refrigerator all brands suck??

cevamalNovember 11, 2013

I've been reading dozens of threads here including the NYT article on Whirlpool and am more confused than ever.

I need a white CD side by side with ice and water in the door. I'd prefer a chrome/stainless handle but that's not essential.

Here is what I'd narrowed down to by searching on AJmadison:

Manufacturer Model
Whirlpool WRS965CIAH
Samsung RSG257AAWP
kitchenaid KSC23C8EY
kitchenaid KSC24C8EY
whirlpool GSC25C6EY
Frigidaire FFSC2323L

If I rule out Whirlpool/KA that leaves me with Frigidaire (which my appliance repair guy warned me against) and GE/Samsung. I believe I read GEs are made by Samsung now?

So is GE/Samsung my best bet? Or should I be looking elsewhere?

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SxS fridges are the least energy efficient, least space efficient, and most trouble-prone type of fridge. So, in that sense, I suppose you could say that they all "suck." Still, some people find that the SxS layout works best for them.

The most likely trouble-spot for SxS fridges will be through-the-door ice and water dispensers. Those are troublesome on all fridges. Take that factor out of the equation, SxS units still tend to be a bit more trublesome than conventional and FD models.

Consumer Reports does annual membership surveys on appliance reliability. With something like 80,000 responses, the surveys over the last several years report that pretty every brand of SxS fridge has a 15% failure rate within the the first five years of ownership. Roughly one in seven. (15% is a rough average, as some run 14% and some 17%. CR's site says variations within 4 percentage points or less are not statistically significant.) The exception has been LG which has run a 22% defect rate (roughly one in four).

So, other than avoiding LG, I do not see that any brand of SxS is significantly more reliable than others. Layout and features seem to be a better basis for choosing.

GE was outsourcing some of its fridge manufacturing and components and has a technology cross-licensing and sourcing deal with LG. For several years, GE and LG had equally abysmal reliability ratings -- 25% defects according to the CR site. GE recently brought some production back to the US (I think some GE SxS fridges are assembled now in Bloomington, Ind. and some (maybe all) of the Monogram SxS fridges are assembled in Tennessee.) The company has now got is defect rate in line with the industry average.

Samsung makes pretty good fridges now but had some serious product defects a few years back, and its warranty service (oursourced) has not been great. My recollection from some recent postings here (or maybe Chowhound) is that GE' outsourcing deal with Samsung was only for the counter-depth SxS Profile and Cafe fridges.

I recall numbers of discussions of this subject over the last year. If you have not already done so, try searching the older threads which may have more detailed info than I can give you. Because the in-house search engine here at GW does not always work well, I sometimes have better luck going out to google/bing/etc. and including "gardenweb" in the search string.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Nov 11, 13 at 15:24

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Thanks for the reply.

I've read dozens of threads here and it's left me more confused than where I started. :)

It seems like all fridges these days (at least in my price range) have questionable reliability, but the horror stories I read on getting service out of the Whirlpool line have me nervous about them or KA.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 9:10PM
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@JWVideo Wow great post. Well done!

Here is a link that might be useful: Refrigerator Repair

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 1:58AM
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