36 or 42" SxS Fridge/freezer with ice dispenser

Momto3kiddosNovember 28, 2012

We are choosing appliances for a new build and I have found decisions on most appliances to be fairly straight forward. I am having trouble with refrigerator selection, though. My kitchen will accomodate a 36-42 inch free standing or built in. My husband prefers side by side and an external ice dispenser. I do all of the cooking, and the refrigerator is the only appliance he interacts with at all, so I will let him have his way with these items. He is letting me choose all of the other kitchen appliances, so no complaints here. :) I should also mention that we will have a full stand up freezer a few steps from the kitchen in the mudroom where we keep lots of meat(from hunting and sales) and veggies(from the garden). We also plan to have a simple freezer top refrigerator in the garage for entertaining - platter/cake storage, etc.

My appliance repair guy favors Kitchen Aid, but their ice capacity in the 36" is pitiful. It would not fill glasses for our family and a couple of guests. So, I looked at the Bosch 36". I really liked it, but the reviews regarding reliability are poor. How long can I expect a Bosch/Kitchenaid level refrigerator to last?

We are open to a higher end refrigerator like SZ, JA or Thermador, but they must have an ice dispenser. The SZ has the ice and water coming from the fridge side which seems problematic. We have a large garden, so keeping veggies fresh for weeks would be fabulous. I have read this about SZ. Are JA and Thermador good with that, too? What about their service/repairs/reliability?

I should also mention that I am not looking at GE. My mom has two GE refrigerators that have given her nothing but problems, although, our current basic Kenmore has been almost trouble free for 7 years.

Thanks in advance!!!

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The 42" SxS JA,Thermador,and KA are all made by Whirlpool and are essentially the same. The JA used to have exclusive use of the variable speed compressor but I believe that is no longer the case.

The Bosch freestanding fridges are generally considered to have poor icemaking capacity. The freestanding Bosch is not made by nor engineered by Bosch. It is made by Daewoo in Mexico.The freestanding KA is considered to have a very large capacity to make ice even if the quality of ice and storage area for the ice is not great.

The Bosch built-ins and the Thermador built-ins other than SxS are engineered in Germany by Bosch but built in Turkey in a Bosch owned plant.

The SubZero's(made in Wisconsin) dispenser is genrally considered to be very problematic. It is very picky about the water pressure and water quality that is fed to the icemaker.

IMO nothing beats SubZero and Liebherr for storing veggies longterm but Liebherr does not offer an ice dispenser.

If you require large amounts of ice might a seperate built-in ice-maker be an option? Then you could pick the fridge independent of the ice-making/dispensing consideration and have more room to store veggies and meat.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:40PM
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I considered lots of different 36" FD and SxS including Jenn Air, KA, Electrolux Bosch...pretty much all of them. Samsung won out. Based on reviews and hands on this is a really nice 36" SxS and its only $1500 right now at Lowes and other retailers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Reviewed.com's take on the Samsung

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Another vote for Samsung 36" either under the Samsung badging or the Kenmore Elite badging (the icemaker will usually be the giveaway on the Kenmores as far as which company actually made that model). We love our CD Kenmore Elite badged Samsung 36" SxS w/ ice/water in the door. I don't remember your layout right off hand, but do make sure your kitchen will accomodate a standard depth fridge before buying one. A CD may be a better option.

From my experience, when you go 42" you're in the built-in range of fridges. They are not even as deep as the counter depth fridges, so you basically end up with the same stoarge space or sometimes even less than a 36" CD. Definitely less storage than a 36" standard depth. Add in the $$$$ upcharge, hard to find repair people close by & the built-in's performance track record (or lack there of) and you really have to ask yourself if it's worth the extra $$$.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 11:07AM
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