Sub Zero, Liebherr or other?

chapel3eJuly 28, 2014

Renovating kitchen in a 1400 sqft. apartment. I have a SubZero 650 in another home, 12 years old. It has caused me minimal problems, other than a condensation pan that overflows in the humid summer season. But service techs tell me SZ just ain't the same these days. Is this true? Am I better off with Liebherr? Electrolux Icon? Other? Need a 36 inch or a 30 inch. Must be whisper quiet. Counter depth. Appreciate any advice.

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lascatx

Add Thermador to your list to consider. The overflowing pan would be a problem for me. Houston is always humid in the summer. Spring. Fall. Winter too.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:54AM
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RChicago

After much debate, we're going with panel-ready Miele. We like the quality of the interiors and that it'll be truly built in, flush with adjacent cabinetry. The hinges are impressive, too.

They aren't inexpensive, but you may have luck with an open box. We were patient and are saving about a third off of list.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:03AM
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lascatx

Miele's built-in fridge is made by Thermador. The hinges, flush fit, seamless front (no grille) and the interior organization are pretty much the same. There are trim differences, but I can't tell you now what they are. My guess is that you will pay a bit less for the Thermador version. Not sure what they are putting out under the Bosch name now, but that's the same parent company as Thermador.

It's been a while since I was actively looking, but Thermador and SZ seemed to have the top quality in built-ins. Kitchenaid was also making a nice fridge, but the actual use of the space (drawers, doors, opening room, etc.) was not as good. I also did not want that front grille and at the time Thermador was the only one to offer that. SZ now has it also.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:23AM
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sjhockeyfan325

Can someone tell me what the produce drawer dimensions are in the 30" builtin Subzero, Miele, and Liebherr? I have the Thermador 30", and like everything about (fit, finish, layout, looks) with the sole exception that the produce drawer is too "short" - you can't possibly fit a head of iceberg lettuce in it, and even apples have to be spread out single-layer.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:34AM
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lascatx

I don't have that model, but it sounds like you are describing the deli drawer -- where we put cheese. There are two deep drawers below for produce and meat on my all fridge. Do you have a bottom freezer?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:39AM
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nosoccermom

Thermador is a subsidiary of BSH Home Appliances, which is a subsidiary of BSH Bosch and Siemens. BSH HA sell Gaggenau, Bosch, and Thermador in the US and Canada.
They are competitors of Miele. I found some suggestions that Liebherr makes some Miele fridges but couldn't verify this, nor that Thermador builds Miele's fridge.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:03PM
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brightm

We're getting the 36" Integrated Sub Zero. It's like the Miele described above, not like the traditional SZ with the grill on top. Tentatively scheduled for a week from Friday. Fingers crossed!

Not that this means that it's as good as SZ of old, and maybe just the opposite, but we were told that this one is the first to comply with some new regulations. (Maybe first of the SZ, maybe first of what they carry, maybe first in class, don't know.) The Miele was a runner up for us AFTER choosing the SZ. We started adding more and more Miele products as we went along, but had already committed to SZ. We considered Liebherr but they aren't that popular around here and we were worried about service.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:04PM
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sjhockeyfan325

lascatx, both drawers are "short" (produce and deli). Yes, it's a bottom freezer.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:09PM
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LARemodel

I replaced a Subzero with a Subzero. I considered the Thermadore refrigerator, but there was a rebate discount for going with a combination of appliances - and I was getting Wolf ovens.

The KD recommended the Thermadore over the Subzero, but it wasn't until it was all installed that she pointed out that the Thermadore would have been flush with the cabinetry. It does bother me that the Subzero sticks out from the cabinetry.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:17PM
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cookncarpenter

I've had my 30" Liebherr (HCB1561) for about 18 months now, and it has been wonderful. Extremely quiet, and keeps produce fresh a long time. Cool little small square clear ice cubes too:) Fits totally flush with cabinetry as well.
As I recall, it was over $2k less than the 30" SZ, and we actually preferred it even before we asked the price...

For sjhockeyfan, the produce drawers are (inside dimensions) 11" x16.5" x7.5" deep.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:19PM
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sjhockeyfan325

Thanks ctycdm - ours can't be more than 4" (I'll measure later). I still really like the fridge though, and it is totally flush with the adjacent cabinetry (picture attached).

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:25PM
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plllog

For informational purposes: I don't know about other models, but the Miele columns, that is, the boxes of the integrated all fridge and all freezer units, are made at the same factory in Turkey where the Thermador ones are made. They are essentially the same boxes. I read recently (though don't know the accuracy) that Miele created that factory and sold it to Siemans (parent of BSH which makes Gaggenau/Thermador/Bosch). Miele claim to make the electronics and interior fitments themselves, I think in Germany.

I can't help with which are the quietest. Usually the most problematic, and loud, part is the ice maker.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:30PM
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chapel3e

All this information is really quite revealing. I thank you all for the input. The crux of my question is that a SZ tech who recently serviced my 650 unit stated SZ's are not as good as they were 10 years ago, the era of my existing unit. So I'm wondering if that is true to anyone's recent experience, and if it is information I should act on by shopping for another brand. Honestly, had he never said such a thing, I'd be buying SZ without hesitation.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:44PM
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plllog

Somewhere in that ten years was the much discussed copper tube problem. SZ received a bad batch that started failing all over the place several years after it was used. They made good on it, made repairs, etc., when they realized what had happened.

On what factor did the tech say the units weren't as good? Some people still bemoan the loss of freon as a refrigerant. Some people think people in other hemispheres are incapable of making good equipment. There are all of those new standards to be met as well, and with new designs come new problems. Did the tech say not to buy one?

Leibherr has plenty of fans, but not a 100% spotless record. One could say the same thing of SZ (I've heard fewer complaints, but that could be a function of their longevity (people trust them so call instead of complaining), and how on the spot they are when people call with an issue). Modern tech makes these units much more complicated, so one has to expect more issues. Given SubZero's current reputation (stellar, same as always), I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of their units. If that's what you really want, go for it!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:01PM
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brightm

LARemodel said SZ stick out. Not all stick out.

It looks very similar to the Miele, IIRC.

Here is a link that might be useful: Integrated SZ

This post was edited by cal_quail on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 0:16

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:15AM
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ajc71

"The KD recommended the Thermadore over the Subzero, but it wasn't until it was all installed that she pointed out that the Thermadore would have been flush with the cabinetry. It does bother me that the Subzero sticks out from the cabinetry."

This is a KD problem, all SZ models can be flush inset with proper planning

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:28AM
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rococogurl

Miele, Liebherr, and SZ all can fit flush if properly installed.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:47AM
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sprtphntc

i have a liebherr FD and its been wonderful....
super quiet, can't even hear it running...
keeps produce fresh way longer than old whirlpool.
couple grand less than SZ
great ice cubes
do check for service in your area...i'm outside of Phillly, so no problem...i think if u r in a more rural area, it could be a problem
no complaints!!

good luck with your decision :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:05AM
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