Fridge brand? color? ??

sheilaaus122September 19, 2013

My 13 yr old fridge is dying a slow death. I did spend $300 in 2009 to repair it and now the fridge is not really working though the freezer is fine
It is a top freezer model. We feel that at this point it does not make sense to repair it; the "good" news is it is 13 yrs old, we had been away for 5 days and had not really re-stocked it so not much food loss ANYWAY we now need to get a new fridge.
The other appliances are also 13 yrs old, and we kind of planned to replace them in the near future.
All appliances are white. The plan was to switch over to stainless..............with an eye to resale in the next 2-5 years (but nothing firm).
The fridge width needs to be UNDER 35". That seems to be the main point.
My questions---
1. Any recommendations for brands? I am really open to any. Not looking to win the prize for most $$, I kind of like the French door or bottom freezer but am open to all.
2. I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, but is stainiless still the must have?

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I forgot to mention that of course I will be looking at reviews online and Consumer Reports for starters.
What gets me is that I continue to hear from people that with the newer technology, at least with refrigerators, that they will not last the 10-15 (or like my previous ones, 20+yrs) - I am hearing more like 6-8 years. Don't know if that is correct, but I have heard it from repair people as well as sales people.................

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Oh well, checking in at work (don't tell) and was hoping for some suggestions. Not even the color thing? Stainless? white?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 12:26PM
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In our fridge search, we found that 33" and 36" are very common sizes and that there is a big function difference between the two. We needed to stick with the 33", which meant that the French door thing wasn't going to work for us. French door configurations in 33" just didn't hold what we needed to put in a fridge. We wandered the fridge section of multiple stores carrying an (empty) Costco pizza box and a one-gallon water bottle to see how they fit. They didn't really.

We then moved on to models with bottom freezers, but just a single fridge door. We ended up with a Whirlpool gold. This is a photo I took the day before Thanksgiving a couple of years ago when it was new. The yellow bowl is the large Tupperware bowl full of dressing to be put into that 23 pound turkey in the paper bag above it.

The bottom freezer is a huge improvement over the top freezer we had before. I was just congratulating myself the other day on what a good choice we made.

On color: our fridge is SS with black sides, which suited us fine as our other appliances are black, but which might not suit you.

This particular model also comes in white.

I highly recommend that you do your functional equivalent of our pizza box and water bottle, because how a fridge works for your family is so much more important than just color choice. Also be aware that places like Best Buy and Lowe's negotiate appliance prices. Who knew? We bought ours at Sears on sale and got them to reduce further to match their online advertised price.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whirlpool Gold @ Sears (on sale at the moment!)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Appliance color depends on the color of your cabinets, flooring, etc. I probably would have gone with black, but my DH insisted on SS (and he doesn't ask for much, so I went along). You pay more for stainless, and some styles are pretty horrible for fingerprints.

I wanted a single door, bottom freezer like Suzanne, but I wanted a larger capacity. We ended up with an LG french door, and so far we are very pleased with it (it's only been in the new kitchen for a few weeks).

I think AJ Madison lets you search appliances by dimensions. That would at least help you narrow down your search.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 2:40PM
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I prefer white, but listened to s/o and got the SS.

Do you have little children? Would white work with any elements of your kitchen and house?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 2:48PM
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Holly- Kay

I think the stainless is the most common but not necessarily the best. When I started our kitchen reno I DIDN"T want stainless. I was so tired of it. The fridge at our other home is stainless and I have been less than impressed with the finish.

I didn't think white would look good with my cabinets, I couldn't find a line that had bisque appliances with all the options I wanted, and because the fridge and double oven stack were going to be side by side I thought black would be overwhelming.

I finally figured stainless was the best option. I am so glad I went with it. The JennAir stainless doesn't show smudges and fingerprints and I have a very messy DH.

With that being said you don't have to have stainless. IMO it really is overdone but I think that is due to the lack of finish and color choices offered by appliance manufacturers. If you love white or black go with that instead of the stainless.

My fridge is counter depth 36 inch wide and 72 tall, French door bottom freezer. I really like it and it's just the right size for us.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:55PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with stainless...I think MOST people prefer it now...but there are those that hate it and love white/black and vice would say in that regard get what you prefer and have all appliances match.

I have a SS Kenmore Elite FD (made by LG) and really like it alot.

If budget is an issue check scratch and dent..sometimes the problem is on the side and wont even show.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:01PM
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After a huge amount of research, I narrowed down the brand to LG or Samsung. Both of those brands are generally (across various fora and review sites) rated as very reliable and they often have some truly useful little features you don't see on most other fridges. HOWEVER and this is a huge however, those brands are also both notorious for repairs being a problem because authorized service people are relatively scarce and parts take forever.

I called the appliance repair guy I use to ask about Samsung and LG, because I figure that once I'm post warranty, he's who I'll call. He won't even touch Samsung appliances because getting parts is such a colossal pain. He will repair LG, although he advised me against it based purely on the difficulty getting parts. So, I'm going with LG.

His recommendation was, hands down, a SubZero (and a bunch of other pricey brands for other appliances). Not my price range. If it helps, the way I describe my price range is Honda Accord. I'm looking for something nice and well made, with good features. It doesn't have to be the cheapest thing on the market. And while I'd love the really pricey, high end things, it's just not the budget.

By way of comparison on reliability and parts to another big brand, a friend of mine just got rid of a GE refrigerator that was about 10 years old and bought an LG. She thought the GE was junky. The metal shelves in the freezer were flimsy and tended to break. Other parts broke a lot. But GE was fabulous about repairs. They'd send out new parts at the slightest request and both parts and a repair guy would show up really quickly. But it was one repair after another. So she picked LG, deciding to trade harder to get repairs for, hopefully, far less frequent repairs. Of course, the fridge arrived with a dented front panel and it took a few weeks to get a guy out. But they're taking care of it and at least it was only a cosmetic problem.

So, nothing is perfect.

COLOR: I, personally, have never been a fan of stainless steel. Lots of people love it, I just never did. Most of my new appliances will be white because I like it, I think it's neutral and classic enough that even if it's not completely on trend, it will never be the avocado or harvest gold of appliances and because I figure no trend lasts forever and I'm guessing that eventually stainless will be over and white will be next. Yay me, I'm a trend setter. That said, depending on your tolerance for this sort of thing, I wouldn't buy any stainless appliance until I'd seen a stainless something from that particular company in person and had a chance to put my hands on it. Fingerprints can be a big problem with stainless, some more than others. The friend with the new LG fridge ended up with stainless because her husband was all gung ho for it and now, because it's the sort of thing that bugs both of them, they're going nuts with the fingerprints.

MATCHING My appliances won't all match. The ovens and the cooktop are on one wall. The ovens are black glass with stainless because it was the only choice for the ovens I wanted and the cooktop is black glass, again, the only choice. On the other leg of the L will be a white refrigerator and dishwasher. I think it will all look fine. My old kitchen had non-matching appliances and it didn't bug me. Of course, your taste may vary.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:07PM
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I am thankful for all the replies- it really was helpful....... I was pretty sure that I wanted either a French door or 2 door with bottom freezer. I did look a lot online and last night ran to HD and Lowes. and then today to PC Richards and Sears. We decided on a Kenmore French Door 33 inch, and I went for Stainless. I think I really like the stainless finish on this one. It also has filtered water on the interior which I am looking forward to.
I do like white which is what I have, had, but since resale is likely in the future and replacement of the other 13 yr old appliances has been planned, they will also be stainless. Delivery should be Saturday and we can get back to normal! (and then figure out the other appliances in time but they all work adequately for now. Thank you again.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:25PM
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