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Replacing built-in with free-standing...

Posted by Lostinfridgeland (My Page) on
Thu, May 10, 12 at 21:55

The house we bought two years ago came with a KA 48" BI fridge (model KSSS48QDX05) that was installed about 14 years ago.

In the two years we have owned the house, we have had three different repair calls to adjust its refrigerant so that it can maintain its temperature (gaskets are fine, coils are clean, etc). Finally, the most recent repair guy straight up said the compressor just needs to be replaced (estimated cost around $1K). He was pretty down on BIs in general and recommended getting a free-standing one. He felt that BIs basically kept him in business.

So, I was wondering if I am crazy to think about pulling out a BI and replacing it with a free standing fridge. In addition, is there any way to "fill in the gaps" around and on top of the new fridge so that it maintains some semblance of aesthetics.

Or should I just replace the compressor in the current BI, knowing it could easily fail again...

Based on the tenor of the messages that I have found on this forum, there is clearly a group fairly committed to built-in refrigerators. Unfortunately, I guess my bad experience has left me a bit down on them.

I went through the forums to see if this topic had been addressed (there are plenty of debates on BI vs freestanding vs integrated) but I couldn't find any. If there is one out there, please send me that link as well and accept my apologies for not searching adequately.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Replacing built-in with free-standing...

I would get a few more estimates.
A KA compressor replacement kit should be less than $300.

$750 for labor is pretty standard for hoity toity places.

I would check your local craiglist.

In my area there are a few guys not paying commercial rent/huge overhead that work with a truck and cell phone and know what they are doing but charge a lot less.

BTW I have not seen someone put a 36" freestanding fridge into a 48" cutout that looks good.

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