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Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Posted by happylamom (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 17, 11 at 0:22

Please give me feedback on our refrigerator options -- we are looking at a Sub Zero stainless steel side by side refrigerator - 48 inches. We are set on stainless and the 48 inches. This fridge is $9300 which is so expensive. Is it worth it? Are there other models we should look at?
Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

If money was not an factor I would have gone with the 48 in sub zero, however, since it was I went with the GE monogram 48 inch. I do like the option of keeping a gallon container in the door.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Ah, the philosophy of Value. Just as I would say that no car is "worth" $90,000, there are lots of S550 or M5 owners who would say "oh yes there is."

To me a refrigerator is there to keep stuff (especially Gulden Draak) cold, so mine cost less than 10% of that Sub-Zero. But who am I to say what others' refrigeration needs are?

If you like it, and can afford it, go for it.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

A few more words on the philosophy of Value....my Sub Zeros (36" all refrigerator and all freezer) are now 24 years old and if I have to replace them I'd buy Sub Zero again unless there were a really strong, compelling reason to chose otherwise. But then my DH also has a 2003 S550 that just hit 150,000 miles.

Perhaps by view is skewered...I haven't traded him in on a newer model either.

lamom- have you looked at the Thermador columns?


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I'm with Marie. My SubZero is 23 years old. If you didn't know and looked at either the interior or exterior (wood panel), you'd guess it to be just a couple of years old. The drawers, shelves etc are bright and like new.

I've had a couple of service calls over the years... all minor. The last was about 4 years ago and I thought that it might be the end of the refrigerator. To my surprise, not only did the repairman have the part on the truck, but including the call the bill was less than $100.

I doubt that you'd be able to get parts so easily for a 20plus year old fridge of another brand.

We're building a new home and though we are swallowing hard at the price, we're going with Sub-Zero again. Actually DH was wavering and thought we should be able to find something for less. I hauled him to the appliance store and he opened every refrigerator there... SZ, Miele, GE, etc (as well as Thermador and Viking at another place). Best move I could have made, he was in reluctant but total agreement that nothing matched the SZ.

It's hard not be brand loyal when you've had such a great appliance for so many years.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

This is something i had to go through recently. I do not drive a cheap car i don't have a M5 or S55 but an equivalent. I looked at sub zero and other commercial brands from fridge and then i compared them to the run of the mill big box store brands like GE, Whirlpool (ka, ja etc), the koreans and others.

My "thinkology" on the fridge is whether to spend 2-3x as much on a sub zero (which i have read are not as good as they used to be few decades ago) or something equivalent... then i would spend more to get the cabinet maker and would sacrifice cabinet space. On the other hand why not get a 2k fridge thats generic and throw the extra cash on something that i would use everyday.

I mean how important it is to have the fridge say 32deg and it measures 32deg inside all over... How important is it to have your freezer be consistent temp?

For us cooking was the main important feature for the kitchen so we have not saved a penny and got the best unit we can get in the market... for the fridge as long as it cools and freezes and is equivalent or same to my inlaws F&P CD fridge (2 years old) i am happy.

I don't want a usb or a colour screen or other gadgetry on the fridge i want the fridge to just do that... cool.

ON THE OTHER HAND... some people may want the fridge to perfectly chill and go a few steps ahead and have various zones and freezer to be perfectly controlled have dual compressors and all sort of fancy stuff.

SO you have to ask yourself which school of thought is more inline with your priorities and do accordingly.

Comparing a car which you use and sit in and drive and enjoy to a fridge is BEYOND absurd.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Tons of Stories about Coldspot Fridges, Kelvinators you name it---fridges that have gone that long, so not an "SZ Exclusive".

Most of the newer fridges, Whirlpool, Liebherr, Miele---etc etc use variable speed compressors, & from what I consider a "Knowledgeable Source", SZ has gone back to the older style On/off style compressor, and to quote another source,
"They have found a way to make them run efficiently".

I would certainly take the time to check out the Jenn-Air Fridges. They were rated as # 1 for reliability By Consumer Reports back in 2005-2006 and continue to hold that rating today. Back in 2006 SZ was rated "Dead Last" for reliabilty back then, and they have since crawed a couple notches up from the bottom.

You probably can tell I'm not a "Huge SZ Fan", Unfortunately their pricing strategies are followed by other companies---(If SZ can get $10K for a Fridge, So can We) and all you folks pay---thru the nose in this case.

As much as I like my JA Fridge, quiet, reliable, well lit, glass shelves even with adjustable crank handles for shelf height, They too "Tightened Up their market"
(Increased prices in spite of economy) price fixed them, etc etc--so A JA or any "Higher end Fridge" is not the bargain they were just 4 or 5 short years ago.

Yeah I know, You can still buy the cheap stuff, but I don't think that is the point in this thread.

Anyway, "Long Winded Answer" to the Question, "Is the SZ Fridge Worth it"

No No, 10 thousand Time NOOOOOO!!!!!!

Gary


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Being "set on stainless and the 48 inches" happylamom, you are setting yourself up to be boxed into a corner.

It's a large size. You could just as easily let yourself be convinced into two or more small and medium sized fridges and freezers. A chest freezer is incredibly efficient because cold air never slides out of it when you open it. But, if you gotta have what you think you gotta have, who am I to tell you that it's unwise to blow your money in one place or another? Go ahead: spend your money wherever you want to spend it. I'd rather not get the bestest cars and appliances. You choose whether to buy one thing or another. 30 years ago I bought original art from living painters who have now died, and the value of the art is multiples higher, and the market for it is now big. OK, great, so, like, I had less money invested in my appliances in the last 30 years.

Two or three smaller appliances can be a fine solution. Small fridges can be very good. And very Very good for the price. It's not like telling you to get two or three cheaper cars instead of one good one. I only have one car.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

SZ owner here...for past 6 years. The SZ650, 36 inches wide, with freezer on the bottom.

I will say I'll never buy another brand of refrigerator again. Fresh produce, cheeses, etc. are very important to me, and this refrigerator does an unbelievable job of keeping produce (veggies & fruit) fresh for 10-14 days...as if it just came home from the store. I'm totally sold.

You'll need to decide what's important....If you don't eat much fresh produce or gourmet cheeses, then another brand will probably suffice.

I've not had a speci of trouble in the 6 years I've owned my SZ fridge.

Count me a happy, loyal customer.....


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I ended up not getting SZ in the end because of sizes available and a couple other factors--got Miele instead--but I grew up with them, and most people I know have them. Yes, if you care about the best quality of chilling, the high end fridges are worth it. My old, grad school Kenmore was a wreck when it left but it spent a couple dozen years chilling. That's not the question. The question is whether things freeze on the top shelf, whether you can make use of all the space, whether the crispers crisp, whether the fridge smells get in the ice cream, whether everything in the freezer has to warm up so that the fridge can be frost free causing freezer burn, whether the produce goes bad immediately or takes weeks, whether the milk is exactly the right temperature because the difference between 36 and 38 is huge, etc., etc.

All fridges will keep things cold. A top quality fridge will keep things just right.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I don't have a SZ, yet my produce and cheeses are always fresh, and I seldom waste any. The trick is to buy what you need, know what is in your fridge, and eat it before it spoils. It is a wayyyyy more cost effective strategy than a $10K refrigerator.

I'm one of those who spent big $$$ on a range, since I value cooking over cooling.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

OH, YEAH.....it is worth every penny. Why? I buy only fresh, seasonal, local produce and my baby keeps them fresh for up to three weeks.

The air filter alone is worth the price. I can keep a garlic roasted chicken and fresh boiled shrimp at the same time....NO SMELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ice maker makes just the right amount of ice and there is no clumping!!!!

I will NEVER go back!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

When I started our kitchen remodel I told the first contractor I met with, "I'm not going to be putting high end stuff in this kitchen, our neighborhood doesn't have kitchens like "x neighborhood" does. 4 months later we are ready to order a 36" DF Wolf range, Wolf wall oven and micro, and a 42" sbs Sub Zero. What sold us on the SZ was the effecient use of space and keeping our food fresh. We also really liked the look of the built-in. We even have a nook our fridge could have gone into and been a "cabinet depth fridge". We decided that this is OUR kitchen and with a family of 5 we spend a lot of time in the kitchen so if we could afford the SZ fridge we'd get it and it would be worth it in the end.

Good Luck!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Love my SZ. Would have nothing else. Our SZ is 14 yrs old. Fruits and veggies seem to stay fresh forever. Only service needed was icemaker trouble.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Pillog states:

"The question is whether things freeze on the top shelf, whether you can make use of all the space, whether the crispers crisp, whether the fridge smells get in the ice cream, whether everything in the freezer has to warm up so that the fridge can be frost free causing freezer burn, whether the produce goes bad immediately or takes weeks, whether the milk is exactly the right temperature because the difference between 36 and 38 is huge, etc., etc.
All fridges will keep things cold. A top quality fridge will keep things just right".

My 700 series Sub-0 combination fridge-freezer routinely froze things on the top shelf, even eggs in the covered caddy. What crisper? All I had was a shallow pan for cheese & cold cuts. I supplied the Tupperware container to corral the lettuce, carrots etc. The freezer section was nice, but nothing remarkable. The unit fit perfectly into the cabinets though. Form over function and not top quality in my opinion.

In this home we have a 42" Kitchenaid side by side and it works just fine. Temperatures are even, produce lasts in their designated bins & the ice is fresh.

C


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Some Fridge companies are really doing things to make foods last longer, (alto I suggest reading USDA info) on food storage), before getting "Carried Away", perhaps literally (LOL) from engaging in these "Food last longer in my XX Brand Fridge Contests"

A knowledable poster mentioned Chrispers here, can you set yours for the exact temp you want, independent of the fridge temp?, The JA can, you can choose, Citrus, produce, Meats or main fridge temp for the bottom 2 Storage doors/Chrispers-----Does this make the JA Fridge a $10K Fridge-----Nope!! but does have features some of the other "Premium brands" don't.

After you read the article, note names like GE, Whirpool etc, YEP some of the "Fancy Names" are missing, This article is written about "True Refrigerator Advances in Storage", Not High End Marketing Hype!

So Read away, then tell me if you gotta spend that 10 grand
for just 2 alphabetical letters, or even 5 to get "Really True Advances in Refrigeration"

Gary

Here is a link that might be useful: New advances in refrigeration.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I got an expensive undercounter drawer fridge.
It kinda sorta works, but not at all as well as my other new fridge.

I got an LG GR389. It's not available stateside.
(The smaller LG GR349 = LG LRBP1031 stateside)
It works just as plllog says a great fridge should.
I have absolutely no complaints, and am satisfied completely.

It makes me think that it is entirely possible that brand new fridges from Korean multinational companies can be great. They already manufacture millions of them for other markets. Why not here too? The LG cost far far less than any SZ would cost.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I love our Sub. Is it worth the money? I don't know. Would I buy it again? Absolutely!.

When you design a kitchen, "worth" isn't always the primary consideration. Why do people spend so much on cabinets when they can get virtually the same functionality for a fraction of the price with box store cabinets? Or countertops? Or other appliances for that matter. (I can guarantee that the Frigidaire DW I have in my mother-in-law suite cleans just as well as either of my 2 Miele DWs in my kitchen.)

My Sub does its job well. It's quiet, reliable, and looks good. It's not a snob thing: it's completely integrated and there's no logos or "letters" identifying it. You can be sarcastic if you want, but while I wish it were less expensive, I'd DEFINITELY buy it again.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

IMHO Refrigeration technology hasn't changed much in years. Sub Zero and other premium brands look nice, perform well, but certainly not anywhere near 5X 10X better than refrigerators costing 10 times less.

If you have the "go" and want the "show" go ahead and buy one. But don't expect magic refrigeration fairies to do spells on your food to keep it any better than a $2,000 Samsung or even a $1,000 Kenmore.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Only you can say if it's worth it to you.

Yes, you'll pay a premium that arguably can't begin to accommodate any performance efficiencies claimed, or perhaps even the longevity that several have described here.

If having it in your kitchen will make you happy and you can afford it, then I'd say you're well on the way to being able to decide, "It's worth it to me."

Finding a pristine floor model that carries the full manufacturer's warranty can save you some considerable money and take some of the sting out of the price.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Actually, except for the "current SZ's, technology has changed. Other improvements or coming improvements can be seen in that article I posted the URL for.

One change was the use of the variable speed compressor, used by most new fridges, cept SZ as was posted on another thread.
Soooooo, what's the "Big Deal" about
a VSC, (Variable Speed Compressor)?

Since a few folks here dislike car analogies here in GW, lets use a kitchen device, a measuring cup OK?
Now turn on your faucet full on, and try to get
exactly 1 cup of water in the measuring cup. Pretty hard, and since your faucet is only full on/full off, you will need to overfill the cup then dump it till you have exactly 1 cup. What a Pita!!!! Well that's the way the old compressors worked, "Full On/Full Off, so it had to overshoot the desired temp,(too cold), then wait for the temp to get "too hot" before it turns back on again. Some folks complain their ovens work this way.

Now let's look at a VSC Compressor and again compare it to filling that same measuring cup with exactly one cup water.
What most of us would do is watch the cup as it is filling, as it gets close to 1 cup we turn the faucet down, maybe to even a drip---I bet lotta You Ladies here, get the 1 cup right the first time?----Well that's how a VSC works, the fridge monitors the temp, when it gets close to the temp you set it for, the compressor starts slowing down, and in the case of a single compressor, the compressor slowly grinds to a halt, where most dual compressors will run very very slowly once they reach temp, as they can not "Borrow cold air" from the freezer, like a single compressor fridge does.

Other advances in compressors are either in the planning stages, or some may be released shortly. IE different types of refregerant (More efficient), Compressors that can be mounted in any position,--(most have to be mounted "This side up" due to oiling requirements", the new ones that can be mounted in any position promise smaller compressors and perhaps less room required for the actual "Works" of the Fridge.

Hope this explains things a bit and we didn't mention cars once!!1 (LOL)

Gary


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

SZ is one of the most repair-prone appliance out there, unless things have changed in the last 9 months. You're paying through the nose for name recognition and ego.

LG is in the middle of numerous lawsuits/countersuits w/Whirlpool and others for helping themselves to others' technology and patented processes. They have lost most of the suits, and had most of their countersuits thrown out.

They are one of the most-fined appliance companies out there in regards to meeting US energy requirements. They have been fined numerous times for falsifying (excuse me, I mean "misstating" the energy usage of their appliances in order to get the Energy Star label. Parts of mostly non-existant unless you're on the east coast.

Run while you can and rethink things.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I've been using a SZ undercounter fridge and freezer pair for 21 years. The hinges and interiors are robust. I replaced the door seal on one and the other had a refrigerant leak which was repaired with a single visit. I've called the factory and each time they're helpful.

Now I'm renovating the house and buying a BI-30U. The price is high but if you want a counter depth fridge your only choices are the pricey brands. There isn't much difference in price between Jennair, Kitchen Aid, Thermador, Viking, Dacor SZ, Miele, Elux GE-Monogram or Liebherr. I trust that they all work well but I've been satisfied with SZ over a long period so I'll buy another one.

There's a chance we'll be selling the house or getting a tenant and I think that SZ has a edge in glitz so that's a factor too. Somebody on this board said once that the neighborhood you live in should be a factor in choosing a fridge. It sounds silly at first but the big box seems to somehow announce whether the house is high end or not. Call me crazy if you want.

I want to say something about Consumer Reports. The reliability data in the current fridge article show that every brand except GE is clustered in a group without statistical difference (by their own words). GE is worse than the others. An icemaker makes every brand much less reliable.

For the built ins, the cost per year for electric power is about $55 - $100. The rating for energy efficiency is listed second, after thermal performance and above noise. The high rated boxdes have good effieiency and the inefficient boxes are clustered at the bottom. This suggests to me that efficiency gets a lot of weight in the ratings. But we're only talking about a difference of $50/year. I won't let that influence a big purchase like this. If you look at the other factors and ignore efficiency they're all similar except Viking which gets bad scores across the board.

Sadly, ranking the boxes with emphasis on a small difference in power consumption looks like environmentalism being confused with consumerism which CU sometimes does.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I have a SZ now and really don't think it has been worth the expense compared to very nice, but less expensive, brands. We've had a number of problems with the ice maker and freezer unit. The warranty, however, is good.

On the other hand, my mother has had her SZ, a built in refrigerator only model with wood overlay, for 46 years! (since 1965!). It still looks brand new and timeless. She has had to have the motor replaced a couple of times over the years, the last time within the last 3-4 years, and somehow the reps were able to obtain the parts. So her answer to the question would be "yes, SZ is worth the expense."


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I don't harbor any ill will toward anyone not bothered by dumping and extra $8K on a trophy fridge.

My point is simply that unlike other appliances (ranges, for instance) I don't believe you get much bang for your buck. Maybe your food will last marginally longer, maybe not. Whereas a high quality range can make a tremendous difference in cooking results you are able to achieve. Another kitchen-related example is quality knives. They provide a distinct functional advantage over cheap steel.

I understand Gary's point about variable compressors, etc. but my feeling is that it's only of marginal benefit. My refrigerators, without that functionality, meet all of my needs.

Refrigerators are just...well...refrigerators. They all work and most will run trouble-free for 10 years with no trouble. In fact, i've owned several refrigerators from cheap, to mid-range and none have been retired due to failure. Some were better than others at preserving food w/o cold spots/warm spots...but overall they have all served their purpose well.

I believe clever storage design is the most distinguishing factor between refrigerators.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

you may also want to consider the Gaggeneau. We are right now considering the Sub zero 36 inch built in vs gaggeneau french door, The GG looks so much better on the outside and the inside - stainless interior.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

In that price range I would check out Miele has well. Stunning quality. Just the hinges are worth the price of entry!

M_25125_K1911SF


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Miele was about 10% higher than the SZ when I got my quote. In that price range we were talking another $700-800.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Well, I don't have one but I've had two "common" fridges (still have one) and if I could find one that actually kept things the proper temperature, I'd pay through the nose and consider it equal to a nice car. I am tired of my veggies freezing just to keep the other stuff a normal temperature. If y'all are saying that a SZ keeps stuff the right temperature, I am there. If the shelves on the door don't fall off when I overload them (the previous, more expensive fridge, which I had them haul away and replace with the current crummy fridge), then I am there. If I can find one to fit my plebian fridge hole, I want one.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Air filters. Hm... Don't know how the ones in the SZ work. Don't even know how the ones in my Miele work. Forgot how stinky the cheese was when I bought it. Even well sealed up, this cheese in an ordinary fridge makes the room smell like something crawled underneath and died. No stink came out of my Miele this week. Just smelled awful when I opened it. Couldn't stand it any longer today and made it into a sauce with rigatoni. Really yummy. Next time I opened the fridge the smell was gone. :) Love those air filters. ;)


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Are those air filters really that much better than a box of baking soda? Not being sarcastic, but I've never had a fridge with the air filters before so I have no basis for comparison.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Bishop, I don't know the answer. The air filters in the SZ are specifically supposed to remove the ethylene gas that produce gives off. I don't know what the air filters in the Miele are supposed to do, though it might be the same. They're in the drawers.

I used to keep a box of baking soda in my old, bad fridge. It was worthless against stinky cheese. I've opened friends' newer fridges after the stinky cheese was gone and still smelled it, but don't know if they use baking soda. My Miele fridge never stinks, even when I've forgotten to cook the eggplant and it's turned into green fuzzy soup--exception being this one, well wrapped, piece of cheese. Then only the inside of the fridge smelled bad, not the whole kitchen as per usual. :)

It's possible that baking soda and one of the newer, better freestanding fridges would be adequate to get all the stink out. I've just never seen it go away so fast!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

One issue I haven't seen discussed is the difficulty in opening the SZ frig. We just spent a week in a rental condo with SZ frig/freezer, and because of the tight seal it makes it took a lot of muscle to open each door. Felt like I was going to dislocate my shoulder at times! Even my muscular son found it awkward. Also, the ice maker only made 8 cubes every 2 hrs, not enough to keep up with our family's needs. My 15 year old KA SxS keeps lettuce crisp for a long time, never any smells in frig, lots of organized storage in freezer. Just my 2 cents worth.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

As has been previously discussed in a thread not very long ago, the only time the Sub is difficult to open is when the compressor first kicks in. This is especially true when you just closed the fridge and it starts its fast cool cycle. The rest of the time the Sub is not a problem to open, as my not particularly muscular wife will attest.

The ice maker has a "max ice" setting that speeds the ice making and will fill the bucket very quickly. At the normal ice cube setting, it is very slow.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

As geo pointed out the difficulty with opening the door of the Sub Zero is only momentary - and it happens right after you've opened and closed the door -it creates a tight seal that helps keep the food cold. If you wait a few seconds it equalizes and then you can open it readily. If you can't wait that long then simply grasp it at the top or bottom of the door handle where it's easier to open.

My Sub Zero is much older and doesn't have a speed setting on the ice maker but it makes more than enough ice for our family of 5.

I'm not defensive about owning a Sub Zero. We installed it in 1987 when it was the only option for a counter depth, 36" all frig and 36" all freezer. I have a GE SxS at our vacation home and GE replaced it after 4 years due to frequent food spoilage. It took me nearly 6 months and hours on the phone to get GE to replace the unit - and we had an extended warranty. We had to buy another frig to keep in the basement for our food until GE finally replaced the SxS. I had no idea it would take that long.

Sub Zero has always been wonderfully responsive to my calls with questions or repairs.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

The problem we had opening the SZ was not momentary--it was difficult even after not opening for hours. We've stayed at several different units in the complex, and had the same problem in every one; the units are only 6 years old. Perhaps it is the difference in SZ model #. Ice maker had no option for faster ice (I read the manual desperately trying to get more ice! finally bought a bag at the local store). Probably was a rather basic SZ, but I'm sure it didn't come cheap.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I wonder if some of Repac's experience might be explained by climate? Since it's a pressure problem? I'm also wondering if that could be adjusted if it were your own...


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Plllog, good point--it was hot and humid there, although they had the AC turned down to 67 when we got in! We kept it at a cool and comfortable 72, not too humid. Perhaps there should be some adjustment for this?

Made me worry as we search for a new frig, as I never would have known about this from the non-working display models at the appliance dealer.

And lest you think I'm just a wimp, I'm actually quite strong from regular workouts with weights. Even my muscle monster son didn't want to open the frig! And our daughter, who has some treatment-induced weakness, was unable to open the frig at all. She was happiest of all to return to our old KA!!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Wow - repac- that's a new one for me and it would be a royal pain. My own son ripped the handle off my Sub Zero when he gave it a really hard yank. Again their customer service came through and sent me two new handles - one to replace the broken one on the freezer and another one so that I could change the one on the frig so that they would match.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Wow. SZ's are known for having a stiff seal, but as Maire_Cate said, usually they're not a problem after the pressure equalizes. I know people with physical limitations who have SZ and don't have problems. It does take a tug, but nothing untoward. I wonder why they were so bad where Repac was?


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

If one googles Sub Zero Fridge door, You can see that quite a few folks have problem with the SZ doors, Check Consumer Affairs too.

$43.52 for a light bulb for the Fridge?

So you not only gonna pay thru the (I'll be nice) when ya buy the thing, but ya best have a pretty hefty bank account to keep the thing going (and lit) in the upcoming years.

Anyway checks the URL below maybe "Some" will be able to comprehend "Why CR rates them soooo low for reliability"---cause they break, see for yourself.

Gary

Here is a link that might be useful: SZ Door and other problems


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I am also considering the various options for refrigerators, and this discussion is very helpful. Recently I've discovered that I can get two Liebherr 24" frig/freezer units for much less than the 48" SZ I was considering, and this would work so much better with my kitchen space. However, I don't know where I can go in Atlanta to actually see and touch one. Does anyone know? I've read positive and negative comments about the Liebherr, so not sure what I'll do, but I am worried about the service (or lack thereof). Thanks!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

vawatson, just make sure that, width-wise, you can fit all the dishes you want into the 24" Liebherr. While total width is the same, I think in the 48" fridges, you typically get 30" in fridge, 18" in freezer.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Happylamom--this one is from an unhappyNYmom. I'm on this forum looking for info on REPLACING my sub-zero. In my estimation, Sub-zero is like Volvo--they used to be great. I bought my 650 12 years ago and have service calls yearly for the 6. The estimate for the latest problem is $1,500. For that I can buy a new fridge--and it's the same problem that it had last year. Losing Freon. My young daughter is so tired of hearing me complain about it, she's urging me to buy a new one. Because of the leaks, the temp fluctuates wildly. Before that, the door hinges kept breaking. And the icemaker has snapped off at least twice. My big problem now is finding a new one that fits the old built-in space. The depth and width are fine, but every replacement so far leaves a 14 inch gap at the top. Don't do it


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I'll throw in my two cents: I'm replacing an 80s era SubZero 550 series because the freezer conked out. The upper fridge, btw, is still working fine. But I was told, when the ice-maker died a few months ago, not to bother repairing it because it was 'the beginning of the end.' At 30 or so years old, I wasn't complaining (the fridge's age, not mine).

I was told, because I already had the cut-out for a built-in, to replace it with a SZ, even if breathtakingly expensive, because it is truly one of the few labels that has some resale value, and we are downsizing out of our big house in the next few years.

Okay. Started researching. Thought I wanted a SxS because that bottom freezer is like a laundry basket, you have to rummage (I keep mostly nuts on the slide out shelf; I'm a big baker). Then I read that a bottom freezer is more eco-friendly: when you open a SxS, cold air escapes along the entire length; when you open a bottom drawer freezer, cold air doesn't rise (i.e. escape). So I changed to a 36" bottom freezer.

Went back to the appliance store to look at built-ins: the GE Monogram has incredibly funky drawer operation, the Miele (no less expensive than the SZ) has a door that weighs a ton (it's damn good lookin' tho), my salesman didn't recommend the Liebherr.

Bottom line? I'm sticking with the SubZero. They look good, they get great reviews, I can sell my house with 'top of the line appliances,' and I'm just going to close my eyes when I sign the sales bill.

Good luck!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

We have 8 bottom freezer SubZeros at work. As far as I know, none have needed repair in the 10 years since they were new.

Nice stuff.

My wife wants a full depth, and not side-by-side (she presently has a 48" Mongram side-by-side), so I'm getting off cheaper in my remodel. I'm doing 30" countertops so that the fridge will still be "counter depth".


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I have had my SZ for 14 months and it is leaking at the bottom of the refrig side. I called and the only authorized dealer is booked solid for 3 days so can not come out. That must mean the SZ and wolfe which is all they work on are breaking down a lot. It has me concerned that they are that busy and irrated that I have to put a towel down and let it leak for 3 days. It is a built in and too heavy for me to pull out and unplug. urrr I think for $10,000 I would not risk buying a SZ. I have a high end home but I do not think it would affect the price I get when I go to sell. I had a KA in my last house which was a high end house. Buyer never asked about my brand of refrig. I think the older models of anything can not be compared with the ones of today.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Waiting 3 days for repair isn't an indication that Sub Zeros are breaking down right and left. Authorized repair technicians work on many different brands of appliances. They are not merely Sub Zero technicians. The company I use are authorized repair for most of the major brands.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Expecting authorized repair centers to have people sitting around waiting for the phone to ring is unrealistic. And, as maire pointed out, these centers are authorized for many brands. Yes, it's irritating for a new product to give you problems right off the bat and, yes, having to wait makes it even worse. Hopefully, it's an easy fix.

If it's leaking water, it might very well be the water connection and if it's reachable you might consider turning that valve off until the repairman gets there.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Molly - you don't have to pull your Sub Zero away from the wall to unplug it to turn it off - you can turn it off using the control knob inside the refrigerator. Or if you have a dedicated line you can flip the circuit breaker. Actually you can flip the breaker even if it's not dedicated as long as there's nothing else on the circuit that you need.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

  • Posted by vvl (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 16, 11 at 21:32

Had a 42" side by side SZ for over 20 years.Served us well, with a few repair issues. Now remodelling a new house and thought "no way am I spending over $10k on a fridge".... Well, after much research, compromised and am getting a 36" SZ all fridge and a separate freezer (TBD) to go in the butler's pantry.
I considered - Miele,Thermador, Kitchenaid, Liebherr, Viking, GE, etc. The Liebherr seemed to be a good replacement - but the 36" French door was very expensive and the Liebherrs 24" columns - I did not like the flimsy plastic drawers in the freezer at all! The Miele was actually more expensive that the SZ but really nice, the Themador Towers were the biggest contenders for me. Really liked their configuration and feel - but by the time I would have bought both the fridge and freezer, I was back up to the Subzero price - soooo, ended up deciding on the Subzero 36"fridge in the kitchen for daily use (really liked the space and feel of it! so bit the bullet, got it under $5,000.
BTW - I did not like the space my 42" SZ gave me all those years. The freezer was so dinky that we had to get a second full freezer for our meats;the fridge was adequate but wished it were bigger. Really depends on the size of your family and how much storage you require. Bottom freezers are supposed to be much more energy efficient than the side by sides, so are all frige/freezers - so I would more look at the columns or all refrigerator/freezers rather than the one 48" unit. Thermador make a 30" fridge and 18" freezer that are really nice. Hope this helps!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Quote from Dodge59: "Back in 2006 SZ [Sub-Zero] was rated "Dead Last" for reliabilty back then, and they have since crawed a couple notches up from the bottom."

I have Consumer Reports' refrigerator ratings on my screen right now. There is no reliability section on built-ins. The ratings "give the most weight to energy efficiency and temperature performance, and then to noise and ease of use." The Jenn-Air was at 80 points and the first Sub-Zero (42")was at 76 points and the second SZ (36") was at 71 points. Temperature control on the 36" was "excellent" and noise and energy efficiency were "good." It was rated low on the scale because "This model offers only mediocre energy efficiency, was only fair at making ice, and is somewhat noisy. It also lacks pullout shelves in the main space." That says nothing to me about reliability and seems pretty subjective.

Out of nine user reviews for the 36" on the CR site, there were five 5-star ratings, two 4-star, one 3-star and one 1-star. I can't find anything to indicate that Consumer Reports based their 71-point rating on anything more than these nine reviews. Could that be? I don't think Consumer Reports was very credible here.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Hilltop55...I think u have it right...I got a new subscription to CR because we are building a new custom home. At the appliance high end, I don't think CR serves any value. In fact, the $29 I just spent is a waste of money given what I am looking for. My two cents.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Well, "almost right", anyway, and it's my fault.
I had explained, numerous times, in other posts about
"The reliability Rating", so I thought was not necessary to
do so again.

The numbers I used were reviews from those folks about their actual experiences with various fridges,
(in 2005-2006) and NOT some number "rating" assigned by CR, as like many folks here, I'm not all that sure CR's overall rating,is that much help, alto it "may" indicate "Trends",

Using the "CR Over all Rating", You will see that SZ has managed to work their way up---so draw your own conclusions.

I have read post from "GW folks","Espousing the fact"
that JD Powers now has WOLF-SZ ranked as #1 in Customer Satisfaction---Therefore that "Must be the truth" as JD, concurs with some of our "Preconceived Notions" as to what is "BEST"????

In the end I think it all comes down to this:

Do you want to
"Kewl your Neighbors, friends, family and your wallet"

or

Do you want to
"Cool Your Food"

??????

Gary


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I have a SZ and I haven't had a problem with it that wasn't easily remedied at home. The performance of the fridge is great and it absolutely does keep my fresh veggies and fruits WAY longer than my old fridge.

Sure it's expensive, but they also have great customer service (24/7 USA based) and the build quality is very impressive. One of the main reasons I went with SZ was because some of my friends have ones that were installed 15-20 years ago and they still run great.

It really comes down to what you're comfortable spending your money on in the long run. Good luck.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Dodge

How much is a JennAir light bulb?

List prices on service parts are always high, from all manufacturers. Those bulbs are not made by SZ so I'm sure you could get one for 10 off the Internet. My oldest unit is about 15 years old and still has the orig. bulbs, so I wouldn't base an $8k fridge purchase on the cost of a light bulb any more than I would how much it costs me in electricity each year. I might consider it as a tipping point against another unit that meets my criteria otherwise. But, let's face it, people buying 8-10 grand fridges aren't that concerned about an extra 50 dollars a year in electricity.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I had a SZ (bottom fridge 36") for 8 years before redoing my kitchen over the summer. It was very solid and it performed very well and had a certain cache. When it came to picking a new fridge, a french door config is what i wanted because of the kids (hard to open that one door + clearance is so much better with FD). And i got one with gallon holders (bosch builtin similar to thermador freedom). I think it is almost half the price of the new FD SZ (5K vs 9K) that was just introduced. I would have seriously considered that model had it been available but i am quite happy with my bosch. it has 2 compressors and the food is kept as good or better than the SZ. freezer is bigger.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Is it s good refrigerator? Yes! Is it worth it? Not to me! I think we are in the area of subjectivity and therefore, it will be based on personal preference.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Is it s good refrigerator? Yes! Is it worth it? Not to me! I think we are in the area of subjectivity and therefore, it will be based on personal preference.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

We had a SZ in the past 2 houses and will put one in our new build. I definitely see the difference in keeping the food fresher for longer periods of time. It's worth it to us. Tami


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Our SZ 680 is now 10+ years old. Built really solid. It really was better than anything on the market at the time. We originally used it 'free standing' with steel panels on the sides. About four years ago we reconstructed our house and built it in to the new cabinets.

Ours has had a few problems. Perhaps the most serious was replacing the compressor just a few months ago. Fortunately, a lot of it was still covered by warranty. The fridge side door is on its third door seal. And I had a minor issue with the ice maker - also a few months ago (and was when the tech discovered that the freon level was low in the compressor system. Apparently they can't just 'top off' the coolant levels any more...)

SZ got a bad reliability rep shortly after the 680/690 series was replaced by the 685/695 series. There was an issue with the ice makers and a bunch of them needed to be replaced. So the CR reports from a few years ago might reflect this. SZ dutifully replaced the affected ice makers, and that was the end of it.

I will say that every time I have called SZ for advice or help, they have been *extremely* helpful. On a scale of 1 to 10, they rate '11'. They know how to take care of their customers.

If there is an Archilles Heel, it would be the ice maker. An expensive option. And DO NOT use fragile glassware with it. The ice drops down hard enough that it can, and has, chipped glasses. I typically put a little water in the glass first in order to dampen the impact a bit. Not sure if new ones are still the same way, but it is a problem with the 680.

Would I purchase it again today? Probably, as I live in an area where homes are expected to have fairly high end appliances. And we really do USE our kitchen - so everything earns its place. But I would do some due diligence to see what other manufacturers have.

All the above said, we also supplement the SZ with a 24 cu ft GE Profile 'garage fridge'. Bought it from the stores scratch 'n dent aisle about 7-8 years ago for around $1k. It has also performed very well. Has never had a service call. Keeps things cold, but has no where near the temperature control that the SZ has. (You have to be careful which shelves you place things on, since some are colder than others...) Nonetheless, it has turned out to be good value for what we use it for.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

My mother in law has one and seems to like it a lot. I can't attest to its ability to keep food fresher for longer. I personally wouldn't pay that type of money. I'm going with a Fridgidare full freezer and full fridge combo. I end up with two compressors like a SZ and a MUCH larger fridge. 64" total width and close to 40 cubic ft of capacity for $3,000.

The whole "is it worth it" question is a subjective one though. If it's worth it to you then that's all that matters. My mother in law had to have a Wolf range strictly because of the red knobs. The $14,000 price tag was "worth it" to her.


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I have been debating this issue. I need a 36" bottom freezer built in fridge. I have looked at the KitchenAid, The Liebherr, the GE Monogram and the SZ. Price wise, the best I had seen was around $5500 for the KA, $6,700 for the Liebherr, $5,900 for the GE and $8,299 for the SZ. Only the Liebherr and SZ were dual compressor. The GE had dual evaporators. I was torn. I preferred the features of the SZ, i.e the dual compressors, the odor handling and the self closing vegetable drawers along with the highly controlled humidity a well as temperature and the Liebherr second. I have a KA French door bottom freezer in my house now and this is for my new home I am having built. The KA has been excellent except that things in certain places will nearly freeze and vegetables don't stay as fresh for as long as I would like with just two of us so I wind up throwing out a lot of food. Further, I have learned I don't like the French door style. It is a pain to have to open both doors so often and you will far more often than you think. I thought it would be a rare occurrence but it seems that what you want is never on the side you open first or you need something from the bottom trays that requires both doors to be open. I'll just go for opening one door when I need to...

Well today, I was out shopping various appliance stores and walked into the last one asking what they might have as a good deal on a dual compressor 36" built in with bottom freezer. The salesman says we have just the unit for you. They had a SZ 36" bottom freezer BI36U/S/PH-RH marked down to $5,999. I bought it! What do the rest of you think. Did I do the right thing?


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I'm looking at SZ 48 inch side by side vs. thermador columns vs Miele columns.
I'm very sure that I want to spend the money on one of these fridges and all the bids we are getting show the prices to be about the same, give or take 1K.

My question is aside from the aesthetics of the interior (thermador and Miele both much nicer), what advantage is SZ over the others. I am getting dual compressors in each of those brands since i would be doing columns.

Is the air filter that worth it in SZ? Do the Thermador and Miele have air filters?
The Miele rep didn't tell me about drawer filters but she said the produce stays very fresh in the bins because they are temp/humidity controlled. She didn't give me much detail on that.

Thanks!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

I am a new SZ owner - 736 all fridge - and I am also sold. I cannot believe how fresh it keeps produce! We are huge produce buyers and eaters but there are times things go unnoticed or uneaten. For example, we had just moved in and I bought a large box of artisan lettuce. Washed it and put it in the fridge. Forgot about it. Went on vacation 5 days later for a week. Came home - lettuce was perfect. Yes it was 8.00 worth of lettuce in a 7k fridge - I get the irony:) I was very happy to come home from the beach and have a yummy salad though :). Love my SZ (and all my appliances, whether KA, Wolf, Electrolux, etc.) . . . Reading this forum is very helpful and it was because of them I made good decisions!

Point well taken about the cheaper appliances also. We did an all fridge in the kitchen plus fridge/freezer drawers and a huge Frigidare freezer in the laundry room (steps from the kitchen). It has worked well for us!


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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it?

Does the air filtration system make that big of a difference in terms of odor control?


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