Return to the Appliances Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Posted by marvelousmarvin (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 4:52

Its time to buy a new fridge with my 30 year old fridge more or less non-functional while there are plenty of fridges on sale around this time of the year.

I don't expect a new fridge to last as long as my old one, but I've read too many horror stories about new fridges. Surely, there's got to be some reliable fridges still around?

The problem with reading those horror stories is that they can be skewed, with most satisfied owners never reporting their experiences so all you hear are the horror stories.

But, in this age of big data, its been surprisingly confusing to try to find out which brands are reliable.

There's Consumer Reports Reliability Survey, which looks at repairs for different types of fridges for different brands. But, when french door fridges are becoming the most popular type, CR only mentions reliability for bottom freezers and side by sides.

Since french doors have both bottom freezers and side by sides on top, which one are you supposed to look at if you want to buy a french door fridge? You might want to buy a bottom freezer fridges from one company, yet want to steer away from its side by side fridges from that same company.

Another problem with CR is that their survey only looks at the most popular brands so it doesn't tell you about the reliability for Electrolux, Sub-Zero, etc. fridges. For the reliability of the expensive fridges, is it a case of you get what you pay for? Or, do the expensive fridges have more parts and features which means that there's more stuff that can break down?

When buying a fridge, would buying the most basic, stripped down fridge improve my chances of getting a long lasting fridge because there's less stuff that can go wrong?

With my layout, I think I'm stuck with a side by side fridge which means that I'll be stuck with a ice maker since it seems every side by side fridge must have a ice maker even though ice makers break down the most.

But, are there certain features in a fridge that are worth having even though it means that's another thing that might break down? In a quest to avoid a lemon, I also don't want to compromise on performance too much either.

I'm thinking about buying a Whirlpool WRS325FDAM because Whirlpools have the least repairs according to CR. But, its also missing a lot of features that the other fridges have.

To further muddle the issue, I've noticed that CR's reliability survey doesn't match the reliability data from others like JD Powers and Viewpoints.

On JD Powers, the Whirlpools get only three out of five in the category of performance and reliability. It could either mean that their reliability isn't as good as CR claims, or that the performance was so poor that it dragged down the scores despite superior reliability.

Then, on Viewpoints, other brands scored higher than Whirlpool in the durability category even though CR rated Whirlpool the best. On Viewpoints, a company like LG gets the same score as Whirlpool for durability even though it had, by far, the most repairs for the side by sides according to CR.

Even if LG have more repair problems, would it be a good idea to buy a LG because of its 10 year warranty on the compressor, the most expensive part of the fridge, when other companies only have a 1 year warranty on their compressors?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Lots to respond to, but I'll focus on just a few points.

1. Does LG's 10-year compressor warranty make up for a dismal problem rate with its SxS models? I don't think so. FWIW, WP also has a 10-year warranty on the compressors in its Kitchenaid models and those KA SxS fridges are showing a 21% problem rate in the first five years of ownership, same as LG's problem rates. Most other brands of SxS fridges (including WP's other brands) are showing a distinctly and satistically significantly lesser problem rates of around 15%. Seems to me that the longer warranty is part of the higher price charged for a premium name like Kitchenaid. The price basically includes the cost of extending the warranty while other WP SxS fridges use the same compressors but make us buy the extended warranty separately. WIth the CR data, I would be very leery of buying a SxS model with an LG or Kitchenaid brand on it.

2. CR lumps bottom freezer single door fridges together with the FD models because those fridges are often just different doors on what is otherwise the same unit. As a result, long term reliability and durability won't be any different when it comes to the models with similar capacities. Of course, the conventional bottom-freezer models tend to top out at 22 to 24 cu. ft. capacity, and we have been seeing a proliferation of much larger capacity FD models with external drawers and other features including multiple icemakers. Those larger models could be skewing the reliability curves. This is suggested by the GE and Kenmore branded FD/BF models having a roughly 4 point lower problem rate when sold without icemakers versus when sold with.

3. When you say " french doors have both bottom freezers and side by sides on top," it sounds like the marketing hype and gobbledygook has flummoxed you. (It happens to all of us at some point when appliance shopping.) Just to be clear here, FD models do not have "side by sides" on top. The FD model just splits the fridge door in half and it otherwise is the same as the standard bottom freezer.

4. I think you are correct to be leery of Ice-makers and water dispensers. The through-the-door- dispensers are the most likely to have problems and it does indeed seem hard to find SxS models without them. How problemmatic are they? Compare the problem rates reported by CR membership surveys for top freezer fridges (which mostly don't have ice and water dispensers) with the SxS and FD/BF models, which mostly do have them. Problem rates reported for top-freezer fridges run about half that for the others.

5. A couple of years ago, CR's membership surveys were indeed showing Whirlpool-made FD/BF fridges as the most reliable by a significant margin in that category. No longer. Back then, (when I was fridge shopping) the problem rates on Whirlpool/Kitchenaid FD/BF models were about 8%, as low as those for the top-freezer models, and the TF models were the most reliable class of fridges. BUT lately the surveys are showing WP rates for FD/BF models now running the same as everybody else's brands at about 14%-15% in the first five years. The rates for SxS models are only slightly more, and the slightly higher rate for SxS might seem statistically insignificant when you read CR's fine print on how to interpret the survey results. CR's latest results say that no fridge brand currently stands out as more reliable than others, although KA and LG SxS models stand out as much less reliable than the norm.

6. That makes me wonder if something is not going downhill with Whirlpool's quality control. There's an indication that the problem rates are not related to the increasing proliferation of ice and water dispensers. WP's Amana branded bottom freezers are built on the same WP production lines as the company's FD models, but a lot of them are sold without ice and water dispensers. So many are sold without the dispensers that CR can break out a report on the problem rates for non-icemaker Amana BF models. They are just as bad as the higher-end WP brands with icemakers and water dispensers. So, what could account for the high problem rates for the Amana branded units? Suspicion might focus on the interior furnishings like moveable shelves, door bins and crisper drawers which seems to be where WP economizes in order to sell Amanas at a lower price point than its other brands. More cheaply made, perhaps they are breaking. Very hard to say more than that because, as you observe, detailed data is very hard to come by.

7. What the CR reports tell us is that, within almost any brand, 15% of most bottom-freezer and SxS fridge models will have problems in the first five years, but 85% will not have problems. What about beyond five years? Good question. The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) occasionally publishes survey data on the life expectancy of home components, but the most recent data only reports on full-size refrigerators in one general category. The NAHB survey concludes there is an average life of 13 years for fridges according to the 2010 report.) Seems to me that the number has been pretty much the same across reports in earlier years, too.

8. But here's the thing: an "average" life means some units fail before 13 years and some go on for a lot longer. When we talk about old refrigerators that lasted for decades, we're talking about the ones that continue to run a lot longer than the average. So, if Frigidiare or Westinghouse sold a million fridges in, say, 1970, how many of them are still in use? If the average -- which often actually and usually refers to "median" life expectancy --- is 13 years, then half failed before then and half lived on past then. That means numbers of them may still be functioning at 26 or 39 years later. When we see one of the heavy old fridges from the 1950s, the natural assumption is that the old fridges were built to last, otherwise how would this old one still be chugging along? But was that line of fridges really statistically much longer lived than current models?

Here's another example. In 1998, I bought a Maytag top-freezer fridge just before the reports came out on Maytag quality control tanking. The decline in QC led to the company's decline to the point where it was purchased by Whirlpool in 2006. Going by CR's statistics, something like 25% of Maytag models were failing in the first five years of ownership and warranty support was reportedly terrible, as well. I remember reading articles saying that Maytag fridges were then being designed to last only 8 years. Now, in 2014, my old Maytag is continues to chug along with no problems, now in the home of friends after I decided to replace it with a bigger fridge a couple of years ago. My friends looked at that sturdy, problem free sixteen-year-old fridge and looked at the statistics on current WP/Maytag models and concluded that they wanted the used fridge because "Maytag made them so much better back then that this one is lasting a very long time but the internet postings tell us that that the current models are all crap by comparison." Really? My take was that you had a 1 in 4 chance of getting a bad one but a 75% chance of getting a good one, and I got one of the good ones.

I mean some people say that GM doesn't make cars as good as the '57 Chevies which were really built to last. You still see numbers of them on the road, but what's your guess on the percentage of the original production that are still functional cars in daily use?

9. One would think that somebody has seriously studied refrigerator longevity. The manufacturers undoubtedly have. But the info has not been posted in any place that I have been able to find it. What I've found is strong opinions and anecdotes and other such stuff which passes for "fact" on the internet. Not much help, eh?

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 15:00


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

JWVideo, I just have to say that I LOVE reading your posts!


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

I have a tip for you regardless of the brand/model you buy. All modern refrigerators use electronic control panels just like the ovens and dishwashers. Those are prone to fail because of line surges from your power company. For $6.95 you can get a simple line surge protector from Lowes that will eliminate that source of failure. It will also make sure you have adequate space behind your refrigerator, which also helps. I have one for my Samsung front loader for that reason. Haven't yet got one on the refrigerator because at 83 I'm not strong enough to pull it out from the wall by myself. When I can get some help I plan to put one in because my unit failed from that cause. Luckely, when the service man came to fix it he first pulled the plug out of the wall and replugged it. Whoa, it started back up and has been going since. He warned us that it could fail the next time.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

I think there are plenty of reliable one around. The trouble is, time is the ultimate test of reliability. The Kennmore I bought in 2004 is plenty reliable, but the trouble is you can't buy them new any more so that may not matter any more.

All you can do is go with something reputable.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Thanks for all that information, JWVideo. I thought I had done some research, but you've clearly taken it to the next level.

You really inspired me to take a longer look back at CR's past reports, and not the just the one year I was looking at in 2013 where Whirlpool had the fewest repairs for every category.

Although, if you couldn't find any more detailed data about longevity for fridges, then I doubt I'll have any more luck. finding anything

Are bottom freezers/french doors inherently less prone to problems compared to a side by side fridge? If that's true, I might reconsider getting a french door fridge instead of a side by side.

I was looking over CR's reports from 2005-2014, and I thought I spotted a pattern that the repairs for bottom freezers with icemakers seemed to be less of an issue compared to side by sides with icemakers. But, of course, there had to be exceptions with the SS fridges where they had less problems in a few years.

I don't know if I'm really spotting a pattern or its just randomness like flipping heads 7 out of 10 times.

Looking at CR's data, Whirlpool never topped every different type of fridge for reliability like they did in 2013.

But, for SS fridges, Whirlpool had the least repairs most of those years and the second least in other years. Whirlpool was remarkably consistent where they were getting 14% repairs most of those years.

CR says that differences of less than 5 points isn't meaningful, but I do think it means something if one brand has the least repairs year after year.

Unfortunately, for the bottom/french, I couldn't spot any similar consistency.

For bottoms, Kenmore had the least repairs a fair amount but Kenmore outsources their products to all these different companies to make it for them. Their repair rates swung widely where it was 8% one year and 17% in another year.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

I would take CR with a grain of salt. I know many people in the past would live by their reports but to me they seem to be slipping a bit.

For example I needed a SXS counter depth and the one topping the CR list was by Bosch. Over all a nice looking unit, the drawers pulled out all the way and IMO it looked quite sharp. Well in two years I went through 3 of them due to multiple issues. It just didnt work. Now I really wish I could say I had a Bum few fridges but SO many people I know have had the same issues with this fridge.

They purchased the defective item back and I replaced it with a Kitchenaid. Its nice enough but for the price honestly its very cheaply made. It runs pretty quiet its not as sleek as the Bosch model. Though the point of a fridge is to work right? Its drawers are very junky and they dont pull out al the way. The lighting in it is awesome though. Over all I am highly disappointed in the quality of KA. When we were looking to replace the bosch we spoke with the main service tech at the appliance store. They reported KA had least repairs and the best warranty etc. They really push KA. They did say they had big issues with the compressor in the past and leaking but they found the problem and corrected it. We will see. Fingers crossed this unit lasts.

All that being said, I think these average appliances are all kind of run of the mill and after everything I have been through I would just get a cheaper unit on sale knowing I will will have to replace it sooner then a more expensive unit that muddles along with headaches.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Maybe we need to be clearer for shaking. People sometimes forget that CR's product testing is only what the product looks like and what it does in a lab test and does not predict long term reliability (except with cars). The performance ratings are where preferences/biases/etc. come into play and which is what (I think) shaking says to take with a grain of salt.

The appliance reliability data does not come from CR's lab tests but, rather from surveys of its hundreds of thousands of members who have actually bought and used the products. That survey data is what we've been talking about here.

BTW, nobody should take the foregoing as an attack on shaking or a fanboy defense of CR. I've had my own rants about CR's reporting. If anybody cares, have a look at the long-running thread linked below.

Simply put, for purposes of the present discussion, the product testing data can say one thing --- such as, the Bosch fridge performed spectacularly in the lab tests --- but the reliability surveys may say something else again. The problem for buyers, of course, is that the survey data always lags the performance testing. Manufacturers constantly change model numbers to try to make it hard to comparison shop and to make it harder to evaluate anything but bloviated product claims.

Here is a link that might be useful: Need a new refrigerator, any recommendations on which one?


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

JWVideo writes:

"9. One would think that somebody has seriously studied refrigerator longevity."
_____________________________________________________________

I have... : )

...but only anecdotally.

In our kitchen sits the 60+ year old Hotpoint refrigerator my parents bought when I was born. I've repainted it a couple of times and keep replacing door gaskets when they wear out... but it still works just fine and I'm never going to replace it.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Jwvideo thanks for the clarification. Even with that It does not change my opinion on CR nor am I ranting. Jut stating a fact how their reccomendations can be far different than actual consumer usage. With that being said its one thing to purchase an item and have it perform in a lab test and another to have it put to use in an actual home. I'm more interested in the later when it comes to appliances. That's just my opinion though.

They don't make appliances like they used to that is a simple fact. Plus many are always changing who they are manufactured by so that adds to the confusion as well. My point was to take cr with a grain of salt and not the bible like some do. Much more research is needed before purchasing your appliance or avoid the headaches, buy a cheaper model knowing you will replace it sooner and call it a day. With so many being made in the same plants many are the same basics.

One can research for many months and still have issues with their appliance. Higher end does not always equal better. For every person who says they like a certain fridge you will find several who don't. That's what makes appliance shopping so delightful. Hear the sarcasm? We all have our opinions here and at the end of the day that's just what they are ... Opinions not facts. What can be factual is how a certain appliance is working or not working for someone. Hence why I gave my experience on the two brands I have personal knowledge of in my home in the last 21/2 years .


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

"All modern refrigerators use electronic control panels just like the ovens and dishwashers"

NOT true. If you stay with the basic models, there are no electronics. I just bought a Frigidaire for a rental property that just had a simple mechanical thermostat. Not much to go wrong there. We'll see how well the rest of it holds up.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Fri, Jul 4, 14 at 15:14


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

My Amana bottom freezer has been good except for the ice maker. One was replaced while under warranty and the new one is leaking clean water into the basket. If I had not opted for an ice maker, the refrigerator would have been fine for these last 8 years.

Ask an electrician about surge protectors, a surge protector is not going to stop an electrical surge. I use them simply because I believed in them at first and was trying to do the best I could. My home owner's policy has insurance section to protect your electronics from being burned up by a surge, but the surge or whatever..... has to happen on our property. Even though 13 parts of my TV were burned, the insurance would not pay for it, couldn't prove where it happened.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

marvelousmarvin

You are taking the right approach as far as finding the right fridge~~~~but~~~~~YOU GOTTA READ THE "fine print" about the warranty.

I have been googling a lot of warranty info lately, mainly was looking into a Thermador Fridge a poster was interested in, (In another thread).

The thing that will cost the most, should you ever need a compressor replacement, is NOT the compressor, itself, but the labor required to replace it!!!!

The "Sealed System" has to be cut into, (and the Freon saved)~~~~not let into the atmosphere, then it has to be evacuated, (Usually with a vacuum pump), and then recharged with new Freon~~~~~this can be expensive!!

So the manufacturers will, (sometimes only after one year), include the price of the compressor in the warranty after one year, but exclude the labor for installing it.

In my searches, I did find some Bosch/Thermador/BSH fridges, that cover the labor to replace the compressor in years 3-6, (as well as the price for the compressor).

To me, this is much better than a "12 year warranty" that just includes the compressor, but not the labor to replace it.

SOOOOOOO, read that "fine print" carefully, marvelousmarvin, It could save you a lotta money later.

I also think that any company that includes the labor to replace the compressor has more faith in their compressors than a company that will only cover the labor to replace it for one year~~~I mean they buy the compressors in huge quantities, and the price is "Dirt Cheap-" for the compressors~~~~~However, such is NOT THE CASE, for the labor required to replace a bad compressor!!!

Gary


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Yep, and they can offer that warranty while being very confident that nobody will take them up on the "free" compressor. 10 years later, most people with major sealed system problems will just go ahead and replace the fridge.

Of course, junking a fridge isn't so easy when you've spent over $10k on a Sub-Zero or similar. Assume the worst. Don't buy anything you can't afford to scrap and replace shortly after the warranty expires.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

marvelousmarvin: "I thought I spotted a pattern that the repairs for bottom freezers with icemakers seemed to be less of an issue compared to side by sides with icemakers."

Icemakers have been around in refrigerators for years. Icemakers can be very reliable, and many of them are very reliable. But "icemakers" (as you are using the) is not a single category.

There are two enhancement options for icemakers; the first to appear was icemakers that never have to be refilled with water because they had a water line plumbed right into the reefer. That added a complication because, like all plumbing, things can happen inside the pipe, and connections can get loose when the appliance is moved or gaskets around connections can deteriorate over time. All of that in addition to the fact that plumbed icemakers take up a lot of space inside the refrigerator cabinet, so you need to get a larger refrigerator to have the same amount of space inside that you have with one where you fill your own ice cube trays at the kitchen sink.

The second enhancement is "ice and water through the door." and that has proven (as JWVideo notes) to be a major problem. The first thing to go out in most modern refrigerators is the through the door icemaker. (An analogy: if you purchase an automobile that has a supercharger, the first thing that will break down on the car is the supercharger, almost guaranteed. Superchargers provide almost "free" boosts in power, at the cost or reliability and longevity,) Bottom freezer refrigerators, as you use the term, show up in reliability surveys as having more durability than side-by-side refrigerators, as you use that term, because most bottom freezer refrigerators do not have ice through the door; the skew in statistics may be as simple as that.

Bottom line: if you are looking for a reliable refrigerator, you can get a big head start in your search by limiting the category to refrigerators where the user (you) fill the ice cube trays by yourself.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

"Bottom line: if you are looking for a reliable refrigerator, you can get a big head start in your search by limiting the category to refrigerators where the user (you) fill the ice cube trays by yourself."

We did that for a while, (Whatta PITA), until I ordered and replaced the ice maker in my Jenn-air Fridge, (Ice maker failed after about 5 years. I replaced it myself, (was easy) and it cost around $125.
Replacement icemaker has been running great for 3 years now.

So at least, "To Me", I don't mind spending $125 (over a 5 year period) for the convenience of just reaching into the freezer to grab ice, rather than messing with ice cube trays!

Gary


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

I'd prefer not to get a fridge without ice and water through the door, but those are really hard to find for side by sides. So, it seems like I'll be stuck with one and have to pay for that feature even if I don't want it.

And, with the popularity of french door fridges, we're seeing more and more fridges with bottom freezers that have that external ice and water feature too.

But, what if I simply never plug in the water for the fridge and thus never use the icemaker and water feature? If I do that, doesn't that make the fridge more reliable and less prone to breakage?


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Also, even though Whirlpool gets a lot of publicity for making their appliances in America, but the model I'm interested in, the WRS321CDBM, is made in their Mexican plant.

Has there been any problems with appliances from that plant vs their American plant?


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

"But, what if I simply never plug in the water for the fridge and thus never use the icemaker and water feature? If I do that, doesn't that make the fridge more reliable and less prone to breakage?"

Yes. However I find it's mainly the ice part that gives problems, not the filtered water dispenser. What I usually do is hook up the water, but leave the ice maker off. The other issue I've always had with ice makers is that I can never keep up with them. My family just never goes through that much ice, so it ends up sitting the bin for a long time and getting stale. Then when it's finally dispensed it tastes nasty. I would love if there were a way to adjust how much ice it makes in each batch. Maybe some fridges can do that, but not mine.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

I have a 9 year old Kenmore made by Whirlpool and it is a side by side with water and ice on the freezer door. The collection tub for the ice maker is easy to lift out of the door and dump in the sink from time to time. If we don't use our ice we just dump it before the cubes stick together. It make more pretty fast. We had to have it serviced a couple years ago but the repair was pretty cheap and I bought the part myself off ebay really cheap. I hope you have as good luck as we did because the purified cold water tastes as good as any bottled water. Ours has an internal loop of poly tube that cools water as you use it unless you run a lot out at one time.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

How strange to read about all these problems with ice/water dispensers in the door. We have had that feature in 7 refrigerators in several homes since at least '83 and have never had an issue. Ours are always heavily used too. I can't imagine having to open the freezer door a dozen times a day for ice.

I would suggest you research the service availability carefully. We had a Samsung refrigerator that we loved and a Samsung washer & dryer. When we needed service on the washer we found there was no local authorized service for an appliance still under warranty. . Someone had to come from 100 miles away, that is ridiculous IMO. When it came time to remodel we chose another brand. I understand LG is hard to get service on also.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

scpalmetto has pointed to something that often seems to get lost or misunderstood in these kinds of discussions. The result is great deal of angst in shoppers.

As I tried to say above, if 1 in 7 buyers have problems, then 6 out of 7 do not. We're talking about comfort levels with risk assessments.

For every complaint you read about that crappy %$#@*()! company from whom nobody should ever buy anything ever again, there are six other people who don't have any such problems with that company's products. So, if odds of 1 in 7 are too high for you, how about improving the odds to 1 in 10 by avoiding external dispenses? Or, if that bothers you , how about lowering it to 1 in 12 by going for a top-freezer model without any enhancements? Better odds, but still not perfect.

A warranty is not a guarantee that your fridge will be perfect --- it is only a promise to fix it if something goes wrong within a certain time after you buy it. Again, scpalmetto's comment also illustrates that this factor should go into the mix of a buying decision, too. This sometimes gets mixed up with product quality and durability discussions, but (as Gary has pointed out in several recent threads) there is nothing like inept and atrocious service to turn a disappointed consumer into a furiously angry campaigner with truly irate posts.

Therefore, as has been said above, a buyer is well advised to read the warranty terms and check who the servicers would be just in case you have a problem.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

When the icemaker inevitably breaks down, is it only the icemaker that breaks down or does it set off a cascade effect where it affects the rest of the fridge?

If I got an fridge with an icemaker, I was thinking of using that icemaker till it broke but then not fixing it after that.

Along those lines, has anybody ever removed the icemaker that's inside the fridge? Any problems or issues with doing that?

Once the icemaker breaks down, its taking up a significant amount of space in the freezer for something that doesn't work anymore.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

Ice makers typically do not have any crucial bearing on the rest of the refrigerator's functioning.

Think about this: Some refrigerators don't include a factory-installed ice maker ... it's an add-on option if the customer wants one. The refrigerator certainly works without it if the customer opts to not add the ice maker.

My 1997 KitchenAid topfreezer was relegated as a garage unit in 2005. There's no water connection for it so the ice maker simply was no longer used. A couple years ago the ice maker was removed to my parents' refrigerator and the KA is still working perfectly fine.

An exception of which I'm aware is a particular Whirlpool ice maker design from some years ago called the Flex Tray that incorporated the defrost timer into the ice maker. The refrigerator in that case would not function properly without the ice maker. Whirlpool no longer uses that ice maker far as I know.


 o
RE: Reliable Refrigerators-Do they still exist?

I've only known of one ice maker to fail and that was in my grandmothers fridge that I acquired a year or so out of school and it was after a move. Got it repaired and it failed after I moved again. Stopped using it, but the fridge lasted a long time after (we traded it with another family member to switch sizes or something).. Keep in mind that this was a fridge that was used 20-25 years ago and I think back then the ice maker was added after you bought the fridge -- probably more prone to problems. I really don't see them as problem children and I wouldn't have a fridge without one. But I'm in Texas -- we use that ice. A lot. Very few fridges seem to be sold without them.

Dispensers are another issue. I've known of people having more issues with them, but many of them being they don't work ideally (i.e., they spit, dump clumps of ice or get stuck at times, etc.).

I splurged on a built-iin in my kitchen, but have a basic LG bottom freezer, single fridge door in my utility room and I am really happy with it. Happier than my old SxS or top freezer -- Whirlpool or Kenmore. Not that the earlier ones were problematic, but the LG is quieter, easy to use, like the bottom freezer, I know it's more energy efficient and has newer features like the door alarm and adjustments on the ice cube size -- even a fast freeze option on the ice if you need to fill it up faster than normal. It just looks cleaner and fits better in our really just a little too small to be functional laundry room.

In my experience, electronic failures often let themselves be known early -- when they can be repaired under the warranty. If the nightmare of a major repair just outside the warranty will keep you up at night or bust your budget, figure the cost of an extended warranty into your purchase. Then you tailor your risk to exclude the bad parts, sloppy work and shipping problems that should be discovered early.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Appliances Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here