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Apr 27, 2009 05:44 AM

Do fridges count as cookware?

I'm thinking of saving for a new fridge. Can I talk about that on this board?

I really want one of the big side-by-side american style ones, with an ice dispenser and water filter. The best one I've seen is the Samsung RSH1DTMH, but I've heard the ice dispensers have problems after a while. Anyone experienced these problems?

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  1. In every fridge irrespective of the brand or price the Ice maker is typically the weak point.

    1. You might want to change the the title of your post to something like....

      "Samsung Refrigerator Model RSH1DTMH Questions"

      1. There can be some problems. It is mechanical. Problems I have seen include:

        Computer failure on the more complex electronic control panels.
        Leakage from the helical section of the cold-water cooler, especially if it is exposed to mechanical damage. (Electrolux)
        Mechanical damage to the water feed pipe. (Any model,)
        Ice maker does not switch off (Kitchen Aid)
        Ice maker spewing water into freezer section. (Kitchen aid)
        Ice maker keeps on `jamming`. (Maytag)

        I am not saying these are common faults with these makes - just problems I have seen. The other problem is that it takes a considerable amount of space from the freezer section. For that reason (apart from cost) some people do not have them.

        I personally just have an ice maker (no dispenser) from a filtered water supply. For cold water - I use an old family recipe, and add ice to the water.

        The side by side fridges use a single compressor and evaporator to drive both freezer and fridge. It is more efficient to have a separate fridge and freezer. And do not forget that American fridges are very deep from front to back and do not fit in well with standard counter depths in UK Kitchens.

        I have had, installed and fixed a number. For my current personal kitchen I went side-by-side counter depth and am happier with it. But to each their own. Tends to make the kitchen look a little industrial.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Paulustrious

          " do not forget that American fridges are very deep from front to back and do not fit in well with standard counter depths"

          Unless you buy a counter top depth fridge and then pay 1.5-2x as much for half the storage. I have one. I freaking hate the thing save for the fact that it looks good.

          1. re: Fritter

            I managed to pay less that $2000 Can total for the pair in a Sears sale. This is less than almost all stainless steel combined units. And it's bigger!

            1. re: Paulustrious

              I agree that looks great. I'm embarrassed to say I paid nearly 3k for a top of the line GE counter top depth SXS and I lost a LOT of space from my old standard depth fridge. A lot of the new homes here are leaving spaces in the wall behind the fridge so a standard depth unit can be used. The builders then get side panels from the cabinet makers so when the fridge is installed it looks like a built in.
              I only wish I had as much room as you although I do have a separate upright freezer in the basement.

          2. re: Paulustrious

            That Samsung actually has two separate compressors. With regard to the kitchen looing industrial, two of my friends families have had them, and they seemed to go well. One of them had the fridge completely separate from their worktops etc, which is probably how I'd go. I see the fridge as the focal point of the kitchen - 90% of the time, I'm going straight to the fridge (or maybe the kettle), so I kind of see it opposite the door.

            Also, we're moving soon, so I can actually pick a kitchen to suit the fridge :D

            Our current fridge is tiny, and shared between other people, so this big fridge will be absolutely cavernous for the two of us. Although my girlfriend will probably see an excuse to squirrel away ever increasing amounts of food, I think I'll reserve a section for cooled beverages. Rootbeer, grape and orange creme soda, and booze. That will look SOOO sweet. and when friends come round to chill, my house will become the stuff of legends...

            1. re: Paulustrious

              Aagh! When I said side by side I should have said two separate units side by side.

            2. You might want to rethink the side-by-side. I hate mine. It's impossible to put a sheet pan in needed for freezing foods or holding something cold like cookies. Each side is so narrow that things get lost in the back - impossible to see them. Large pots have no place to go (I make stock, stews and braises often). And I live alone.

              5 Replies
              1. re: alwayscooking

                I didn't think it was possible to hate an inanimate object like I hated that side by side :) You're SO right. Things get lost. There's not enough room. Now I have a French door style with bottom freezer and I hug it regularly. My observation when in the UK is that things like appliances are awfuly expensive. I got mine, a Samsung, for about US$1500 about a year ago. Lordy, I love that inanimate object!

                1. re: c oliver

                  I can't imagine me packing stuff in so much. As I've said before on CH, I live close to a store, so it's no big deal to just pop out to get something I need. It's basically going to be a new toy :)

                  and I barely use my freezer (maybe ice cream)

                2. re: alwayscooking

                  >>You might want to rethink the side-by-side. I hate mine.<<

                  Those need to be outlawed- IMHO!

                  >>Large pots have no place to go (I make stock, stews and braises often). And I live alone.<<

                  One should never attempt to freeze "at home" with containers larger than 2 quarts (or 2L) in size and not any more than 2 containers at a time. If you do much more you seriously need to consider a commercial unit.

                  1. re: RShea78

                    Right you are on this and that's why I make small and very frequent batches of vegetable and chicken stocks. They cool to handling stove top, the liquid that won't be readily used is left in the pot and the rest moved to freezer bags. Both are cooled in the ref. The bags are then moved to the freezer still on sheets until frozen. And that's why I hate the small horizonal spaces in the SBS.

                    (As an aside, beef and veal stocks only get made twice a year when I can rely on nature's freezer for cooling down the pots - it makes such a nasty mess so I make large batches)

                3. Can you get a "French door" style fridge? Those are the latest rage here in the US. I would love to get one. Have my eye on a Samsung as well. They are big like side-by-sides, but have French style double doors on top for the fridge and usually a pull out bottom freezer drawer. If you don't use the freezer much, this could be a great option for you since the amount of usable freezer space seems to be smaller than in a side-by-side (at least that's what I found when I was comparing my current old side-by-side with a new model French door fridge).

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: Jen76

                    I see. Those are kinda nice. So it's just a side by side with a drawer at the bottom?

                    1. re: Soop

                      Well, sort of. A side-by-side has freezer on one side from top to bottom, and fridge on the other side top to bottom. A french door model is all fridge on top but with two doors and a freezer drawer on the bottom. Hope this link works.


                      I like them because the fridge space is wide, but the doors are narrow. Since I have a bank of cabinets directly across from my fridge, a regular fridge with one large door wouldn't fit very well because the door swing would be too large.

                    2. re: Jen76

                      My sister's better half was scoping out several French Door (FD) makes/models and came to the conclusion that the 2 door arrangement would have all kinds of sealing fits. And they both were turned off because of "no ice dispenser" works with FD models.

                      1. re: RShea78

                        I haven't read anything about trouble with the seals. Not sure why it would be that different from a regular fridge. The french door models all have a sort of rigid plastic piece that flips into place when you close one side. Seems logical to me. I've been following the reliability trends with them over the past couple years and they seem to be just fine. That being said, I have been perfectly happy with my side-by-side which came with the house when we bought it. It's old, but it's worked perfectly for the past 8 years.

                        I don't need an ice dispenser. I'm happy with just the ice maker in the freezer and scooping out cubes. We have a water filter in the kitchen so we get our water from that rather than from the fridge.

                        1. re: Jen76

                          >>I haven't read anything about trouble with the seals.<<

                          Perhaps things wasn't clear what my brother-in-law meant by "sealing fits". It isn't the seals themselves a problem, but as you mention the "plastic piece"--- that flap cannot be expected to be an effective seal from an energy loss standpoint. PP door design IOW...

                          1. re: RShea78

                            Why? The doors close on top of that. You may very well be right but I don't understand the potential problem. The seal is VERY tight on my FD Samsung. A feature I particularly like is that if I haven't closed it completely (sometimes I just give it a bump with my hip which OUGHT to close it quite well!), after a certain number of seconds a little bell like sound starts. I always say aloud "thank you." (I talk to myself so why not the fridge?)

                            1. re: RShea78

                              I don't see why not. The energy ratings for them are much better than for most side-by-sides. Consumer Reports doesn't seem to think there are any problems with them.

                              c oliver - do you like your fridge? The one I have my eye on is a Samsung, but it's a relatively new brand here still (comparatively).

                              1. re: Jen76

                                The energy star certifications of some French door models (unfortunately, I can't remember which ones) were revoked. Apparently, some manufacturers discovered a loophole that would permit their products to pass when they wouldn't have qualified in real world use. There is also a serious design flaw issue with some LG French door models, which you can search for on the web.

                                1. re: embee

                                  The efficiency rating issue had to do with the "through the door" ice/water dispensers if I recall correctly. Those have always been a factor in energy efficiency. I remember reading about it in Consumer Reports. I just didn't pay very much attention because the models I like (and can afford) don't have "through the door" ice/water dispensers.

                                  1. re: Jen76

                                    Yes, that sounds familiar. Thanks.

                                  2. re: embee

                                    Does anyone have a link to this?

                                    1. re: Soop

                                      This is from the US Dept. of Energy:

                                      I also remember reading about it in Consumer Reports (a US non-profit organization that runs independent tests on nearly everything and publishes results in their ad-free magazine). You can only read their in-depth articles if you have a subscription though. It wouldn't let me login today for some reason, so I couldn't do a search to find it. Though, since you're in England, Soop, this all may be moot since I would bet your government has different standards for appliances.

                                      1. re: Jen76

                                        We have some funny energy rating system that's apparantly way too lenient. at least it only affects those LG ones.

                                  3. re: Jen76

                                    Sorry I didn't respond. This dropped off my radar. I can't believe a year later I still have such a HUGE crush on this appliance :) There's really not one thing about it that I don't love. Under the two "crispers" (is that what they're called?) is that wonderful shallow drawer that's the width of the fridge where all the cheeses, bacon, deli meats, etc. go and I can actually SEE them where always before they had to get piled on each other. And it can be set for varying degrees of humidity depending on what you want to store there. The FD feature is so great. We entertain a good bit and it's so nice to be able to fit large platters and bowls in without any effort. Our freezer is a pullout not a side open and I'm not having any problem with that setup at all. It's got the one deep drawer that's the width of the fridge. I generally keep larger pieces of meat and packages of ground meat, sausages, sauces down there. It has a plastic divider that can be moved to organize how you want. Above that is a wire basket with the icemaker to the far left. Still plenty of space. That's where I keep smaller packages of things so they don't get "lost" below. There's also a "thingy" all the way across the front of that. Can't think of a proper word but it's open on the top and I put sticks of butter, frozen bread crumbs, the really small things that also get lost. The doors themselves are plenty spacious holding gallons of milk comfortably. As for any mechanical weakness on the strip that the doors close over, I've not seen any hint of a problem. We've had it for a year and it gets used alot and has met or exceeded any expectation I had for it. If you have any other questions, I'll try to answer.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Thanks, c oliver! I really love that fridge, especially the wide flat deli tray drawer. I like the Samsung overall better than any of the others. It just looks well thought out in design. Glad to hear you love it!

                                  4. re: RShea78

                                    I have the french door and it seems like a very firm fit with that "flap". It's actually a hard piece that snaps back quite firmly when the door is closed.

                                    1. re: DGresh

                                      Well- along with the invention of mechanical marvels, it is just another moving part to cause problems or break.

                                2. re: RShea78

                                  The newest models now have ice dispensers.