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Mar 28, 2010 08:07 PM

Can a Fridge with French Door be installed next to wall?

I am confused. I was going to buy an Electrolux FD model #EI28Bs561S. My S/S Maytag is on life support. I have exacltly 36 inches of width. However, I have a wall that extends 41" on the right side. My concern was whether I would be able to open the right door. The first store I went to said no problem. The second store I went to for a price comparison said it wouldn't work because the hinge was out to far. He recommended that I go with a Maytag MFT2771WEM that would not need the additional clearance.

When I got home I downloaded the installation manuals for both fridges. The Maytag manual says I need a minimum of 3 3/4" between the fridge and the wall "to allow the door to swing open"....and the Electrolux Data Specification sheet says "Absolute 4 1/2" minimum clearance will ONLY allow for 90 degree door swing which will provide drawer/crisper access with retricted removal".

Is this real or BS? I realize I would only be able to open the right door a max of 90 degrees. My questions is whether I would be able to open the right door AT ALL since it is flush against the right wall. FYI, I would like to buy the Electrolux since I feel the quality of the drawers, design, etc seems far superior than the Maytag.

Does anyone have this situation?

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  1. this doesn't answer your spec question, but i feel it's my duty to chime in and tell you not to put too much stock in the "quality" of the Electrolux. the house i'm renting has a brand new Frigidaire that was actually made by Electrolux and it's quite honestly a piece of crap. flimsy construction, frost issues in the freezer, poor temperature control in the refrigerator...i wasted a beautiful, sunny San Diego Saturday yesterday waiting for 4 hours for someone to come repair it because the magnets that hold the freezer door shut suddenly died after 5 months.

    i'm just sayin'.

    1. I have that situation witha side by side. I can only open the fridg (right side) 90 degrees and I have about 4 inched between the fridg and the wall. You will alwaus be able to open both doors at one time which makes youe situation tenable as you will have access to the entire interior. The only place you may have a problem is opening the drawers and for that you'll have to go to a showroom, open the appropriate door 90 degrees and see what you can do. Good luck.

      1. Update--
        The Electrolux FD needs at least an additional 1" to open the door that is flush with the right wall. Therefore, I couldn't buy it. I ended up ordering a Whirlpool #GI7FVCXWY that only required less than 1/4 " additional space. It's being delivered next Tuesday. The store forced me to sign a form stating I could not return the fridge without paying a restocking fee.

        My research indicates that very few French Door refrigerators have doors with hinges that don't require additional space to open. BUYER BEWARE!!!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: risktaker99

          Please update your post when you get your fridge.

          We purchased an Electrolux, telling Warehouse Discount Center in California, we built the space to 36.5" (not 36") and we can push the fridge all the way back.

          It looks beautiful all the way back, but we can not open the doors.

          They want a $400 restocking fee to take back the fridge, we never plugged in!

          The Maytag appears to need only 1/2" side clearance, with 1/2" sticking out to get a 45 degree open door."

          The Vikings mount their hinges 1/2" x 1/2" from the corner.
          The Electrolux/Frigidair is 1" x 1 1/2" (the worst door swing)
          The Maytag is 5/8" x 1" (best)

          Those mean you need 1/2" from the side wall and 1" sticking out to get a 180 degree door opening, (about 1/2" for 135 degrees)

          I have a great idea, just make the hinge as close to the corner as possible or put on hinges that will go flush, like cabinets. But that may cost too many $5's to make their hinges on their $3000 refrigerators!

          1. re: NickMor

            As you can see that last "update" was 3 years ago. I did successfully install the refrigerator. I'm sorry you were given bad advice.

            The only negatives I have about the Whirlpool is that the icemaker wouldn't crush ice after about 11 months of service. IMHO, it is due to a low grade of steel that will bend instead of crushing the ice. The second problem has just occurred recently. Somehow water is slowly pooling in the bottom of the freezer compartment forming a 1/2" layer of ice that eventually builds up and melts with water dripping on the floor. I haven't located the source of where the water is coming from.

            1. re: risktaker99

              Thank you so much for your comment. I did not see it was three years ago. I thought it was three days ago.

              Glad to hear the Maytag fits. My wife found some models of GE have the 1/2" x 1/2" hinge, with rounded edge doors.


        2. Will someone please explain to me the appeal of french door fridges? Seems like you would have to open both doors most of the time anyway. Is it purely aesthetic? I don't get it.

          1. Nothing to do with the doors opening, but my Maytag FD is 31/2 years old and we have had to replace the compressor, ice machine,the flat part on front where you push all the buttons for ice, water,temps,etc, and the final insult the mother board went. $800 later, and we had a service contract so this was basically parts. I wrote to Maytag and they did send me a check for $300, so be careful what you buy! Now I guess I have a brand new machine, how long will it last, who knows! Actually I was in contact with Whirlpool as they now own Maytag.