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Jan 18, 2011 07:52 AM

2010 French Door Fridge purchase reports, please

I'm needing to replace my aging fridge, would like a french door model but need counter depth (or will have to knock back a wall).

Anyone who's bought a new fridge in the last year, I'd like some guidance. It's just me and my giant condiment collection, so space should not be a problem. Don't need or use ice maker or interior water spigot. Can I just leave them disconnected?

Looking forward to the new bottom freezer slideout bins. Hopefully I'll do better on freezer rotation.

It's become a problem for me (arthritis) to get down and vac around the coils at the bottom of the fridge. Are they making it any easier to clean nowdays?

Do all fridges come with easy-slide feature so you can move fridge without hiring a circus strongman?

Your comments and suggestions, please! Many thanks.

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  1. what no takers? has everyone maxxed out on fridge reviews? looking for something updated.

    1 Reply
    1. re: toodie jane

      Are you looking for FD opinions or current brand opinions? It's stopping me because mine is a few years old

    2. My counter depth French door is several years old so I do not have the current data you seek, but as long as you don't turn the ice maker on I see no reason to hook up the water line if you don't want it. Also, mine rolls easily (GE, about 4-5 years old) so I am guessing they are still easy to roll. The freezer bins roll out easily but the middle one suffers form "out of sight, out of mind" at times. Date whatever you shove in there, though, and it should not be an issue.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tim irvine

        did you find you had to pay extra for counter depth? Everything I've seen is considerably more $.

      2. no, but I got the ding in the middle of the door deep discount.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tim irvine

          Good point. I work for a major retailer that is also in toodie jane's home state of California, and depending upon our inventory of closeouts/scratch and dents, and the manager's willing to deal, prices of up to 50 percent off and more can be had. This is also the time of year when models are transtioning to closeout, with new ones replacing them, that are usually virtually identical to the previous model.These items sit on display for about a year, and I would have no problem buying a refrigerator, washer dryer, or range that has sat unused. Now a tv is another story. Call around to different locations, ask the salespeople what kind of deals are out there. One caveat, some of these items are returned from service, but a knowledgeable salesperson can usuallt tell the difference.

        2. Call Idler's. They're the best in *our* area.


          5 Replies
          1. re: I used to know how to cook...

            Right now the Whirlpool I have is a bottom freezer 21 cf we bought from Idler's in 1988.I 've been to all their locations but have yet to find a FD counter depth under about $2500. I keep looking in the 'sale room' but no luck yet. Some of the brands have really cheesy veg bins out of lightweight styrene plastic. Mine get lots of hard use and I could see them breaking at the corners. Kitchenaid looks the sturdiest of the brands out there.

            We have no Sears outlet store anywhere w/in 150 miles. And regular Sears stores now make you wait up to 2 weeks for a warranty service call. They refused to honor the warranty on our 2 yr old water heater which went out on a weekend; we called a plumber and he came out in 2 hours, put in a new water heater with his own warranty. My husband saved the ID tag from the heater tank before the plumber hauled it away, but Sears said their tech had to inspect the heater first before they'd honor the warranty--they expected us to go two weeks without hot water!! They no longer have a service dep't in the store, and 'customer service' is whichever floor mananger is on duty. Forget Sears!

            1. re: toodie jane

              If you live in a location without many good retailers, consider ordering online. The LG I mentioned below is available for less than $2k (incl. tax and delivery), and the Samsung can be had for $1200 or so.

              Also, don't write off Sears completely. If you buy a name-brand appliance, you can go to the manufacturer - rather than Sears - for warranty work. I'm happy with the service I received from F&P on the fridge I bought from Sears, but Sears had nothing to do with the process.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                thanks; good to know, alan; though you've already had a problem with the new fridge?

                1. re: toodie jane

                  The feed line for the icemaker line froze up. It's apparently a fairly common problem, and easy to fix by installing a tiny heater. According to the tech, the heater is standard equipment in the rest of the world, but it's left off in California (maybe all of the US?) in order to improve power consumption numbers.

              2. re: toodie jane

                Reason I suggested Idler's is because they carry so many brands. Since it doesn't sound like you're in a huge hurry, they might be able to find what you want at a good price.

                There's also a place on Tank Farm that carries cosmetically damaged. Or at least they used to... Appliance Central, 235 Tank Farm, 543-4303.

                You're right - forget Sear's!


            2. I bought the Fisher & Paykel french door fridge at the end of September. It looks great and I got a huge discount on it (more on that later), so I'm pretty happy. Without the discount, though, it's not necessarily what I would have chosen.

              Most refrigerators are plumbed for an ice maker and water dispenser, and they're easy enough to hook up (although you don't have to). I was a reluctant adopter, but now really enjoy having cool filtered water available at the touch of a button. OTOH, through-the-door ice is a tricky proposition for a french-door fridge - basically the manufacturer has to install a small freezer in the refrigerator compartment - so it drives the cost up hundreds of dollars.

              Everything's going to slide somewhat easily (but let's face it, these things are heavy), and I don't know of any units where it isn't a pain in the neck to vacuum the coils. Maybe somebody else can pitch in on that front.

              So your main criteria should probably be reliability, warranty, and price. The two most reliable brands according to JD Power and Associates are Samsung and LG. Samsung's compressor warranty is five years; LG's is ten. And LG uses a linear compressor, which is inherently more reliable. Note: if you go to Sears, they may try to sell you a Kenmore fridge noting that it's made by LG. That's true, but AFAIK the warranty is only one year. Buyer beware.

              For a standard-width fridge, the LG LFC21776ST may be a good option. But you indicated that size isn't a huge consideration, so if having a fridge that's three inches narrower would be an advantage you may also want to look at the Samsung RF197ACRS.

              If price is a consideration, consider paying a visit to your local Sears Outlet. Some of their stuff is scratch-and-dent or heavily shopworn floor models. But they also carry returns, canceled special orders, and units that the drivers were unable to deliver or were rejected at delivery. Availability is limited, and information on the website is unreliable, so you may be wasting your time. OTOH, I saved $1250 on a brand-new fridge, so it was well worth it to me.