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2010 French Door Fridge purchase reports, please

toodie jane Jan 18, 2011 07:52 AM

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.

  1. elegraph Jan 26, 2011 09:23 AM

    I'm very happy with the LG unit I purchased from my Sears Outlet store early in 2010. I came from a side-by-side so I appreciate the full width. Energy Star rating was important to me as well as the botttom freezer. I didn't purchase the water spigot but do have the icemaker in the freezer unit.

    The price was reasonable and the unit runs more quietly than the old one, a pleasant surprise. The store didn't have what I needed in stock but the saleswoman helped me find what I was looking for and order it online. I went for two weeks without a working fridge but the wait was worth it.

    The electric company also gave me a rebate for Energy Star purchase.

    5 Replies
    1. re: elegraph
      m
      mscoffee1 Jan 27, 2011 07:03 PM

      Me too. I got the 25ft LG. Everything you said. I got it in August. It has a higher energy efficiency rating than most. It is not as easy to move as my old Whirlpool, but it is bigger too. I love the top frig and the bottom freezer has its drawbacks, but better then the frig on the bottom. The crispers are smaller then I would like, but it does have three (one small middle one). I am very happy. I do have the ice maker hooked up and I like it. Good luck.

      1. re: mscoffee1
        c oliver Jan 27, 2011 07:31 PM

        I'm curious why the bottom freezer has drawbacks for you.

        1. re: c oliver
          m
          mscoffee1 Jan 28, 2011 05:30 AM

          In the bottom freezer, I have to claw through the pile to find and get at things. In the top freezer I didn't have to bend over and maybe since it was a smaller (17 cu ft) it was easier to get to the back (vs bottom) stuff. complain, complain complain I have limited organizational skills so I only know where the last 10 things are (and the chocolate of course). It is also harder to clean as things fall through or crumbs fall (so it is good to have liners and not just wire on bottom at least, but so far I have had less problem with that then I thought. I love how easy it is to find things in the frig and keep it clean - all a trade off.

          1. re: mscoffee1
            c oliver Jan 28, 2011 07:41 AM

            My bottom freezer has a wire drawer above (sits next to the icemaker and I put smallish things there. The bottom of the drawer and a moveable divider which I've just arbitrarily put in the middle. There's also a little plastic, rectangular 'container' that runs all the way across the width on the front of the freezer space. Big enough for butter, pinenuts, etc. I went from side-by-side to bottom freezer so the improvement is huge. Haven't had a top freezer in many years.

            1. re: c oliver
              m
              mscoffee1 Jan 28, 2011 09:21 AM

              Yes i agree 100%, I do not like side by side at all.

    2. Monica Jan 26, 2011 08:54 AM

      whatever you do, don't get GE!
      i have this plan called Worry Free with the utility company...we already called twice for this fridge...in 4 years. So basically, it breaks down every 2 years. The repair guy said, see you in 2 years...he said GE fridges are notorious for it. my ex boss had the same problem with the GE fridge.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Monica
        alanbarnes Jan 26, 2011 11:39 AM

        And the great thing is that while the first two visits are free, the third one - after the warranty expires - costs more than a new fridge. Grrr.

      2. m
        Mother of four Jan 25, 2011 06:44 PM

        I have had a Maytag for about three years. During that time almost everything in the refrigerator has been replaced at considerable expense. I honestly think that I really got a lemon. I love the refrigerator, but if I did it again I would never get the ice maker .. nothing but trouble .. the first one has been replaced but the replacement isn't any better. they make them without the ice maker and interior water spigot.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Mother of four
          alanbarnes Jan 25, 2011 06:48 PM

          >>"I honestly think that I really got a lemon."<<

          No, you got a typical Maytag. Among the least reliable refrigerators on the planet. Although Whirlpool bought them a while back, and supposedly they aren't quite so bad...

          1. re: alanbarnes
            m
            Mother of four Jan 26, 2011 07:19 AM

            This was from Whirlpool, and after a letter sent to them they did send me a $300 check. It didn't cover it all but did help.

            1. re: Mother of four
              alanbarnes Jan 26, 2011 08:48 AM

              That's actually pretty cool. My last fridge was a Maytag; it went through two compressors while under warranty, and the third died immediately after the warranty lapsed. And the repair guy said that that was pretty typical for Maytags.

              Not only did the company not send me a check, they refused to fix the problem. Needless to say I'm not a happy customer.

              1. re: alanbarnes
                m
                Mother of four Jan 27, 2011 01:03 PM

                I sent a letter to the CEO and got a very quick response from his executive secretary who couldn't have been nicer. The compressor, motherboard,pad and ice maker all went within two and a half years of the refrigerator. That has to be a record!! LO!

        2. d
          dijon Jan 24, 2011 11:51 AM

          I think the french door fridge is a fad without any benefits, just bought a ~30" LG. Quality is great and I like the pull out frezerdrawer beneath but donn't see any benefit to the french doors and they resist closing when you swing them shut at the same time. Open 2 doors instead of one, whoopee. If you have an obstruction in the kitchen, maybe, otherwise get a 2 door.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dijon
            c oliver Jan 24, 2011 02:09 PM

            I wildly disagree with you but perhaps it's how we cook and entertain. I can put huge platters in with no problem. I can organize what's in there far better than I could before. The doors don't swing as far out in the room so another person can be in there. I've had mine for about three years now and still give it regular hugs :)

            1. re: dijon
              alanbarnes Jan 26, 2011 11:47 AM

              If that were the case, side-by-side refrigerators would have gone out of fashion decades ago. But they haven't, now, have they? A french-door fridge has the major advantage of a side-by-side (narrower doors) without the major disadvantage (narrow refrigerator compartment).

              Personally I've had all three types - over/under, side-by-side, and french-door - and find that the french-door model works better in my kitchen than either of the others. I think they're here to stay.

            2. alanbarnes Jan 24, 2011 09:18 AM

              I bought the Fisher & Paykel french door fridge at the end of September. http://www.fisherpaykel.com/product/refrigeration/refrigerators/index.cfm?productuid=A11C44C2-EAF3-81BC-9B6A6087173AA8A9 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. http://www.lg.com/us/appliances/refrigerators/LG-french-3-door-refrigerator-LFC21776ST.jsp 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. http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/...

              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.

              1. I used to know how to cook... Jan 23, 2011 06:41 PM

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

                Lucy

                5 Replies
                1. re: I used to know how to cook...
                  toodie jane Jan 30, 2011 07:20 PM

                  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
                    alanbarnes Jan 30, 2011 07:38 PM

                    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
                      toodie jane Jan 31, 2011 08:54 AM

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

                      1. re: toodie jane
                        alanbarnes Jan 31, 2011 09:03 AM

                        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
                      I used to know how to cook... Jan 31, 2011 09:57 AM

                      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!

                      Lucy

                  2. tim irvine Jan 23, 2011 02:12 PM

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tim irvine
                      j
                      James Cristinian Jan 23, 2011 02:47 PM

                      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. tim irvine Jan 23, 2011 11:47 AM

                      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
                        toodie jane Jan 23, 2011 12:20 PM

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

                      2. toodie jane Jan 23, 2011 11:09 AM

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: toodie jane
                          c oliver Jan 23, 2011 06:59 PM

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

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