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Aug 17, 2013 08:00 PM

Refridgerator woes

Had a GE Profile side by side that was a piece of junk and we kept it as long as we could, about 10 years, with many repairs--finally died completely. We need a side by side style (keep glasses on a dedicated shelf in the freezer for drinks and a freezer drawer won't work)and it needs to fit in cabinetry, so we're somewhat limited. Just had a brand new Samsung installed yesterday and all seemed well until we realized today how LOUD it is! Its so disappointing because I do love the design of this fridge--simple interior with glass shelves (vs. the coated wire variety), ice maker in the freezer door instead of in the freezer, leaving more freezer space, crushed ice option, nice lighting, good space with 26.5 cf, etc. We have an open kitchen/living/dining area and we listen to music daily on a phenomenal sound system, so the fridge hum is more than just a small annoyance. We're thinking we need to return the Samsung but any suggestions about what to consider next for a side by side? I have heard that LG has a quiet feature. We don't want to pay more than $2000 and preferably less (got the Samsung for $1600), though if we must pay a little more, we're open to that. Your feedback will be much appreciated!

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  1. I have a Samsung French door, freezer on the bottom fridge and there's a long, not deep "basket" at the very front of the freezer that could easily hold glasses. I generally use it for things that I want to easily see, i.e., small amounts of tomato paste, pine nuts, etc. If I were you, I wouldn't automatically discard the idea of the above. And mine was around $1600 IIRC.

    1. Just a thought before you have to go through the trouble of returning it. Have the installer/retailer come out and ensure that it is running properly, balanced, etc. It may be defective or not properly installed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hawkeyeui93

        It wasn't properly installed. It leans back--front is higher by about 3/4 inch. We are having them back on Monday to deal with that and shim the rear feet (the front cannot come down any more than it is and the rear feet have no adjustment). Maybe once its level, the compressor sound will soften? I don't know.

      2. I really like our Samsung that we got in January. No noise levels or wierd sounds that would distract me.

        Hawkeye offers some good advice. You also may want to search online to see if similar complaints and possible remedies have been posted about your model.

        I did some homework on fridges before deciding on Samsung. The achilles heel of most fridges is the compressor. The long term trend for its quality/reliability has been tailing down. Major appliance manufacturers have moved manufacturing the compressors from the US to Latin America (I think primarily Brasil) to Asia (India?) in order to reduce costs. And each step away from the US also brought compromises in material, design and quality control. I didn't find any manufacturers that were problem-free, but found so many complaints on GE models - many having to do with compressor issues. Samsung seemed to have far fewer reliability issues but customer service from the manufacturer was weak when trying to resolve repair issues.

        For me, reliability was the primary issue. As you have already mentioned, GE was severely issue-prone over the years, while Samsung received many favorable ratings and had consistently trended upward. LG seems loaded with great ideas but prone to reliabity issues. I've also found various parts broken on LG floor models. This tells me that there may be design issues and/or subpar materials used that can't hold up to the wear and tear and abuse on the showroom floor - it's the boot camp of sorts for appliances. If it doesn't hold up well there, my kids will surely kill it at home.

        Sorry for my longwindedness but I hope it offers you some insight.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          Such a thoughtful reply--thank you. Yes, the GE was a disaster from the beginning--and then it started this freeze-partial thaw-refreeze pattern. We changed everything, including the thermostat and the circuit board that runs the thing and it still wouldn't work. Couldn't even keep ice cream in the freezer anymore. Tossed it for the Samsung. My research on fridges yielded similar findings re: Samsung--and I have a friend who bought one a year ago and loves it. So we went with it. It has a nice clean design without a lot of extra "stuff" that doesn't matter to me. Good space inside, too. Its a shame if it doesn't work because I like it in all other ways. One thing I didn't mention--it was not properly installed and they are coming back on Monday to deal with that. Its not level--the front it propped up higher than the rear and the rear feet need to be shimmed to bring it level. Maybe that will help, I don't know. I have checked out sites about sound a fridges and learned a lot--esp that this is a common isue. Actually, the GE had no sound issues even if it had so many others. Reliability is important to us, too. I realize that appliances are build with obsolescence in mind and will last maybe 10 years, but I want it to do its job for at least that time.

          1. re: liveforfood

            A 3/4" difference between the back and front sounds significant. I hope leveling your fridge solves the problem. If this doesn't solve the issue, the compressor might be damaged or defected. Refrigerators are supposed to be stored and transported in an upright position. The compressor contains fluid that keeps the valves and other moving parts lubricated. If the refrigerator is tilted enough in any direction (I couldn't tell you what angle starts to be significant), the fluid will flow out of the compressor areas that require lubrication and takes a fair amount of time to flow back into place once it is uprighted - I've read it can take hours. If the compressor starts up and operates before the fluid is in place, any parts requiring lubrication can be damaged. I'm hoping this is not the issue, but if leveling the fridge doesn't fix your noise issue, then this may be something worth mentioning to the retailer.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Thank you for this very helpful advice. We have a 30 day guarantee from Lowe's and we're told we can return it for any reason if it doesn't work for us. We'll try to resolve the problem--get it leveled and explore the compressor issue, as you point out. We have a little time. As I sit here typing this note, the compressor is humming away! But as I have explored other fridge options--even those more expensive than the Samsung--reviews are all over the map. I've come to the conclusion that all refrigerator brands have problems.

        2. LG's have a lower decibel rating but the compressor runs almost constantly and some people can't stand the pitch of the noise it does make.

          There is no perfect option especially under $2k.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DeeAgeaux

            Do you know of a more expensive brand that might have a more refined compressor? We might have to upgrade, if there is no other option.

          2. All of my recent refrigerators started getting really loud after a few years, the motor (compressor?) would jiggle itself loose apparently, so we'd have to have brackets welded and whatnot. I long for the days of moving into a house with an old fridge, which kept running perfectly until the day we moved out. All the latest fancy features don't hold a candle to that!

            3 Replies
            1. re: coll

              The reliability problems are not the result of "fancy features" but the smaller compressors and integrated circuit boards to tightly regulate use of electricity required to meet federal energy star regulations.

              If it was not for those regulations appliance engineers would double the capacity of refrigerator compressors and the long term durability would increase greatly.

              1. re: DeeAgeaux

                Thanks for that info, now at least I know who to blame while I'm listening to my fridge buzzing like a high tension line.

                1. re: DeeAgeaux

                  That's discouraging. So, the energy star regs make for noisy fridges. What a flaw! Thanks for your response.