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Need a new fridge, any advice?

 
 
sozobe
 
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 07:46 am
Ours came with the house and is old. 25 years old? 35? Old.

It's showing various signs of imminent demise.

I've done some research, asking you guys always seems to yield good info though so am doing that too as part of my research.

One limiting factor is that the largest opening to the kitchen is 30.25 inches wide. So the fridge can't be deeper than that. (Fridges are generally wider than they are deep.)

The opening that it will go into is 33 inches wide by 68.5 inches high. We wouldn't want it to be absolutely flush, so the fridge should be smaller than that.

Various other appliances (dishwasher, stove) are stainless steel, so that's the most obvious finish. (The current finish is a rather curdled cream.)

We'd probably want something mid-range -- not the cheapest possible, but not crazy-expensive European stuff either. A good Energy Star rating is a plus.

It'd probably be a built-in, top-freezer fridge. (Somewhat flexible on the top-freezer part, that's what we have now and what we're used to.) Looks like 18.2 cu. feet is about the right size. Not all of them are shallow enough to get through the door, though.

Any pointers? We don't have a subscription to Consumer Reports but my father-in-law does, will probably ask him.
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 07:57 am
@sozobe,
Sozobe,

I cannot get over the fact that I am actually making a recommendation here (something I very rarely do), but I am so in love with the quality of the LG products I have purchased lately, I will recommend that you at least consider them. I do not have an LG fridge, but I know they make them. I also consider the LG product an exception quality product.

Run with it if you want.

f.
Ragman
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 08:25 am
@Frank Apisa,
Respectfully, I temper your recommendation just a bit having been involved with electronics (prof. as well as a consumer) almost all my adult life. I think more highly (particularly with HD TV displays) of Samsung. Dependability-wise, Samsung outshines LG and is near or at the top; however, that being said, most LG products still are well above average.

I do know that LG makes a lot appliances (fridge as well as those new tech washers and dryers). I can't speak for them as in USA their entry in this market is relatively new. I've had some experience with their washers and it's not that favorable. I'd refer you to opinions in Consumer Reports. Let me see if I can cut-and-paste a review of their fridges here.
Ragman
 
  4  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 09:19 am
@sozobe,
IMHO, by today's standards, 18 cu ft is somewhat small (especially for more than 1 person) depending on how the compartments and shelves are divided. I'd suggest looking at 20 cubic inch fridges.

FWIW, based on the criteria of dependability of fridges (as determined by CR questionnaires from 2007-2011 ... 61,000 readers reveal the most and least reliable brands) :

LG has been among the more repair-prone brands of side-by-sides with icemakers


The most dependable (bottom-freezer style) as far as needing a serious repair:
Whirlpool 8%
KitchenAid 10%
Kenmore 12%
Samsung 12%
LG 13%
Maytag 14%
GE 20%

with no icemaker

Kenmore 9%
Amana 12
GE 16%

Top freezers

LG is not listed in top-freezer review. I'm not sure if it means they don't make a top freezer or not.

with icemaker
Whirlpool 8%
Frigidaire 9%
Kenmore 10%
GE 14%

without icemaker

Frigidaire 6%
Whirlpool 7%
GE 8%
Kenmore 8%


sozobe
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 10:04 am
@Ragman,
Hey thanks!

We're pretty constrained by measurements, 18.2 seemed to fit better than most that were bigger. I haven't yet seen a 20 cu. ft that would fit, I haven't looked extensively yet though (and am a bit surprised at how much variation there is in measurements).

The way our kitchen is set up we just can't get a fridge that is bigger than 67.5" high/ 32" wide/ 30" deep. Our current one is 28" deep, that would be better.
jcboy
 
  3  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 11:53 am
@sozobe,
We’re also thinking of getting a new fridge. I had mine brought from CA when I moved here and its only five years old but I got one of those stainless steel ones and I don’t care for it any longer.

It shows every little smudge, and when you have a six year old in the house there are plenty of little hand prints that you constantly have to wipe off.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 12:06 pm
@sozobe,
I searched CR for criteria you list: reliability, dimension, efficiency, usability/size and price. Whirlpool seems like it might make one that suits your listed reqs.

[Edit: our local Home Depot doesn't carry Whirlpool brand. I'll bet Sears does, though.]

This model number (though discontinued) might vary depending on where you shop and newer replacement models but you should be able to find a quite similar model. Here is what I found in the moderately priced, most dependable, top freezer with or without an icemaker.

Whirlpool Gold G9RXXFMW[Q] approx. $800

This 18.9 cu.-ft. top-freezer Whirlpool Gold G9RXXFMW[Q] refrigerator has
• spillproof shelves


Maytag model ?

I couldn't find a CR review for a Maytag other than the highly rated 21 cu in top freezer. I looked in Home Depot online and as far as Maytag goes they don't list a model less than 20.6 cu inches with dimensions that might suit you (this 20.6 cu in is 32.5 in width and 32.6 in depth).

I'd suggest your search narrow you down to Whirlpool and maybe one other (NOT GE) unless you could fine a Maytag that was 18-19 cu in.
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 12:14 pm
@Ragman,
The Whirlpool site has a filtering system that lets you input specifics and recommends models to fit.

http://www.whirlpool.com/Kitchen-1/Kitchen_Refrigeration_Refrigerators-3/102110023+4294967032/

I put your measurements and specs into it and this is the model it recommends:

http://www.whirlpool.com/-[W8RXEGMWQ]-1001597/W8RXEGMWQ/

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 12:19 pm
I looked up LG since I'd never heard of it, and this one might work (if you take the refrigerator door off to get it through your door - it might even be delivered with the doors off.

http://www.lg.com/us/refrigerators/lg-LTC19340ST-top-freezer-frigerator
(click on tech specs)

Off to look up Samsung.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 12:28 pm
@ossobuco,
Samsung considerably more expensive, too tall, and only has bottom freezer -

at least in my quick review

http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/refrigerators/RB217ACRS/XAA-specs
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 12:28 pm
@ossobuco,
You may not find a Samsung refrigerator that suits Soz reqs. I did a preliminary search and found Samsung only listing models that $1000+, french door, and/or bottom freezer. I don't know if they even make a top freezer in 18-19 cu in.

My reference to Samsung recommendation before was to Merry A.... regarding the quality of Samsung HDTV and other electronics devices. I wasn't necessarilty endorsing Samsung for fridges.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 12:39 pm
@Ragman,
I was just interested, as I also haven't ever seen a Samsung refrigerator. It seems at least slightly too big anyway. I'm no maven of refrigerator quality. My own fairly recent new refrigerator was a low end quite small one on sale at Home Depot (something about no delivery fee if bought on the internet). Cost was right around $400. It's still working.

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 02:36 pm
@Ragman,
The nearly-dead one is a Whirlpool! We're fine with it, don't love it and don't hate it, it seems to have been going for quite a while so that's good.

Thanks much for the CR info.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 02:55 pm
I happen to have an LG - bought it online (best price ever and free shipping)
and that was about 7 or 8 years ago. Haven't had a single problem....

We have this one and I love it!!

http://www.lg.com/ae/home-appliances/images/LG-refrigerators-GR-B218UTA-main-large.jpg
Ragman
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 03:09 pm
@sozobe,
Amazing when you think about a fridge or any appliance that runs for 25-35 yrs.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 04:57 pm
@CalamityJane,
I want this fridge or something similar, preferably with a water/ice dispenser - if possible. I had a side by side and it just died. Arrrrgh! We were away for a few days and came home to a terrible stench, as it was blowing HOT air.
I didn't particularly love it, as it was too narrow and didn't hold as much stuff as a typical fridge. I really like the bottom freezer option.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 05:35 pm
@Ceili,
So do I - the bottom freezer has so much room and mine has an ice maker there, but I hardly use it. You know, us Europeans don't use ice in our drinks.
It has additionally smaller compartments where I can stash flour and sugar (we keep that in the freezer here in SoCal). On top, the refrigerator is wide
enough to put a gallon size milk container on the sides. It's quite spacious all over and I love the extra temperature regulated meat compartment.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 05:57 pm
@Ceili,
When I switched to the freezer on the bottom, I couldn't believe how much I loved it. Much easier on my back to be able to use the fridge without stooping so much. I literally came home and hugged the new fridge every day after work for about two weeks. It's been about a decade now and I still love it.

I took your advice, Ceili, and bought some extra little divider boxes for the fridge - it was a terrific idea. I don't have space for a big fridge, and those little storage boxes just make it so much more efficient inside.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 05:58 pm
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:
preferably with a water/ice dispenser -


repairmen love the water/ice dispenser option
Ragman
 
  2  
Sat 7 Jul, 2012 06:51 pm
@ehBeth,
Always an item that breaks first or causes trouble eventually. Typically the water filter may contribute to the problem as it changing or cleaning stuff out or sediment from the line is often ignored.
0 Replies
 
 

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