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Fridge just died: Advice needed for good brand

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  • Nov 23rd, 2019 3:43 pm
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Red_Army wrote:
Nov 15th, 2019 10:14 pm
According to CR I shouldn’t buy anything lol
Well... If you want "Excellent" for reliability in the 31"+ top freezer category you have the LG LTCS24223S and, surprisingly, the Maytag MRT311FFFM and Maytag MRT711BZDM or the Whirlpool WRT511AZDM.

The first one mentioned, the LG got the highest score with 81 out of 100.
"Time destroys the speculations of man, but it confirms the judgment of nature" - Cicero
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Well, consider that getting a fridge is something that will cost you over $200 (or a lot more) a year (excluding interest/cost of capital), and you have to go through the hassle of getting a new one every 5-6 years. That seems to be it these days.

My wife and I are considering a Sub Zero as the next fridge (might help with eventual resale for our house). Unfortunately it'll require moving a side panel and small cabinet, and maybe a new above-fridge cabinet unless we just put in a panel. To boot, the kitchen cabinet style isn't offered by the manufacturer (previous owners chose Kitchen Craft which is horrible expensive) and the local cabinet makers aren't interested in small jobs, unless you're prepared to wait until they have some slack time.

I guess when our GE dies, we\ll buy a small fridge for the basement until I can get the space ready for the SZ.
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I have a separate freezer in the basement. It's an unfinished basement so I can always put in an extra fridge but I would have to also run a new outlet as the only one available is the one at the electrical panel.

The fan is still going but not sure if it's only blowing hot air. I pulled out the fridge and the entire vent panel was caked in dust. Vacuumed that off and partially opened up the panel and vacuumed inside the best I could without taking off the entire back access panel. I just want to see if this helps before doing the entire full maintenance and/or write off the fridge. If the fridge and freezer cool down then I might be safe for a few days while I shop for a new one.

The fridge is buzzing though.
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See if the compressor motor is working (that's the hum one hears). If not and if you have a multimeter, check for resistance between the terminals of the compressor motor with the wiring disconnected. If resistance isn't very low, it could mean the start/run capacitor is dead. Can buy a hard start kit. Did that once and it bought me an extra 2 years.

Could be something much simpler too. Went with some friends to stay at their (very modest) ski resort condo a few years back. We got there to find the fridge dead. Power was getting to it (lights on) but not running. I looked at the circuit diagram and figured the only thing preventing it from running, if it wasn't totally dead, could be the thermostat. Took out the thermostat (travel with screwdriver and pliers), jumped the leads with a paper clip, and what do you know, fridge comes on (but stays on). Enough to get us cooling overnight. Nearest appliance parts/repair outfit was over an hour (and 1,000m vertical drop) away. Visit by an appliance repair person would have probably run $100 if not double. And then come back with the parts to repair. We actually went to the dump/recycling station to look for a dead fridge but alas it was very off season so not much movement.
Last edited by thriftshopper on Nov 15th, 2019 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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thriftshopper wrote:
Nov 15th, 2019 10:43 pm
See if the compressor motor is working (that's the hum one hears). If not and if you have a multimeter, check for resistance between the terminals of the compressor motor with the wiring disconnected. If resistance isn't very low, it could mean the start/run capacitor is dead. Can buy a hard start kit. Did that once and it bought me an extra 2 years.
That I do not have. My skills are limited in this department.
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Get a buddy who has the skills/knowledge. Could be a very cheap part.
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What's your budget? We bought a new fridge last year - the KitchenAid French door with the extra deli/produce drawers (KRMF706EBS). It has been working well so far. The ice maker doesn't make ice as quickly as our old side x side (which is 27 years old and is now the spare fridge). It's hard looking at reviews because no matter which make or model, there is always someone who has a complaint about it.
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Mars2012 wrote:
Nov 15th, 2019 10:57 pm
What's your budget? We bought a new fridge last year - the KitchenAid French door with the extra deli/produce drawers (KRMF706EBS). It has been working well so far. The ice maker doesn't make ice as quickly as our old side x side (which is 27 years old and is now the spare fridge). It's hard looking at reviews because no matter which make or model, there is always someone who has a complaint about it.
Budget is not too much of a concern unless we're talking like $4k. I don't mind spending money if I'm getting quality. So I've seen a few on sale for as low as $1800 but average looks like $2300-2800.

Bells and whistles are of no concern to me. A refrigerator should be a refrigerator. Don't need silly Wi-Fi or computer screens etc. I don't even care if it doesn't have an ice maker or water dispenser. Ice maker would be nice but I have a RO system, so I would never use the fridge water anyways.
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Mars2012 wrote:
Nov 15th, 2019 10:57 pm
What's your budget? We bought a new fridge last year - the KitchenAid French door with the extra deli/produce drawers (KRMF706EBS). It has been working well so far. The ice maker doesn't make ice as quickly as our old side x side (which is 27 years old and is now the spare fridge). It's hard looking at reviews because no matter which make or model, there is always someone who has a complaint about it.
From which store did you get it from and how was the delivery?
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Update:
Looks like I have a bit more time to shop around and consider. Got up this morning and it was cold again in the freezer and cool in the fridge. The sides of the fridge is quite warm (if not hot though) which indicates to me something is going on, like it's not disappating heat properly. Seems to be running almost non-stop.

I will be browsing around tomorrow regardless since not sure how long this thing will last. Looking at maybe an LG with as few of the bells and whistles as possible.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
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chimaican wrote:
Nov 16th, 2019 11:39 am
Update:
Looks like I have a bit more time to shop around and consider. Got up this morning and it was cold again in the freezer and cool in the fridge. The sides of the fridge is quite warm (if not hot though) which indicates to me something is going on, like it's not disappating heat properly. Seems to be running almost non-stop.

I will be browsing around tomorrow regardless since not sure how long this thing will last. Looking at maybe an LG with as few of the bells and whistles as possible.
How To Repair A Refrigerator That Keeps Running.

If your fridge has given you 10+ years of trouble-free service you might be better off trying to fix it then replacing it with an 'unknown'. Just my 2 cents.
Last edited by TomLafinsky on Nov 16th, 2019 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Try cleaning the coils, which is what dissipates the heat. That's the most important. Heat is "created" as it sucked out of the freezer (and fridge). Cold compressed refrigerant is pumped into the freezer section where it absorbs "warm" air, expanding into a less-compressed gas, goes back out and releases the heat in the outside coil, and gets compressed again before repeating the cycle.

My house is heated in this fashion.
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Side note : is there a site where CR results are listed? I am in the market for a kitchen suite and I am not sure what to get. I would like to do an average and see the best kitchen suite. I'd like to get the same "finish" so I think I have to buy the same brand.
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Oct 30, 2017
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I had a similar issue this summer when my Frigidaire fridge died. I did some research and it seems like every appliance manufacturer these days produces junk that doesn't last. I ended up going with Whirpool but I don't have high hopes. By the way just so you know, Maytag and Kitchenaid are owned by Whirpool so often you will see the same fridge model across different brands.

If you are going with a stainless steel color make sure you get a fridge that's resistant to fingerprints.
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thriftshopper wrote:
Nov 16th, 2019 12:06 pm
Try cleaning the coils, which is what dissipates the heat. That's the most important. Heat is "created" as it sucked out of the freezer (and fridge). Cold compressed refrigerant is pumped into the freezer section where it absorbs "warm" air, expanding into a less-compressed gas, goes back out and releases the heat in the outside coil, and gets compressed again before repeating the cycle.

My house is heated in this fashion.
I vacuumed the vents in the back last night. It was caked with dust, real bad. I partially removed the panel and vacuumed a bit. I will do a more thorough job later buy removing the entire panel, and also check to see of the compressor fan is spinning (and see how dirty it is).
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!

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