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Thread: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

  1. #1
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    Default Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    After 30 years, 6 months our refrigerator finally gave up the ghost. Well, it still keeps food cold, but the defrost heater went. There's no way for me to physically access the place where it is to install a new one, and it's probably not worth putting money into something this old anyway. This means I need to turn it off for a day every week to ten days to let the ice on the fins melt. I've been doing this while we looked for a replacement. So far we're pretty much settled on the Frigidaire GLHS36EJSB. Does anyone know if this refrigerator has a good track record? Any good reason why I shouldn't get it? If so, what would you recommend I get instead? Here's a list of must haves if you suggest something else:

    1) Must be 68.25" or less in height, the cabinet must be 28.5" or less in depth with the doors off, and the width must be 34" or less. The height and width restrictions are due to the space we have for it (a cabinet is overhead). The depth restriction is due to the door frame width going into the kitchen.

    2) Must have stainless steel doors. It doesn't matter if the cabinet is stainless as most of it doesn't show. In fact, the cabinet on the one I mentioned is black.

    3) Must have digital tempeature controls with actual temperature, NOT the digital 1-9, but actual temperature in degrees F/C. Maybe it's the engineer in me, but I love this feature.

    4) Ice maker and cold water dispenser aren't must haves, but they usually seem to be present on any models which have digital temperature controls.

    5) Price less delivery should be $1250 or less.

    On another note, if anyone wants our old fridge, and can pick it up, they can have it. I hate to see it scrapped as it still keeps food cold (the freezer can get down to -15°F). It might be a great spare fridge to have in a garage for those times when you're having an outdoor party perhaps, and will only be running it a few days or less. It'll keep food cold until the fins start icing up. That usually takes at least a week, and then you'll need to turn it off for a day or so to defrost it. However, for uses where you'll only be running the fridge sporadically for a week or less, it'll be perfectly fine. It's an 18 cubic foot model, cabinet is white, and it's very clean. No charge of course for whoever wants it. Just pick it up and it's yours after we get our new fridge. I'll even help you load it in your vehicle. If anyone is interested, PM me for details.

    Thanks all for any advice!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    That Fridgidaire looks basically like the model we have in Black. Had it for 3 years no problems. My only "gripe" is that I wish the water flowed a little quicker on the door or maybe it had a pot filler. I guess those are more expensive options. Other than that it works great for just two of us. The shelves and all are easy to clean.


    HTH

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Are you sure that the defrost timer isn't just behind the grill on the bottom of the front. I've been keeping a similarly ancient GE going for a few years, and also an equally old Kenmore freezer by turning the timer manually every week or so. It's doing the same thing as you do by unplugging to shut down the compressor. Also did it with a freezer at my old lab job. All these units had easily accessible defrost timers. Probably just about any new timer would work, even if it didn't exactly match a very old model. Just a thought, but I'm sure you're ready for something more reliable. Oddly, a few months back the timer on our old refrigerator started working again on its own, and I haven't needed to do a manual defrost since.

    Geoff

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Turtle View Post
    Are you sure that the defrost timer isn't just behind the grill on the bottom of the front. I've been keeping a similarly ancient GE going for a few years, and also an equally old Kenmore freezer by turning the timer manually every week or so. It's doing the same thing as you do by unplugging to shut down the compressor. Also did it with a freezer at my old lab job. All these units had easily accessible defrost timers. Probably just about any new timer would work, even if it didn't exactly match a very old model. Just a thought, but I'm sure you're ready for something more reliable. Oddly, a few months back the timer on our old refrigerator started working again on its own, and I haven't needed to do a manual defrost since.
    The defrost timer is in back, easily accessible, and works just fine. In fact, when the autodefrost first stopped working 15 years ago I thought it was the timer and bought a new one. No luck. It turned out to be the defrost thermostat. We kept the new timer on the fridge, but still have the old one as a spare since nothing was wrong with it. When it broke this time, first I swapped timers. No luck. I ordered a new defrost thermostat. Still no luck. Checked both defrost timers with a multimeter. They were both good. The motors turned when hooked up to power, the contacts were fine. Finally I checked the defrost heater with a multimeter. It was open circuited. When I took the freezer apart to look at it visually, the defrost heater's glass tube was broken, the heating element was shot. Without a working defrost heater, the autodefrost system won't work. All of this might be a little more clear if you look at the schematic: http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k3...icenhanced.jpg Unfortunately, if you look at the picture the defrost heater is embedded right in the freezer cooling fins. No way to replace it since moving the evaporator/fin assembly enough to put in a new defrost heater would bend the freon tubes enough to break them.

    Believe me, even though a new refrigerator is nice, I would have loved to be able to keep this one going until money was a little less tight. But without a defrost heater I have to do one of these things every week to ten days: either shut the unit down 24-30 hours every week to let the ice melt, or physically remove the freezer liner to defrost the fins with a heat gun. In the former case everything in the freezer thaws, and the refrigerator gets past 50° F. Doing the latter allows everything to stay cold as it takes maybe an hour, but it requires taking the entire freezer apart, and moving the frozen food to the refrigerator. Either case means we really can't keep a whole lot of food, especially in the freezer.

    Anyhow, thanks for the suggestions. Also, good to know we're not the only ones with a refrigerator this old. They don't make them like that any more.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    My parents have a really old refrigerator in their basement. It's from at least the 1950's. I can't remember the brand (maybe GE). It just keeps chugging along. It has one of those tiny freezers just big enough to hold 2 ice cube trays. They also have an old Kelvinator upright freezer that works like new. Probably not as old, but from at least the 1960's. They don't make them like that anymore. I doubt ones made in the last 20 years will last 40-50 years or more.

    Good luck.
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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    With any old fridge (10+ years old)--it probably is worth changing out just to save the electricity.

    Check with your utility (or appliance dealer)--you might be able to get some rebates for a new energystar fridge.

    Also, a Kill-A-Watt meter is a great tool for checking electric usage of various appliances around the home.

    -Bill

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    I would take a look at Consumer Search. Check out the full report.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    BB is correct. Get rid of that 30 year old room heater. New refrigerators use far less electricity.
    I'm absolutely certain that I need another flashlight.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    JTR1962, when we remodeled our kitchen 6 years ago, we went through an exercise similar to yours... but with ALL new appliances (frig, stove d-washer, etc.)

    Our research indicated that LG brand stuff was the best bang for the buck, albeit a hair pricier. Pretty good consumer reviews, too. However, since then, we've had to replace both the LG frig AND d-washer -- after a couple of fruitless repair attempts. A 1-4 year lifespan for each.

    A knowledgeable old repair guy told me that contemporary "quality control" for ALL appliance manufacturers is -- uniformly -- a far cry from what we once could buy. Hence, to varying degrees, it's almost all crap. Modern hi speed manufacturing of lots of stuff (from refrigerators to guns) emphasizes hi-volume/low cost production methods -- PERIOD. I guarantee you that your next frig will NOT last 30 years!

    Your only protection is to get/buy the best extended warrantee available. Good luck!

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by jayflash View Post
    BB is correct. Get rid of that 30 year old room heater. New refrigerators use far less electricity.
    A friend of mine converted his fridge to use outside air in the Winter to keep things cold. Not sure of the details but I think the only electric it uses is a fan and a couple thermostats. In the Spring, it reverts back to a regular unit.

    Cheers,

    Mark
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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by reptiles View Post
    A friend of mine converted his fridge to use outside air in the Winter to keep things cold. Not sure of the details but I think the only electric it uses is a fan and a couple thermostats. In the Spring, it reverts back to a regular unit.

    Cheers,

    Mark
    I have wondered for YEARS why the manufacturers haven't done this. It makes perfect sense to use the free cold winter air instead of having to create it using a bunch of electricity.
    It's kind of like a fridge in a garage during winter. It probably hardly ever has to kick on.
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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by jayflash View Post
    BB is correct. Get rid of that 30 year old room heater. New refrigerators use far less electricity.
    Yeah, but the one thing to consider is that the $1000 or so spent on a new refrigerator will buy lots of electricity. Sometimes it makes more economic sense to not upgrade if the old unit you are thinking of replacing is functioning properly.
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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    It all depends... From one source:

    based on ~$0.10 per kWhr:

    • $140 - Old 1976-86 fridge (1400 kWh/yr.)
    • $50 - Post-2001 fridge (500 kWh/yr.)
    • $43 - Post-2001 Energy Star fridge (425 kWh/yr.)
    I believe from a long time ago, JTR was paying around $0.30-$0.35 per kWhr (similar in California, if you have large loads, such as AC).

    With a 30 year old fridge:

    $140 * $0.30pkwh/$0.10pkwh = $420 per year
    $43 * $0.30pkwh/$0.10pkwh = $129 per year
    ======================================
    Savings $291 per year

    If that old fridge sits in the air conditioned kitchen--then you also have to pay for removing that heat:

    1,400 kWhrs per year / 12mpy = 117 kWhrs per month of heat

    117kWhrs / (30 days * 24 hours) = 0.162 kW = 162 watt "heater" old fridge (24 hours per day)
    425kWhrs per year / (12 * 30 * 24) = 0.049 kW = 49 watt "heater" new fridge (24 hours per day)

    Depending on where you live, and how much you pay for power--you could end up buying a new fridge/freezer with just 2-3 years (or as long as 10 years) of energy savings.

    That is why I suggest a Kill-A-Watt meter--very cheap and easy way to see how much you are paying for the privilege of running that appliance.

    -Bill

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by BB View Post
    If that old fridge sits in the air conditioned kitchen--then you also have to pay for removing that heat:
    But that's mostly offset by a savings in the heat in the winter right?

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    But that's mostly offset by a savings in the heat in the winter right?
    Not really.

    Using this Fuel Cost Calculator, at $1.60 a therm for natural gas vs $0.12 per kwhr, Electricity is almost 1.76x the cost vs natural gas for heating.

    If I jack the kWhr cost up to $0.30 per kWhr--then the "free" electric heat from the fridge would cost 4.4x the cost of heating with natural gas.

    Right?

    -Bill

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    I already measured the energy usage of the old fridge with a Kill-A-Watt. It was roughly 1200 kW-hr annually. The refrigerator we're looking at uses 583 kW-hr annually according to the energy guide. Right now our rates are about $0.26/kW-hr, so the annual savings would be around $160. Roughly figuring the A/C savings (old fridge is a 137 watt heater, new one is a 67 watt heater, our kitchen A/C has an EER of 10.5, and runs maybe the equivalent of 4 months annually), that comes to another $17. Total savings then is $177 annually. New fridge with sales tax and delivery comes to $1400 total. Payback time is 8 years, assuming the cost of electricity remains the same.

    Another place where we'll save money is the ability to stock up on sale items. As I mentioned, right now we really can't keep large amounts of food in the refrigerator (especially the freezer) due to the need to shut it off regularly. A reliable new refrigerator could save us more in food annually than in power by allowing us to stock up on discounted items.

    I have wondered for YEARS why the manufacturers haven't done this. It makes perfect sense to use the free cold winter air instead of having to create it using a bunch of electricity.
    This would work for the refrigerator in many parts of the country on days when the ambient temperature falls under about 40°F. However, you would still need to actively cool the freezer unless temps dropped to the 0°F area. A better idea I think might be to have the back half or two-thirds of the refrigerator (maybe even the entire cabinet excluding the doors) in an enclosed cavity. This cavity would have a duct leading to the outside air, and be thermally insulated from the indoors. The refrigerator would be designed so that it draws in and expels air for cooling the compressor/condensor through the back so that this air would be at the ambient temperature of the cavity. On days when the outdoor temperature is less than the indoor temperature the cavity would be vented to the outdoor air (a small fan of a few watts would be all that is needed). On days when the outdoors is the same or warmer than indoors you would instead draw indoor air into the cavity. The waste heat from the compressor/condensor would be vented to the outdoors all the time in either case through another duct. The cool air in winter would allow the refrigerator to actively cool more efficiently. And the smaller temperature differentials between the cooled area and outside the cabinet would help further. No idea how much energy would be saved. Even if it's one-third, the money saved over the years easily makes up for the expense/hassle of building the special cavity.

    I think one feature worthwhile implementing regardless is the idea of exhausting waste heat outdoors through a duct. In the winter you can shut the duct off if you want the heat. In summers you would save on A/C.
    Last edited by jtr1962; 01-21-2009 at 02:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    ..would like to cast a vote for getting a propane powered fridge.

    The main advantage being no loss of fridge contents in the event of an electric blackout, assuming you are a 'gridder' ..

    also and just as important to me is; no noise.

    plus no moving parts, I'm seeing gas fridges just going on and on with no repairs needed, sometimes a trailer needs the pilot flame/flu cleaned, but that's about it. I got an 18 c. foot 'Crystal Cold' actually originally another brand electric, but modded by Amish to use gas ..(has a pushbutton piezo pilot igniter though..)

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    For somebody on-grid, a propane fridge usually does not make a lot of sense. For example, the Crystal Cold 18 cuft:

    Fuel Consumption: .35gal/24hrs
    If propane costs $3 per gallon (probably less at this point in time), basically $1 per day.

    If electric (JTR's 583 kWhrs per year for 22.6 cuft):

    583 kWhrs / 365 * $0.26 per kWhr = $0.42 per day
    (at $0.12 per kWhr => $0.19 per day)

    Includes auto defrost, ice maker, cold water, and 25% larger capacity.

    Crystal Cold = $2,100-$2,300 + tax and shipping?
    JTR's New Fridge = $1,400 delivered

    Also, I would highly suggest that the propane fridge be externally vented--or a CO detector be used in home.

    If somebody is really interested in a very low power consumption fridge (not JTR--needs a "real fridge" at this time)--take a look at converting a chest freezer into a fridge--by adding a refrigerator thermostat... A couple people have reported down to 250 Watt*hours per day (0.25 kWhrs per day or ~91 kWhrs per year). Possibly some minor issues (may need to add a water trap on walls to prevent puddling in bottom of freezer, may need a small mixing fan that run when the compressor is on, and such). Much cheaper (cost of fridge + energy) overall than the typical "off-grid" designed fridge.

    -Bill

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    yes, but...I already mentioned what the advantages of gas are...so just want to add you can probably cut the cost in half by; running it in a lower temperature place, and using a smaller model, btw when I got mine several years ago, when they were cheaper with no icemakers or lights, the next couple smaller models used the exact same cooling units, and where I am I have to keep the temp control turned way up to keep the milk from icing most of the time..which makes the smaller units excellent for 90F plus climates.
    and yup I have a co2 monitor, the gas range and oven burn far more gas than a fridge though ..( it never has registered anything above 0 ppm..)

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Good thread.

    An alternative: I furnish fridges in my rental properties when the renter doesn't have their own. I've consistently been able to buy 2/3 year old good fridges for $200-400. Just have to look around the repair shops.

    Also, our Community College teachs appliance repair. They receive nonworking appliances, repair and resell them, usually for the cost of parts. They've also repaired several of mine just for parts costs.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by TedTheLed View Post
    yes, but...I already mentioned what the advantages of gas are...so just want to add you can probably cut the cost in half by; running it in a lower temperature place, and using a smaller model, btw when I got mine several years ago, when they were cheaper with no icemakers or lights, the next couple smaller models used the exact same cooling units, and where I am I have to keep the temp control turned way up to keep the milk from icing most of the time..which makes the smaller units excellent for 90F plus climates.
    and yup I have a co2 monitor, the gas range and oven burn far more gas than a fridge though ..( it never has registered anything above 0 ppm..)
    None of those compromises are acceptable for this scenario.

    I hope you mean a CO meter. A CO2 meter would be fairly useless...
    Last edited by LukeA; 01-22-2009 at 04:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    By the way, CO (carbon monoxide) alarms need to be replaced about every 5 years... The majority of the sensors are basically a battery who's output voltage in proportion of CO present in the air.

    What it the typical carbon monoxide detector life? How long will a CO alarm last?

    A First Alert® carbon monoxide detector life span is warranted for 5 years. After 5 years any detector should be replaced with a new CO Alarm. Alarms may have an actual life span that is shorter due to environmental conditions and may need to be replaced sooner. Test them weekly and if a problem arises while still under warranty, please call for a replacement. Batteries should be replaced as needed for those alarms requiring them.
    From the always reliable Wikipedia:

    There are three types of sensors available and they vary in cost, accuracy and speed of response.[5] All three types of sensor elements typically last from 3 to 5 years. At least one CO detector is available which includes a battery and sensor in a replaceable module. Most CO detectors do not have replaceable sensors.
    ...
    Biomimetic
    A biomimetic (chem-optical or gel cell) sensor works with a form of synthetic hemoglobin which darkens in the presence of CO, and lightens without it. This can either be seen directly or connected to a light sensor and alarm.

    Electrochemical
    A type of fuel cell that instead of being designed to produce power, is designed to produce a current that is precisely related to the amount of the target gas (in this case carbon monoxide) in the atmosphere. Measurement of the current gives a measure of the concentration of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. Essentially the electrochemical cell consists of a container, 2 electrodes, connection wires and an electrolyte - typically sulfuric acid. Carbon monoxide is oxidised at one electrode to carbon dioxide whilst oxygen is consumed at the other electrode. For carbon monoxide detection, the electrochemical cell has advantages over other technologies in that it has a highly accurate and linear output to carbon monoxide concentration, requires minimal power as it is operated at room temperature, and has a long lifetime (typically commercial available cells now have lifetimes of 5 years or greater). Until recently, the cost of these cells and concerns about their long term reliability had limited uptake of this technology in the marketplace, although these concerns are now largely overcome.

    Semiconductor
    Thin wires of the semiconductor tin dioxide on an insulating ceramic base provide a sensor monitored by an integrated circuit. CO reduces resistance and so allows a greater current which if high enough will lead to the monitor triggering an alarm. The power demands of this sensor means that these devices can only be mains powered.
    And here is more than you will ever want to know about CO detectors (lots of good information--except useful stuff like brand name / model of detectors that failed testing). From the long PDF file (free to download):

    The final period is that in which the detectors literally “wear-out”. The causes of wear-out are numerous, including sensor drift, exposure-related degradation, and the depletion of chemical reagents. If the sensing technology is sufficiently well matched to the application and the detector well designed, this period occurs beyond the lifetime required by the consumer.
    From the above report, it appears that a minimum of 3 year lifetime is assumed (required?) by the UL standard. And given that the popular battery backed units use chemical based detector (fuel cell / battery like detector)--it is pretty apparent that a limited life is all that can be expected...

    Also from the report, if you have a very low relative humidity (approaching 5%), then no current CO detector (as of 2002 report date) will work to specification. 50% RH most detectors will reliably detect dangerous amounts of CO...

    In the end, after reading around--I would not trust a consumer CO alarm with my life. They are not reliable and one is much better served by ensuring that CO producing devices are never inside the home (generators, cars idling in a garage)--and that if you have 20+ year old furnaces and/or concerns about any gas/oil/fuel burning indoor vented appliances, that you have them checked out by a professional.

    From some numbers that come up in Google--home based CO poisoning deaths (excluding people dying in cars from CO) are around ~170 per year, and around ~50 of them are associated with running a generator in/around a home.

    -Bill

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeA View Post
    None of those compromises are acceptable for this scenario.

    I hope you mean a CO meter. A CO2 meter would be fairly useless...
    a thousand apologies. please inhale all the co2 you like. hopefully
    someone else with an interest in refrigeration will, perhaps, find my remarks useful.
    Last edited by TedTheLed; 02-20-2009 at 07:38 PM.

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    Lightbulb Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonkinWarrior
    A knowledgeable old repair guy told me that contemporary "quality control" for ALL appliance manufacturers is -- uniformly -- a far cry from what we once could buy. Hence, to varying degrees, it's almost all crap. Modern hi speed manufacturing of lots of stuff (from refrigerators to guns) emphasizes hi-volume/low cost production methods -- PERIOD. I guarantee you that your next frig will NOT last 30 years!
    Yes I am afraid so. Most of the "best" products rolled off the factory floors many decades ago.
    Our "progress" has mostly been in cutting corners and creating obsolescence and new exquisitely complex failure modes



    Quote Originally Posted by BIGIRON View Post
    Good thread.

    An alternative: I furnish fridges in my rental properties when the renter doesn't have their own. I've consistently been able to buy 2/3 year old good fridges for $200-400. Just have to look around the repair shops.

    Also, our Community College teachs appliance repair. They receive nonworking appliances, repair and resell them, usually for the cost of parts. They've also repaired several of mine just for parts costs.
    That's what I would do too. Best not to spend $1250 on a new fridge in these times. You'll be kicking yourself black and blue in a few years wishing you saved the money...
    Last edited by Cydonia; 01-23-2009 at 09:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    We ordered the new fridge yesterday. Delivery is scheduled for Friday. On the advice given in this thread we went with a 5 year extended warranty. I figure if it doesn't break within 5 years then it's not a lemon. I hope we're not kicking ourselves a few years down the road.

    If anyone is interested in our old refrigerator please let me know by early Friday otherwise the delivery people will be taking it away. No need to pick it up by Friday if you're interested but I have to know by then. I'll be happy to hold it until you can arrange pickup. As I said in the first post, it'll keep food cold until the fins start icing up. That usually takes at least a week, and then you'll need to turn it off for a day or so to defrost it. However, for uses where you'll only be running the fridge sporadically for a week or less, it'll be perfectly fine. And if you know how to put in a defrost heater, it can be a perfectly serviceable primary refrigerator. The compressor still seems to be in pretty decent shape.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Bad news-it didn't fit due to the hookup for the water projecting out about 1/2". Even without that, the delivery people didn't want to go down the back steps and up the basement steps into the kitchen (this is the route where I determined a unit which measured 28.5" with the doors off would fit). Basically then we're now limited to what fits through the other door going into the kitchen (i.e. a depth of 26" with the doors off). In terms of features and so forth, this isn't a whole lot. Rather than spend a lot of money and basically end up with a less reliable version of what we already have, I've decided to see if it's possible to put in a new defrost heater on our existing refrigerator. Can anyone help? The model is Frigidaire F-170T-7.

    On another note, why aren't smaller models with all the high-end features made?

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    Bad news-it didn't fit due to the hookup for the water projecting out about 1/2". Even without that, the delivery people didn't want to go down the back steps and up the basement steps into the kitchen (this is the route where I determined a unit which measured 28.5" with the doors off would fit). Basically then we're now limited to what fits through the other door going into the kitchen (i.e. a depth of 26" with the doors off). In terms of features and so forth, this isn't a whole lot. Rather than spend a lot of money and basically end up with a less reliable version of what we already have, I've decided to see if it's possible to put in a new defrost heater on our existing refrigerator. Can anyone help? The model is Frigidaire F-170T-7.

    On another note, why aren't smaller models with all the high-end features made?
    I find it hard to believe that a half inch made it not fit. Modern fridges need to stand off from the wall at least an inch for airflow.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeA View Post
    I find it hard to believe that a half inch made it not fit. Modern fridges need to stand off from the wall at least an inch for airflow.
    It would have fit in the spot we have for it. The problem was it couldn't physically make it through any of the doors going into the kitchen due to that extra 1/2" depth. The widest door going into the kitchen is a bit over 28.5". Without the water hookup it would have made it (barely).

    Back to square one.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    The conclusion to this saga is that I managed to figure out how to remove the defrost heater and install a new one. It wasn't that hard once I analyzed it. A few screws and tabs which I didn't see earlier keep the evaporator in place. Once they're loosened the evaporator lifts up enough to fit in a new defrost heater. After a week the old fridge has been defrosting just fine. I also cleaned it up like new while it was out of service.

    So not quite a new fridge, but it only cost me a $30 part. Sure, we'll get a new fridge eventually but not now. Hopefully the compressor will last a few more years and they'll have more suitable models for us by then (i.e. a little smaller but with all the high-end features). I'd love a solid-state (peltier) refrigerator but I don't think that's going to happen within 5 years or so.

    This Samsung is close but no cigar. It's too tall for the spot we have, but at least it would have fit through the door, including the narrower 26" door. And it's only $850 at BestBuy. But besides being too tall I read from some sources that it has a less than stellar reliability record.

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    Default Re: Calling all appliance experts: Is this a good refrigerator?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    i.e. a little smaller but with all the high-end features


    They're getting nothing but bigger.

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