Author Topic: Ugh: buying a new fridge  (Read 4245 times)

mozar

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Ugh: buying a new fridge
« on: September 24, 2017, 12:56:00 PM »
I appreciate your help.

My fridge has been rattling for 2+ years (it's the compressor and it would cost about 250 to fix) and it's been leaking for 1+ year.

I have a household of 2. Me and my roommate, and I want him to have some of his own space (like a drawer just for him). We both buy food and cook all of our meals for the week on Sunday.

I won't be doing craigslist because the cost to rent a truck is a lot where I live, and also how would I get it in and out of the truck? (Hypothetical, you don't have to answer that.)

And the sears outlet costs the same as regular sears if I pay for delivery.

Here are the 3 fridges I am considering.  It's so hard because people get so emotional about reviews (It's JUNK don't waste your MONEY!!!!!), and I will have to live with it for a number of years.

Any thoughts? I will sign up to get the member price.

http://www.sears.com/maytag-mrt311fffh-21-cu-ft-top-freezer-refrigerator/p-04603932000P?sellerId=SEARS&prdNo=17&blockNo=17&blockType=G17
http://www.sears.com/whirlpool-19-cu-ft-top-freezer-refrigerator-w/p-04609869000P?sellerId=SEARS&prdNo=34&blockNo=34&blockType=G34#
http://www.sears.com/frigidaire-20-cu-ft-top-freezer-refrigerator-black/p-04601389000P?sellerId=SEARS&prdNo=41&blockNo=41&blockType=G41#


mc6

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 12:59:47 PM »
I'm partial to Kenmore or Whirlpool myself.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 04:45:31 PM »
This is an entire rant of mine. I've seen several people, and former workplaces, buy new, shiny fridges (Maytag, Kenmore, etc) that turned to complete crap in very short order--Just out of warranty of course.

At a former workplace they bought something (Krapmore?), and they were dumb enough to buy it at Sears. Immediately after warranty the gasket/seal started sagging. They had to pay some asshole $300 to come out and replace it.

My in-laws bought a Maytag a few years ago, and it has been an umitigated DISASTER. One day we were over visiting, my mother-in-law opened the fridge door, and it FELL OFF. The freakin' door fell off!! They could have waited weeks for someone to come out, but decided to bite the bullet and have an independent repair guy come out. The inside lights burn out all the time (I'm guessing some proprietary crap that costs 50$ a pop), there has been no end of trouble with the ice machine and water filters, leaking water on the floor, computer chips burning out--an absolute JOKE!

The new "smart" refrigerators will spy on you like never before. The day will come when they will alert your health insurer about what you're eating so they can screw you over in real time. (Assuming we have any health insurance--or a country--in a few years.)

My advice--find a basic-as-shite fridge made in the 70s or 80s. They were horribly energy inefficient, but by god they were built to last forever.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 04:55:52 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

wawot1

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 04:46:37 PM »
Even if renting a vehicle to transport the fridge is very pricey, I think you'll still come out WAY ahead if you go the craigslist route. 

Cadman

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 04:51:34 PM »
Agreed. New fridges are junk. An expert friend whose opinion I trust and who sells and services apps had this to say when searching for a replacement:

"Whirlpool built top freezer models built after 1995, this list would also include all KitchenAid, Roper, Estate and Kenmore models if the Model # on the serial tag begins 106. for KM refs, this tag is on the upper left wall inside the fresh food section, this tag also has a date of manufacture so you can tell how old it really is. Ex 01-02.

These WP built top freezer refs have been virtually trouble free and most will easily last around 30 years with decent care. In fact I would go so far as to say that these refs are the MOST RELIABLE frost free refrigerators EVER built. Just get one with the fewest extra gadgets, IMO these add some problems and some of the fancier models even had a water dispenser in the ref section and a built-in water filter, these add-ons can cause extra problems on any refrigerator."

Shinplaster

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 06:02:02 PM »
Agreed. New fridges are junk. An expert friend whose opinion I trust and who sells and services apps had this to say when searching for a replacement:

"Whirlpool built top freezer models built after 1995, this list would also include all KitchenAid, Roper, Estate and Kenmore models if the Model # on the serial tag begins 106. for KM refs, this tag is on the upper left wall inside the fresh food section, this tag also has a date of manufacture so you can tell how old it really is. Ex 01-02.

These WP built top freezer refs have been virtually trouble free and most will easily last around 30 years with decent care. In fact I would go so far as to say that these refs are the MOST RELIABLE frost free refrigerators EVER built. Just get one with the fewest extra gadgets, IMO these add some problems and some of the fancier models even had a water dispenser in the ref section and a built-in water filter, these add-ons can cause extra problems on any refrigerator."

Yes.  We have a WP fridge from 1996 - still humming along.  Meanwhile, friends have been through 3 fridges in the same amount of time.  Every time we think of replacing it, we hear another horror story of compressors failing in a year or two.

Anecdotally, we have heard nothing but complaints about Kitchenaid from friends.  Their warranty/customer support is awful.

jo552006

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 06:40:54 PM »
Agree with previous poster that you should seriously rethink the craigslist route.

Harbor freight has appliance dollies (so does craigslist BTW)  2-4 people can help move a fridge with relative ease if you have an appliance dolly.

If no friend with a truck, still think about renting a truck.  HD rents trucks for a fairly reasonable rate.  Also you could literally pay somebody with a truck and a dolly to pick up your new fridge.  I found a <3 year old side by side fridge in stainless steel a the ReStore near me for $350.  Honestly, it was worth $700 all day.  New it'd have been $900+.  Top freezer models are cheaper.

horsepoor

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 07:25:29 PM »
Whirlpool bottom freezer.  Ours is French door, but single door would be cheaper (we needed French due to space). 

I think food waste has reduced having this fridge as the food is at eye level and doesn't get lost in the back.

mozar

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 08:54:57 PM »
Huh, I was looking at old threads on mmm about fridges and no one was saying new ones were junk. They were saying to get one from the last 5 years for energy efficiency. Oh well.

Craigslist isn't quite that simple where I live. There are people selling fridges but they tend to live far out in the suburbs (far from me). A truck from uhaul or HD is 20 an hour. I would also have to pay people to help me. At uhaul you can hire people for 200 for 2 hours. Plus the truck rental and I would already be out 300. And that's just 200 for 2 hours. I need more than 2 hours of help.
Here's an example of craigslist, looks OK, but getting to it would be hard and I live an hour away.
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/app/d/whirlpool-gold-22-cubic-ft/6299824765.html

There is a restore about 30 minutes from me but I wouldn't want to hire people and a truck and then go there and there are no fridges.

I am part of a timebank which means that we exchange hours instead of money, but I live in a defacto retirement community, people rarely have trucks, but I can ask.

I haven't seen any fridges from the 90's, they tend to be a year old.

lentil

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2017, 09:20:55 PM »
Quote
There is a restore about 30 minutes from me but I wouldn't want to hire people and a truck and then go there and there are no fridges.

You can check with your restore, but usually there is a policy that you can buy an item and then have a set amount of time (e.g. 48 hours) to pick it up. So you go, shop, buy, and then return with your (borrowed/rented) truck to pick it up later. Just wanted to let you know!

In my particular area, we have several used/secondhand appliance stores, which offer limited warranties (30 days or thereabouts for a full return, which is better than the thrift stores offer). Most relevant to your concerns, the used appliance stores where I live do have delivery and installation, which can be pretty valuable. Might be worth looking around, though I realize every area is different.

Altons Bobs

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 09:28:44 PM »
Yeah, I don't understand why people on this thread are trashing new fridges, maybe they're jealous they can't afford to buy new ones. I have heard of a couple of my friends having problems in the last 20 years on their old and new fridges, but nothing horrible at all. Yes, do get an energy efficient one. We have an old Whirlpool and a new Kenmore (I think it's actually Whirlpool but renamed Kenmore because it's from Sears), no problems at all, both are still running just fine. They're 20+ years and 3+ years old. The problem we had was with an old Fridgidaire chest freezer that the freon just evaporated I think, it quit working.

Bimmy

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2017, 08:49:19 AM »
Regarding the truck rental- you may be able to rent a trailer for about $25 a day through uHaul. That would be way cheaper than renting a truck (assuming you have a vehicle that can tow)

affordablehousing

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2017, 09:43:35 AM »
A couple thoughts. I've bought a new fridge, and I knew it was a waste of money, but I wanted a very particular model of counter depth Fisher & Paykel and it was hard to find on craigslist. So far so good. It did cost $2000 though. OP, the fridges you listed looked pretty low-end. They probably come out of the same foreign factory anyway. Aesthetics/features may not be important, but why not get one from Ikea? Delivery is $99 and they'll bring it in for you. Plus they look WAY better and are cheaper. Live totally in the sticks? Why not use a big cooler and ice until you get someone posting on craigslist who can deliver? As many others said, there are used appliance stores all over the country that cater to renters, deliver for free and provide 30 day warranties. And the fridges, at least in California, cost ~$300-$800. That said they are all more efficient, stainless steel, have good lighting, and are pretty recent models.

Lastly, you don't need a truck. Just jam the fridge in the back of an SUV on its side, then make sure to let it stand upright at your house for a few hours to let the coolant drain back down to the compressor before you fire it up. You don't HAVE to transport a fridge upright. Google has more background.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2017, 10:18:21 AM »
Don't buy an old fridge. They're energy suckers and will cost you more in the long run.

Craigslist is your friend. In-laws have a full gourmet kitchen with 100% craigslist appliances. The brands don't match, but the colors do. Rich people are always upgrading to the latest and greatest and it's not too terribly difficult to find something newish and in good condition. In my area we're seeing it now since "slate" colored kitchen appliances are all the rage so regular stainless steel is on its way out. You can find stainless steel everything, less than 5 years old, for 70-90% less than what you'd pay in the store.

bacchi

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2017, 10:45:14 AM »
http://www.sears.com/maytag-mrt311fffh-21-cu-ft-top-freezer-refrigerator/p-04603932000P?sellerId=SEARS&prdNo=17&blockNo=17&blockType=G17
http://www.sears.com/whirlpool-19-cu-ft-top-freezer-refrigerator-w/p-04609869000P?sellerId=SEARS&prdNo=34&blockNo=34&blockType=G34#
http://www.sears.com/frigidaire-20-cu-ft-top-freezer-refrigerator-black/p-04601389000P?sellerId=SEARS&prdNo=41&blockNo=41&blockType=G41#

Consumer Reports didn't test these exact models but tested similar ones (the last alphanumeric is different).

The Maytag MRT311FFFM was tested and is recommended.

The Whirlpool WRT519SZDM was tested and is average (its ease of use tested poorly).

The Frigidaire FFTR2021QS was tested and is average (it was dinged on ease of use and noise).

NeonPegasus

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2017, 10:54:12 AM »
Yeah, I don't understand why people on this thread are trashing new fridges, maybe they're jealous they can't afford to buy new ones. I have heard of a couple of my friends having problems in the last 20 years on their old and new fridges, but nothing horrible at all. Yes, do get an energy efficient one. We have an old Whirlpool and a new Kenmore (I think it's actually Whirlpool but renamed Kenmore because it's from Sears), no problems at all, both are still running just fine. They're 20+ years and 3+ years old. The problem we had was with an old Fridgidaire chest freezer that the freon just evaporated I think, it quit working.

I bought a new fridge last year. Whirlpool french door with bottom freezer. Got it from scratch n dent and it would have cost $1800 otherwise. We had very few options that would fit in the space available and were replacing a 20 yr old fridge that ran fine but had busted seals ("rebuilt" with duct tape) and a lot of rust.

It has been a nightmare.

We've had 4 service calls since we bought it. Each time, the fridge was out of commission about 2 weeks. The repair guy has replaced just about every part of it. He noted that some of the parts had already be redesigned since the fridge was released, probably to fix defects.

My mom got a new fridge at around the same time I did - a Samsung. I wish that one would have fit in the space that we had because she paid a little less money and the fridge has been fantastic with a nice build and finish.

No matter what you choose, definitely go see it in person. The Whirlpool we got feels like shit - flimsy and crappy shelves and drawers - especially compared to my parents' less expensive Samsung.

bogart

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2017, 11:04:36 AM »
I'm no help, but when my mom downsized I insisted on having her old fridge, which is my age, meaning it's fast approaching 50.  Still works like a charm.  Definitely not as energy efficient as newer models. 

I do wonder how the energy involved in choosing, installing, and getting rid of newer appliances (which are, in my experience/opinion shorter-lived than the older ones even if mom's fridge is an outlier) balances out against their (otherwise) better energy efficiency.  But I have no data about this.

acroy

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2017, 11:15:48 AM »
whew, terrible issues some of ya'll have had.
I bought a Maytag iirc through Sears, on a holiday, on sale and with free delivery. this was 2008 iirc, $700, big side by side with an icemaker & water dispenser, otherwise basic. Been very reliable.

I maintain it - keep it vacuumed etc. The ice maker mechanism got sticky: a drop of lube cured it. The light bulb burnt out - a $3 led will last forever & is brighter.

good luck!

dycker1978

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2017, 11:25:39 AM »
As far as fridges go, the new ones on average will last 7-10 years.  It does not really matter what you spend on a new one.

I personal would stay away from Sears given all of the finical troubles they are in.  I would like the company I purchased the fridge from to be in business if I have any issues so that I have some one to come back to if I do.


mozar

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2017, 11:55:46 AM »
Interesting new tips. Thanks.

mm1970

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2017, 12:03:51 PM »
We bought a similar fridge to the ones you are looking at (low-end, because we were renting) in 2001.

It's a Kenmore energy star, it was about $600-700 back then.  Bought it from Sears.

It's been mostly fine.  Still reasonably energy efficient.  I did have to replace a drawer/ shelving unit ($35), and the fan in the freezer went out.  The Sears guy came out and told us it would be about $240 to fix it but that we could buy the new fan and install it ourselves for $75, and here's the store where you can order the fan.

So we did that.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2017, 09:21:52 PM »
Buy from a scratch and dent store. Every town has several such stores, but they can be hard to find. Get $500 off for the dent you were going to put in it anyway!

I don't have a favorite brand. My mid-90s Kenmore is still going strong, even though the seals are cracking. However, my electric bill is higher than I'd like and I've never put a meter on it to calculate the savings. One way to pick a brand is to look up the cost of replacement parts. Kenmores are horribly expensive to fix.

Goldielocks

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2017, 12:58:42 AM »
We have about 5 used appliance places to choose from, within a 20 minute, non-rush hour drive, that will provide delivery if you pay for it, and sometimes will take a working old fridge in lieu of delivery charges.

That's what I would do -- go shop a couple of them, and pay half of those on the links you posted.

mozar

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Re: Ugh: buying a new fridge
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2017, 08:27:21 PM »
Quote
We have about 5 used appliance places to choose from, within a 20 minute, non-rush hour drive, that will provide delivery if you pay for it, and sometimes will take a working old fridge in lieu of delivery charges.

That's not common where I live, but I did find one, and I can take the metro there (I don't own a car). I'll check it out on Saturday.