Thread Number: 74534  /  Tag: Refrigerators
My Fridge died - here's the new one
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Post# 983309   2/18/2018 at 19:19 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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Saturday morning I opened my freezer to get the frozen blueberries and noticed everything was thawing. I freaked out and called appliance repair - he came out and said compressor was shot. The fridge was a whirlpool side x side and it was 12 and a half yrs old. It had been repaired twice and ice maker replaced once and that was DIY. The 2 repairs weren't expensive. Once it was a capacitor or something and another time it was a relay I think.

I was so bummed out about having to buy a new one but here's the one I bought. I'm sure the longevity of this one will be even worse. One thing it has a REALLY small dent on the door so they gave me 100 dollars off. I think it was $1100 not on sale, it was $999 on sale plus 10% off, plus another 10% off for the dent. So low $800s.

The door was uneven from the factory and the installer couldn't get it even and he said they do not like to do this but he had to lay it on its back which he did carefully and then fixed the uneven door. He said not to plug it in for an hour to let it rest back into place. I ended up cleaning the inside all over and even had to get the vacuum cleaner to part of it because there were these little pieces of packing material.. Later, I plugged it in. I have thermometers in and in 2 and a half hours it reached 38 in the fridge and 0 in the freezer and started dropping ice after about 2 hours. I was shocked because it says it will take 24 hours for the fridge to cool enough to put food in and start making ice.

It says to discard the first 3 batches of ice. I assume by batch of ice it means when the ice maker drops ice, that's one batch, right? I hope they don't mean a full bin of ice is a batch.

I'm not hopeful it will last 10 years. Who knows!!? On the bright side, the food loss was minimal because there were things that needed to be tossed anyway.

There's zero info on coil cleaning. I guess they hope customers won't do that. I always did with my other one. I blew out the coils with my rainbow vacuum once per year.

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Post# 983327 , Reply# 1   2/18/2018 at 21:59 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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That's a sharp-looking fridge, Mark. You got a great price on it.

Post# 983330 , Reply# 2   2/18/2018 at 22:24 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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The GE fridge I got a couple of years ago (before the Haier takeover, anyway) said something in the owner's manual about how cleaning the coils was not necessary but you "may" do it by inserting an appliance brush in a couple of holes behind the detachable grille.

The explanation that came to mind is that they don't expect it to last long enough for dirty coils to matter!

Post# 983337 , Reply# 3   2/19/2018 at 00:29 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
"...they don't expect it to last long enough..."

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I would say they don't want it to last long enough!  They want to sell more refrigerators!


Never cleaning the coils is what killed my sister's previous fridge.  She has cats, and had that fridge for several years, so you can imagine how hard it was working.


Her replacement Maytag Wide-by-Side fridge came with the advisory that coil cleaning wasn't necessary, but I told her to do it anyway.  Our own 2009 KA fridge supposedly doesn't need coil cleaning, but I still do it at least once a year. 

Post# 983350 , Reply# 4   2/19/2018 at 06:42 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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nice fridge there.....

can we have an interior shot or two?....

we had trouble getting our doors to line up as well.....the freezer door just mounts in place, no adjustment available, but the fridge side has the adjustment, but once it was raised to match the freezer side, it was tight against the top hinge, and wouldn't close we had to place washers under the top hinge to give it clearance...

the only thing that has a pro and con for me is the icemaker mounted into the door, good place for it, yet the capacity is no where near what my last fridge had....for one or two people, maybe not so bad, but for a family, were constantly running out of ice...

I wish you loads of luck with yours....

Post# 983352 , Reply# 5   2/19/2018 at 06:50 by estesguy (kansas)        

GE's never clean coil theory stems from the fact the air flow used to be drawn in at the front and pass over the coil underneath, and exhaust out the back. Now it's drawn in at the back, and exhausts out the front. This would reduce the amount of dirt and animal hair pulled in and lodged in the coil, slowing down the coil getting dirty, but it eventually will at least collect dust and need cleaning. The only way to do this effectively is to roll the fridge out from the wall, remove the access panel and clean it from behind, something I'm sure the manufacturer prefers you don't do, so they just tell you it's not necessary.

Post# 983359 , Reply# 6   2/19/2018 at 08:37 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I clean the jelly roll

condenser coil on our GE with the vac and it's never very dusty at all. I also vacuum under the fridge bi weekly also though with a crevice extension tool.

Post# 983360 , Reply# 7   2/19/2018 at 08:39 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

makes a good product. The kids have had their $900 Kenmore SxS made by Whirlpool going on 7 years now with no problem.

Post# 983371 , Reply# 8   2/19/2018 at 09:40 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
The freezer door is intentionally slightly out

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Because when it's loaded, it then lines up. That's what Sears told my parents when they bought a new fridge about 20 years ago.

I thought it was hooey and I still think it's hooey.

As to not cleaning coils, that's just plain stupid. Of course they need to be cleaned regularly. Especially if they're at floor level and draw in air with a fan.

But, yes - modern fridges are designed to fail quickly and I'd say the appliance makers have done a brilliant job of design.

Post# 983392 , Reply# 9   2/19/2018 at 11:47 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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It hasn't quite been 24 hours yet since it's been on. It's making ice pretty steadily. I have fridge/freezer thermometers. Inside the fridge (thermometer connected to middle door shelf, the temp reads between 40/41. The freezer reads between -2 and 2 above. The settings is 5 bars for freezer, 5 for fridge. Less bars is coldest, most bars increases temp. I have it on 2 bars. The fridge should be mid to upper 30s. Oh, another thing: the shelves are absolutely NOT adjustable. It doesn't seem to run a lot, there's a very tight seal around the doors, when it does run it's not horribly loud. I may just keep it on 1 bar to get coldest setting for fridge.

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Post# 983400 , Reply# 10   2/19/2018 at 12:10 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
could it be possible

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that the manufactures instructions are wrong about 5 bars being least cold and 1 bar being most cold? I was standing there, doors closed, hadn't been opened, Fridge NOT running and I increased bars and when I got to bar # 4, the compressor kicked on. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I'm going to leave it on 4 bars (3 bars are factory default) to see if it lowers temps more. It specifically says that it's the opposite. I know on the FAQ/Q&A, people were confused by this.

Post# 983401 , Reply# 11   2/19/2018 at 12:11 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Non-adjustable shelves are one thing I HATE about many new fridges.  There are a few out there that are fully adjustable, but they are Frigidaire- not the most reliable brand.

Post# 983405 , Reply# 12   2/19/2018 at 12:43 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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I could be wrong on this, but those instructions that 1 bar is coldest I think may be WRONG!!! 5 bars is coldest I think. Moving it to 4 for freezer and fridge instead of 2 bars brought the fridge temp to 37 and the compressor is running more. On 2 bars, I noticed it didn't run as much as it's running now.

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Post# 983406 , Reply# 13   2/19/2018 at 12:45 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
longevity of this one will be even worse

Time will tell on the longevity of these Whirlpool side by sides.

One thing for sure the plastic shelving is extra flimsy, I've seen them sag in the middle with average loading. No trim cover on the top door hinges, just expose metal. The Led lighting is awful, things can get pretty dark in there with full shelves.

People have also complained about the water dispenser.

I've wouldn't pay more the $800 out the door.

Meanwhile our 20 cu. ft GE side by side is going on 25 years without issue, just one lower door hinge cam.

Post# 983408 , Reply# 14   2/19/2018 at 12:54 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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It looks like the chart (question mark beside it) is correct but the statement you have flagged with the arrow is backwards.


Post# 983411 , Reply# 15   2/19/2018 at 13:23 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Give it at least 24 hrs to stabilize after making a temp change before changing again.  The fresh food section in particular takes longer to settle after an adjustment since it gets less airflow.

Post# 983424 , Reply# 16   2/19/2018 at 15:04 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
It's been on 25 hours now

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and the first 22 hours or so it was on 2 bars (because I thought lower was colder) for about 3 hours it's been on 4 bars and temp in fridge is -7 degrees F and Fridge is I'm leaving it on 4. One thing I notice it makes ice super fast but the cubes are smaller. I feel comfortable putting food in it now that the temps are right.

Post# 983479 , Reply# 17   2/19/2018 at 19:26 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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That is really poor wording in the user guide.  With refrigerators and freezers, they're dealing with terms that can be interpreted in two distinctly opposite ways.  Advising to adjust the control to a "lower" setting leaves it up to the user to figure out if that means more bars or fewer bars, since "lower" might be referring to cabinet temperature, or the amount of cooling desired.  The same goes for the advice to adjust to a "higher" setting.  Higher cooling or higher cabinet temperature?



Post# 983496 , Reply# 18   2/19/2018 at 20:54 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Non-adjustable shelves are one thing I HATE

Another form of what is called Shrinkflation, getting less while prices stay the same or increase, i.e smaller quantities, quality, service life, features, etc.

Post# 983499 , Reply# 19   2/19/2018 at 21:05 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
I agree

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Yesterday, when I was wiping the inside down, I noticed when I pulled drawers out, there was this clear gel stuff, kind of reminded me of Vaseline. I understand the drawers may need some kind of lubrication so they will slide better, but it was pretty gross to find when cleaning the inside of a fridge that is supposed to hold food. I used Dawn and hot water and scrubbed the entire inside.

Post# 983516 , Reply# 20   2/19/2018 at 23:07 by Stan (Napa CA)        

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Not to get off topic but..
I like the flooring your new refrigerator is sitting on..
Is it Armstrong "Diamond jubilee" ?

Post# 983540 , Reply# 21   2/20/2018 at 06:23 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

You are correct. The factory setting is 3 bars. I keep mine at 4 bars to keep the ice cream solid and it produces ice faster. The lower number of bars the warmer it gets. The higher number of bars it is colder. There is also a button on mine for fast ice. This keeps the freezer running non stop. Don't know how low the temp gets at that setting though.


Post# 983585 , Reply# 22   2/20/2018 at 12:28 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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Not sure if that's the name of the flooring or not. It's been since 2004 but that sounds very familiar so that's probably it.

Anyway, when setting the bars, should both freezer and fridge be on same bar level or can you do freezer 3 bars, fridge 4 bars?

I did the math wrong on my old fridge. I originally said it was 12.5 yrs old but it was 13.5 yrs old.

Post# 983683 , Reply# 23   2/21/2018 at 06:46 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

You can set either the freezer or fridge at any amount of bars. I have mine set at 3 bars for fridge and 4 bars for the freezer.


Post# 983732 , Reply# 24   2/21/2018 at 16:49 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
Ice maker finally full

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The bin that holds the ice is HUGE! I also notice the ice cubes are smaller than before which I actually like. It took 4 days to fill this but we used ice during the 4 days too. This ice bin is definitely larger than my last one. The auger is also superior to the other one. Sometimes you would have to stand and wait for it to shoot ice out, but this one is instant. Someone also explained to me that that liquid gel is a food safe lubricant they use so the shelves would slide in out easier but that maybe there was a little excess. I didn't even know they made ice makers on the door on some models, but I do see that there is much smaller capacity.

It's taking me some time to get used to getting ice through the dispenser. The water dispenser is located in front the ice dispenser at the front, so sometimes when I go to get ice, I inadvertently hit the water. I was so used to the older model with both ice and water buttons beside each other.

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