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Looking to purchase (used, maybe new) fridge. Seeking advice from those that repair on a regular basis.


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I want to replace my fridge. 23 year old 25.4 CF Kenmore SxS with water and ice in the door with a french door model.  My Kenmore has been rock solid for 21 years with the exception of a start relay and door closer shims which were cheap, quick and easy to replace.  I haven't ruled out new, but I would prefer used/road tested and realize there are risks. I've looked at a lot of them.  New and Used.  I don't really care about water in the door, but I do like my ice (crushed) in the door.  I am starting to think I may be better off without water and ice in the door as far as problems are concerned.  If they're quick, easy and inexpensive problems I don't mind as long as they're not chronic. I can fix those. 

I saw one Kitchenaid model that had steel roller slides on all the drawers and the freezer. I really likes that feature. Some of the others were just plastic sliding on plastic, and some were nylon  rollers sliding on plastic. 

There seems to be a couple of schools of thought on these water-and-ice-in-the-door units.  I've seen small footprint ones in the freezer cabinet, full size ones in the freezer cabinet and some  "slim" ones on the back of the freezer door.  I've also seen some models with TWO ice makers. One for the in-the-door dispenser and one down below shelling out the crescent cubes. I understand some of them have their own cooling system, and others have freezer air blown up from the bottom.  Any advantages or disadvantages to these types?

There appears to be pretty good documentation available for most of the mainstream brands, though I've found Samsung to be somewhat difficult to find.

Many places don't don't have knowledgeable sales folks. Some of the appliance specialty stores have decent sales folks which are ok as far as features go, but they don't have a lot of info on reliability and customer satisfaction.  Hence my posing the questins here.

I would welcome any advice/suggestions as far as brand/model/system type reliability and performance.  Keeping in mind maintenance (parts availability and pricing) as well. Anything good to look for, anything to steer clear of?   Or is this just a crap shoot. Get the one I want with the features I want and "deal with it" ?

Thank you. 

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Honestly I would avoid ice and water in the door, unless it is a "must have". I like top freezer bottom fridge single evap, single fan refrigerators with a single speed compressor....


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Everyone thinks repair techs know what brands are best. All we know is what we fix. Which is all brands. 

To know least reliable we’d have to know exactly how many of each type was sold in our service area. And we don’t. 

Best of luck. 

Ice makers belong in freezers, just my opinion. 

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Thanks for the replies.  I guess I wasn't clear in my questions.  Having been in the troubleshooting and repair business for 40+ years (obviously not appliances), I certainly understand the concept of "which is better "Ford or Chevy?" when it comes to reliability. They both make good cars and they both make not so good cars. Some of those cars are well designed and perform well.  Others suffer from poorly designed systems resulting in lousy performance and sometimes costly parts. Both have offerings for vehicles that are meant for vastly different purposes.

From a reliability standpoint, I was not looking for one brand over the other, but moreso component and/or system designs that might affect reliability and/or performance. For example, are the dual cooling systems (while more complex) any less reliable than a single system?   Is the ducted freezer air system any better?  Might any of the options have defrost issues inherent in their design? This was the more general type of information I was seeking.  Not necessarily statistics.

The newer units have a lot more electronics in them.  Should a board fail, they can be rather expensive to replace.  The more boards, the more likelihood of a failure. As repair people, you folks would have a much better awareness of the types and amounts of failures as I would with or without respect to brand.   

I do however appreciate the idea above of "if water and ice in the door is a must have".... Frankly, I don't care about water, just crushed ice.  But realizing the complexity associated with them, I don't want it THAT bad.  I'll probably start looking at non-water -and-ice-door models.

Thanks again for your insight. 
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Brand doesn't really play a role, it's the design and parts that are used. Best strategy is to buy the cheapest top freezer fridge with mechanical control. No options, no displays, no icemaker, no water. When even that fails, buy another one. Cheap. That's why you want a reliable one right, to avoid spening a lot of money on repair? Because everything will break down eventually. But that said, I like the Frigidaire All fridge All freezer with mechanical control. You can choose what you want it to be; a freezer or a fridge. That is probably the best design as close as possible to the old fridges. But yes, you will get frozen drain problem eventually. No big deal. Here is a model number FPRH17D7KF. Yeah, you will need space for 2 of them or get a chest freezer as the freezer.


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