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Refrigerator replacement - how much time do we have?
Old 02-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #1
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Refrigerator replacement - how much time do we have?

Our refrigerator plans have just bene derailed. We planned on moving the kitchen fridge down to replace the basement bar fridge when we redo the kitched in 2012. ( basement fridge is old and produces condensation puddles in the produce drawers & bottom shelf) which is used to keep pilsner glasses frosty and vodka & beer chilled.

Now, the kitchen fridge (at least 12 years old - came with house) is rattling and clunking, and sounds like it is gearing up for lift-off! (noise started about 3 days ago) So, now we have the frozen stuff and "valuables" from the kitchen fridge housed in basement fridge. We are looking to replace the kitchen fridge (obviously) - with the intent that this one will make the move to the basement next year.

My question is: based upon you appliance drama history - any idea how many days/weeks might we have to watch the sales to get the best deal?
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
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Roughly 7 weeks.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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My question is: based upon you appliance drama history - any idea how many days/weeks we have to watch the sales to get the best deal?
Sorry, no idea. It depends on what is going wrong with it. We have an old freezer that has been making an occasional chirping sound for 5 years, and it's still going strong.

We got a good deal on our fridge from a Sears outlet center. Floor models/etc, a large selection, and about 1/3 less than sale prices. I think we got a warranty, too, but we didn't need to use it.

Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:18 PM   #4
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Sorry, no idea. It depends on what is going wrong with it.
I agree with samclem.

The sensible thing is to set the money aside that you would need for a new refrigerator. Then, start looking immediately for "refrigerator A" - - the refrigerator you would buy in an immediate emergency, sale or no sale.

In the process, you might identify "refrigerator B" - - the refrigerator you would want more than refrigerator A, but only if it was on sale.

Then you can wait and if/when "refrigerator B" goes on sale, you could go ahead and buy it. If your present refrigerator croaks before that happens, you can always go with "refrigerator A".

Personally I wouldn't wait until a 12-year-old refrigerator gasped its last dying breath, because the cost of replacing the food inside of it is probably more than it is worth. I would just go out and buy "refrigerator A" tomorrow.

BTW I recommend Kenmore. My old refrigerator/freezer (containing a lot of food including 50 pounds of chicken, fish, and shrimp in the freezer) was totalled by Hurricane Katrina. So, in November 2005 I replaced it with a black, mid-grade, freezer-on-top Kenmore and it is the best refrigerator I have ever had. Hardly uses any energy, keeps food fresh for a long time, and it is sturdy and easy to clean. Plus, it still looks brand new.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:25 PM   #5
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Fireup, if you have the means to do your own transporting you may find some really good deals on Craigslist. Kitchen remodels often produce reasonably new "nothing wrong with it, just the wrong color/size" opportunities.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:32 PM   #6
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I like the Samsung model RF4287HA I bought 3 months ago much better than the Kenmore it replaces. But then it cost more than the Kenmore, also. It has different cooling systems for the freezer and the fridge, and a middle drawer configurable for 3 temperatures. Humidity here is very high, and the old Kenmore collected ice and mildew continually -- and stuff spoiled. The Samsung keeps things fresh and doesn't ice up.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:33 PM   #7
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My thirteen year old fridge started acting up a year ago before Christmas . I immediately started shopping and hit a few good sales . It is best to narrow down what you want & don't want before you shop . I bought an LG french door fridge at Sears within a week which looks great but the bottom freezer is like a great abyss . We can never find things . My old side by side was better in that respect . By the way we moved the old fridge down to the garage and it's worked perfectly ever since .
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:36 PM   #8
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I'd suggest you go looking at Lowes and homedepot. They both have a large selection of brand names. Figure out what you want and then look online here Appliances, Home and Kitchen Appliances | ajmadison.com and similar places to find out how cheaply you can really get it.

The go back to the big box store and ask them to come close to that price. You might be surprised at how well you can do.

Having just been through the fridge buying ordeal at my house, I feel your pain. BTW - I got a samsung from my local lowes and they came within 70 bucks of the online price plus they delivered it and installed it. They had to order it in to their store which took 3 days.

One more note - sears sells brand names fridges, but the specs on them are sometimes different. Check the compressor specs before you commit; I found that they were often smaller (work harder)!
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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I got a samsung from my local lowes..
On the positive side, we bought an earlier model of this same Samsung at Lowes last March. I highly recommend it.

On the negative side, you linked to that fridge at AJMadison, which in this household is a bit like waving a red flag at a bull. We made one online appliance purchase from them and it was by far the absolute worst buying experience I've ever had the dismal misfortune to encounter. Words do not exist that can adequately describe that sorry-@ss excuse for a company.

But other than that, I highly recommend you shop there.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
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I have no shopping experience with aj madison - but found that the low prices they have are very helpful when negotiating for a local purchase. I was surprised to learn that both lowes and homedepot would 'deal' and that they could order items not in stock. Sorry about yer rotten experience with them. I also really like the samsung fridge we have. I also liked a similar electrolux a lot but just couldn't wrap my brain around the sticker price. Electorlux appearently forbids dealers to sell at discounted prices (at least according to the dealers).
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #11
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Based on my experience (sample size of 1), you have less than a week. A friends nice fridge started making noises last month - it completely died a few days later.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:21 PM   #12
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I hear Whirlpool & Frigidaire have the best overall ratings regarding consumer satisfation....sounds like Samsung is a winner with this crowd. The Kenmores at Sears locally were horrifically overpriced! (old school Kenmore fan here - but now very expensive comparing apples to apples) BTW, have not found a local Sears "outlet" here (parents have one in/around Sacramento)
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:38 PM   #13
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Might just be the fan in the freezer which is an easy fix. Check it out. You should be able to remove the plastic cover over the evaporator, or easier still a cover on the fan and get a look at the thing.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #14
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If it's not in Consumer Reports as a "Best Buy", I don't buy. Here's something else to think about - not sure it applies everywhere; but, it doesn't hurt to ask.

Our local Lowes offers a 10% senior citizen discount on Tuesdays. You have to specifically ask for it or you don't get it. I think you have to be 55 or older. Also, our local Sears (storefront, not mall) also offers a 10% discount on Tuesdays. They know us so well we don't have to ask for it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:10 PM   #15
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Lowe's also has a 10% military discount year round on everything .
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #16
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Lowe's also has a 10% military discount year round on everything .
As well as Home Depot! HD is more convenient, but Lowes carries preferred fridge brands...
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:52 PM   #17
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Being the Proud Owner of over 100 refrigerators...I thought I would share my thoughts....

Actually, some of the things you mention may not mean the refrigerator needs replacing - unless of course you just want a newer appliance.

If there is a lot of noise coming from the back of the refrigerator, you might want to see if it is ice build up (inside the walls where you can't see it) and pull the plug & let it melt away/defrost (yes I know its supposed to be frost free, but the reality is ice builds up where you don't see it!). While you have it turned off, you can unscrew the wall panels in the freezer compartment to expose the interior mechanics & see if there is icing or a plug up in the drain line that removes the moisture and drains it into the shallow pan at the bottom of the fridge. Sometimes even parts have dislodged over time and rattle. You can google refrigerator repair/trouble shooting and get lots of tips. The one thing that can't be fixed & nixes the refrigerator is if a stabilizer spring is loose or broken inside the Condensor -- no way it can be fixed & too expensive.

On the other basement fridge with water in the bottom, that happens a lot with modern refrigerators actually. Sometimes we heat/melt out the ice that collects inside the walls (or just turn it off for a few days) & check the drain line (inside behind wall). Sometimes it may require a cheap part repair, like a Thermostat or Defroster Timer. These are the usual culprits.

Just this week I had a tenant call maintenance man due to noisy refrigerator & fortunately he turned it completely off. When maintenance got to the apt the next day, there was no noise at all (go figure!) because it was probably due to ice getting loose inside the back panel.

On buying new refers, the suggestions here are all good & probably the only additional savings you might get would be on delivery & haul away charges. For my business, I use an outfit that does these for "free" when I buy the appliance. Saves us a lot of dough & hassle.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:22 PM   #18
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I had something similar happen when we moved a 19 yr old Whirlpool upright freezer. Loud clunking noises every time it turned on. Checked with Whirlpool and the replacement part costs about the same as a new chest freezer (around $300), so we recycled it. It was so loud, we closed the doors to the mud room so we could tolerate the noise. If you have a Kil O Watt unit (some libraries carry for check out), you can check the energy usage. I was able to compare to another 19 yr old Whirlpool upright freezer (there was one here when we moved in, diff. model) and the usage was almost 10 times higher from the malfuntioning. This unit never died on us, we didn't replace it for almost 6 months. By the way, visit the USPS and check to see if they have moving kits. You can usually find a Lowes 10% coupon most of the time if you can't get any other discounts and Home Depot will honor it too (most of the time).
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:25 AM   #19
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3 days if my experience is any example. I noticed moisture around the freezer door gasket one day. The next day I noticed a bit of condensation on a ziploc bag of peppers in the door of the freezer and thought it might be a bit warmer than normal in the fridge. The third morning I walked into the kitchen and stepped into a pool of water which filled the whole kitchen. The ice from the ice maker had melted. Yikes! Not to mention that we were leaving in 4 hours for a week in Vegas!! So glad it died before we left, what a mess that would have been. Fortunately we were able to squeeze all the important stuff into our spare utility room fridge.
I shopped on internet while gone and decided I wanted either the LG or a Samsung. I did go to local stores when we returned and looked at them in person. I ordered the LG Elegant large-capacity French Door refrigerator along with the extended warranty (they also had the warranty for half of what Best Buy was charging) as I had heard about a few troubles with the icemaker. I purchased it here: Shopping.com vendor recommendations and saved well over a thousand dollars...I don't know that anyone ever pays the full retail price, so it was less, but still a great deal. No tax and free shipping.
As I only ordered it Friday I have no complaints yet. I have a good friend who owns an LG and she loves it so I decided to go with that. Consumer Reports had it on the recommended list so that was a plus as well.
Good luck and don't leave town until this is resolved!!!!
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:40 AM   #20
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If the refrigerator sounds like it is disemboweling itself, I'd be pretty careful about leaving anything you don't want to lose in it, especially relatively expensive frozen items like meat, fish-or you may come home to a stinking, putrid puddle of protein--based goo when the compressor finally seizes up and starts heating the contents...I can't even begin to describe to you what a 5-lb bag of shrimp smells like after a long weekend at ~100 degrees in a closed-up house. (the solid mass of flies on the screen door was my first clue that something was horribly wrong inside....)
Ditto the online pricing/local sourcing suggestions. When we bought the appliances for our new home, I was able to save ~20% off the local dealers "best package price" when I pulled out the online pricing printouts from ajmadison and A-1 appliance.
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