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Replace the fridge??

August 30th, 2020 at 12:39 am

I have a 12-year-old Whirlpool refrigerator/freezer, S/S, side by side with ice dispenser.

In the past year or so, it unexpectedly and without warning will suddenly turn cold...too cold...and ruin fresh produce in the bottom two drawers, or anything perishable like that in the lower part of the fridge.

I've had to throw food away as a result. I'm really unsure what to do. I really would like to get a substantially larger refrigerator, both taller and wider, as the one I have is pretty small. Its height is constrained by some cabinets above the fridge, and also by cabinets to the left.

If I wanted a bigger fridge, it would require some reconstruction of the cabinets, which I'm really not ready to do since the whole kitchen could use a makeover and it doesn't make sense to do it piecemeal.

Unless I just had someone (a carpenter?) take out the cabinets above and try to find a taller fridge, but not wider. Not sure how it would look though.

As you can see, to the left of the fridge is a cabinet and countertop, but to the right is a folding wood door with passageway to the dining room, plus there's a solid fixed wall, actually part of the cabinetry, on the right as well.

So I guess I'll just live with the unpredictable one I have now? I have it set at the near lowest setting in an effort to keep it from getting too cold. Not sure that's had any effect. I have a thermometer in there but will have to start paying closer attention to it.

8 Responses to “Replace the fridge??”

  1. East Coast Saver (Wink) Says:

    Would you consider getting a small second fridge/freezer for overflow food? I'm not sure if you have a basement or garage where it would go. It might be less expensive then removing cabinets. Your current fridge might just need an inexpensive repair. Just a thought.

  2. crazyliblady Says:

    Do you have an appliance repair person you could contact to come by and evaluate it to find out what the problem is?

  3. Fern Says:

    Thanks for both your comments. Your comments made me go and do some quick research on what's recommended for appliance repair or replacement. The average lifespan of a refrigerator is just 13 years. I got mine in 2008, so mine is 12 years old. Consumer Reports says if your appliance is more than 50% through its lifespan and the repair cost is more than 50% of the cost of buying new, then you should replace. I don't think I'd do a repair if it was more than $250. Also read that icemakers cause a much higher repair rate than fridges without icemakers, so I won't be getting one of them again.

    The idea of repairing this fridge and then getting a small 2nd fridge/freezer for the basement is an interesting idea, but I think in the end I'd rather get a larger fridge on the main living level, even if it requires some carpentry work. The biggest challenge is figuring out who would be the best person to do that.

    I'm having some other home improvements done this week (stone facade on garage walls, install of a hand rail on my front stairs, and repair/new concrete wall in basement where the old concrete was literally crumbling and a real eyesore.

  4. crazyliblady Says:

    I guess I read right past the part about the fridge being 12 years old. Yes, replacing it does make sense. If you know any carpenters or contractors, you could ask for an estimate to do what is needed. It might not be as much as you think.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    I know you said you'd like to get a new fridge. Here's my advice for what it is worth. If you can afford the new one, even if it means more carpentry work, better get it. And don't wait to go shopping. I have learned that appliances are hard to get right now, so you may need to get your name on a list. We have talked to three different people and every one of them has said they had problems getting refrigerators in the size and style they wanted. As old as yours is, I think you'll be money ahead to get a new one. Sadly, appliances are not made to last.

  6. lurker Says:

    I'm catching up on my reading and don't have a comment specific to this fridge issue, but from a couple weeks back - your lost freezer food from the power outage should be reimbursable through your homeowner's insurance.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    I second getting it now, because you may have a waiting time of 3 to 4 months for delivery. That's what the freezers are. You might be able to cajole a floor model, but you very well may not be able to get it the week you go shopping. Better to get it ordered before you need it. Even if you have to put it in the garage until you can fix a space big enough for what you want, I'd do it.

  8. disneysteve Says:

    I wouldn't waste any time or money trying to repair a 12-year-old fridge. It's not worth it. It's at the end of it's lifespan. Plus, you will almost certainly see your electric bill drop when you replace it due to better efficiency of the current ones.

    When we replaced ours a few years ago, we had to remove the cabinet above it because the new one was taller than the old one and that was the only way to get it to fit. Fortunately we had the room side to side. And we never used that cabinet anyway since it was over the fridge which is a stupid place for a cabinet to begin with.

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