Refrigerator buying advice

I’ve nursed my 40 year old GE refrigerator as long as I could. Now that it likes to melt my freezer items and freeze my refrigerated items (I wish I were kidding), it’s time I finally break down and get a new one.

I’ve settled on wanting to go with a GE or Whirlpool and will try to stay away from Samsung/LG unless people can convince me otherwise. My sister has all LG appliances and every one of the broke/leaked within the first 2 years of owning them ruining their kitchen and laundry room floors.

One thing I don’t understand is if I need frost-free or not. Also what other features I should try to spring for since I’m going with something new. It’d be nice to have a water dispenser and automatic ice maker, but I have a confined space it has to fit in which severe limits my options.

Thanks for the help.

I always wanted a fridge with the freezer at the bottom. And now I have one and it sucks. Everything under the top layer is literally buried and forgotten.

Remember to leave the doors open for a while after unplugging the fridge. (I speak from housemate’s experience.)

Apparently ice makers are a waste of space, money, stop working, have proprietary high-priced water filters, and risk of leak ruining your floor leading to a $7,000 repair by a bad contractor that disrupts your life and damages your walls on the last day on his way out.

But, I freaking love having an ice maker. So, so nice. Use it every day, all the time. I have one built into the freezer so it doesn’t use any fridge / fridge door space.

It’s also really hard to buy a new fridge that isn’t at the lowest of the low-end without one these days.

I’m still happy with the bottom-freezer style. I use the fridge part 20x times more often than the freezer, why not have that be a the most convenient height? Never been a fan of side-by-side space utilization in either compartment, but a lot of people seem to love them.

Can you even buy a fridge w/o a frost-free freezer compartment? If you can - the downside is needing to be able to completely empty it out once a year or so for a day to let it defrost.

If you’re looking for a side-by-side that does not have a water dispenser, you want the Whirl Pool model WRS312SNHB… because its literally the only model you can get (I think there is a rebadged Maytag version - but its the same fridge). You can get an automatic ice maker that sits in the freezer, and can be removed temporarily. Quiet, roomy, and (hopefully) very long term reliable.

I picked one up 6 months ago to replace my 30 year old fridge whose compressor was going.

Heh, yeah. Our LG has the freezer on the bottom, and this is exactly what happens. “Oh, so that’s where that went!”

Glad you guys mentioned the bottom freezer issues. My GF wants one and I’ve tried to tell her no but this is good ammo.

We have a side-by-side now and those she hates it, we’ve alleviated a lot of the complaints she had with a small secondary freezer in the back of our garage. Now we stage things and it keeps the freezer relatively clutter free.

Why does the hate the side-by-side?

BTW I’m trying to maximize the refrigerator volume at the expense of the freezer part since I have a chest freezer in another room.

It says “optional ice maker”. How does that work? It doesn’t come with one and you have to install an entire thing on your own? That sounds difficult if you have to do tubing and all kinds of other stuff that’s not already in there?

I actually found a fridge a couple of years ago at I think Sears that had no freezer at all. My wife wouldn’t let me get it. I have a chest freezer, so I see no need for it, and it created wonderful new room for the fridge part.

I wish I remembered the brand for you.

She hates side-by-side because not all manufacturers make all types of fridges (top freezer, side-by-side, bottom freezer, no freezer.) The hot new thing a few years ago was bottom freezer and all the shiny new models had that, thus her dislike for my old one. She also likes larger(wider) fridge shelves and trays, something that either top or bottom style freezers give.

With our chest freezer as a bonus, I really have no care which one we get when we upgrade. That being said, bending over nearly to the floor to get something off the bottom will suck.

Usually if someone is installing the fridge for you, they’ll put it in took them an extra 15 minutes when they did mine. Its an optional, but official, accessory that I suspect most people put in.

Its not much - a 100$ optional accessory consisting of a basket to hold ice and a mechanism to make and flip out the ice cubes from the fridge’s water line. Here’s the install manual

Of course you have to have access for the water line from source to fridge.

I was lucky enough to buy a newer house. The water supply is right next to the fridge. Yay! Unlike older homes where a plumber would have to run a waterline. Not cheap.

This is why we don’t have an ice maker.Just not worth the cost and run the line.

Same. No way I’m paying a plumber to run a new water line to the fridge’s weak link. If I couldn’t find a decent fridge without an ice-maker, I’d just leave it unconnected. Ice trays aren’t that hard.

The limiting factor for me is space; fridges keep getting bigger, and the number of available models that will actually fit in my kitchen goes down every year.

Before buying a fridge it should be mandatory to listen to John Siracusa’s process on this episode of the Reconcilable Differences podcast.