I'm in the process of installing a completely new kitchen at home. I've
left a 90cm wide gap for an "American" style fridge freezer (of course with
a water supply).
Looking around I have formed the opinion that the US built fridges of this
type are - on the whole - overpriced shite.
Does anyone out there have strong opinions on these machines?
Samsung have caught my eye as having excellent features/price/performance.
Look at Liebherr. I think they do one.
I am totally chuffed with my built-in. Not only does it appear to have
been adequately designed, but its also got things like glass and metal
in it rather than plastic, and the instruction booklet proved to be
completely correct in every respect and missed nothing and explained
It wasn't cheap - around 600 IIRC - but it wasn't totally expensive either.
Merkins expect to have something big, and expensve, that fails shortly
after the style went out of fashion - usually in 5 years. Then the
gladly replace it with something equally hideous, with chrome strips
tail fins and a v8 compressor.
They do, and we looked at them. The only problem is that they don't
(or didn't) have a 90cm model, only 121cm - i.e. two 60cm appliances
"glued" together. The space that we had for this would only take
the 90cm products.
We have a Liebherr upright freezer and it is excellent in every way,
so I would certainly recommend the brand.
You will be pleased with the Samsung, but it seems strange that they don't
seem to have many 'standard' fridges around. The US Maytag is also a good
but pricey bet, although I've only had one over there, not over here in case
there is a difference.
I looked at this a couple of years ago when refurbishing the kitchen.
At that time, there were some U.S. models and a few from elsewhere.
Among the American ones, Maytag had a much better made product than
their competitors and some of the cheaper brands made by the same
The far east manufacturers did not have particularly good products and
the internal fittings like the shelf mechanisms were not nearly as
good. They may have copied the U.S. products more effectively by now.
I checked with friends and colleagues in the U.S. and the general
opinion was that Maytag was among the best brands in terms of quality
and reliability so after more careful checking we went with one of
their 27cuft models. It's certainly not among the cheapest products
and the price here is somewhat higher than the U.S.,
However, it is very solidly built and includes 5 yr parts and labour
warranty. We have not been disappointed with it.
There are quite a few features which have been a real benefit in its
design which clearly comes from many years of building such products.
For example, there is a rail arrangement at the back which allows
shelves to be slotted on and there are some where the shelf can be
moved up and down with a handle at the front without removing the
shelf. This means that a large item can be accomodated without
having to empty and move the shelf. There are numerous specialised
compartments for taking different types of container, and there is
individual temperature control of the large drawers at the bottom so
that different foods can be stored at the correct temperatures.
Other products may have some of the capabilities but look carefully
for what you want.
In particular check on the productivity and effectiveness of the
icemaker if this function is important. When I looked at some
models in the U.S. ( I found a store that had several models in
operation), at least one of the far east models - can't remember which
- did not have a well made icemaker and the icecubes were spilling out
inside the machine and the crusher didn't work properly.
I would suggest reading the reviews carefully and especially look at
I've been looking at US models and don't like the arrangement of the freezer
storage and the lost space of the water cooler & ice maker which appears
compulsory on all but the most basic models. I'm within inches of buying the
Zanussi Quattroporte (Zi8454X) but really want to have a close up look at it
Ignore the incorrect size info at the top, the correct dims are 1900x860x550.
Anyone got experience of these or seen one in the flesh?
Ah, thanks Toby. I'm in Scotland, Wickes are a bit thin on the ground and
none have it. I often travel 'down south' so can you remember where you
saw one? Also, did you cop a feel?, very keen to hear about build quality
plus look and feel.
Ta, got loads on the web with http://www.direct-electricals.co.uk/ my fave
for good range & pictures.
Found out that Wickes in Stirling had my fave (Zannssi Zi8454X) & took a
trip up to see it, but what a minger! It is from the built in range so the
stainless doors are fixed as cladding panels to a plain white door
underneath, the seal between the two fridge doors rubbed whenever the
door was opened so looked like it would last 5mns. Very nice & wide in
the fridge area, but a bit small in the freezer, & just didn't feel right.
Cladding panels made a terrible squeal as they slid over the inner doors
when opening. I will def not be buying one, thanks for the heads up to Toby
for the viewing location.
So, looks like it's back to the american style side by sides for me. Saw a
Daewoo FRS2021IAL and was pleasantly surprised, no water chiller/ice
maker, so freezer was quite spacious. Silver coloured, not SS, but may
learn to live with that. Also saw a Miele KD3528SED, big but not a side by
side, but it did look the biz.
The Samsung we've got looks similar in size and is a third of the
price with a much better freezer compartment layout
Thanks, saw that one after my let down with the Zanussi today (pants).
Looks nice but all the Samsungs I have seen so far pong like a plastics
factory when I open the doors - has that dissipated in yours? I still have
designs on a side by side (I've actually widened and raised the kitchen
fireplace to take one :-) but am keeping an open mind.
A pair of stainless Liebherrs side by side would be my ideal, but theres no
was I'm opening the chimney up to 1200 . . . . .
Yep, the smell went as soon as the temperature dropped, but don't all
showroom standing FFs pong because they're just stood there in the
heat with the door shut?
The only complaint we've had about ours is it needs to be positioned
so that the door can be opened as wide as possible to get the crisper
tray out for occasional washing, so we had to move a couple of kitchen
Apart from that, smart!
We have the Samsung side-by-side model with the icemaker etc. We've had it
nearly two years and are generally pleased with it. It was expensive, but
they've come down in price quite a bit since then.
The filtered water & icemaker is fantastic.
Loads of room in the fridge - you can get two whole crates of beer on each
shelf without having to take them out of the boxes.
Impresses visitors :)
The freezer part is a bit small and narrow and as Witchy pointed out you
can't lay large pizzas out flat. It just encourages you to be more efficient
packing it I suppose...
The ice doesn't come out clear (like ice you get in a pub) but white. Only a
minor point I know, but slightly disappointing.
Apart from that, we're well pleased with it and wouldn't go back to a normal
fridge freezer again.
I can recommend AEG as a manufacturer. I bought a fridge freezer from
them after asking around on this group. Very pleased with it.
Whatever you do make sure it has a separate compressor for the fridge
and freezer. AEG and Liebherr seem to be the best built brands AFAICT
from word of mouth.
Looking for an American side-by-side a year ago, I looked at several
models and shortlisted a Samsung and a Whirlpool. I wanted stainless
steel; the Samsung had cheap-looking steel-effect plastic doors and was
no cheaper, so I bought the Whirlpool and have been very happy.
Advice: check the cost of the water filter refills before deciding. I
buy them for my Whirlpool in the USA where they are half the price they
are here in UK.
A. Top posters.
Q. What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?
I have a Maytag side by side fridge freezer.
A couple of surprises :
1) It dispenses water, but no attempt is made to chill the water, and
all the plastic piping gives it a distinct "plastic" taint. we don't
use it. Previously we had a commercial "Kojak" style water cooler
which was much more satisfactory.
2) The model we have is their model for "European" sized kitchens IE
small but profligate. The capacity inside the freezer is much reduced
by ice maker and ice/water dispenser gubbins. It is less satisfactory
than our previous arrangement of seperate matching tall fridge and
Sadly we have come to the conclusion that it is big in the same sense
that American cars are big. Big on the outside, but look in the boot.
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