[slightly OT]: "American" fridge/freezer opinions

Hi,
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.
david
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vortex2 wrote:

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 everything.
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.

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wrote:

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.

.andy
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vortex2 wrote:

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.
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On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 08:36:54 -0000, "vortex2"

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 company.
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 U.S. sites.

.andy
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stsightvision.co.uk> writes

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 first. Pics here: http://www.direct-electricals.co.uk/zanussi_zi8454x_4_door_fridge_freezer.htm Ignore the incorrect size info at the top, the correct dims are 1900x860x550. Anyone got experience of these or seen one in the flesh?
--
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fred wrote:

Some Wickes kitchen showrooms have this model.
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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.
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There is a store in Leith Walk, Edinburgh, that specialises in American Style Fridge/Freezers.
Or here:
http://www.click-4-appliances.com/c4/homepage.ktx
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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.
--
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The Samsung we've got looks similar in size and is a third of the price with a much better freezer compartment layout
http://www.direct-electricals.co.uk/samsung_srl629ev_fridge_freezer.htm
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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 . . . . .
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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 units around......
Apart from that, smart!
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I'm a sucker for the stainless ;-)
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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.
Pros:
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 :)
Cons:
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.
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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.
Regards,
Simon

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irstsightvision.co.uk> writes

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.
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On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 08:36:54 -0000, "vortex2"

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 freezer.
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.
8-(
DG
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