Fridge questions

I'm getting seriously fed up with fridge/freezers, in the last 16 years I have gone through *four* of them in two houses which have failed in different ways:
Zanussi - Loud howling noise Electrolux - Cooling failed, compressor still running Hotpoint - Complete failure (I checked fuses, connections etc) Electrolux - Ticking noise, fridge failed (freezer still works)
Having talked to friends I think we must be incredibly unlucky, most people seem to own fridge/freezers for 10 years or more without any failures.
My problem is that now we need to get another fridge/freezer, and I've realised that when I built the space for the fridge I left 3 cm at the sides as per instructions but that the fridge we got was 55cm wide whereas most of the new fridges seem to be 60cm wide. That means a new fridge will fill the gap almost completely!
My question is, what is the gap at the sides for? Is it for ventilation (like the rear gap) or is it simply so you can move it in and out and to ensure the door can open? If it's to ensure it can move in and out then I can build a small platform on wheels to stand it on, which would also help get air underneath to the back.
Secondly, can anyone recommend a make of fridge that is likely to last more than 4 years? We are considering a Samsung, does anyone have anything good or bad to say about their fridges?
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On 2008-08-02 17:34:54 +0100, Sapient Fridge

Generally the gap at the sides is to allow for moving the appliance, unless there are obvious vents. Normally, ventilation will take place by allowing air through a grille at the bottom then across the top of the appliance to the front
I say 'normally' because there are exceptions. For example, I have a Maytag Fridge/freezer and that has fan assisted ventilation which pushes the warm air out through a grille at the bottom front. This appliance is larger than standard, however.
In terms of standard sized products, I would strongly recommend looking at Liebherr products. I have one of theirs as well and it is excellent - solidly built, quiet and does the job. The auto defrost works properly too.
You will find Liebherr a little more expensive than the brands that you mention, but over a ten year period you will be ahead.
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How odd, I would have thought that it would be much more efficient venting at the top

Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look at the Liebherr fridge/freezers.
We did have a look at Meile but they seem very expensive for what you get, on the other hand if any fridge lasted me 10-15 years I would be very happy paying a bit more!
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On 2008-08-02 20:35:53 +0100, Sapient Fridge

Most fridges have the condensing heat exchanger as a panel of tubes on the back of the appliance. This one has the condenser as a finned block at the bottom. A fan blows air through it, down and forward.

The best thing is to go to somewhere that has them on display and then to obtain the best price on line.

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Sapient Fridge wrote:

Last time this came up I posted that for refrigerators and freezers, Miele are made by Liebherr. No-one disagreed. Models and marketing may differ.
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On Sat, 02 Aug 2008 17:34:54 +0100, Sapient Fridge wrote:

==================================Have you looked at slimline / tall fridges? Many of these are much narrower than the standard width although they're much taller than the under-counter type. This one for example is only 49.1 cm wide:
http://tinyurl.com/5tsh47
You might consider cutting out a section of worktop to accommodate one of these tall items.
Cic.
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The fridge/freezers we are looking at are already the tall ones i.e. 6ft or above, the snag was that the model my wife likes (a Samsung) would fill the space with no gap at the sides.
I'm trying to find out if I'll blow yet another fridge in 4 years by not giving it enough ventilation around the sides! It seems that the side gap is mainly for manoeuvring the fridge rather than ventilation.
Thanks for the link though
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Sapient Fridge wrote:

An indoor/outdoor thermometer will tell if the temp behind the fridge is getting too high.
cheers, Pete.
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wrote:

Some fridges have a finned rad on the back. These dont need any side ventilation.
Some have no external rad, and use tubes built in under the outer skin. These do need ventilation at the sides, as these tubes run there.
NT
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Sapient Fridge wrote:

Liebherr is probably the best around at the moment.
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wrote:

Looking at the Argos site they describe some fridges as fridges but others as larders and for the love of me I can't see the difference ..Anyone know ?
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It used to be that a larder fridge didn't have an internal icebox, the traditional fridge has a smallish icebox/freezer compartment.
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On Sat, 02 Aug 2008 21:58:33 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

A fridge used to have a little frozen food compartment, then people started buying stand-alone freezers so they started making stand alone fridges to match without the little frozen food section, they came to be called "Larder" fridges.
Derek.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote

No icebox or small frozen food compartment in a larder fridge and hence they don't have to cool down to freezing. Larder fridges also have fans inside to distribute the cold air quickly.
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Alan wrote:

I don't think that having a fan (or not) is particularly connected with being larder/non-larder. Ours is a larder type and has no fan.
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wrote:

These ones ( fridges and larders ) don't have freezer compartments .They seem to be exactly the same ...but I don't know about the fan ...
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On Sat, 02 Aug 2008 23:07:21 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hold that result .I could just be wrong in what I said above about the freezer comp't.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Argos site shows near-identical models - one fridge/one larder - next to each other. (Model number very similar, price suually identical.) One clearly has a freezer compartment, the other not.
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wrote:

Which is why I wrote what I said above .
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wrote:

My larder has no fan. No fan is usually - "Frost Free"
Consider what you may be doing to harm a fridge and get poor life. Does the door fit properly (uneven floor), etc,
Liebherr make good cranes
http://www.liebherr.com/at/en/default_at.asp
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