opinions on Sharp fridge-freezers & reliability of frost-freeness

Our Bosch fridge-freezer, just over 3 years old, has a failing frost-free system that a local technician has deemed uneconomical to repair; he also said that he has a non-frost-free fridge-freezer at home, because the frost-free gubbins, while usually reliable, are so outrageously expensive to fix if they go wrong. (A technician in a shop admitted the same thing to me.) Does anyone want to comment on this?
One of the models we're looking at on-line is branded Sharp --- I didn't even know they made that kind of appliance. Does anyone have an opinion on them?
Also, it's a frost-free model but comes with a 5-year guarantee included. Subject to what I wrote above, is frost-free worth the risk with the guarantee?
Thanks, Adam
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wrote:

Frost frees are inherently unreliable. If you want something to last 5 yrs you may be ok, but if you expect a fridge freezer to be likely to last 20 years, avoid frost frees. I'd rather defrost a few times when I choose than have a freezer die unplanned.
With non frost frees, reliability is generally good across brands. The value types you can get for £99 have short design life, but how long they last IRL I dont know.
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Fridge
NT
DO NOT buy a frost free. They have timers/ PCBs, defrost heaters and horrible things in them. You will not get 20 years from a fridge, those days have long gone I did not know that Sharp made refrigeration - who owns Sharp these days?
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On 2011-11-22, Mr Pounder wrote:

No idea --- but that was the first Sharp fridge I've seen too.
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Dunno about that I had a Hitachi from 1985 till about three years ago and it worked fine till the thermostat and compressor went on the blink. I how have a Fridgemeaster with no issues, which is frost free, and to be honest at the price of it, I'll just junk it when it busts. Question, if they can be made cheap, how come its costly to fix them? I smell a bit of profiteering.
Brian
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Bog standard non-frost-free are extremely reliable, barring a period almost 30 years ago just after the banning of CFC-expanded foam insulation, where some unsuitable alternatives were used instead which became water-logged after about 10 years.
The frost free mechanism won't come close to this in terms of reliability, so I would challenge his assertion about "usually reliable", and say the frost free mechanism is usually the cause of breakdown.

I don't know anything about Sharp, but generically, I would calculate the value of it to you based on write-off after 6 or 7 years, whereas I would expect at least twice that (and probably more) from a non-frost-free. I had a non-frost-free Hotpoint fail after 25 years.
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On 2011-11-23, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Well, I think what he actually said was something along these lines: many of them don't break and then they're fine, but when they do, they're not worth trying to repair (because of the cost of the spare parts).
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The parts that fail are usually quite cheap (e.g. a thermister). Trouble is that diagnosis and repair is well beyond the capabilities of most repair technicians, so you'll either spend a fortune on their time and parts they wrongly replace by trial and error because they don't know what they're doing, or they'll just tell you it's beyond repairing, because they know they can't diagnose the problem.
So he's almost right - they're not worth trying to repair, but it's because the diagnosis is beyond the capabilities of the repair technician, not because the parts are expensive. The end result is the same, however.
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On Nov 26, 11:14 pm, snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

Thermistors at £25 a pop, door seals at £100 a go, etc. It makes doing much pointless.
NT
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i had two frost-free freezers. The first a Bosch died suddenly, I couldn't find anyone to fix it and I didn't have time to try. So I bought a "very reliable", very expensive Liebherr frost free. Which expired suddenly a couple of months ago. i couldn't get anyone to fix it. I got a £120 fixed price repair from Domestic and General, big mistake. Domestic and General are purveyors of extended warranties, they sub-contract the work out and have no customer service or quality control. The bloke they sent levered bits off the back trying to get to the PCB; access is through the front. He hadn't got a clue. Domestic and General won't pay for the damage.
With nothing to lose, I had a go and found it was a thermistor.
I won't buy another frost free job. A conventional freezer uses a passive device to cool the compartment, the equivalent of a radiator.
A frost free has a fan, a finned heat exchanger, the equivalent of a fan-coil air blower, plus various electronic sensors and controls that the refrigeration gorillas don't understand. If you've had any dealings with fan-coils, you'll know they're a set of maintenance problems in a cabinet.
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I'd suggest you ring Consumer Direct and get some advice on how to persuade D&G to pay.
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On Nov 24, 1:09 am, Jeremy Nicoll - news posts

Thanks, but I already know.
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wrote:
i had two frost-free freezers. The first a Bosch died suddenly, I couldn't find anyone to fix it and I didn't have time to try. So I bought a "very reliable", very expensive Liebherr frost free. Which expired suddenly a couple of months ago. i couldn't get anyone to fix it. I got a £120 fixed price repair from Domestic and General, big mistake. Domestic and General are purveyors of extended warranties, they sub-contract the work out and have no customer service or quality control. The bloke they sent levered bits off the back trying to get to the PCB; access is through the front. He hadn't got a clue. Domestic and General won't pay for the damage.
These guys are "trained" to repair all domestic appliances. Refrigeration is quite specialised. Domestic refrigeration is a bitch.
With nothing to lose, I had a go and found it was a thermistor.
I won't buy another frost free job. A conventional freezer uses a passive device to cool the compartment, the equivalent of a radiator.
A frost free has a fan, a finned heat exchanger, the equivalent of a fan-coil air blower, plus various electronic sensors and controls that the refrigeration gorillas don't understand. If you've had any dealings with fan-coils, you'll know they're a set of maintenance problems in a cabinet.
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On 2011-11-22, NT wrote:

Thanks (to you & the others who replied) for the advice. The problem is that all the fridge-freezers near the capacity of our current one seem to be frost-free, but we've found a non-frost-free Siemens model that's close.
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thats curious, as frost frees give less volume per outer dimensions, since they have a closed compartment at the back for the works.
NT
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On 2011-11-27, NT wrote:

Yes, it is strange! I suspect it may be that they consider "frost-free" a selling point that they need to put in the higher price ranges that include most of the large-capacity fridge-freezers.
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