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Fridge issues? What would you do


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My four-year-old fridge stopped working this weekend. I cleaned the coils, but no luck. A repairman came out today and said it was a bad compressor. This fridge only has a 12-month warranty. It will cost $812 to fix it. (I think they will deduct the $90 I spent for the repair call from that bill, but I can't tell from the estimate, which is good for 30 days.)

 

It is a large fridge with no frills. I want space more than frills. I know this fridge cost under $1,000.

 

So, I went looking for a fridge today. I didn't find "the one" that I liked for under $800. However, there was a side-by-side one of the same size for under $500 at the outlet store. I just don't think I could fit our food in a side-by-side. We always have 3-4 large frozen pizzas in the freezer to have on hand just in case for dinner runs out before the older kids get home.

 

I'm looking on craigslist, but I haven't heard back about the ones that might work for us.

 

So, what would you do

 

1.) Have the current fridge fixed? The repair company will give a lifetime warranty on the compressor.

 

2.) Buy the big side-by-side since it would be new and cheaper? In addition to the pizza problem, we buy 6 to 8 gallons of milk and oj at a time. There is usually a jug of apple juice in their also. I just don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish.

 

3.) Buy a new one even though it costs more than the repair? We can afford it in the longterm, but it is hard to swing (or stomach) right now. (I know that probably doesn't make sense.) I will be getting a tax refund that will cover the cost, but I don't know when that will come, since I just mailed the form yesterday. I have "next-year's savings" that I can dip in to, so I will not have to wait for the refund.

 

4.) Buy a fridge off of craigslist? I can't wait long for the right one to show up, since we have no fridge/freezer right now.

 

Thanks for your advice. I don't have any one to talk this though with right now. My head still hurts from shopping with my youngest three in tow.

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I wouldn't sink that much money into a 4 year old fridge.

 

Sadly, appliances aren't going to last like they did in the past. I replaced a 30+ year old fridge a few years ago and I was livid when they wanted me to spend an extra $140 for the extended 4 year warranty when I was already paying $1700 and replacing one that had run for decades.

 

I'd swing for a new fridge and get what I really wanted. It gets used way too much to settle. I'll also be getting the extended warranty on large appliances from here on because repairs of digital parts are ridiculous. The control board on my dishwasher went out and it would have been $320, or more likely, I would have been stuck replacing a 2 year old dishwasher had it not been for the warranty.

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We had a very similar situation and tried everything that you did. My husband thought it was the compressor. I am trying to remember now if it ended up being the compressor or something else--- anyhow, my Dad is very handy. So we were able to purchase the part online (much cheaper than the local appliance store and arrived in 2 days) and he switched it out. I think it cost us about $250 vs $1000+ for a new one. It's running like a charm.

 

I wish I could remember if it was actually the compressor. I just remember when he took the unit out, and we compared it to the new one, it was a tiny porcelain piece that was broken, so he just switched it out and put the unit back.

 

He found the spec's for our refer online. If you have anyone handy, I would suggest doing that. Hope this helps.

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Bummer! This same thing happened to me this week, only my old fridge was ten years old so I didn't even bother getting it looked at. I've been wanting a new fridge anyway, because I'm tired of the mess from the water and ice in the door. I was able to get a black french door style 25 cubic foot capacity fridge with freezer on the bottom for about $1000 at Sears. The nice thing is that it has more storage than my old one because it has no water or ice in the door and the bottom freezer is roomier. It has an icemaker with a scoop and I bought a water filter for our sink faucet so we can still have filtered water. It seems like a better buy than an expensive repair to me, because it's new and has a warranty.

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My dh's best friend is an appliance repair man. This last spring, I was taking care of our neighbor's house and their fridge died - he said if it would have been the compressor, it wouldn't be worth fixing because of the cost. It turned out it wasn't - I can't remember what the part was - but it was only about $50. But his advice was if the compressor goes, to just buy a new fridge.

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I am in a similar fix right now too. The repair man is the dad of a good friend. I asked him if it was worth fixing.

He said "Honestly no. You sink that much money in it now for a compressor and sometimes it works good for a while, sometimes it doesn't. Then you are out more money. In my opinion you are better off buying a new fridge."

 

The way I see it, him telling me that was money out of his pocket but he is a very honest man.

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For now, try putting a floor fan behind the fridge to keep it cooled off. Our fan went bad too and the part costs WAY more than we expected. The bonus is, the hot air getting blown off the back of the fridge helps heat your house.

 

No advice on the repair/replace delima, just something to keep your food cool while you figure it out :D

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I absolutely HATE my side-by-side. I hate to get rid of it because my dad bought it for us just as a "fluff" gift and he's passed away, but I absolutely HATE it. I can't wait to have our kitchen redone. This will be our basement refrigerator, and our newly purchased basement refrigerator will be donated to a family in need.

 

I would definitely buy the new refrigerator you want. It will be hard to swing, but buying used off of Craigslist may be the more expensive purchase.

 

MANY states have places where they sell dented/scratched appliances. Many times they're in a place that you won't even see. Can you check that route?

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6 months after the warranty expired!

 

The original fridge (1995) is in the basement working like a charm....

 

I have no faith in modern appliances. I bought a replacement fridge a month ago when there was a sale on them and bought the 4-year parts & labor warranty for the money I saved buying it on sale.

 

I had a bottom-drawer version the last time. This time I picked a traditional freezer on the top because it was bigger overall. I didn't think the freezer on the bottom was that great of feature when it came to paying more for it...

 

just my .02

 

K (Appliance Killer)

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I would get the new side by side refrigerator for $500 for the kitchen and pick up a regular, used fridge on Craigslist for the basement/garage for storing pizzas and milk and whatever else you don't need instant access to.

 

we are doing this right now, and I can't STAND having to store so much downstairs. We have to store ALL leftovers downstairs unless we're down to the bare bones and need to go grocery shopping. It's something I try not to let bother me on a daily basis, but I really hate my side by side.

 

I can't tell you how many leftovers have gone to waste because they're in the basement. This situation just doesn't work for us.

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We JUST replaced ours 3 weeks ago b/c of a bad compressor as well. Ours was 9 years old though. Our repair man recommended replacement b/c even if the compressor was new all of the electronics weren't and who knows when one of those will go bad, so for a similiar price, get an all new one with a warranty. I would find all of the scratch and dent palces and call them and ask what they have in stock. If you live near a big city they will have more of them. Then, you have a warranty if something does happen.

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This happened to us. We decided to buy a new fridge for $1100 instead of fixing the old one for $900. We had to spend the extra $200 because we needed a very large fridge.

 

I would not buy an appliance off of Craig's list unless (1) it had an extended warranty (like the ones from Sears) that transferred to a new owner, and/or (2) I took someone along who knows enough about that appliance to be able to tell if it has problems. This is simply because if I buy a defective appliance and I can't get my money back, I can't afford to replace it.

 

We had a side-by-side once. Even though in cubic feet it was the largest on the market at the time, it didn't fit large pizza boxes in it, or large turkeys, or the leftovers from Thanksgiving. I will never own another one.

 

Since then, French door fridges have come out, but since I'm not in the market, I haven't looked at them.

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