Refrigerator Shopping? Not So Fast! Replace Verses Repairing. Appliance Technician reveals secrets!

Refrigerator shopping can be rather confusing with all of the choices out there.... Side by Side, Freezer on Top, Freezer on Bottom, French Doors? Now What Brand? GE, Kenmore, Maytag, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, LG? You'll now be better informed.
April 24, 2010 - PRLog -- Is your refrigerator acting up, or are you remodeling the kitchen and getting all new major appliances? In this blog I'll get into both topics then let you decide.

If you say my refrigerator has problems and I'm debating whether to replace it or call an appliance repair company to diagnose the problem, the first thing that I would ask is for you to give your fridge a good look-over. Is it dented or showing rust spots through the paint? Now check the door gaskets. Are the doors seals tight, or letting warm air in? Are the seals torn and hanging down? I say if you have 2 or more of these problems, it may be a wise decision to replace the fridge itself.
Now if it's running too much, maybe a simple coil cleaning would do the trick. If your fridge is getting louder, that may be just a simple evaporator fan in the freezer section, or the condenser fan in the back that cools off the compressor. Remember, even a Cadillac gets a flat tire every now and then!

So many times we at Top Cat Appliance Repair ( ) get phone calls saying "How much do you charge to replace a compressor?" To this question I ask them how do you KNOW it's the compressor? "It's not cooling." he says. Well, A broken refrigerator only has 3 problems: Not cooling, running louder than normal, or leaking.
For him to just guess it's the compressor (a costly repair) is rather silly to me. That's like me waking in the morning with a headache, but thinking its a life threatening problem! Though I could have a major problem, more than likely, it's because I stayed up too late the night before writing blogs or chatting with facebook friends. The average person would never ask "How much is a defrost terminator, or adaptive defrost control?" you know why? Because the average person only has heard of a few parts or controls.

We all know there's a compressor, thermostat, and Freon. I don't work on Ford F-250's, but if it's running rough, I don't call the dealer and ask "How much is a new motor". Though it could be worst case scenario...I'm pretty sure it's not. Never assume the worst, though that could indeed be the case, it's probably not. I say it's better to call a reliable appliance repair service center to check it out. Ask friends who they have used. If you aren't sure about the company, check with the BBB for an accredited appliance service company. Anyone can tell you that you need a "Flippity-Flop" for $800 and it's better to replace the fridge, if the unqualified technician has no idea of the actual problem, you're off to spend $1400.00 to replace a perfectly good refrigerator that may onl have one minor problem.
Remember, that in most states there's no special licences required to get a licence to start an Appliance Repair Business just like you don't NEED to be an ASE Certified auto mechanic, though we all know he has more training! So if you pick the cheapest knucklehead off of craigslist or that "handyman" that fixed your sister's toilet, he could run place to place, giving misdiagnoses all day, just to get service call fees and make a decent living because he has low or no overhead. Be informed!

So you've decided to purchase a new refrigerator...buyer Beware!

First of all what brand? Admiral, Amana, Cold Spot, Crosley, Estate, Electrolux, Frigidaire, General Electric, Gibson, Hotpoint, Inglis, Sears Kenmore, Sears Coldspot, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kitchenaid, LG, Majic Chef, Maytag, Monogram, Norge, Performa, Roper by Whirlpool, Sears,,,Sub Zero, Tappan, White Westinghouse, Whirlpool...WHEW! You're going to have fun deciding...but I'll give you my own personal pick a little later in this article! Lucky You!

Okay, here's my opinion on a few brands. This is only My opinion, but we have performed over 63,000 service calls since 1993! First, let me introduce you to the ones you'll be hating yourself for buying. I very much dislike Sanyo, Samsung, the beautiful overseas trouble makers from Ikea, and the WORST....LG! The big home centers pump these clunkers out day after day. Much like an ex-spouse, though nice to look at, and rather appealing in some areas, lots of trouble down the road!

Guess what? Every brand is going to break down one day. Gone are the days of your youth when Mom and Pop had the same refrigerator for ever and a day! No More! Today's appliances are way more sophisticated, and all those bells and whistles are controlled by Master control boards, sensors for this and that, pricey, fancy parts that weren't around back in the day.  Mom didn't have all that fancy stuff in her "good ole' reliable" fridge, and you couldn't kill that thing. If a fan started sticking or had stopped, the appliance man replaced the fan for $100 or so.
Today, that fan is controlled by a Master Control Board that changes the current from AC (normal household voltage) to DC current, like what automobiles run off of! You're right, that doesn't make much sense to you, but to the manufacture it does. Why, would a seemingly reliable company sell you something that's going to breakdown so often that you and your local repair technician are best friends? To sell you another one in 7 years instead of 17 years. It's a business decision on thier part, and they all do it.

With constant power surges here in Florida, those control boards haven't a chance! Are you shared of tropical storms? I love 'em! It's circuit board replacement heaven for the next week for us! We had a service call on a fridge a few weeks ago that needed over $450 in replacement parts! Don't forget, that's NOT counting labor!

Okay, you got the message! Are you ready for my personal pick? Roper by Whirlpool. These refrigerators have many different styles but don't over do it on unneeded fancy electronic controls that you never needed in the first place. They are also priced nicely as compared with the other models, and look pretty much the same! By the way, I'm in no way connected with Roper or Whirlpool, though we do service these as well as most other brands.

P.S.     If you do get another brand, stick with a name you know, any don't buy any major appliance from a company that makes cell phones or TVs if you're trying to stay away from useless electronic gadgets! If you don't follow this advice, PLEASE be nice to your neighbors! You'll need to put your food in their garage fridge if yours goes down, as parts may take upwards to 2 weeks to arrive. The 8 year olds in overseas factories can only make 'em so fast!!!

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Delayne Hiott is Founder and President of Top Cat Appliance Repair in Largo Florida. We provide 2 HOUR Appliance Repair services in the Tampa Bay, Florida area including Tampa, Clearwater, St Petersburg, Largo, etc. Appliances include Your Refrigerator, Freezer, Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher, Stove, Oven, Disposal...
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Page Updated Last on: May 19, 2010
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