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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Mailbag: Appliance Brand Recommendations

Julie Mento wrote:
IF you were to begin your life all over again, and get all the RIGHT appliances, instead of trial by fire, and years of education, what would you buy? We are building our first home in Warner and need appliances. Like most young, first home buyers, we don't have money to burn but heres a summary...

We'd like a grant fridge for under $1,700

a QUIET and reliable dish washer (quiet being the key word) for a good medium range price.

a good workhorse of a dryer that will last like my dad's - he's had his for 25 years and its easy to fix.

We've already purcahsed the front loader washer Frigidare Crown Energy Star - and I think we got lucky - its the best thing since sliced bread.

We'd like to spread this luck around. Give us good, and specific answers and we promise to give generously to your beer fund.

Can we offer microbrew thoughts? Tuckermans is one of our favorites!

-julie and anthony mento, contoocook

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

Konichiwa, Julie.

Each day I begin my life anew. Zen mind, beginner's mind.

General appliance rule of thumb: Avoid GE like the West Nile Virus. If you read Consumer Reports and they recommend a GE product, crumple up that page and use it for toilet paper 'cause that's all it's worth. Despite horrendous quality problems, outrageous markups on repair parts, and a damn-near universal agreement among appliance servicers that today's GE appliances SUCK out loud, people keep buying GE and so the freak show continues. Ok, with that out the way...

Refrigerators: Stick with Whirlpool products, this includes Kitchenaid. More information on who makes what here.

Dryers: Either Whirlpool or Maytag. Period.

Washers: You lucked out and picked what is, in my opinion, the best front loader out there. We've had our Gibson front loader (a Frigidaire brand, same guts as yours) for about six years, used every day, sometimes twice a day, and not a single problem. A workhorse!

Dishwashers: The Frigidaire Gallery is ultra quiet but pricey (about $900). For a lot less money and just little more noise you can get a Maytag. Avoid electronic controls--these have not worked out well with wet appliances. Also avoid the furrin' brands: Asko, Miele, and Bosch--they break down just as often, if not more, and repairs are at least twice as expensive.

Ranges/Ovens/Stoves: Avoid the once-venerable Jenn-Air range (a Maytag brand). Way too many electronic problems. We have a Jenn-Air and if I weren't a practitioner of the repairing arts, we would have declared bankruptcy long ago due to all the repairs I've done to it. Also avoid Thermadore--way too over-engineered and unnecessarily complicated to work on. There's a reason their sales are in a tailspin. Beyond these caveats, you have a bewildering array of choices.

Happy Shopping!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 15:22 ET.  [permalink]
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I was wondering what you think of Fisher & Paykel. I was looking for a front loading washing machine a couple of years ago, and the appliance store steered me to a Fisher & Paykel top loading machine. I've been very happy with it thus far -- it spins at 1,000 rpm (sounds like something taking off in the basement!), and by the time the clothes come out, they're almost dry. The appliance store also claimed they were very inexpensive to fix which, fortunately, I have not had to find out about yet.

At any rate, now I may have to look for a new refrigerator (old GE side-by-side is dying, I think), and I noticed that Fisher & Paykel makes refrigerators. Do you think they're worth a look?

Thanks for you help!

By Anonymous K. Renda, at June 16, 2005 5:09 PM  

Hello, mr repair man....
I work for an extended protection plan company for appliances. i LOVE it.....but i agree with the GE thing and I also see many problems with Whirlpool working in the warranty business. I would highly recommend AMANA. we never have calls on them and they work great !!!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 07, 2006 12:42 PM  

I went out today and purchased a brand new Maytag Neptune front load washer and dryer. Did I make a HUGE mistake? I still have time to cancel the order! HELP!

By Blogger winrock2, at October 19, 2007 12:10 AM  

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