Fridge frustration: The quest of finding a reliable refrigerator

Fridge frustration: The quest of finding a reliable refrigerator

It's a common complaint for the appliance almost everyone owns: You spend thousands of dollars on a new refrigerator, only to call a repair service months later when something breaks.

Industry experts tell Boston 25 news, the days of your parents’ refrigerators lasting 25 years or longer are over. But you can find a solid fridge if you know what to look for in terms of reliability.

The Bolduc family in Medfield is on its third refrigerator in nearly 7 years.

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Their first fridge leaked. The second fridge caught on fire.

“It was a small fire, like flames coming out of the refrigerator where the wires were,” Christina Bolduc told Boston 25 News. “I was really scared, thinking to myself - we could've had a major fire in our house!”

Christina Bolduc says they spent weeks relying on the old stand-by fridge in the basement.

“It's very frustrating that you spend thousands of dollars on a refrigerator and they don't last,” Bolduc said.

Popular Features, Lots of Repair Calls

Chris Blanchette hears that complaint often. He’s the owner of Mr. Appliance of Eastern Massachusetts and Plymouth.

“That's not what you expect when you buy a new product,” Blanchette said.

He says the popular items, like French doors or water and ice features are what's most likely to cause problems.

According to Blanchette, the number one repair call he receives is for water and ice machines. And those French door gaskets are not far behind.

Blanchette says new refrigerators often have the advantage of being eight times more energy efficient than their predecessors.

However, they're not built to last more than 10 years.

Tracking Reliable Refrigerators

Consumer Reports surveyed tens of thousands of subscribers for reliability and customer satisfaction.

The research group tells Boston 25 News, the most reliable type of fridge is clear, though it may not be a popular choice.

“If your chief concern is reliability and that it's going to last you the next 10 years, top freezers are really the best way to go,” said Consumer Reports staff writer Dan Wroclawski.  “There's fewer moving parts, fewer things that can break inside them,” he added.

Wroclawski said French door models have high owner satisfaction, but don’t fare well in terms of reliability.

Their survey found that no specific brand came out on top.

Christina Bolduc tells Boston 25 News, she’s learned her lesson on Fridge #3:

“It's important to have a good warranty because you know that it's going to break within a few years,” Bolduc said.

If you want to see how old your appliance is to check on your warranty, you can plug your serial number into this website.