Dear Refrigerator: I Don’t Take You For Granted Anymore

For six years, I took my fridge for granted, never stopping to realize how quiet it is, how consistent the temperature is, or how sturdy the draws are.

I took for granted never stepping into a puddle of water on my kitchen floor. I took for granted not having to kneel down to get fresh vegetables from the crisper drawers. I took for granted the beauty of stainless steel in my kitchen.

All that changed two weeks ago, when the compressor died. All my food spoiled. A repairman came out and quoted me $669 to repair it! Even worse, the repair only included a 90 day warranty!. So I was torn between replacing it vs. repairing it!

To make this decision, I searched online for new fridges. The most affordable ones had freezers on the top. There was also a side-by-side stainless steel Frigidaire at Best Buy for $799.

That seemed like a good deal. But since I rarely use the freezer, I felt resistant to settling for anything but a bottom-freezer model.

I realized how fortunate (i.e. spoiled) I’ve been!

Amazingly, every fridge I read about (including those with freezers on the bottom) had mixed reviews. Typically, most reviews were positive. But for EVERY fridge – regardless of brand – roughly 10% of customers had major complaints.

For example… too much noise, cheaply made drawers, water leaking onto their floors, or inconsistent temperatures (i.e. one area of the fridge was too warm, but in another, food was frozen!) One person had to drain his freezer repeatedly!

I couldn’t find a single fridge without some bad reviews. So with some misgivings, I ended up repairing the one I have.

After paying for an extended warranty, I only saved a few hundred dollars off the cost of a new one. Now I have a love/hate relationship with this fridge. I appreciate how many things are right with it, yet I don't trust it to be reliable for the long haul.

I guess they aren’t made like they used to be :-(

16 Comment(s)

  1. Hi Trevor, 
    I so hear you.  My stove died last month.  All the raw food prep I'd been dabbling with suddenly became a necessity!  
    I had similar thoughts as you have on just how much I'd taken it for granted.  I had no idea.. it's like the song. you don't know what you got till its gone. 
    And the result of loss?  gratitude for having it.  Period. 
    Happy kitchen adventures!

    Leah Jacobson | Reply

  2. Makes me look at the appliances in my place with more respect!  There are profound lessons waiting to be learned in the most humble places! 

    Kathleen | Reply

  3. Maybe some other aspects to look at in that situation would be:

    How fresh is the food that I am consuming in general?
    How much life is left in a carrot after being refridgerated for a week anyways? ;)

    I have a friend here in Germany who lives without a fridge by choice since years,
    She buys only little amounts of fresh stuff and just as much as she and her family would eat within a short time of 1-2 days. I quite admire her.
    Just something to think about…

    Doreen | Reply

  4. Hi Trevor
    The simple things in life we take for granted.

    Faye | Reply

  5. it is great that you repaired the machine. many more need to take that route than things will be made better and that will be better for environment and humans too.  let it proclaimed take care of what you have "earth" or it will indeed be gone….  Rejoice in the Moments!!!

    Sister Catherine | Reply

  6. My fridge broke down last year and I learned an important lesson from the repairman. According to him, if your fridge is six years old or more, it is probably worth repairing. But the more modern fridges are very cheaply made, and once you start putting money into them, it never ends. 

    Cathy | Reply

  7. I live in an older house which has been updated over the years. For instance, it originally had a coal furnace which the previous owner had replaced with a natural gas one before my family bought the house. A 1960s era washer, dryer and fridge came with the house, as did a 1950s gas range. All of the above have been replaced one-by-one over the years, in the case of the washing machine and dryer, twice, once in the 1980s, once in the early years of the 2000s. However, behind the washer and dryer, where the water hook-up is, are the old "set tubs" built-in. They remind me daily of how laundry was done by hand by the original owners of the house.

    Laura | Reply

  8. My washing machine 'died' two weeks' ago. I've been washing by hand ever since! Hoping machine can be revived :-)
    My television no longer has sound but I can't decide whether to replace it or just use subtitles. I use them anyway, but now there's no sound at all. And no, it's not me going completely deaf :-)
    my microwave only works when it wants to. New technology not up to scratch. I didn't do any research before buying it and now regret it.
    My phone got water damaged and cannot be repaired. 
    So many gadgets that we rely on, going wrong. I sometimes wonder why we bother with the hassle and cost.

    Debbie Reynolds | Reply

  9. We are very spoiled in the America.  In Holland we used to put things like milk outside on window ledges to keep cold in winter and during summer days we went to the local stores EVERY Day to get fresh produce.   Never had a washing machine, dryer or dishwasher.  Unheard of in those days.  To this day I wash dishes by hand and hang my clothes outside.     Not a big deal to me.

    Iona | Reply

  10. Can i just say that I do not take my place or apliances for granted, I enjoy every moment and support they give me , I have lossed all of them to many times , try living in your car with kids , dogs , cats and a ice box as a frig, this will humble you very quickly, it tooks yrs to get back some comfort and a frig and bath and yes a dishwasher that im very greatful for , and love that I have had a break form the hard times and the work it takes to live with out, Thank you very much house , toilet, frig, stove, washer , dishwasher, and bathtub , I love you and am very greatful for your support and work you do for me … peace

    Beth | Reply

  11. Hi Trevor,  had it not been for the problem you faced with the Fridge, you may not have learnt a great lesson like you did.  When I hear the Fridge working, I thank the Lord again for it, knowing the finance is not there to get a new one.  I appreciate your sharing with us.  God bless.

    Abigail Taylor | Reply

  12. I never take anything for granted. I always purchase a home that can have a close line. Clothes smell so fresh drying outdoors.It takes no time at all and makes you take the time to enjoy the sun instead of always rushing.It is also cheaper and you have the opportunity to save from May to November.

    Nancy | Reply

  13. That's good. Prioritize the repair of your refrigerator so that its problem will not get worst.

    Denise Ricks | Reply

  14. Even though this is an old post, it's still good!  :)

    kelly | Reply

  15. My refrigerator died about 6 months ago and it cost so much for repair, I buy small amount of food that don't need to be refrig and go to the store every other day.  I really didn't keep much in it anyway.

    Arbra | Reply

  16. My refrigerator died and finally replaced it with a new one that is more efficient and make food actually stays fresh longer and I’m saving tons of money because I was eating out all the time. I’m sorry I can’t leave my food outside on window ledges but there’s wild animals here and I don’t want to attract them with food lol if that makes me a spoiled American then I guess I’m guilty. I don’t have many creature comforts, I live in the Northeast and I heat my house completely with a wood-burning stove, I don’t have a washer/dryer, I don’t have a dishwasher (unless you count me). That said I love love love love my refrigerator! The freezer is on the bottom and there’s plenty a room on top for fresh foods! I love it so much I kiss it!

    Dee | Reply

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