A Very Happy Bear

There’s a polar bear In our Frigidaire.
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat, and his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws in the buttery dish…

Folks that have been reading my past posts know that we’re recently replaced our refrigerator. As reference, the recommended temperatures for refrigerators is between 34°F and 40°F in the refrigerator compartment, and between 0°F and 5°F (ideally 0°F) for the freezer compartment. The problem we had with our old refrigerator was that it could only maintain that temperature on its coldest setting; this wasn’t a surprise as it was 20 years old. We learned this because we purchased a refrigerator thermometer.

After we got the new refrigerator, I began monitoring the temperature. This was partially so I could start loading it. According to the manual, the refrigerator needed 24 hours to stablize. The freezer compartment cooled quickly, but the refrigerator compartment was slow. According to my wife, this was because the insulation and surrounding materials also needed to reach thermal stability. To make our life easier, we put the remote from our indoor/outdoor thermometer in the refrigerator. This allowed me to monitor the temperature, and determine when it was safe to load.

He’s nibbling the noodles, He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda, He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar if you open the door…

Last night, we completed the load-in of the refrigerator. Naturally, with all the door openings and closings, it got warmer in there… up to around 49°F. By the time I went to bed, it was just below 45°F. I actually woke up twice during the night; it had gotten down to around 42°F. Right now the thermometer is reading 38.8°F (update: 37.8°F). I’m guessing the reason it took so long to cool down was the thermal mass of all the stuff that we moved in there… but of course, my mind thought we had just gotten a bum fridge. I should probably be a bit less obsessive :-).

I’ll note that the fridge temperature has remained stable this morning, even after a few openings and closings. The refrigerator compartment is currently set at the max setting (7)–this doesn’t cool it any faster, but keeps the temperator lower. Once I know the thermal mass of everything is stable, I should probably move this to 5-6.

As for the freezer, it is at a chilly -5°F. We should probably move it up from the max setting (7) to somewhere just above the middle (4 or 5). It does seem to be doing a good job. Having the water and the ice in the door probably saves money, as we are opening the freezer less.

And it gives me a scare to know he’s in there.
That polary bear, in our Fridgitydaire.

Cooling off…

Well, the new refrigerator is in. Of course, what they don’t tell you is that it takes about 24 hours to stabilize to temperature, meanwhile most of your food is in coolers, hopefully not defrosting. We’ve done one run for dry ice so far. Actually, the freezer is around 10°F, so we’ve loaded some there. The refrigerator is still at about 41.6°F, so it needs to stabilize before we load it. Luckily, the most perishable refrigerator stuff is in the outside refrigerator.

We also had to get a water filter for the fridge, as Best Buy inexplicably removed it. Luckily, we went up there and they provided one gratis. The fridge also came with no manuals, but I’ve already registered it, and the manual is online.

I should note that the old refrigerator had a long life. The tag on the back indicated the icemaker was installed in 1986, so it made it through two moves and 20 years. That’s pretty good for a refrigerator.

Actually, the ice chest thing shouldn’t surprise me. I think this is one of those weeks. Driving the van to work this morning, we had to clear a line of trashcans that kids has across the entire street.


The Type of Cold Score You Want

Previously, I had written about how our refrigerator was on its last legs, and we needed to replace it. I had priced acceptable replacements at the big stores, and developed a list of local stores to explore. Today was shopping. We started at Warehouse Discount Center where we saw a GE 25 cu ft side-by-side that we liked (GE GSS25KGSBB) for $1,049.98, with $45 delivery. We next looked at Waadt, but saw nothing of interest (well, we saw the GE Top Freezer we had talked about, but decided we didn’t like it). We then went to the UKC showroom, but they only had out the high-end stuff; their other stuff could be ordered online, with a $59 delivery fee.

We then went up to Best Buy. They had a 25.6 cu ft Whirlpool out (Model GS6SHAXMB, which isn’t in the current BestBuy catalog, but appears to list for $1,729) for $1,099.99 as a “slightly dented, open box”. We liked its layout, and so we got it. They wrote up the prices as $1,049.99, plus free delivery and installation, plus 18 0% months… plus a $500 gift card. There’s a possiblity it might be a slightly older model, but that doesn’t bother us: we have a new refrigerator being delivered Wednesday that will be covered by cash flow due to the 0%, for a little over $600 for a very large refrigerator. On top of that, we’ll be getting a $65 rebate from LADWP for buying EnergyStar, plus $35 for having them recycle our old refrigerator. Lastly, we’re getting RewardZone points for it.



The Heat Death of a Very Small Universe (Localized)

[Note: This is mostly for my reference.]

At the suggestion of larymotrmn, I decided to look into some local dealers as well:

If we go shopping this weekend, we might explore these as well, especially UKC.

Update 10/20: It was also suggested that we explore Baker-Wells Appliance (no web page), 9640 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth,CA.


The Heat Death of a Very Small Universe

I just got the call from my wife. Our refrigerator, it seems, is on life support. As background, we have a GE 22.5 ft3 Top-Freezer with ice maker that we purchased at Fedco (yes, Fedco) around 1990 or so. Recently, milk hasn’t been lasting as long, so we got a refrigerator thermometer. With the refrigerator compartment set at its coldest setting, we’re barely in the good zone. So we called out a service critter: it would be around $700-$1000 to fix, without a guarantee. So, we’re looking at a new refrigerator, probably within the next month or so. We might also explore Craigslist for a refrigerator that no longer fits in a remodelled kitchen — has anyone tried that approach?

So what are we looking for? Given that we normally have our refrigerator stuffed to the gills, I would think at least 22.5 ft3. Getting an Energy Star would save us electricity, as well as get us a rebate from DWP, plus more for recycling the old refrigerator. We think we would like another top freezer as they are more space efficient for storage, but they now seem to be more expensive than the side-by-sides.

Where might we go? Alas, Fedco is long gone. So the possibilities are Lowes, Sears, or Best Buy, unless a local dealer might be cheaper. I’d love to take advantage of a 0% sale; we have store cards at all four stores. Why not consider Costco? Their largest refrigerator is a 20.8 ft3 Whirlpool, not stated as Energy Star. As for the others:

  • Lowes: (1) a 24.6 ft3 GE Profile Top-Freezer Refrigerator Energy Star at $1,438.00 with internal water dispenser and icemaker; (2) a 23.1 ft3 GE Profile Side-by-Side Refrigerator Energy Star at $1, 698.00; or (3) a 23.1 ft3 GE Side-by-Side Refrigerator Energy Star at $1,248.00. Lowes may not have a current 0% promotion.
  • Sears: (1) a 24.6 ft3 GE Top Freezer Refrigerator with Internal Dispenser for $1449.99 [this is the same as Lowes (1)]; (2) 25.4 ft3 Kenmore Side-By-Side Refrigerator with PuR® Ultimate II Water Filtration at $1,049.99; (3) 25.4 ft3 Kenmore Side-By-Side Refrigerator with PuR® Ultimate II Water Filtration at $1,291.99 [no, I don’t know the difference between this one and (2)]; (4) 25.4 ft3 Kenmore Elite Side-By-Side Refrigerator with PuR® Ultimate II Ice and Water, and a few others that may be similar. Sears does have a 12 month 0% financing deal, and does a mail-in rebate for the delivery.
  • Best Buy: (1) 24.6 ft3 GE Profile Top-Mount Refrigerator for $1,499.99; (2) 25.0 ft3 GE Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Thru-the-Door Ice and Water for $999.99; (3) 25.3 ft3 Whirlpool Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Thru-the-Door Ice and Water for $1,099.99; (4) 25.0 ft3 GE Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Thru-the-Door Ice and Water for $1,099.99; (5) 25.3 ft3 Whirlpool Side-by-Side Refrigerator with ice/water dispenser at $1,249.99, among others. Some of these are online-only, and take longer to get. The weekly ad also has (6) 25.3 ft3 Whirlpool Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Ice/Water Dispenser at $1099.99; and (7) 25 ft3 GE Stainless Side-by-Side Refrigerator for $1,199.99. According to the Best Buy ad, they are doing 18 months 0% + free delivery and haul-away.

So… opinions? Should we go with a side-by-side? I’ll note that others may have had problems with Sears; we haven’t in the past.