Why can't it just die?

>> 1.21.2010

Ugh. From the beginning I’ve hated my refrigerator. The color is light enough to register in the white family, but off-white enough to seem to be constantly dirty. In addition, the top refrigerator setup isn’t working for us. Nate is over 6-foot and bending down to reach into the corner of the crisper is always a pain for him. Sadly, replacing this big bisque-colored monster is nowhere in my current budget.

Doesn't it just look dirty compared to the white subway backsplash?

Lately, to add to my frustrations with it, a leak started in the ice machine that trickles down into the top shelf of the refrigerator. We actually have to keep bowls in it to catch the water drips. I know that refrigerator repairs are some of the most expensive out there so I’m avoiding calling for help. I almost feel like the money I would have to spend on the repairman would justify going for a new appliance. Part of me wishes it would just completely shut down. If it died, I would have to dip into my emergency house funds to get a new one, right?

See that waterline?! This is not what my Fiesta dishes were made to do!

Has anyone found any great deals on freezer-bottom refrigerators lately? Have you ever had any luck going to a scratch and dent store?

Oh, and for all of you who gave me opinions on the cabinet paint color… I’m going with black bottoms! I plan on painting them before the next party in my ten party project (come back tomorrow to find out what I'm planning for next).


Babs January 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

Did you get a home warranty when you bought your place? If you did there's a really good chance the repairs or a new fridge are covered by it. You'll just have to pay for the inspection visit, which usually runs between $40 and $50.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 21, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

@Babs~ That's a great tip because many warrenty plans cover all appliances... mine doesn't cover the refrigerator or washer/ dryer. Both sets are about five years old so it's surprising that this problem came up.

Nate researched the problem and found that it can come up as a result of a frozen water tube that blocks water from going into the ice maker. With nowhere to go, the water then leaks out. If that's the problem, we'll have to shut off the freezer and let that tube melt.

Danielle and Clint January 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

Not sure what your situation is, but Lowe's and Home Depot offer credit cards with 0% interest for a year. That is how we got our new washer and dryer. I divided the price of both by 12. I hope you can find something!

Kate January 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

Urgh - that's got to be annoying! I am no real help, I have my own semi-white/off white fridge at home. I have heard good things about scratch and dent stores, you just may have to make multiple visits to find something that really works for you. Good luck!

frugalapolis January 21, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

look on craigslist.com and you'll find a great deal when someone else is remodeling and just can't stand to have a white fridge when everything else is stainless. We're actually keeping our white fridge cause it works, but going with stainless on everything else. But some day it will go away on craigslist.

Mrs. Chic January 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

I would try looking for a Sears Outlet near you!

They have great prices on models with a little ding or small dent on the side that no one can see! There's one near where I live, and most likley will buy our new stove and dishwasher from them in the futrue...unless Sears, Home Depot of Lowes is cheaper

Sara @ Russet Street Reno January 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

As far as I'm concerned, it's already 'dead' because it's leaking, and it's not working for you. It's something you use everyday and is causing a major inconvenience. Get a 0% financing deal from a local store and pay it off over a year if you don't want to part with the lump sum. Or, see if you can find a less offensive one on craigslist for a couple hundred, although you are inviting more problems. Just get a new one! It's worth it!

Amanda January 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM  

I have actually had good luck buying used appliances. It's true- people are constantly renovating, and they'll get rid of a perfectly good fridge because it doesn't fit their style anymore, or they want stainless, or whatever. I actually got mine from a used appliance place, which offers a warranty (60 days I think?). That's not the longest warranty, but at least you know they won't sell you a total lemon that's going to break in a week.

Lauren @ withTWOcats January 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

The leak is no good, we had a similar issue and just turned off our ice maker. Now we use trays. If I were you and hated the color, I would totally paint the fridge with chalkboard paint!

oneluckycouple January 21, 2010 at 11:28 AM  

I'm with Sara on looking for a good deal on a new one. That way, it'll work (and probably have a warranty), and you can pick the color to match your new kitchen! We found some great prices at a local appliance center-type store, so if there is one in your area, I'd recommend looking there. They'll usually beat any lowest deal you see.

AngieB January 21, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

You just made my day! I'm so glad I'm not the only one wishing my fridge would die! We built a new kitchen, but did not replace appliances that still functioned (being thrifty!) but I REALLY want a pretty one with an icemaker.

Coree January 21, 2010 at 1:09 PM  

I am not an expert on this topic, but I read that if you buy an Energy Star Appliance, you can be eligible for a tax credit.

At the bottom it talks about tax credits for fridges.


Kim at Yellow Brick Home January 21, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

Have you tried Overstock? Can't beat the $2.95 shipping, and depending on what color you're looking for, you may get a deal.

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" January 21, 2010 at 3:31 PM  

If Nate is able to fix the leak, how about painting chalkboard paint over the doors? I've seen some examples over at thekitchn.com. Not sure if the job will be as thrifty, but it sure beats forking over a couple hundred dollars for a new appliance.

Meg January 21, 2010 at 3:49 PM  

Fridges are important because they preserve your food and if it's already acting crazy, who knows how much food it could potentially spoil and waste. Totally an emergency in my book! I've heard awesome things about ApplianceSmart. They sell items like floor models, discontinued models and overstocked models. They're not even necessarily damaged. And I've even heard that outlets have outlets with models sold for an even cheaper amount for possibly a dent or scratch you can't see. Go for it! I want to live through you! My fridge is fugly as hell.

Nick and Cindy January 21, 2010 at 4:23 PM  

We bought our refrigerator for about half price at a home depot that was closing (woohoo!!) but most of our other appliances have come from Appliancesmart. I don't know if they're all over the country, but they have awesome prices and often the scratch-and-dents are in places you even see. Score! good luck!!

eddieross January 21, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

I would try Craigslist! I found the best deal on a washer and dryer. you can sell the old fridge too!

Would also LOVE your support on the ELLE DECOR window I did for the Big Window Challenge this year with Apartment Therapy. Check it out at http://www.bigwindowchallenge com. As we all know, AT doesn’t make it easy, but you can vote TWICE a day, once online and the other by texting “1” to 89800.

Your support means the world to me!!


Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 21, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

@EddieRoss~ Done and done! I actually submitted a vote earlier today :).

Diane @ InMyOwnStyle January 21, 2010 at 5:59 PM  

Hi Kasey-

I used to say the same thing about my stove. I wished something would drop on it and break the Ceran cooktop, but I put up with it for 15 years until one day about 2 months ago my husband noticed the door was broken. I was thrilled to say the least. I went to Sears all happy and giddy. I found a stove I used to drool over - It was the floor model so it was half the price. The salesman was great gave me a rebate, free delivery and took the old stove away for free. You can see a section of my new stove on my blog, under DIY Kitchen makeover. I hope you can get a new refrigerator soon. I really do feel your pain.

micah @ the yellow front door January 21, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

I say just go ahead and get a new one! It will change the look of the whole kitchen! I just know you can find a good deal on a new fridge :)

Meg January 22, 2010 at 8:28 AM  

P.S. - I also wanted to say that you're my hero with finding amazing deals and I hate my fridge too. We're planning on getting a new oven and dishwasher with our first time home buyer tax credit, and I've been wishing we could throw in a fridge too. So,I need you to get a new fridge because you will definitely find the best deal and then I'll know where to look. ;)

alanna rose January 22, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

My washer and dryer came from a Sears scratch and dent store. There is teeny tiny scratch on the side of the washer - so the whole pair was refused by the original purchaser. We saved a lot of money, and because of the way our laundry room is set up, you can't see the scratch at all.

I would totally recommend stalking the scratch and dent stores!

More Style Than Cash January 22, 2010 at 8:31 PM  

We just had to replace our fridge because it began to "pee" on the floor. My advice would be to start looking now, you can get great deals on scratch and dent and floor models, which is all we have in our kitchen. It took us 6 weeks to find an amazing deal and then we had to do a minor remodel in the kitchen (we moved the counter over 1 inches and made the upper cabinets smaller). Your present fridge might be an energy hog and you will save money with a new one. A word of advice on bottom freezers, don't buy the ones that have a open wire basket because every time you open the freezer you'll end up with bits of ice on the floor. Good Luck!

Anonymous,  January 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM  

If you are hating the color, why not just paint it. I've seen it done on HGTV multiple times.

Hope this helps.

chacha January 26, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

You are way thriftier than me, I think. If mine was leaking, I'd buy a new one (or a "new-to-me" one from Craigslist). I have no patience for that stuff :o)

Londen January 26, 2010 at 3:59 PM  

We bought a really nice Jenn Air stainless for a great savings at a Sears outlet. It has a big scratch on the back but works fine. I think Craigslist would be a great place to look too. To justify the cost of a new one, think about how much cheaper it will be to run an efficient one. We have our old fridge in the basement, we use it when we have parties and we always see a difference on our electric bill.

Thanks for stopping by my new blog!

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