** All fixed. See my 2nd post on page 2. **
My 2004 side-by-side Whirlpool's fridge door won't hang straight on the hinge pins, so sometimes I walk by it to find that the door hasn't seated and now the interior is around 65 degrees F. Luckily for me, this has never resulted in the freezer contents thawing out even by a little bit.
I can push the door closed and it will "usually" stay closed. But who thinks of that? So because of this hassle, I've been shopping for a new fridge. Well, I started my search in mid/late 2016 (I think). Sigh.
I'm fairly sure that the culprit is the upper hinge pin. Or rather, the bushing in the door hole that the pin inserts into...that has gotten worn out over time. So now the door hangs "just so" off plumb, and the seals can't do their job. It's only the fridge door; the freezer door is not as wide, so not hanging as heavy on the hinge pins, even considering the weight of the ice and water dispenser in the freezer door.
A few years ago, I thought this would be an easy fix...all I'd have to do is replace the plastic/nylon bushing at the top of the refrigerator door.
But I couldn't find the part; nobody seems to stock it. So I figured I'd hold out as long as I could and just get a new fridge. And truth be told, I've always wanted a French Door fridge with a huge bottomless pit for freezer storage, so I started shopping for one of those about a year and a half ago. But every time I look, I get so discouraged by so many people having so much trouble with their newer refrigerators, I just kind of give up and go back to suffering with my lopsided door. After all, I can make it close; I just have to remember to avoid overloading the door and I have to make sure to close it firmly. Every time.
I do know that my personal view on consumer happiness is probably somewhat colored by the fact that happy people don't write in forums, and unhappy people do, but even considering that, it sure seems to me that the new fridge market seems rife with models with very poor reliability. Manufacturers are getting away with a lot here, and some of it may even be fraudulent.
The rate seems exceedingly high for people reporting compressor failure after just a couple/few years, and it looks to me that LG and Samsung are among the worst offenders. The second worst problem seems to be the malfunctioning of ice and water dispensers, which can (and has at least once for me) resulted in water dumpage all over the kitchen floor.
I need my food cold, and my ice should be in a solid state. And quite frankly, I live in 2019. Even my cheapest apartments all had icemakers in the fridges, so I'm kind of used to that.
So I went on the hunt for a reliable French Door fridge that's also Counter Depth (needed for my kitchen layout). Consumer Reports is largely unhelpful, having many LG and Samsung models in their "best" or "recommended" categories...models that are failing a LOT for their subscribers. In fact, their review response comments are loaded with VERY unhappy subscribers.
So with all of this, I think it's arguable that Refrigerators are probably the least reliable appliances in our homes these days, with the GREATEST cost per failure. Well, maybe except for a washing machine leak or a dryer fire. But at any point in time, I might have $800-1200 worth of food in my fridge. I'd like to avoid buying a fridge only to have a high chance of trouble and rotten food in a couple years.
So now since the failure frequency is so high, I'm kind of back to the idea of trying to fix that hinge so that my door hangs straighter, and maybe keep my Whirlpool for another few years, and maybe avoid spending $2-3K this year on a fridge.
Does anybody have any ideas? Even repair guys can't seem to find me a pair of new bushings for my model fridge. Might there be an alternate source? Or could I even have one manufactured for me?
Repair ideas welcome.
Reliable fridge ideas welcome, too!