I've had a Whirlpool EL7ATRRKS01 refrigerator only model for 12 years (and the corresponding freezer only model as well). The freezer has been great, but the refrigerator has broken every 3 years or so. Each time, the sealed compressor unit has been replaced - the first time, the factory paid for it, the next time they paid parts, I paid labor, third time I paid the whole thing. Now, it's broken again - it's not cooling - and I'm done putting money into it. I'm ready to buy a new one.
The problem is that I'm somewhat limited in choices since 1 - it's a fridge only and 2 - the cabinetry was built around the size of the current fridge, which is somewhat of an oddball size (31" wide by 66" high; most other models I've found are 32-34" wide and over 70" high). I did find 2 models that would work, but they are both Whirlpools:Whirlpool Sidekick Model # WSR57R18DMWhirlpool Model # WRF57R18DM
One technician told me that the current model had a flaw in that there is no fan that removes heat from the coils, so in some cases the compressor overworks.
Before I buy a new one, wanted to see if anyone had opinions on the two models above.
-are there mechanical differences between the two? if so what are they and are they worth paying $500 extra for?
-what is the reputation of these models or these types of models? Is there something in the way they are designed/constructed that would indicate that I might have problems going forward?
-what else should I know about these models that I wouldn't find out until it's too late and they cost a lot to repair?
I suppose an alternate solution is to buy a refrigerator with a bottom freezer, leave the bottom freezer off, and just deal with the fact that it won't match the stand-alone freezer.
Any insights or help you can provide would be much appreciated.