Pros: Large capacity, with flexible shelf layout.
Nice and simple - fewer "features" to go wrong.
Cons: Dairy door-shelf missing - the gap looks odd.
After a year, we are pleased with our LG LBN22517WW bottom-freezer refrigerator!
What We Wanted:
My wife and I went shopping for a rugged 22 cu ft (33.5 inch wide) bottom-freezer fridge, seeking a simple one-piece swing door, and desiring to avoid unnecessary complexity such as thru-door dispensers and ice-makers.
We intended to obtain a domestic-manufactured appliance, and expected to pay a little more for quality rather than pick the cheapest.
Our Hunt for a New Fridge:
We spent an hour looking carefully through the wide range of big fridges on display at our local big-box appliance store. Plenty of high-end side-by-side fridges with water dispensers, but not many simple bottom-freezers. However, we managed to weed the choices down to three: Maytag, Kitchenaid and LG.
The salesperson certainly sounded knowledgeable, but was not optimistic about build quality. His opinion was that most fridges now come from a manufacturing complex in Mexico, and though the brands differ, the mechanical innards are essentially the same, with minor variance in surface details and logos. He explained that while the fridges of the 1980s often lasted for more than 20 years, appliances are now designed and built to dollar-sensitive minimum specifications, and that a realistic expectation of duration is 5 to 10 years. What a sad reflection of a once-magnificent manufacturing heritage!
The LG seemed the nicest of the three, and it came from Mexico. We were on the point of selecting this one, and then we discovered that the bottom-freezer on this model consisted of a wire-mesh slide-out drawer. A freezer drawer is a fatal flaw for us - we much prefer a hinged-door freezer.
Our salesperson tried to steer us toward a french-door fridge with a swing-door bottom freezer, with a premium price, but the door closure system has more moving parts, and seemed vulnerable to wear, so we left the store in disappointment.
On the way home, we stopped at Home Depot for tile grout, and serendipitously passing a line of fridges, we spotted an LG 22.4 cu ft bottom-freezer, with a swing door. Exactly what we now wanted! Credit card swipe: CDN $1,300 including delivery and taxes. (The poor salesguy nearly went into convulsions trying to sell us the extended warranty - we might have paid the extra 10 percent with a soft-sell approach, but he tried too hard.) A week later, two courteous youngsters carefully delivered and installed our new fridge.
Impressions, after using our new fridge for a year:
•· Hardly any noise! Our previous fridge used to chug, but not this one.
•· Interior is huge and very brightly lit, making it easy to see everything clearly.
•· Two big crisper drawers, at the bottom of the fridge, belt-level. They seem well-made, and slide easily, and each has its own humidity control.
•· Above the crisper shelf, two more shelf levels, at easily-adjustable heights, cantilevered from back rails. They seem strong enough for the purpose.
•· The shelves are made of tempered glass set in plastic borders, with steel supports.
•· The shelves easily lift out of their support brackets for cleaning.
•· The door has two full-width shelves and an upper half-width shelf, and these shelves are deep! Enough space on the door for eight gallon jugs of milk - though that is probably too high a load.
•· One weird thing about the door shelves on this model - although it comes with two full-width shelves at bottom and mid position, only one half-shelf is provided at the top. It is missing a half-door butter shelf!
•· Overall, I like the large storage capacity and the flexibility to easily move the shelves around. For example, it would be easy to dedicate one of the half-shelves to storing a big turkey, without consuming most of the available space.
•· One general bottom-freezer point: the bottom-freezer format is ideal for adults, because milk and other heavy items can be reached without bending over. However, small children who cannot reach higher than the crisper drawer level might be tempted to climb. We had a safety talk with our 8-year old.
•· On Day 1, we are pleased with this fridge.
•· It's a fully-fledged member of the family now. It's working just fine, and we are all very pleased with it. I'll let you know if that changes.
•· After more than six months, we're still very pleased. We're hard on appliances - we have five kids, plus all their friends, and the fridge door is constantly being opened and closed. It quietly gets on with the job.
One year Update:
•· Still working just fine, despite heavy use every day. I'll let you know if it gives us any trouble!