Appliance Repair Questions? Ask a Technician for Answers ASAP
I'm shopping for a new gas range (slide in style) and the reviews are so confusing. Some rank one brand high in the aggregate, but then there are all these negative reviews of the same brand by individuals who actully own them--like LOTS of people with the same problem, not just an occasional problem. Other reviews are so old, like 2007. One salesman told me that yes some of the high end brands were trading on their old glory for quite a while, BUT have recently 'retooled' and are now very good (I think that was Jenn Air). Where is the most up to date info? (today is 7/10/2011). The features i care about are 1)having a very low/simmer burner; 2) continuous grates, but not ones that sit 2 inches up so you have to fear a pan falling off the edge; 3) the pan under grates clean up easily 4) controls in vertical plane--many of the brands put the controls horizontal plane, where all the grease from the stove top will land on the control pad.
(I need all the other appliances as well, but need the range ASAP to be able to do the countertop--so also looking for reviews of refrs (bottom freezer), dw's, washer and dryers (am leaning toward the Speed Queen w/d b/c they spend their money making steel gears and metal tubs, not fads and useless bells and whistles like all the others.)
Altho i said it was 'urgent', tomorrow monday july 11 is soon enough--i need to go to sleep now, i did not know how long this would take, but if you're on the east coast maybe you're all asleep already.
The most trustworthy and reliable product information and rating services is still www.comsumerreports.org. The information is impartial, and the ratings are still the most complete of any rating service.
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In order to give you a recommendation I will need to know your price range, size of the unit needed and the color you want. This way I can give you information based on 16+ years of experience in the field as to the quality of your next appliance.
I also do not use Consumer Reports due to the inconsistent reporting they have in between the magazines and websites. I have seen them rate three of the same products number 1, 4 and 9 when they where built by the same company but had different labels(Kitchenaid, Whirlpool, Kenmore). The internal workings and performance of the units had no difference in them. Only the appearance was different. It also bothers me that they except donations from individuals and companies to 'help' with the financial cost of making the magazine. This is clearly stated in the magazines fine print and somewhere on the website. That alone tells me not to trust them.
I do not work for OR sell any major appliance. I am authorized to service all makes and models of GE, Whirlpool, Electrolux, LG and Samsung so I do get to see a full range of products and I can get you MY opinion on what to purchase. If that is what you are looking for, I will be glad to assist you.
thank you, XXXXX XXXXX like to stay in the moderate price range (1500-2500), but most importantly I am willing to pay for good performance but NOT for status names, eg wolf, viking. Size is 30", style = slide in, color probably stainless, might consider white. I am completely redoing the kitchen, will need all new appliances, don't care if they're all the same brand, tho would want them all the same color, and stainless can be a problem in the refr. (or not--some that look like stainless don't have the same problems, ie fingerprints and don't hold magnets.)
The features i care about in the range are:
1) a low burner;
2) continuous grates
3) grates that are not flimsy, but also not so huge and heavy that they are hard to pick up and clean. Some divide the whole surface into just 2 grate units, some divide them into 3 or even 4 units. The more units, the easier to pick one up to clean it.
4) grates that don't have huge gaps in them so pans can tip into the gap, nor so high off the top of the range that pans tip over the edge.
5) pan under the grates easy to clean; think this means porcelain not SS
5) don't need 5th burner
6)prefer controls in vertical plane, same as oven door; they will get too spattered in 'new look' where they are horizontal in same plane as the burners.
7) warming drawer would be nice
8) dual fuel preferred
Again, most important is quality of workmanship and good warranty/service/support--does anyone do this anymore?
And specific question i asked expert 1 that he also didn't answer: Consumer Reports says GE is best or second for gas or dual fuel: Do you agree GE is at least 'one of the best'? Also, Kitchen Air or JennAir have been best on some of the design features i want (grates, etc.) but CR ranks them low reliability. One salesman i talked to said Jenn Air set out to revive its reputation last fall, but maybe its too soon for CR to have looked at them--do you have an opinion on Jenn Air and Kitchen Aid in gas slide in ranges?
The best for service and reliability will be Whirlpool and GE products. They both offer quality built products that perform excellent for all cooking situations. They also have the best market saturation when it comes to authorized servicers.
Almost every brand has the slanted front display now so you are most likely going to get stuck with that feature. The Jenn Air products are being revamped. This is because they were built by Maytag and now Whirlpool owns the Maytag name(which includes Jenn Air, Magic Chef, Performa, etc). The quality is now just as good as the Whirlpool units are.
When you start looking at brands made by Wolf, Sub Zero, Bosch, LG and Samsung, the first thing to check is where the nearest reliable servicer is located to you. These techs are few and far between and out of warranty calls will be astronomical is some instances. Electrolux(Frigidaire) offers a good product but the reliability is an issue in my book. I have repaired more Frigidaire cooking appliances than any other brand.
The grates on the GE and Whirlpool built units are very tough and last a long time. Both brands have units with full connected grates so cleaning will consist or removing only 2-3 grate parts instead of 4-5. The warming drawer is great on both units also.
The GE units offer an almost perfect simmer option on the burners. They call them precise simmer burners and they are great. You get a performance equal to a professional Wolf or Thermador unit without the cost. Whirlpool offers an equally impressive simmer option on a range under the KitchenAid name. This is by far my favorite unit and the front panel is closest to what you are wanting without dropping 5000+ dollars. I think it is beautiful(only my opinion as I know tastes differ) and it is in your price range. The model number is XXXXX It is only available in stainless though. The GE units are available in black and stainless in most cases and only lower line units come in white. That is something you may want to consider. The stainless units that are not stainless are great and do allow magnets to stick to them. They have several units to choose from that are magnetic and fit in the kitchen very well.
As far as consumer reports rating KitchenAid and Jenn Air as low reliability, let me explain. All warranty repairs are reported to the companies through service reports provided by ServicePower and companies like that who dispatch for the big companies(GE, Whirlpool, Electrolux, etc). The rate of repairs in relation to the number of units sold is dramatically different for each brand. GE may have sold 400,000 products last year and KitchenAid may have only sold 150,000 units(not exact numbers, just an example). A recall counts against the repair ratio and could be as simple as a wiring upgrade. This causes the repair ratio to climb when there was no breakage. That is not an indicator of how well the unit performs or the durability but they use it as the benchmark for rating repairs in the magazine and the website. This throws off the scores and makes the rating system unfair. I hope that makes sense to you.
If there is anything that I have missed(sorry, I tend to be long winded) let me know so that I can address it for you.