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The following models look identical, but the more expensive…

Customer Question
The following models look...

The following models look identical, but the more expensive model WSR57R18DM (known as the Sidekick and which has a stainless steel finish) has largely terrible reviews while the less expensive model (which is white) has very good reviews. We have an older version of the Sidekick without the matching freezer and it has failed after only 7 years (won't keep food cold).

Contractor's Assistant: What's the make and model? And have you checked the settings recently?

The model is EL88TRRWS 01. It was checked by appliance repair who replaced the thermostat as it was freezing things. We were away for 4 days and when we got home found that pitchers of water had frozen and cracked. After the thermostat was replaced it wouldn't get cold enough. The lowest we could get at the max setting was 46F. A different repairman looked at it today and showed me that behind the interior removable panel, the fins were partially filled with ice, but not all the way across. He said there should be an even distribution of light frost. He touched the compressor which was hot. The line coming out to the right was hot, which he said was normal, but the line to the left was also hot and he said it should be cooler. He thought there is a restriction in the coolant system and suggested it might need to be drained and refilled. he suggested that sometimes shutting the fridge off for 5-6 hours might restore normal function so we did that and are waiting to see what happens. However, my expectation is that we will need a new fridge. Owing to space limitations, the Whirlpool all refrigerator models are the only ones that will fit. We are trying to decide between the two models mentioned in my initial question.

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

What work?

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Appliance
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Sorry, I should have been clear that these are Whirlpool models and we want an "all refrigerator".
Answered in 8 minutes by:
12/9/2017
Appliance Technician: Webb-Guy, Handyman replied 6 months ago
Webb-Guy
Webb-Guy, Handyman
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 3,137
Experience: Maitenance Supervisor
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Hello, and welcome to JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I will be the one to assist you. Are you just asking the difference between the two models the stainless and the white?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
That was the initial purpose of coming to this site. They look identical in terms of their interiors and they are precisely the same size. Then only apparent difference is that one has a stainless steel exterior and the other is white. The white is considerably less expensive, but has very positive reviews. The more expensive one has numerous negative reviews relating to early failures etc. I then described my experience with a 2010 version of the more expensive model and related what repair has tried to do. Of course, if there were a solution to fixing my current fridge, I would prefer that, but the tech who looked at it today said the costs to drain and refill the coolant would cost $300-400 and if something proves to be wrong with the compressor, then there would be an additional cost for that. I have already spent nearly $300 for the thermostat replacement so I don't want to waste a lot more on futile repairs.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Just to add to what I already said, it strikes me as odd that two seemingly identical models (from what I can see) would be performing so differently unless the internal components are different. You can check any site that sells these two models and you see the same pattern. For example, compare https://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-31-in-W-17-78-cu-ft-Freezerless-Refrigerator-in-White-WRR56X18FW/206891678 and https://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-31-in-W-17-7-cu-ft-SideKicks-Freezerless-Refrigerator-in-Monochromatic-Stainless-Steel-WSR57R18DM/205744994. If it were just a matter of one being stainless and the other being white, they should perform the same, but clearly the more expensive Sidekick model is failing repeatedly. I can see the photos and the specs on various websites and cannot determine that there is any cosmetic difference, but apparently there must be a difference in the internal components that actually make the fridge function. I was looking for someone who could tell me why one is performing so much worse than the other. If you are unable to do that, perhaps someone who knows Whirlpool fridges inside and out can explain it.I would also appreciate your comments on my existing fridge problem. It has been on the coldest setting for 12 hours after being off for 6 hours and the temperature is 71F, though I had to reload the fridge with food that had been sitting on the counters for those 6 hours that the fridge was off. We had emptied the fridge before the repair tech arrived. Should it be taking this long to get the temperature reduced. Admittedly, we were opening and closing the door after we loaded it back up, but the door has been closed all night (approximately 7 hours now and it is still reading 71F. I am afraid we are going to lose a full fridge of food and we can;t get a new one delivered until after Xmas.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
UPDATE: Since I haven't had an answer from you Travis, I am updating. It is 6+ hours since my last update. I changed the setting on the dial from the large snowflake symbol which would be the #7 position, down to 4. I also removed some of the contents, thereby lowering the burden on the fridge of cooling off warm jars & bottles etc. The temperature is slowly coming down; now at 63F. By the way, the dial goes from OFF, small snowflake, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 large snowflake. Am I correct in presuming that the large snowflake is the coldest setting? is it possible that the repair person somehow reversed this when he installed the new thermostat? The other repair person who looked at it yesterday looked at the thermostat, unscrewing it and pulling it away so he could read the label. It apparently did say Whirlpool, but there was no date on the part. Is that typical or might it suggest that it is either not a new part or not a genuine Whirlpool part?
Appliance Technician: Webb-Guy, Handyman replied 6 months ago

I am extremely sorry for the delay in response from me. I have not been feeling to well today so I am just now coming on. IT does sound like the tech possibly put it on the wrong setting. Yes the large snowflake means lower setting (colder) As far as the two models you are right its a difference in a color. The parts inside are the same. I am not sure why the stainless steel one seems to be having so many issues. Of course these reviews are just on one site so you have to take it for what it is.

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