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Late last year our old Zanussi had packed up. We are no white goods experts but when a fridge freezer is no longer keeping your products refrigerated, water is leaking from the bottom and it is making strange, rather loud humming noises then it becomes apparent that it is no longer happy and has reached the end of it's life.
This is what happened to our poor old 6 year old Zanussi last year. So, we set off to do the rounds of the retail parks. We had a look online and made the trip to Currys. We thought the selection was fairly good but nothing particularly caught our eye (probably more to do with the fact that they weren't that competitively priced and the salesman were not intrested in us whatsoever) so we were about to make the trip home to see what we could find online. We passed, what we thought was a closed-down Comet - but the yellow and black CLOSING DOWN SALE signs caught our eye and we decided to make a stop there "just out of interest" or to "see if they had a few bargains" with no real intension of finding a suitable fridge/freezer.
Amidst the empty aisles and already sold stickers we found this Hotpoint. We wanted a fridge/freezer that had a fairly equal fridge to freezer ratio whereas our old Zanussi favoured heavily towards the fridge in size. After opening and closing the door, pulling out numerous drawers we were happy and paid £299.99 and squashed it into the boot of my father's estate.
10 months or so later and we are still very happy with our purchase, our last purchase from Comet. Firstly, as fridges go it's a looker. Not. It looks just like any other fridge freezer you can buy, the only difference being the grey Hotpoint letters stuck three quarters of their way up the fridge door. After peeling the energy rating sticker (A by the way) and customer helpline stickers off the front it didn't look bad. And it still doesn't, it has remained relatively clean despite daily use.
Inside, it's really rather swanky. There was a similar Hotpoint in the shop with a different shelving configuration (as I think different variations of each model come with slightly different positions of shelves) but ours has four shelves in the fridge, and four storage boxes in the freezer half. Starting off with the fridge, all the shelves are of a decent height but they get taller the further down you go. Beneath the four shelves are two vegetable boxes which is handy and can store all the vegetables any man would ever need. Below the top shelf is a drinks rack which can hold four bottles (we currently have two bottles of Sparkling wine and two big 2 litre bottles of 7-up sitting comfortably). Inside the door there are 2 racks and the bottom rack is really rather wide, it can fit big cartons of orange juice and plenty of cans of beer with ease.
Moving down to the freezer, as mentioned already there are four boxes with the the middle two being bigger (especially the third one down which is positively enormous). The bigger boxes are good for bags of frozen peas, carrots etc. and big bags of oven cook chips. The skinnier of the draws can easily take tubs of ice cream however and fish fingers boxes for example and the top drawer we keep for ice lollies and ice cubes. Infact, the bottom drawer seldom gets used because the fridge is so big!
As far as it's efficiency goes we aren't really that sure yet but we think we are saving compared to our old Zanussi (we definetly are with regards to the end of its life where things really started going wrong) but then we aren't sure on what the Zanussi's efficiency rating was. I know you can get A++ and even A+++ nowadays but this was a reasonable price and for me, an A rating will do just fine. We also have an aftermarket temperature monitor in the fridge and it's telling me it's at 4 degrees currently, with the freezer being at -22.
To sum up, the Hotpoint was a very good purchase. It's been stress free and can accommodate all of our neccessary food and beverages with ease (it was only over Christmas and New Years did it get a bit full, but that's just 1 week out of the whole year and besides, who's fridge doesn't?) So far it has been very efficient from what I can tell and there have been no problems to report. Just as well, as Comet aren't in business! I think it came with a 3 year guarantee from Hotpoint, but I can't remember off the top of my head.
I work in a halls of residence and we put these fridge freezers in their communal kitchens. When it came to me buying my own fridge freezer for home I had a limited budget but wanted something reliable and sturdy. The price of this refrigerator makes it very affordable and it is worth it!
We moved house with it and it got quite a few knocks and bangs, but still works fine. I wouldn't say it was a good size for a family, but for a couple maybe even a couple with a young child it is fine. The freezer capacity is sufficient, and there are 3 shelves, 2 drawers and door storage in the fridge. They have even increased the door capacity in a specific location to fit larger bottles in.
The ice cube trays that it comes with are a bit odd, and I wouldn't use them but the blue color contrast they provide to the drawers in the freezer is nice.
A few negatives - There is only one adjustable leg which when you change the side the door hangs or your floor is particularly uneven then you can't get the fridge to balance very well without some shifting and moving on your part. The only other negative is from my experiences of these fridge freezers in halls. The way the salad drawers in the fridge have been constructed means that if stuff gets in it is hard to get it out, and so cleaning the fridges at the end of term when milk and beer and all sorts has got in the gaps and gone mouldy is quite difficult.
When our old Hotpoint fridge freezer packed in, we called in their engineer to try and fix it. After two visits, it was concluded that the old girl was just too far gone, and would need to be replaced. Thankfully, our payment toward the repairs (£120 aprox) wasnt all in vain, as Hotpoint offered to discount the cost of repairs from a new appliance through their 'Invitation Only' website.
This was a welcome offer, and we promptly went to the website and ordered our FFA52P. The pre discount price at the time was £269.
* * Spec & details * *
The FFA52P model is white (the FFA52S is silver)
It is a 50/50 split style, is 1740mm high and 550mm wide and will easily fit into a 60cm gap. At 580mm deep, it should not protrude beyond most kitchen worktops. The fridge (150litres) compartment is on top, with the freezer (80litres) below.
It has an A energy rating, and has an aprox annual energy consumption of 317KW
The fridge contains two adjustable glass shelves, and two salad drawers with a third fixed glass shelf above them. The fridge door has a bottom shelf designed for bottles etc, and two adjustable height shelves, including an egg tray. The freezer has four compartments, the bottom three being pull out trays, and the top has a flip down lid. Each of the 3 trays has a blue plastic ice-cube tray intergrated into the handle.
* * How well does it actually work? * *
We have had this fridge in use for over 6 months now, so I recon i have a good idea of its worth.
Visually, it is pretty plain and simple, but as far as lower priced white appliances are concerned it is perfectly acceptable. A top fascia includes a decent sized green light on the top left corner which will change colour given a temperature rise issue. There is also a simple dial to adjust the temperature settings, and a centrally positioned Hotpoint logo. Each door can be handed left or right, and the bottom lip of each door is universal to suit.
Once the appliance was fully operational, the first thing I noticed was a distinctly noisy compressor motor. Our old Hotpoint FFA71 was far quieter by comparison. Thankfully we do not have an open plan kitchen/living area, otherwise it could prove to be an annoyance when it clicks on.
Performance wise, I have no complaints with the fridge or freezer. There is no frost build up in the freezer, and apart from the normal residue on its back wall, the fridge has no ice, not has it ever frozen any items placed near the back.
As it is only a 550mm wide appliance, it is more suited to a couple, or small family of three, as although storage is adequate, a larger family would struggle to pack in a full weeks worth of shopping. However for me and my partner its perfect.
The fridge door can easily hold 3 or so 2ltr soft drink bottles, and the two shelves above, as I stated earlier, can be moved if they get in the way. The egg tray supplied isnt of much use: the 6 holes are far too big, even for a large egg, so you would risk damage to them as they rattle about on opening and closing. Best not use it.
The freezer is again, adequately sized. The three pull out trays have plenty space to store multiple boxes, pack of chips, veg etc. Buillt into their handles are blue ice-cube trays. These look a bit cheap if Im being honest, and dont preform to well when it comes to removing and cubes from inside, as they tend to get stuck inside.
The top compartment has a flip down lid. I would have preferred a tray, as the lid feels a bit flimsy, but maybe in just being fussy...
* * Conclusion * *
After six months use, I am perfectly happy with my FFA52P. Its a no frills model with a slighlty noisy motor, and doesnt look as fancy as its more expensive family members, but if you are looking for a reasonably priced basic fridge freezer, you wont go too far wrong with this model.
Maybe we were just unlucky, but as soon as we switched ours on (brand new), it made a horrendously loud motor noise. We rang and spoke to someone at the Hotpoint service centre and they told us this was 'perfectly normal' and would stop after 2 weeks!!!. We knew it was far from normal, we've had a few fridges over the years, none of them kept us awake like this one. After a week of phone calls we finally managed to get Hotpoint to take it away and refund us. We'll never buy a Hotpoint appliance again.Aside from the noise, we also felt unimpressed with the size and style of the fridge once up close to it. Doesn't seem great value for money.
I have had this fridge/freezer for several months now and have to say overall it's a reliable machine that is well worth a look if you're looking to replace an older unit.
One of the advantages is the width of this unit, my kitchen is literally tiny so everything has to be slimline in order to have room to move. The freezer has 3 pullout draws, 2 of which are of reasonable size although it could be said they lack depth and so you'll find yourself cramming items in which don't fit. The bottom draw is the largest and is where bigger items will have to be kept. There is also a shelf above the draws which adds a little more room to the freezer.
Another little space saver added into the freezer are the ice cube trays built into 2 of the freezer doors. Each tray is actually an elongated blue plastic tubes with bumps along the bottom. Filling these trays is simplified by a well marked "Fill Level", these are then placed back into the freezer doors and a while later you have ice cubes. These do work well but can at times be tricky to get out of the tube and will have you smashing them on the kitchen counter.
I have found the fridge to have ample space and a good number of compartments in which to seperate foods. The inside door has 3 shelves, the bottom shelf offering the most space and where I generally keep 4pints of milk, 2 litres of coke and a water filter. The middle shelf is very useful for small pots and sauces that need to be refridgerated but that's about all the will fit due to height restriction imposed by the shelf above. The top shelf could be described as a compartment as it has a sliding door which can enclose the top shelf.
There are a maximum of 4 shelfs that can be placed inside the fridge, although reallistically you will probably only want to use 3 of them as using the maximum really restricts the height of things that will fit upon the shelves. The bottom of the fridge is divided into two draws which I have found extremely useful for storing vegetables.
The fridge came with a sticker that said it was extremely efficient and in my experience it has been. The unit comes with 5 settings, 1 being the most efficient and usung least energy up to level 5 which will be far more costly to run. The guide recommended leaving the fridge on the 3rd setting for a few days after first use , while doing this the milk in my fridge froze overnight. Since then I have never needed to have it above the very lowest setting.
6 months after purchase and it still works perfectly, occasionally the fridge will have frozen water on the very back but the the auto-defrost button located on the top front of the fridge this can be easily resolved. No other issues have come up since purchase so I have been very pleased with it.
I would recommend this to anyone who has no more than 2 people in their home as the size of the freezer just isn't large enough. The freezer becomes packed with just a weeks worth of shopping so definately would not be suitable for a family but it suits my girlfriend and I extremely well.
This is an all round good fridge/freezer. Its very stylish and looks really attractive in the kitchen. Its adds a nice touch. Its quite large which is great because you can store lots in this fridge and freezer. The freezer has ice cube tray sort of things that are the handles to the freezer trays which is a good querky idea. It doesnt build up ice which is good because I remember older freezers which half the time was full with ice. Its stays very cold and has a temperature dial if you want to make it cold and colder. It has lots of different sections so if you want to seprerate all your veg from your chocolate from your juice from your eggs ad so on. You dont have to worry about space with this because its so big and useful. And its at a good price so you cant go wrong!
This is the only Hotpoint branded good in my flat; I don't generally have much luck with this brand but my partner persuaded me to buy this as 'spare' fridge freezer. The reason being behind this; I work from home as a cake baker and find I need a lot of shelf space in my chiller for various frostings and mixes.
The fridge space is very generous; three glass shelves with two separate baskets beneath; not to mention the space on the inside of the door for eggs and milk etc.
The freezer isn't as big as first anticipated; the top basket being barely big enough for two loaf cakes and a packet of chips; the quick freeze option and integrated ice cubes 'trays' are great additions'. Yet it would be sufficient for perhaps a small family; as the dimensions aren't the huge American freezers you see (which I hugely desire), it slides easily into most small spaces being quite slim. The only things I have to complain about is the clunking noise which I cannot seem to find the source off; no idea if other people have found the same problem; and the freezer door has a tendency to stick.
I had a pretty good year for competition wins last year and won one of these fridge freezers from a Co-Op promotion in October. This was actually very fortunate timing as our old and much smaller fridge with freezer section on top was starting to overice and misbehave, this could not have come at a better time.
I can find this model listed online for prices between £229 (on ebay) and £379 (at high st stores) so do shop around if you intend on buying and always - when buying a big item like this - try to go at least via a cashback site.
Ours arrived very carefully wrapped in lots of plastic and cardboard and when we pushed it back into the space the old one had come out of it initially looked so much bigger. We soon adjusted to it though and actually, how I ever managed with so much less freezer space than this is now beyond me.
This model is white and has the fridge section on the top and the freezer section on the bottom. The fridge section has two adjustable shelves and a number of different brackets which these can sit on to make the space work for you. The third 'shelf' so to speak is across the top of the twin salad drawers and so is fixed at that height. I really like having two seperate salad drawers as it gives you the flexibility to use one for fruit and one for veg or however it works best for you.
The fridge door also has 3 adjustable shelves which act as bottle holders, the door space is quite deep and they hold 2 litre bottles of pop easily.
The freezer section is plenty big enough for a small family with 3 drawers and also a shelf at the top. We find that the claim to be frost free is a bit hit and miss. Most of the time we have absolutely no problem with it at all but sometimes it is difficult to ascertain whether the seal has properly closed on the freezer and then a couple of hours later you realise it is open a crack and the entire inside has iced up. This is my only criticism of this model and something you neeed to be aware of. It does right itself within 24 hours of the door being properly closed and I am now much more careful to check it has properly sealed every time I close the freezer.
Sometimes this fridge freezer seems to go through phases of making a lot of noise but then I think we are likely to notice this more because we have an open plan kitchen and living room so it is fairly close to us when we are sitting relaxing. I am sure if it was just in your kitchen you probably would not notice it.
Overall this seems to be a pretty good fridge freezer if you are on a budget and need something for under the £300 mark. It is not all singing all dancing with digital displays etc but it is spacious enough for your needs, works perfectly well and looks nice enough in the corner of your kitchen.
I bought a new house this year, which had very limited space in the kitchen for a fridge freezer, so I visited my local Comet store with a plan to find a known brand with a width that fitted my kitchen.
I came across the Hotpoint FFA52P, which had the perfect diimensions. Width of 53cm (21 inches), height 174cm (68.5 inches) and depth of 60 cm (23.5 inches), and it fits snugly into the space I had in my kitchen.
From a price perspective, it was also good value, at around £300.
Since I bought it, I've been perfectly happy with the appliance, but I do think there are some key items to take into account if considering buying this model.
Firstly, size. This is a great fridge freezer for a small family. The fridge space is quite ample at 150 litres capacity, and is divided into 3 storage shelves, plus 2 trays for fruit & veg. In the door space, there's 2 smaller shelves (one with a lidded cover), which are ideal for small items such as eggs, butter etc. Then there's a bottle shelf, which can saccomodate a 2L size bottle, plus space for a medium size milk and a couple of fruit juices.
So plenty of space in the fridge area, but the freezer is smaller (79 litres), with 4 specific storage areas. At the top is the fast freeze area, with below 3 pull out drawers for standard freezer products. And this is where I think consumers need to take care, and match this specific model to their individual needs. The freezer storage space is not huge, and possibly a larger family would struggle to fit in all their frozen products. Specifically the bottom tray, which is not as deep as the other 3, is a little bit limiting. One loaf of bread in here, and its pretty much full.
So overall, a small compact, tidy fridge freezer, available at a competitive price. But probably more suited to smaller families.
Like neighbours, everybody needs a good fridge freezer these days to keep food fresh for as long as possible, but choosing the right fridge freezer is a lot harder than anyone ever thought possible.
There are just so many different types on the market, all offering something that little bit special just to entice you towards them.
There are small fridge/freezers, for those with small kitchens, or maybe student types, then there are massive American style fridge freezer for...well, for Americans and there 'massive' views on life.
And then there are the standard size fridge freezers which most Brits are proud to have in there homes, although there are still many of these types on sale to choose from.
Anyway, in my home I have a small single fridge with a famous branded lager printed on the side, this fridge of course is for my drinks, (none alcoholic honestly).
Then I have my everyday fridge freezer to keep all my everyday essentials in, like milk, margarine, salad, ice and the likes, and it is this fridge freezer that I am going to tell you about today.
It is a free standing Hotpoint FFA fridge freezer with Frost free system and something called Microban TM
** OTHER TECHNICAL BITS...
* Overall height of 1610 mm ( fridge door height being 810, freezer door height being 790),
* Full measurement s being 1610 by 610 by 610.
* 2 doors which can open either left or right depending on fittings (supplied)
* 255 litre capacity in total. The fridge on top being 160 litre whilst the freezer on the bottom being 95 litre.
* Average annual consumption being approx. 310 Kwh
* With Microban TM
** Inside the fridge compartment...
* Four safety glass shelves, one of which can be split in half
(These shelves can be placed in several positions inside the fridge)
* Two deep clear plastic trays at the base.
* Two long door shelves
* Two short door shelves
* A light which activates when door is opened.
* Drainage hole for excess vapour
** Inside the freezer compartment...
* Two deep draws
* One 'not so deep' draw
** OTHER BITS TO NOTE...
On the front of the unit at the top there are two settings switches, one for the fridge, one for the freezer, which can be turned with a thin object, such as a coin. Then there is a fast freeze button for, well, a fast freeze of course.
There are also two little lights on either side of the switches, one is green to show the unit is plugged in, whilst the other turns red if the freezer temperature becomes to high.
And, apparently, it has an eco-cost on average of less than £40.00 per year, (based on electricity average rates), with a carbon footprint of around 167 kg CO2 per annum. (very technical that wasn't it? And thanks to 'Unbeatable' for that little 'tit-bit)
** IN CONCLUSION...
This freestanding fridge freezer is, like many others, a nice looking unit which will sit quite quietly in any kitchen.
It is a good size, the height being just over five foot thus still allowing access on the top for extra storage in smaller kitchens.
The inside is pretty spacious and seems to be well designed for all food stuff, containing four 'safety glass' shelves, with one shelf being capable of being spit in half to allow for larger bottle or the like to stand upright.
The two trays in the bottom of the unit being of a good depth, easily able to hold quite a bit of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and the like.
The shelving on the lower part of the door is fantastic, being wide enough to hold several larger cartons of milk, with the other smaller shelves being movable and quite capable of holding several jars and the like, then there's the top shelf attached to the door which has a transparent flip lid.
Even when the door shelves are filled with your bottles of wine, sorry I mean milk, the door still seem to open and close with minimal effort, almost gliding into place as the door seal meets the main unit.
And the good sized light, which is situated on the inside top of the fridge, gives off plenty of light when the door opened, shutting off when the door closes.
Adjusting the setting of the fridge and freezer is childs play, it is a simple matter of turning the little small knobs which are situated just above the fridge door, both being identified by a small arrow pointing to a little image of the top or bottom of a fridge freezer, both having the numbers 1 to 5 surrounding them, (5 being the coldest setting).
As for the Freezer high temperature light, well this has come in handy a few times for me after one of my kids has helped themselves to an ice lolly, leaving the door slightly as usual, allowing the cold out and the heat in without anyone noticing. But after a little while the bright red light comes on and stands out like a wings on a trout, making you realise that your frozen food is in danger of ruining.
The fast freeze button is another good idea, allowing you to freeze larger amounts of 'fresh' food without spoiling the taste when it is thawed out, by simply pressing a tiny button, (well, it's not even a button, it's more a touch pad thing).
Anyway, I have been using this Hotpoint for quite some time now and can honestly say that it is one of the best fridge freezers I have ever owned. With the ample shelves in the fridge and the good sized draws in the freezer it holds everything I need it to and the noise level is very low indeed, the odd bit of humming being the exception.
As for the dreaded task which is defrosting a freezer, well, I have never yet had to do it as yet so I can safely say that the 'frost free' statement is most defiantly correct.
In all, another brilliant product from the boffins at Hotpoint and a must for those that just want a good reliable fridge freezer which will stand quietly in their kitchens, like a massive mannequin looking over your kitchen utensils.
The prices for this white Hotpoint fridge freezer range quite drastically but on average you can get one for around the £330 mark.
But as I always say, do shop around as there may be bargains out there for you do grab.
Like all fridge freezers, it can make a few noises at times, although as it is in a kitchen that shouldn't really matter, but if you tend to either sleep in the kitchen or have this fridge in your bedroom then the noise may keep you awake.
I needed a new fridge freezer when my knackered second-hand Zanussi finally packed up after 10 years of faithful service.
Comet were running sale ads on TV featuring a Hotpoint FFA52 fridge freezer. It looked like it would be suitable for my needs and when I went onto the Comet website to look at the statistics the measurements were perfect for the space in my kitchen.
Height 174.0cm, width 54.5cm, depth 58.0cm
The fridge and freezer are the same size. The net fridge capacity is 5.3 cu.ft and the net freezer capacity is 2.8 cu.ft. Energy efficiency grade A. Energy consumption is 317 kW. It's partially frost free.
I bought it for £299 at Comet. I had a quick look on google and at the moment the price varies from £299 at Dixons and Comet to £362.10 at Argos.
The fridge freezer was delivered within the time agreed, it didn't come with any packaging whatsoever, it was literally wheeled straight into its space and switched on. I read the manual after the delivery person had left as I didn't trust some of his advice. He told me a button above the fridge door was there so you could defrost the freezer and continue to use the fridge, when actually it is the on/off button that allows you to fast-freeze fresh food in the top freezer compartment!
The manual is flimsy compared to the phone book sized guides my Mum and Dad used to get with new appliances. The first double page gives positioning, levelling and installation advice, and tells you how to remove and change the plug if you need to. Page four explains how to reverse the doors. I didn't have to so I can't tell you how easy it would be, but there are only two illustrations provided and it looks quite fiddly.
The appliance description page is a labelled diagram of the appliance pointing out where to find your egg tray, salad crispers, etc. One handy feature for me is the in-built ice trays. My son always wants ice in his drinks and someone told me that exposed ice trays in your freezer cause frost to form, it's also unhygienic. There are two trays which each hold 10 ice cubes, they are enclosed, and they slot into the freezer drawer tops.
The rest of the manual consists of advice on how to start and use the appliance, how to defrost the freezer, change the fridge light bulb, etc. Then there is a list of safety tips, including 'do not touch your appliance with your bare feet' which gave me a giggle, I don't think I could remove the milk carton with my feet if I tried, and a trouble-shooting list, then the guarantee information. I'm sure it covers everything you would need to know, but I was surprised they managed to fit it all within 12 pages.
After the fridge freezer was installed the motor was running continuously and quite loudly for almost 48 hours. It did settle down and now runs very quietly, silently sometimes. There is a temperature regulating knob above the fridge door and they recommend it is kept midway at 3. 1 is the warmest, 5 is the coldest.
Condensation builds up on the back panel of the fridge, sometimes it is water, sometimes ice, but it drains away through an outlet hole and the heat produced by the compressor causes it to evaporate. There is a little tool included for cleaning the outlet hole.
I only have two little gripes. The fridge door has a lidded shelf for eggs, butter, etc, and one shelf for cans/jars, then a bottle shelf that can hold large milk cartons, and soft drink bottles. My son will take something from the fridge and let the door swing shut as he used to with our old one, but it won't always fully close, especially if there are several items being stored in the door shelves making it heavy. I have found it left slightly ajar several times.
My other issue is with the freezer compartment depth. My old fridge freezer probably had drawers originally, but not by time I acquired it. I used to just stack the boxes up and there was plenty of space. Drawers are more convenient as I don't have to deal with an avalanche when I open the door but the drawers on this appliance don't seem very deep.
One drawer now contains a standard supermarket tub of icecream, a bag of frozen vegetables, and a packet of 10 fish fingers. I could probably fit in one more packet of fish fingers but I don't think that's very good considering the size of the fridge freezer. It would have been a better idea to have two larger drawers.
If you are on a budget and you need a new fridge freezer, this one has a very roomy fridge, it runs quietly, the controls are simple to use, the fast freeze feature is good, it only uses one unit of energy a day, and I think it is good value for around £300.
The Hotpoint FFA52P Freestanding Frost Free Fridge Freezer has a 150 litre net fridge capacity and an 80 litre net freezer capacity. The fridge includes 3 safety glass storage shelves, 2 half width salad drawers and a full-width bottle balcony; whilst the freezer has 4 freezer compartments and Ice Care in-drawer ice cube trays. The freezer compartment is also fully frost free. The Hotpoint FFA52P Freestanding Frost Free Fridge Freezer has been given an A energy rating. Dimensions: 1740 x 545 x 580mm.