* Prices may differ from that shown
Please note this is for the 132 Litre version - NOT the 180 Litre version as included by Dooyoo.
The L5526W is an under-counter refrigerator that is made by well known electrical manufacturer, LEC. The "W" stands for white, as in the colour of the appliance, but you can also buy a L5526S which is exactly the same product but in silver.
****Size and dimensions****
Measuring 883mm high by 540mm wide by 600mm deep the L5526 has a capacity of 132 litres. Whilst this may not seem a lot, I was sceptical at first, I find it is more than enough for a couple and would probably be sufficient for a one child family however for households consisting of more than 3 people I don't think it would be big enough.
i) A class energy rating - power consumption of 150 kWh/year
ii) Adjustable door storage compartments
iii) Spacious and transparent salad drawer
iv) Internal light
v) Easy grip handles
vi) CFC/HFC free
vii) Reversible door
The A class energy rating, low power consumption and cheap running costs are great and these were the primary reasons for buying this fridge. That said, there are many A class energy rated fridges on the market so I guess this fridge isn't unique in this respect.
There are actually four door compartments, consisting of one at the top and one at the bottom, both of which are the full width of the door. The other two compartments are half the width of the door. Whilst the features state "adjustable door storage compartments" this only applies to the half door width compartments, and in reality they are not really adjustable since you can only change how far up the door they go, and there are only two different locations at that. You can't alter the size of the compartments or how much they hold or anything like, so I think using "adjustable storage compartments" is a bit misleading.
As far as features iii) to vi) above are concerned these are basic features found in all under counter fridges so they are not really a unique selling point of this product. The reversible door, however, is not and it is a great feature, but more than this later.
****Setting up the fridge for use****
As with all fridges this fridge needs to be left alone for the first twenty four hours to let the internal fluids settle before it can be switched on.
Levelling the fridge is an absolute doodle and it's done using to two adjustable feet on the front left and right corners respectively. This fridge cannot be adjusted at the back end, which is not such a bad thing given that in most instances it will be pushed in to a cubby hole where the back will be inaccessible.
The adjustable feet are strong, sturdy and there is plenty of room for adjustment so it will be ideal for even the most uneven floors.
The adjustment is made by simply turning the feet clockwise or anticlockwise (to lower or raise them) accordingly.
The temperature of the fridge is adjusted by turning a small dial conveniently located on the inside of the fridge. The dial is easily accessible and it is large enough for consumers with the biggest of hands to use but not so large that it gets in the way and hampers use of the fridge.
There are 5 different temperature settings on this fridge, which is far too many in my experience of using this product. When I first got the fridge it was left to settle (in line with the manufacturer's instructions) before being set it to number 4 and left it do its thing. The fridge was loaded and I thought nothing more of it until the following morning when the ketchup bottle had a definite "crunch" to it (it was full of ice) and the lettuce was stuck to the side of the fridge. The temperature was just too cold, so based on this I would have thought that number 5 will almost turn this fridge in to a freezer.
Setting numbers 2 and 3 are the ones to use, and I would recommend 2 if you want a slight "chill" and 3 if you prefer your fridge a bit colder.
Overall the build quality is very good. The fridge is sturdy, well built and doesn't seem to flex that much so a big thumbs up for durability. The thing that lets this fridge down is the plastic handle (which not only feels cheap and nasty but also looks it) and the internal door compartments, the plastic of which feels weak and fragile. The compartments are also a light blue in colour (but still opaque) and I think they look a bit tacky, which is a shame.
The glass shelves, on the other hand, appear to be made of good quality, thick and durable that is ideal for the job it was designed to do.
During the time I have owned this fridge I have had no problems with it at all but then I have not given it any abuse, nor do I have any heavy handed children who, in my experience of my nephew (and thinking back to when I was a child and didn't really look after things as well as I should have), tend to put products through their paces.
****Changing the door*****
When I saw this fridge in the shop I noticed that the handle was on the left hand side and the door opened to the right, i.e. it was set up for right handed people. When the fridge was delivered the door was also set up in this way. This is fine, but I am left handed so whilst I could use the fridge as it was I was going to find this a bit awkward for me.
Luckily, the door can be changed so the handle is on the right and the door opens out to the left. Everything required to do this is supplied (i.e. the bushes, the caps and most importantly - the instructions) and after reading the instructions it didn't seem a too big a task. In reality this process is not as easy as it seems and it is quite fiddly.
The process involves removing the door, taking off the bottom hinge and screwing it on the left hand side of the fridge, putting the door back on and then putting the handle on. Simples right? Well not really so if you are going to do this don't think it is going to be a five minute task.
****Availability & Price****
This fridge is widely available so getting one should not pose too many problems.
The price of this fridge varies enormously. I paid £149.99 for mine from Comet, although at the time of writing a quick internet search shows it can be bought for £151.00 right through to £229.99, so it is definitely worth shopping around for in order to get it for the best price.
I can never understand why there is such a huge price differential, after all the fridges all come from the same manufacturer so surely the price should be uniform?
The cost of postage and packing varies for this product and is dependent upon a number of factors, with the main one being how quickly you want the item delivered. If you're prepared to wait 5 days then you can get this fridge delivered for nothing from Comet but if you can't wait that long then a delivery charge of around £20 can be expected.
Overall this was a good purchase and I would recommend it, but only to small households. It is very easy to level up, there is a good range of features, the overall build quality is good and the door can be turned round making it ideal for "Lefties".
It is a shame the handle looks cheap and nasty but there is nothing you can do about that so it is a case of putting up with it. It is also a shame the internal plastic compartments are so fragile but providing you treat these with a bit of care, and you don't ask too much of them, they should be up to the job.
Installation / Short name: Lec L5526W