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Whirlpool ARC7451

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£95.90 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
1 Review

Brand: Whirlpool / Type: Fridge Freezer / Capacity: 212L/93L

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      11.02.2011 17:43
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      3 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Check the ambient temperature and buy another model!

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      'Ice Looking Machine!
      ====
      Just over a year ago we moved into our new house, which was a stressful but ultimately joyful experience. One of the first things we had to do was to buy a fridge-freezer for the kitchen. The kitchen is at the back of our house, but it is a semi-detached house and so the wall which the fridge-freezer would stand against is an internal wall and next to a radiator. All this is important as I will detail later.

      Although the kitchen is a good size, larger than our last, we are still short on space and so we had to carefully consider what size we could buy, what the ratio of fridge to freezer space would be and the swing of the doors.

      We ended up plumping for the Whirlpool ARC7451 which cost us £415, hoping we were safe with a branded name that we had been happy with before. It was reduced as an end of line bargain but was new and in working order (apparently!) and bought from a reputable firm. It stands at 189cm high, 60 wide and 61cm deep and has 212L storage in the fridge and 3 drawers of 93L in the freezer. The fridge has 4 shelves and a large salad box in the bottom. The door has 4 shelves varying in height for milk, butter, cheese and eggs. It comes with a bottle rack shelf (which we took out) and an ice tray but no space in the freezer doors for storage.

      It also has an A energy rating which we considered important and we would not have bought anything less (partly for financial reasons).

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      Not Egg-actly what we egg-pected
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      From the off the beast was not impressive! It regularly made strange noises and we had to call someone out within the first week as the interior light was not working. The strange noises, as it turns out, is the machine defrosting, which it does seem to do quite well. We also realized that we had made a minor error: the fridge door extends above the top of the fridge in a 'stylish' arc. We always put our microwave on top of our fridge-freezer to save space on the worktop but of course with this freezer the microwave door will not open unless you open the fridge door first.

      But we loaded it up with all sorts of food, frozen and otherwise and got on with eating our way through it as a family.

      But then we began to notice that there would be occasions when the ice-cream would be soft, or worse, look as though it had melted and been refrozen. After observing it for some time we called out an engineer.

      And this is where it gets interesting!

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      Certain Ambients
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      He told us that this fridge-freezer must have an ambient temperature of 16°C for the freezer to work. That means that the air temperature around the fridge freezer must be at least 16°C at all times. However, nowhere is this stated in the manual. If it were we would have returned it immediately (my wife reads the manual in case you've read any of my previous reviews!) and exchanged it for something more suitable. As it happens the only place we have heard of this ambient temperature being 16°C is from the Whirlpool engineer. No website selling the product, no paperwork that came with it even mentions an ambient temperature, never mind one as high as 16°C.

      The engineer has been back twice since and replaced more and more parts but we have taken to keeping note of the temperature inside and outside of the freezer. On the whole the temperature is above 16°C and even then the freezer fluctuates wildly in temperature. But as a householder who can guarantee that their kitchen space is maintained at that temperature?

      And what is the point in having an A rated machine which has to be kept at a high ambient temperature. All that is gained in being energy careful is lost in central heating needs!

      And of course the usual threat is mentioned when we book the engineer, 'If there is nothing wrong with the product then you will be charged.' This is a very fluid concept when dealing with a fridge-freezer which you are convinced does not keep temperature.

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      Cheesed off!
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      The fridge has always worked fine and held its temperature, and apparently freezer only units are far better at maintaining their temperature. But one thing I have learnt is to ask what the ambient temperature must be before buying. Some fridge-freezers are set at 10°C which is a little more acceptable (although still perfectly possible to drop below it in the cold winter months). But to set it at 16°C and not to clearly state that is to take the mickey and to take advantage of the consumer. This is not a fridge-freezer which is fit for purpose, I'm afraid and Whirlpool should be ashamed of themselves!

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      What a Pavlova!
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      We are in continuing negotiations with Whirlpool as to some sort of recompense and I will update this accordingly. But in the meantime this is not a fridge-freezer that I can recommend. I give it one Dooyoo star due to the fact that the fridge works!

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      Update - 9th March 2011
      ====
      Whirlpool have replied, pointing out that the ambient temperature is stated in the manual. Yes, it is. In a completely unfathomable table where it is listed under region N!

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    • Product Details

      Fresh Food Volume / Short name: Whirlpool ARC7451