I replaced an old refrigerator in 2000. Mainly, I was tired of the fridge section on the bottom (I reach into the veggie tray a lot and the bending over was getting really tiring), and the door opened the wrong way. Laugh, but I didn't know doors could be reversed at the time...
Well, right after the new one was installed, I learned the door stayed open unless deliberately closed because it was mis-leveled. I could adjust the levels. No problem. Right!
I ended up detaching a wheel and having the whole thing fall on my hand (10 years ago). I escaped serious injury, but ended up with a front corner on a block of wood. There it sat for 10 years. I kept meaning to have a repair service fix it properly, but I let it go.
Well, last year, the cooling started to fail. I kept moving the control knob to more cooling. Two weeks ago, I reached the maximum cooling setting. I'm not stupid, I knew that meant it was running less and less eficiently, probably due to dust bunnies around the cooling tubes behind the fridge. But I could pull it out to clean it because of the missing wheel. I even found my owners manual and wrote down the repair telephone number to have the wheel replaces and the unit checked next Monday..
I waited a week too long. The fridge failed last night! This morning the fridge temperature was 60F. The freezer is working just fine, which saved me about $50 in frozen foods. I know it stayed cold because I keep an ice cube in a small sealed container. I've done that for years, and it is a good trick. If you are ever away and the power fails then returns, you will know because the ice cube melts then refreezes flat. My ice cube was still a cube.
Fortunately, the old refridgerator is still working and down in the basement. I moved everything I could to it, but there was a lot of stuff I couldn't feel safe about. All stuff like mayonaise, salad dressings, and raw meat had to be trashed. And I through out some stuff that was probably safe to keep (mustard, ketchup, tartar sauce). Why take any chances for cheap stuff?
The old fridge warmed up in the time it took to fill it with the sodas and veggies and fruits and pickles from the upstairs fridge. It took hours to cool down below 40F. I suppose I can't even trust the milk I bought today. So it goes tomorrow. I guess I put too much volume at 60F in the old fridge for it to cool it all down quickly enough.
The aggravating part is that the soonest brand name repair appointment I can get is next Thursday. Another generic repair place might be able to come out Tuesday, but I won't know til Monday. I won't blame them for that because they keep appointment slots open for people who have refrigerated medications to deal with. Those they take immediately. That actually says good things for them.
But I may be dealing with awkward cooking arrangements for almost a week. Blah...
At least I'll get the front wheel replaced so that I can pull the refridgerator out every few months and clean the coolant tubes... But it serves me right for not dealing with this last year!