Monday, June 26, 2023

Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW Replacement Saga: Part 1 (published 6-26-2023; article #419)


Greetings, to each local, regional, national, and international viewer! In the last seven days, website analytics show the following top three nations and their number of views: Singapore 1,940; United States 310; and China 35. I wonder if Singapore is using “bots,” to nibble at this website.

Welcome to the 95th article, under the “Life (such as it is)” topic section. This public service announcement article does not recommend the Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW. Stay away from it! Stay very far away!

The 2003 Sears Kenmore

Photograph by M. Fearghail, 5/23/2023, 5:04 PM

The above photograph is of our original refrigerator. It was a Sears Kenmore, made by Whirlpool. I took the photograph, of all the business cards, papers, and magnets, just before Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I removed them. They will return to the new, new refrigerator, once we get it. (I didn't stutter. “New, new” is used for a reason, as this article will explain.)

That refrigerator had been working well, since 6/7/2003, when we moved into our newly constructed home. We did have to replace the thermostat last year and in 2021. Over the last several weeks, however, it was cooling too much. Even on the warmest setting, items on the lower shelves were freezing. We had to make room for those items on the upper shelves.

On 6/15/2023, I conversed with the good folks at Appliance Repair Service, Inc. (865-947-4100). They had replaced the thermostats. I highly recommend them, to any local readers. Even if it meant a loss of income from a service call, the good gentleman suggested that we acquire a new refrigerator. They had been lucky to find replacement thermostats. Parts for our old refrigerator would be impossible to find now.

It was time to “trade cars,” so to speak. I started searching online, for a new refrigerator. I kept the dimensions that we need and the color that we wanted in mind. Later, on 6/15/2023, at Home Depot, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I saw the Whirlpool model that would fit what we need, but it was only in that stainless steel color. We preferred “biscuit” (as it's called), which is a light tan, or white.

Did you know that the cost, for the same model of refrigerator, varies by color? It's the same as with cars! A new, silver Nissan Frontier, for example, may cost more than a new, green Nissan Frontier. It's the same for refrigerators. “Biscuit” colored refrigerators cost more than white, which costs more, or maybe the same, as stainless steel. This ol' educated country boy learned something new!

The Defective Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW

6/26/2023 Snapshot from video “6-26-2023: Defective Whirlpool model WTR311FZDW,” on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube).

I searched online, at various businesses, and spoke to a few of those folks by phone. Any higher dollar “biscuit” colored refrigerator that we wanted would back-order until late August! We settled on a white color, instead.

On Monday, 6/19/2023, “the Nineteenth of June,” we purchased online a “Whirlpool: 20 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator in White,” at Home Depot. The model number is WRT311FZDW. It's the same as the “33-inch Wide Top Freezer Refrigerator - 20 cu. ft.,” on Whirlpool.

Last Saturday morning, two good gentlemen delivered the new refrigerator. It was easy enough, to move the old one out and the new one in. The first defect, of the new one, became obvious, when the two guys tried to reverse the doors. (The doors need to swing open from the left, not the right.) The refrigerator is out of alignment. The screws, to hold the door hinges, will not fit the slots on the refrigerator's left side. The guys tried.

The other defect occurs, when the motor runs, to maintain the proper cooling and freezing settings. The motor, apparently, makes a too loud and high pitched sound. (It's not the quiet hum that our original refrigerator made.) Sometimes, we hear a grinding sound also. It only happens when the refrigerator is maintaining the settings, after a door has been opened.


To make a long story short, last Saturday and again today, I “jumped through the robot,” to reach a live person at Home Depot (800-455-3869). The Saturday call required follow up today. This morning, Home Depot placed me in a three-way call with Whirlpool. I was on the phone, mostly on hold, for an hour and a “lucky” thirteen minutes!

This is only Part 1 of the refrigerator replacement saga. Part 2, Lord willing, will conclude this sad saga. We are now waiting, 24 to 48 hours, until Whirlpool calls, to set up the date and approximate time that our new, new refrigerator will be delivered. (Yes, the defective new refrigerator must be replaced by a, hopefully not defective, new, new refrigerator -- of the exact same model and color.) Part 2 will let y'all know how that goes.

After the lengthy call this morning, I entered the following review on the Whirlpool website, for the model number:

This note is on 6/26/2023, Monday. The 6/19/2023 Home Depot purchase of this model WTR311FZDW arrived on Saturday, 6/24/2023. The refrigerator is defective. The doors won't reverse, from right to left open, since the holes won't line up! The refrigerator is visibly out of alignment. Further, after the refrigerator reached the “recommended” settings for freezing and cooling, it started making a high pitched and loud sound, when it tries to maintain those settings. (My audio-video recording, today, is included in this comment.) Earlier today, in a three-way call, with Home Depot and Whirlpool, I understand that Whirlpool will replace the defective refrigerator. The replacement refrigerator MUST have the doors set to open on the left, and it MUST be tested first, to ensure that it doesn't make that high pitched and loud sound!

The audio-video recording, mentioned in my review, is “6-26-2023: Defective Whirlpool model WTR311FZDW.” It's the latest episode, on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube).

I remember when a man could walk into a local appliance store, pick the appliance that he wanted (which was in stock), test and check it out himself, buy it (at a reasonable price), and take it home or have it delivered. That's not the “new normal,” sadly.

Please wait for Part 2. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are waiting 24 to 48 hours, for Whirlpool to call. After that, we'll wait a few days or weeks, until Whirlpool delivers our new, new refrigerator. It had better not be defective!

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