The bad news was that the 1994 Northridge earthquake essentially destroyed the part of my house containing the kitchen. The good news was that there was a considerable amount of insurance money available. The bad news was that there wasn't quite enough insurance money to do EVERYthing I wanted to do, but the good news was that I was able to design a really nice kitchen anyway, without having to dip too far into non-insurance money. The bad news was that I made two mistakes: I should have chosen a different faucet for the sink, and I DEFINITELY should have chosen another refrigerator.
See, when I designed the counters and cabinets I decided that what would work best would be a 24" deep, 42" wide fridge. I was right about the 24" depth, but I should have thought more about the width -- after all, 48" wide would have meant a loss of only 3" of counter/cabinet space on each side of the fridge, which wouldn't have been much of a loss. But water under the bridge, right? The fact is, I decided on 42", and at that time there were only two choices: Sub-Zero and GE Monogram. And I decided -- solely on the basis of the $1500 or so difference in cost -- to go with the GE.
Now, it is not a BAD refrigerator. On the other hand, it is not a very GOOD refrigerator. The main problem has to do with the way the freezer side drains after it runs through its defrost cycle -- or, more precisely, after 9 years the way it DOESN'T drain. According the my repair guy, in these machines the tube that is supposed to carry the water from the top of the unit down to the drain pan at the bottom eventually gets clogged, so that the water doesn't drain at all; instead, it pools up above the ceiling (so to speak) of the freezer and refreezes. When enough of it gets up there, what happens when the freezer goes through the defrost cycle is that the ice up there melts and drips down the inside of the freezer, creating ice streams down the sides and a layer of ice at the bottom. Moreover, when there is enough water up there, and it freezes, it stops the operation of a fan up there that is supposed to carry cold air from the freezer side into the refrigerator side. So what happens is, every 2 - 3 weeks both the freezer and the refrigerator slowly stop staying cold enough. And since water keeps building up and frerezing above the ceiling of the freezer, the only way to remedy it is to take everything out, turn the machine off, and let all that built-up ice thaw and drain down to the bottom of the freezer. In the meantime, my dry-ice bills keep getting run up and up.
Enough, as they say, is enough. A few weeks ago I did what I should have done in the first place: ordered a new Sub-Zero 42"-wide refrigerator. This morning Crew #1 came and removed the GE (R.I.P.); this afternoon Crew #2 will come and move the electric outlet and water line to accommodate the new machine; and tomorrow Crew #3 will deliver and install the Sub-Z. With any kind of luck at all, by tomorrow night I'll be able to empty out all three of the ice chests, put the stuff into the new box, and get the kitchen back to some semblance of normalcy.
So. Here's what I want reassurance about: Have I spent over $7,000 wisely? Will I be happy with my Sub-Zero? Or will I be back here at some point, once again bemoaning my fate at the hands of the refrigerator gods?
Any and all feedback re folks' experiences with Sub-Zero 42" refrigerators (or, indeed, with Sub-Zeros in general) will be welcome.