Whirlpool WRS315SDHW side-by-side refrigerator review
A family-friendly fridge if you set the freezer to "coldest"
A side-by-side fridge lets kids grab their own snacks from lower shelves and bins, and allows parents to move adult food and beverages out of their reach. Same with the freezer side: a box of popsicles can rest in the bottom drawer, while that pricey gelato goes up on a high shelf. It works for everyone.
That said, side-by-sides often have issues with fluctuating temperatures. To preempt any food safety issues, make sure the temperature in the refrigerator side comes in at 40° or below, and the freezer temperature is around 0°.
How do you know? Check your trusty refrigerator thermometer. A side-by-side fridge pretty much requires that you use one. But it’s a small effort to make to keep your family’s food safe.
When we tested the 36-inch wide Whirlpool WRS315SDHW (available at Lowe's for $899.00) in our labs, we discovered that the fridge side stayed consistently chilly. Be careful, though: On the factory settings, the freezer temperature jumped into too-warm territory.
Design and Features
The WRS315SDHW we tested was classic white, but it also comes in fingerprint resistant stainless steel (possibly easier to find), monochromatic stainless, black, and even biscuit to match older appliances. A basic fridge like this could work well for families that keep an extra fridge in the basement or garage to hold snacks and sodas.
The although you can't tell by looking, the buttons on the control panel are mechanical, so you feel a satisfying click when you press them. They dispense water, and crushed or cubed ice. Temperature adjustments happen inside the fridge—more about that in a minute.
Don't count on storing produce for a long time in this refrigerator. These crispers don't really keep moisture in, so you lose the crispness in your fruits and greens. Eat the produce quickly, before it goes soft and droopy.
During its week of testing, WRS315SDHW kept the temperature in the fridge consistently chilly, but in the freezer things weren't as cool as they should have been. It sometimes hit 6°, and that’s definitely too warm.
No worries—there's a simple adjustment. Open the refrigerator door, and reach around the side of the temperature control box to flip the switch toward the coldest freezer setting. After a day or so, get eyes on your thermometer to make sure it's cold enough in there.
Efficient and relatively inexpensive to run, we estimate that this refrigerator will cost you about $37 a year for energy, a little less than average.
Whirlpool offers a one-year limited warranty on this refrigerator.
What owners have to say
Most owners are satisfied with this refrigerator, giving it 4.3 out of 5 stars. A few reviews mentioned issues with the ice dispenser.
The bottom line
If you need an extra refrigerator for a basement or garage, or a fridge that will fit in with an older-style kitchen, you could pick up a basic side-by-side like the this model. Remember to adjust the freezer temperature down, and you should be okay.
Want something to compare it to? We've also tested the Whirlpool WRS975SIDM, which is another side-by-side. It scored extremely well, and sells for only a little bit more.
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