Reviews by customers on Amazon for the NewAir 24-inch built-in wine refrigerator with a capacity of 46 bottles and dual zone cooling system, made of stainless steel.
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1.0 star DO NOT PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT!
Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2019
This product is marketed as suitable for built-in or freestanding installation. However, both options are unsuitable. The unit has an unmentioned feature (dripping sarcasm), which can destroy your flooring, subfloor, and floor joists if left in operation for an extended period. We installed it in our dining room in May 2019 and initially found it satisfactory (even impressive). We placed the unit in a freestanding configuration, facing the wall, and it worked well. However, when we later moved the appliance to a different location, we discovered that water had seeped from the part of the unit that was near the wall, causing about 2 square feet of damage to our eighty-five-year-old wooden floor.
After cleaning up the water, we consulted the product documentation and warranty and found that there was no mention of a drain requirement, and all warranty claims required us ("the purchaser") to pay for shipping to the vendor in both directions before determining whether the product could be repaired or was faulty. In other words, the vendor could charge up to 50% of the purchase price just to assess the issue, making the "buyer beware" mantra as relevant today as it was 50 years ago when the Consumer Protection Agency was created.
What caused the leak? We found a condensation pan fed by a tube measuring approximately 1/4" in internal diameter from a collection vessel molded or attached to the unit's inside. The condensation pan was overflowing, causing the leak and floor damage. The condensation pan measured approximately 2" wide by 2" tall by 3" deep and had a capacity of less than a US Cup of liquid. According to our rough estimate, the condensate dripped at a rate of approximately one-quarter cup per day, guaranteeing that the pan would overflow within five to seven days of continuous operation. Moreover, the leak occurred continuously and in small amounts and could be absorbed by any permeable surface. Water can be detrimental to porous surfaces if left unattended; it can cause decay, mold, and require money to remediate.
The condensation waste pan is screwed onto the product frame using two screws oriented horizontally on opposing sides at the bottom of the pan. Only one screw is accessible, and the pan cannot be removed. Emptying the pan requires transferring the contents to another vessel using an absorbent material such as a towel or sponge. The condensation waste pan is situated among the compressor, tubing, thermostats, and electrical wiring and connections. Water and electrical contact is inadvisable and poses a potential health risk and fire hazard.
By the way, the temperature in the lower section of the unit (2/3 of the cooler) must be lower than the temperature in the upper section (1/3 of the cooler). As heat rises, the upper section is at a higher temperature than the lower section. Setting the lower section at a temperature equal to 50°F and the upper one to a temperature of 45°F will result in an actual temperature of 50°F in the upper section. We used impartial thermometer/hygrometer devices to verify this fact. Although this isn't necessarily the manufacturer's fault, it is a public service announcement (PSA), as this fact is not disclosed in the product documentation.
The manufacturer and the vendor are both reprehensible as they fail to emphasize the potential damage to flooring and subfloors when considering this product for built-in installations. Although it's easier to spot water leaking from the unit when it's in a freestanding position, who moves such a heavy appliance once it's in operation, apart from dusting and vacuuming once every few years?
We've since modified the cooler by extending the condensation waste tube and attaching an external waste pan, which spiders and other thirsty insects* find very appealing. Although it isn't aesthetically pleasing, it's cost-effective. Why should you spend over 0 on a refrigerator, only to spend a small fortune repairing your flooring and $10 field modifying and improving your home with open water pans on the floor? It's an expense you can avoid if you don't purchase this product, and we recommend that you avoid it.
*Ignoring spiders and thirsty insects in your home is not recommended.
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