Q:

Is it safe to use a reconditioned refrigerator?

A:

Quick Answer

Using a reconditioned or refurbished refrigerator should be perfectly safe as long as repairs have been made according to factory specifications and industry standards. The most important aspect of buying a reconditioned refrigerator is inspecting it to make sure that it works and that it’s in suitable condition.

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Full Answer

Buying a reconditioned refrigerator is different from buying a used one. During a visual inspection and testing, verify that the reconditioned refrigerator performs according to the specifications outlined in the documentation that proves it’s actually been reconditioned. For instance, if the compressor has been replaced, it must maintain a constant temperature of 40 degrees F in the food compartment, the minimum standard for safe food storage allowed by the USDA. Find out if the refrigerator has all of the features of a new one of the same model, or if reconditioning means that fewer features are available. If the reconditioned refrigerator passes inspection, find out the terms of the warranty, energy-efficiency ratings and cost of further repairs.

Don’t buy until it is clear what “reconditioned” means in the case of a particular refrigerator. Sellers advertising reconditioned and refurbished appliances should provide certification that the unit has been inspected and restored to a standard condition.

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