Door hinges that are used on integrated fridges and freezers come in two basic flavours, ones that allow the entire door with the outer cupboard door to swing out and those that have the cupboard door slide on the fridge or freezer door.
Some people may think in these as built in fridge and freezers but where a kitchen cupboard door is fitted they are correctly referred to as being integrated appliances. The reason being that they are "integrated" into the kitchen and not simply freestanding fridges and freezers that have been altered to look "built in". It is a technicality and perhaps seems a little pedantic but nonetheless worth knowing.
Whilst it is true that there are these two basic implementations of these door hinges it is important to stress that this is not to say that the ones that you may have are one of two sets as that simply is not the case, there are scores of different types, even for one brand.
The reason for this is that integrated fridges and freezers are largely considered to be "low volume" products that have a multitude of different installation requirements in terms of height etc. So, what we end up with is a handful of specialist factories that produce these units and many brands all buy the same units then badge them up as their own. This of course has its pros and cons like most things but, from the perspective of getting spare parts, it is often a good thing and you can save big on many door hinges due to this.
The one classic example is the under counter integrated fridge and freezers used by many brands that all use the popular Ingol hinges.
However, the two varieties of door hinge are as shown below.
Click for a larger image
All In One Door Hinges
This is a typical Ingol type door hinge that is fitted, in this case, to an integrated fridge door.
As you can see the actual hinge carries the full weight of both the fridge door and the outer furniture or kitchen cupboard door along with the fridge door itself.
The whole hinge allows the door to pivot outwards allowing the cupbaord door the clearance that lets the door open fully.
Due to the substantial weight that these hinges can carry, especially when the fridge door is loaded up, they are prone to failure and we would always strongly recommend that you replace them as a pair and not individually as if one has failed the other is certain to not be far behind.
When installed on a freezer the strain is lessened but we still strongly advice replacing the set, not just a single door hinge.
The most common set by far, used on countless brands, is this Ingol door hinge set but if you're not sure do check with us for your model. You will almost always find the model number inside the fridge on the wall near the salad box or, in a freezer, on the wall after you take the bottom storage drawer out.
Click for a larger image
Slider Type Door Hinges
On many integrated fridges and freezers you will see these plastic slides or sliders used to allow the kitchen cupboard door to "slide" along the fridge or freezer door.
The reason is that, if you think about it logically, as the doors are mounted one inside the other they will both open at slightly different angles. So to keep them in line with one another you need these slides so that they open and close to the right place, more so the outer door than the inner one.
These slides break and are brand as well as model specific. They come in different lengths, widths and so on depending on the needs for the particular fridge or freezer.
The actual metal door hinges used on these type do fail but not as often as their weight bearing cousins shown above.
These are extremely common on integrated fridge freezers where it is rare to see the all in one type hinges used, this type is much more common.
Of course there are many different variations on these themes but, for the most part, you will see either of the above on your integrated fridge, freezer or fridge freezer.
Common Integrated Fridge Hinges
The most common tyes of door hinge used on many if not most built in or integrated fridges and freezers are as listed below. Some we've built kits up over the years as, it's cheaper, faster and saves any confusion over which hinge you need for what position but, again, we stress that both should be changed at the same time.
These hinges are largely used on older models and can come branded as either Ingol or, latterly as Coni Technic but they are the same thing in essence.
This is where things start to get a little more challenging.
For Hettich hinges there are two basic kits that we make available. The first one, HINGEKIT3 does not have the additional lugs on the end to fix the hinge to the adjacent kitchen unit wall. The second kit, HINGEKIT4 does have this lug. Aside from that these hinge kits are the same and, as long as you don't need to fix the hinge to the unit (i.e. not the wooden door or the fridge cabinet but the kitchen unit) then either can be used but the one without the lugs is the more commonly used.
For most fridges and freezers that use Hettich hinges these kits are just the thing as, they are genuine Hettich hinges and will often be substantially cheaper than any other way of getting these door hinges.
However, those are the common 41.5 height hinges, there are also 45 high hinges as well that were used on many older units and this will be stamped on the hinge itself. If you have the 45 ones, you need another kit and we'd advise you to ask us so we can ensure you get the correct hinges with the correct spacers. If you get the wrong ones, the door won't close.
There are several variations on the theme for BSH Group products, the most common set being this one from our store. These will normally have the 3306.5 or 3307.5 codes on them as well but as ever our advice is, if you're not sure please ask us, we're only too happy to help you.
The next most common Hettich door hinges for Bosch, Neff and Siemens is this set shown on our store here. This set will often have the codes of 3306.5 and 3307.5 along with 3702.5 and 3703.5.
As you can see, many of the codes match yet the hinges are subtley different and hence why we ask people to check with us as the last thing we want to do is send you the wrong hinges and, that's just two options!
The best way to ask us is to find the rating plate in teh fridge or freezer, take a photo of it and email it to us or, the details from it. You can even raise a support ticket or use live chat in the store but whatever way you do that, we'll answer you quickly (emails normally iin under 30 minutes during the week) with the correct information so you get what you need as quickly as possible. That time could save you a heap of hassle later.
Door hinges are a nightmare for this and, we're never done explaining it to people.
Many of the door hinges that we see are, frankly, ludicrously expensive or at least, they can be or appear to be. But, keep in mind the weight that these hinges are having to carry with all manner of things in the fridge door especially like cartons of milk, juice and all kinds of heavy grocery items. For this reason alone, they need to be pretty good as if you make them from inferior metal then they will snap under the strain.
And, that's exactly what happens with the cheap copies.
No more so than with the Ingol hinges as they are popular and so there are copies, many of them coming in from the Far East that are produced as cheaply as possible. These replica replacement door hinges are, quite honestly, completely rubbish with many of them lasting only a few months before snapping in two. The worst of it is, we've seen them on sale for more but mostly only a little less than the actual pukka replacement door hinges!
It's not worth the saving on these hinges, so we only sell the correct ones now.
For the all in one types of fridge and freezer door hinge there is often very little difficulty in doing so.
The hardest part, asides from balancing the door whilst you replace the broken door hinge or hinges, is getting things to all line up again using the various screws to adjust the angle of the outer kitchen door.
Sadly, there's no magic method or trick here and it's simply a case of adjusting the new hinges until you get to the correct position. However it is advisable to adjust incrementally a little at a time and remember that on many of these door hinges when you adjust the screws that the effect is amplified in the door. This means that a small, fraction of a millimetre on the adjustment screws can make the door move several millimetres in response.
Basically, apply some care and a little patience and most people will be able to replace these door hinges with little or no trouble.
Of course if you are not able to do it or, simply wish to have this carried out professionally, most of the engineers listed in our engineer search will happily do this job for you.
These are usually incredibly easy to replace for most people.
Normally the only tool required is a posidrive or star screwdriver and no more than a few minutes of your time to swap these over.
The hard part is making sure that you order the correct replacement sliders or slider kit which is why, although we supply virtually any replacements that are available, we will advice that if you are not sure to please contact us before you order to ensure you get the correct replacement spare part. Many people guess or think that, because theirs looks like the ones in the photographs that they must be correct, only to find when they are delivered, that they were actually slightly different.
If you're not sure contact us to check.