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Just as our family and, consequently, the weekly food shop was growing, our fridge freezer was (quite literally) cracking up under the pressure. Due to the age of our old fridge freezer, I wasn't able to find any replacement parts so we had to buy a new model and, as we have three children, needed quite a decent sized fridge freezer. As well as buying lots of chilled, fresh food, I do like to have a well-stocked freezer. I was quite surprised just how difficult it was to source a fridge freezer with a large freezer section without compromising on fridge capacity. Ideally, we were looking for an even split between fridge and freezer but wanted both of them to be generously proportioned. Eventually, after various online searches and viewing the options at both Curry's and Comet we settled on the Hotpoint FF200LP.
We paid £380.99 for this model from Electrical123.com in November 2010, inclusive of delivery, and paid an additional £9.99 for removal and disposal of our old model. The FF200LP is the sister model to the FF200LG. The only difference is the colour - our model is the traditional polar white whereas the LG is graphite (silver). All other sizes, features and specifications are the same.
Appearance and Controls
The fridge freezer itself is quite plain and traditional in appearance. It is quite a big model, standing two metres tall so looks quite imposing in our kitchen, although not quite as extravagant as those huge American style models! The controls are only visible at the very top of the fridge when the fridge door is opened. It was relatively straightforward to set up and adapt to our new appliance, simply following the delivery men's advice to allow this to stand for around four-five hours after delivery before switching it on. The fridge has a 'super cool' and the freezer 'super freeze' setting, designed to ensure that the fridge operates at the correct temperature, even when a whole load of shopping is placed inside. Operating these features is only a matter of pressing a single button on or off and, aside from this, the fridge freezer simply functions as any other model without any complicated settings or instructions to worry about. The model is A rated for
Pictures of Hotpoint FF200LP
Hotpoint FF200LP interior
energy usage, so is both environmentally friendly as well as being economical to run.
Our primary need was a decent sized fridge and freezer compartment and the LP has certainly met that need. The fridge came supplied with four sturdy glass shelves, each of which can be adjusted reasonably easily, as well as a removable wine rack. We immediately removed one of the shelves as having four meant that the gap between them was incredibly shallow and we would have struggled to fit any tall items into the fridge. Even with just three shelves in place, the gap between one of the shelves is still very shallow - being just slightly taller than a standard egg box. The net capacity of this fridge is supposedly 202 litres. In practice, this means that the fridge can easily fit a week's worth of chilled food for our family of five, even without one of the shelves.
We were in two minds whether to also remove the wine rack too (as we don't tend to drink wine at home) but decided to leave it in place. It is actually quite a useful addition as it has proven to be very strong and capable of holding our Christmas liquors and the kids' juice, as well as being deep and robust enough to fit a bottle of lemonade in there too without crashing down! I particularly like that the wine rack doesn't come out quite as far as the shelves do, so we have a little extra height for part of the way for the shelf underneath.
We got through lots of milk in our household so needed the fridge door to be wide and strong enough to support the six-pint cartons of milk that we buy. The lower fridge shelf is long and wide enough to comfortably fit either a six-pinter (as well as a couple of other bottles) or two four-pint cartons. The plastic is not as flimsy or brittle as other models that we viewed so I'm confident that this model will be durable enough to withstand this kind of treatment on a daily basis. As well as the large bottom shelf, the fridge came supplied with three other fridge shelves, one of which has a transparent lid, making it handy for things like butter and cheese. Again, we chose to remove one of the shelves to accommodate taller bottles and cartons, but it is nice to have this level of flexibility as each shelf can be re-positioned into one of the many slots available. All of the shelves feel quite thick and sturdy and can fit a surprisingly large number of jars and bottles in them.
At the base of the fridge, there are two small but quite deep salad drawers. Personally, I would have preferred one large single drawer but I have found that the drawers can fit in a reasonable amount of fresh produce and vegetables. They slide in and out easily although can be a little bit fiddly to remove completely for thorough cleaning, due to the position of the door.
Ease of cleaning
The main body of the fridge is fairly easy to maintain and keep clean, although it can be difficult to get the shelves back into the correct position after cleaning as the fridge door can't be pushed open particularly far. The inside of the fridge has supposedly been treated with an anti-bacterial lining though which should help to keep it reasonably hygienic and germ-free (although doesn't replace the need for regular cleaning, unfortunately!)
This is a frost free model so is very easy to maintain and there is no need to go through the laborious task of defrosting this monster!
When we initially bought this, I quite liked the alarm which sounds if the fridge door is left open for any length of time. This is useful for us when the kids have raided the fridge and not bothered to close it properly! I do find it mildly irritating when I am filling the fridge up after shopping though and wish there was a way of temporarily switching this feature off. I have also found that the alarm will actually only sound if the fridge is left open by more than an inch or so. I have discovered the fridge door left ever so slightly ajar so that is was only visible when it came to opening it again. In those circumstances, the alarm doesn't actually activate which is a little disappointing, meaning that this feature isn't quite as valuable and reliable as it may sound.
The freezer section is very well designed with four generously sized compartments which hold a surprisingly large amount of frozen foods. One of the drawers is slightly deeper than the others but all of them slide in and out easily without sticking and the clear frontages makes it easy to spot what you are looking for without having to rummage through the entire contents of the freezer for those fish fingers that you know are in there somewhere! I find having four drawers makes it easier to organise the frozen food into categories too.
The kids were particularly impressed with the built-in ice making facility within the freezer. It is a clever use of space as the bottom two drawers have a little section which slides out and can be filled with water to make ice cubes. It is a bit of a gimmick and can be a little bit messy, as it is very easy to overfill and end up water spilling out into the freezer, but with a bit of practice it does actually work to produce ice cubes whenever we need them (which hasn't been all that often in recent weeks!)
In everyday use, this model just makes a very faint reassuring hum , indicating that it is still working well but not loud enough to be particularly noticeable. It does, however, have a tendency to make strange cracking noises which come from the freezer, particularly in the evenings! I did find it a little disconcerting to begin with, as the noise it makes sounds like somebody opening our back door and it took me a while to work out where the strange noise was coming from!
I'm obviously not the only one to have heard these noises as, alongside the standard user manual, the fridge freezer came with a leaflet explaining the sorts of noises that this model might make and the reasons why. Apparently, the cracking is something to do with the frost free mechanism functioning correctly and nothing to worry about, thankfully!
Overall, I am very pleased with the build quality and design of this fridge freezer. It is a good size for a larger family and, with the number of shelves and drawers provided, offers a versatile storage solution for all our chilled and frozen food. Most importantly, the drawers and shelves feel reassuringly sturdy and robust and should withstand daily use from our hungry hoard for many years to come.
I would certainly recommend this model for any family looking for a fridge freezer that offers both a decent sized fridge section as well as a large freezer capacity, without comprising on build quality or blowing the budget.
A good sized family fridge freezer
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this is a genuine part replacement genuine transparent drawer front for your hotpoint ... more
fridge freezer suitable to fit the following models hotpoint ff 200 lg ff 200 lk ff 200 lp all items in stock and available for same day dispatch all goods are stock items and will be dispatched the same day if order received before 3 pm on a working day mon fri and payment has been received and cleared any items sold on saturday or sunday will be dispatched the following monday we only accept paypal as a payme