“ Brand: Fridgidaire / Type: Electric Kettle „
We don't buy kettles very often and I must admit that it was with some surprise that I saw a new one in the kitchen. I wasn't aware that there was anything wrong with the old one (a Breville JK46). I suppose its white plastic was looking a bit shabby and when you shook it there was clearly something rattling around in the base. We had had it for many years so I suppose I shouldn't complain.
The new kettle adorning the kitchen work surface was a Frigidaire, not a brand I had previously associated with kettles. In contrast it has a shiny metal construction so hopefully would last longer looking pristine than its predecessor. It had cost just over £30 so, by no means cheap!
As it happened, it didn't last long at all, certainly no longer than that to claim a refund would be a problem, but more of that later. The kettle is rated at 3KW so speed of boiling is not an issue: enough water for a couple of mugs of tea is ready in around a minute. The kettle follows the design of most modern kettles: there is a base that is plugged into the socket and the kettle makes contact simply by being placed upon the base.
The first inconvenience of the design is the location of the water gauge: it's located beneath the handle and so not easy to see, especially if you are holding the kettle by the handle!
Secondly, and this is a problem of most kettles, the water level in the gauge doesn't climb as fast as the water is poured into the kettle; it seems to suddenly leap up the scale after you have already been pouring for a while, and so it is only then that you discover that you have probably poured in more than you need. Heating more water than you actually need is a complete waste of what is nowadays very expensive electricity.
The biggest problem though, and the one that has required us to return the item for a refund, is the design and manufacture of the lid. Like most kettles of this design, the lid is attached by a hinge to the body of the kettle. It is opened by pressing a button in the middle of the lid; the lid is spring-loaded and pops up to allow the kettle to be filled. It is angled upwards from the back of the kettle however, it only opens about half-way. Consequently it makes filling the kettle a bit awkward, especially if, as we do, you fill it from a jug.
We quite soon noticed problems with the lid: the ends of the springs started showing through the hinge; the lid started to feel as if it wasn't properly attached. Eventually the lid fell off completely. It was then that we discovered that the hinge that held the lid to the kettle was very thin at the points at which it had broken. The lid was attached at two points but the area of each was no greater than a few of square millimeters! No wonder it broke; the action of simply popping up over and over again was alone sufficient to eventually snap the lid of at these weak points.
So, poor design. I wonder how much testing the manufacturers did on this model? Whatever it was it was not enough.
Short name: Fridgidaire FCL-F712