Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Refrigerator experience - quick blurb

Posted on 02/17/2014 9:51:29 PM PST by djf

OK about 6 months ago I get a new fridge. It's a Frigidaire HE model, with a small freezer on top and a regular refrigerator below.

It worked GREAT! I put a bunch of stuff in the freezer, and regular stuff below.

About 3 weeks ago I started to notice some minor icing inside the freezer door when I opened it. Didn't mean much to me... Lately, the freezer part seems to work fine, but the regular part below was about 50 degrees F no matter how cold I turned it.

So.... I unloaded the freezer. I then removed the very back panel, which has the blower motor attached, and has the cooling coils underneath.

The entire back part was one big chunk ice! Now right below the main freezer coils, there is an inlet that allows cold air to get pumped through to the regular refrigerator compartment.

I removed the back panel disconnecting some plugs, and used my blower to thaw out and melt all the ice off the coils, switches, etc.

I could have just let it sit idle and turned off and defrost, but it would have probably taken a couple days.

So for those out there who wonder if their fridge is working right, be advised a little maintenance and know-how can keep it operating at it's top efficiency!

Some people I know don't have the temperament or ability to start disassembling things. In that case, you should be able to find a neighbor or call someone who knows more about it.

So this is just a short blurb about my exciting evening!

;-)


TOPICS: Hobbies
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-82 next last

1 posted on 02/17/2014 9:51:29 PM PST by djf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: djf

We’ve had a similar problem with the ice maker on our new fridge. Glad you got that figured out!


2 posted on 02/17/2014 9:56:11 PM PST by jocon307
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
I'll second that. I had to do some maintenance on my fridge not too long ago. I am now resolved to pull it out once a year and vacuum the coils and fan assembly.

Maybe make it part of the pre-Thanksgiving or pre-Christmas ritual, preparing for the food overload. Good time to empty it, clean it thoroughly inside and out.

3 posted on 02/17/2014 9:57:39 PM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jocon307

Well, I think part of it is my fault, I had jammed the freezer so full, it had blocked (or partially blocked) the internal vents.

At least now I know what was blocked and why it seemed to be not working right!


4 posted on 02/17/2014 10:00:19 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: djf

Have a freezer on the bottom model in my condo. The lower freezer rolls out as a bin. Excessive icing was caused by a seal on the back of the drawer not sealing up and room air (which is higher in humidity usually) getting past the seal. If you every buy a freezer on the bottom style, get one which has a solid back and trays that roll out when the hinged door is opened.


5 posted on 02/17/2014 10:02:23 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

What you are describing is not a maintenance issue, it is a symptom of a problem. Call for a repairman, your refrig is under warranty.


6 posted on 02/17/2014 10:02:52 PM PST by TruthWillWin (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TruthWillWin

I will watch and see if it happens again.


7 posted on 02/17/2014 10:04:49 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: djf

There’s something wrong with your freezer. It is letting moist air in or the defrost cycle isn’t working.


8 posted on 02/17/2014 10:06:27 PM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: djf

A few years ago my doctor took me into his garage and showed me a fridge he still had working from the 50s. It was a big ol stand up monster! “Still works perfect”, he bragged.

We have a ten-year-old house which we equiped with brand new GE Profile equipment, and Whirlpool Duette washer and dryers. Everything is going out at the same time. GRRRRR.


9 posted on 02/17/2014 10:06:53 PM PST by Dogbert41 (Up yours NSA !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
the whole point to me is that just checking out your problem appliances, or car, or other, is a good start....you'll never know until you look that the problem might be very very simple....

no need to be replacing things all the time....many things can be fixed....

10 posted on 02/17/2014 10:07:47 PM PST by cherry (.in the time of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
LOL! You're hilarious! This is my favorite part:

I put a bunch of stuff in the freezer, and regular stuff below.

Glad you got it sorted :)
11 posted on 02/17/2014 10:09:34 PM PST by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cherry

Exactly. I wonder how much good stuff is in landfills because the people didn’t know or care about how to take care of it or fix it.

I disassemble and repair things all the time, computers, electronics, things with motors in them... so I am familiar with the basics.

Gotta have a “Can Do” attitude! That’s 90% of the solution!


12 posted on 02/17/2014 10:11:31 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: djf
Sounds like it wasn't going through a defrost cycle properly.

Maybe blocking the internal vents like you mentioned may have been the problem.

Being curious, I did some web searching for "Frigidare HE model" and came up with washing machines (plus the Figidare and Kenmoore HE-high explosive stuff on the NSA only weblink pages I can't tell you more about) but couldn't find an 'open' or public listing for "HE" fridge.

I'll assume that means High Efficiency, or else there was a mix up at the loading docks, and the 'sleeper agent' refrigerators produced for export were shipped out stateside.

Careful where you stick that hair dryer next time, eh? Just in case.

13 posted on 02/17/2014 10:11:40 PM PST by BlueDragon (gonna' change my name to Nobody, then run for public office.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TruthWillWin

Yeah.

It sounds as if the cooling element is not cycling. They need to cycle — go off for a while and then come back on. If they are on constantly, that causes the ice build-up, and the ice build-up blocks the air flow.

Air conditioners have a similar problem, especially on really hot days. They, too, need to cycle.


14 posted on 02/17/2014 10:12:05 PM PST by TomGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: andyk

My regular fridge part is now down to about 43% and still chilling...

Hey, no more warm beer for me!


15 posted on 02/17/2014 10:16:02 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: djf
My regular fridge part is now down to about 43% and still chilling...

Nice! Soon it will prevent the formation of bacteria! :D
16 posted on 02/17/2014 10:20:40 PM PST by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: andyk

Some bacteria can still thrive at frig temps.

Listeria, for one. That’s part of what makes it so nasty...


17 posted on 02/17/2014 10:22:42 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: djf

Ack! That’s where the Talisker comes in handy. I disinfect all of my glasses with it.


18 posted on 02/17/2014 10:25:06 PM PST by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: andyk

Clorox bleach or Dalwhinnie for me!

Time for a quick one, I guess!


19 posted on 02/17/2014 10:26:27 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: djf

Defrost timer or defrost heater or both. If it is still under warranty call for service. If not the parts are easy to replace.


20 posted on 02/17/2014 10:26:37 PM PST by Calamari (Pass enough laws and everyone is guilty of something.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
One more item to consider, beyond making sure you don't impede air circulation. If this is a 'frost-free' model, they have a heating tape built into the freezing coils that periodically melts the ice off of them and the condensate drains into a pan that is usually located under the door behind a dress panel in the front. This 'defrosting' is controlled by a defrost timer or a defrost control board that can fail. If it is a frost free unit, and you periodically check for water in your condensate pan and see none, it may mean that your unit is not defrosting. If it is not defrosting, it will ice up again.

You say this is 6 months old. If so, this might still be covered by warranty. Older units defrost timer was just a clockwork motor and a switch, typically a 10 to 12 hour time cycle, and was relatively easy to replace if you were even just slightly useful with tools and weren't afraid of electrical stuff. The newer ones (probably yours) have a circuit board 'defrost control circuit' which not only is more expensive than the old clockwork timers, but often is located in obscure locations.

Even if packed, there still should be enough air circulation to allow it to function if it is defrosting properly (unless you really go to the extreme freezer packing school), but with no defrost, it will ice up even if loosely packed. Heavy packing just will accelerate the icing.

Watch this unit closely and if it ices up again you might want to have a talk with the warranty repair people, or if you are a do-it-yourselfer, your appliance repair parts place and googlebing a how-to video.. (especially if you never see any condensate in your drip tray..)

(Voice of experience ;-)

21 posted on 02/17/2014 10:29:42 PM PST by NoCmpromiz (John 14:6 is a non-pluralistic comment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NoCmpromiz

I hasten to add, IF it is still under warranty, DON’T take it apart yourself.. ;-)


22 posted on 02/17/2014 10:33:58 PM PST by NoCmpromiz (John 14:6 is a non-pluralistic comment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: NoCmpromiz

That’s what I’m going to do, now that it seems to be ok and I’ve disassembled it, I’ll just watch the vents to see if they seem to be frosting up.

Didn’t see any parts inside that would be particularly hard to replace. But I do get a bit nervous working around cooling coils, the slightest breach and it’s junk!


23 posted on 02/17/2014 10:36:03 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: djf
Didn’t see any parts inside that would be particularly hard to replace.

Another note.. the fan itself sometimes fails, but that is a less likely scenario, and usually is preceded by it making a lot of noise (you know - the 'permanently lubed bearings' running out of permanent lube noise.. ;-)

The defrost timer/control is typically hidden in the dress panel inside that has the temp dial (if equipped) and the door light switch. Of course, if your temp control is digital - all bets are off and the price just went up ;-)

The old clockwork timers were easier because if they failed, you could remove the dress cover and manually spin the 'clock' until you heard a click (the switch making up to turn on the defrost tape) and then you could come back in an hour and spin it again to another click (which turned off the heat tape.) If you put things off like I do, you could keep it working for as long as you felt like doing that (which admittedly eventually causes you to break down, buy the part, and fix it correctly..)

The new ones with the solid state circuit are a bit more difficult to bypass and you'd better have a wiring diagram. ;-) Seriously though, check your drip pan once in a while for some water. Usually won't be much because the fan on the compressor is typically situated to blow air also over the pan to evaporate the condensate, but if you look often enough you should eventually catch some liquid in there. No condensate ever is a fairly good indicator of a defrost issue.

And remember, if it's still under warranty, be careful what you do because they just love telling you that you just voided the warranty by doing whatever it was you did.. (Else, use the Clinton defense - 'I don't recall..' or 'I never worked on this unit, not one time..')

Good luck ;-)

24 posted on 02/17/2014 10:58:09 PM PST by NoCmpromiz (John 14:6 is a non-pluralistic comment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: djf

You should never have to have done this with a new fridge. What is to stop this from happening again?
My fridge never has to have this done. Over 20 years old.
I say you got a lemon.


25 posted on 02/17/2014 11:11:58 PM PST by rawhide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

“I disassemble and repair things all the time, computers, electronics, things with motors in them... so I am familiar with the basics.”

Ever fix / take apart a top loading washing machine that won’t go into it’s spin cycle?

:)


26 posted on 02/17/2014 11:20:25 PM PST by Yehuda (Pres Obortion, Sen.McAnus, Hillary Abedin Clinton all kiss the *ss of the muslim brotherhood.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Yehuda

Not yet.

But I replaced a thermostat/heat sensor on a dryer.

And I pulled apart a pump/motor on a dishwasher that was leaking and replaced the seal. That was interesting, because it’s a bi-directional pump. If the motor is turning one way, it pumps the water through the apparatus and onto the dishes.
If the motor/pump turns the other way, it is pumping the water out of the machine and into the wastewater connection.


27 posted on 02/17/2014 11:26:15 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: djf
Based on what you've said it sounds like several possible issues. The freeze up is most likely due to the evaporator coil drain hole stopping up for some reason. Could be insulation over the hole, missed defrost cycles, or a bad defrost timer etc. Yea a door left open for say overnight can do it also. Another thing to consider is the energy saver setting many refrigerator have. Turn that option off. All it does basically is turn off the heater strips around the doors. It is not a good idea to do that. The heaters are there for a good reason. If it's under warranty I'd definitely call a repairman. It could be the timer or even the defrost heater itself
28 posted on 02/17/2014 11:29:39 PM PST by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Yehuda

And last night I pulled apart a 900WH UPS, because after a power failure, it kept tripping into “overload” mode.

Cleaned up all the connections, reset the batteries, blew out the dust, put it back together.

Working perfectly since then!


29 posted on 02/17/2014 11:34:23 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: djf
BTW I'm a retired maintenance mechanic with heavy HVAC/Refrigeration & electrical back ground. Here's how I thaw mine out. You have to be careful and this method will save you from tearing the box apart and causing damage.

I use a remote reading thermometer and a hair dryer. I unplug the fridge and put the sending unit for the thermometer and the hair dryer in the fresh food compartment. I heat the inside to about 100 degrees, close it up, then let it sit for about 8-12 hours. When I open the door there is usually a pool of water in the bottom on the inside of the fridge. That means the coil drain thawed out and it is now draining properly.

A lot of refrigerators actually drain the coil into the inside in the fresh food compartment down the back wall into the bottom of the food bin where from there it drains into the drip pan.

30 posted on 02/17/2014 11:44:07 PM PST by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cva66snipe

The newer stuff is quite different from the old.
This one, for example, has no external coils.

I was surprised by that - on my old fridge, I kept a spray bottle full of water, and if it was hot or seemed the fridge was working too hard, I’d spray the coils.

Can’t do that with this one!


31 posted on 02/17/2014 11:52:30 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: djf

Had similar problems with our Kitchen Aid refrigerator. Had to open it up, remove most of the interior panels and defrost it to eliminate the ice that was blocking the duct that allowed cold air to get from the freezer compartment to the refrigerator compartment.


32 posted on 02/17/2014 11:59:50 PM PST by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

Yea my 20 year old Magic Chef fridge has both coils inside the cabinet. So does my new one. The old one is the one I used the method I’m talking about on. I use it now just for cokes keeping ice in the freezer part etc so if it fails no big deal. I bought a new Frigidare brand last fall for the food because I had the money to do so and I had gotten my moneys worth use from the old one.


33 posted on 02/18/2014 12:04:05 AM PST by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: djf
Fridge of a serious deer hunter....12pt buck.


34 posted on 02/18/2014 12:09:14 AM PST by Daffynition ("If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." ~ Henry Ford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
ahh..yes, refrigerator thermodynamics..
rem: keep them thar coils unobstructed.

35 posted on 02/18/2014 12:12:57 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
that bottle, is really chillin'...

36 posted on 02/18/2014 12:21:06 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: djf

Not enough freon.


37 posted on 02/18/2014 12:24:24 AM PST by Carl from Marietta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

You know, of course, the refrigerator was testing you. Your actions were documented and communicated back over WiFi to the corporate offices, which have now redirected their operational policies to rely on your efforts. It will now increase the freezer temp just to mess with you until you purchase their newly revised maintenance package.

The Coffee Maker has been watching and taking notes. All the appliances are jealous. <;^)


38 posted on 02/18/2014 12:37:09 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cvengr

Lol!

Seriously, alot of Philip K. Dick’s novels had instances of appliances talking to owners and demanding payment...

The minute my door says “You’re behind in your payment. But I will open if you deposit $15.00 more this month...”

Thing the door doesn’t understand is I CAN BUILD a new door!!

;-)


39 posted on 02/18/2014 12:42:41 AM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Cvengr
sounds like that, The Twilight Zone, episode where all the
machines/devices terrorized that one man.. a classic. ;-)

40 posted on 02/18/2014 12:43:13 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: djf

I’ve got a feeling the unit is low on refrigerant. Mine is doing the same thing. These frost free units are supposed to be frost free.

Now, you may have fixed the problem but if the ice comes back you’ll know you only removed the symptom.


41 posted on 02/18/2014 12:47:19 AM PST by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: djf

It will happen again. The system is low on Freon.


42 posted on 02/18/2014 1:09:52 AM PST by OldMissileer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

Interesting...

I’ve never seen a Jose Cuervo brand bambi of any variety, let alone a 12 point...


43 posted on 02/18/2014 2:05:37 AM PST by NoCmpromiz (John 14:6 is a non-pluralistic comment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Yehuda

I have. 95% of the time, replacing the timer will fix it.


44 posted on 02/18/2014 2:47:19 AM PST by VMI70
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: djf

Since the unit is, basically, brand new; check the door(s) alignment and closure seal if it occurs again. Manhandling and installation will sometimes throw them just slightly out of wack.


45 posted on 02/18/2014 3:25:03 AM PST by 98ZJ USMC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

The fridge is not defrosting. Defrost timer, bi-metal defrost terminating t/stat
(round disc w/ 2 wires mounted on coil) or defrost heater is bad.
It will freeze up again in a few days.


46 posted on 02/18/2014 3:32:51 AM PST by Vinnie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

those refrigerators have coils built in korea or china somewhere.. they are known to be defective and the refrigerent leaks out.. exact smae thing happened to my whirlpool.. all the coils in refrigerators come from the same mfg.. so says my whirlpool dealer who gave me a new kitchenaide with the same coil but this one doesn’t leak...


47 posted on 02/18/2014 3:47:17 AM PST by garykfd (American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cva66snipe
A lot of refrigerators actually drain the coil into the inside in the fresh food compartment down the back wall into the bottom of the food bin where from there it drains into the drip pan.

our 4 yr old fridge does this - draining to the bottom drawer freezer where it collects - In the summer when it is humid, we have to lay towels in the bottom otherwise it overflows onto the wood floor...Ive noticed it does this much less in the winter when the air is dryer...Ive vacuumed the coils -, & cleaned everything yet it persists

48 posted on 02/18/2014 3:49:05 AM PST by Revelation 911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: djf

I’m guessing either your thermistor or defrost coil needs replacing...maybe the circuit board, but it seems too knew for that.


49 posted on 02/18/2014 3:56:12 AM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revelation 911

Do you run an air conditioner in the house in the summer?


50 posted on 02/18/2014 3:59:04 AM PST by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-82 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson