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!
We’ve had a similar problem with the ice maker on our new fridge. Glad you got that figured out!
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.
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!
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.
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.
I will watch and see if it happens again.
There’s something wrong with your freezer. It is letting moist air in or the defrost cycle isn’t working.
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.
no need to be replacing things all the time....many things can be fixed....
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!
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.
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.
My regular fridge part is now down to about 43% and still chilling...
Hey, no more warm beer for me!
Some bacteria can still thrive at frig temps.
Listeria, for one. That’s part of what makes it so nasty...
Ack! That’s where the Talisker comes in handy. I disinfect all of my glasses with it.
Clorox bleach or Dalwhinnie for me!
Time for a quick one, I guess!
Defrost timer or defrost heater or both. If it is still under warranty call for service. If not the parts are easy to replace.
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 ;-)
I hasten to add, IF it is still under warranty, DON’T take it apart yourself.. ;-)
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!
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 ;-)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Not enough freon.
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. <;^)
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!!
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.
It will happen again. The system is low on Freon.
I’ve never seen a Jose Cuervo brand bambi of any variety, let alone a 12 point...
I have. 95% of the time, replacing the timer will fix it.
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.
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.
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...
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
I’m guessing either your thermistor or defrost coil needs replacing...maybe the circuit board, but it seems too knew for that.
Do you run an air conditioner in the house in the summer?
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