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Posted: 5/14/2003 11:42:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2003 11:46:37 AM EDT by Corey]
Our current refrigerator came with our house. We don't know how old it is, but it always seemed to be in good working condition. I've always kept the refrigerator portion cold (32 degree Leinies [:)]), and it's never had any problem maintaining that temperature. But recently, we noticed ice cream in the freezer was soft. Then the average temperature [i]in the refrigerator portion EDIT ADDED[/i] (we have a thermometer in there) rose from 32 to around 38 degrees. And it isn't able to recover as quickly when we restock it or have the door open for a time period (i.e., it stays warmer longer). I've tried cleaning out all the gunk and dust from the coils and under the refrigerator. Then I tried reorganizing the contents to allow better circulation of air (it's always pretty full though). Still it isn't working as well as it use to. Does anyone have any DIY suggestions? I'm asking because as a first time homeowner, we paid a heating/AC guy an emergency fee to come out and tell us to clean the air filter in our forced air ducts (it was winter and the furnace wasn't able to heat the house about X degrees). Who knows, maybe it's just time to get another fridge. PS I have a little fridge downstair with beer, so I'm not in any immediate danger of having to drink warm beer. You know you're prepared for the worst when you even have SHTF beer supplies. [:D] EDITED noted in text.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 11:45:05 AM EDT
Dr Fridge?
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 11:55:35 AM EDT
Paging Dr. Fridge... Dr. Fridge...
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 12:18:50 PM EDT
check the defrost timer. if it no workie, then ice builds up unseen, and fridge gradually gets warmer. replace for less than $30 or so with a screwdriver.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 12:24:21 PM EDT
I'd IM Dr. Fridge to see if he could help me out but I don't know his exact username (and multiple searches didn't help). Funny thing is, I though our dishwasher was crapping out (wasn't locking) and bought a $450 dishwasher from Best Buy. Before we picked it up, I disassembled the locking mechanism and realized that all it needed was an application of white grease. Today I'll probably be receiving a check from Best Buy after cancelling the dishwasher order. Guess they'll get in one way or another, huh? [BD]
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 12:28:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FAL_762: check the defrost timer. if it no workie, then ice builds up unseen, and fridge gradually gets warmer. replace for less than $30 or so with a screwdriver.
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Thanks for taking the time to respond! Mind me asking where the defrost timer is, how I can find it/test it, and where to get a replacement part? No visible ice buildup in the fridge/freezer, but this sounds consistent with our problems. Corey
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 1:43:43 PM EDT
I have the perfect solution for you! You need to buy a new home and rent your current house to me for about $300 per month. I suppose I'd even take the worthless fridge and dying dishwasher for that price and you wouldn't have to buy any new appliances. [:D]
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 2:10:14 PM EDT
I had an old refrigerator that turned into an incubator. The switch that was supposed to turn off the light when the door was closed had failed. Is there a light in your freezer, Corey?
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 2:17:48 PM EDT
are you getting any frost build up of any kind? (first sign of a "stuck" timer).
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 2:50:41 PM EDT
On my old fridge AND my new one (-new one because it's the right color - the old one is now at my office, and still running stron after at least 15 years) the defrost timer is on the back - exterior of the refrigerator. It's there because everytime you open the door, moisture laden air enters the freezer, and that moisture condenses and freezes on the coils, which are behind that pretty white plastic lining inside the freezer compartment. The timer basically turns off the compressor (or perhaps makes it run in reverse for a minute, blowing HOT gas through the coils melting the ice) for a period of time long enough to free the coil of ice. The liquid then runs down a tube and is deposited into a pan under the fridge where it evaporates (sometimes with the aid of a small electric coil heater to hasten evaporation). Anyway, I just manually cycled the timer, and checked it with a meter. It didn't do what I thought it should, so I put on a new one, and it fixed it. >>> One way to check it is to empty the fridge, unplug it for several hours, and plug it back in. If it begins to work properly, and then slowly loses it's ability to cool, this is probably your problem. >>> The defrost timer is almost the only thing on a fridge associated with the cooling system that ever breaks. People usually replace them for reasons of style, or the plastic bits in the interior of the device break - shelves, etc... Good luck. [of course, your mileage may vary...}
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 3:00:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2003 3:03:23 PM EDT by warlord]
Yep, I agree checkout the defrost timer if the 'frig has self-defrosting feature, 99.999% it will. If you want to test the timer, go to a bookstore and buy a home fix it book. I have a Reader's Digest version in the blue cover, which I find to be the best because they have lots of pix. You will also need a cheap VOM/VTVM, $10 at Radio Shack. Follow directions in the book.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 6:17:12 PM EDT
Last thing to consider... If it is a freezer-on-top kinda fridge, the cold air for the lower (cooler) part flows downward from the upper (freezer) part. Somewhere in the bottom area of the freezer, there is a slot / hole / grate that allows the air to flow downward into the fridge. If this is blocked, the cold air can't get down there. There, a FREE FIX! (maybe) best of luck. Please report back, I'm dying to actually help somebody on this board.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:12:34 PM EDT
If it is a GE refrigerator you may be out of luck. They apparently made millions of them with faulty compressors in the 1980s. The compressors fail slowly--mine did last year and I had to replace the otherwise nice fridge. GunLvr
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:13:25 PM EDT
FAL (and others): Thanks for the advice, really! I'll look into the timer issue. But after learning that a new fridge is $800+, I might just have the local repairman come out to take a look at it. I'll screw up a $400 dishwasher that I don't need, but I can't live without a refrigerator even for a few days. [:(] Lemme get some time tomorrow night to take a look at it. Now that I'm home, I'm noticing that it is always making this "buzzing/humming" noise, which indicates to me that it's working trying to do something.... Maybe I just need to it a hug. [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:19:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By California_Kid: I had an old refrigerator that turned into an incubator. The switch that was supposed to turn off the light when the door was closed had failed. Is there a light in your freezer, Corey?
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Negative on the light.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:27:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Muad_Dib: I have the perfect solution for you! You need to buy a new home and rent your current house to me for about [i]$2,000 per month, plus utilities, home maintenance and improvements.[/i] I suppose I'd even take the worthless fridge and dying dishwasher for that price and you wouldn't have to buy any new appliances. [:D] EDITED by "someone." [}:D]
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We'll be out by tomorrow, 7 a.m. PS I'll throw in the dogs. They've been a major PITA tonight. [:D]
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:36:23 PM EDT
Sorry it took so long to get back to you... hard time getting on the site...What the hell is that all about?? Anyway... back to the frige. 1. Condenser coil. make sure it is clean. Its usually found either on the bottom underneath the unit or on the back. 2. Condenser fam motor. If the condenser is on the bottom there should be a fan motor that draws the air across the coils. If it is stuck, loosen that puppy up to get it going and then go to the local parts supplier and get a replacement... most of them are 2 Watt motors. 3. Is there frost on the back wall of the freezer? what about on the floor of the freezer section?
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:41:26 PM EDT
If it is a GE refrigerator you may be out of luck. They apparently made millions of them with faulty compressors in the 1980s. The compressors fail slowly--mine did last year and I had to replace the otherwise nice fridge. GunLvr
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Yeah No shit. that was one of the biggest debacles ever... and they KNEW they had a problem but once they were out of that 5 year compressor warranty... EVEN BY ONE DAY. You were screwed. I have had too many customers that will NEVER buy another GE again.
Link Posted: 5/15/2003 7:42:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DrFrige: Sorry it took so long to get back to you... hard time getting on the site...What the hell is that all about?? Anyway... back to the frige. 1. Condenser coil. make sure it is clean. Its usually found either on the bottom underneath the unit or on the back. 2. Condenser fam motor. If the condenser is on the bottom there should be a fan motor that draws the air across the coils. If it is stuck, loosen that puppy up to get it going and then go to the local parts supplier and get a replacement... most of them are 2 Watt motors. 3. Is there frost on the back wall of the freezer? what about on the floor of the freezer section?
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Thanks for the reply! 1. Yep, I cleaned it out a few nights ago. 2. The fan is running strong. 3. Back wall and floor of the freezer are both dry. This is a Kenmore Coldspot made for Sears. When I just checked it now, it was down to 32 degrees. But it won't stay there (or get there again for a long while) since I opened the door. There is also an almost constant buzzing/humming noise coming from it indicating that something is running to compensate for the problem (or is causing it?). Today I got an appointment for a tech to come out next week. I'm still willing to listen if anyone has any advice, but once I found out that a new refrigerator (that we'd want anyways) would be over $1K), I decided I didn't want to wreck it. [BD] If only DrFridge was closer, I could slide him NIW 30 or so for a home visit. [:D] Thanks for chiming in. Any other ideas for the DIY'er? Thanks everyone. Corey
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 10:25:35 AM EDT
One more thing. Sears Kenmore has a few sources who make their Refrigerators. Look at the model number. if it starts with: 106...Its a whirlpool 363...its a GE 253...its a WCI Also did you check the Evaporator fan motor in the freezer section...is it running??
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 1:52:12 PM EDT
Yep some Kenmores are GEs. Watch out for those GEs! When my GE broke I went to the Sears scratch and dent store and got a $1200 Kitchenaid for $500 (and there was no sales tax since it was "EnergyStar"). The Whirpool Kenmores are fine--just watch out for anything made by GE. GunLvr
Link Posted: 5/20/2003 1:01:08 PM EDT
My wife said the repairman just left our house. He said that the buzzing sound is the compressor going to heck. It will work fine as a refrigerator for who knows how long, but the freezer won't keep ice cream from melting. His advice is to take a look at the Sears scratch and dent store where you can get 50% off. Heck, any refrigerator that comes into our house is going to be scratched and dented after a week, so we might as well save some money and buy it that way in the first place. [BD] So, it was worth $50 to have a professional come out and check it out. I would've hated to have lived out of 3 coolers in the garage if it all of a sudden went tango uniform. BTW, we're hoping to find a fridge with an exterior in MARPAT. [}:D]
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 5:20:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/31/2003 10:41:43 AM EDT by Corey]
We opted for a new model, which was around $200 more than a scratch and dent we found, but the scratch and dent would have required at least one service call (covered under warranty though) to fix door and seal problems. We thought $200 was worth not getting a unit that we knew had issues. This is what we got: [url]http://www.americantv.com/elec/e_detail.html?xid=1054384851473306&sku=269110018[/url]. Ours is the lowcap 22 cubic foot version. Works great with the exception of a slow flow through the water dispenser. I suspect there's air in the system. DrFrig, check your IM please! And thanks for the previous IM's. I appreciate you taking the time to share your expertise! EDITED to add the frig is a GE Eterna. Great features.
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 8:47:44 AM EDT
Congrads on a new 'frig. I have a RCA/Whirlpool, for the past 17 years, my kids beat the heck out of it. works like a champ, except it is a bit noisy at times because it has a motor to move air over the condenser.
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 10:44:14 AM EDT
If anyone has any helpful suggestions on setting up the H20 dispenser, I'd appreciate it. Ours shoots out a good stream initially, but then tapers off to almost a trickle. It's hard to get even a half a glass of water. I have let it run in continuous 3 minute periods (at least 3-4 times) to get any air bubbles out, but it isn't improving the situation. I suspect that this is just a setup issue, and nothing to really be all too excited about. I hope....
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 7:17:01 PM EDT
FYI, DrFrig replied to my email on the bad water flow. He said that the self-piercing primer on the water hose is not favored. Apparently it makes too small of a hole and water pressure drops under use. (Hope you don't mind I'm giving out your tips, DrFrig, just trying to give a conclusion to this topic.) I opened the hole up to 0.11" (7/64?) with a drill. Hot water was backing up through the cold water pipe while I was doing this, but it drilled okay, the fitting "returned to zero" (with the help of the piercing point to get me back to the hole), and it actually sealed up. The H20 dispenser now works great. DrFrig was very generous in giving his advice. I greatly appreciate it. DrFrig ROCKS! [headbang] Thanks DrFrig and everyone else who offered their help to me. Now, I'm gonna go grab one of those ice cold beers that seem to go down too easy.... [:)] Corey
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 12:32:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD: Yep some Kenmores are GEs. Watch out for those GEs! When my GE broke I went to the Sears scratch and dent store and got a $1200 Kitchenaid for $500 (and there was no sales tax since it was "EnergyStar"). The Whirpool Kenmores are fine--just watch out for anything made by GE. GunLvr
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No help on the fridge, but when it is time to replace, the Sears outlets are awesome. You can find returned products or items with small scratches or dents for half of what they would cost new. Done it a few times and have never been disappointed.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 12:40:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Corey: (Hope you don't mind I'm giving out your tips, DrFrig, just trying to give a conclusion to this topic.) Corey
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I dont mind at all. With all the advice that has been given to me to help with my dilemnas... its the least I can do.
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