Author Topic: refrigerator help  (Read 3896 times)

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Offline ChuckJ

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refrigerator help
« on: June 05, 2014, 08:14:19 PM »
We have an old over-under (I suppose it's called) refrigerator. Freezer on the top. Fridge on the bottom. My wife informed me today that the horizontal metal between the freezer door and fridge door was very hot. I checked it and sure enough it was hot. Very hot.

The freezer is still freezing. The fridge is still "fridging".

I've checked the web and one of the possible causes of the problem is a bad condenser fan motor. I pulled the refrigerator out and the condenser fan wasn't running. I watched it and watched it. It did not run. I informed it that it did not know its father. It did not run. I informed it that its mother was a female dog. It did not run. I even suggested that it had relations with its mother. It still did not run. Finally, I decided to get technical and I beat it with the end of a metal flashlight. Even then it did not run.

I don't know of any where around here that I can get a condenser fan motor at this hour. I know I can get one online for about $28.

My problem is this: the wife just bought groceries today so the refrigerator and freezer is full. If I leave it unplugged tonight that's a bunch of money gone, but I'm scared if I don't unplug it that it will burn up the compressor or some other much more expensive part.

Any suggestions?

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Offline franksolich

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 08:18:13 PM »
Do you have any big Thermos chests laying around?

Food kept in that should stay for a while.

Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 08:21:09 PM »
Do you have any big Thermos chests laying around?

Food kept in that should stay for a while.

I only have 32 quart (I believe) chest.
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Offline franksolich

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 08:25:49 PM »
I only have 32 quart (I believe) chest.

That'd be some help, but not much.

You've got to shut the thing off, pull the plug.

Next door neighbor, maybe, has some room in his?

Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 08:30:51 PM »
That'd be some help, but not much.

You've got to shut the thing off, pull the plug.

Next door neighbor, maybe, has some room in his?

I'm in the woods. Got one neighbor that is somewhat next door that I actually trust. I think he's still working. I'm debating taking everything to my mom's. It's a bit of a drive, but she's got enough freezers and refrigerators to open a small grocery store. Never understood why.
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Offline franksolich

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 09:30:03 PM »
I'm in the woods. Got one neighbor that is somewhat next door that I actually trust. I think he's still working. I'm debating taking everything to my mom's. It's a bit of a drive, but she's got enough freezers and refrigerators to open a small grocery store. Never understood why.

Well, depending upon how long the drive is, that would be good.

I just don't think you should be running an electrical appliance when it's obvious something's wrong.

<<<paranoid about things like that.

Offline Dori

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 09:35:14 PM »
The last time my power went out, it was for almost 24 hours and the food stayed in the fridge.  Didn't really lose anything.

Ice cream would probably get soft, but the rest should stay okay, at least a day.

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Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 09:50:42 PM »
I'm still in the debating stage. I can't find any help during my web searches about the safety of leaving it plugged in. My dad, who took refrigeration courses years ago, says that it'll affect the efficiency of the refrigerator but should be okay until at least in the morning. I'm leery of the "should" instead of hearing "would".
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Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 09:54:56 PM »
Well, depending upon how long the drive is, that would be good.

I just don't think you should be running an electrical appliance when it's obvious something's wrong.

<<<paranoid about things like that.

It's not a terribly long drive, but my night vision is bad. Very, very bad.
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Offline Chris_

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2014, 09:56:46 PM »
Is it a built-in or surrounded by cabinets, or is it a stand-alone model set up against the wall?

I would leave it plugged in but if you can move it away from the wall without killing yourself, set up a fan to circulate air through the rear of the refrigerator where the guts are until you can get someone to fix it.  It should keep the condenser and evaporator from overheating temporarily.  Might also want to clean it up a bit if you've got a lot of dust bunnies camping out back there.
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Offline Dori

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2014, 10:01:04 PM »
I'm still in the debating stage. I can't find any help during my web searches about the safety of leaving it plugged in. My dad, who took refrigeration courses years ago, says that it'll affect the efficiency of the refrigerator but should be okay until at least in the morning. I'm leery of the "should" instead of hearing "would".

It will probably be fine if you left it running, but even so, the food shouldn't go bad even if you turned it off 'til you can find some place to move it without it going bad.

Do you have a local store you shop at (where they know you) that would let you put it there temporarily?

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Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2014, 10:19:30 PM »
It will probably be fine if you left it running, but even so, the food shouldn't go bad even if you turned it off 'til you can find some place to move it without it going bad.

Do you have a local store you shop at (where they know you) that would let you put it there temporarily?

No. No mom and pop type stores like that around here.

I don't mind leaving it running while I'm awake. It's the sleeping with it running that concerns me. I guess I could just stay up tonight. I have to work tomorrow, but it'll be a short day. Wouldn't be the first time I had to work without sleep.
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Offline Dori

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 10:27:26 PM »
No. No mom and pop type stores like that around here.

I don't mind leaving it running while I'm awake. It's the sleeping with it running that concerns me. I guess I could just stay up tonight. I have to work tomorrow, but it'll be a short day. Wouldn't be the first time I had to work without sleep.

Nah...don't do that.  Just turn it off before you go to bed.  Get up early and run it a few hours before work. 

Last year we had our power off for 24 hrs (they were changing out something major at a switching station) and then it was intermittent for a few hours at a time after that.  Didn't hurt the food or defrost the freezer.

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Offline obumazombie

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2014, 02:11:14 AM »
I'm an anti lurker, so I have to add in my 2cents.
I have run into similar circumstances and ended up with 2 refrigerators and a full sized upright freezer for a family a 2 to 4 depending how much the kids are home.
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Offline franksolich

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2014, 08:10:55 PM »
How'd it work out today, Chuck?

Any news?

Offline J P Sousa

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2014, 08:18:27 PM »
Is it a built-in or surrounded by cabinets, or is it a stand-alone model set up against the wall?

I would leave it plugged in but if you can move it away from the wall without killing yourself, set up a fan to circulate air through the rear of the refrigerator where the guts are until you can get someone to fix it.  It should keep the condenser and evaporator from overheating temporarily.  Might also want to clean it up a bit if you've got a lot of dust bunnies camping out back there.

I'm a little late but this is the best solution. Sometimes the coils are at the bottom of the frig.
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Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2014, 10:12:04 PM »
The quickest I can get the part here is Tuesday. Apparently around here having that part in stock is rarer than common sense at a DU convention.

The shop from where I ordered the part also does repairs. The repair said that it wouldn't hurt the refrigerator that the refrigerator just would not run as efficiently. As for my concerns of burning out the compressor, he CLAIMS that the compressor is designed to shut down before burning out if it gets too hot. He also suggested a placing a regular fan behind the unit until the part arrived.

As of this evening the entire system (minus the condenser fan) is still functioning. You can just tell the neither the freezer nor refrigerator portion is as cold as normal.

I did have a someone freeze some water bottles for me to put in the freezer section, but even as I'm typing this I just heard the ice maker drop a load of ice in the tray.
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Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 09:01:59 PM »
Fixed the fridge today. When adding in the time to go get extra tools it translated to 4 hours and 20 minutes.

I figure whoever designed the location of the copper coils on this refrigerator just laughed and laughed when he finalized the schematics. Then he pulled the wings off of flies and tortured some puppies and kittens.
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Offline thundley4

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2014, 09:41:48 PM »
Fixed the fridge today. When adding in the time to go get extra tools it translated to 4 hours and 20 minutes.

I figure whoever designed the location of the copper coils on this refrigerator just laughed and laughed when he finalized the schematics. Then he pulled the wings off of flies and tortured some puppies and kittens.
 

I fully believe that design engineers never intended to work on their own creations.

Offline Dori

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2014, 10:04:32 PM »
 

I fully believe that design engineers never intended to work on their own creations.

Architects never consider furniture placement when they designed rooms either.



 
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Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2014, 10:58:43 PM »
 

I fully believe that design engineers never intended to work on their own creations.

I can promise you this one didn't. I would say that if this guy had this refrigerator and it had the same problem I had he would call a repairman. He'd sit in his recliner drinking a beer and laugh every time the repairman yelled, "I wonder who was the dumb sob that designed this thing?!?"
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Offline JohnnyReb

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2014, 08:02:45 AM »
I can promise you this one didn't. I would say that if this guy had this refrigerator and it had the same problem I had he would call a repairman. He'd sit in his recliner drinking a beer and laugh every time the repairman yelled, "I wonder who was the dumb sob that designed this thing?!?"
I have worked on heavy equipment and large trucks since childhood. Even then I had learned "French" and used my best "French" to condemn myself and numerous engineers to the very bottom of hell for eternity....twice over.

I've said for years that engineers should be forced to tear down and rebuild everything they design several times before it's ever put on the market to sale.
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Offline obumazombie

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2014, 09:43:19 AM »
I have worked on heavy equipment and large trucks since childhood. Even then I had learned "French" and used my best "French" to condemn myself and numerous engineers to the very bottom of hell for eternity....twice over.

I've said for years that engineers should be forced to tear down and rebuild everything they design several times before it's ever put on the market to sale.
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Offline J P Sousa

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2014, 12:36:29 PM »
About 25 years ago when I purchased my current house, we bought a refrigerator that was one of the first "efficient" "low energy" appliances.

The compressor had a five year warranty. EVERY YEAR the compressor would burn up. Finally, after the third compressor bought the farm, I asked if a better compressor could be installed instead of the "factory original equipment" compressor. The guy called his supervisor and after quite a conversation, said he could install a different compressor. This was a bigger and I'm sure NOT AS LOW ENERGY compressor but it worked untill we decided to buy one that had a bigger freezer fifteen years later. 

I'm convinced that the GOVERNMENT was responsible for the mandate that "ENERGY EFFICIENCY" be primary over a well made and lasting appliance.  :thatsright:

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Offline ChuckJ

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Re: refrigerator help
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2014, 01:05:51 PM »
I have worked on heavy equipment and large trucks since childhood. Even then I had learned "French" and used my best "French" to condemn myself and numerous engineers to the very bottom of hell for eternity....twice over.

I've said for years that engineers should be forced to tear down and rebuild everything they design several times before it's ever put on the market to sale.

Believe me, this refrigerator now knows all of the same words that I know.

I know less about vehicular repairs than appliance repairs if that is possible. I believe the last auto repair I attempted was replacing the alternator on an '89 Grand Prix. It went out on a Sunday so no repair shops were open, and I needed the car on Monday. I knew where the alternator was located so I thought "how hard could it be?" I got someone to go by the parts store and get a new alternator. Then the fun began.

There wasn't enough room to use a wrench so I used a ratchet. The problem was that there wasn't enough room for the ratchet. It was sort of turn, click, turn, click. It took forever to get it off and put the new one on.

About 3 or 4 months later the new alternator went out. I had a friend who I happened to be doing some work for at the time who owned an starter and alternator shop with his dad. I asked how much he'd charge to replace the alternator for me. He said about $15. I told him he had to be crazy because it took me forever to change it the last time. He shook his head and asked, "did you just take the alternator off and put the new one on?" When I told him yes he said, "Well, that was your problem. They put those bolts so you can't get to them, but you can get to the bolts on the bracket that actually holds the alternator. You take the whole shooting match off and THEN unbolt the alternator."

I guess he felt sorry for my ignorance because he didn't even charge me the $15.
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