Fridge woes
#11
  Re: (...)
Hey all,

Our fridge is having problems. There seems to be so much mis-information about fridge diagnosis and repairs on the internet that I'm hoping someone here can provide better answers.

Basically, it's not cooling like it should, even with the fridge and freezer turned up to max cold. It's been at that setting for a while (weeks) and everything is very mildly cold. It may have started getting bad as the seasonal temperature increased, perhaps because the house is warmer and it's harder for the fridge to keep up.

It doesn't make any weird noises. It runs for a while and turns off every now and then, as it always has.

I cleaned the coils underneath of dust (there's still a minor amount). 24 hours ago, I pulled it completely out from its nook to check the back. The fan is running fine. The compressor (?...black sphere) is quite warm to the touch. But even pulled well away from the wall so ventilation isn't an issue, a thermometer put in the yogurt reads 57.5 degrees.

Anything I can check/do? Maybe a thermometer that isn't readint right? Is it just time for a new one? This is a Kenmore side-by-side that I believe to be from 1999.

Thanks,
Tyler
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#12
  Re: Fridge woes by OneStaple (Hey all,[br][br]Our ...)
If it's that old, it's toast. I had a tech actually tell me that the new (even Energy Star) fridges are only built to last 10 years.

I would not throw money at a fridge that old.
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#13
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by Herb G (If it's that old, it...)
Herb G said:


If it's that old, it's toast. I had a tech actually tell me that the new (even Energy Star) fridges are only built to last 10 years.

I would not throw money at a fridge that old.




I agree. From what I've read you should get lower electric bills with a new fridge (compared to one 10 years old).

The same applies to water heaters. But none of us are going to replace a working unit just because it reaches its 10th birthday. You will be happier with a new fridge.

Note: My parents moved to Long Island in 1956 and took their old fridge with them. They replaced it sometime later and moved the old one to the basement where it was still functioning well as of 2006 when they sold the house. The old fridges were built to last.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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#14
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by Herb G (If it's that old, it...)
Herb G said:

If it's that old, it's toast.




Yeah, I kind of figured that was the answer, but I was also hoping someone could tell me about a quick and easy magic dance that I could do to keep it running. We're hoping to redo our kitchen in a couple years, so it'd be nice to get one that fits the new design. I might be able to borrow one from my brother though until then.

And the other challenge is always money. Given that my car just died and my retaining wall is recently failing, there's not much left to go around. They say bad things always come in threes, right?

Thanks for the help!
Tyler
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#15
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by OneStaple ([blockquote]Herb G s...)
OneStaple said:



... They say bad things always come in threes, right?...
Tyler




You can be sure that things will either get better or will get worse.

Nothing ever stays the same. Things always change.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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#16
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by OneStaple ([blockquote]Herb G s...)
our refrigerator is maybe 2 years newer than that, and the fan turned but it wasn't actually going very fast, so the cooling was sub-standard. We got a new fan and it has been working fine. Not suggesting that this is what is wrong with yours, but it could be. Are you sure there is no blockage of the ducts between compartments? It has been incredibly humid here this year, and that can make this a problem
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#17
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by EricU (our refrigerator is ...)
EricU said:


our refrigerator is maybe 2 years newer than that, and the fan turned but it wasn't actually going very fast, so the cooling was sub-standard. We got a new fan and it has been working fine. Not suggesting that this is what is wrong with yours, but it could be. Are you sure there is no blockage of the ducts between compartments? It has been incredibly humid here this year, and that can make this a problem




And some refrigerators are not designed to be closed in on three sides. If it is closed in, then pull it out one evening and see if that cures the problem.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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#18
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by Cooler ([blockquote]OneStapl...)
Cooler said:

You can be sure that things will either get better or will get worse.

Nothing ever stays the same. Things always change.



Crossing my fingers for better. I could use that sort of change.

EricU said:

Are you sure there is no blockage of the ducts between compartments? It has been incredibly humid here this year, and that can make this a problem



I haven't checked that specifically, but the freezer side doesn't seem to be faring any better than the fridge side, mostly noted by soft ice cream even though the freezer is on max cold. I haven't checked the actual temperature in the freezer though.

Cooler said:

And some refrigerators are not designed to be closed in on three sides. If it is closed in, then pull it out one evening and see if that cures the problem.



It was closed in on 2.5 sides. When I checked the temperature last night (57.5 degrees), that was after it was pulled out into the center of the kitchen for 24 hours, so I don't think that's the issue.

Tyler
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#19
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by OneStaple ([blockquote]Cooler s...)
Let me start by saying I am no expert but have been though this same thing myself recently. Older refrigerators are really simple beast outside of the closed refrigerant loop. You have a fan in the freezer that pulls air over the coils and then some sort of ducting that directs that air to the top of the freezer and refrigerator compartments where that air falls down over the compartments and then just loops around. In the passage between the freezer and refrigerator there will be a damper and maybe another fan that regulates the amount of cool air going into the frig side. But since you are having problems with both sides those are probably OK.

You need to empty the freezer and remove whatever pieces give you access to the coils. Your looking for excessive ice build up on the coils. Depending on where it is at in the defrost cycle there might be a small amount of ice or frost covering the coil but nothing big enough to block air flow. If there is enough ice to block air flow you need to check the defrost timer, coil defrost heater and the fan. Don't hit or chip at the ice, use a blow dryer or just let it melt. Like I said just went though this myself. I found a big block of ice and once I cleaned it out everything checked out fine. Put it all back together and it has been running good for the last two weeks. Kind of wish I would of found something broken but for right now am just waiting. I would also get a pair of quality thermometers and put one in either side.
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#20
  Re: Re: Fridge woes by bottd (Let me start by sayi...)
bottd said:


You need to empty the freezer and remove whatever pieces give you access to the coils. Your looking for excessive ice build up on the coils.




*DING DING DING* We have a winner!

Ok, so fridges are certainly not my area of expertise. I'm knowledgeable at least to some extent about most things, but not fridges. In reading a bunch online, many people said to clean the coils without specifying which coils. I cleaned the coils under the fridge of dust, but failed to clean the coils inside the freezer of ice. And oh boy, was there ice. It was essentially a solid block. I just spent the past hour with a hot air gun on high melting the ice away (and have a towel in the now-on fridge to catch remaining drips). So, we'll give it some time, but I think that may have been the issue.

Thanks for the input! Hopefully we can get a couple more years out of this until we're ready to redo the kitchen.

Thanks,
Tyler





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