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Old 08-27-2007, 11:08 AM   #1
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Default Troubleshooting Kitchen Appliances

I thought I'd bring my concern to the table and see if anyone has any thoughts. Has anyone else had to deal with a messed up fridge, freezer, or other kitchen appliance? We're sort of in a disposable equipment era, so I get the sense that most people just discard and purchase new equipment--and things aren't made to last long like they used to!

I always get frustrated at my lack of knowledge on how to fix things, especially when it costs a lot to get someone to look at things that aren't that expensive in the first place.

My problem is our fridge is leaking water inside (which is pretty gross and consequently makes produce rot incredibly fast) and the freezer doesn't freeze at all.

Are there simple things my roommate and I could do to troubleshoot the problem in advance of calling someone? Any good web resources for Do It Yourself appliance repair?
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:20 AM   #2
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I wish I could help but I just replaced my refrigerator. I had a repairman come out, tell me it was not fixable, bought a new one, that one didn't work. Exchanged it, only to find out that the fuse blew out in the "new" one I got the first time, because I live in an old house and I had the microwave plugged into the same outlet. Duh.

If your freezer isn't freezing the first thing I would do is take everything out of it (put it in coolers full of ice if you can.) Unplug it and defrost it. Let it get downright warm (overnight should do it, leave the doors open and towels on the base of the freezer and the fridge to catch water) and replug it in. Don't put the food in until you know its getting cold. To test the freezer, just put a glass in there. If its frosty when you get home, you know you're good. The water melting and the freezer not freezing leads me to believe that there's built-up ice somewhere in the system.

Try that, then if that's not it.. Unfortunately its repair-man time.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:33 PM   #3
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Agreed on the freezer test, but that leak might be more trouble than its worth.
That's the thing about our throw away society, every thing is made to only last five or six years and competitive prices have dropped below what it would take in parts and labor to fix it.
Unless you have a handyman around that takes something other than money..
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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Is the exterior of your fridge avocado green, brown or orange?
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissToodles View Post
Is the exterior of your fridge avocado green, brown or orange?
It's cream colored. Old but not sure how old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Agreed on the freezer test, but that leak might be more trouble than its worth.
That's the thing about our throw away society, every thing is made to only last five or six years and competitive prices have dropped below what it would take in parts and labor to fix it.
Unless you have a handyman around that takes something other than money..
Joy, You've highlighted one of the "arrangements" I'd love to have. I really hate having to fix or fuss with things. Of the machine variety, that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnie1653 View Post
I wish I could help but I just replaced my refrigerator. I had a repairman come out, tell me it was not fixable, bought a new one, that one didn't work. Exchanged it, only to find out that the fuse blew out in the "new" one I got the first time, because I live in an old house and I had the microwave plugged into the same outlet. Duh.

If your freezer isn't freezing the first thing I would do is take everything out of it (put it in coolers full of ice if you can.) Unplug it and defrost it. Let it get downright warm (overnight should do it, leave the doors open and towels on the base of the freezer and the fridge to catch water) and replug it in. Don't put the food in until you know its getting cold. To test the freezer, just put a glass in there. If its frosty when you get home, you know you're good. The water melting and the freezer not freezing leads me to believe that there's built-up ice somewhere in the system.

Try that, then if that's not it.. Unfortunately its repair-man time.
I've been reluctant to do this as this model is new enough (I think) to not require a defrost, but it could help. I probably should try! Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:00 PM   #6
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If you have water leaking inside then there is most likely a bad thermostat. This sounds contradictory, but what happens is the thermostat does not tell the fridge it is cold enough so it keeps running and running. What happens is this ices over the condensor and finally shuts down the fridge. The ice melts and leaks inside and the fridge/freezer gets warm inside because it has stopped cooling. Once all the ice melts the fridge will start cooling again, but cooling with all that food in it takes a while and it just ices over again. It is a vicious cycle.

I don't know what it costs to replace a thermostat in a household fridge, but it has cost us about $300 to replace it in our commercial units at work. Cheaper than a new fridge, but if it turns out the fridge is not salvageable you're most likely looking at a $50-$100 service call.

Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissToodles View Post
Is the exterior of your fridge avocado green, brown or orange?
hahahahahaha!
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:11 PM   #8
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With Craig's list and everything else out there on the web, it will be a lot cheaper to buy a used Ref. than to fix this one. If the last poster was right about the thermostat, you are looking at $200.00 minimum. You could buy a used one for $100.00. The problem with getting it fixed is, it is probably just putting a band aid over a giant gash. It will be fixed and work for 6 months, than you will be buying a new one anyway....

My Ref. had the same type of problem but it was the computer that was bad. It was having to work twice as hard to keep things cool. My ice was melted half the time. Luckly it is new & under waranty....
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:29 PM   #9
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AFG, is there any way your budget can stretch to getting a second-hand fridge from Ebay? I got my dream fridge some months ago, brand new condition for a third of what it would have cost me new. Some sellers even give a 3 month warranty.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:31 PM   #10
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If worse comes to worse and you have to replace it, you can have the old fridge recycled, so you don't feel so bad. I don't know how you would need to go about it where you live, but by me we have a large recycling center where you can bring your old appliance for a fee. You can also pay the company from whom you buy a new fridge to recycle your old one. Sometimes they even do it for free. You would have to do some research if you decided to go that way.

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Old 08-29-2007, 06:45 PM   #11
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if it smells icky, it could well be a clogged up drain thingie.

if you continue to have trouble, I'll get Tom on it ASAP. After all, i DID buy him a bday cake.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by activistfatgirl View Post
I thought I'd bring my concern to the table and see if anyone has any thoughts. Has anyone else had to deal with a messed up fridge, freezer, or other kitchen appliance? We're sort of in a disposable equipment era, so I get the sense that most people just discard and purchase new equipment--and things aren't made to last long like they used to!

I always get frustrated at my lack of knowledge on how to fix things, especially when it costs a lot to get someone to look at things that aren't that expensive in the first place.

My problem is our fridge is leaking water inside (which is pretty gross and consequently makes produce rot incredibly fast) and the freezer doesn't freeze at all.

Are there simple things my roommate and I could do to troubleshoot the problem in advance of calling someone? Any good web resources for Do It Yourself appliance repair?

Hello!

My job is to know how appliances work so as to retain revenue for my company!

For starters www.pcappliancerepair.com They have parts and guides on repair. www3.sears.com is also great for parts. (Yes the 3 has to be there, trade secret you know!) You need to pull the Model number off your unit before you hop on. Often it's on the door inside.

What you're describing sounds like the unit is having one of two problems. The first, not so expensive, defrost controls. They are little contols that keep the unit at the right temps and kick the unit into defrost correctly...not to be confused with the t-stats. If they are off your unit could be going into defrost all the time and not keeping temps. The second issue could be a leak in the freon system. It could be anywhere on the system. You have to be licensed by the EPA to be able to add freon & repair. If the leak is in the cabinet there is no fixing it, if it's near the compressor at a valve...they might be able to fix it. Often freon leaks or compressor issues are not worth fixing, it can be cheaper to just buy a whole new unit.

The water leaking...well it depends do you have ice & water in the door? It could be as simple as a solinoid for the ice/water unit. If you don't then the condensation that's leaking would totally be related to the two issues mentioned above. Do you have cracks in the inner lining of the door the condensation is coming from?

If you need more help please feel free to email me. The more I know about your system...the easier it is for me to help.

If you do need to call someone, please check with your local Chamber Of Commerce. Often then have resources of businesses for people who have just moved in... Do NOT call someone out of the phone book or a handyman company. Often they can get parts at a good price then tack on 100% mark up and treat their labor as though it's gold. If you do find a company, don't hesitate to ask for the part # and check it at pcappliancerepair.com for pricing.

I hope I could help...as opposed to ramble!

Sarah
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:18 AM   #13
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PS...pricing is NEVER set in stone. Techs want the job...if you're comfortable haggling...do so. It's better to give a 10% discount than to lose a job all together.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
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hahahahahaha!
You laugh but if it's one of the old colors it means it's R-14...you can't fix it if you want to.

I love you boobie!
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:43 AM   #15
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I love you too, your long informative post turned me on - who knew you knew about freon and defrost mechanisms.
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