Contents of Refrigerator Frozen Upon Return from Weekend Away


I am assuming a thermostadt problem? We have a standard refrigerator, about 10 years-old, with the freezer on top and an icemaker. Several months ago we had a problem where the freezer was working fine but the refrigerator was warm. Our service guy replaced the defrost timer (I believe that's what he called it) and everything's been fine. He stated that you're lucky to get ten years out of a refrigerator these days. I thought that was kind of odd, too. Now a few months later we go away for the weekend and come back to the contents of the refrigerator being frozen solid (all liquids, etc). We have the dial on 3 out of 5. Am I to assume the thermostadt is the culprit?
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Jeffy3 wrote:

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Jeffy3 wrote:

Hi, Timer controls defrost heater. Maybe heater is real culprit?
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Could be a faulty temperature sensor also.
Brian
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Sounds correct, to me. Very often, companies call it a "cold control" instead of using the word thermostat.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Jan 24, 8:45 am, "Stormin Mormon"

Guy came out Tuesday morning and said it needs a new thermostat but can't get the part and do it untiL Thursday. Said we're lucky our problem is freezing as opposed to no cold air at all!
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Getting this second hand through my wife, but the repair guy came today to replace the thermostat and said when he unhooked the old one from the main harness (or something like that), the fans and everything are continuing to run which he said shouldn't happen, meaning the problem is worse than just a thermostat and is probably some kind of short running through the unit. Does this make sense to anyone? According to him he wouldn't be able to fix it and we need to get a new refrig.
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Here's another update. The repairman determined the thermostat is fine but when he moved the refrigerator away from the wall a couple of inches the frig started operating properly, but when he pushed it back against the wall it stopped working properly. Was there over an hour. He said he was truly stumped and it will bug him all day. Jiggled a lot of wires and saw no sparks or signs of arcing (this is all 2nd hand again). We left it a few inches away from the wall and allegedly working fine so we have to decide now to live with it or get a new refrig. We can't live with it too long away from the wall as our kitchen is too small as it is. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Yep, no cooling can sometimes be expensive.
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Christopher A. Young
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I have this "warm" problem two to three times a year. The cause is a frozen-blocked cold air transfer duct from the freezer compartment. (Explanation below). The cure is to defrost the fridge throughly. Remove the fridge contents. switch off the power. Keep the doors open overnight to melt the frost throughly. Put a towel on the fridge floor to soak up the melt. Use the opportunity to clean the fridge throughly. The duct and freezer box walls are usually covered in plastic trim and not accessible. The "door open" defrost is still the best solution.
Explanation: If you look at the back of the freezer there is a plastic cover over a fan. Remove the cover. Next to the fan you will see an opening into the wall of the firdge. There is a similar plastic cover in the fridge compartment for the opening from this duct. This duct transfers cold freezer air to the main fridge compartment.
If your fridge door leaks due to a bad door gasket or having the door not close fully (1) moist air will condense inside that freezer air transfer duct and block most of it. The main fridge compartment then never gets cold enough (2 to 5 deg C) and the thermostat keeps calling for more cold air from the freezer. That gets the compressor and fan going way past what is needed to operate the freezer. The whole fridge becomes a freezer compartment in the process. (1= In my case I eventually realised I had too much stuff on the door shelves. That abut onto the fridge contents and kept the door from closing completely.)
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