Fridge discovery

Got a new refrigerator. Well, "new" to us, but used*. It is a Yamaha twin door. Plugged it in the garage to let it cook for a while.
After a bit, the wife observed that the exterior of the panel separating the freezer from the cooler - where the doors meet - was quite warm to the touch!
Weird.
"Maybe it's trying to defrost," I ventured.
Anyway, going back into the house, we inspected the same area on our existing fridge. It, too, was noticeably warm in the same place. (I say "noticeably" with reservation inasmuch as we hadn't "noticed" this warm spot in 20 years!)
Idle curiosity urges me to ask if anybody knows what's this all about?
Thanks.
----------------- * What a hoot for Salvation Army auctions! This stainless, water-and-ice in the door, 27-foot machine cost me $200 (plus tax)! What a deal. On the down side, the son-of-a-bitch was MUCH heavier than it looked. At least 500 pounds. It took six unwilling participants and a bull-whip to get it off my truck!
Maybe a down-side, maybe up. They jury's still out on the following.
While my truck was PARKED in the Salvation Army lot, an amateur trying to leave while driving a U-Haul 22-footer scraped the driver's side of my vehicle! Got the driver's side door (which now won't close) and the quarter panel. U-Haul says they'll fix it right up - which I'm sure they will - but whether I get a whole new paint job is still unknown.
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On 2/19/2013 8:43 AM, HeyBub wrote:

The little heater is to prevent condensation from collecting on the outside between the doors....should be a setting for "high humidity" or some such inside to turn the heater on or off :o)
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Most units have this to prevent condensation, but I don't think all of them have a way to turn it off.
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wrote:

Exactly
If this passage closes up the fridge will get hot and the freezer will go way into the sub zero range
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Hebe Boob is describing the exterior of the fridge, and you're describing the air passage inside, in the back. Different parts of the fridge, and has different purposes.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Exactly
If this passage closes up the fridge will get hot and the freezer will go way into the sub zero range
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On Tue, 19 Feb 2013 11:18:09 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

On my Whirlpool the passage is in the side wall, taking air from the bottom, above the crisper (with another selective vent at the bottom) flowing through the freezer and reentering the fridge side above the top shelf near the back. The passage inside the freezer is in the back through the evaporator coils.
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On Hebe Boob's warm refrigerator, the part in question is outside the compartment, where the door seals touch the front of the compartment.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

On my Whirlpool the passage is in the side wall, taking air from the bottom, above the crisper (with another selective vent at the bottom) flowing through the freezer and reentering the fridge side above the top shelf near the back. The passage inside the freezer is in the back through the evaporator coils.
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Norminn wrote:

Good catch. Thanks.
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Maybe I should explain this.
Your fridge will have EITHER:
a) if it's an older fridge, an electric "mullion heater", or b) in a newer fridge, something commonly referred to as a "Yoder loop"
.. under the narrow panel on the front of the fridge between the fresh food and frozen food compartment doors.
As mentioned previously, the purpose of both the mullion heater and the Yoder loop is to warm that narrow panel to prevent condensation from forming on it.
If the panel is warmed by a mullion heater, you should find an "Energy Saver" switch on the fridge somewhere which simply turns that mullion heater off.
That's because in dryer climates, like you have in the prairies, you don't get any condensation forming on that panel anyway, so why pay for electricity to heat that panel to prevent condensation that won't form anyway?
A "Yoder loop" is where they take the condenser tubing (the black steel tubing at the back of the fridge where the hot compressed refrigerant gas cools down) and run that tubing around the side of the fridge to the front and then under that narrow panel between the fresh and frozen food compartment doors. If you have a Yoder loop, there's no way to turn it off or prevent that area from getting warm except by unplugging the fridge.
Typically, in a frost free fridge there will be two simultaneous air currents with the evaporator fan driving both of them:
In the frozen food compartment, air will be drawn into the space between the fresh and frozen food compartments through vents near the front of the frozen food compartment floor. In the fresh food compartment, air will be drawn into the space between the two food compartments through vents near the front of the fresh food compartment ceiling.
The combined air stream will then be sucked by the evaporator fan to the the rear of the fridge where the air will be blown over the evaporator coils. Some frost free fridges have the evaporator coils in the space between the fresh and frozen food compartments. Most of the cold air coming off the evaporator coil will be blown into the frozen food compartment, but some of it will be blown into the fresh food compartment.
Then, each of those air currents ends up drifting to the front of the fridge near the space between the fresh and frozen food compartments where the air gets sucked back into those vents and gets drawn to the back of the fridge through that space between the two compartments and into the evaporator fan again.
It's just the fact that most of the cold air gets blown into the frozen food compartment that results in the freezer being colder than the "fridge", although some fridges have an adjustable baffle that allows the user to increase or decrease the cold air flow into the fresh food compartment, with the rest of the cold air being blown into the frozen food compartment.
Now, my understanding of those air ducts that GFretwell was describing is that those are to carry the cold air being blown into the fresh food compartment down to the bottom of the fresh food compartment. By blowing that cold air in near the bottom of the fresh food compartment, and drawing air back into the evaporator fan at the top of the fresh food compartment, you establish a cold air current that sweeps through the whole volume of the fresh food compartment keeps it at a uniformly cold temperature everywhere.
If the cold air entering the fresh food compartment were to be blown in near the top, that cold air would take the shortest straightest path to get sucked back into the evaporator fan, which is just across the ceiling of the fresh food compartment. The result would be that the fresh food compartment would be very cold at the top, but everything below that cold air current along the ceiling of the fresh food compartment wouldn't be very cold at all.
The crisper trays are out of the path of cold air circulation in the fresh food compartment, and only get cooled by the sinking of cold air to the bottom of the fresh food compartment.
PS: Talking about the panels on the outside feeling warm...
CHEST style freezers will feel warm over most of the outside of the freezer. That's because in chest style freezers, the insulation is in the walls of the freezer, with the evaporator coils on the interior side of that insulation and the condenser coils on the exterior side of that insulation. So the heat released from the condenser coils in a chest style freezer dissipate through the side walls of the freezer, keeping those side walls warm. Next time you're in a supermarket, feel the outside walls of the open top chest style freezers, and you'll find that they're warm.
--
nestork


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wrote:

Based on the other posters comments that there's a heater in that area I checked my Fridge and discovered not only is there apparently a heater for the outside surface that's between the doors but there is a heater for the entire outside surface all around the doors on what would be the front face of the fridge if the doors were off it. Using my IR temp gun it looks like there is a 10 degree difference between that area and the rest of the outer skin of the fridge. So these would be transom and mullion heaters.
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On 2/20/2013 2:39 AM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

So, you and Bub don't clean the fridge too often, eh? ;o)
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Norminn wrote:

Are you insane?
Just askin'.
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wrote:

Well, I don't get that area dirty....
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

And the area on my fridge is black anyway...
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On 2/22/2013 6:43 AM, HeyBub wrote:

does it? SO?
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