More refrigerator pains

We have a 4 year old Jennair, French doors, bottom freezer. Costaplenty.
A year ago, the compressor gave up its ghost. We lost all of our food. They replaced the compressor, which took 10 days. Two weeks later the fridge stopped working again. Turned out the first repairman did a poor job of soldering and the resulting leak wasted our food again. Two months later we had the firestorm here in San Diego and we lost our food the third time (not blaming this one on Jennair).
Now, a year later, the refrigerator hovers around 50 and the freezer is around 40, with the highest setting. The food is spoiling again. The compressor is running all the time but not getting anywhere. Could this be another leak of Freon? If so, should the repairman just top off the Freon? Or, should he find the leak and fix it? Is such a tiny leak detectable? How?
Fifty years ago, our first refrigerator was still running after 20 years. What is the world coming to? We lost our food four times in one year! Now, all refrigerators come with only a one-year warranty. This is getting expensive!
Disgusted in San Diego
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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You must love pain. Fer Pete's sakes, go buy another refrigerator!
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On Wed, 18 Jun 2008 22:01:18 -0700, Walter R. wrote:

could be the fan that blows the cool air around.
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Finding competent help today is hard.
That being said, there is no reason that a high dollar unit like that should first, go out in a short time, and second, have service personnel that can't fix one.
I am absolutely no fan of rebuilding refrigerators. It ends up cheaper to just to get another. But on high end models, it can be advisable. Even though the high dollar merchandise has some of the highest consumer complaints of anything. When you can get four to ten average refrigerator freezers for what a high dollar unit costs, it becomes a thing of how bad do you want the nameplate.
There is a simple detector that any competent (stress that word) tech carries that will sniff ANY amount of refrigerant leaking. They hold the point to the line, and where it leaks, it beeps or whines. No reason to have a leak at all. Now, there are other things that can make it run bad when the compressor is good, but then again, it takes competency to find these things.
I have had better luck finding a good tech who works for himself rather than the revolving door staff at a service company. And IF you do find one, put him on your Christmas card list and take care of him. They are usually craftsmen who have quit the service companies because they can make more on their own, and don't have to fleece customers at the rate of ten service calls a day that the SCs require.
Ask around. In the meantime, you have to decide if you want to continue to sink money into this. And see if you can find a good repairman. Or just go out and get a couple of smaller units, maybe one for the house, and one for the garage. I like that arrangement, myself. Used garage fridges can be had for $100, and when they give you a problem, you shoot them and get another.
YMMV
Steve
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There is a minimum leak rate to trigger a detctor. So, it's not "any" leak.
From what the fellow has written, it sounds like possibly more leaks. Ideally, the leak should be found and repaired. I've done the gas and go on at least a few occasions. But a fridge warmed up in a year, will likely warm up next year if only given a gas and go.
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

Survives a firestorm and survives another day?! It arose from the ashes. Buy a new unit; instead of chasing tech's and the wallet.
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Only bad thing about that is getting rid of it and finding out it was a $2 part that was defective. As I stated, you can get more money in them than they are worth, but it's worth it to find a diagnostician that can tell you what's wrong and back it up. Sounds like your "first repairman" didn't even back up his work. Something I'd call the BBB about, or better yet, the local news department that deal with fraudulent workmen. Might not get you anything, but then, who knows.
Steve
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