Need help with refrigerator & water heater and furnace


Hello,
I have a few problems with my refrigerator and water heater and also furnace. Few days ago we had a T-Storm here in Jamestown, NC, with high wind and rain. Then something weird start to happening in my house. We bought house over 3 years ago and the house itself it's 16 years and I guess that the appliances are also so old like the house. Have a few questions for you guys with knowledge about those home appliances.
Here we go.
Refrigerator is double door with ice maker and the freezer is working like a charm. But, on the other part the refrigerator itself don't cool always. My wife told me that few times in past few days she felt that the temperature in the fridge was almost like the house temp. Today I opened the door of the fridge and was cooling, but not great. Don't know do I need to replace this fridge yet or not??? How come that the fridge can cool sometime and sometime don't??? Is it something else or do I need to replace whole thing???
Water heater is gas and is located in garage. Never had problem before until few days ago when we had T-Storm here. I found a bunch of water that was leaking down on the floor from that tempereature pressure valve. Didn't saw how was leaking, but found the water on the floor and the stains on the wall of the heater. After that I saw that the water comming out from the hot faucet is not clear. It was muddy and brownish. Did found some informations about that on the net and did try to flush it and to drain that old and muddy water out, but unsuccesfully. Now, the water isn't clear. Have been to Home Depot and purchased new one and the installer was supposed to be here last Saturday, November the 18th afternoon, but they never showed up. After bunch of calls to Home Depot, they called me back and they told me they will send another guy to install water heater in my house(garage) where the current is still standing, so they will haul the old one, etc... but the installer refused to install new one. He told to my wife that we need to install some kind of pole in front of water heater because it's in garage and no one could be able to hit it with the car. And they wanted to charge me extra $200 for something else, but he didn't want to install that pole. So, I called back those guys from local Home Depot in Greensboro, NC, and after arguing with them they said they will send another guy (again) but they didn't. Then I called them back to get my money back, and they agreed to give me refund. I start thinking that instead of gas water heater I can install electric one easier than gas. Now, I am curious, what kind of pole do I need to install to bring that up to code?? Can I install that my self?? What's all needed to install electric water heater instead of gas?
Now about furnace. It's gas heat and in summer time we use it for A/C but the A/C it's electric. Don't know how they make that combination with gas and electric. Yesterday, November the 21st, when I come back home from work saw that the heating was on but blowing cold air. Then I had shuting the thermostat off for about a minute and turning the heat on again, then after few minutes the heat start blowing trough the vents. I thought there we go, everything is fine now. Today, November 22, we went to celebrate my birthday and when we came back the house was almost ice cold. Same thing happend again. Then again have to turn off on thermostat and wait for a minute then turn on again. Then started just fine and it's still blowing hot air right now. In your opinion, what should I do with that furnace??? Is it something I could do myself or do I need to call professional to take a look at it??? What can I expect to be wrong??
If you guys have any clue, please share with me. Any help would be very much appreciated.
If I have to replace all of this things, man I would be screwed big time.
Very sincerely,
Dino K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dino k wrote:

The refrigerator I would vacuum underneath and try to ensure the fins underneath are clean. As far as I know its the same unit that cools both freezer and refigerator.
I would get a thermometer and put in the fridge to check its temp. It should be holding below 40 degrees F.
If the cold water in your house is clean, I would turn off the hot water heater, and drain the tank , allow some water to flush it , and see what it looks like. It might just be a sediment buildup , or a rusted tank.
The installer probably means a crash barrier , so you cant accidently hit the heater with your car. A stop block might be acceptable , ask at your towns planning office or wherever building permits are issued. for the requirements .
Its possible that you are going to need to add an extra air duct for outside air to your gas water heater. Again your town building permit office should know , or a local builders supply . A small electric water heater (20 gallon) plugs into a normal 15 amp outlet. Larger units need more power.
The furnace may have a faulty sensor , or it might be out of place. There is usually a safety sensor to detect that gas is running. If its cold the gas is shut off.
It sounds like you have had a run of bad luck , hope things improve for you :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

a few extra thought , the fridge might be a failing thermostat.
It might help if you posted the make, model and age of all your stuff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Could be a frozen up coil, blocked air passage, or the evaporator fan. The freezer is cooled and the cold iar is pused into the refrigerator by a fan located between them. They often die. If the coil is frozen, it by be a defective defrost heater. For more information, www.applianceaid.com or www.repairclinic.com. It is repairable. Question is, at 16 years it is not worth putting a lot of money into it, but if it is the fan, you are looking at about an hour and $35 or so.

Stick with the gas. Electric is cheaper to buy, much more expensive to operate, slower to revover, and you'll need a heavy electrc line run.
If the present heater does not have a barrier, the code at the time probably did not call for it, but it is a good idea. What you want is called a "bollard" and yes, you can install one. Esentially, it is a 3' piced of heavy pipe welded to a flange, then the flange is anchored to the floor. Go to www.mcmaster.com and search for bollard. You can make your own too.
Most important, you learned a valueable lesson. Never buy anything important, expecailly heating equipment, from Home Depot or Lowes. A local plumber probably would have had the new heater in my now at about the same price or $20 more.

They are two different systems using the same blower in the furnace. Most central air units are mad ethat way. I hadrly ever see gas AC any more as they are farily expensive to build.

Could be a sticking gas valve, bad igniter, probably nothing too serious. I'm confident it can be fixed, not replaced. May be something just has to be cleaned. I've not worked on furnaces for a while so Im not going to attempt ot trouble shoot from here. It may be best to get a pro.

Oh, the joy of owning a home. At 16 years, expect the appliance to start to go. Figure a new roof in about 5 years. Probably time to refresh the carpeting or put in hardwood floors. If the furnace has not been serviced, a pro will lubricate things like the blower bearings, check belts and clean it where needed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.