Refrig victim of Sandy

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My bad, did not unplug refer during the power outage. Smelled something electrical when it came back online.
Refrigerator section get semi-cool, freezer compartment 36-38. Lights work, ice maker doesn't
Model is a 1988 Whirlpool so I am not adverse to replacing it. That said I'd prefer not to toss it out if some $20 component on the back can be swapped out.
After the storm road and gas conditions mean I have plenty of time to investigate. Where should I start? Or is it a lost cause?
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Sniff around, find the electrical smell. Look for signs of burn. Let us know what you find.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
My bad, did not unplug refer during the power outage. Smelled something electrical when it came back online.
Refrigerator section get semi-cool, freezer compartment 36-38. Lights work, ice maker doesn't
Model is a 1988 Whirlpool so I am not adverse to replacing it. That said I'd prefer not to toss it out if some $20 component on the back can be swapped out.
After the storm road and gas conditions mean I have plenty of time to investigate. Where should I start? Or is it a lost cause?
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On Nov 3, 7:30 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

You have to make sure the timer motor that does the auto-defrost is not burned out, that might be what you smelled. Take off the kick plate and pull the refrig out from the wall so you can see/small all four sides, then plug is in and watch closely. You need to figure out if the compressor is working or not. If it gets cool in the refrig section and down to 25 in the freezer, the compressor is probably ok. As far as temps are concerned, allow at least 8 -10 hours for the refrig and freezer to settle to a final temp. You not only have to cool the interior, but also all the insulation in the walls, base, door, and top, and that does take quite a few hours, before equilibrium is reached.
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No visible signs of shorting. Fan works. Compressor hot to the touch. Overnight the freezer compartment did make it down to 30 degrees.
Switch assembly on side of the compressor is unlike others seen at repairclinic.com. Wires connect to a device JSU18X126AQW which I can reference anywhere.
Beginning to think being a 1988 purchase the time may have come to replace it anyhow.
On 11/03/2012 08:30 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

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If you're not averse to replacing it, newer ones are more energy-efficient and have nicer features- better-designed shelving, more drawers, etc.
Worth getting a new one.
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snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com;2954805 Wrote: > If you're not averse to replacing it, newer ones are more > energy-efficient and have nicer features- better-designed shelving, more > drawers, etc.

If this is a 1988 fridge, it's 24 years old now. I'd go up to $200 on the repair. If it's gonna cost you more than $200 to repair it, then I'd spring for a new fridge.
--
nestork


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On Sun, 4 Nov 2012 05:23:07 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

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On Sunday, November 4, 2012 2:49:31 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

given its age, and in the meantime there's energy savings and a nicer fridge.

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On Sun, 4 Nov 2012 12:13:36 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

lifespan of most current appliances. REplace what went bad and you can quite likely get another 22.
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On 11/04/2012 08:23 AM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

I'm beginning to lean in that direction. Popped the access panel off and took some pictures. Used them at repairclinic to try and match up available parts. Beginning to look like being a 1988 model is simply too old.
Will keep checking though as I like to tinker and make attempts if not excessively costly.
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On 11/04/2012 05:23 AM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

Yeah, but they only last half as long, if your lucky.
Jon
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On 11/03/2012 03:17 PM, Jim wrote:

Now I'm confused. Temp shows -6f. Making ice cubes.
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As I said, yuou meed to give it time to stabilize. When you tried it last time, the deforst timer might have been at the start of a 1-hour defrost cycle, delaying the start of cooling. Keep an eye on it for a few days, and then relax and enjoy the $$$ you have saved.
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On 11/04/2012 04:30 PM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Well as of this morning things look almost normal. Ice maker has filled the tray. Does seem to be running constantly. May have done so before Sandy caused me to focus more closely on it.
Costco online has excellent prices for what I'm looking for. Time delay for shipping would previously been considered excessive. However now that might be ideal as it allows more time for the electric grid to stabilize. With the threat of spikes from adjoining areas being brought online I'd delay replacing the refer two weeks anyway. No need burning out the replacement.
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If it's running constantly more than a couple of days after resuming operation then it's likely low on coolant and that means using a ton of electricity. Further increasing what you'd save by replacing it.
Also, some utilities (Con Ed in NY, for one) has or had a program where they'd pay you to give up old appliances (as long as they're working) such as fridges and air conditioners.
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On 11/05/2012 07:55 AM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

then it's likely low on coolant and that means using a ton of electricity. Further increasing what you'd save by replacing it.

pay you to give up old appliances (as long as they're working) such as fridges and air conditioners.

While looking at the websites of local appliance dealers I noted something a bit unusual. One that includes delivery and setup will not re-utilize the existing water connection for the ice maker.
Rather than putting another saddle valve in the basement I would think it preferable to use that existing copper line.
Am I missing something here? Or are they just padding profit by selling more stuff?
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Three points:
1. I would replace the defrost timer if I were you. If your fridge isn't working CONSISTANTLY well now that your power has been back on for a few days, then it very well could be that your defrost timer is sticking.
Normally, power is supplied to the fridge's thermostat (aka: "cold control") and if the thermostat wants the fridge to get colder, it's passes that power on to the fridge compressor and evaporator fan. The defrost timer's job is to DIVERT the power from the fridge's thermostat to the defrost heater for 15 to 30 minutes every 20 hours or so to melt all the accumulated frost off of the evaporator coil. That is, a "frost free" fridge is just a fridge that automatically defrosts itself once every day or so.
It's a tiny motor that operates the defrost timer that switches the fridge from "run" mode into "defrost" mode, and friction can cause that tiny motor to stick in the run mode (where the fridge doesn't defrost itself) or the defrost mode (essentially causing the fridge to stop working completely and go into a self induced coma). So, the symptoms of a sticking defrost timer can go from no cooling to no defrosting depending on where the timer is sticking, to anything in between depending on how badly it gets stuck when it sticks.
At 22 years old, if you've never had to replace the defrost timer on this fridge, my feeling is that it would be a good plan to replace it just as preventative maintenance. I wish I had a nickel for every panicked post I've read where someone comes home after work on a Friday afternoon and realizes their fridge isn't working; at all. If that ever happens to you, it's most often caused by the defrost timer sticking in defrost mode. (The defrost timer will have a shaft on it that can be turned manually with a slot screw driver. Since turning the defrost timer the wrong way will damage it, that shaft will be designed like a tamper-proof screw so that it can only be turned in one direction with a screw driver. Unfortunately, every fridge has it's defrost timer in a different location, so it's a good idea to find out where the defrost timer is on your fridge to prepare yourself in advance.)
2. To help you make your decision as to whether or not to fix your fridge, I would check the frost development on the evaporator coil in your fridge. Inside your freezer compartment will be a removable panel that's held on with screws. Often there will be covers over those screws that have to be popped off to gain access to the screw heads. Remove that access panel and you should see an aluminum evaporator coil with fins on it; like this:
[image:
http://appliantology.org/uploads/1305456862/med_gallery_4_2_116.png ]
That aluminum tubing that goes back and forth is the evaporator coil. It's where the freon evaporates, absorbing heat as it does.
If both the compressor and freon charge are good, then you should see a uniform layer of frost form over the whole length of the evaporator coil, like this:
[image:
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/robclement/2010-10-30_203350_evaporator-coils-good-frost-pattern.jpg ]
If, on the other hand, the frost formation isn't uniform, and there's no frost at the downstream end of the evaporator coil, it could just be that the fridge only started running a few minutes before you took the access panel off, but if it doesn't become uniform in 10 or 15 minutes, then the usual cause is either a weak freon charge (most often cuz of a leaking compressor or evaporator), or because the compressor is worn out. Either one of those problems is going to make repairing the fridge uneconomic cuz the repair will cost more than the fridge is worth. So, check out the evaporator coil on your fridge to see if the frost pattern is uniform over the whole evaporator coil (indicating the fridge still has a lot of life left in it), or there's only frost forming at the upstream end of the evaporator (indicating the fridge is already approaching the end of it's useful life). On fridges that are already past the end of their useful life, you often see a "snowball" form at the upstream end of the evaporator, and the rest of the evaporator is free of frost.
3. I see absolutely no reason why the new fridge icemaker couldn't be supplied by the existing water connection if it's compatible. If it's a copper line, I can't see why they couldn't cut the old compression fitting off the end of the line and solder a fitting compatible with the new fridge on. I would ask them to explain their reasoning. Maybe it's because the guys they send out to install their appliances don't know how to solder.
--
nestork


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It could be that they have had bad experiences where they used an existing line that later leaked and they got blamed for it.
As for the fridge, all I can tell you is that new ones use a hell of a lot less power. I replaced a 25 year old one a couple years ago. I used a kill-a-watt meter on the old one and the new one for a couple of days. The new one used about 40% of the electricity that the old one did. New one runs at 90watts.
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If your fridge is over 20 years old I'd suggest simply going to a store and looking at new ones. Instead of just a bunch of shelves they have a lot of nice features. The same would go for a 20 year old car- going from a cassette deck to a CD and MP3 player, ABS, airbags, and of course lots and lots of cup-holders.
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On 11/06/2012 10:06 AM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

looking at new ones. Instead of just a bunch of shelves they have a lot of nice features. The same would go for a 20 year old car- going from a cassette deck to a CD and MP3 player, ABS, airbags, and of course lots and lots of cup-holders.

morning. Too many parts simply no longer available for the old one. At 24 years of age now it would likely fail completely anyway sometime soon.
Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.
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