refrigerator freezer troubles

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On 9/7/14, 10:53 AM, trader_4 wrote:

cheapest, the 4400. No menu. Buttons for volts, amps, volt-amps, watts, Hz, Pf, kwh, and hours.
Amazon has 159 results for "kill a watt."
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On Sunday, September 7, 2014 11:14:32 AM UTC-4, J Burns wrote:

I think you're right, 4400 model doesn't have the ability to enter cost of electricity and have it display cost per month, etc. But my choice of the term "menu" was misleading too. My unit looks very similar to yours. There isn't a menu really, you just use the buttons to cycle through the list of choices and in one place you can enter the cost per kwh.
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On 09/07/2014 07:31 AM, J Burns wrote:

Thank you!
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On 09/07/2014 07:31 AM, J Burns wrote:

Thank you!
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Scratch all that. Gather all the neighborhood grills in a circle . . .
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Todd;3280622 Wrote:

The frost all over the freezer items is a clear indication that there's no defrost cycle. Normally, the evaporator coil is the coldest thing in the fridge, and so frost forms on IT rather than anywhere else. That frost is melted off with each defrost cycle, so moisture is eliminated from everywhere in the fridge. Technically speaking, the frost should "sublimate" or go directly from a solid to a vapour without first melting. As that happens the humidity of the air in the fridge goes up, but that humidity would then normally form frost on the evaporator coil. If there is no defrost cycle, and the evaporator coil gets covered over and insulated with frost, the humidity in the air in the fridge will keep rising and end up forming frost on the heaviest objects in the freezer (things with a lot of thermal momentum) which will still be very cold. I expect that's why the OP noticed frost on the stuff in the freezer.
So, I would look for a wiring diagram for that fridge and see if it's equipped with a test plug which will allow you to check for continuity through the defrost heater. Failing that, look for a removable panel in the freezer compartment. Behind that panel you should find the evaporator coil and the defrost heater. Visual inspection of the defrost heater should tell you if it's still OK or not. It needs to be in one piece.
If there's no continuity through the defrost heater, or if it's obviously broken, then you don't have a defrost cycle, and frost will build up on the evaporator coil and effectively insulate that coil, thereby resulting in your freezer becoming warmer, which is what you're experiencing.
Check with your fridge guru and see if there's a way of testing for continuity through the defrost heater. If not, ask him what panel needs to be removed to access the evaporator coil and defrost heater(s), and visually inspect that defrost heater.
Defrost timers are always suspect, but defrost timers are generally pretty reliable and are seldom the cause of problems.
If the frost that's formed on your evaporator coil is all patchy, with some being hard ice, then it's probably your defrost thermostat. Technically, this thing is called a "Defrost Termination Switch", or "DST", and a new one only costs about $10 to $15.
And, finally, beer won't go bad if you don't keep it cold.
I guess one of the "advantages" of living in Winnipeg is if your fridge ever craps out on you in the winter, you can put all your food in the trunk of your car. The outdoor temperature will be colder than the freezer in your fridge from November to March most years. But, if you live where I live, the idea of keeping food in your car instead of your fridge to reduce global warming isn't one you think about too much. In fact, you think a lot more about buying a car with a big engine that'll produce more CO2 to kinda help this global warming thing along.
--
nestork

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Just turn off the fridge,leave it open for a few hours, then turn it back on. If it runs continuously, gets cold like it should, then it could be the defrost. If it continues to just run for 30 min, doesn't get cold, then it's not a defrost problem.
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On 09/06/2014 12:43 PM, Todd wrote:

Hi All,
I am back from fishing. Caught three 4" fishletts. The most beautifully adorned rainbows I have seen in years.
To reprise:
Symptom: insufficient or no cooling.
Tests so far:
0) my wife informed me we purchased the unit in late November 2001
1) found the Condense Fan motor leaking oil and replaced it: no symptom change
2) all fans are operating normally
3) cleaned out the dust from the coils under the bottom front left (my left) and any I missed from the back. Went fishing. No symptom change.
4) whipped the back off again:
A) removed the relay from the condenser. Ohm'ed out the three pins: bottom to bottom: ~14 ohms bottom left to upper: ~10 ohms upper to lower right: ~9 ohms
B) measured the voltage on the connector that I removed from the relay: ~115 VAC
5) while fishing, I asked my wife, who has every sound that goes "bump in the night" cataloged, what the compressor sounded like when it fired up: "A snap, followed by a motor whoosh". She also said she hasn't heard it for the last few days.
6) Listened to about two hours of videos on troubleshooting relays and condensers. Got to listen to the sounds that Stormin' asked me about on You Tube.
A) the compressor is hot to the touch. (You can leave your hand on it for a few minutes.)
B) there is no sound coming from it whatsoever. No rattle. No clunk. Absolutely nothing.
7) figured out that the welding, cleaning out of tubes, and recharging are over my head when it comes to changing a compressor.
Game plan submitted for you guys approval.
1) change the relay (get some dry ice on the way back from the parts store).
2) if that does not help, call a repairman.
Just an aside. No one around here carries parts. I have to drive to Reno to their supplier if I want a part. Go figure.
If the repairman I call doesn't have a condenser and/or that weenie tube to the side, I will just have to go get them myself.
Thank you all for the help. -T
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On Sunday, September 7, 2014 4:13:02 AM UTC-4, Todd wrote:

So it's a lot older than previously reported. At that age, it's a lot more likely to not be worth fixing.

That still troubles me. AFAIK, that type of fan doesn't have oil to leak. There is a tiny amount in the lubricated for life bearings, but to have enough that it leaks out, doesn't sound right. And if the fan was still working, blowing a reasonable amount of air that wasn't real hot, I would not have replaced it, until I found out what's really wrong. IF the compressor won't start, the fan is irrelevant.

That's different too. From the previous description it sounded like it was running for 30 mins at a time. If the compressor gets warm, but isn't running, could it be a start capacitor? They are very quiet these days, but I think when you have your head right next to it you should hear something when it's running. Also, any evidence that the condenser gets cold at all? Evaporator gets warm at all?

I wouldn't just swap parts without some basis to think it was the problem.

At that age, depending on other factors, I'd put just junking it on the list too.

If it gets to that level of repair, I'd junk it for sure. It's a basic fridge. What would a new one cost? Another possibility, sometimes folks are selling floor models, used ones, etc on Ebay or CL at prices where it doesn't make sense to throw money into fixing it. I got a floor model at BestBuy for $1400 that regularly goes for $2800.
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On 9/7/2014 7:16 AM, trader_4 wrote:

CY: Two fans in the fridge. Neither should have any signifigant bit of oil. They both use bronze bearings.

CY:Very often, dust will cause a no cooling problem.

be checked for ohms.

CY: No sound at all suggests either bad compressor, or bad relay.

CY: Hot compressor but not running sounds a lot like bad start relay. BTW, condenser should never get cold, as it's the part that gets hot to release heat. Evap should never get warm, as it's the part that gets cold to absorb heat.

part you need.

which all point to bad start relay. I'd call that basis.

will do the job. If it does not, then the compressor is bad. But I don't suspect that at the moment.

CY: You have near to zero chance to buy a condenser for this refrigerator. And if you did, it would be too expensive to install. Same with the capillary tube.

CY: Please let us know how the job goes.
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On Sunday, September 7, 2014 7:42:22 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I guess the repairman for a fee can give a qualified opinion as to the extent of the problems. But even he can't tell you what happens a couple more years from now, after you sink hundreds into an old fridge. All I'm saying is that with a 13 year old basic fridge when it stops cooling like this, the probability that replacing it is going to be the best solution is a lot higher than if it's just 4 years old.

Yeah, I was wondering about that too. Relay in the condenser?

My bad, I mixed them up, but you get the obvious point, which is to see if the compressor is running at all.

It's not even clear to me what he measured as the description isn't clear. But if he wants to go buy more parts, he can certainly do so.

What's a supco?
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On 9/7/2014 8:06 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Crap shoot at best. It will cost $80 to $120 to walk through the door to tell you that you have to spend yet another $100 or more or that it is junk. At 13 years, unless it is a premium unit, I'd go for new.
Few months back I paid $80 to have a repair man tell me it would cost $400 to fix the washing machine. Wasted money at that point because it was not worth fixing.
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On 9/7/2014 8:06 AM, trader_4 wrote:

--
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Christopher A. Young
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On 9/7/2014 4:13 AM, Todd wrote:

I'd go with a replacement relay on the compressor. I've had good results with a Supco universal hard start.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SUPCO-RCO410-Hard-Start-Kit-Ref-Freezers-/321514009779?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4adbba74b3
Most of the time, this bring a compressor back to life. You want the one that says 1/4 to 1/3 HP.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
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On Sunday, September 7, 2014 7:33:52 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Spending another $13 into a DIY attempt may be a good idea. But before I did that, I think he should go back and reinvestigate where that oil was that he says came from the small condensor fan motor. We agree that small motors like that don't have oil in them, so where did it come from? I'm wondering if it actually came from a hole in refrigerant system and it's leaking compressor oil. If so, it's game over.
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On 09/07/2014 07:19 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Hi Trader_4,
Bronze bearings like that are porous and soaked in machine oil like a sponge. When the friction of the rotating shaft heats up the bearing, the oil expands out of the bearing on to the shaft. It is called a "self lubricating bearing". So yes, there is oil in them. I personally prefer double ball bearing fans.
And, both the repairman I like and the part house I got the replacement told me that burning tire stink and oil on the case of the fan are the first symptoms of a failing fan.
When sleeve bearing fans use up all the oil where the shaft rotates, the heat generated causes the oil on the outside of the bearing to sweat all over the place. And it stinks like hell too.
This is the fan: http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Condenser-Fan-Motor/4387244/2056
By the way, there is about five times the air flow with the new motor.
-T
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On 9/7/14, 4:13 AM, Todd wrote:

I was looking to see if it might be your condenser... that is, the start capacitor for the motor. A lot of refrigerators don't have start capacitors, which would rule that out!
I found this: http://www.davesrepair.com/DIYhelp/DIYcmprtest.htm
Common sense, but I was too dumb to see it! If you've got 10 ohms and 9 ohms, the third reading should be 19 ohms. I believe you have a short in the motor. That would account for the stink episode.
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On Sunday, September 7, 2014 10:57:09 AM UTC-4, J Burns wrote:

That procedure makes sense and if he's really measuring at the compressor, then I agree with your conclusion based on the procedure. But IDK what he was measuring because he said he removed the relay from the "condenser" then measured 3 pins. It's not clear what the pins were. I guess by condenser he means the start cap, but not a good choice of words when the fridge has an AC condenser.
Regarding the smell, if something burned, it would have to be something besides the compressor motor, because that is sealed with no way for the smell to escape. And it should have protection so that even with a bad compressor, external parts shouldn't burn, but also could be more than one thing is kaput.
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On 9/7/14, 11:22 AM, trader_4 wrote:

From this thread, I understand that the oil on the fan must have come from the compressor. It must not be sealed.
How about this? The system develops a leak down low, where pressure from the refrigerant forces oil out. Maybe the rotor locks from lack of oil, or maybe the rotor will still turn but a winding burns because there isn't enough oil to dissipate heat. The stink exits through the leak. I don't know what goes on inside a refrigerator compressor, but I can imagine!
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On Sunday, September 7, 2014 12:11:33 PM UTC-4, J Burns wrote:

One immediate question that maybe someone here knows the answer to or that could be answered via a wiring diagram is if there is a low pressure cut-off switch on the compressor? If there is, then if it's leaked that bad, then the compressor should not be receiving power, but it obviously is. But IDK if these small compressors have that.
For me the oil and the smell are key and if anything more with regard to tracking them back can be done, I think it could resolve it. Your scenario would account for both. Or are the start caps filled with oil?
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