Refrigerator -- terrible smell!

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Desperate! For over a month there has been a terrible smell coming from the refrigerator AND the freezer!!!
Frig. is a medium-end Whirlpool w/top freezer, about 6-7 years old.
I took EVERY item out of the frig, smelled it (nothing) washed the entire frig. section. Did the same with the freezer - where the smell, oddly enough, seems STRONGER! No change; smell still there.
IMPORTANT: When I was cleaning out the freezer, the blast of air SEEMED to be carrying the odor. By now, I am so crazy that I'm not even sure of THAT!
I asked a handyman who was doing some work for me to smell the frig/freezer. Asked him whether an animal could have crawled behind and died. He sensibly replied that if that were the case, the whole kitchen would smell.
So has something gotten into the ?? lines ??? that cool the frig/freezer?
Any suggestions gratefully accepted.
HB
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On 9/5/2013 9:06 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Did you pull out the drain pan? They are easily forgotten and can get nasty
Did anything spill andget down onto the evaporator coil? Under the drawers?
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On Thursday, September 5, 2013 6:22:46 PM UTC-7, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

m the refrigerator AND the freezer!!!

re frig. section. Did the same with the freezer - where the smell, oddly enough, seems STRONGER! No change; smell still there.

D to be carrying the odor. By now, I am so crazy that I'm not even sure of THAT!

ezer. Asked him whether an animal could have crawled behind and died. He sensibly replied that if that were the case, the whole kitchen would smell.

er?

rs?
OMG Never thought of either!!! I have a brush for the coil, but -- my bad -- never got around to cleaning it.
eHow says:
AppliancePartsPros.com/Parts How to Drain the Pan
Open the refrigerator door. Pull the base grille off the unit by gr abbing it from the top to the bottom. Slide the defrost pan from under the unit. Empty out any water in the pan. Use a sponge or soft cloth along with a mild detergent to wash it. Rinse the pan thoroughly and dry it before pu tting it back under the unit. Put the base grille back on the unit and clos e the refrigerator door. While You’re Down There
While you have the base grille and defrost pan off of your Whirlpoo l refrigerator, it’s a good idea to clean the condenser coils under the u nit. Cleaning the coils every other month helps the refrigerator operate mo re efficiently, saving on energy use. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment or a soft dust cloth to clean off the dust that collects on the coils.
OK, I will do both of these & post results.
What gets me is how SUDDEN the attack was! That's why I thought a dead cri tter.
Seems like if some yeccch leaked from the frig into the defrost pan, it wou ld be more gradual? Also. NOTHING in the freezer OR the frig. smelled bad.
Jumping ahead, if my amateurish efforts with the defrost pan & coil brush d on't work, what can I expect to pay a refrig. service to deal with this?
TIA
HB
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I know this is a netpick, but I do repair refrigerators and work on refrigeration. The evaporator is the fins and tubes that gets cold. Typically copper and aluminum.
The black tubes that gets hot, is the condensor. The condensor is typically near the condensate pan. Look for more text following my initials, below.....
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/5/2013 9:34 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

CY: So, so true! They tend to grow mold, and slime. Yikk. Pull the pan, bleach it, and wash your hands so you don't get sick from the microbes that grow in the pan.

coil? Under the drawers?

coil, but -- my bad -- never got around to cleaning it.
CY: Brush implies condensor.

off the unit by grabbing it from the top to the bottom. Slide the defrost pan from under the unit. Empty out any water in the pan. Use a sponge or soft cloth along with a mild detergent to wash it. Rinse the pan thoroughly and dry it before putting it back under the unit. Put the base grille back on the unit and close the refrigerator door. CY: And wash your hands, those pans can be full of microbes.

your Whirlpool refrigerator, it’s a good idea to clean the condenser coils under the unit. Cleaning the coils every other month helps the refrigerator operate more efficiently, saving on energy use. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment or a soft dust cloth to clean off the dust that collects on the coils.

CY: Cleaning the black coils with a brush and vac cleaner is excellent idea. When you are through, use a flashlight and make sure the fan in the back can run / is running. DAMHIKT.

thought a dead critter.

defrost pan, it would be more gradual? Also. NOTHING in the freezer OR the frig. smelled bad. CY: My guess is a chunk of food behind the backwall of the freezer.

pan & coil brush don't work, what can I expect to pay a refrig. service to deal with this?
CY: Local guy about $150, Sears about $350.

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replying to Higgs Boson, Lisa wrote: Same with me! Coils & pan are clean this is ridiculous! Is there something that's been recalled for this product. I'm unaware of?
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"Lisa" wrote in message
replying to Higgs Boson, Lisa wrote: Same with me! Coils & pan are clean this is ridiculous! Is there something that's been recalled for this product. I'm unaware of?
  Click to see the full signature.
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My thought is that some bit of food or juice got behind the panel in the back, where the evaporator is. Might need to removes several screws, take the panel from inside the freezer. Could be some thing behind there. Be careful, the fins on the coils are razor sharp, and can cut you badly.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/5/2013 9:22 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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Having the same problem and desperate for a solution ... did you ever resolve this?
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On 3/31/2016 3:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Easy to fix. You take everything out. You toss what went bad. You clean the inside witha sanitizer or weak bleach solution.
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Having the same problem and desperate for a solution ... did you ever resolve this?
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On Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:17:39 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Is there an echo in here?
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On 9/5/13 8:06 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Some cut.
I've never tried this so can't say how well it works. Supposedly, wadded up newspaper will absorb smells from refrigerators and freezers.
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Dean Hoffman > wrote:

Hi, A small box of baking soda with top cut off. Make sure drain hose is not plugged up.
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On Thu, 5 Sep 2013 18:06:34 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson
Dead Rat under the fridge!
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Higgs:
Check the ice cream in your freezer to see if it's stiff. If it's not stiff, it could be that the fridge cold control is malfunctioning, and it's not keeping the fridge as cold as it should be.
Every old fridge will smell if you unplug it and let it warm up. I really don't know if that's because of food that has been spilled in the fridge that got into places where it couldn't be cleaned up, or simply because of frost that forms in the fridge walls when it's operating and then supports the growth of mildew when it melts.
If this fridge is operating and it's stinking, then we're in uncharted territory because I've never come across that before.
If the fridge is shut off and it's stinking, the best deodorant I know of for smelly unplugged fridges is a product called "Ozium" which you can buy at any appliance parts store. You just open the fridge and freezer doors and spray a shot of Ozium into each, and then close the doors.
Other than that, my only suggestion is to take everything out of the fridge, put on some rubber gloves and clean the entire interior of the fridge with bleach straight out of the jug. Wear old clothes when doing this kind of work.
I would also take the cover in the freezer compartment off and see if there's been any food spilled so that it's sitting on the evaporator pan under the evaporator coil. If so, clean that up.
Also, see if you can remove any air vents either on the freezer floor or fresh food compartment ceiling and see if there's any spilled food in the section between the fresh food compartment and freezer.
Other than that, then I think the only other recourse would to be turn the fridge cold control to keep the fridge colder.
--
nestork


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On Thursday, September 5, 2013 8:44:14 PM UTC-7, nestork wrote:

Ice cream is stiff and all food in the freezer is frozen.

OPERATING. STINKING.

NOT SHUT OFF. OPERATING OK.

I DID THT ALREADY, AS POSTED IN ORIGINAL MESSAGE.

HOW GET COVER OFF? I WENT TO EHOW BUT COULDN'T FIND SPECIFIC INFO.

OMG, HAVE TO SEE IF i CAN DO.
SOMEWHAT DOUBT ABOUT SPILLED FOOD..EVERYTHING IN FREEZER IS FROZEN SOLID BUT...

AGAIN, DESPITE MY IGNORANCE, DON'T THINK THAT WILL DO IT. EVERYTHING WAS GOING ALONG FINE UNTIL THIS SMELL STARTED FEW WEEKS AGO.
HOPE TO HELL IT ISN'T SOME CRITTER GOT IN THERE..
TX FOR HELP. WILL TRY REMOVING FREEZER PANEL.
STAY TUNED...
HB

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Yes, please do follow up and let us know what you find. I'm curious, as also many other readers.
As to the evaporator panel. Remove every food item from the freezer, and also remove any shelves, ice maker, etc.
You should find five or six phillips screws that hold the back wall of the freezer on. The heads of the screws are typicallly painted white, and are not easy to find.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/6/2013 12:33 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

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On 9/5/2013 8:06 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

It's possible some food got into the defrost heater and spoiled. I've seen two different types of defrost heaters, one is the traditional resistance heater and in our fridge there are actually halogen lamp tubes that put out defrost heat. If some spilled milk got into the evaporator and the soured milk is being cooked by the defrost heater, that could be the source of the odor. O_o
TDD
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On Thursday, September 5, 2013 8:50:10 PM UTC-7, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Will try to check it out. Tx!
HB
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

Hi, Milk? who drinks milk? You lose more than gaining heatlthwise drinking milk. Unless it is raw you milked yourself. Pasteurized milk is poison along with sugar and salt.
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