Tenants' refrigerator problem

Page 1 of 2  

Our upstairs tenants (two family house, we live downstairs) thought that their refrigerator was too warm, so they set both the freezer and refrigerator to maximum cold. They now say that both areas are much too warm. This is a 12 year old basic frostfree top-freezer Hotpoint refrigerator.
I told them to set both freezer and refrigerator controls to "normal" and to wait 24 hours. However, if this does not solve the problem, is there anything I should try before just replacing the refrigerator? At 12 years old (although ours is 24 years old) I don't think it's worth a professional repair; nor do I want to spend a long time on a fix as our tenants deserve working appliances. On the other hand, I don't want to throw things out if there could be a reasonable fix especially because delivery is an issue (to get to the second floor, the refrigerator will have to be turned horizontal and lifted over the banister on the second floor landing).
--
Peace,
BobJ



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Get a couple of thermometers into the fridge first, to be sure everyone agrees on what "too hot" or "too cold" means. The tenants may be right, but they may also be wrong.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Having been there, done that (with the wife versus a tenant) I would say this is indeed very sound advice ;-)
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Have the coils, probably at the bottom, ever been cleaned?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/26/2010 9:34 PM, Marilyn & Bob wrote:

Someone has already mentioned cleaning the condenser coils. That's the hot part with a fan and more than likely, it's underneath the fridge behind a grill. A long cleaning brush is made for reaching under there and shop-vac helps too.
http://www.energyproaz.com/Refrig_brush
Things that go wrong with your basic top freezer, bottom fan cooled condenser refrigerator have to do with dirt first. There are two fans, the condenser fan underneath to blow air over the condenser coils, the evaporator fan in the freezer which blows air from the freezer section throughout the refrigerator and the defrost timer which can be located in several locations. The most common locations for the defrost timer are inside in the same housing as the thermostat or underneath behind the grill. Those little motors usually last for many years but I've seen lighting strikes knock them out without damaging the compressor. The first thing to quit working from wear is usually the defrost timer and this will keep the fridge from cooling effectively. Whenever Summertime rolls around, a refrigerator in marginal condition or one that has a dirty condenser will stop cooling. Remember, clean first.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Daring Dufas wrote:

Be sure to check the timer. All the timers I've ever seen have a slot so you can manually turn them to check the run/defrost cycle while it's still in place. I'd check the timer for sure because if the frig is iced up solid the circulating fan will be unable to circulate air {thus the fridge will get warm) and it will need to be thawed out so the fan can circulate the air after a new timer is installed. Here ya go, http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/check/defrosttimer.php
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Tell them to close the fridge door.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Seems pretty clear they turned the dials the wrong direction...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check the coils as already mentioned. Be sure the evaporator fan inside is working too. That is what circulates the air between the two compartments. If it is stopped the coils can freeze and give the result you are seeing.
Next is the defrost timer and heating element. If they are not working, coils can freeze. Quick temporary fix is to open the doors and let it thaw for 12 hours or so and it wil be OK for a few days until the coil freezes again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 26 Jul 2010 22:34:05 -0400, "Marilyn & Bob"

There should be air blowing out from the bottom of the fridge. If there is, that's fine, but when there wasn't for me, I move the fridge out and found a dead mouse stuck in the fan. It had been like this a couple weeks, but when I knocked the mouse out with a stick, the fan started fine. Problem solved?
I thought so but a few days later I noticed it was still warm inside. Again no air at the bottom. Again take the fridge out, and I guess I knocked a block of insulation out of place because now it was in the way of the fan.
I thought I might have damaged the fridge by running without a fan for 3 weeks but that was 10 years ago.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Others have offered good advice but he are a couple of points to keep in mind.
Many modern units do not have a defrost timer like mentioned. They rely on a different system. I don't recall what it is called.
Sometimes due to operator error even a frost free unit can form an ice blockage and restrict the airflow. This can happen when the unit is set too cold or some food restricts the airflow from the freezer to fridge. Remove food, turn off unit, open the door and allow plenty of time for it all to melt. Faster results can be obtained by removing covers and using a hair dryer or heat gun on the lowest setting.
Turn unit back on a check to make sure that all the little fans are moving air.
--
Colbyt
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks all. I'll follow your suggestions. Just one more question. Assuming these things don't fix the problem and I need to purchase a new refrigerator, I assume that there is no problem in having the new refrigerator in a horizontal position for the 30 seconds to one minute it takes to lift it over the banister. I assume we will plug it in about 5-10 minutes after that maneuver.
--
Peace,
BobJ



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Marilyn & Bob wrote:

oil takes a while to settle back down, and it gets into places that it shouldn't if you tilt it on it's side. i'd wait a bit after setting it vertical before plugging it in. 10 minutes would be a minimum time. the instructions usually state 24 hours if it's stored in a horizontal position.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message>>>

But it's not being stored in a horizontal position, only placed that way for 30 seconds to one minute when being lifted over a banister. But I'm certainly willing to wait 10 minutes.
--
Peace,
BobJ



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

My refrigerator's instruction book said something about what to do in this situation. Yours will come with instructions too. You'll read them and that will answer this question better than any of us can. Now hush about it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'll bet a large sum that it is either the defrost timer or maybe the defrost heating element itself. With all the warm weather, the unit was proooobably running more, and any defrost heater problem would be magnified.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Look for frost, in the back of the freezer.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've seen this before. Is your tenant a black woman on the west side of Rochester? No, she was on the first floor. But, it's a common thing with renters. What happened with the Rochester folks, the freezer got too cold, and the fridge warmed up.
It sounds as if something broke, and the knobs were secondary. Much like when the car runs out of gas, and so you tromp the gas pedal to the floor.
As others have suggested. Check for fans working, dusty coils, frost on the back or floor of the freezer. Please let us know what you find.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[snipped]
Chris, you've been asked politely a number of times to fix your broken posting format. Your persistent refusal to do so demonstrates that you are either too stupid to understand the problem, or too rude to care. This has led a number of people to killfile you, myself included.
Now I see you've changed your ID, in an apparent effort to evade the killfiles. This leads me to conclude that you are also a nymshifting troll who is either too stupid to understand or too rude to care.
<plonk> (again)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

He just *HAS* to be different. Not surprising when you consider what Mormons call "lingerie".
http://www.suspensionofdisbelief.net/www.suspensionofdisbelief.net/garment.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    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.