Hotpoint Fridge-freezer fault

My three year-old Hotpoint Fridge freezer Rype FFA 70P has decided not to chill any more. Nada.
Above the fridge door on the control panel I have a green mains light showing, plus 2 red alarms: Food Defrost Alert & Freezer High Temp.
On switch-on, after about 30 seconds the motor/compressor can be heard running, together with some 'flow' noises. However the rear radiator produces no heat, and the interior is not chilled at all.
I have removed a cover from the freezer section, which exposes a circulation fan, and a finned evaporator. I can see no PCB, which I have read about on different models. The only obvious component in there is a No-frost thermostat that is clipped to the evaporator tubing. ELTH Type 261F with 2 pairs of wires going to a connector block. Could this be my fault? I can see no thermistors anywhere.
There appears to be just one motor/compressor for the upper fridge and the lower freezer. If so, how do they get 2 different temperatures?
I was hoping that this fault was something simple like a compressor starter relay or a thermostat and relatively cheap to replace.
Any ideas from a fridge expert here? If so, an online source for the replacement part would be appreciated.
DJ
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On Fri, 07 Aug 2009 21:44:57 +0100, David J wrote:

Heat pump not working... As the compressor runs one can only assume it is out of gas for some reason. How long did you leave it running to determine that the raditor wasn't getting warm?
A local refridgeration company should be able to re-gas it for you. How ever if you don't find the leak it will need doing again, and again, and again.

Frost free freezer, never very reliable. Most (all?) of the problems reported in here about freezers are related to frost free designs. Is that much of a chore to defrost the freezer every six months or so?
Have you contacted Hotpoint? What warranty does it have? Even if only 12 months you can still argue "unfit for purpose", 3 years is a short life for a fridge/freezer even a frost free one. I'd say 5 years as minimum, 10+ average, 20+ good.

They rely on the fridge being opened/heat gain and that calling for coldth, the freezer part is cooled as part of the process hopefully to low enough temperatures. This is why a fridge/freezer in a place outside it's design temperature range, say a garage might let the freezer get to warm because the fridge part doesn't gain enough heat to trigger the heat pump.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On Fri, 07 Aug 2009 23:23:57 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

Ages. I switched the fridge off several times to start all over also.

Oh dear.. that sounds expensive.. How do they find a leak? Presumably it's a pinhole somewhere in the piping? I can see a blue 'copper sulphate' stain on one joint - could that be it?
On a car a/c system there is a method of using a purple 'marker' to establish the source of a leak. Is it the same for fridge engineers?
Also, would a leak leave a stain on the floor - or simply evaporate?
The plate states that the refridgerant type is R600a.

I'll do that on Monday.

From memory Hotpoint give 5 years free parts, but I have to pay for the callout (about 90) It was actually supplied by B&Q as a part of a new kitchen, so are they my first port of call?

Very poor design - even misleading by the manufacturer!
I appreciate your swift reply here, Dave.
Funny thing - if I have a car problem and post to a forum, I will get dozens of replies, and spare parts are available easily. White goods - quite the opposite!
DJ
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On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 11:27:37 +0100, David J wrote:

Might be, don't know if they put the dye into fridges. Leaks are rare, brased joints and lack of vibration (compared to a car with demountable joints and lots of vibration) so probably not. If there is no chance of that joint getting contamination from somewhere else it puts the odds up that that is the leak.

The refrigerant is a gas at normal temps/pressures. There could be trace of lubricant/dye.

That is who you have the contract of sale with, so yes. I'd expect them to bump you across to Hotpoint though. Have a look on the B&Q website?

fridge and

temperatures?

for
hopefully
place
heat
All fridges, freezers, fridge/freezers etc have a "Class" normally a letter or combination. It is this that determines the environmental operating temperature range. I would say it is up to the buyer to tell the seller where they want to use the device and the seller to sell them one of suitable class. Unfortunately I doubt many of the droids in the white goods box shifter places are aware of the various classes, "It's a 'fridge innit".

This isn't a "forum" it is usenet... I find the opposite, finding (used) car parts online almost impossible
http://www.ukwhitegoods.co.uk/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid 2
Is a page about refrigeration from a a very good web forum site.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 12:45:32 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

Thanks for that explanation Dave, which makes sense to me.
By 'misleading', I was referring to the control panel that has 2 discrete temperature-setting controls - one for the fridge and one for the freezer.
And then to discover that the freezer temperature actually relies on the fridge door being opened regularly, is misleading, wouldn't you agree?
Regarding 'topping up' the refrigerant, I can see no obvious access point that isn't soldered. As the stuff is flammable, do you know how they get the refill in?
DJ
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On Sun, 09 Aug 2009 07:46:35 +0100, David J wrote:

A further expansion on frost free designs has been posted; moving flaps, more to go wrong... Our fridge/freezer (also a Hotpoint) has two compressors, dual controls and displays but isn't frost free.

It's quite a process these days, with having to reclaim the refridgerant (though I would have thought that only applies to devices using CFCs not butane). Refridgeration enginneers have the self cutting clamps to put around the pipes, the vacum pump to empty the system and check for leaks. IIRC they refill via the short stubby pipe on the compressor, crimp then brase the end of that once the correct amount of refridgerant has been drawn in.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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It must have lost refrigerant then. The good news is R600a is isobutane, and diying that is cheap. The bad news is that it'll leak out again, and R600a is explosively flammable.
The usual advice with leaks is ditch it, as a slow leak's so hard to find and fix.

its isobutane, like butane
This might be your opportunity to get a much more reliable frosting freezer.
NT
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wrote:

It's amazing how short a time manufacturers will supply spares for their white goods, especially those made in the far east (which is most of them).
Frost-free fridge/freezers are *much* more unreliable than conventional ones and I would avoid them. Getting a separate fridge and freezer is always the best way to go if you can.
Frost-free freezers have heaters and extra control circuitry which often go wrong and are expensive to replace.
--
(\__/) M.
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On Fri, 07 Aug 2009 23:23:57 +0100 (BST), Dave Liquorice wrote:

We have a hotpoint frost free, but I can't remember the model number at the moment. It does *not* rely on the fridge needing cooling to operate the freezer - the freezer has a thermistor, the fridge has it's own thermistor, which controls a fan and motorised flap, circulating air over the freezer's pipework and there is a third thermistor on the pipework; the freezer can control itself, the fridge loses its heat to the freezer pipework whenever required (as long as the pipework is reading cool enough) and the compressor will run to cool the freezer pipework if the pipework is too warm and the fridge requires cooling. Quite clever really, but the thermistors are prone to failure - ours lasted about six years, but once I replaced the faulty one, all has been fine since.
SteveW
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On Sat, 8 Aug 2009 18:15:48 +0100, Steve Walker

I think that my Hotpoint FFA 70P is a less sophisticated model than yours, as I have no motorised flap - simply a fan in the freezer section behind a removable panel.
I have now spotted a thermistor in the freezer section which I hadn't noticed before. The sleeved cable to it disappears into the rear compartment and enters a white plastic component with several small fridge pipes also entering. No idea what this does!
A fridge guy is coming next week, so I'll report the eventual damage later.
DJ
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