Showing posts with label refrigerator repair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label refrigerator repair. Show all posts

Refrigerator is Too Warm

When your Refrigerator is always a couple degrees too warm

This post is Specific to Frigidiare Side by Side Refrigerators. A problem that some notice is that the Temperature in the Refrigerator Compartment is too warm. This is a fix that took me a couple calls to tech support to figure out the first time I ran into this.

If you are having problems with the temperature always being a couple degrees too warm, or you notice that things are spoiling quicker than they should, read on.

I was on a warranty service call when I learned this. The Customer was having a problem with the temperature staying just over 40 Degrees. They already had two other service companies out to repair this and nobody could fix the problem. The thermostats, fan, defrost board, everything had been replaced already before I got there.

The problem was with warm air from the compressor area leaking inside the fridge compartment. It was coming in where the water lines for the water filter and cold water storage come through the liner and enter the fresh food side.

You can see where these lines come through if you remove the two lower drawers inside the refrigerator. One water line will run into a tank behind the drawers and the other water line runs up to the water filter. The hole these water lines come through needs to be completely sealed. If they are not sealed the warm air from the compressor area will enter the fridge. When this happens you will alway notice the temperature just a little to warm all the time. Not to mention that the refrigerator will run more than it should causing undue stress on the compressor.

How do you fix this. That is pretty easy, now that you know where to look for the problem. Get some food grade silicone and reseal around the lines. The key is to make sure that no air can enter the fridge where the lines come through. Pile it on thick and push it into the hole to make sure you have a good seal. Once this is done, you will notice the temperature will start to rest at below 40 degrees instead of just above.

Yes, the little bit of air that comes through that opening will make a huge difference in the air temperature inside. Those couple extra degrees of temperature is what is spoiling your food quicker than normal.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Repair Manuals

Refrigerator in the Garage

Garage Refrigerator

Why won't your Refrigerator Work Properly in the Garage?

This is a common question. I will do my best to explain why your Freezer won't freeze properly when it's kept in the garage. More than likely you only notice this problem when the temperatures outside get down to freezing or close to it.

Basically there really isn't anything wrong with the Refrigerator itself. The problem is the outside air temperature. The Refrigerator Section in most Top Freezer Refrigerators is where the only thermostat for the machine is located. The Freezer Temperature is determined by how long the fridge runs, more on that later. The Refrigerator running in 70 - 75 degree temperatures(kitchen) will be "calling for cold" 45 -55 percent of the time. That means the machine is running about half the time. This keeps the temperature in the fridge compartment just below 40 degrees or so. By running about half the time causes the temperature in the freezer to toggle around zero.

Now, how do you adjust the freezer temperature then if the only thermostat is in the refrigerator compartment? ah, Good Question. That is pretty simple. The evaporator is located in the freezer section. This is what "gets cold" when the compressor runs. The fridge section gets its cold air from the freezer. There is an air diverter that only allows a small amount of air to circulate from the freezer to the refrigerator when it's calling for cold. So, at the factory settings in an average room temperature setting, the freezer will have to run long enough to freeze when it needs to cool the fridge compartment. Make sense? If you want to make the freezer temperature lower, you are essentially going to starve the refrigerator side's air flow. This will keep the freezer running longer to cool the fridge section and therefor you have lower freezer temperature.

Now here is the reason your Freezer won't Freeze in the garage during the winter months. If the outside temperature is close to the temperature your refrigerator section needs to be, the compressor will only have to run for a very short time to make the fridge happy. That will not be enough time for the freezer to pull down to the proper temperature.

There are kits you can get to solve this issue. There are normally called Garage Kits. Pretty easy to remember right. How a garage kit works is by tricking the refrigerator to think it's in a warmer environment. A garage kit is placed by the thermostat in the Refrigerator Compartment and it puts off a small amount of heat causing the freezer to cycle on and off more frequently. This allows the freezer to get down to the proper temperature and keep the things in your freezer completely frozen all the time. Not most of the time or sometimes.

It is a rather simple solution that the average person can do themselves. The kit shown in this post is a garage kit for a Frigidaire Refrigerator. This will give you an idea of what one looks like. If you have any questions about this, just visit Appliance Outlet and you can get more help there.

My Refrigerator is clicking

In this article I'm going to talk about the Clicking Noise that may occur with your refrigerator. I answer Appliance Questions online and this is a very common complaint. So I will write it here to save me from retyping it over and over.

The components on the side of the compressor are called your relay, starter and capacitor. There are a few different styles but they pretty much do the same thing. They allow the electrical current to enter the compressor. IF the compressor is going bad, say shorted windings in the motor, this will cause the compressor to draw to many amps of electricity. When the compressor draws too much current, the overload will overheat and "CLICK". When you hear that click, that is the sound of, your refrigerator isn't going to get cold anymore and you better fix it quick noise. That's why you're here.

The clicking noise is very distinct and it will sound like it's coming from under the refrigerator or from the back. You may also hear buzzing. The overload will click when it cools down and lets current through the circuit again. So, click off, click on. But if the component parts are bad or the compressor is bad this cycle will happen again, and again, again, and so on and so forth. Usually about the rate of every minute or so.

Now, there are a few other things that will cause this to overheat and shut off. One is if your condenser coils are covered in pet hair and haven't been cleaned in some time. Lint, dust, hair, who knows what else can be there but you get the point. If those coils are not kept clean, the compressor will run hot. That will cause the overload on the side of the compressor to overheat and "click"-no cool. Unplug the fridge and clean the coils. This may fix the problem if the overload or compressor weren't damaged. You will know right away. If the fridge runs fine after cleaning the coils then you are okay. You will know usually within a few minutes if the something has been damaged. It will still click.

Another thing that can cause the click is an adaptive defrost control board. It contains a relay that sends power to the parts on the side of the compressor. When the defrost board doesn't send full power to the compressor, this causes an increased amp draw to make up for the voltage drop. Increased amp draw equals "CLICK"

One more thing that may cause this clicking sound is the condenser fan not working. The condenser fan is the fan that is next to the compressor. It has a couple jobs. Evaporate the defrost water and keeping the heat off the condenser coils and compressor. If the fan isn't running when the compressor is running, guess what will happen. "CLICK" I think you know why by now, but just in case, the compressor overheats and the overload on the side of the compressor, protects it by shutting off the power. Hopefully if your fan motor was bad, the overload did its job and saved your compressor. You can place a separate fan on the floor blowing on the compressor and coils to temporarily get you by until your new parts arrive.

Okay, you cleaned the coils, got a fan if you needed one and it still clicks, now what? The first thing to do is replace the components on the side of the compressor. Hopefully the compressor starts up and the new components don't click like the old ones. If they don't click you are good to go. Good job, you just saved a bunch of money on appliance repairs.
But what if it still clicks? Well, to put it nicely, your refrigerator may need to find a new home(scrapyard). That means your compressor has internal damage or you have some sort of freon restriction. If your refrigerator is less than five years old it may be covered by the manufacture's limited warranty. That means this repair will not cost you. But, if it's older than that or you don't have some sort of extended warranty plan, this repair will cost you at least $300. And if you are really unlucky it could cost around $600. The difference in price being whether you only need freon work, or you need the compressor replaced.

I think I've covered the basics. You now know what the annoying clicking sound is when your refrigerator gives up and stops getting cold. The clicking is capable of happening periodically. Make sure the refrigerator isn't running in temperatures above 85 - 90 degrees F. Don't let the refrigerator be exposed to direct sunlight. Keep the coils clean. Don't leave the doors hanging open for long periods of time. If you are having a defrost issue this sound could be heard. That is because with a defrost issue, the compressor runs constantly and that will cause it to overheat.

If you are having a Defrost Issue be sure to read about Defrost Problems on my blog.  Search for Frost in my Freezer.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have more questions about this I can be found on  Post your Comments or Questions either on this Blog or at the bottom of my YouTube videos.

Frost in my Freezer

You wake up in the morning and go to the refrigerator to get some breakfast. When you get out the milk, juice or whatever it is you get for breakfast, you notice something is wrong. It's not cold! The next thing you do is open up the freezer and see if that is still working properly. Wheeew it is. But why?

What you probably didn't notice was that the freezer has not been going through it's normal defrost cycle. Because of this un-noticed event going on, there has been frost building up on the evaporator coils that doesn't belong there. After this frost continues to build up over the course of a few days to a week or so, now you are going to start to notice the effects.

Here is what's happening when you have a malfunction in the defrost system.
  • Air cannot circulate from the freezer(where the cold happens basically) to the fresh food section.
  • Your refrigerator will run constantly to try to cool the fresh food section. This will develop a new set of problems with your refrigerator. More on that later....
  • Excess frost builds up within the coils inside the freezer. This is what is blocking the air flow to the fresh food section
  • Usually you will notice the icemaker will stop making ice. Poor air flow and not quite cold enough temperatures in the freezer cause this
  • Water will not come through the dispensor on the door. Cold air settles, the water resovoir will freeze.
  • Compressor may overheat and shut off. This is when you hear, click,click,click. Not good
  • Ice Cream in the Freezer will start to get soft. That's really not that bad. lol
What can you do about this. Let me explain the defrost system in general so you get an understanding of what is going on.

The coils inside the freezer are the only part inside the whole refrigerator that "get cold". They need to stay free from excess frost build up so that air can pass through the coils and reach the refrigerator section of your refrigerator. Every eight hours or so, depending on the type of defrost timer or control you have, the compressor and fans will shut off and the machine will go into defrost mode. When the refrigerator is in defrost there is a heater that is tied into the evaporator coils inside the freezer that comes on. This heater is behind the rear panel inside the freezer where the evaporator coils are located. It melts the frost that has accumulated over the course of time. After about thirty minutes the machine comes out of defrost and goes back to normal operation.

Now the air can continue to pass through the coils and keep the freezer frozen and the refrigerator cool and everybody is happy.

What components make up the defrost system?
  • Defrost control or timer.
  • Some refrigerators have a defrost timer. This type works like a clock. Every eight hours or so the machine hits the defrost spot and that's when defrost occurs
  • Some refrigerators have an Adaptive Defrost Control. This is what makes a refrigerator energy efficient. It varys the length of time it takes the machine to go into defrost. So instead of the energy hogging heater coming on every eight hours, it may be 24 hours, 18 hours, 10.5 hours, who knows. It depends on how many times you have opened the doors, how long the compressor has run. This is good because the refrigerator may not need to go into defrost every eight hours. Now you are saving energy. Good Stuff
  • Defrost Thermostat
  • This is the component that controls how long the heater stays on when the machine is in defrost mode. Say the defrost cycle is thirty minutes, the heater may only be on for ten of those thirty minutes on the timer controls. On Adaptive Defrost Controls, when the heater shuts off, shorty after the machine exits defrost mode. Basically if the heater only stays on for ten minutes, the whole defrost cycle will only be about 12 or 13 minutes long.
  • Basically when the heater comes on, it starts to melt the frost on the evaporator. Once all the ice and frost is gone, the temperature behind the panel will start to rise. Once the temperature behind the panel rises to a certain temperature, the thermostat will break the current of electricity going to the heater. Bam, it shuts off and prevents your freezer from becoming a sauna, or an oven. I'm sure you get the drift. The heater is on the bottom of the evaporator coils and the defrost thermostat sits on top of the evaporator coils.
  • Defrost Heater
  • This is the last component in the defrost system. This one should be pretty simple. By now if you have read this far you should already know what this does and how important is it. Some defrost heaters are a coil of wire in a glass tube under the evaporator coils. Works like a light bulb basically. The other style looks like the bake element in your stove. They both get red hot either way and melt the frost.
So what happens now? Well the first thing you can do to get the machine running is to remove the rear panel of the freezer. From there you will want to remove all the frost and ice that has built up. Pouring hot water over the coils is the best method. The water will drain out of the freezer through the drain hole in the bottom of the freezer under the evaporator coils.  From there it will evaporate on it own.

Once all the frost is gone, you could put the machine back together and it would work fine. For a few days, until the frost has developed again due to the defrost issue. That would only be a temporary fix.

Hopefully between this article and video you are able to find your problem and repair it. Feel free to post in the comments or visit the Appliance Outlet website to get further information about fixing your defrost problem.  If you have any request for videos or questions with your repair, feel free to ask.  You can reach me on Google+ or on my YouTube Channel  Thanks for taking the time to read and watch this and good luck with your repair.