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Refrigerator FIX 101

Old 09-07-2015, 07:04 AM
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Default Refrigerator FIX 101

I replaced a refer at a tenant's apt and now have a 20 foot refer that looks good, but refer reaches 54 and freezer 25. I'd be willing to try to get it working better, and can then donate it to a charity that distributes food to people.

Is there a simple way to check the thermostat (or else?) in order to learn whether it's fixable or not?
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:18 AM
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The problem may be that the defrost timer is stuck on the defrost cycle. Can you find the wires to the defrost heater and disconnect to test that?

If the compressor runs continuously, the thermostat is probably OK. Problem is either the defrost timer or loss of refrigerant.

I'd hook up an AC current monitor and watch the current demand vs. time for 12 hours. You can see when the compressor and defrost heater go on and off.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:33 AM
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The compressor doesn't run constantly. Seems that it stops pre-maturely, so what tells the compressor to turn ON and OFF? What's the gizmo look like, and if I remove the freezer compartment panel, will that show me the thing, or would it be in the refer compartment?
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
Problem is either the defrost timer or loss of refrigerant.

.
Can I disconnect the defrost timer in order to determine how low the temp can go?

What's it going to look like?
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:21 AM
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Did you check the coils under the fridge? They get cruded up with lint and pet hair and cooling suffers. Pull off the front grill and vacuum it out.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:38 AM
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Also unplug it for a few days then try it again. I have seen the fan in the freezer freeze up with ice and it has done just what you describe.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Riding High View Post
Did you check the coils under the fridge? They get cruded up with lint and pet hair and cooling suffers. Pull off the front grill and vacuum it out.
Good idea. I transport them on my trailer lying down, so while they're on the side, it's easy to get the dust out of the coils. After that, hose it out and stand it up for a day before plugging it in.

Lack of cooling is why I replaced it, so we know that whatever is happening is a constant.

No ice at all on the coils after running for 24 hours.

In the photos, is the timer that black box? Does disconnecting it allow the refer to run and test the coolant charge?
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:07 AM
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In the second photo down, what's wrapped in black tape?
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Can I disconnect the defrost timer in order to determine how low the temp can go?

What's it going to look like?
This link has some directions for testing a defrost timer. Hardest part may be locating it. That black part in your photo isn't the timer.
http://www.partselect.com/Refrigerat...mer+repair.htm

I recommend looking on-line for an electrical diagram for your reefer, or else pull the kick panel and look for a wiring diagram there or attached to the back. Appliances almost always came with a wiring diagram stuck to them somewhere. The diagram sometimes also tells you where the parts are located.

Good luck!
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:36 AM
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I just saw that the compressor is cycling on and off. The thermostat for certain controls that. Most reefers I know, if the defrost timer is in defrost mode, the timer shuts the compressor and circulating fan off. If your compressor and fan are running, probably not the defrost timer causing the problem.

Last edited by yarcraft91; 09-07-2015 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:46 AM
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I'll check for the schematic, and in the meantime I'll connect it back up and note whether the fan is blowing in the freezer compartment.

Any idea what that black box is? (I haven't clicked the link yet)
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
I'll check for the schematic, and in the meantime I'll connect it back up and note whether the fan is blowing in the freezer compartment.

Any idea what that black box is? (I haven't clicked the link yet)
No, sorry, I don't recognize it. With only two leads, it might be a fuse, but that's just a guess. The schematic might give you the answer.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:59 PM
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I've got a 19 y/o Amana that has just started doing the same thing. (freezer 20; fridge 40). Found a website http://www.fixyourboard.com/boards.html and their blog http://blog.applianceboards.com/trou...bi-srd-series/ which has helpful troubleshooting tips, and schematics. You can probably find something there to help you get going.

Since our problem fridge is old, and we have a newer overflo fridge in thegarage, I think I'll be shopping for new. Trouble with that is that from so many owner's reviews I've been reading, seems like none of the new ones can be trusted. Looks like a crap shoot whether you get a good one, no matter the brand. I was just told by a local appliance repair shop owner, that no new refrigerators sold today, are expected to last for more than 6 or 7 years. That is discouraging.
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:36 PM
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Thanks to yarcraft's link, I learned what the timer looks like, and thanks to the schematic that I found, it was in the refrigerator compartment. tested it and seems it was dead....but if it was dead, maybe it was running all the time? Otherwise, seems that the freezer would just get too cold.

No matter, it's a crap shoot and, for about $9, I have a new defrost timer coming.

For being only 4 years old, it shouldn't be going to the landfill yet.
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:56 PM
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Good luck, Rick. Yes, 4 years is too soon to throw away a refrigerator.
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:03 PM
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Your compressor has two copper tubes, small one, hot while running, larger diameter cool to cold while running, If not, low or no charge maybe comp not pumping.

Where the wires go into the comp the is a temp sensitive overload. If that clicks when comp shuts off, it is overheating.


Where that black tape is, where the cap tube goes into the evaporator tubing, that should be the coldest part of system. If not, comp is not pumping, or low- no charge.

Last edited by hevysrf; 09-07-2015 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:43 PM
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FYI, for those that don't know, the cap tube" is the refrigerant metering device.

The "black box" is (I think) a temperature sensor that might turn on the defrost.

BTW, I have never worked on a refer (frig) in my life, so I'm guessing.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by davedowneast View Post
FYI, for those that don't know, the cap tube" is the refrigerant metering device.

The "black box" is (I think) a temperature sensor that might turn on the defrost.

BTW, I have never worked on a refer (frig) in my life, so I'm guessing.
I agree looks like the black box is temp sensor that initiates defrost. Looks like it ran in series, once the temp drops low enough it closes and sends power to the heater at the bottom of the coil and drain pan. Just assuming though I'm not a refer guy either
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:55 PM
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OK, I ordered a defrost thingy, but in the meantime, what would happen if I just SWAG'd it and hooked the fridge up without re-installing the defrost controller?

Small nothing, small explosion, end of mankind, super cold refer??
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel_Tight View Post
I agree looks like the black box is temp sensor that initiates defrost. Looks like it ran in series, once the temp drops low enough it closes and sends power to the heater at the bottom of the coil and drain pan. Just assuming though I'm not a refer guy either
It's wired in series with the defrost heater, it ends defrost when coil temp rises too high.


OK, I ordered a defrost thingy, but in the meantime, what would happen if I just SWAG'd it and hooked the fridge up without re-installing the defrost controller?

Small nothing, small explosion, end of mankind, super cold refer??

Defrost timer only initiates defrost a couple of times a day (every 4 to 6 hour). If you're not getting cold enough by then, no charge or compressor not pumping( valves worn, rod broke).
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