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Refrigerator Repair

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Pugga, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Jul 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM
    #1
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Anyone know how to diagnose and repair a refrigerator? I have one that won't get cold enough. Most of the DIY sites seem to be pretty dumbed down and won't tell you how to actually diagnose and repair a fridge. I check the obviously stuff, coils are clean, it's not iced up and it is plugged in. The coils on the back of the fridge aren't getting warm. The first line is warm and that's it, none of the other coils are getting warm. The fridge is running, all systems running, it actually seems to be running more than it should be. So, any suggestions of what can I check and repair on my own?
     
  2. Jul 27, 2013 at 4:04 PM
    #2
    tostidos

    tostidos Well-Known Member

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    Does it need a freon recharge? I've never done one personally. Also did you just move it around? My dad is always adamant about leaving a fridge sit for 24 hours after moving it. Apparently you can damage the freon system if you power it on after moving it around.
     
  3. Jul 27, 2013 at 4:15 PM
    #3
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    That is true, you can damage them if you ship them incorrectly. This one was moved but was moved on it's side (as recommended by the manufacturer) and was left to side for almost 2 days after it was moved before being plugged in. It was a craigslist find so I don't know the whole history of the fridge. It felt cold when I picked it up but I didn't check it with a thermometer (stupid me, I know).

    As far as a recharge, I have no idea how to tell if it needs one but, if it does, I don't think it's like a car where I can do it myself but I could be wrong about that. I'll research that a bit and see what I come up with.

    The thermostat for both the freezer and fridge are pinned on coldest, the fridge will barely keep food cold enough from going bad, the freezer will not keep things frozen, close but if things are left in there, they will slowly thaw out.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2013 at 4:17 PM
    #4
    tostidos

    tostidos Well-Known Member

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    Maybe try going for a warmer setting then moving it up if it gets cold. Maybe its over working to go straight to the coldest setting? Good luck.
     
  5. Jul 27, 2013 at 4:29 PM
    #5
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I thought about that, but it just seems to warm up when I put it on a warmer setting (backfired). The coldest setting seems to be the only one where it's actually cold enough to support food unfortunately. :(
     
  6. Jul 31, 2013 at 5:11 AM
    #6
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Does anyone know definitively if a modern fridge can be given a recharge?

    Here's why I ask, I called and schedule for a repair person to come and look at the fridge. They told me I could purchase a warranty and coverage plan for $250 which would cover the repair up to $500, if it goes over $500, they'll hand me a check for $500 so I can go buy another fridge. I'm pretty sure the refrigerant is low based on some DIY diagnosing and I've read conflicting information as to whether or not they can be recharged. If they can not be recharged, I'll buy the plan and hope they'll call it unrepairable so I can at least get some money towards a new one. If they can be recharged, I'll have him recharge it and just pay the bill because I'm sure it'll be less than the plan.
     
  7. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:27 AM
    #7
    TailDrag

    TailDrag Well-Known Member

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    It was left on its side for 2 days? Why does the manu suggest moving on it's side?

    My bet is the compressor is damaged.
     
  8. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:29 AM
    #8
    TailDrag

    TailDrag Well-Known Member

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    Curious if you left it on its side for 2 days and then plugged it in, as your post hints at. Or if you meant to say it was stood up for 2 days before being plugged in.
     
  9. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:33 AM
    #9
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I moved it on it's side, brought it in the house right away, then let it sit upright for 2 days prior to plugging it in. It was only on it's side for about an hour during transport.

    I suspect that the issues were there before I transported it. I'm pretty sure the previous owner either didn't know what the issue was or I got screwed. I didn't notice until I got it home that the thermostats were both pegged at the 'max cold' setting so I'm guessing they experienced the same issue of it not getting cold enough.
     
  10. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:39 AM
    #10
    TailDrag

    TailDrag Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. I hoped it stood upright for 2 days and not the other way! If you lower the thermostat does the compressor kick on, or only when the thermostat is at the max setting?
     
  11. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:48 AM
    #11
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    With the thermostat at the max cold setting, everything is running including the compressor. The reason I think the refrigerant is low is only the first run of coil heats up, the rest stay at room temperature. I don't believe the compressor has enough fluid to push it around all the coils to dissipate enough heat to create cooling.

    If I lower the thermostat (put it back to the 'normal' setting), the compressor does remain running which led me to believe it's not a thermostat issue.
     
  12. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:55 AM
    #12
    TailDrag

    TailDrag Well-Known Member

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    Perfect that's what I was trying to single out.

    Do you see any refrigerant lines where it can be refilled? should be under a cap with a threaded end.
     
  13. Jul 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM
    #13
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    No, no noticable fill port. I keep reading that they're 'sealed systems' and further describe that once they get sealed at the factory, they can not be unsealed or refilled. I'm not sure if that's accurate or not though, or if a 'qualified' repair person could, in fact, recharge the system if needed. As a home owner, I know I can't recharge it without jerry-rigging some auto refill kit with a bunch of fittings to make it fit to a piercing valve (not keen on the piercing valve idea).
     
  14. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:08 AM
    #14
    TailDrag

    TailDrag Well-Known Member

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    My experience is limited to commercial ice machines but without proper refrigerant ports I would assume yours isn't meant to be serviced. I guess the easy way to debunk that is to see if the compressor or the refrigerator has a spec plate or sticker saying "refill only with..."

    If it isn't a serviceable system, I'd shitcan it.
     
  15. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:16 AM
    #15
    Pugga

    Pugga [OP] Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    That's precisely what I'm trying to figure out. At face value, it does not appear to be a servicable system. I'm actually taking a gamble at the moment that it's not. I paid $125 for it, then $250 for an extended warranty. The warranty covers the diagnosis and any repairs within a year that are up to $500 per occurance. If it goes over $500, they consider it unrepairable and give me a credit of $500 to go buy a new fridge. So if they can't recharge it, it'll be considered unrepairable since the compressor assembly is in the $7-800 range installed (I checked this already). It would suck to have to buy another fridge, but at least I'd recoup my money that I already sunk into it.

    That being said, I can cancel this warranty and get a full refund any time before the service tech actually comes (which is next Saturday). So if I find out that the fridge can be recharged, I'll cancel the warranty, get the $250 back and pay out of pocket for the recharge since that shouldn't be terribly expensive.

    Therein lies the dilema... I'm trying to get out of this mess as in-expensive as possible with a working fridge. I don't care if it's brand new or this one gets fixed, I just need my food cold and an ice box that actually freezes! :cool:
     
  16. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:34 AM
    #16
    ndcmack

    ndcmack Well-Known Member

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    Not enough

    All fridges can be recharged. I'd keep the warranty though, you will easily spend $250 anyway, plus your fridge will have a 1 year warranty after repair for the $250 you already dropped. Average labor will be close to $200 alone.
     
  17. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM
    #17
    Fiolo

    Fiolo Senior member

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    I trying to fix my refrigerator a while ago too, something with the ice maker is wrong
     
  18. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:38 AM
    #18
    TailDrag

    TailDrag Well-Known Member

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    What's it doing? Or not doing?
     
  19. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:41 AM
    #19
    Fiolo

    Fiolo Senior member

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    I think the water valve needs to be replaced, sry to thread jack op :quickdraw:
     
  20. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM
    #20
    ndcmack

    ndcmack Well-Known Member

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    Not enough
    Make sure the fridge isn't more then 10yrs old or they will cancel the warranty upon arrival for repair.
     
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