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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Plumber
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 2823
Experience:  Plumber
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I have a free standing frost free fridge freezer. The freezer

Resolved Question:

I have a free standing frost free fridge freezer. The freezer high temperature warning light was going on and off at least once a day so I thought it would be a good idea to 'defrost' the appliance. I switched it off yesterday at 14:30 cleaned it out and then switched it back on at 21:30. I stocked the fridge compartment with goods that could go bad if left out but left the freezer completely empty, got up this morning all seemed to be ok so I put the empty baskets back into the freezer and within two hours the warning light is back on. Please help me to understand what is going on or if the thing is Knackered!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.

canuck the pro :

Hi, my name is ***** ***** I have been in the home improvement and repair field for 20 years. I will be very glad to help you today. When you defrosted it did you leave the doors open also?

Customer:

Freezer door wide open fridge closed.

canuck the pro :

Is there any frost build-up inside either? Did the defrost light come on? Is there any ice build-up on the evaporator?

Customer:

No frost build up but there was ice on the bottom 'floor' of the freezer. Defrost Alert light did not come on. Didn't see any ice build up anywhere, not sure what the evaporator is.

canuck the pro :

It is behind the vent where the cool air comes out. Is there any ice around that vent? Is there any ice on the back wall?

Customer:

Couldn't see any ice anywhere as previously stated, definitely not on wall or on visible parts of the appliance.

canuck the pro :

If you inspect the back on the coils, is there any oily substance on any parts of the coils?

canuck the pro :

Are any items in the freezer in front or near the vent?

Customer:

Didn't notice any oily substance but to be honest wasn't looking for this all I could see was the build up of dust you normally find when you pull an appliance out from where it has been situated for quite a period of time. When the dust was cleaned didn't feel anything on my hands as I suspect I would have now looking back. There is only the baskets in the freezer at the moment no food, the appliance hasn't been altered so they are situated where they were placed by the manufacturer so shouldn't interfere with the operation of the freezer.

canuck the pro :

So even with the freezer empty the light still comes on?

Customer:

Yes.

canuck the pro :

If there is not any oily substance on any of the coils ( it would require a deliberate inspection to determine if there is since there would only be a very small amount ) the issue may be that the evaporator is iced up beyond what the heater can melt off. When defrosting it is recommended that the freezer and fridge door be left open and power removed for at least 24 hrs. Hopefully the issue is that the defrosting was not complete. If the compressor in the back is getting really hot and you find any oily substance on the coils then the coolant is slowly leaking out and there really is not an economic repair for that. Also inspect the door seal which I am more doubtful is the issue but is possible. If the door seal is not seeming to seal well then replace it since you have some ice in the bottom.

Customer:

Compressor is quite hot (I have a reasonable tolerance to heat but I can only hold my hand on for a few minutes before it becomes uncomfortable) but there is definitely no oil on any of the connected parts leading to or from the compressor. I guess the next course of action is to switch the freezer off and leave it off until tomorrow and then retry, if this isn't successful how do I get back to you to update you with the information for a definitive answer?

canuck the pro :

If the compressor is really hot that is not good news. Do you have a multi-meter and do you know how to use it?

Customer:

I know how to use a multi meter but don't have one at home.

canuck the pro :

Well, the defrosting may help. I hope that is all it will take but I fear it may be a bit more serious. There is most likely an issue with the start relay or the compressor itself is bad. I think it is most likely a bad compressor. First unplug the refrigerator and remove the start relay off of the side of the compressor. Go to the single pin on the compressor and check to one of the pins that are side by side on the compressor. The run winding will read 1-5 ohms resistance. Then stay on the single pin and go to the other pin. The start winding will read 3-11 ohms resistance. If your readings are out of these ranges, then you have a bad compressor. If they are within these ranges, then you have a bad relay overload.

Customer:

Even if I had a multi meter with me I would still struggle to follow your instructions as I don't know a start relay from a run winding or a start winding. I will try the 24 hour defrost but if this doesn't work then is there some way I can save all this chat (especially the instructions for testing) and come back to it and then come back to you with the results for you to update your response?

canuck the pro :

Sure. The chat will stay here and you can access it whenever you like.

Customer:

Ok I will save and exit the session and come back to you around this time tomorrow.

canuck the pro :

Very good.

Customer:

Hi Mike, I have restarted the appliance and all looks ok. The fridge section took quite a bit of time to reach optimum temperature but the freezer part seemed fine in around six hours. The compressor is hot when the appliance is running but cooler when 'idling' so I am hoping all is ok now, thanks for your help.

canuck the pro :

That is great! You are very welcome. I'm very glad to help.

canuck the pro, Plumber
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 2823
Experience: Plumber
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