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Dales-Electronic, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1466
Experience:  I am a Home Appliance / Refrigeration Technician of 25yrs+ with my own business and for multi-brand national companies.
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I have a Hotpoint Fridge Freezer-Model FFA71, probably 10

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I have a Hotpoint Fridge Freezer-Model FFA71, probably 10 years old and having worked perfectly. Unfortunately, the cover plan was discontinued recently! The Red High Temperature warning light for freezer has now been "on" intermittently and the freezer has now started to defrost. The freezer has never been overloaded and there has not been any power cut. The fridge appears to be ok. I have now emptied freezer of it's contents. Is there any advice available or any "quick fix"? John xxxxxxxx,  xxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx

George-Allsorts :

Hello, my name is***** be patient whilst awaiting responses, I'm not constantly available.

Can you see any ice on the back wall of the freezer?

JACUSTOMER-pd8bx1br- :

There is no ice on back wall

George-Allsorts :

Switch off and allow the freezer to continue to defrost for the next 24hrs then switch the appliance back on again... When you switch it on, let me know how long it takes to get to temperature in the freezer again

JACUSTOMER-pd8bx1br- :

This will also mean fridge out of use.......but if that's your recommendation I can go ahead.

George-Allsorts, Senior Appliance Technicial Manager
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1448
Experience: A whitegoods technician with 30+ years service in Domestic Appliance Service & Repair, and General Mechanical & Electrical Repair
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Carried out your recommendation.

This has not worked....freezer now not operating at all, but fridge section

appears to be ok.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I am a college of George ~ there are 15 different versions of this model so could you just check for me the product number which can be found on the rating plate on the inside of the appliance. It should start with 00 or 03. Once I have this I can give you more advice ~ the issue here is that the Indesit company bought out Hotpoint during the product run of this model and completely revamped it with new electronics etc so this product number is ***** ~ many thanks ~ Ian

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The rating plate has the following:-

IND CODE 76###-##-####S/N ********* Model FFA71P

Thanks John

OK John, give me a few mins and I will have a look at the diagrams and come back to you ~ let me explain how the unit works, the motor at the back pumps refrigerant around the system feeding it to both the fridge & freezer. The gas flow is controlled by a three way valve at the rear bolted to the base. It is this three way valve that directs the gas to either the fridge or freezer and this in turn is controlled by the pcb at the front top and associated fans and sensors. In the first instant you will need to find out if the problem is with the valve at the back or with the pcb ~ how handy are you with electrical test equipment?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Ian for taking time to assess the problem and suggesting a possible cause. I'm ok with most DIY but el. test equip. probably not!

I reckon that as the appliance is 10 years old and that I discontinued

the service aggreement recently, a lesson has been learnt.

As I have already paid £20 for this service, I will probably consider a

new purchase.

Many thanks,


Hi John,

Well don't give up just yet, I have moved you across to a q&a session so that you don't have to pay any extra towards the fault chasing. If you decide to continue take all the freezer draws out tell me if the fan is spinning or if not if you can see ice through the fan grill area, then come back to me. If you decide to stop at this point would you kindly rate my service to you ~ you will not be expected to pay any further monies irrespective of if we continue or not but it allows us engineers to close down the job on the active system ~ I am here to help if you wish to go further ~ Ian

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks again Ian,

With freezer drawers out, the fan is not visible and there is no sign of ice.

The fridge above is now "icing up" on the back wall!

There is also a removable panel behind freezer drawers which may show

the fan. Maybe I should remove it?


OK two things, first carefully remove the back panel in the freezer watch out for wires at the other side this will then allow you to see the finned cooling area (evaporator) let me know if there is excessive ice there. Secondly, can you tell me what refrigerant the unit is operating on, it will either be on the rating label inside or on the motor (compressor) at the back ~ it will be either R134a or R600a let me know which please. Also put your hand on the motor and tell me if it is hot or just mildly warm.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am unable to remove panel as securing screws are not Philips x-head.

Refrigerant is R600a.

The motor (black cylinder?) is hot......I got access to rear of appliance.


OK John,

I can give you an overview now you have given me this further information. It will be slightly in depth but I am sure you will get the idea. The electronic system works using electronic sensors (instead of electro mechanical thermostats) as mentioned above these feed information back to the pcb which in turn switches valves, motors fans etc on as required. From what You have told me the symptoms are a classic for a shortage of refrigerant or a faulty motor. What is happening is that because there is a shortage of refrigerant being pushed around (this can be either a faulty motor only working at 60% efficiency or only 60% of the required refrigerant being in the system) the appliance is unable to get down to the required temperatue of -20 ish in the freezer and +2ish in the fridge. The result of this is that the appliance runs constantly but never manages to reach this set temperature. Over time not only cant the motor cool inside but it starts to overheat outside too. What you need to do now John is either get a fridge engineer in to have a look and if necessary recharge the unit with refrigerant or tell you that the motor is duff OR cut your loses and buy a new appliance. If you decide to get an engineer in I can recommend a good company from Kilmarnock which is close to you. Im sorry that we have been unable to complete this repair together but hope that you are happy with my advice and will rate me accordingly. You are most welcome to come back at any time and ask further questions and as we are in q&a mode this will not cost you further. Its

been a pleasure trying to fix this your appliance, I always enjoy chatting to people that are prepared to 'have a go' Kind regards ~ Ian
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Ian,

Many thanks for your thoughts on this and the offer of a recommended

engineer, but I'll probably cut my losses and go for a replacement as I

suppose these units only have a certain shelf life.

Best regards,


OK John ~ can you just rate my service now so that I can shut this job down on the system otherwise it will plague us both with emails. Have a great evening ~ Ian
Dales-Electronic, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1466
Experience: I am a Home Appliance / Refrigeration Technician of 25yrs+ with my own business and for multi-brand national companies.
Dales-Electronic and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Hi John,

Just a note to say thanks for having the payment changed over to Ian and rating him as you have done..

To explain... I asked Ian to take over after I had requested you to do the initial procedure as I lost the ability to use my keyboard on my laptop...

I hope the change-over didn't confuse matters too much.

with kind regards