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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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We have a virtually new Hotpoint FA52 fridge freezer. Whilst

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We have a virtually new Hotpoint FA52 fridge freezer. Whilst it appears to be working correctly in that the fridge and freezer are cold, it make a strange 'straining' noise when the compressor is running. Is this normal?
Hello My name is Ian ~ I am not on the site constantly so please be patient whilst waiting for responses to you queries ~ yes, modern refrigerators use only 30% of the refrigerant of the older ones which means that the sound dampening is less so you tend to hear more creaking and groaning that you used to, you will also hear more popping and cracking than previously noticed. Its all quite normal but somewhat disconcerting until you get used to it. Would you now kindly rate my serviced to you using the smiley faces below once done you can ask further questions on a foc basis. Thanks for your question and have a good Sunday ~ Ian
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ian, thanks for your answer, but the noise I am hearing is like an electric motor beginning to start up and stopping after about 3 seconds. then, a couple of seconds later, it will do it again. I described it as straining because it does sound like an old air fan we used to have that started very slowly and gradually wound up to full speed. An alternative comparison would be as though there was air in the pipes and a pump was trying to begin pumping against a blockage. I know this sounds weird, but I bought it from a supplier who does not have an engineer in my area and Hotpoint don't have one either, so I just want to be sure.

OK can you get around the back of it? -- can you also confirm the full model number of the appliance the hotpoint data base does not have a fa52 it has ffa52 or rfa52 could you confirm which yours is please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

RFAA 52 K it says on the serial number label

I men, if you think it is okay then I am happy with that - I have not bought a fridge freezer for over 10 years so I am sure they are different now! Its just noisier than the old one I guess

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

did you want me to do something at the back of it or just check the model number?

As I said, it appears to be working, its cold in fridge and freezer. I guess I am hoping you are going to tell me the noises are normal, but I would rather be safe than sorry so if you think it has a problem I will have to try and get an engineer out.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have just come home from work and went to listen to it. It has only been running for about 10 days in total, and in that time 2 days ago I switched it off and left it 24 hours before restarting. Now, having just managed to catch it when the compressor was running it does not seem to be so constant as far as the straining noise goes. I did record it for 1 minute with my mobile phone and it does the noise after 6 and then 16 seconds and again later. It sounds louder in real life than in the video but if you can tell me how to send the mp4 file to you, you will get a better idea of the noise.

If you could get around the back for me and put your hand on the motor and tell me if it is hot or not I just want to confirm that the motor is running correctly and not overheating ~ Ian

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

by motor, you mean the big round bit that I always thought was called a compressor?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

not it is warm, but not hot

It is called a compressor but generally if I mention a compressor people have no idea what I am talking about. OK if the compressor is only warm then all would seem to be in order, when it comes on does it stay on for a number of minutes and then turn off as normal?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, just 3 or 4 minutes and then switches off for some time. Do I take it then that the weird noises are quite normal?

Yes the reason that I asked is that there is a thermal cut-out in the compressor that does exactly as you mention ie it allows the motor to run for about 3 seconds and then shuts it down if there is a fault. However, if the compressor is only warm and the system is working then it wont be this - sounds like you have no issues only a new noise to contend with ~ Ian
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for all your help, you have put my mind at rest. You have also saved me a long drawn out situation with Currys, Hotpoint and trading standards!

My pleasure, would you now kindly rate my service using the smiley faces below, this allows me to close down the job on the system but lets you ask any further question (if required) later on a free of charge basis. Just ping me on here and the call will be directed my way. Many thanks for the question and enjoy your evening ~ Ian

Amended ~ many thanks for the rating. Ping me if you need further advice.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have been thinking about your last technical reply and realised that I missed an important piece of information to you. That is, that all the time it is making noises, the compressor is working normally. It is not cutting out, and it runs for quite a few minutes seemingly quite happily. It was just that the noises only happned when the compressor was actually running. Sorry if I did not make that clear and that it would have saved time in your diagnosis! I assume your conclusions are the same with this new piece of information in that I just have a noisy fridge freezer. My wife reminded me that our previous fridge freezer was over 15 years old so I suspect as you stated was filled with more coolant as per your first reply. I also googled the situation and a number of people including Hotpoint seem to indicate that when new, it will make more noises that will get less over time. Thanks again for all your help, and if I do not hear from you I will assume that you have no further concerns and that I should conclude all is well.

best wishes,

Aaron Foord

I agree to an extent that the noise will generally reduce but the system in use is much noisier than its predecessor and in my opinion not as reliable or durable as the earlier CFC models which lasted for much longer than their current equivalents. Its how you define progress I guess Aaron. If you have more questions later or in a couple of weeks by all means come back on using this question as the reference. Take care and best regards ***** *****