How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Tim Cooke Your Own Question
Tim Cooke
Tim Cooke,
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 183
Experience:  Owner at Self-employed
106972271
Type Your Appliance Question Here...
Tim Cooke is online now

I wonder if you can advise. I have a zanussi fridge freezer.

This answer was rated:

Hi
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I wonder if you can advise. I have a zanussi fridge freezer. It has been working fine until this week when it defrosted and started blowing hot air. We had a new boiler fitted at the start of the week and the electrician turned everything off from the fuse box and not from the plug. Could this have caused the problem at all?
JA: Do you know the model of your Zanussi fridge?
Customer: ZRB224NW0
JA: How long has this been going on with your Zanussi refrigerator? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Since the middle of the week. We've turned it off for 24 hours and moved the thermostat swtich a couple of times incase it was stuck (advice from a friend), but it didn't make a difference.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: I don't think so, apart from the fact that the electricity was turned off from the fuse box instead of at the plug earlier in the week and we wonder if that might have blown something? Could that have caused any problems?

Hello, how old is the fridge freezer?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
about 7 0r 8 years old
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
prefer to talk using messaging rather than call.

It it making any noise at all when you turn it on?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It sounds as it always has done. Light is on, air blowing, just blowing warm rather than cold. Should we switch it off and on and listen for a sound of any type?
Which of the following most closely characterises the noise?

1. Silent,
2. A gentle trickling.
3. A low hum.
4. A motor running.

Also, is the noise constant, or does it periodically stop and later restart?

And is there a click periodically?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi. It's a low hum, just like it has always sounded. I just turned it off and then back on again and their was a click about 5 seconds after turning it on. I couldn't say if there is a click periodically. We only have a small kitchen so are only in there when we cook and the radio is usually on. I'll keep a listen out though.
Are you able to reach the compressor and carefully place your hand on it? Sometimes it can be very hot, so take care.

Is it hot to the touch?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
We pulled the fridge freezer out yesterday. The compressor was warm to the touch.
Was it on when you touched it? If you’re uncertain I suggest you leave it on for 10 minutes and feel it again.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It had been off for about 5 minutes. We have to unplug it to pull it out. Would you like us to try that again?
If you can feel it fairly soon after turning it off, then yes please.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
hello. We've just pulled it out. The compressor is hot. As I touched it it started the sound changed - an electric sound like when the fridge turns on.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Sorry, that wasn't very well written. We've just pulled it out. The compressor is hot. As I touched it the sound changed - an electric sound like when the fridge turns on.
Hm OK.
Was it still powered when you touched it?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
yes
Don’t turn it off!
You have probably just got lucky. I’ll explain more...
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
okay, we'll leave it plugged in and on. Is there a problem? It's been on all the time apart from when we've needed to pull it out and we turned it off over night last night as we were concerned about the heat it has been blowing out.
Is the noise now different to when you first posted, and is it cooling down inside?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
it;s still blowing warm air in the freezer compartment area. To be honest I can't tell if the sound is different, but the compressor is making a buzzing sound. I'm not sure if it has or hasn't been in the past couple of days - should have taken more notice of this. Sorry.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
We can leave it for an hour or so and see if it cools down?
No need to apologise - you don’t know what you don’t know.

If you ever have to turn off an old fridge or freezer, wait until the compressor stops running. Otherwise, the compressor piston can come to rest in a “stuck” position. A contributory factor can be low pressure in the refrigerant circuit, so although a new compressor can stick, it rarely happens with a new appliance. When stuck, the compressor will just get hot and do no cooling. You have to replace it, or the appliance. It’s an economic decision.

If it cools down, you’ve got three choices:

1. Book an appliance engineer to check and re-pressurise the refrigerant.
2. Start putting money aside for a new fridge freezer.
3. Do nothing and hope for the best.
Tim Cooke and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you so much Tim. I think it might be a new fridge freezer! Its a shame as this one has been great. We are wondering if the problem might have occurred when the electrician that came in the other day to help fit our new boiler turned the electrics off at the fuse box without turning off at the wall. Could that have helped the piston get 'stuck'?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
You have been a great help Tim. We didn't want to go to the expense of buying a new fridge freezer if it wasn't necessary and we prefer to get things fixed if possible (make items last as long as possible). It's the only large appliance we don't have an extended warranty on!

I humbly apologise - I've just noticed that you replied!

In answer to your question, yes. If the electrician (or anyone) turned off the power when the compressor was running, it increases the risk of the piston getting stuck. The same applies if there's a power cut, which is why some people arrive home from being away and find the unmentionable horror of a freezer full of defrosted and inedible "food" :-(

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
No worries at all Tim. You were very helpful and I realise that I replied after we had finished speaking. I guess the electrician would not have known. Just one of those things. Now have a new fridge freezer with a 5 year warranty and 10 years on the compressor. Hopefully it might last a bit longer and, becuase of your advice, I know not to switch electrics off when a compressor is running, or to ask an electrician not to. This fridge freezer is so quiet though I'm not sure we'd know when it is running :-) Thanks again for all your help.
You’re very welcome.

It’s an age-old problem that I think most professional moving contactors know about, but of course plenty of people don’t. It’s not normally an issue with a new appliance.

If you have to turn it off, you can mitigate the risk by turning the temperature control to a high (hotter) setting just before switching off - that should make the compressor stop.
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Brilliant. I'll remember that. Thanks again Tim.

You're welcome :-)