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BLACKJACK

Refrigerator problem???

Question

BLACKJACK

Our frig is about 10-11 years old, frig on top, freezer underneath, now the freezer won't freeze. The frig still works, the freezer is cold, but it won't get cold enough to freeze. Emptied it out, checked the air vents, vacumned the coils, still no workee.

Does this automatically mean a new frig or is it worth getting a repair man out? Is it possible that it needs a freon recharge?

On a related subject of new frigs, when you read about energy savings, they always talk about the fact that if your frig is over 10 years old, you should get a new one, that the new ones are so much more efficient. Is that necessarily true? They've been saying that forever, 'that the new ones are so much more efficient'. How can they keep making frigs more effiecient, but not cars and trucks?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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UMDSportsman

I believe that the new ones do get more and more efficient, how much, i could't tell you. But, i beleve that as a unit gets older it is not as efficient as it was when it was new. Things wear out, scale builds up on heat transfer surfaces, refrigerant leaks, breakdown of insulation, motors and compressors wear out. Areas where i'm sure improvements have been made: electric motor efficiency, compressor efficiency, control systems....

On the cars and trucks note, there are a lot of pollution control features that have been added that i'm sure impede the fuel milage increases. Plus they make what the consumer wants (to a point), if you want more power, you get more power, and less fuel milage. Body designs are not always made to be more aerodynamic, they are made to look nice too.

sorry i didn't answer your initial question, i know the theory about how everything works, but don't have much experience fixing them.

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sparcebag

I believe the efficiency ratings are for electric consumption.You'll save 15-25 dollars a year on electric.

I dont think theres such a thing as a bid to repair your fridge well there is however you'll pay a onsite call to get a repair cost.

I'd check out what the onsite charge is,if its within your range Get a repair bid,But remember thats most times a guestimate not estimate! I'm sure you heard of someone sayin they told me 200.00 and charged 600.00.A new fridge could cost 1000.00 or 3000.00 depending what ya want.

If it were me (which last spring it was with a garage fridge)It went to the dump 25 bucks and I got lucky and picked up a freebie.If it were in my house I'd be pricing new ones.

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Tom7227

Try unplugging it and letting it thaw out for 5-6 hours or overnight if you can. Then give it another try. I did this once with the one at work and it perked back up. IT was some sort of timer that had gotten stuck or something and just seemed to need a rest.

On the repair - I think they charge portal to portal time so if you get someone from far away it could get costly. Call around and ask what they'll charge for a repair call. It sort of depends on what you paid for it to begin with - if it's a $300 low end rig just take it out and shoot it, if it's a high end unit then maybe it's worth having someone take a peek at it.

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BarryG

I had a side x side that was 5/6 yrs old and it quit cooling, my nephews boss works on fridges on the side and came out and looked at it...it was DEAD! He said they are only made to last 5/6 yrs anymore and he always goes to the scratch & dent store to buy a new one because they all have the same compressors no matter how much you spend for one! He said his wife always wants the top of the line, and that's when the fight starts!!!! He Won't buy one for full price! I went to the scratch & dent Sears and got a 20cft for $400, when I see a side x side at the S & D store cheap enough I'll buy one!

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bearslayer

Could be a couple different things. Check to make sure fan by compresser is running and the coils are clean. If that stuff is fine, pull the back out of freezer and check to see if the aluminum coil has frost across the entire thing. If it's low on charge, usually there is a ball of ice where it starts. Then it's not worth fixing. You can get it charged, but it will leak back out unless you're able to find leak, which is usually difficult. I'm guesssing it's an Amana refridge if it's a bottom freezer, they are the most common. If that's the case, don't waste a lot of $ on itm they're not worth it. Hope this helps

Also, it's not in the garage by chance is it? If so, mosy newer fridge's won't work in garage unless they are heated above about 55 consistently

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BLACKJACK

Nope its in my kitchen. The wife has a repairman coming out this afternoon, we'll find out if its fixable. I'm sure just the service call alone will cost $75-100 but if it saves us from spending $1000 on a new one....

I really like the frig on top, freezer down below kind, 95% of the time you're going into the frig, why bend over all the time?? Wish more people would realize that and buy them so the price would come down.

Still wondering about the increased efficiency of a new frig, is it really cost effective to replace it every 10 years to save $3 a month on electricity??? My deep freezer is 20 years old, should I look into replacing it?

I'll let you know what we found out from the repair guy.

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sparcebag

bearslayer I like your post,I heard recently in some appliance write ups that most all reefers & freezers leak now days, very slowly but they all do.I know with a recharge they will always leak but new?

Have you heard that?

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ikatcher

most refers never leak freon, some brands are worse then others (fridgedaire's are bad), the new refers are way more effient because they have electronics operating them, most of the motors run on dc current. your problem if its not the motor that cools the compressor is probably low freon or the comp is bad. both spendy fixes. usually service charges a trip charge and once the problem is found you are given an est to repair if you dont want it fixed you are asked to pay just the trip charge. newer refers can have more issues because of all the bells and whistles on them. also if you go to a scratch and dent store be careful they may have issues and were returned and you may end up with problems with it once you get it home.

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bearslayer

Thanks Sparcebag, but ikatcher already answered it for me. It's a lot more common the pump goes bad than a unit having a leak. Like he mentioned, the new ones are more efficient with all the fancy controls, but they also break more and don't last as long. IMO, the cheap appliances have about the same lifespan as the expensive ones, just don't cost as much new and cost less to fix. But, nothing is made to last very long anymore. Most of the time, 10yrs is pushing it on the life of any appliance. It's sad, because alot of people have 15+yr old appliances that work fine, but they want the new fancy ones. Then the new ones are broke more often and they threw away perfectly good appliances.

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BLACKJACK

Had the repairman out, turns out it WAS leaking freon out of the evaporator, gave it a recharge which will keep it running until he can get the new evaporator in - to the tune of $408, plus the cost of the intial service call. We'll see whether this pays off or whether we should have bought a new frig to the tune of $1000+, only time will tell.

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bearslayer

Blackjack,

Is that $408 for part, or does that include labor? Plus what you paid for the service call. So you will be over $500 total. What kind of ref. is it? I would really hesitate to put that much $ into one that old. You'd be better off eating the service call and putting the $408 towards a new fridge. I do appliance repair, and if I run into something like this, I usually will not even charge the service call and tell them to put the $ towards a new one. Not worth it. You have to think what happens if something else breaks on it in the near future. Then you may be at almost the full price of a new one. Sorry for the negative opinion, but I'm only trying to steer you in the direction that most benefit you in the long run.

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pinkfloyd4ever

ya, I'd go for the upgrade too

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ikatcher

i'm with bear, once a refer leaks it could get contaminated with moisture especially one that was leaking in the evaporator. the compressor may end up needing to be replaced because of it. i repair them too and if mine was leaking (and i can do it for the cost of the part) i wouldn't fix it. sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and save yourself the headache. good luck!

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