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Debugging a Refrigerator


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raymac46

So I have this nine year old Maytag fridge - one of the last of the real Maytags before Whirlpool assimilated them. Of course a Maytag back then was really a thinly disguised Amana - but I digress.

Lately this machine has been giving out the occasional BUZZZZZ-CLICK graunching noise, so my wife insisted we get a repair guy in. Where I live most of the appliance guys fix stoves, washers, driers...not fridges. So I had to call Whirlpool to get the right person.

The fridge repairman thought it was one of two things:

  1. Bad start relay - easy fix, inexpensive repair.
  2. Compressor failing - bad news, too expensive to fix, buy new.

We tried the relay repair and it seems to help but I still get the occasional graunch. The thing is the fridge has never failed - it still is as cool inside as it was when new.

 

Most of what I see on the Internet deals with the fridge breaking down and not cooling. Right now I have one of those intermittent faults like a Maytag BSOD and don't know why.

I'm going to leave this one up to my wife - wanna run it it till it breaks or go shopping for a new fridge now? I think I'd prefer the latter but it's up to her. I don't see more troubleshooting and replacing a bunch more parts to be very effective.

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Well I finally convinced my wife that it's best to plan ahead and get a new fridge. What I'm convinced is happening is that occasionally the compressor starts OK and then on other occasions it doesn't

Well I agree French Doors are a bit different on a refrigerator than the ones going into the dining room or out onto the patio. However that's what the fridge makers call them on that style of unit.

So I have this nine year old Maytag fridge - one of the last of the real Maytags before Whirlpool assimilated them. Of course a Maytag back then was really a thinly disguised Amana - but I digress. L

securitybreach

I would run it till it dies unless you have the money to spend on a new one. If I had the money, I would get one of those neat touchscreen, internet connected, smart refrigerators.

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What I'd do...

1. Get a new one for perishables.

 

2. Move the old one to the basement, or other out of the way location, and use it as a beverage cooler, and for stuff that you prefer cool, but not perishable). The freezer compartment can make or store ice. ..... Or just leave it off as a back-up.


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Edited by Pete!
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Get another. Our appliance repair guy, who is very good, told me when our old fridge died (just out of warranty) that they are built to last about 10 years. Replacing parts on something that is built to last just 1 more year isn't cost effective.

He tells us if something is worth fixing or not. I just had him here for the washing machine.

 

Use it as a spare until it dies unless they cart it away free now but if you keep it, you use more electric then will have to pay to have it hauled away.

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lol, friend had a fridge in his garage that was made in 1950 or so. he lent it to another friend whose house perished in katrina. that fridge would still be running to this day were it not for that.

 

i agree with what folks have posted - run it till it drops. no reason to do otherwise. repair out of question, that would be good money after bad.

if you just wanna spend money, indeed put the old one in the garage & get a shiny new one. but no need to, methinks.

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Guest LilBambi

What I'd do...

1. Get a new one for perishables.

 

2. Move the old one to the basement, or other out of the way location, and use it as a beverage cooler, and for stuff that you prefer cool, but not perishable). The freezer compartment can make or store ice. ..... Or just leave it off as a back-up.


     

 

Ditto!

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V.T. Eric Layton

Ray, does that fridge have an icemaker? The noise you're describing sounds like a water input relay for the icemaker. They often make a click/growling noise as they're activated, particularly an older, worn one. This is a cheap repair (less than $30 for the part - you do the labor) here in the States. I don't know about up there. There are a bazillion websites online that will walk you step by step on how to replace that relay. It's usually easily accessible on most machines.

 

If no icemaker... nevermind. :whistling:

Edited by V.T. Eric Layton
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raymac46

No icemaker unfortunately. It might have something to do with the defrost control, but frankly I don't want to spend more money to troubleshoot. In Ontario they'll take away your old fridge for free as an energy saving initiative.

I really think the repair guy is right. Sometimes the compressor starts up smooth as silk and other times buzz-click. Maybe when the compressor is cool and the refrigerant has had a chance to stabilize it's easier to start up. That to me indicates a failing compressor.

We do have the cash for a new one - if my wife is in the mood to spend it.

 

This is what we need.

http://www.homedepot...b1957dee/874022

Has to be that size to fit in the kitchen.

Edited by raymac46
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raymac46

The US model is a little different. It has a swinging door for the freezer instead of a pull out drawer. It also has an ice maker which might reduce the volume a bit..

The Canadian model is exactly the same as the one we have except our old one has plastic handles and the new one has stainless steel. Probably easier to just fit one set of handles whether you have white, black or stainless finish.

Edited by raymac46
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raymac46

If I had the money, this is the one I would get: https://www.samsung..../RF4289HARS/XAA

 

RF4289HBRS_001_front_silver_AP_icon_changed_6.jpgfr_apps1.jpg

 

Of course if I had the money, I would have some groceries in mine.... B)

 

Very nice. Can you get a case for it? :bounce:

 

Way too big to fit in our space unfortunately. Samsung does make a smaller model that would fit but it doesn't have a touchscreen.

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Guest LilBambi

Personally, an iPad or a Nexus Tablet attached to a Fridge photo frame would be so much better. If it dies, buy another one, instead of having to pay a fortune to replace it in the Fridge.

 

But it does look very cool!

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raymac46

Well I finally convinced my wife that it's best to plan ahead and get a new fridge. What I'm convinced is happening is that occasionally the compressor starts OK and then on other occasions it doesn't. The fridge runs well enough today to keep cool but I'm sure things will eventually go downhill.

Oddly enough we did end up getting a Samsung fridge. My wife didn't want to buy another Maytag and the Samsung that fits in the spot we have for it was on sale at Home Depot. It's got French Doors which will be a nice touch.

 

http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/refrigerators/RF220NCTABC/AA-reviews

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raymac46

Well it's not like I was trying to convince her to buy a new Jeep or anything. Usually kitchen stuff isn't all that hard to sell her on.

Just told her that if the fridge failed it wasn't as if I could go to the hardware store and get a new one - like a fresh set of batteries. It takes time to get a suitable model to replace it. As it is, we'll be waiting a couple of weeks.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Old technology had less moving parts to fail...

 

6bf47b9d8a183fe2eea274c1422d3420.jpg

 

;)

Edited by V.T. Eric Layton
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Guest LilBambi

Well I finally convinced my wife that it's best to plan ahead and get a new fridge. What I'm convinced is happening is that occasionally the compressor starts OK and then on other occasions it doesn't. The fridge runs well enough today to keep cool but I'm sure things will eventually go downhill.

Oddly enough we did end up getting a Samsung fridge. My wife didn't want to buy another Maytag and the Samsung that fits in the spot we have for it was on sale at Home Depot. It's got French Doors which will be a nice touch.

 

http://www.samsung.c...TABC/AA-reviews

 

Great choice. That's the kind I would like. With double top doors and bottom drawer for freezer.

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securitybreach

Very nice fridge but man, they have gotten expensive $$$

 

Nice that you was able to afford a nice one!

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raymac46

Great choice. That's the kind I would like. With double top doors and bottom drawer for freezer.

 

Well trying to use a bit of common sense here.

Of all the appliances in a home, the fridge:

  • Has the most complicated construction.
  • Is the most expensive to repair and becomes uneconomic to fix faster than any other appliance.
  • Has to work all the time.
  • Is the most inconvenient thing for you when the unit fails.

So I don't mind paying for a little insurance against a future aggravation.

I'm disappointed in the length of this fridge's useful life (it still works after a fashion though.) However we got a good deal on it as part of a 5 appliance Maytag package back when the house was new so i am not thad badly out of pocket. No point in throwing any more money at it though.

Samsung makes good TVs, and their fridges have a good Consumer Reports and JD Power rating so we'll see.

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Guest LilBambi

Glad it worked out.

 

My Dad would do what others have talked about by moving old fridge to the basement for soda/drinks and bread mostly.

 

We had a big family.

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raymac46

We thought about moving the old fridge to the basement. If it was really a good performing one and we were just replacing it to get more features and convenience, I probably would. I just don't like the prospects for this fridge long term though - and if it fails I then have to bring a big broken hunk of metal back up the stairs.

We did something like this with a huge heavy CRT TV when we got a new flatscreen back in 2009. The TV failed about a year later and if it hadn't been for my son-in-law and a muscular friend of his the TV would still be down there.

There's only the two of us and to run another fridge for beer and soda doesn't make sense. At least to me it doesn't.

Case in point: My mother-in-law has to have two fridges in her house. Don't ask why. In 2007 she moved into her present house, got a new fridge, moved a 10 year old fridge to the basement, and discarded a 20 year old fridge that was already down there, left by the previous owner.

Recently the now 17 year old fridge in the basement expired. So my mother-in-law bought a new fridge, moved the 7 year old fridge to the basement and discarded the 17 year old dead one. This is one 84 year old lady who lives on her own. Such musical fridge games are not on my agenda, thank you.

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There's an old obsolete inefficient refrigerator in my basement.

If there's a party (or something), it may serve as a supplementary drink cooler, but it usually just sits there unplugged.

 

When our "good" refrigerator failed, we did not bring it upstairs, we plugged it in, and brought the perishables downstairs.

It was inconvenient, but we had time to shop for, and wait for the delivery, of a new one.

 

Now, it's sitting there unplugged again, awaiting the next "crisis".

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My Mom had 3 refrigerators! Why an old person needed 3 fridges is beyond my understanding.

She about cried when I made her get a new refrigerator to replace hers from 1956 that was still working but I didn't know how much longer! I used the same reasoning. Her fridge would die late some Friday evening in July when the temps were in the 90's and she'd called me, who lived more than an hour away and expect me to solve this problem. I told her she have a fortune of spoiled food to dispose of.

When they delivered the new fridge, they took the still working 1956 model and we paid to have them remove a non-working 1946 model and a semi working 1970 model.

 

For us, we have an all refrigerator model in the kitchen.

Then in the laundry room, right off the kitchen we have an upright freezer. It's worked well for us for about 20 years. We've had to search for a different brand because our first all fridge was a Gibson who is no longer in business. This brand is Woods, made in Canada. I think we'd had it about 10 years. We do have a fridge with freezer in the garage so if the kitchen fridge dies, I have place to store the food.

Edited by zlim
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