Tip & How-To about Refrigerators
Thats right I said Repair your Refrigerator psychologically. Works every time and it saves a lot of money, to boot.
If this helps any, I have repaired Refrigerators 30 years.(among a lot of other things)
First you want to think differently about the standard approach to most repairs. (As I related in my first "How To" Article "How to repair ANYTHING psychologically") we repaired a dryer in that one, without any prior knowledge of Dryer repair.
We have to understand that the enemys of doing it yourself are Procrastination, I don't know how, I'll do it tomorrow. but mostly "I don't know squiggly about Refrigeration." You have to rid yourself of those hindrances and start, Yes start. It doesn't matter what you think about your qualifications or your knowhow. Just accept that you are starting. If you don't take this serious then you will PROGRAM YOURSELF TO FAIL. GUARANTEED And that is what usually or always happens. You must program yourself to START. Just stand in front of the fridge and stare at it a while, cross your arms and do NOTHING. Walk around it a few times if you must but let it know that you are STARTING. Like two Boxers, before their fight, intimate each other with a stare down.
Now that you have firm psychological control and with the other Psychological hints I will show you you could repair the Automatic transmission in your car (Guess what I have done that), much less a lowly Refrigerator and yell for more.
May I tell you something without sounding vain. There is nothing, I mean NOTHING that I can't repair! That's the psychology you have to aquire. I might not know squiggly (there's that word again) about it but I bet I can repair it. With these hints I will show you how.
5/16,1/4 in sockets
Screwdriver (Phillips and Standard)
Amp ohmmeter Tester(Simple design $8.95)
1. Implementing the psychology
You are now 60% through with the repair. Once you have your mindset, the rest is a walk through the park.
First rule in the Psychology of Repair is simple. You need to know how the object to be repaired works. If you don't know how it works then its harder to repair.
You have computers today that can show you how anything works. There is the parts house employees that helped me many times to understand how appliances, etc worked.
Refrigerators are a smattering more complicated but are easily understood with a little determinative mindset.
There is no such thing as a refrigerator. If you have a side by side for example, you just have a freezer that sends cold air to the Refrigerator in graduated amts. The refrigerator is just basically a storage that has no way to get cold if the freezer doesn't help. Repairmen always concentrate on getting the freezer right first.
Now we've eliminated half of the problem. Right 70% through with this repair.
Step 1- Check the temp in the freezer. 29 degrees won't do it. Freezers have to operate well within
0 to 10 degrees. Anything below 0 is overkill. Thats why you should keep a thermometer
Anything you couldn't do so far? Of course not
2. Easy Refrigeration 101
What does a freezer do?
It moves heat from inside to the outside by the use of a gas called FREON WHICH HAS DIFFERENT PROPERTIES depending on whether it is compressed or not. Now you are seeing a name that we know in Refrigeration. COMPRESSOR.. Simple O.K
FREON boils at tremendously low temps. If it is 50 below 0 in your yard and you set a boiler of FREON down out side amazingly, it will immediately BOIL away and turn into a gas just like water at its boiling point of 212 deg. THE BOILING POINT OF FREON IS VERY LOW
But here's your first shocker. I am not concerned about the compressor nor the freon except to make a diagnosis. The trouble with 98% of Refrigerators is not in those areas. We do not work on compressors nor with FREON, I am solely a "Defrost systems technician" I work only on defrost systems. If the compressor is "bad" or low on FREON , I condemm the whole unit unless its under warranty and thats not my job.
2 Check the compressor by carefully laying your hand on it. If the condenser fan is running you should be able to keep your hand on it. If its really hot and you have to remove your hand then the condenser coils (underneath or in the back will be cool and they should be warm all over the coils.
If the compressor is just warm and the fan is running and the coils have warm heat all over then we move to the Inside of Freezer to look for defrost problems.
Check that the evaporator fan inside the freezer is running. It sends the cold air to the Refrigerator plus circulates the cold air inside the freezer. Symptons of the Evaporative fan not running are a warm refrigerator and a cold freezer. (Thermometer again) Listen for it too.
Thats also the same symptons for a Defrost Problem (Remember 98% of Refrigeratio problems are caused by Defrost Problems) That's why we work on only Defrost Systems.
Now have you worked hard? You felt of the compressor, checked the Condenser fan (by looking at it) and learned a lot of psychological fact about Refrigeration. You're 90% through with your repair.
3. Don't let defrost systems intimidate you
Water is a natural enemy of Refrigeration
Heat is a natural enemy of water
All air contains moisture. When the door of a Freezer is opened the moisture enters with the air and when it hits the evaporative coils (way below 0 deg) it freezes and builds up on the coils until the fan cannot pull air through the coils to remove the heat from the air and also clogs the vent to the Ref thus warm Ref and cold Freezer.
There are three major parts to a defrost system to make it automatic defrost. A timer that kicks off the ref approximately every 8 hours to turn on a heater thats at the bottom of the evaporator inside the freezer. Since hot air rises it burns off the frost from the Evaporator so the air can travel through the coils again to remove the heat. This timer keeps the heat on for approxmately 30 minutes until it reaches the thermostat at the top of the coils which opens at about 55 deg whether the timer has concluded its 30 minutes or not. One of these three controls are probably defective.
Check with your Ohnmeter for continuity (ask an appliance parts specialist how to get continuity or take the three parts with you for him to check) Its usually the small quarter size thermostat thats the problem
Now is when you do the easy part. Get your model number and go to the parts house and ask to see a diagram of the three parts location. The parts man will probably be able to tell you exactly where they are located and he will be glad to check your parts free when you bring them in, so he can sell you one. Actually it would be better to go to the parts house and ask how to check the three parts on the Ref without Removing them. with an ohmmeter (even easier)
My Grandfather used to say "Just Do It"
I used to have long conversations wit the parts dealers on lots of things I repaired.
Just to emphasize psychology heres a story about when I started my business 30 years ago.
My very first call was a dishwasher. I went to the home without ANY knowledge of dishwashers
The lady showed me the dishwasher and stood waiting for my next move. My mind went blank. The dishwasher was a newer model and I didn't have a clue, not of even how to turn it on.
We both just stood and I knew nothing about it but I was convinced psychologically that I could repair it given enough. First I knew I had to Get it on.
I studied the dials which made no sense to me. Then the lights went on in my brain. I told her this was a newer model and that most people didn't know how to turn it on properly.
"How have you been turning it on," I said, quizzically
"Oh I've been turning it on like this" And she reached over to the timer and turned it. It came on noisely.
I said "O.K You've been doing it right" Then I fixed it by pulling off the bottom Panel and observing the operation. with it on.
Brush off the bottom Coils when you are through with your repair. It helps much
Next: Central Heat and Central Air
If this was helpful please rate me.
Leo Ponder Appliance-Tyler,Texas
Posted by Leo Ponder on
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