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RE: sweet smell from refrigerator

I've got a sweet smell (that I think of as a gas smell, but it's not really) coming from my 24 year old Amana refrigerator. It's cooling fine so it's not a gas leak and my husband says freon is usually odorless anyway. I've cleaned it 3 times - once with water and Mr. Clean, once with diluted bleach, and once with a mild solution of vinegar and water. I've even left it off and open with a fan running into it. The smell is still there. The pan under the refrig has been scrubbed too. The smell seems to be coming from the vents in the freezer. At least this seems like where the smell is the strongest. But maybe that's just because of the re-circulating cold air. I'm exasperated. Any ideas? It does have any auto ice maker, but that's hooked up to the water main with a filter on it. (filter is clean).

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  • DonnaS3 Sep 13, 2008

    Thanks so much for the info. We'll check it out.

  • Anonymous Jan 22, 2009

    my refrigerator smell like raw meat or blood it had a red brownish leak on the back of the fridge i had to scrub with cameo it came off but it still smells.

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Hi Donna53,

I'm Harvey the Master Plumber.

Your question is: You've got a sweet smell (that you think of as a gas smell, but it's not really) coming from your 24 year old Amana refrigerator. It's cooling fine so it's not a gas leak and my husband says freon is usually odorless anyway. You've cleaned it 3 times - once with water and Mr. Clean, once with diluted bleach, and once with a mild solution of vinegar and water. You've even left it off and open with a fan running into it. The smell is still there. The pan under the refrig has been scrubbed too. The smell seems to be coming from the vents in the freezer. At least this seems like where the smell is the strongest. But maybe that's just because of the re-circulating cold air. You're exasperated. Any ideas? It does have any auto ice maker, but that's hooked up to the water main with a filter on it. (filter is clean).

I can think of two reasons for this. The first and most likly is electrical. Look carefully at the components especially the capaciter, it's on or near the motor. If it is leaking or out gassing, replace it. Wire corrosion can cause a wire to slowly give off fumes. Look very carefully i.e. testing meter is helpfull here. I've already expirienced this and it sure was hard to find. Less likely is a freon leak. You won't smell the freon itself but if the oil is a little burnt, that can be smelly indeed. You will need a special leak detector for that. Anyway my money is on the electrical.

Feel free contact me again!
Please give me a rating here at fixya.com before you sign off
Thank you,
Harvey your Master Plumber

Posted on Sep 13, 2008

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