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I was defrosting my mini fridge and was using a knife. I was trying to stay away from the "wires" but hit the bottom of the freezer compartment with my knife and air started spewing. I shut the door fast thinking it was going to blow up. When I opened the door back up, it was not spewing anymore. I finished letting it thaw on its own and needless to say, it is not working now. We put some J-B Weld on the tiny spot and it still doesn't work. Is there a place to add freon? Help! This was our water fridge and now we are lost without it!!! Thank you!

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You have put a hole in the sealed system, discharging the refrigerant into the atmosphere, and also allowing moisture into the system. The repair must be done by a repairman with the correct equipment and freon. I am afraid that the repair cost may exceed the cost of replacement. You can contact a local repairman for an estimate if you wish, but be prepared.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009

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It sounds like your defrost circuit is having a problem. Once frost builds up on the coil in the freezer compartment, air can no longer be pulled though the fins and circulated into the fresh food compartment. You notice things start to warm up. Eventually, the freezer suffers from the same lack of circulation and contents begin to soften and melt.

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The defrost heater is found in the compartment that houses the coiling coil. The defrost terminator or sensor is clipped or otherwise secured to be kept in physical contact with the cooling coil itself. The defrost timer may be located anywhere the manufacturer decides - a popular spot is in the toe space on the bottom of the fridge. The wiring, well, that is between all the parts. Chances are the wiring is fine - as would be the connectors to the individual components.

The defrost timer runs about 8 hours. About 20 - 30 minutes in that 8 hour period the defrost switch operates. This consists of switching power away from the compressor (so it shuts off) and to the defrost heater and defrost terminator. The heater is just a relatively small value heater that warms the compartment to melt any frost or ice from the cooling coil fins. It will be powered for up to 20 - 30 minutes by the timer or less - if the defrost terminator senses a rising temperature on the coil. This means that the heater will be on for either 20 - 30 minute OR until the defrost terminator gets warm enough.

If the timer is stuck - and never moves to the 20 - 30 defrost cycle, the frost on the coil will never melt away. If the timer does work, but the heating element has failed, the frost will never melt away. If the defrost terminator has failed open (preventing the power from getting to the heater), the will not work to melt the frost off the coil. If there is a loose, missing or damaged connection between the wiring harness and these components, it won't run as expected either.

Make sure there is continuity through the heater. When cold (below freezing) the terminator should also have continuity. Many are designed to open around 50 degrees F - so if you warm it up, you should see the continuity go away. The timer needs power to run, and will send power to either the compressor or defrost heater - never both at the same time. Check with power disconnected. Use care checking live circuits - and only work live circuits when you need to check for presence of power - otherwise, unplug!

I hope this helps. Please rate this reply - thanks!

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