My daughter has started to notice a sound occasionally coming from the back of her fridge-freezer, I am a bit worried.
It sounds like air escaping....what could this be and is it dangerous?
Many thanks, MAT
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Re: Air escaping from my fridge-freezer.
The sound you are hearing is just the circulation of refrigerant through the system. More specifically it is caused by the changes of pressures happening when refrigerant passes through the capillary tube and into the evaporator, changing from a liquid to a gas. This is not dangerous at all.
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If the fan is not moving you are not going to get cold air into your refrigerator section and it will start getting warmer. I would suggest pulling the fan out and if you have a way of checking it, try to run it outside the refrigerator. Most fans will run almost constantly except when the freezer is in defrost mode. More than likely though, from what it sounds like, you will probably end up replacing that fan motor.
What happens is the defrost is controlled electronically from a circuit board, when this goes bad, the freezer quits defrosting, and freezes the fans that circulate air through the fridge side of things.
To check this, unplug the entire fridge, leave the freezer open, wait for it to defrost a bit, if this causes the fridge to start cooling again when you plug it back in, then its the defrost. You should also see ice crystals on the back of the freezer just under the icemaker.
Check to see if the
condenser fan at the back underneath near the compressor is running. If no
How to check stuff> http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/refrigerator.php
The evaporator coil behind the cover on the back
wall inside the freezer will ice up under normal conditions. Every 8 to 10
hours for around 20 minutes the defrost timer (or in most newer models the electronic
adaptive defrost control) will turn the defrost heater on to
melt the built up ice. There is a defrost thermostat which prevents the heater from
overheating the freezer by breaking the heater circuit when the temp reaches
close to 32 degrees F. The entire cooling system shuts off during the defrost
cycle and starts back when the timer advances through the cycle. If this ice is not melted it will continue to
build up until the air can’t flow over the coil to circulate the cold air
through the freezer and into the fridge. The temperature change in the fridge
is usually noticed first followed by the freezer. If the defrost thermostat is bad it can prevent the heater from
coming on OR it won’t turn the heater off when it gets too warm. It is clamped
to the evaporator coil at the top to sense the temp. If it appears to be
misshapen it is bad. With an ohm meter it should show continuity when
cold and none when warm. You can also bypass the thermostat to see if the
heater comes on then. If it does then you know the thermostat is bad and needs
replaced. The defrost heateris
located on the evaporator. It is in a tube which is at the bottom and can also
go up the sides of the evaporator. On some types you can see a burnt spot if
it’s bad. With an ohm meter it should show continuity from end to end when
disconnected from the wiring in the freezer. You can also test the wiring for
voltage when it’s in the defrost mode. If
you have a defrost
can test it. It can be located under the fridge behind the kick panel on the
front. Some are in the fridge with the controls at the top. You can turn the defrost timer till it clicks and everything shuts
down. The heater should now come on. If it does, replace the timer because that
means the timer is not running.If it
doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till
everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle. If you have an adaptive defrost control instead of a timer,
replace it if the heater and thermostat test good. It is located in the fridge
with the controls in some models and on the back in others. If you need help finding your model number see
Sounds like a blocked defrost drain. By "American" I presume you mean side-by-side.
I had a similar problem with a freezer-on-top style Samsung. The solution to that was to defrost the freezer, remove the false backing plate in the freezer (required removal of the ice cube tray. the panel just pops out with a bit of pulling). The drain hole beneath the freezer coils was blocked with ice. This drain passes down into the fridge and then out the back of the fridge into the evaporation pan next to the motor. There is a collector pan under the freezer coils, this and the drain hole were filled with ice. When the freezer goes into its self-defrost cycle the water collects here and then overflows into the fridge.
I removed the ice with hot water/vinegar mixture (so it doesn't re-freeze immediately) and simultaneosuly used a bit of chiselling with a screwdriver to clear the drain plug. I did this from inside the fridge working up the drain hole into the freezer. The whole job took about an hour.