Refrigerator won't work after winter shut down at camp
We have a home that we turn off electric on over the winter where temperatures can get well below zero in the winter. We have arrived to open for summer and the refrigerator won't cool (2 summers old). the fans are working - is there something that we need to do after being "dormant" for 7 months of the year to get it started?
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Re: Refrigerator won't work after winter shut down at...
This is a problem we frequently run into in a situation such as yours. Refrigerators are meant to be used in continuous operation. Using them seasonally will let the high side condenser tubing, internal to most cabinets, rust through and loose the refrigerant charge.
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This is actually stating "HI", as in either the refrigerator or freezer, temperatures are Hi and not at a safe level. First, press any button to stop the alarm and clear the HI temperature. If you are still receiving the alarm, I suggest checking the freezer, to make sure that everything is still frozen, and nothing is defrosting as, well as checking the refrigerator temperatures. If things are defrosting or the temperature is Hi in your refrigerator, I suggest resetting your appliance, by either unplugging it or shutting the power off at your homes circuit breaker, for 3-5 minutes. When power is restored, Give your freezer 24 hours to stabilize at the default temperatures of 0 degrees for the freezer and 37 degrees for the refrigerator.
My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.
You do not have a problem. It sounds like your refrigerator is running normally.
Your compressor and fans will run based on the cooling demands set by you on your temperature settings. Once the temperature has been reached your compressor or fans will stop running.
If your compressor is running all of the time then you have a cooling problem.
You refrigerator will also shut down about every 8-10 hours for about 15-20 minutes. This is when your refrigerator goes into the defrost mode. Your refrigerator shuts down and the heater around the cooling coil turns on to defrost the cooling coil. This is where the term; "Frost Free", comes from.
Did you have an electrical storm? If so, may have surged the circuit causing unit to shut down or perform erratically. Also could your refrigerator door have been partly open just a small crack causing the light to stay on and warm air to enter raising the temperature and braking the circuit breaker making the entire unit to shut down and you happened to notice this right after the unit shut down... I say right after because it is difficult to imagine a light bulb that is "out" being "very hot".
This sounds like a bad capacitor to me. You can replace it with a new one, just make sure you mark the electrical poles correctly when you remove it so you won't have any problems placing them back when you get a new one.
If you are uncomfortable in replacing this part, I suggest you contact your local ref technician and have it replaced for you. You can buy a new one around $45.
If the compressor is on, that is good news. Depending on how hot and humid it is, it will take some time for it to cool down. If you have a thermometer you can check to see what the change is every couple of hours. If you don't show a steady decrease in temperature then there is a problem.
You might want to clean the condenser grill and make sure that there is front to back air flow at the bottom.
The problem is with the garage temperature. The temperature sensor for the refrigerator is in the fridge compartment, but the evap coils are in the freezer. Refrigerators were designed to work in an air conditioned space. When they are put into unheated spaces, it does not work well. The fridge thermostat typically is set to 40 deg F. If the outside temperature is close to that, then it does not turn on the compressor as much so the freezer will have a hard time staying below freezing.
There are garage refrigerator kits for people who put fridges in un heated garages in the winter. They just simple electric heaters that warm the fridge's thermostat to cause the compressor to run more often. This helps the fridge to maintain temperatures better in the freezer compartment. The same thing can be accomplished by putting a small wattage bulb in the refrigerator compartment. Just remember to remove it during the warm weather otherwise you will pay a large electricity bill in the summer months.
It could be a problem depending on how cold your garage gets in the winter. Most refrigerators depend on the compressor turning on to cool the freezer section and that cold air is used to cool the refrigerator section. If your the temperature in your garage gets in the 30-40 degree range in the winter. The compressor may not turn on sufficiently since the refrigerator is typically around the 35-40 degree range. This will cause the freezer to warm up to the fridge temperature and your freezer items will defrost.
I have a Magic Chef 3.6 cu. ft. Model#mcbr3605 thats 3 years old and has stopped working. When I plug it in you hear it start then you hear a "click" and it turns off. If you leave it plugged in the compressor gets hot. Can this be fixed or is it trash ? Thanks in advance.