Is my refrigerator dying? It's Alive! It's ALIVE!!!

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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This is NOT a smart refrigerator. It's a bottom freezer old style frost free good sized Amana model BR 22 VW that I bought new but open box from Airport Appliance, a local company (that still advertises on TV here) in late May 2000, just after I bought the house.

Mostly reliable service since installed here by the delivery guys. After they brought it in the kitchen I made them honor the company's policy of switching the door L<-->R opening at the customer's request. A few times in recent years it has made weird noises, but that's always gone away quickly. It's been reliable in keeping food cold. I have refrigerator thermometers in the fresh food and freezer sections.

Two days ago, I went to make a smoothie and the bag of peeled and ripe bananas in the freezer was semi-defrosted, oh oh. Now this sort of thing has happened a few times and AFAIK only because the freezer door wasn't shut all the way, something in the freezer was preventing the door from sealing. I make an effort to ensure the door closes flush. However, in the past when this has been the issue, there's been some frost buildup in the freezer. That, once the door shuts well, eventually goes away, e.g. over a day or so. But I didn't see frost two days ago. Checking the temperatures in the fresh and freezer sections (which typically are around 40 and 0), they were more like maybe 46 and 10-20.

I retrieved the manual and find where it explains the temperature controls. It says to set the fresh and freezer controls (there's one in each section) at the middle setting, i.e. 4 (settings are 1-7 for each, but they are different looking controls, the one in the fridge at the back, the one in the freezer on the top at the left), and after 24 hours check the temperatures. Ideally it says you want 38-40F and -2-0F. If out of range, move a temperature setting one number, e.g. 4-->5 and check again in ~24 hours and adjust again if necessary. Well, I don't recall now what the controls were at two days ago. I think not 4 and 4, I think the freezer was set at the warmest setting, 1 or something maybe, don't know, but it had always been fine. So, two days ago I set both at 4 (the initial settings to start your calibration) and after a day or so the temperatures were too cold. The fridge was around 35-36 and the freezer at - 6 to -8 or something. So, yesterday I turned down the fridge to the 3 setting. So, this afternoon I notice that the fridge isn't turning on, it remains silent. The temperatures are going up. The fridge was maybe 46, the freezer well above zero. I turned the fridge up to 6. It still wouldn't go on. I'm afraid at this point to even open the freezer, don't want to let warm air in. I come back later and the fridge still won't go on. Fridge at least 46, the freezer at 20. This was like an hour ago. I'm oh no! I turn up the fridge to 7, still won't go on.

Now, I had the fridge plugged into a TP-Link wifi AC control because I've been doing audio editing in my kitchen during the pandemic (recording with a microphone and didn't want the refrigerator hum in my recordings) so I can turn off the fridge using my cell phone. An hour ago I reason there might be an issue with that so I remove the wifi control. Same thing: the fridge light goes on but the fridge compressor does not. Meantime, fridge is at highest setting, 7. I then open the freezer and turn its setting up to 6 from 4. The compressor immediately kicks on! I leave it there and turn the fridge setting to the middle setting 4, and the compressor has been on since then, around 25 minutes straight, but I wouldn't expect it to go off because of the warmed food (my fridge and freezer are always pretty full!).

So, any ideas here? Is my refrigerator failing? Is it possible it needs a new thermostat? I suppose it has two thermostats, right?
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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Could be a run capacitor issue. Start relay.

Diagrams for a model similar to yours

Refrigerators have only one compressor and the freezer setting is usually what stirs the drink while the refrigerator setting limits airflow or something, I think.

I would source parts from a place with a decent return policy or if you're just looking for cheap, Ebay.

 
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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
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Feel blessed. I had a brand new whirlpool not even four years old start to act up. I changed a few parts and extended its life a few months, back to the same old shit. Two different repairmen couldn't figure it out. Whirlpool offered me 30% or so off a new fridge afterbi kept insisting on being escalated up to supervisors on the phone. That's it. Except most of the fridges on their website were out of stock. Useless offer. I bought a new Frigidaire instead.

Be happy it lasted this long. That's a respectable time of life for an appliance. They don't make them like that anymore.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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First, that fridge is what? 21 years old? Do you regularly move it & clean the dust out from the back & underneath?

Unless you are skilled with fridge repair I would consider buying a new one, it will also probably cut your energy cost.
It was so called Energy Star. Says 594 kwh/year average.

I moved it once or twice and cleaned the back coils. I occasionally clean the coils from front, actually did yesterday... well, just used a vacuum, not sure if that's adequate, but the obvious dust on the front of the coils.

When I moved it away from the wall maybe 5-7 years ago to clean the back coils they looked pretty clean as I recall, so I haven't bothered to do that since then. Guess I should do that tomorrow! It's getting late tonight.

I just turned the controls to 4 and 4 because the compressor hasn't stopped since it started up around 2 hours ago. I know, that's not what the instructions said but I don't think it's acting normally.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,143
5,059
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Feel blessed. I had a brand new whirlpool not even four years old start to act up. I changed a few parts and extended its life a few months, back to the same old shit. Two different repairmen couldn't figure it out. Whirlpool offered me 30% or so off a new fridge afterbi kept insisting on being escalated up to supervisors on the phone. That's it. Except most of the fridges on their website were out of stock. Useless offer. I bought a new Frigidaire instead.

Be happy it lasted this long. That's a respectable time of life for an appliance. They don't make them like that anymore.
Yeah, that's why I'm not thinking of replacing my stove. I moved into this house in 1983, the 6th guy, to fill out the six small bedrooms here. Cheapest rent in town. There was a band here, sort of, well some members had moved out including the lead singer, but she'd come around a lot because they rehearsed in the living room. She'd bought this O'Keefe and Merritt stove used for $25. It's still working. I've adjusted the oven thermostat several times. It's gas, of course! I don't use the griddle in the middle, I removed the burner and have the cover on it, it's the workspace between the 4 burners. "They don't make them like that anymore." One of the 4 burner grills is gone, well 2, I guess, and are replaced with similar but fitting iron grills.

Now, I live alone here and I've done my best to not challenge the fridge. I'm not one to leave the door open unnecessarily, like you see people do. Also, the door closes by itself! Partly because the floor is tilted toward the back, yeah, this 110 year old house is sagging in the middle.

I was thinking a few minutes ago wouldn't be stupid to have a 2nd fridge. There actually were two here before I bought the house. I used to defrost both of them, quite a chore, every once in a while. The freezers would be caked with 2-3 inches of ice. I had a technique... hot water from the stove, baster squirting it on the ice, bail the water... repeat, repeat repeat until all ice was gone. Eventually I bought the house when the owner had to sell because he owed back taxes. I kicked out my roommates, spent my last $1000 on this fridge. I had a full time job, I wasn't worried.
Be happy it lasted this long. That's a respectable time of life for an appliance. They don't make them like that anymore.
In the morning I'm going to pull it away from the wall and try cleaning in front, behind it, wherever. Maybe just maybe it's dirt and dust hanging the thing up?

Edit: Compressor hasn't turned off and it's been around 2 1/2 hours. I turned the freezer control to 4 as well, around 1/2 hour ago. I think it's around -2 now. Well, food should be cold in the morning! Maybe way way cold!
 
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Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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First, that fridge is what? 21 years old? Do you regularly move it & clean the dust out from the back & underneath?

Unless you are skilled with fridge repair I would consider buying a new one, it will also probably cut your energy cost.
He's probably better off craigslist'ing or Facebook Marketplacing a used one from the 90s on backwards, especially since he is a senior and thus whatever fridge he gets will likely outlast him.

New ones are even worse than his vintage of fridges, and the quality deterioration already started by the 2000s.

 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,143
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He's probably better off craigslist'ing or Facebook Marketplacing a used one from the 90s on backwards, especially since he is a senior and thus whatever fridge he gets will likely outlast him.
My eye doctor told me he thought there's no reason I can't live another 40+ years.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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My eye doctor told me he thought there's no reason I can't live another 40+ years.

Crazy me but I'd feel a lot better hearing that from say my cardiologist for example?

;)


Far as the fridge goes I'd say if the radiator in back isn't gummed up with dust and causing the problem its likely time for a new fridge.

Up to you on going the used/CL route ... yes older models are better made and far easier to repair BUT no warranty means you'll be on your own. (also no delivery and I doubt a used fridge will fit in your bike basket!)

The only other advice I can offer is to avoid Samsung and LG... stick with the older American appliance companies you'll be much better off long-term if you need parts.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,143
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Crazy me but I'd feel a lot better hearing that from say my cardiologist for example?

;)


Far as the fridge goes I'd say if the radiator in back isn't gummed up with dust and causing the problem its likely time for a new fridge.

Up to you on going the used/CL route ... yes older models are better made and far easier to repair BUT no warranty means you'll be on your own. (also no delivery and I doubt a used fridge will fit in your bike basket!)

The only other advice I can offer is to avoid Samsung and LG... stick with the older American appliance companies you'll be much better off long-term if you need parts.
Well, my primary care guy figures me good for 20 anyway. A physical therapist I saw for a hamstring injury said "I don't see you slowing down any time soon."

Evidently my heart is in great shape. Have never heard anything to suggest it isn't. Had a "functional heart murmur" since a teenager, but AFAIK that's not a concern. Hey, if I die from a heart attack, fine, I'm OK, I was exerting myself. I intend to never shy away from exertion, it's a big part of what keeps me strong, energetic, inspired.

I did have EKGs, both ordinary and a stress one around 3 years ago because of a digestive issue. The EKG's were great. The doctor attending the stress test told me my performance was "impressive." Issue cleared up kinda on its own, maybe probiotics helped, don't know, but I continue take one modest cap daily.

It's the morning after now and I'm rested. I had turned the fridge to 4/4 (middle) settings before turning in, the thing was humming. In the middle of the night I came downstairs and it was off. OK. Getting up at 8AM it was still off. Looked at the temps:

44 in fridge
16 in freezer

Not good!

I turned the freezer control until compressor clicked on (a bit over 6, I guess) and dropped it down to 5, and it's stayed on for 58 minutes and is still on.

I figure something's up, but it makes total sense to pull it away from the wall, clean the back and the floor. I see lots of dust under it but didn't see a way to clean that. Don't know how that affects it. But pulling away from the wall a few feet I should be able to clean that up. My records indicate I cleaned the back coils a year after installation and they were nearly clean and figured it was something I didn't need to do but every few years. Don't know that I've done it since but today's the day!

Until I figure this out or get another fridge I figure I have at least manual control. Can turn the settings controls to turn the compressor on or off and keep the food OK. But, of course, I'd like the genie in the fridge to do that for me!
Arms Folded Right Facing.jpg
 
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Captante

Lifer
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Well, my primary care guy figures me good for 20 anyway. A physical therapist I saw for a hamstring injury said "I don't see you slowing down any time soon."

Evidently my heart is in great shape. Have never heard anything to suggest it isn't. Had a "functional heart murmur" since a teenager, but AFAIK that's not a concern. Hey, if I die from a heart attack, fine, I'm OK, I was exerting myself. I intend to never shy away from exertion, it's a big part of what keeps me strong, energetic, inspired.

I did have EKGs, both ordinary and a stress one around 3 years ago because of a digestive issue. The EKG's were great. The doctor attending the stress test told me my performance was "impressive." Issue cleared up kinda on its own, maybe probiotics helped, don't know, but I continue take one modest cap daily.

It's the morning after now and I'm rested. I had turned the fridge to 4/4 (middle) settings before turning in, the thing was humming. In the middle of the night I came downstairs and it was off. OK. Getting up at 8AM it was still off. Looked at the temps:

44 in fridge
16 in freezer

Not good!

I turned the freezer control until compressor clicked on (a bit over 5) and dropped it down to 5, and it's stayed on for 58 minutes and is still on.

I figure something's up, but it makes total sense to pull it away from the wall, clean the back and the floor. I see lots of dust under it but didn't see a way to clean that. Don't know how that affects it. But pulling away from the wall a few feet I should be able to clean that up. My records indicate I cleaned the back coils a year after installation and they were nearly clean and figured it was something I didn't need to do but every few years. Don't know that I've done it since but today's the day!

Until I figure this out or get another fridge I figure I have at least manual control. Can turn the settings controls to turn the compressor on or off and keep the food OK. But, of course, I'd like the genie in the fridge to do that for me!
View attachment 52497

SOME models of fridge have an additional separate radiator on the bottom as well and it can get dusty even faster then the larger one in the back due to proximity to the floor.

The thing is that hanging out in your kitchen where clouds of potentially greasy cooking fumes are generated on a regular basis can result in a nice, sticky film accumulating on the radiator. (especially if your fridge has a strong-ish fan)

This can do a terrific job attracting a nasty thick film of slimy dust.

:(
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,143
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SOME models of fridge have an additional separate radiator on the bottom as well and it can get dusty even faster then the larger one in the back due to proximity to the floor.

The thing is that hanging out in your kitchen where clouds of potentially greasy cooking fumes are generated on a regular basis can result in a nice, sticky film accumulating on the radiator. (especially if your fridge has a strong-ish fan)

This can do a terrific job attracting a nasty thick film of slimy dust.

:(
Ah, well, yeah, I've had a habit in the past of frying stuff in grease and that's an issue. I wasn't aware that it can affect the refrigerator, but obviously that's a much bigger issue than the grease that appears on the face of the mini-stereo I have mounted above the stove. I'm trying to do much less of that frying or doing it in a way that doesn't have so much grease going into the room's air. Plus, there's no venting system. I think there was but it was removed, because I can see a capped vent in the wall.

I don't have a fridge condenser brush, so went shopping today and ordered one off ebay and another off Amazon, with should get here tomorrow via Prime. 26-30 inch brushes.

I have pulled the fridge out from the wall around 8 inches or so. It was tough to move it at all. I removed ~80% of the stuff from the fridge, didn't bother lightening the freezer section, it would have to go into coolers. I have coolers, but figured the fridge has the most weight.

I just removed a venting panel from the back, around 12x10 inches, galvanized. It must have been 90% blocked from airflow. I just cleaned it and am about to put it back. That should help. Meantime, before screwing that back onto the back of the fridge (where it covers a fan that looks to be around ~10" diameter), I noticed that the compressor was off. I checked the control in the freezer, which appears to be the one that controls whether the compressor is operating, and I could NOT get the compressor to kick on. Even when I got the click that was turning it on. I said to myself, "don't panic." Partly because earlier today I was reading the Amana manual carefully and noted its saying that if the fridge is in a defrost cycle, it might not turn on for 40 minutes, no matter where the controls are. So, I didn't panic and sure enough it kicked on by itself after ~20 minutes. The fridge was at around 45 and the freezer at 8 degrees while this was going on. It's on right now. Who knows, maybe there's nothing wrong with it and it's just a problem with air circulation, I suppose it's possible. But I've never seen the freezer behave like it did 2 days ago, so warm, although it was probably below freezing, maybe 20F, I don't remember checking. Maybe I caught it in a defrost cycle?

I guess I'll try to get the fridge further out from the wall. It's tough, though, plus I think the floor is kinda messed up. I had a piece of wood under one corner to make the fridge fairly level. I'll have to do that again.

I might wait for that Amazon shipment tomorrow of the brush to do a lot more. I think the most I've ever done is vacuum the condenser coils from the front, which may do pretty much nothing, don't know.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,143
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The thing is that hanging out in your kitchen where clouds of potentially greasy cooking fumes are generated on a regular basis can result in a nice, sticky film accumulating on the radiator. (especially if your fridge has a strong-ish fan)...This can do a terrific job attracting a nasty thick film of slimy dust. :(
How can I combat grease on that?

By radiator you mean maybe the condenser coils? There might be a separate set of condenser coils on the bottom? I really don't know the anatomy of this thing. I figure I can turn it off now and maybe clean up in back some, maybe the blades of that fan I see turning.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
55,508
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I don't think cleanliness is your problem. Double and triple check all your seals, and clean those surfaces. If it isn't better in a couple days, I think the problem's likely mechanical.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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How can I combat grease on that?

By radiator you mean maybe the condenser coils? There might be a separate set of condenser coils on the bottom? I really don't know the anatomy of this thing. I figure I can turn it off now and maybe clean up in back some, maybe the blades of that fan I see turning.

Restaurant owners have been asking that same question for generations!

;)

Older fridge's had really big "radiators" (which is what the "coils" are I'd forgotten the term sorry) in back that were actually designed to be easily cleaned with a vacuum attachment. A lot of newer units make it a real pain to even get near them and/or have a very small ones relatively.

I have no idea what model you have specifically but I would say in general that any dust/grime you see in areas with air-flow you should clean out.

You may well also have a mechanical issue as mentioned above and then it will depend on the price of any parts to determine if its worth fixing.
 
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Torn Mind

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Nov 25, 2012
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Veggie oil grease(not olive, avocado, but rather corn, soybean, canola) is pure evil from a cleaning standpoint. You need to hit it with a base like baking soda to break up oil grease.

Don't use veggie oils for cooking.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,143
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I have no idea what model you have specifically but I would say in general that any dust/grime you see in areas with air-flow you should clean out.

You may well also have a mechanical issue as mentioned above and then it will depend on the price of any parts to determine if its worth fixing.
I state the model in the OP, IIRC bolded, in the first sentence. To me, gazing in from the front at the toe grill it looks like there's a ton of dust on the coils. I'd removed the toe grill, I may have it somewhere, not sure, it was just a pain to put back on every time I tried to clean the coils with my shopvac. The toe grill was poorly designed, it broke in a couple places. I tried fixing it a few times. It's just a pain, I decided it's just cosmetic and serves no purpose.

I just don't know how to get at the accumulated dust without those brushes I ordered today. I should have one by late afternoon tomorrow and I can work at the dust from the front. Might be able to do it in tandem with the shopvac if I have the handle in the vacuum hose, will see. Maybe that will help.

An odd problem cropped up today which I never had before. The fridge door doesn't close well. I have to pull it shut and even then there's a tiny crack. It used to shut automatically and fully by itself what with the slope of the floor. The manual says the front should be 1/4" higher than the back. They don't say why but I figure it's to facilitate closing the door. At the moment it's WAY higher than 1/4" it's probably around an inch because I had to remove the two pieces of wood I had the back corners sitting on when I "leveled" the thing 20 years ago. It was a bitch getting one of those out today but I did. I figured I had to in order to get the machine to sit on its rollers so I can get it away from the wall in order to clean the dust from the floor. I didn't get it all the way out because I figure I should do that after cleaning the coils, which is bound to drop more dust on the linoleum floor. So, with the wooden supports at the back removed the machine is tipping even more toward the back. Anyway, the problem of the door not closing I decided was probably because the 4 corners aren't supported evenly enough ATM. I figure there's a torque on the box and it's become not a rectangle but a peculiar quadrilateral. The right side of the door (where it opens) is lower than the left side by a good 1/4", so the bottom of it scrapes on the interior surface, preventing the door from closing without being pulled shut by the handle. Hopefully, tomorrow after cleaning the coils I can position the monster, "level" it, jam support under corners as necessary somehow (I think I may have to remove ALL the food, not just the heavy stuff from the fridge but the stuff in the freezer too. I guess, everything, then I can give it a good cleaning. If I still can't get it to automatically maintain acceptable temperatures I'll investigate a fix or replacement.

There was a good tip in the manual that I tried today: work toothpaste into any adhesive on the exterior surface with your fingers (I found a stiff brush works well too), then rinse.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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Veggie oil grease(not olive, avocado, but rather corn, soybean, canola) is pure evil from a cleaning standpoint. You need to hit it with a base like baking soda to break up oil grease.

Don't use veggie oils for cooking.
I've been using nothing but olive oil for cooking for probably at least 20 years.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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My eye doctor told me he thought there's no reason I can't live another 40+ years.
My expectation is that you'd flirt with becoming a centenarian.

I've been around old people who make it to really old age. Grandma crossed 90 before dying. Mom is 72, and aside from a few eyebrow-raising matters(possible high liver enzymes) in her bloodwork, does not show external problems except teeth neglect. She's still willing to do physical labor and might be stronger than I am in some muscle groups.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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My expectation is that you'd flirt with becoming a centenarian.

I've been around old people who make it to really old age. Grandma crossed 90 before dying. Mom is 72, and aside from a few eyebrow-raising matters(possible high liver enzymes) in her bloodwork, does not show external problems except teeth neglect. She's still willing to do physical labor and might be stronger than I am in some muscle groups.
My mom died at 98.5 around 8 years ago. My sister and I had a joint venture keeping her going, moving her close to us, into an assisted care facility. Sister's a geriatric PT, so well suited to the task, and I, not employed for the most part was able to attend her appointments. A few close calls, but we'd get her back on her feet (literally). Her heart slowly gave out and one day she just didn't wake up from her sleep.

My bloodwork is pristine. I'm pretty strong, too. Been out of the gym but I haven't noticed an obvious decline what with my activities and I do skate almost every day 10 miles. I'll get back in the gym likely this coming spring.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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So..., knock on wood... last night before turning in, I left the fridge control at the middle setting (4), turned the freezer control to 6. Now, usually the compressor kicks on (I've noticed) when I turn the dial to a bit over 6, so I did that and then lowered the setting to 6 and went to bed. Got up two hours later and IIRC ( :D ) the machine was running and the fridge temp was only a bit above the 40F target, which was a good sign. I figure it meant it had turned off and on again. I go down this morning and check: It's off but the temp is ~41F, which means it's been cycling!!! That has been the issue the last few days, mostly I can get it on or off but it doesn't want to do that by itself. Right now it is, so maybe the cleanings I've been doing have had an effect. Today, I should receive a 30 inch brush to clean the coils:


Still has the problem I have to pull the door handle to get the fridge to close snug. I hope that leveling and shimming the 4 corners appropriately will resolve that.

MEANTIME, last night before turning off the light (I figured DST-->ST change meant don't sleep too early) I reach for the Consumer Report issue I just received (2022 Buying Guide) and they have a ~6 page spread on refrigerators and I dig in.

I don't know about side by side or French door fridges, some are pretty expensive, maybe I should consider them but my impression is that they tend to be too tech intense. I figure my priority should be user satisfaction, reliability and longevity, not "modern" features.

I might be wrong, but my impression has always been that ice makers are trouble makers, so when I bought my current Amana in 2000 I'd determined to NOT have it contain an ice maker. I had problems enough with all the fridges that had been in this house (I told the story above about defrosting them every few months, a real chore). I have now what I figure are state of the art one piece simple plastic ice trays. I don't use a lot of ice, especially when it isn't hot here... it is sometimes especially in recent years but it's still a small percentage of the time and I can get by with my ice trays and throwing cubes in a plastic bag. I use the trays to make lemon juice cubes, too and stash in a quart cottage cheese container or similar in the freezer.

So, looking at CR, I see that almost all new fridges sold nowadays contain ice makers, particularly the big ones and the full featured ones. I don't care for the fancy features. There was a thread here maybe a year ago lamenting the fact that it's like impossible to find a simple fridge now, one that isn't "smart." Am I wrong? Is an ice maker not a trouble maker? Wifi? Why would I want Wifi in a fridge? I simply do not know!

OK, so when I bought my Amana a big deal with it for me was the bottom freezer. I go into the fridge 10x as much as I go in the freezer, so my reasoning is have the freezer on the bottom, where I need to stoop. The fridge on top would seem to make sense. I guess I should go into a show room and make that decision, but the proliferation of top freezer models confounds me.

My current fridge is BIG! 33" wide // 32" deep (not including the handles) // 68" high. Capacity I don't know, much less "usable capacity," CR stresses that this is what matters not the manufacturer's claims. But I think it doesn't make sense, IF I need a new refrigerator to get a lesser capacity model than I have (mine is usually nearly full, both sections) and there are many that instead of 17-21 cu feet are more like 11. So, for me, 33" wide is where it's at.

I couldn't find in CR's charts a single large capacity fridge that has a bottom freezer without an ice maker, not one. So, I figure make a compromise, get a top freezer model and the best one for me (maybe) would seem to be the Samsung RT21M6213SG. EVERYBODY is Out of Stock. I've got my fingers crossed I can at least use my Amana until I can find a replacement I like!
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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I state the model in the OP, IIRC bolded, in the first sentence. To me, gazing in from the front at the toe grill it looks like there's a ton of dust on the coils. I'd removed the toe grill, I may have it somewhere, not sure, it was just a pain to put back on every time I tried to clean the coils with my shopvac. The toe grill was poorly designed, it broke in a couple places. I tried fixing it a few times. It's just a pain, I decided it's just cosmetic and serves no purpose.

I just don't know how to get at the accumulated dust without those brushes I ordered today. I should have one by late afternoon tomorrow and I can work at the dust from the front. Might be able to do it in tandem with the shopvac if I have the handle in the vacuum hose, will see. Maybe that will help.

An odd problem cropped up today which I never had before. The fridge door doesn't close well. I have to pull it shut and even then there's a tiny crack. It used to shut automatically and fully by itself what with the slope of the floor. The manual says the front should be 1/4" higher than the back. They don't say why but I figure it's to facilitate closing the door. At the moment it's WAY higher than 1/4" it's probably around an inch because I had to remove the two pieces of wood I had the back corners sitting on when I "leveled" the thing 20 years ago. It was a bitch getting one of those out today but I did. I figured I had to in order to get the machine to sit on its rollers so I can get it away from the wall in order to clean the dust from the floor. I didn't get it all the way out because I figure I should do that after cleaning the coils, which is bound to drop more dust on the linoleum floor. So, with the wooden supports at the back removed the machine is tipping even more toward the back. Anyway, the problem of the door not closing I decided was probably because the 4 corners aren't supported evenly enough ATM. I figure there's a torque on the box and it's become not a rectangle but a peculiar quadrilateral. The right side of the door (where it opens) is lower than the left side by a good 1/4", so the bottom of it scrapes on the interior surface, preventing the door from closing without being pulled shut by the handle. Hopefully, tomorrow after cleaning the coils I can position the monster, "level" it, jam support under corners as necessary somehow (I think I may have to remove ALL the food, not just the heavy stuff from the fridge but the stuff in the freezer too. I guess, everything, then I can give it a good cleaning. If I still can't get it to automatically maintain acceptable temperatures I'll investigate a fix or replacement.

There was a good tip in the manual that I tried today: work toothpaste into any adhesive on the exterior surface with your fingers (I found a stiff brush works well too), then rinse.

Reading-fail ... my bad missed that somehow sorry. :confused:

I believe you can replace the seal of the fridge door which may allow it to fully close again. When they get old they can become brittle.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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Reading-fail ... my bad missed that somehow sorry. :confused:

I believe you can replace the seal of the fridge door which may allow it to fully close again. When they get old they can become brittle.
It's not the seal. The seals are pretty good. What's going on is it's as though some 800lb gorilla had grabbed the door and hung onto it for a minute with all its weight... it doesn't align correctly, it's as though the hinges are bent, but I don't believe they're bent for a second. I stick by my guess that the box is just bent out of shape by virtue of it not sitting flush on the floor for a variety of reasons:

The floor tilts toward the center of the house
The floor may not be in what you'd call a flat plane
The fridge is designed so you can correct for problems with level - there's a twisty foot on the front left, there are 4 rollers. It may accommodate more than one twisty.

I'm not sure. Actually, I kind of think there was a problem before this but it didn't get to the point where the door wouldn't shut by itself. I saw evidence of friction between the door and the surface of the back section, at the bottom of the door, inside the seal. I've noticed this for some time but didn't give it any thought because it didn't cause a problem. However, now it's a problem. Hopefully, after cleaning the coils and floor after I get coil brush I can level and situate the machine, manage to wedge some shimming under the back (it NEEDS that), the door will close again by itself. I could live with having to pull it closed, but I'm afraid of forgetting and leaving a big crack that would let warm air in, cold air out, causing the machine to keep chugging and wasting electricity, and basically wearing out the machine.
 

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