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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
22,992
5,062
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Could try beefing up the seal around the door with silicone calk or similar? Possibly some kind of weather-stripping? Not sure how well it would hold up to repeated use though.

The frame of the entire unit may well have lost some integrity from sitting on the uneven floor for so long especially if the legs were adjusted slightly out of balance and that won't be an easy thing to fix.

Stacking up a few wooden shims on the front sounds like its worth a try before throwing money at the problem.

EDIT: If that doesn't do it you could always "mod" the fridge lol ... I've seen people mount something like the below when the latch failed. (no Dremel required!)



Everbilt 6 in. Stainless Steel Hook and Eye

Crude but effective! :D
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
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Ah, I found the Samsung RT21M6213WW at $870. $10 installation, $0 for delivered in box. Well, getting it in the house may be an issue. It's the same company I bought my current Amana fridge from and it's about the same size so I guess they can get it in the house. Maybe with the door off? It's an option and that price is actually a lot less than I paid for my Amana. Dang thing has top freezer, though. I hope I can save my Amana. I'm optimistic I can resolve that door closing problem.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
22,992
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Ah, I found the Samsung RT21M6213WW at $870. $10 installation, $0 for delivered in box. Well, getting it in the house may be an issue. It's the same company I bought my current Amana fridge from and it's about the same size so I guess then can get it in the house. Maybe with the door off? Actually, the Amana came with the door opening on the left and I made them switch to the right, so I guess they could get it in the house without removing the door? Anyway, it's an option and that price is actually a lot less than I paid for my Amana. Dang thing has top freezer, though. I hope I can save my Amana. I'm optimistic I can resolve that door closing problem.

Nearly all fridges have reversible/removable doors even the cheapo Frigidaire medium-size unit I bought a few months ago so that should be a non-issue.

I feel the need to add however that I personally know 3 different people including my sister in-law who went with Samsung fridges (and 1 similar experience with LG) because they were "shiny & fancy" then had a failure that took literally months to get fixed.

Pay LESS attention to the bells and whistles and MORE to how easy it is to get parts if you need service. Samsung & LG are as bad as it gets in that area. (although Samsung is at least trying to improve)
 
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Dec 10, 2005
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Could your freezer be set at too low of a temperature? I had an oldish fridge in my old apartment that had a simple dial that would adjust a flap between the freezer and the fridge. If I had the flap closed too much (ie, freezer set to coldest), the fridge would often be kind of warm. Had to find the right balance between that freezer flap setting and another dial that controlled the temperature of the fridge.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
Could your freezer be set at too low of a temperature? I had an oldish fridge in my old apartment that had a simple dial that would adjust a flap between the freezer and the fridge. If I had the flap closed too much (ie, freezer set to coldest), the fridge would often be kind of warm. Had to find the right balance between that freezer flap setting and another dial that controlled the temperature of the fridge.
The manual describes a system to make adjustments to the 2 controls to get temperatures in the range desired (see above, maybe the OP). I think their system makes sense. ATM, the fridge seems to be working reasonably well, not sure why... indeed the freezer is set on the high side, 6 of a possible 7. But it's working and I'm not going to tinker with anything until I clean the coils. I see no way to do that without the brush I should get today. I just ordered a couple of vacuum attachments, thin and long, to get under a fridge or whatever and suck up dust, etc. I think one or the other (hopefully) will facilitate the process of getting dust away from the coils, brushing won't be enough without vacuuming too. I should have gotten brush/vac attachment system years ago! Really worthwhile investment.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
I just ordered a replacement thermostat, less than $10 NEW including tax and free shipping on Ebay, the part number is the same as specified at two different parts suppliers for my model fridge, Amana BR22VW. So, I conclude it's the right part. I'm kind of guessing that it's the thermostat that's causing the problem. There are buyer posts at Partselect by people explaining how to do the replacement and other info. The supplier wants $104 for the part, plus shipping, I suppose. Another supplier wants ~$100 including shipping and tax.

Evidently the part works in various manufacturer's refrigerators including Amana and Whirlpool, each having their own part numbers. One of those is W10752646, same as what I just ordered. Should have it Monday. Meantime I'm trying to keep my food from spoiling!


I ordered this:

 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
I just watched that. Not sure it's germane to my problem. However, I saw this video today which shows how to replace the thermostat in an Amana bottom freezer fridge, a quite different model than mine, but the thermostat looks about the same and he had some good tips. One thing he showed was tapping the controller in the freezer... the thermostat is attached right above the controller, and when he tapped it on a couple of occasions, the compressor clicked on. I was just having a familiar issue an hour ago (this has happened at least 3 times in the last week) turning up the freezer controller to max did not kick on the compressor. I tapped my freezer controller and the compressor kicked on. I'm optimistic replacing my thermostat will fix the problem:

 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
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126
That video also makes the case that it's difficult to determine if the freezer control thermostat is operational without replacing it.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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That video also makes the case that it's difficult to determine if the freezer control thermostat is operational without replacing it.
Sounds like it's a matter of the part lacking physical durability. The circuit opens and closes based on the material inside responding to temperature.

Whereas older refrigerators usually have very durable thermostats, this particular Whirlpool derivative of the late 90s/early 00's has had some cost cutting done such that the fridge would die before the end of a 30 year mortgage. .

I think the following the a torn down version of the part you are going to replace.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
I like that video, it shows how those thermostats work. Don't know if there's a tube going to it whose pressure triggers the switch, but that click is the thing. Good chance the switch isn't as responsive to the pressure change in the freezer as it's supposed to be. Whirlpool cost cutting, uh huh. Seems that Amana and Whirlpool shared the same thermostat switch, at least the one that I have. The other video shows the repair guy giving the control that houses the thermostat a good thump with the palm of his hand and that triggered the response needed to close the switch, turning on the compressor. That trick alone may well save me my food going bad in the coming week.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
EDIT: If that doesn't do it you could always "mod" the fridge lol ... I've seen people mount something like the below when the latch failed. (no Dremel required!)



Everbilt 6 in. Stainless Steel Hook and Eye

So posted @Captante...

Got that issue resolved, at least enough where the seals close perfectly now without having to pull the door shut, the fridge door now does this on its own without human intervention...

I realized today that the one shim I currently had on the fridge, a board under the left back foot was contributing to the squisht-ness that made the door not align. Removing that shim improved the square-ness enough to eliminate the door not closing by itself issue.

Waiting on my new thermostat. Supposed to be here by Monday but the seller hasn't replied to my message to please hurry and I don't see it as shipped yet. I rarely care about fast shipping, this is that time though.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
22,992
5,062
136
EDIT: If that doesn't do it you could always "mod" the fridge lol ... I've seen people mount something like the below when the latch failed. (no Dremel required!)



Everbilt 6 in. Stainless Steel Hook and Eye

So posted @Captante...

Got that issue resolved, at least enough where the seals close perfectly now without having to pull the door shut, the fridge door now does this on its own without human intervention...

I realized today that the one shim I currently had on the fridge, a board under the left back foot was contributing to the squisht-ness that made the door not align. Removing that shim improved the square-ness enough to eliminate the door not closing by itself issue.

Waiting on my new thermostat. Supposed to be here by Monday but the seller hasn't replied to my message to please hurry and I don't see it as shipped yet. I rarely care about fast shipping, this is that time though.

I STILL say the hook & eye would have worked like a champ! :p
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
I today installed my new KP115 Kasa energy monitoring smart plug, did the firmware update and plugged the fridge into it. The fridge was off so power draw showed in the Kasa app as 2.0w. After I managed to get the fridge to turn on (compressor fire up), the draw was initially 270w but soon dropped to 170w and has continued to descend and after ~1 hour is showing 152w. Isn't that kinda low? Does that suggest an issue? The temperatures of the freezer and fridge are duly dropping and are in range now:

fridge: 39
freezer: -6

After opening each compartment and reading the thermometers the power draw increased from 152w to 156w. A 1/2 hour later, draw down to 149w. Is this "normal" for a full sized bottom freezer 21 YO fridge? It is "Energy Star" but isn't this kind of too low? It seems to be cooling fine when it's on. :oops:

Earlier I ordered a wifi temp (and humidity) monitoring system for fridge and freezer. I figure this should allow me to get alerts if they are out of range, e.g. via email. The reviews I read are very positive: "great range" and "very accurate."

 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
The thermostat I ordered off ebay that was supposed to arrive tomorrow, arrived 2 days ago, i.e. Friday (yahoo!). I installed it yesterday. I was evidently right in my supposition that the thermostat that came in the now 21 year old Amana BR22VW refrigerator with bottom freezer had gone bad and was getting worse by the day. My life had turned into a bizarre quest to prevent the food in my stuffed refrigerator/freezer from going bad. I got pretty good at that with the help of a Kasa energy monitoring wifi enabled plug, which let me know when the machine was idle and when it was humming with the compressor in action (as long as I regularly checked the Kasa app). When the machine had been idle for 4+ hours I could force it to start by turning up the freezer thermostat to the top setting and slapping the control knob repeatedly, if necessary ever harder until the machine clicked on (where it would stay for 3-4 hours, then turn itself off).

Replacing the thermostat was quite a bit tougher than the job I saw done in a ~9 minute YT video also done on an Amana fridge with bottom freezer. For one thing, the new thermostat wouldn't fit in the steel bracket without cutting the two male lugs that accommodate the female electrical connectors back around 1/8 inch. Fortunately I have lots of tools, including rotary tools and diamond encrusted cutoff wheels.

The machine appears to me to be acting somewhat normally, however I don't really know what "normal" is for refrigerators. Instead of 4 hour cycling (each cycle around 4 hours, off and on), it's doing maybe on average 35-40 minutes, which I think is kind of typical for this machine (I've lived with it 21 years). The freezer temp is varying between -10 and 3 F. The fridge between 35 and 38 F right now. I suppose these aren't bad. The manual wants -2 to 0 for freezer and 38 to 40 for the fridge, but I don't know if it's possible for the machine to stay in those ranges, maybe it's just the target area. Is there something else that was wrong with the machine? Certainly possible,
 
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Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,450
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Given that the trigger for the switch is "analog", I would not be surprised at the ebb and flow of temperature.
 

BUTCH1

Lifer
Jul 15, 2000
20,433
1,765
126
Glad you got it fixed, far too often people want to toss stuff in the landfill without even trying. I got my current "60 TV from someone's trash, it was in perfect shape but needed a power supply board which I got on Ebay for $24, took about an hour to fix it.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
Glad you got it fixed, far too often people want to toss stuff in the landfill without even trying. I got my current "60 TV from someone's trash, it was in perfect shape but needed a power supply board which I got on Ebay for $24, took about an hour to fix it.
I have a Lenovo T60 laptop that I still use (premium in its time, I use it to make scheduled audio recordings off FM) off Ebay where it was selling cheap "for parts" because the seller didn't realize it could be easily salvaged. It was giving a peculiar message when trying to boot it (IIRC, the seller displayed it in his listing). Some internet searching revealed what I had to do to fix it.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
Given that the trigger for the switch is "analog", I would not be surprised at the ebb and flow of temperature.
I read the manual again. It recommended not an ordinary fridge thermometer to evaluate how the settings are working but instead placing a thermometer in a glass of water in the fresh food section and snugging up another thermometer between large items in the freezer section and waiting 5-8 hours before taking readings to determine if further adjustment is necessary and then moving the adjustment dial one number up or down, waiting another 5-8 hours, etc. I'm doing that right now, just put the thermometers in the water, etc. and will take readings later in the day. The fridge seems to be acting fine right now, it may not need further adjustment, maybe just once. Meantime, it's stress free time again. :D
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
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.
I had no skill with fridge repair, and yes it is 21 years old. I did NOT regularly move it and clean the dust out from back & underneath. However, this has been a huge learning experience. Nobody said I should but I surmised that replacing the thermostat was fundamental in saving my fridge (and a lot of food I would have really really hated losing).

I ordered brushes to clean the coils and underneath. I ordered vacuum fittings. I ordered electronic devices to monitor fridge operation.

Check this:

The U.S. Department of Energy's assumes eight hours of operating time per day since refrigerators cycle on and off throughout the day. Multiply your refrigerator's demand of 805 watts by 8 hours to get 6,440 watts per day. Divide that amount by 1,000 to get 6.44 kilowatt-hours.Dec 9, 2020

I not only fixed my fridge (fingers crossed, I'm not sure it's OK but it may be exactly that). My current temperatures (from my newly acquired Yolink hub and sensors):

Fridge 38.8F
Freezer -4.2F

Of course, those temps are air temps and fluctuate a lot depending on if the compressor is on or off. At the moment it's on (I can tell by virtue of the Kasa energy monitoring wifi smart plug the fridge is plugged into).

And get this: The quote above from the DOE of 6.44 kwh/day for a modern fridge... my fridge, according to my Kasa App has averaged 1.46kwh over the last 7 days.

I have not seen my fridge draw more than 180watts during normal operation and that would be the second the compressor turns on. It quickly starts gradually dropping, eventually to about 150watts before it cycles off, at which point it draws ~2watts until the air temperature in the freezer gets a few degrees over 0F and the compressor kicks on again.

Actually, I did see the fridge draw over 400watts briefly once or twice, and that was during its rare defrost cycle, I'm certain. IIRC, the compressor was NOT running then.
 
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dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
23,809
1,994
126
The U.S. Department of Energy's assumes eight hours of operating time per day since refrigerators cycle on and off throughout the day. Multiply your refrigerator's demand of 805 watts by 8 hours to get 6,440 watts per day. Divide that amount by 1,000 to get 6.44 kilowatt-hours.Dec 9, 2020
...
And get this: The quote above from the DOE of 6.44 kwh/day for a modern fridge... my fridge, according to my Kasa App has averaged 1.46kwh over the last 7 days.
So many errors, so little time.

It appears that you got that information from a website like this one: https://paylesspower.com/blog/how-many-watts-does-a-refrigerator-use/ There are two math mistakes in that article that you quoted, luckily they cancel out. 805 W * 8 hr is not 6440 watts / day. The actual result is 805 W * 8 hr = 6440 W*hr. Then they later correct it by making the opposite mistake. This just really threw me off as it was hard to read with such blatant misunderstanding of units.

The bigger mistake, is that you quoted the wrong section of the article. You quoted the old refrigerator's use of 6.44 kW/hr as if it were a new fridge. A new energy star fridge should be closer to 1 kW*hr. So, your fridge is less efficient, but not drastically.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
33,149
5,063
126
So many errors, so little time.

It appears that you got that information from a website like this one: https://paylesspower.com/blog/how-many-watts-does-a-refrigerator-use/ There are two math mistakes in that article that you quoted, luckily they cancel out. 805 W * 8 hr is not 6440 watts / day. The actual result is 805 W * 8 hr = 6440 W*hr. Then they later correct it by making the opposite mistake. This just really threw me off as it was hard to read with such blatant misunderstanding of units.

The bigger mistake, is that you quoted the wrong section of the article. You quoted the old refrigerator's use of 6.44 kW/hr as if it were a new fridge. A new energy star fridge should be closer to 1 kW*hr. So, your fridge is less efficient, but not drastically.
Well, I didn't go to a website and get their stuff, I just ran a google search on "how many kilowatt hours should a modern refrigerator use per day" and copied the first thing that came up and posted it into this thread. Why it was so screwed up, I don't know. Of course, lots of times Google comes up with some bad/screwy stuff, guess this was one of those times in spades.


If I had reached down the hit-list a bit I would have come to this (from 2019), which appears much better:
- - - -
How many kWh does a modern fridge use?

Domestic fridge power consumption is typically between 100 and 250 watts. Over a full day, a fridge is likely to use between 1 to 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh). This translates into a running cost of about $150 per year per fridge.
- - - -
My fridge is a lot bigger than the average, I believe. 33x32x68 inches, usable capacity is considerable, I don't have the figure. Anyway, it was Energy Star in 2000 and seems not particularly wasteful of electricity.
 
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