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Old 01-26-17, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Refrigerator Maintenance Tips

I saw this video on YT and suddenly realized, that we had been cleaning under
the front on the fridge, (per the manual), but Never removed the back panel and cleaned back there..
Our 'New' fridge is 23 years old! (Wife 'guessed' it was about 10 or 12 years old)..




When I took off the back panel (cardboardish), the compressor and fan area
looked a lot like the heat sink area around an Intel 486 CPU that's been running full time since the 1990s..
One massive dust bunny..

We cleaned out everything we could reach, but I fear that white residue on
a copper joint might be from leaking R12..
The fresh food area (bottom section) is in the mid 40s..
I think it's been in the 35F range for decades.. Now, it's too warm..

Temps still aren't down after 24 hours, so I've opened (fully) up a vent that brings Cold air down from the freezer..

If it's still too warm maņana, then I need to start shopping..

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Last edited by Daox; 01-27-17 at 12:32 PM..
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Old 01-26-17, 07:56 PM   #2
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I do this clean out once a year. Just to help out my refrigerators power usage.
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Old 01-27-17, 12:34 PM   #3
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Good reminder for me too. Thanks!
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Old 01-27-17, 04:35 PM   #4
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I checked my IR pistol on a cup or water with ice cubes, and it displayed 31ish deg F.
So, it should be accurate enough to tell if the old fridge is dying. Plus, cold beer isn't all that cold.
I'm starting to read online reviews. First find that's the size of the old one: WRT138FZDW
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Old 01-27-17, 06:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
When I took off the back panel (cardboardish), the compressor and fan area looked a lot like the heat sink area around an Intel 486 CPU that's been running full time since the 1990s..
One massive dust bunny.
Mine has a snail shaped flat plate coil which in 2002 was a dust bunny after only one year of continuous airborne cat fur. At that point, I fashioned a coarse air conditioner filter out of synthetic filter floss to collect the fur. Now, I just wash the filter like I do with the A/C air handler.

I've had more problems due to defective "automatic defrost controller boards" than anything in my side-by-side. Once the ADC board relay contacts begin to burn out, the freezer coil blocks up with ice and leaves the refrigerator compartment warming up calling for more cooling when the compressor is giving it all it can, running continuously. At that point, I defrost the freezer coil with a hair dryer, and order a new ADC board.
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Old 01-27-17, 08:55 PM   #6
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The paperwork says Dec 1994.. Seems like a long time.
Anyways, we found a replacement unit that seems to be in stock..
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Whirlpool-1...White/50285239

In the mean time, I've moved the milk over in front of the cold air vent,
to keep it from going bad too fast..
Got visit Lowes tomorrow, if the rest of the old fridge is still in the mid 40s..

I'm so glad we don't have a cat.. We were cat sitting a while back and
there was a trail of black cat hair all over the house..
In the den, my wife gathered up a pile so big, we could have built another cat..
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Old 01-27-17, 09:25 PM   #7
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Is your fridge making an intermittent clicking sound?
Last week we heard this weird clicking. Finally, few days later, noticed that the freezer was melting.
Long story short. New compressor relay and overload ... fridge and freezer are working again.
Easy check. Take the relay out. Shake it. If it rattles. That's your problem. Good luck.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeky View Post
Is your fridge making an intermittent clicking sound?
Last week we heard this weird clicking. Finally, few days later, noticed that the freezer was melting.
Long story short. New compressor relay and overload ... fridge and freezer are working again.
Easy check. Take the relay out. Shake it. If it rattles. That's your problem. Good luck.
I had this exact same issue about 5-6 years ago replaced it and it is still running strong today.
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Old 01-27-17, 10:13 PM   #9
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Default

Besides the defrost control, the defrost heating elements also open up. The symptom in this case is barely below freezing freezer section and warm fridge section. With the side by side units, this is worse than over and under units. Since cold air falls, the freezer air finds its way to the bottom fridge section much more easily. With the side by side units, the cold air tends to stay in the freezer side when the evaporator turns to a solid block of ice.

Then again, the thing is pretty old. The new ones are shiny and have LED lighting in them and stuff. Most are a lot more energy efficient than the old dogs as well. Durability is another story, as most newer models have solid state controls (rather than gears and contactors) in them. Beware of lightning and power surges...
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Old 01-28-17, 08:30 AM   #10
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Default GE tbx18jatjrwh is almost working..

It seems to be running almost perfectly normal. Just like it always has.
Maybe the noise is not as loud.?. Due to the good cleaning of dust bunnies..?.

The only thing odd, is the slightly higher temps..
Now that we have the vent dumping more cold air from the freezer,
the top left side shelf is about 38F, so we've moved the milk to the left side.
Else were, it's a bit cooler, but still in the low 40s..
On the downside of the full-vent setting, the freezer temp are no longer
on the low -negative range, but 8 to 10 degrees warmer. -5 is now 5F..

I guess the freezer temp is fine-tuned by dumping it's cold down below,
with a simple vent.?..

It almost seems like the main temperature control has lost some of it's range. At the low end..

I think we are going to skip the road trip and just watch this thing for a few days..

I wonder if there is a leak that can be detected with the new 'Freon Leak detector'?
Maybe I should pull the back cover off and try some snooping for a leak.?.

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Last edited by Xringer; 01-28-17 at 08:33 AM.. Reason: Leak detector
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