Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Well, CRAP!

My refrigerator just died. It's sitting there with the fans running, there's a click and it makes a humming noise for a few seconds, then it clicks and the only sound is the fans.

Anybody know a good refrigerator repair type in the San Jose / Santa Clara CA area?

-- Badtux the Foodless Penguin

* (well, not quite, I have plenty of non-refrigerated food, but everything in the fridge is likely to be a total loss.)


  1. Crap is right, sounds like the compressor going out on overload. I will guess that if you moved the fridge out and touched the compressor you would find it extremely hot. If that is the case then you can save yourself the service call where the guy will do the same thing and tell you you need a new one (I am guessing you already figured that out) The guy may give the compressor a whack with a hammer to try and free it up(Never works). Only real question you will have is Side by Side or bottom drawer? (8 years HVACR)

  2. Good guess, Whelp, when I moved the fridge out last night and touched the compressor it was extremely hot. I also found that there was enough dirt on the condenser coils that I couldn't see them, so I took the shop vac and vacuumed what I could. But it didn't seem to be anything obvious causing it, the relay on the side looked good, the defrost timer by the light looked good (old-school 20 year old Whirlpool, BTW), so I finally left it unplugged overnight to cool down and went to bed.

    So I read your message this morning, went out to the garage and got the BBFRH (Big Black Fucking Rubber Hammer), plugged in the fridge, whacked the compressor with it multiple times as it tried to start up and... success! Well, temporarily. I still need a new fridge, since the next time the compressor cuts off it *still* isn't going to come back on by itself without me pulling the 'fridge back out and whacking it with the BFH again. All this points out is that I need a new fridge. Well, and also keeps me from having to go out and buy some ice. The food in the freezer is still mostly frozen -- I'd frozen some bottles of water up there to keep my cooler cold on short camping trips, because frozen water bottles last much longer than ice cubes and once they thaw you can actually drink them -- so at least there's that. Now it's going to cool back down again long enough for me to get a new one.

    As for only real question thingy -- it's going to be a top freezer model, cheapest self-defrost one I can find that's above 18 cu. ft. Because a) I don't keep a lot of stuff in my fridge, and b) most of the houses I'm looking at buying don't have enough room for a side-by-side. And c) I'm cheap, except where I'm not. And I prefer these old-school simple cheap refrigerators because the ones that have motherboards and shit, you can't fix'em, all you can do is swap out motherboards and hope. Same reason I got an old-school simple washer-dryer set rather than the new-fangled computerized front loader hoozits... I just don't trust them damned computer thingies. I design'em, so I know what goes into those sausages, yo :).

    So anyhow, thanks for saving me the $50 for the service call to tell me that the fridge is toast. If you ever need penguin assistance, just drop me a line in email and I'll be happy to return the favor :).

    - Badtux the Fridgeless Penguin

  3. From experience, make sure you consider the fact that many of the 80's and 90's kitchens with the trendly big islands leave insufficent room for a top or both freezer fridge to fully open the door or doors.

    I dislike side-by-side because of the narrow storage, but given the dutch door model are expensive and repair prone, that's what I ended up doing anyway.

  4. Center, none of the houses that I'm interested in were built later than 1970. The duplex I'm in was built in 1962, and there's plenty of room for a regular refrigerator in there. I'll skip the trendy 80's and 90's stuff, thank you very much.

    I bought the new fridge and it should be there tomorrow morning. So I gave in to reality and threw away all the perishables, since today was trash day and otherwise they'd be reeking for a week in the garbage. Siiiiigh! Guess I won't be buying that big-screen TV for Christmas after all...

    - Badtux the Fridgeless Penguin

  5. I can't help you, but if misery loves company, I can certainly commiserate with you. When we moved to this house almost 2 years ago, we bought a used fridge. Just out of the 90-day warranty, it started building frost inside the walls of the freezer and not cooling the fridge part. Long story short: that $250 used fridge cost us over another $250 in repairs before we finally considered our losses and replaced it. In our case it turned out to be repeated but varied failures of some sort of embedded processor. Screw the hi-tech; I just want a working fridge. Our "new" one is old technology, thank goodness.

  6. Don't forget that a new fridge takes a day to come down to operating temps, so don't buy new food until the day after it's installed.

  7. Yeah, Steve, your story is why I decided to buy new (1 year warranty with 5 year warranty on the compressor) rather than used. Just a plain old refrigerator with mechanical everything, none of that electronics stuff.


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