07 March 2010

Fridge Freezing

Refrigerators – Beer and tomato’s freezing

I went around to my friend Chris over the weekend and he insisted I must have a beer. Must say there was no need for him to insist - I would have had a beer anyway without him insisting.
When we opened the beer, out pops a piece of ice like a Popsicle – the beer was frozen or it wasn't until it condensate with the outside temperatures and that was just what Hailey (wife) needed to remind Chris that she has been saying for weeks now that her veggies are turning black or gets frozen in the bottom drawers of the fridge.

The first idea that spring to mind is that the thermostat is "on the blink" because the fridge is getting too cold and that will be the obvious part to replace.
Inside fridge; condenser plate and thermostat housing
Chris suggested that I "help him" replace the thermostat inside the refrigerator. Now I wondering, is this a planned move from him to get me to look at the fridge because if you see my size, you will know - only ME will fit in front of the fridge to replace the new thermostat.

Hailey was very quick to make us coffee (and boy she knows how to make coffee) while I install my thermo-meter;- so that we can see and monitor the temperature of the evaporator plate in side fridge. (The evaporator plate is the metal sheet inside - at the back of the fridge where the ice/cold gets formed)

While sitting there waiting for the fridge to do its stuff and cool down. Me and Chris got chatting and I explaining to Chris that there are always signs symptoms and things he must always be on the look out for.

General Notes about refrigeration

1. Refrigerator thermostat does not work like a water tap;
Fridge thermostat
1.1. A general perception is; - if you turn it up (numbers on knob),  you increase the gas flow - Not so!
When there are no ice on Fridge's condenser plate turning the setting know won't increase the flow of more refrigerant. 
1.2. By increasing the number on your refrigerator you are only increasing the TIME the compressor should run.

2. If the refrigerator doesn’t circulate the refrigerant (gas) correctly or if it is in need of gas it will not get colder.
2.1. Two door thermostat operates between +2 degrees and – 8 degrees
2.2. If fridge only goes down to -7 degrees, the thermostat cannot switch the compressor off – resulting beers to freeze (tomatoes/lectures gets frostbite and turn black)
2.3. It Takes 6 to 8 hours for absorption fridge to respond to thermostat change setting.
2.4. A normal fridge (compressor type) it takes about 1 to 2 hours to respond.
2.5. The thermostat only operates in the fridge section and not in the freezer, therefore if there is only ice in the freezer section it will result your fridge section and the stuff/milk inside it to “smell”. Switch it off and get a professional to "fill" the refrigerant(gas)

3. at some stages the fridge condenser plate might get colder than the freezer

4. Ice do not make cold (to our/my standards 4-8 degrees)inside fridge section

5. Normally there is a 1 to 2 degree temp difference between top and bottom shelve

6. Number settings on thermostat (inside) mean the following; 1 is hot – 7 is the coldest setting.

7. Fridge refrigerant (gas) is never used up by fridge or get old after a time period. If a fridge needs gas – it has a gas leak.
7.1. Two main types (gas)are used in domestic fridges
7.1.1. 134A Which is a CFC free and ozone friendly
7.1.2. R12 Has CFC in it (busy been fazed out) an alternative gas “drop in” gas is available for the older units.

It turned out that Chris’s fridge thermostat was fine because the fridge was only going down to minus 2 degrees. It just needed a blast of refrigerant (R12) because the leak was so small and it would days to find it.

Needless to say, I got another cup of coffee! and always be aware of diabetics signs symptoms

Till next time