Author Topic: fridge stopped working  (Read 2171 times)

frugalnacho

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fridge stopped working
« on: November 18, 2017, 06:27:51 PM »
What a great way to spend a saturday night.  I just noticed that my fridge temperature is creeping upward into the "too warm" range, and the stuff in the freezer seems to be starting to thaw.  Upon inspection it seems like the fridge is not turning on at all.  The light comes on, but the compressor/fans aren't running.

So what the fuck do I do now?  I've got a fridge and a freezer too warm, a screaming 3 week old, and it's saturday night.

The fridge is a frigidaire model FTMD18P4KW1

I've checked google and youtube, and didn't find any easy solutions.  Sounds like the most likely culprit is the compressor run capacitor.  I don't know how to replace it, and even if I did I don't know where to get another one on a saturday night.

topshot

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 06:41:19 PM »
There is a video on how to replace the capacitor on the page you likely found.

You can always stick some food outside to keep cool since it's a little above freezing there.

Rural

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 06:45:26 PM »
Call a friend or family member to bring a cooler and ice for essentials. Call another to come and get expensive frozen things and take home to their own freezer. Charge one or both of them with organizing cooler ice resupply for the next several days. Go to sleep whenever baby does through the day tomorrow, and then call a repair person on Monday. Feel no guilt - you have a three-week-old.

frugalnacho

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 07:33:52 PM »
I've already moved everything from the fridge to my car.  The high tomorrow is 37*F, so I should be good until monday morning.

I am in the process of moving everything from the freezer to my deep freeze down stairs.

I found several repair pages that say it's likely the compressor run capacitor...but how do I know?  I'd hate to go out an purchase another one and replace it only to find out it still doesn't work.

GuinnessPhish

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 07:48:27 PM »
do you know how old the refrigerator is?

frugalnacho

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 07:58:17 PM »
do you know how old the refrigerator is?

7 years.  It was bought new in 2010.



It worked up until a couple days ago when I noticed the freezer was insanely cold, and the fridge temp had jumped to the upper 40's.  After some investigative work I discovered the cold air was not being moved from the freezer to the fridge. I emptied the freezer and applied warm air to the vents until the ice clog melted and dripped into the fridge.  After that I could feel cold air getting blown into the fridge, so I loaded the freezer back up and shut it.  Everything seemed to be running fine for about 2 days until it suddenly stopped running altogether.

topshot

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 08:21:38 PM »
I found several repair pages that say it's likely the compressor run capacitor...but how do I know?
It's certainly possible it's something else with the compressor or the temp switch, but the capacitor is the most likely to fail, and it's not expensive.

If you have and know how to use a multimeter, you can check the actual compressor windings for continuity and shorts and the temp control. Our old one got stuck in the defrost cycle once. I just had to advance the timer manually and it never happened again. So that is another thing to check especially since you said you had an ice clogging the airflow, which might suggest is isn't defrosting properly. There are videos on how to do all those things.

Goldielocks

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 09:15:23 PM »
I've already moved everything from the fridge to my car.  The high tomorrow is 37*F, so I should be good until monday morning.

I am in the process of moving everything from the freezer to my deep freeze down stairs.

I found several repair pages that say it's likely the compressor run capacitor...but how do I know?  I'd hate to go out an purchase another one and replace it only to find out it still doesn't work.

Ha,  yeah, I was going to point out that you live in michigan!  Cooler set outside your backdoor will work, too.

I would check craigslist tonight, and buy something for $150 tomorrow.   Use it while you save up and shop for a fridge you like, and you may just like your nice cheap CL one in the meantime.

frugalnacho

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2017, 12:44:38 AM »
It was the defrost timer.  I was able to turn it forward and everything started right up and has been humming along for a few hours now.  I am going to order a replacement and swap it out.  It's about $20, and should be a 10 minute job.  Hopefully it keeps running fine until I get that part.

topshot

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2017, 06:35:33 AM »
Excellent. Glad I remembered that. Like I said, mine worked for years after that, but it does sound like yours has had 2 failures within a couple days so replacement sounds best.

frugalnacho

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2017, 03:58:21 PM »
Excellent. Glad I remembered that. Like I said, mine worked for years after that, but it does sound like yours has had 2 failures within a couple days so replacement sounds best.

The replacement timer was less than $10 on amazon so I ordered a new one.  It might run forever with no problems, but I'll just replace it anyway.

Dicey

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2017, 11:44:31 PM »
Glad you're on your way to a resolution. For future reference, should this ever happen again in non-Michigan-winter months: The answer is Dry Ice. Works like a charm (don't touch it!), is cheap, lasts a long time, and is readily available, including at most WallyWorld locations.

FLBiker

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Re: fridge stopped working
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2017, 07:06:34 AM »
Good luck!  I clicked on this thread to recommend checking the defrost timer -- it's the only repair I've done (so far) on a fridge, and it was very cheap and very easy.  I replaced ours about a year ago and we've had no trouble since.