View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/4  >  >>
User Rank
Appliance reliability & Repair
knightowl_00   2/12/2013 9:48:27 PM
Once upon a time, long, long ago, products were designed and manufactured to be functional and reliable for long life and use. Today, quality and reliability have been sacrificed to bring costs down, increase corporate profit, and to increase future sales by designing planned obsolecence, while retail prices are out of sight. My first Frigidaire fridge/freezer purchased in 1960 lasted over 35 years with only 2 noisy freezer fan replacements; my first Matag washer (1960) lasted 33 years with 1 timer &  1 water pump replaced. etc, etc., Ah, for the good old days before going green and household appliance computer automation that is programmed to inefficiency and premature failure ahead of it's time... One cannot buy a cheap repair component anymore -- you have to buy "an assembly" because no-one troubleshoots anymore ---  but that is a subject for another post... 

User Rank
and related problems...
Tshooter   7/31/2012 12:29:18 PM
My defrost heater worked so well it was flooding the fridge compartment because the regular drainpipe where the water should flow out and evaporate would occassionally freeze shut and backup. I eventually discovered attaching an appropriately sized piece of soda can from heating coil to just inside drainpipe solved the soggy vegetable problem. I later found such a solution on Amazon.com as well fo rmuch more money than my AL can and self-tapping screw. This design flaw continues to sell many fridges.

User Rank
Re: Refrigerator heaters have been subject of energy use issue for a while:
TomF   7/25/2012 3:29:56 PM
There is a timer which periodically turns off the compressor and powers up a defrost heater in series with temperature sensing switch which opens at a relatively high temperature (65degF maybe) and closes at a very cold temperature (-40degF maybe).  So when the timer applies power to the series heater & temp switch, the heat melts the ice until the switch warms up to the turn off point.  Sometime later the defrost timer again activates the compressor plus in-box temperature controls.

The usual failure mode is that the defrost temperature switch does not properly switch on at very cold due to drifting lower temperature switch point (say -50degF).  As a result, the heater never turns on to defrost the coils and the moisture builds up until the coils are clogged.  To confirm, locate the defrost timer (sometimes on bottom of refrigerator or may be inside somewhere), use a screwdriver to advance the timer into defrost mode, and then short out the defrost temperature sensor (Maybe you do that with the power off) to see if the heater comes on. If so, solution is to replace the defrost temperature switch.

User Rank
Re: Refrigerator heaters have been subject of energy use issue for a while:
ricardo   7/17/2012 5:43:02 PM
Econobiker, failure to RTFM isn't limited to the unwashed masses.  IME, elite members of our noble profession are just as guilty.

Of course, manuals are often written by people who subscribe to this attitude resulting in poor manuals.  This perpetuates a vicious cycle encouraging even more lack of RTFM.

User Rank
Re: Refrigerator Mysteries
1800ES   7/13/2012 9:04:34 AM
To DW- Ya, up North the compressors get cranky.  More so in the new units it seems.  My refrigerator/freezer out in the garage quit a couple of winters ago due to the cold.  I got a heating tape from the local plumbing supply store, wrapped it around the compressor, and plug it in every fall.  The heating tape turns itself on around 40 degrees(F), keeps it all working all winter long. 

User Rank
Re: These aren't the only heaters.
OLD_CURMUDGEON   7/9/2012 10:56:08 AM
Try a hand-held hair dryer the next time..... not hot enuf to melt plastic, but more than warm enuf to melt ice, and a heck of a lot more convenient than chugging over pots of hot water for hours on end.

User Rank
Refrigerator heaters have been subject of energy use issue for a while:
econobiker   7/8/2012 2:26:24 AM
There has been much discussion on the energy use side about the heaters in refrigerators (coil defrost and ice tray) and how much energy that the heaters use versus the more efficient compressors and controls now in modern refrigerators. This will become a greater focus of the save energy forces in the future so expect to see some alternative solutions.

On the consumer side most people today do not have a clue that refrigerators have heaters in the unit.


As for refrigerators in cold environments, most have warnings about this issue in the user manual but, as we all know, who reads a manual.

"Got to have it out of the box NOW, NOW, NOW!!! and plugged up NOW, NOW, NOW!!! and have/make it work NOW, NOW, NOW!!!"


(Many times I have helped family members, coworkers, neighbors with some sort of new appliance or machine set up, assembly, etc problem by my actually referring to the item's included manual in a methodical and calm manner even to the point of exasperating the person who asked for my help. 

My attitude is "tough" - if you are too impatient, lack mechanical ability, or lack troubleshooting ability then your feelings are not my problem when you ask me to help with solving something that just following the manual instructions could have avoided.)

User Rank
Re: Heaters there for a reason
caninophile   7/6/2012 6:25:32 PM
Fraid not Al but it surely would have been my pleasure. I live in Oregon now but spent most of my career working in So Calif. Gen Dynamics, Pomona; General Electrodynamics, Pasadena; Lockheed Electronics; Leach Controls; Philco Ford Semiconductor; Odetics and then private law practice.

User Rank
Re: Heaters there for a reason
Island_Al   7/6/2012 6:13:11 PM

By any chance did you work with me on a blimp project in the Florida Keys several years ago? Then again maybe there are more than one old EE/lawyer combos around, as strange a combo as that might sound. Looking backward from the present my life has been nothing short of wonderous and filled with wonderful and interesting (for the most part) people. No way can I ever stop working.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: Heating to cool
Ann R. Thryft   7/6/2012 12:26:52 PM
I'd--thankfully--forgotten about manually defrosting the freezer, and tekochip's description brought back the memories. Uh, thanks? At least they remind me to be grateful for modern self-defrosting machines.

Page 1/4  >  >>

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
A small team of engineers has created a tackling dummy robot that's comparable to training with human players on the football field.
Several plastics and elastomers have come out recently for different parts of cars, as well as for multi-material medical devices and for onboard base station antenna components.
Work in embedding conductive materials into commercially available yarn could lead to energy textiles that store power for use.
A ball bearing developed for turbofan engines by FAG Aerospace of Germany and MTU Aero Engines could have other uses such as turbines, pumps, and gearbox stages.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
Design News Webinar Series
8/13/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/24/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 14 - 18, Controlling Sensors Efficiently with MCUs
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course August 25-27:
Sponsored by MICROMO
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service