Fixing your Fridge

We thought our refrigerator was dying yesterday. Such a sad day. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike our fridge. Our last fridge had a bottom freezer, which I really liked. But when it died, we didn’t have a lot of time to shop and wait, as living without a fridge can be difficult, so we went with what was in stock in the color that matches our other kitchen appliances. We’ve never replaced all of our appliances at once, so we’re always trying to match what we have (bisque). Anyway, our current fridge is a top freezer model, and the drawers are difficult to pull out to clean, and the door compartment things (where you put your mayo and so on) have broken twice, and are not easy to get replaced. I overall dislike it.

However, much as I dislike our fridge, I don’t want to have to buy a new one. This one is 5 or 6 years old. I resent how cheaply appliances are made these days. When our last one was dying, we had a repairman come out, and he said it was expensive to fix, and the problem nowadays is that you can buy an expensive fridge with all of the bells and whistles, or you can buy a cheap one, and they have different configurations, shelf space, bells and whistles, but the basic guts of them all are now cheap and don’t last. I HATED hearing that. GET OFF MY LAWN! I know, I’m old, and I don’t like this disposable economy that we live in. I want a fridge that will last 20 or 30 years.

Side story, we bought a stove quite a few years ago. There was a crappy little piece of plastic in the control knobs that broke, and one burner would not turn off. It was always on, at a low temp, but on. Not good. And yes, it was a couple of weeks after the warranty ran out. Grrr. The guy who came to fix it said it was a tiny piece of plastic in the back end of the knob, which of course used to be metal, but is now plastic, and they don’t make them like they used to.

So here we are. Maybe a week or two ago, I was in the kitchen and the fridge was making a weird noise, starting and stopping, starting and stopping. Uh oh. But it mellowed out, and turned out OK. Or so I thought. Then a few days later, I noticed some green onions had frozen in the fridge. Not good, but what’s going on? Off and on over the next week or so, we hear the stopping and starting of the fridge, like, “START.STOP.START.STOP” quickly like that. Then yesterday, we noticed that our food didn’t seem as cold as it had been. It was luke warm. We looked in the freezer, and noticed that the freezer had snow/ice in it. Ted’s parents were over for dinner, and they mentioned how that had happened to them, and it meant blockage in the vents between the freezer and fridge (ice), which causes the air to not flow. They unplugged their fridge for a couple of hours, and that melted the ice blockage, and it was fixed. Maya looked on her phone for an answer, and that seemed to be it. So Ted and his dad cleaned out the snow inside, and vacuumed the horrible amount of dust on the back of the fridge, and we all hoped for the best.

When we woke up this morning, the fridge was 60 degrees (according to our meat thermometer). Not good. I decided to take my life in my hands and eat eggs anyway, and the milk smelled fine, so I put it in my tea. Then I read up on such things, and talked to my friend Cherry, who went to culinary school and studied food safety, and decided to follow Ted’s advice and throw things out. So when Maya got up, I took her to breakfast/lunch. I cleaned out the fridge, and took our perfectly frozen food to our neighbor’s house, and unplugged the fridge. I left the doors open and put a fan on it to try to melt the ice blocking up the works. When Ted came home from work a couple of hours later, the snow had melted, but the ice in the vents was still frozen solid. So he worked on that, attacked it with the hair dryer, etc. for a couple of hours. When all was clear and looked good, we plugged it back in. Here we are, a couple of hours later, and it’s looking good. There is still a chance that we will need a new fridge fairly soon (Do I want this? Yes. Do I want to pay for this? No.) The fridge isn’t down to the required

Here’s the video Ted watched to give him tips on what to do when your freezer is still cold but the fridge isn’t.

This entry was posted in Musings.

5 thoughts on “Fixing your Fridge

  1. Ack! You have my sympathy. Like you, Mrs. Ombud very much favors the bottom freezer configuration. Knock on wood, ours is still working after all these years. Well, except for the ice maker, which a repairman fixed once, then died soon thereafter. So I fill the ice trays manually. If this keeps the fridge gremlins at bay, I do not mind.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t care about an ice maker, just one more thing to break. Likely because I’ve never had one. Once I did I might fall in love with it.

  2. Sigh. My battles with all appliances are well-known and documented over at the Dept.

    I sympathize and feel your Appliance Pain. It’s patently absurd how consumers are supposed to (begrudgingly) accept lousy quality, yet high-dollar “durable” goods and shell out thousands of dollars every few years for them. Durable my … you know.

    As far as Refrigerator Style Preference, I am a fan of the Side-By-Side. With ice and filtered water dispenser in the door since that is my primary non-alcoholic beverage.

    Let me know when you want to talk about stoves. Or, more recently, central air conditioner units. Sigh Again.

    • OH, STOVES! I dislike our stove. Back when we were planning to move, we purchased a new stove. One of the burners on our old one had gone out. I liked our old stove (original with the house, so 1980), because it had two ovens. But such things are not easy to come by these days, in the right size, etc. What I really wanted was a gas stove, but it would cost us about $700 more to run the gas line, and why spend the money when you’re moving, right? Of course the bottom fell out of the housing market, and we didn’t move (good thing, because we both lost our jobs not long after, so if we had sold we’d likely be homeless…). So we have the stupid flat top stove that looks filthy without constant scrubbing. We have to take turns sleeping, so someone can be awake and scrubbing the stove.

      Air conditioning is next…HORRID. We had someone come out to give ours a tune-up recently, and he said that our A/C is working well considering it’s also 1980, but our heater looked ready to die to him. Hopefully he’s wrong about that, but he did tell us about a program in California where you can get financing and rebates to pay for improvements to energy efficiency, which seems like a great idea to me. I wonder if they have such a program in Ohio? Do you like your new central air? If you do (or if you don’t, actually), what brand did you get?

      • No one I know who has one of those flattop stoves is happy about it. No one. And to think I used to want one. Then I realized how lucky I was to have real flame, and got over it. Of course, my Ideal was the Dual Fuel (gas cooktop and electric oven), but that thing hit the skids (also well-documented), and now I have a basic gas range.

        Due to the install company being a Licensed Trane Dealer, we now have a Trane AC unit. That thing is gargantuan for us having such a teensy home. But for all its massive presence, it is quiet, even though it hulks right outside the bedroom. As to the $$$ end of it all, I have Zero Info. That is under Rick’s purview. He also assured me that its size is Typical for the brand. “All of them are pretty big,” he stated. Since he used to work as a project manager for a remodel company and then an install manager for an HVAC company, I guess he would know.

        All I know is that all three times we installed AC (twice in our NEO home and this last time down at the lake), it has been during a hellish heat wave. And like you, this last AC unit replaced a very, very old one, so it was not entirely a bitter pill to swallow.

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