5 year old LG refrigerator defrosting

Discussion in 'General Appliance Discussion' started by mayuus, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Sep 15, 2008 #1

    mayuus

    mayuus

    mayuus

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    My 5 year old LG refrigerator is defrosting. Do you think it is the temperature control?
    May
     
  2. Sep 15, 2008 #2

    glennjanie

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    Welcome Mayuus:
    I had one do the same thing. It turned out to be the compressor burned out. I had to buy a new one.
    Pull the refrigerator out from the wall and see if the compressor is running. Mine was hot as a firecracker but not running.
    Glenn
     
  3. Sep 18, 2008 #3

    woodchuck

    woodchuck

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    If the compressor is cutting off before it reaches the selected temp, it could be the temp control. If it's not cutting off it's something else.

    Check to see if the condenser fan at the back underneath the fridge is running.
    Is the compressor motor near that fan running.
    Are the coils warm ,cold or hot.

    Is the evaporator fan in the freezer running. It blows cold air into the fridge side through a damper in the wall between the freezer and fridge. Make sure the damper is open.

    Below the evaporator fan is the evaporator coils. Remove the back cover in the freezer to observe the frost pattern. stopped up? clear? ice in one spot . frost everywhere.
     
  4. Sep 27, 2008 #4

    danR6

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    I'm tracking this problem!!

    inside coils of freezer are covered with ice and frost (it's a 8 yr old GE unit, self defrost model)

    compressor is not cutting off - hot to touch
    condenser fan underneath the fridge is running
    external coils not very warm
    inside fan running

    The frig. slowly quit keeping things cold or frozen over a period of days. (I think the door wasn't closing completely for a few days last week from a pizza box.)

    I'm in the middle of trying to melt this ICE right now! Any way to trip the defrost cycle to speed up the process?
     
  5. Sep 27, 2008 #5

    danR6

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    [​IMG]

    ok folks, I've melted the iceburg and mopped up the pan overflow (note to self: condensation pan doesn't hold unexpected volumes of melting condensate.)

    I kicked the unit back on and the tinsel and coils began frosting up nice and evenly starting from the lower end. I put the panel cover back and it's been running for 6 hours and things are good so far... icemaker cranking too.

    what's next? how long before we begin celebrating??
     
  6. Sep 28, 2008 #6

    woodchuck

    woodchuck

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    If the auto defrost system isn't working you should notice it within a week. check defrost timer, defrost heater, defrost thermostat http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/refrigerator.php

    In most of the new units they now have the adaptive defrost control instead of timer. It senses when to defrost based on how many times and for how long the door is opened. It's more energy efficient but there does seem to be lots of problems with the board. If the heater and thermostat are ok it’ll be the control.
     
  7. Sep 28, 2008 #7

    danR6

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    Thanks Woodchuck, especially the extra details about this defrost system stuff. I'm newly learning about auto defrost w/ refrigerators. (I actually remember the old days of hot pans of water to defrost these things.) I'll sleep well knowing my refrig is keeping track of our usage habits, arhh.

    And I guess if this happens once, it could happen again. I'll monitor for at least a week or so. I still can't figure if it's a "timer" or "adaptive" system either.

    Speculation:
    Don't know if it was from recently leaving the freezer door cracked open for a day as I mentioned before (we also half loaded it with containers of room temp water for hurricane prep last month)... but a copper bulb sensor was encased (caught up) in this frozen iceburg that I melted. I wonder if conditions can get so out of control and allow ice to build up to a point where this sensor can't "read" what's going on... could it keep the "adaptive" or other style defrost from kicking on?
     
  8. Sep 29, 2008 #8

    woodchuck

    woodchuck

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    You can post your model number here http://www.partselect.com/

    and do a search for timer, adaptive defrost control, control board. It may show you a diagram of your fridge and which kind of defrost control you have.
     
  9. Oct 21, 2008 #9

    danR6

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    Same ole ice burg on the freezer coils. ((Let me guess - refrigeration experts aren't surprised that I'm back... )) I thawed it again, prepared for another run.

    Checked that link for my model number. Looks like I have the 'timer' style defrost by the parts listed and from what I am identifying inside the unit. (Timer, thermostat, heater strip element)

    I took a screwdriver and turned the 'dial' on the timer until it clicked for the defrost. Wait 10 minutes - no heat with the (now exposed) heater strip. (Cut off the power,) spliced and jumped the wires for the little round thermostat. Tricked the defrost dial again, wait 10 minutes - no heat.

    I guess I need to test the heater element and timer before the next ice age. Do I need an ohm meter, or should I assume it's the timer unit?
    ______________________________________
     
  10. Oct 23, 2008 #10

    woodchuck

    woodchuck

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    Check the heater. If it's good it'll come on when you turn the defrost timer to shut down the cooling and melt the ice. ohm meter the heater for continuity. You can probably watch the timer to see if it seems to be turning on it's own. If it is it's ok.
     
  11. Nov 19, 2008 #11

    danR6

    danR6

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    Thanks again woodchk. Amazing how easy it is to procrastinate when the thing works so well after defrosting. (yes, i've now done this 3 times.)

    I have repeatedly tested the heater element for heat by turning the timer dial until it clicks. Spliced wires and jumped the thermostat with no luck.

    Picked up an ohm meter and pulled the heater element to check continuity (two easy to remove push on connectors) - There is NO current across the two connections on either side of this element (as in, the needle doesn't move as it does when I place the probes on two ends of my screwdriver.) I know this may seem incredibly dense, but I'm not sure what "resistance" and "infinity" means in reading the instructions for these measurements (or what I'm looking for if the reading is supposed to be inbetween.)

    I'm assuming my heater is ok w/ "zero" reading, but please advice if otherwise.

    Minor question: I don't want to leave the refrig turned off while I run to the parts place... will it run if I remove the timer? (I want to take the part with me to match.) Otherwise, I may just take my chances with the serial number and a visual check.
     
  12. Nov 20, 2008 #12

    woodchuck

    woodchuck

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    The needle should move when you touch the ends of the heater element. If you don't get a reading like you do on the screwdriver then element is bad.

    Everything should continue running when heater elements are taken off.
     
  13. Nov 22, 2008 #13

    danR6

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    Thanks, I haven't pulled the timer yet. In fact, I stopped by the parts place yestrday to check if they had the part in stock and got the same smarts about what this "zero" reading means with the heater element. (I understand the terms "open" and "closed" circuit, but resistance, infinity... I guess if I understood how the heater element actually uses the current, I might have a better visual concept in my mind.)

    Great, so I pull the heater today and replace...

    And I'm sure there is more ice build up again... we'll see if I get away without another manual defrost! (i'll report back in a day or two.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008

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