Is it worth repairing a fridge freezer?

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As above, I think our 15/16 year old integrated fridge freezer may be on the way out. Never actually had problems with it but today we opened it and a chicken we bought on Thursday seems to have gone off. It stunk the fridge out. Now, I looked up online and it says that chicken should be at 5°c or below. I’ve checked it with a thermometer and it said 12.1°c so I put it on max, number 7 (it was on 5 and at the time) it’s now at 9°c. I realise it may take some time to get down to temperature.

One other thing, there is an orange light on next to the temperature dial. The orange light is a switch which goes off if pressed. I looked online and it said that the orange light is to enable a fast freeze of fresh food in the freezer compartment and to switch it off after 1 hour. It’s been on for 15 years! I’m hoping that’s our problem and that all the cooling power is going to the freezer. I have a thermostat in the fridge (which I assume only measures the air temperature) plus I’ve put an apple in there and I’m going to check the temperature of that in a few hours time with a food temperature probe.

Anyway, assuming it doesn’t get down to temperature are these things repairable? Can they be re-gassed like a car a/c?
 
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no, they are built as a sealed unit, not intended to be repaired. The motor and compressor are sealed in a pressure vessel and the connections brazed or soldered in the factory, not intended to be serviced. Car units are factory made in IIRC three pieces with serviceable joints and repressuring points.

My BIL is a HVAC engineer in Oz. He repairs yacht coldstores and aircon. If they've lost pressure he puts the vacuum pump on for 24 hours to suck out all air and water vapour that could get in. He won't do domestic appliances because he can never remake them as good as they were in the factory and they will go wrong again. It's not economic anyway.

If your FF has ducts and a fan to blow cold air into the two compartments, you can try a 48 hour manual defrost as they may be choked with ice. Once solid, they will not melt out in the normal defrost cycle, so leave open until they stop dripping inside and out, and clean the meltwater pipes and dish. If you restart while there is still ice in the ducts you have wasted your time.
 
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Well, I read on an electrical retailers site (AO or Curry’s I think) that a change of temperature can take 24 hours to settle in a fridge. I left it on number 5 (of 7) overnight and I’ve just probed the apple and it’s at 5.6°c so it seems okay. Lucky to have not damaged it by leaving the one-hour fast freeze on for 16 years! I've got a couple of fridge thermometers coming from Amazon today so I can keep a constant check on it from now on.
 
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Well, switching the freezer fast-freeze off after 16 years has definitely cured it. Using my two new fridge thermometers, it’s holding at 3°c on the bottom of the fridge and 9°c at the top on number 5 of 7 and the contents are noticeably much colder so it just shows - RTFM! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
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I had a cheapo hotpoint fridge that failed twice in a 19 year period. On both occasions, it was warmer than it should be. One both occasions I simply swapped the thermistor wire with a generic one. From memory, the replacement was about £7 and it took about 15 minutes to replace it.

Glad you got your's sorted without needing to replace the thermistor though.
 
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If its worked for 16 years with fast freeze turned on and now doesn't on the same settings, its on the way out.

Budget for a new one and replacing all the food in your freezer when it fails unexpectedly :(
 
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If its worked for 16 years with fast freeze turned on and now doesn't on the same settings, its on the way out.

Budget for a new one and replacing all the food in your freezer when it fails unexpectedly :(


Not sure I agree. As per my earlier post. Once the thermistor starts to die it will fail to tell the compressor to kick in. A replacement thermistor is pretty cheap. Sure, if the compressor is dead, bin the whole machine. I could be wrong (I often am) but if the refrigerant has evaporated the compressor will just work harder. Given that the OP hasn't mentioned the f/f being excessively noisy I assume that the problem may well be the thermistor failing to tell the compressor to kick in.
 
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Well, it’s working spot on now. A fridge thermometer on the bottom shelf shows the temperature fluctuating between 1° and 5°c on setting number 5 and a bit (of 7) now depending on how often the door is opened so it's obviously kicking in when the temp starts to rise. No undue noises either.
 
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Not sure I agree. As per my earlier post. Once the thermistor starts to die it will fail to tell the compressor to kick in. A replacement thermistor is pretty cheap. Sure, if the compressor is dead, bin the whole machine. I could be wrong (I often am) but if the refrigerant has evaporated the compressor will just work harder. Given that the OP hasn't mentioned the f/f being excessively noisy I assume that the problem may well be the thermistor failing to tell the compressor to kick in.
I won't argue with that.

My point is that if it used to work fine and now doesn't without you turning off something that has been on for the life of the unit, something is on the way out.
 
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Just to update this, since switching the orange light off, I don’t think I’ve defrosted the freezer since - I used to have to do it around every three months as the ice build up on the elements used to be so thick that I couldn’t open the freezer drawers. Having said that, I’ve just checked and it could probably do with defrosting soon but not bad for around 18 months!
 
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Have you checked/been able to pull the fridge out? It could be as simple as a condenser covered in fluff and dust. I had an American style fridge that had a fan cooled condenser and that used to get all fluffed up every six months or so.
 
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