My fridge is failing to cool my food.
May 17, 2008 12:17 PM Subscribe
The side-by-side fridge in our rental (a GE tfx22zrs, tfx22jrs) has been failing to keep the refrigerator side cool (freezer side works fine). I think I have traced this down to some kind of lightbulb short -- the bulb heats up so much, so fast, I presume it is keeping the food from getting cool; possible fuse problem? Do fridges have user-serviceable fuses? Or is this a compressor problem and the lightbulb a red herring?
posted by fishfucker to home & garden (11 answers total)
So the lightbulb DOES go off when the door closes, but when I put one in, it cooks up fast enough to be too hot to touch in under a minute. Even a CFL gets hot in there in under a minute, which I've never seen before. The lightbulb supposed to be max 60 watts, and I'm using the correct wattage for the incandescent. Unsure what the CFL is, but it's got to be under 60. Here's what else I know:
1. Freezer side works mostly fine
2. ice-maker on freezer side does not work. whatever is under the icemaking contraption thingy after you pull out the plastic ice tray is cold enough to burn your finger.
3. I unplugged and plugged back (into diff socket, but same circuit, presumedly) the fridge. Socket is presumedly properly grounded (it's not on some sort of two-prong adapter, and this building's electrical was probably done in the mid-nineties). I flipped the breaker on and off for the fridge, I believe it is on its own circuit. Fridge has plenty of clearance around the back, but there is some (black) discoloring on the wall near the bottom of the fridge from either an exhaust fan or the compressor.
4. Again, lightbulb DEFINITELY goes off when the fridge door closes. It's a regular socket. I've tried a CFL and an incandescent in there. They both get crazy hot.
5. The freezer lightbulb does not seem to have any problems. It's warm-ish but not hot.
6. I've got the (thermostat?) dial cranked on the fridge side to 9 (the highest), and the compressor is definitely running. There is a second thermostat for our freezer and I have been playing around with the settings on each of them to see if there's some kind of crazy voodoo sweet spot where my fridge will get close with no luck.
7. The compressor in the fridge side shuts off when you turn it all the way to the off position. Does not shut off anywhere before the actual OFF right now, but keep in mind my fridge is pretty warm at the moment. Our electrical usage here seems abnormally high -- we used 120% more electricity than when we were heating our warehouse in the midst of winter with space heaters), but that could be because we have a dishwasher and washer/dryer (electric) here. Also I think we are using our hot water heater more.
8. When we first moved in (2 months ago), the fridge side was cold enough to ice over stuff near the back, so I turned it down. Started noticing it wasn't getting cold enough about two-three weeks ago.
Whew -- thanks for reading all that! I'm pretty sure I'm going to let my landlord know about this and ask him to fix it, but if it's something as simple as swapping out a fuse I'd rather do it myself (and have cold beer by tonight) than deal with scheduling, etc.
"Tell your landlord to fix it" is not what I'm looking for here -- I'm looking to exhaust most all simple DIY remedies before picking up the phone. I'm aware of the many home repair sites on the web, and I've looked through their forums, thanks -- I'm really hoping to find some specific anecdotal experience with this situation.
So, seen this before? Anything I can do? Bonus question: I have the bulb out right now to prove my theory about it causing the food to warm, but if that is going to cause a dangerous situation due to moisture building up on the light socket, well, I don't want to do it.