My freezer is too cold but can't turn the knob any lower
July 15, 2007 2:18 AM   Subscribe

My freezer is too cold but can't turn the knob any lower

It's an old refriderator. Looks like some 70's Sears. The problem is the knob doesn't seem to travel the full distance from 1 to 5. It appears to only go down to 3. I'm not sure if it's stuck or what.

Is there anyway to bypass that thing? My electric bill seems high and I'm noticing ice forming in places it shouldn't.
posted by 0217174 to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Seriously consider buying a new freezer. Southern Cal Edison estimates you will save $176 per year plus they will pay you $35-$50 cash and haul away the old one for free. You might save more since it isn't working properly. Check out your local gas and electric company and see what kind of deal you can get.
posted by metahawk at 2:42 AM on July 15, 2007

Second getting a new freezer. A nearly forty year old freezer? You'll pay a new one back on the electricity savings in no time.
posted by stereo at 3:04 AM on July 15, 2007

If this is a refrigerator-freezer, with a control in each compartment, the controls are not independent. The one in the freezer controls how much coldness, total, there is. The one in the refrigerator controls how much of that coldness flows out of the freezer part and into the refrigerator part. So, if you want the freezer less cold, you can turn the one in the refrigerator to let more of the cold out into the fridge part. Of course, this is only a good idea if your fridge could stand to be a little colder.
posted by daisyace at 5:10 AM on July 15, 2007

There might be some ice inside the dial. Have you tried dethawing it completely? That might help quite a bit.
posted by Eringatang at 9:41 AM on July 15, 2007

daisyace has it. Someone here linked to a book on bad design once that actually goes into refrigerator controls and how they're broken because they don't do what they say they do. Really interesting book on all aspects of bad design. If someone knows the title maybe they'll chime in. Since it is a temperature and balance control I've found one of those cheap indoor/outdoor thermometers are pretty handy. After resetting the unit stick the outdoor wired unit in the freezer and the main part in the fridge and you can monitor avg/min/max temperatures once you start playing with the controls.

I'm not sure from a total environmental perspective discarding a functioning appliance in favor of a new more efficient model is really a good thing. Especially when the new models aren't built to last as long as the old ones, necessitating more frequent replacement and more junk in landfills.
posted by 6550 at 11:14 AM on July 15, 2007

The book that 6550 is referring to is The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman.
posted by svenx at 3:27 PM on July 15, 2007

The Fridge doctor has advice, and opinions on trading up (scroll down).
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:56 AM on July 16, 2007

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