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My Stinkin' Refrigerator?


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So, there has been this noise, like baby birds chirping. At first not so loud and intermittent, now constant and more noticeable. I've been tracking it. It started out pretty indistinct, but lately seems to be from the kitchen ceiling, or something in the duct work near there.

 

Finally today I went hunting. I checked the attic, the roof, the range hood, and finally... you know it had to be this way 'cause Bullett, who is hearing impaired and really couldn't hear it thought right off that it was... the refrigerator.

 

Me checking the roof, pic for Squirrel:

 

477359654_MqS8R-O.jpg

 

Now on to the stinkin' fridge. The noise was distinctly audible from behind the fridge unit and I could hear it inside when I put my ear to the back of the unit. Not only is it making this noise, but it's all wet back behind there.

 

Water coming from where the line enters the ice maker:

 

477359664_Rmsaq-O.jpg

 

The black thingy was out, but I had pushed it back in before the photo.

 

Now this had happened once before and I found the ice maker all frozen up solid. A defrost and replacing the line seemed to solve the problem and I'd say it's been over a year.

 

Hear is what it looked like inside this time:

 

477359634_Bg5Rs-O.jpg

 

Not frozen up to speak of. But you can see that there is solid ice in the water entry line itself, blocking water entry to the tray thingy:

 

477359644_68t5q-O.jpg

 

So, two questions:

 

1. Why is my fridge making this noise and what should be done about it?

 

2. Why is my ice maker freezing up and leaking and what should I do about it?

 

TIA!

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If you haven't already done so, put your instant read thermometer in there and check your freezer temp.

 

Maybe the deflector control thingie that adjusts cool air flow between the freezer and fridge?

 

Otherwise, I don't know, but I'm sure there's someone on this board who will have the answer. (probably Eric, but I could be wrong about that :grin:)

 

See, I told you it sounded like the fridge to me. ;)

 

 

Boy am I glad you didn't find what you were looking for!

 

 

Nice picture, by the way.

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Yep, I'm pretty much thinkin' Eric too, he's the man! :)

 

Yeah, for those that hadn't heard, I had pretty much concluded it was bats, mice or birds... until the sound got more consistent. Oh yeah, and then there was the time I thought it was rats, when I showed you all the pic of the rat at the bird feeder. But I went out and tracked the rat through the snow and he was following the irrigation ditch. Never got anywhere near the house.

 

I had been worried about the ceiling coming down with a ton of bat guano. Hey don't laugh... well ok, go ahead! :)

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Lets_Play_Two
Yep, I'm pretty much thinkin' Eric too, he's the man! :)

 

Yeah, for those that hadn't heard, I had pretty much concluded it was bats, mice or birds... until the sound got more consistent. Oh yeah, and then there was the time I thought it was rats, when I showed you all the pic of the rat at the bird feeder. But I went out and tracked the rat through the snow and he was following the irrigation ditch. Never got anywhere near the house.

 

I had been worried about the ceiling coming down with a ton of bat guano. Hey don't laugh... well ok, go ahead! :)

 

You don't get bat guano where they sleep but all over the ground when they exit!!!.. We had a colony living under the roof of a second story. Had to have them first excluded and then everything sealed with silicon... Be glad it wasn't bats, they are protected as well.

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Yep, I'm pretty much thinkin' Eric too, he's the man! :)

 

Yeah, for those that hadn't heard, I had pretty much concluded it was bats, mice or birds... until the sound got more consistent. Oh yeah, and then there was the time I thought it was rats, when I showed you all the pic of the rat at the bird feeder. But I went out and tracked the rat through the snow and he was following the irrigation ditch. Never got anywhere near the house.

 

I had been worried about the ceiling coming down with a ton of bat guano. Hey don't laugh... well ok, go ahead! :)

 

 

 

Hmmmmmm, "Rat Tracker," huh? :rofl:

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replace your water valve for the ice maker, its leaking just a smidgen, allowing the water to freeze up.

 

As for the chirping noise, check and probably replace the fan in the freezer, its starting to lock up, which is what causes the chirping noise. It COULD be the condenser fan underneath the fridge, but they usually just stop and everything gets warm.

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replace your water valve for the ice maker, its leaking just a smidgen, allowing the water to freeze up.

 

As for the chirping noise, check and probably replace the fan in the freezer, its starting to lock up, which is what causes the chirping noise. It COULD be the condenser fan underneath the fridge, but they usually just stop and everything gets warm.

 

As I was reading your post & the responses, I came to the same conclusion after reading the link that Paul provided.

 

Yep, I think Randy's the man this time :thumbsup:

Sounds like the water fill solenoid valve is leaking very slightly allowing the filler & inlet line to freeze up.

Then the pressure builds up in the water line down-stream of the valve & pops the line off.

If you are so inclined, you should be able disassemble the valve & inspect it.

You may find a small chunk of ????? that is trapped/imbedded in the valve seat.

Removal of this debris MAY stop this leak.

 

Chirping noise may be dry fan bearing(s).

Is the noise coming from within or under the unit?

This would be a good time to clean the condenser coil.

 

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Chirping noise is within the unit and if it is a fan, it's a fan that runs all the time. It does seem to be from the lower part of the unit. When I unplug the unit the noise stops instantly, and when I plug it back in it takes a few minutes to start back up again. The fan that blows cold air in the freezer cabinet is running then and is not making any undue noise.

 

I suppose I need to take the lower back back panel off and see what's up down there.

 

The water valve/solenoid in question is the black thing I photographed that pushes itself out?

 

Thanks guys!

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With all that white stuff in the background, why do you need an ice maker anyway :S:grin:

 

The water valve/solenoid in question is the black thing I photographed that pushes itself out?

 

The water valve should be mounted low on the unit.

The black thing is connected downstream of the valve.

Follow the copper (I'll assume) 1/4" line coming out of the wall or floor.

This will be upstream of the valve.

The valve will have two 1/4" stake-one electrical connections (wires) on its coil.

This is 120v A.C. so best to have the unit unplugged (no polarity on the connections)

Obviously turn the water off before removing the valve.

My best guess is a new valve will be $30 but thats just a guess.

I would still take the old one & inspect but thats me.

 

Not much mechanically to these units.

A compressor to move the refrigerant.

A condenser fan to remove the heat from the refrigerant.

An evaporator fan to transfer the heat to the refrigerant.

In most cases an ice maker.

In most cases a water solenoid valve (see above).

A timer motor to defrost the evaporator automatically.

 

 

The "chirping" noise has to be coming from one of the above.

Only the defrost timer runs all (100%) of the time.

It will be a box about (just a guess here) 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 2" with perhaps half a dozen wires with 1/4" stake-on's.

You will find this timer somewhere behind the cardboard cover down low on the unit.

This device consists of a shaded pole motor, reduction gears, & cam switch('s).

It's function is to disable the compressor/fan motors & energize a heater embedded within the evaporator coil.

It's starting to sound like one or more of the bearings are dry on/in the timer.

A good cleaning, careful inspection, & a few drops of lubricant in the key locations MAY extend the life of this device.

 

I suppose I need to take the lower back back panel off and see what's up down there.

Yes, thats the next step.

Should be half a dozen 5/16" (or 1/4") hex headed sheet-metal screws.

Should be easy to remove & reinstall but snap a few images b-4 so you don't forget how it was to start.

Plan on cleaning the condenser coil during this phase.

A vacuum, various brushes & an array of improvised implements will insure a clean coil.

Or you could just take the air compressor to it but you will have to take the unit outside for the obvious reason.

 

:lurk::lurk:

 

 

 

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Jan,

For years I fought the same battle you are fighting. I even replaced the ice maker with a new one. It worked correctly for a very short time and then it began to have the same problem..I ultimately decided ice was over rated and I disconnected my ice maker and capped the supply water line and stopped worrying about flooding my house while I'm away..

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I've had good luck with www.repairclinic.com for parts and advice. I just replaced a valve in my S/S fridge for $45

 

replace your water valve for the ice maker, its leaking just a smidgen, allowing the water to freeze up.

 

As for the chirping noise, check and probably replace the fan in the freezer, its starting to lock up, which is what causes the chirping noise. It COULD be the condenser fan underneath the fridge, but they usually just stop and everything gets warm.

 

As I was reading your post & the responses, I came to the same conclusion after reading the link that Paul provided.

 

Yep, I think Randy's the man this time :thumbsup:

Sounds like the water fill solenoid valve is leaking very slightly allowing the filler & inlet line to freeze up.

Then the pressure builds up in the water line down-stream of the valve & pops the line off.

If you are so inclined, you should be able disassemble the valve & inspect it.

You may find a small chunk of ????? that is trapped/imbedded in the valve seat.

Removal of this debris MAY stop this leak.

 

Chirping noise may be dry fan bearing(s).

Is the noise coming from within or under the unit?

This would be a good time to clean the condenser coil.

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477805563_zKHUH-O.jpg

 

477805531_BTLPT-O.jpg

 

So the black thing on the right with the white fan housing attached to it must be the condenser coil and fan? I clean this coil. That fan is operating quietly, as is the fan in the cold box (evaporator fan?).

 

477805542_mfBbv-O.jpg

 

Light blue thing on the far left must be the water valve. Remove, inspect, clean and/or replace.

 

Noise is coming from the black unit at center left (center right in the close-up shot). This must be the compressor. Crickety kind of noise, sounds more like the fluid moving than a fan.

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The black thing on the back of the unit drains water from the unit down into the water pan, where the warm air from the fan evaporates it. There is a bend in it, kinda like a 'p' trap. Mold grows and clogs it up.

Remove the hose from the black thing, then turn the black thing until it comes off the back of the unit. Use water pressure to blow the crud out of it.

Do all in reverse and you should be good to go. :thumbsup:

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Isn't that how you get Legionaire's Disease?

It's probably time for a new one anyways, right Sharon?

 

Set a limit for how much $$ you want to throw at it based on age of unit.

I used to have 4 units at work and eventually the nickle and dimes turned into benjamins. :eek:

Woody is on to something and it can happen to AC units also. :thumbsup:

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Things are getting grimmer with each step/post.

Yes indeed that is the compressor & if that is the source of the noise prepare to live with it until it dies or replace it now.

In my early twenties I lived with my brother/sister-in-law for about a year & I remember their refrigerator/freezer compressor was noisy but still worked fine.

 

Is the unit otherwise running/cooling normally?

Is the compressor shutting off from time to time or running continuously?

If it's constant or excessive & the temperature is not excessively low, then the system may be undercharged i.e. you have a refrigerant leak.

I think the bigger/unpainted line on the right side of the compressor is the discharge line. After considerable compressor run time is it hot enough to boil a drop of H2O?

In dealing with A/C systems this is a quick & dirty way to determine the level of refrigerant charge.

Undercharged systems cause the compressor to run excessively hot but I'm not sure the same applies to your situation.

 

i did some digging around & found this here.

 

The compressor is a football-sized case with no apparent moving parts. You can see it on the outside of the refrigerator at the back near the bottom. It is usually black and has black or copper-colored tubes and various colored wires attached to it. If the compressor is the device making noise, there is probably no repair that will reduce the noise. You will have to replace it--which can be quite costly.

 

On that same site I found this.

looks like a useful site that you should consider posting on.

These guy's look to be pro's on appliances.

Me, not so much :dopeslap:

 

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Thanks!

 

The compressor is not getting hot, slightly warm. The unit has digital temp displays and they are staying right on their set points for both refrigerator and freezer.

 

The compressor is shutting off more than I had realized. It was off quite a bit today. It might be running excessively though.

 

I'll check the temp on the discharge line.

 

if that is the source of the noise prepare to live with it until it dies or replace it now.

 

That's pretty much what I was thinking when I realized where the noise was from.

 

The unit is 3.5 yoa, and is a fairly expensive counter depth model. It would be worth repairing if the noise becomes unbearable, and it might be close to that.

 

Thanks!

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I'll check the temp on the discharge line.

 

If using an I.R. thermometer you do know about emissivity?

 

I would not recommend using a IR meter for such a measurement but if I did, I would first place one layer of black electrical tape over the copper tube.

Also be aware of the field of view when using an IR.

 

Looks like I might have gotten lucky on my guess of water valve replacement cost.

No prior knowage or expereance with this company.

Found them via google & I'm not even sure this is the correct part for your unit.

 

Careful around that fan blade!!!

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Another thought...

While the compressor is running, grab ahold of it & push/pull (slightly/lightly) on all three axis & see if the noise varies.

if so, that could be a good thing.

 

 

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Thanks!

 

if that is the source of the noise prepare to live with it until it dies or replace it now.

 

That's pretty much what I was thinking when I realized where the noise was from.

 

The unit is 3.5 yoa, and is a fairly expensive counter depth model. It would be worth repairing if the noise becomes unbearable, and it might be close to that.

 

Thanks!

 

Funny, my husband and I agree on something! :clap:

 

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

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if its only 3.5 years old, you may be able to get it replaced under warranty. Most fridge compressors are 5 years warranty.

 

you HAVE noticed it takes longer to cool things off and such, and you ARE concerned that the compressor making noise is the cause of that, and you WOULD hate for your vital medications to go bad if the compressor died wouldnt you??

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