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Fridge problem


Loddon
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My larder fridge seems to be running 24/7.  Normally I would suspect low refrigerant however there is ice forming on the back of the fridge which if it was not cooling obviously wouldn't happen. My suspicion is that the thermostat has gone. 

What does the team think?

 

 

 

 

I will be taking fridge home and testing with a probed external stat to see what happens.

Edited by Loddon
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26 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Why take it home? All you need is a multimeter.

Because I don't want to dismantle the fridge to get at the stat, if it is the stat at fault then I won't replace it I will use the external stat.

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1 minute ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Temperature will be erratic with the stat outside the cabinet.   How will you get the phial into the evaporator box?

 

Tempted to say via  hole drilled through the inner and outer skin and insulation all bunged up with two great blobs of mastic. As I used to see on the old three-way Electrolux.

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Posted (edited)

Temp probe will enter through the drain hole, no drilling required. Using This type of stat is a well known mod to give better temperature regulation. Stat runs from 12v and will switch 230v.

 

 

Edited by Loddon
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46 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Temp probe will enter through the drain hole, no drilling required. Using This type of stat is a well known mod to give better temperature regulation. Stat runs from 12v and will switch 230v.

 

 

Oh, that complicated. Thought you were using a capillary stat not a temperature controller.

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What type of fridge?  If a Shoreline 12v fridge, ring their tech support - very good and helpful, their test advice  & part fixed our 15 year old fridge.

 

Following their advice I rapidly ruled out a thermostat problem.    They've experienced very very few coolant leaks, other possibility was control unit.  Unit couriered next day on sale or return, fixed problem.

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15 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Oh, that complicated. Thought you were using a capillary stat not a temperature controller.

 

More concerning is the 3W constant power consumption. 

 

I know a lot of boaters don't consider 1/4A a lot, but its 24/7/365 just to turn the fridge on and off 

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14 hours ago, Loddon said:

It's a standard LEC mains fridge nothing exotic and ten years old. It replaced a ,12v fridge that lost its R12 😱

 

 

It is not your thermostat!

 

If it was, you would have also noted the contents of the fridge were far colder than usual.

Milk or water etc would be frozen solid.

If continuous running, with some ice still forming, is your only symptom, then you have lost some refrigerant.

That means you have a leak within the sealed system.  That can only get worse and eventually the ice will  stop forming.

It is not normally economical to repair, and cheaper to replace the refrigerator.

You will also be wasting your money playing around with alternative thermostats in the meantime.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Rebotco said:

 

It is not your thermostat!

 

If it was, you would have also noted the contents of the fridge were far colder than usual.

Milk or water etc would be frozen solid.

If continuous running, with some ice still forming, is your only symptom, then you have lost some refrigerant.

That means you have a leak within the sealed system.  That can only get worse and eventually the ice will  stop forming.

It is not normally economical to repair, and cheaper to replace the refrigerator.

You will also be wasting your money playing around with alternative thermostats in the meantime.

Interesting point and one to consider. It's in the back of the car and halfway home (I've stopped for a break) it will go in my workshop for the next few weeks on the 230v  stat that I have already to see how it does.  If it fails then decision to be made whether to go for a fridge or a freezer with an external stat which is way more efficient than a fridge.

 

ETA the only evidence I have of continuous running is C telling me it is as I can't hear it 😉

Edited by Loddon
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2 hours ago, Loddon said:

Interesting point and one to consider. It's in the back of the car and halfway home (I've stopped for a break) it will go in my workshop for the next few weeks on the 230v  stat that I have already to see how it does.  If it fails then decision to be made whether to go for a fridge or a freezer with an external stat which is way more efficient than a fridge.

 

ETA the only evidence I have of continuous running is C telling me it is as I can't hear it 😉

 

If you find it is not continuously running, and is cooling, then that's what it is supposed to do!!

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Shirley an easy way to test a 'stat 'specially one from Bognor unless they've boved it so change the setting porgreaaively to max temperature whille it's running. If it doesn'stop running it's probably a duff thremostat.

I did than on my aged Batts / Lec unit and it sduddenly started doing what it oughta'

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Its sitting in the garage its internal stat set at #2 drawing 45W on my wattmeter i will watch what happens.

Hopefully it will work as normal  

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DEFROST it!

The ice is acting as an insulator, not allowing the cold from the refrigerant to reach the main body, which warms up to the point of the thermostat working correctly.

 

Bod

2 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Its sitting in the garage its internal stat set at #2 drawing 45W on my wattmeter i will watch what happens.

Hopefully it will work as normal  

If a lot of the ice has melted, it will work as normal, till the ice builds up again.

 

Bod

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Posted (edited)

12hrs later and it is down to temperature 3.5degC running on the external stat. However according to the meter it has consumed just over 0.5kWh in that period which means it hasn't been off for very long as it draws 45W when running (12hrx45w=540Wh)

Trying another 12hr run now it's down to temp to see how much it uses I would hope it's about 1/2 of that.

Edited by Loddon
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Three hours further on it is still running all the time even on the external stat and wont cool below 4.5degC.

Conclusion is that although the internal stat is a bit iffy the fridge has lost refrigerant so it will be on its way to the tip next time I go.

New one ordered same make and model will be here Saturday.

 

Some thoughts:

Surprised it only draws 45W I would have expected more as its rated at 70W in the spec, will be checking new one on arrival.

Compressor fire up showed 550W on the meter so  12 times consumption

Official consumption figures are 110kWh/Y or 304Wh/d, it drew over 0.5kWh in 12hrs so slightly high.

External stat draws 0.8W so I will have no problem leaving that on 24/7 on the boat ;)

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Loddon said:

Compressor fire up showed 550W on the meter so  12 times consumption

Electric motor starting current is typically 5 - 7 times the running current.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Electric motor starting current is typically 5 - 7 times the running current.

Depends entirely on the motor. ;)

 

The rated wattage of the fridge is 70W so 550 is not far off. When the fridge started it peaked at 550 then dropped to about 70 before settling on 45 once it was running.

Edited by Loddon
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I use mine to chill my beer, or gin, I keep the glasses in the freezer box, it takes 30 minutes to get a decent drink. That's all that matters.

My fridge is  absolutely ancient, and I tried to use it normally, but gave up.

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