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Old 09-25-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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problems with fridge


When we bought our house a couple of years ago, the seller (who was flipping a foreclosure) installed new appliances in the kitchen, which appear to be the most basic Frigidare/Electrolux products available from the big box stores. While they are functional, we've been having trouble with the fridge (model FRT21IL4FW8) keeping items "cold enough." I don't think we've yet had a gallon of milk survive all the way to the expiration date.

I've tried repositioning the shelves in the unit, making the sure the freezer (top of the unit) is relatively empty, and stocking the fridge shelves to allow good air circulation, but the items on the bottom of the fridge never seem to get as cold as the top of the fridge. The unit does have glass shelves, so I suppose that could be impeding the airflow somewhat, but there is an airgap of about 1/2 inch between the shelves and the back of cabinet.

One other thing that makes me curious is if the fridge has enough room behind it. It is about two inches out from the wall, but is installed under some cabinets (more like wedged under some cabinets). Would a lack of air gap at the top of the cabinet cause the unit to perform poorly?

The unit does not seem to run excessively, draw too much juice or anything like that. On the surface, it seems like every other fridge I've ever dealt with, except it's just not cold enough. We've already cranked the thermostat settings down to the coldest level, but that didn't seem to make much difference.

Am I just dealing with a cheap crappy fridge, or are their other things I can do boost its performance? A major kitchen remodel (including all new appliances) is on the way, but that's a couple of years from now, after we get settled in with the new one that's on the way and get some other home improvements paid off.

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Old 09-25-2011, 12:33 PM   #2
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problems with fridge


You might want to pull the refrigerator away from the wall and check the cooling fins and air baffles for buildup of dust, hair etc. Impeded air flow, and covered cooling fins, can reduce efficiency and prevent the refrigerator from operating correctly.

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Old 09-25-2011, 12:49 PM   #3
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if there is no coil on the back that clearence doesn't matter the ciol is under neth with a fan pushing air...question does the freere keep things frozen or even ice cubes refilled how long before you get ice cubs?if that is normal the frig part is just a damper your setting after it clicks on the freezer part drops thru the stat according to your numbered setting and the compressor cycles off.did it ever worki just shot my frig with a laser thermometer the frezzzer (B-C set) on the ice tray was 9F and a glass of milk in th frig (set at 4) was 39F with the compressor running..damper might be jammed if you have one...basically the freezer runs the frig if it makes ice but your loosing milk...can't be the actual compressor cycle has to be whatever controls the colder air dropping down into the frig
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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problems with fridge


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Originally Posted by biggles View Post
if there is no coil on the back that clearence doesn't matter the ciol is under neth with a fan pushing air...question does the freere keep things frozen or even ice cubes refilled how long before you get ice cubs?if that is normal the frig part is just a damper your setting after it clicks on the freezer part drops thru the stat according to your numbered setting and the compressor cycles off.did it ever worki just shot my frig with a laser thermometer the frezzzer (B-C set) on the ice tray was 9F and a glass of milk in th frig (set at 4) was 39F with the compressor running..damper might be jammed if you have one...basically the freezer runs the frig if it makes ice but your loosing milk...can't be the actual compressor cycle has to be whatever controls the colder air dropping down into the frig
The freezer seems to work fine. It can completely refill the ice cube bin in about 24 hours. If we are talking about a damper issue, would increasing the freezer thermostat divert more cold air into the fridge box?
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:42 AM   #5
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i don't think so on the freezer change in temp some how the air isn't dropping down into the frig might be a fan for it...forgo the ice maker...tray of water or plastic container with water and check it every 6hrs to see if it goes to ice ant chance you can read the frig temp with the door closed to see what it actually is
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
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I've been using a thermometer to measure the temp in both the icebox and the fridge compartment, and I've come to the conclusion that this thing is just a P.O.S. The freezer, even when set to the "warmest" setting, hovers around 0 degrees F, while the fridge stays around 38 degrees and the milk starts to get that not-so-nice smell. If I adjust the freezer to be *slightly* colder, it will drop to -10 degrees F and the fridge box drops to around 28 degrees (enough to actually create icecubes of my wife's jello, lol). Adjusting the fridge box thermostat seems to have little effect. Not sure if there is anything else I can do except replace it when we do our kitchen remodel (and grumble about it in the meantime).
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:44 PM   #7
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38 Deg is fine. The max 'suggested' temp is 41, so if your below that then the fridge is cold enough. If your getting uniformity issues....then either the circulation fan in it is having issues or maybe your light is staying on. Have you pushed on the door button that controls the light to make sure the light goes out? If it stays on, then it causes the area where the light is to get too warm.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:28 PM   #8
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38 Deg is fine. The max 'suggested' temp is 41, so if your below that then the fridge is cold enough. If your getting uniformity issues....then either the circulation fan in it is having issues or maybe your light is staying on. Have you pushed on the door button that controls the light to make sure the light goes out? If it stays on, then it causes the area where the light is to get too warm.

I did check the light relay... it does go off when the button is depressed, and the door seems to sealing ok. At 38 degrees, the milk (even when on the top shelf under the ductwork) seems to get nasty about 5-6 days before it should. More importantly, my beer is not quite as crisp and cold as I would like.

The variance between the top of the cabinet and the bottom of the cabinet when I move the thermometer around seems to be negligible. I'm thinking it's just what happens when you get a cheap fridge from Lowe's.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:15 PM   #9
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Just how long are you keeping your milk? A gallon in my house 'might' last one day.

If 38 deg F is not cold enough for you.....well.....don't know what to say.....

What kind of beer?
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Just how long are you keeping your milk? A gallon in my house 'might' last one day.

If 38 deg F is not cold enough for you.....well.....don't know what to say.....

What kind of beer?
My wife and I are not big milk drinkers... we usually buy a half-gallon which is dated to last 10 days... it starts to smell weird after about 5 days or so. I'm no so much upset about the milk itself, but it seems like a barometer that something has changed (we did not have this problem in our old apartment).

As far as beer goes... I always have a good stock of Yuengling in the fridge, and since it is fall, I've been keeping up on the Sam Adams Octoberfest. Gotta have the occasional Guinness, too,

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