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prioritymail's avatar

What is wrong with my fridge?

Asked by prioritymail (1617 points ) February 11th, 2011

*There is a distinctive clicking noise coming from inside the fridge where the light bulb screws in. I’m not sure what’s in this plastic enclosure but the thermostat is nearby – possibly a broken t-stat?

*Cold temperature in refrigerator is not being maintained. It is much warmer than it should be.

*Ice crystals are forming in the freezer. This suggests to me a possible condensation problem inside the freezer, but also it seems like when you crank up the thermostat in the fridge, the fridge temp stays the same (at a temp too warm) while the freezer gets colder or where most of the cooling is going to the freezer.

*Sounds like it is running normally until you open the fridge and hear the clicking.

*This is a typical fridge – small freezer on top, larger refer on bottom, single door.

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9 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

Is it a self-defrosting freezer? Ice crystals can from in a freezer if the door seal is compromised. Leave the freezer door slightly ajar and you get ice crystals inside.

How old is the fridge? It may be time to replace.

Shannay_89's avatar

You’ll have to replace the light, if it works correctly its not the light.
Maybe your fridge door is too tight in, making it click with the hinge. Try loosening it up a bit.

prioritymail's avatar

I’m not sure if it self-defrosting.

Not sure how old it is. I just moved into the house and it was already here. This is a rental. I’m a student. I’m sharing this place with 3 other people. Just to give an idea of the situation. It’s probably old.

The light is working fine.

The clicking noise is NOT coming from the door hinges. It’s coming from a box that the light screws into. Actually the thermostat is on the front of this box.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Sound like the automatic defrost (it’s a timer to shut-off the refrig for a short time ) is broken.
We’ve had a similar problem, it took three tries before landlord replaced it.

Shannay_89's avatar

Complain to the landlord about how its not working, the landlord will pay for someone to fix it probably .

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
alamo's avatar

Since you are renting, call the landlord and get it fixed. Don’t buy a lot of expensive food before you have the fridge looked at.
Having said that, the box near the bulb is the defrost timer. It sounds like it is broken. It is supposed to turn on an “element”(think the element in the stove) when the compressor has run for a certain period of time. These elements are mounted within the cold coils in the freezer compartment. They heat up and melt the frost off the freezer coils.If you have ever opened the freezer on another fridge and heard it hissing, it was defrosting. When it malfunctions, the frost in the freezer becomes blocks of ice and they grow into chunks that block the cold air from the freezer from entering the fridge compartment. You can unplug the fridge and melt the ice or find the vent between the fridge and freezer compartment and melt the blockage. Both are temporary measures and when it gets bad enough, you will lose everything in the fridge.
In a refrigerator, the cold air is created in the freezer section then some of that cold air is diverted to the refrigerator section. This is why the noise from the compressor is normal and the freezer is very cold and the other/lower sections is too warm. The vent between the two is blocked.

blueiiznh's avatar

Sounds like either the defrost fan or the relay that controls the defrost cycles.
No matter, you will have to stare down the crack of a refrigerator repairman.

john65pennington's avatar

Thermostat is sticking and creating the clicking noise. This is why you having a problem with your fridge being too warm. I would not ignore this problem. In case you are not aware, refirgerators are the no. 1 applicance, causing in home fires. They turn on and off an average of 18 times a day.

Call your landlord and tell them about the problem. Tell them you are afraid your fridge might cause a fire. He will act on it, since you have put the liability in his lap.

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