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catherine
1-9-15, 8:32am
In 2011 I bought a Frigidaire floor-model side-by-side refrigerator at Lowe's.

Just a few days ago it started beeping and we noticed the freezer was cold, but not freezing. The thermostats tell me the refrigerator is OK at 36 degrees, but the freezer won't go below 26 degrees.

We called in a repairman, and it took him all of 3 minutes to diagnose a compressor that needs to be replaced, which means essentially the refrigerator is totaled. Compressors, if you can find someone to replace them, cost about 700 for parts and labor. My "bargain" floor model cost about that.

I am SO bummed! Prior to this purchase, we had two refrigerators for our entire married lives--36 years--and both had been bought second hand. One was $50 and the other was $75, and WE NEVER had to call a repairman. We got rid of the last one because the rubber seal was so old it was hard and cracked.

So the question is: Does anyone have any reason to believe that there could be another answer? I've read about defrost timers and resetting the system, and I've cleaned coils, but is there anything else?

We are ready to claim defeat and buy another refrigerator, but this is a huge bummer because January and February are historically low business times of year for me, and I refuse to put the appliance on a credit card.

Any last glimmers of hope for this refrigerator would be great.

rodeosweetheart
1-9-15, 9:58am
What a bummer. I don't know--our newer refrigerators have been such a let down from the old ones that ran 30 years. Here is a forum that came up when I googled frigidaire compressor:

http://appliancejunk.com/forums/index.php?topic=5721.0

Maybe someone will have similar problem and ideas?

Float On
1-9-15, 10:24am
Our compressor went bad in our last one. I'd bought it in 2007 so it lasted the average lifespan of appliances these days (7 years). I don't know why compressors have to cost so much, they pretty much make everything one use/disposable anymore. It's sickening. So I bought a smaller super cheap basic no icemaker floor model at Lowes. It's only 18 cf; so tiny compared to most people's fridges. But I'm finding it's helping me in my goal of less waste....there just is no room for things to be forgotten. I finally got the black fridge I wanted so my kitchen looks more complete now. The last fridge was white and really stood out against the black/stainless dishwasher and stove.

ToomuchStuff
1-9-15, 10:49am
General electric appliances, IMHE are the most costly when it comes to parts. I avoid them like the plague. (and things don't get easier with companies merging)
The compressor is the heart of the unit, which is why they tend to cost so much. Unless you start getting into commercial/restaurant style units (in which case the Stainless steel and NFS approval adds to the price), it is going to cost pretty close to the cost of it. (went through helping with friends restaurant, as they are not mechanically inclined last year/don't know what to ask)
The above is probably a good site, Today's appliances don't have the sensors and such that are as replaceable, but integrated into circuits when they have them. Refrigerators have gone more to closed systems with pressure switches that are calibrated at the factory. (pretty much throw away, sorry to say)

awakenedsoul
1-9-15, 11:09am
What a bummer. They don't make things like they used to...that's for sure. Sometimes the Salvation Army has used refrigerators for $100. or so. They usually look like they are in good condition. Hope you don't have to use a credit card.

I've got old, well built appliances for that reason. I hate the thought of buying an appliance that will only last five years or less. (If I could rebuild an older fridge, I probably would.) I splurged on a Big Chill, which is a Whirlpool. It's gotten excellent reviews.

CathyA
1-9-15, 12:39pm
Sometimes it's just a freezer timer.

pinkytoe
1-9-15, 4:57pm
Four years seems like a rip as far as service for cost.I think I would contact Frigidaire and complain. I know nothing about newer appliances but a similar conversation is going on in our neighborhood listserve. Those who have bought appliances in the past five years are having major issues with them already. I guess I'll hang on to our 1987 Sears gas stove and 2000 Kitchenaid fridge - they are both tanks and have neither one ever needed a repair - yet. I once diagnosed a problem on our washer though by googling the model number and issue - seems it was a very common occurence.

SteveinMN
1-10-15, 12:20pm
Sometimes the Salvation Army has used refrigerators for $100. or so.
Must be a California thing :) I don't believe I've ever been in an SA that offered major appliances.

One thing we did in my mom's place to save some $$ was to buy reconditioned appliances (washer and dryer in her case) at a local independent appliance store that services what they sell. They get trades in all the time; they scrap the ones beyond economic repair and fix the ones that are still good and even offer a few months warranty (so they're on the hook for a cheap fix). My mom prefers the old dinosaur top-loader washers (at least until she gets the water bill); this was a good way to approach that since the cheap top-loaders you can buy now are short-lived junk.


I've got old, well built appliances for that reason. I hate the thought of buying an appliance that will only last five years or less.
Thing is, old appliances were not very efficient. That was fine when water and gas and steel were cheap but that's not so much the case anymore. Couple that with the incessant push for quarterly profits and the public's desire to not spend any more than they have to on appliances and we've got disposables. The components are not built with so much room for abuse or longevity. There are some decent appliances out there -- Miele, ASKO -- but they cost a lot of money up front. The scary thought is that, in 10-20 years, people will marvel that we got 7-10 years out of major appliances... :0!

awakenedsoul
1-10-15, 1:37pm
Steve,
Our Salvation Army will pick up appliances in good condition. Many people here upgrade regularly. They like to have the latest models, and they'll spend the money. I donated a Magic Chef gas stove from the sixties. It was still going strong. I had just had it serviced. They were really pleased. They said it would sell immediately. (I hope to a single mother, or someone in need...)
I've also seen chest freezers there from Costco for about $100. It looks to me like someone died, and their relatives donated their still in good shape appliances.
Hope you find something reasonable Catherine!

seedycharacter
1-25-15, 11:36pm
I am clueless about fridge repair but my freezer was just doing the same thing you described--not getting cold enough and the problem was just the thermostat or something like that. The repair guy fixed it and was out the door in 90 minutes. Parts and labor were under $200. Would a second opinion from another appliance guy make sense?

The first repair guy didn't work for a place that sells new fridges did he? I learned that lesson the hard way: the repair guys pretty much always recommend a new appliance when they work at Sears, etc. The independent repair people actually want to do the repair.

catherine
1-26-15, 12:23am
I am clueless about fridge repair but my freezer was just doing the same thing you described--not getting cold enough and the problem was just the thermostat or something like that. The repair guy fixed it and was out the door in 90 minutes. Parts and labor were under $200. Would a second opinion from another appliance guy make sense?

Well, seedycharacter, you are right on. DH and I were convinced we needed a new fridge because that's what the guy told us! He was there for maybe 5 minutes, diagnosed it, and gave us the bill. Strange thing is, he "encouraged" us to give him cash and he gave us a discount on the service fee in return.

DH and and I procrastinated in getting a new refrigerator, even though Best Buy had them at 25% off last week, because what stuck in DH's craw was the fact that if the compressor was shot, wouldn't that mean the whole refrigerator wouldn't cool? Our fridge side was fine--it was just the freezer that didn't get quite cold enough.

I saw a decent second-hand refrigerator at a used appliance store on Craigslist and so DH and I made the trip to check it out. The refrigerator was fine, but before we bought it, DH asked the technician about what he thought about our diagnosis. The technician said that he'd send someone down for a second look, and if he could fix it they'd fix it and if not, he'd apply the price of the service call to the new used fridge.

Well they came the next day and within a few moments isolated a small leak in the freon. Just as you said, they fixed it for $170 including the service call. We are so happy!

DH is now in the process of trying to get the $60 back from the original sales call.