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-= Fridge Disaster Help Wanted =-

Aussie Home Brewer

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Gruntaaa

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Hi Brewsters,

I have recently joined your forum as I'm new to the world of brewing. My initial investments went straight into a 2 keg system and tap for utilisation on my old fridge, which we have just replaced due to a growing family and too many frozen lettuces and vegetables.

Over the weekend I transferred my first ever fermented brew into a keg so that hopefully I could enjoy my first beer. However after followed the recommended approach of drilling a "small pilot hole" then feel around with a piece of wire to check for pipes approach (not finding any obstructions). My fridge has malfunctioned a few hours later.

I'm hoping on some expert refrigerator guru to help me determine the extent of my issue, helping me to decide the best approach forward. Repair my self / repair by expert / give it to the beer gods...

Luck for me my fridge has an extensive wiring and pipe diagram attached to it, so my situation shouldn't have happened. I thought my drill hole approach was clear of 'coolant carrying' pipes. Diagram shows all pipes on the right hand side, and I was drilling on the left.

Fridge symptoms post hole drilled: Over 4ish hours the whole fridge warmed up. To about 15 degrees. The thing which tipped me off to something wrong was the freezer area around the door trim was warm to touch. I believe this would the condenser loop.

Initially I was hoping that maybe I had just taken out a temperature control wire, but now after studying the technical data I am thinking the worst... What I thought was the temperature controller I think may be a wiring point for an optional ice maker.

Looking for guidance in determining how stuffed I am. This fridge is a perfect model for a Kegerator. Stainless steel top to bottom.

Technical data if it helps anyone...
GE Frost free Top mount.
Model: TBG 16JAX 478 litres

Thank you all in advance for any guidance.
Regards
Grant
GP_Fridge.jpg
 

J.T

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Sounds like you've struck a gas line. It would have made a fair hissing sound though, unless you were unlucky enough to just nick it!
Is the compressor still running? If it is, then its probably gas. If its not, it may be electrical.

Being frost free there are a few other scenarios too like internal fan/s no longer working etc etc
 

Gruntaaa

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Thanks J.T.

Just inspected my drill hole. Seems really clean. Prodded with my wire again and seems completely free of pipes or wires. I'm perplexed...
Fridge did run for 4 hours after the hole drilling. Now no sounds are apparent. I'm leaving it off until I know more. Hoping electrical type issue.
 

Wolfy

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If you hit a gas line you'd notice it, both the sound of gas escaping and the sight of it spraying out all over.
(I know from experience that its something that is hard to miss).
 

zabond

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Turn the unit off,drill your gas line hole to required size[or bigger,you can always poprivet a coverplate over it] then have a good look in enlarged hole to see if you've nicked a pipe or cable,if a pipe bin it, a cable can be repaired or bypassed if using a controler,by having a good look you will know if its somthing you've done or just coincedence
 

katzke

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Just a thought. If you are using a controller to set the fridge temp. Try unplugging the controller and plug the fridge in direct.

If not using a controller, plug a lamp in the outlet to see if it is working.

If the lamp lights leave the fridge unplugged for a day or two and then see if the composer runs after you plug it in. If it runs, it should run long enough to get things cold.

If it still does not get cold, it could just be bad luck and the fridge died. Or you killed it. From your posts it sounds like the first rather then that last. Pipes are hard to miss seeing in a hole, wires are a bit easier. You can always dig in the foam clockwise and counter-clockwise to make sure you are not missing seeing anything. Going both ways will catch any wire you may have missed. You will have to dig out a few centimeters of foam to be sure.
 

stux

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Just a thought. If you are using a controller to set the fridge temp. Try unplugging the controller and plug the fridge in direct.

If not using a controller, plug a lamp in the outlet to see if it is working.

If the lamp lights leave the fridge unplugged for a day or two and then see if the composer runs after you plug it in. If it runs, it should run long enough to get things cold.

If it still does not get cold, it could just be bad luck and the fridge died. Or you killed it. From your posts it sounds like the first rather then that last. Pipes are hard to miss seeing in a hole, wires are a bit easier. You can always dig in the foam clockwise and counter-clockwise to make sure you are not missing seeing anything. Going both ways will catch any wire you may have missed. You will have to dig out a few centimeters of foam to be sure.
One of my fridges wouldn't run for a day or so after I accidentally cycled the power to it rapidly (that's why we have compressor delays)

After a day or so it seemed to reset and come good...
 

bradsbrew

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If the area around the seal on the fridge side is overheating that means that could be due to the fan that blows on the cooling coil is shot or jammed. If you have moved it from one area to another the trolley could have pushed up on the fan and stopped it from being able to spin. I would check the fan first (if it has one) then I would turn it off for a few hours and see if it changes things once turned back on.

Cheers Brad

I am not a fridge mechanic but have learnt a few different trades through brewing :lol:
 

Gruntaaa

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Hi Guys,

Thanks all for reading and offering your suggestions if you have / had one.

Bradsbrew: I checked the fans and they were stopped when powered on. I gave them a light tap and they sprung to life. Both inside the freezer area and blowing onto the compressor. Unfortunately I still don't get any compressor action.

Stux: Might try this rapid electricity approach later to see if this fixes my problem.

Katzke: No controller to set this fridge. Outlet is working as the internal fridge light is lighting up.

Zabond:
Pretty sure now that I have not knicked a pipe or a wire. I have dug around more and nothing is apparent.

I'm thinking that I have just had bad luck and my compressor has died. Probably fan seized / stopped which stopped it cooling... then over time compressor overheated (making the condensor loop heat up). Which has in turn has cooked the compressor.

Fan's running at the moment. Will leave it a while and see if compressor kicks in.
Then maybe try Stux mistake approach (ya never know).

I'm now thinking this was old fridge just dying due to drilling vibrations and not a Id10t error... Makes me feel a little better about the whole scenario.

Hopefully my next post will be back on topic and more about beer and processes rather than refrigeration.

Cheers
Grant
 

Gruntaaa

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The Beer gods must like me... My fridge has started to cool... Must have been drilling vibration causing a piece of grit to fall into the ball bearings of the control fan. When I tapped it fan started and cooling has resumed...
Tomorrow morning will tell me if all OK when I check the temperature.
 

wombil

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Hey Grant,if this is not a sealed unit there may be a reset button on the motor.
 

Gruntaaa

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Freezer is frozen.. Fridge is getting cooler. Hopefully cool enough to allow for carbonation to occur...
Thanks everyone for your input and advice.

Regards
Grant
 

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