Fridge running warm

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me14

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I recently bought a new fridge & relocated my old one into the garage to dedicate to beer for cold storage and potentially lagering. It was running fine as an indoor fridge but seems to be struggling outdoors with temperatures ranging from 6-12 degrees, which for Melbourne winter isn't much better than ambient.
I've tried adjusting thermostat to no avail & I'm fairly confident it's sealing well. It is nearly empty at the moment so I thought the low thermal mass and a small leak might be the problem. Freezer is still working as normal.
I'm wondering has anyone had similar issues with using fridges outside? Is there something I'm missing or is it on it's way out?
 

djebel

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Sounds like it might be on the way out, but double check your temperature measuring device is working correctly befoire you finally condemn the fridge.
 

me14

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Sounds like it might be on the way out, but double check your temperature measuring device is working correctly befoire you finally condemn the fridge.
Thanks. Yeah, forgot to mention I've tried 2 thermometers & it's definitely not as cold as it should be inside.
Might just be coincidental it happened when I transferred it outside.
 

S.E

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If as you have said the freezer is working ok then it is probably just the cold air is not getting down (or up) to the fridge. I had this with my fridge freezer about 6 or 7 years or so ago. When I investigated there was a valve that wasn’t opening to let the cold air from the freezer down to the fridge when the thermostat told it to. I removed the valve door thingy and used an stc 1000 to control the temp from the fridge compartment and it has been working fine as my fermenting fridge ever since. I bought a new FF for the kitchen to replace it.

With another FF I had the fan in the freezer stopped working so the freezer compartment was freezing fine but the fridge wasn’t getting cold air blown down to it so stayed only slightly cooler than ambient.
 

philrob

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Sometimes just turning it off and barring the doors just open for a few days will allow it to do a complete defrost.
Worked for me with our old kitchen fridge which we replaced, because we thought it was on the way out, as it wasn't cooling properly.
My wife wanted to get rid of it, but I said "no way", and it's now worked fine as my fermentation fridge for the last 8 or 9 years.
 

cedric

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i'm not a fridge expert, maybe it could be the defrost timer if it's an old fridge.
they switch the fridge off every 6 hours on mine, and sometimes go faulty and get stuck.
most timers seem to be located to the rear, at the bottom of the fridge.
they can be turned manually with fingers or screwdriver depending on type.
 

Morgz

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Could be a multitude of problems.
If you want some advise, upload photos or tell us the model.
As previously stated, if frozen over, can be a simple blocked drain, defrost control issue/ element, fan issue, damper, refrigerant etc.
Details please.
FYI - I am a licenced commercial refrigeration mechanic that actively works in the field and a sparky.

Disclaimer, I will never advise electrical works unless you are licenced.
 
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As above

Could be 1 or more of a number of things, spend forever finding the first issue, to then find the next. You'll be lucky not to spend more than its worth on parts.

If you're not an electrician, my advise is to dump it and chuck $100 at a Fridge-only 120+ litre from Gumtree. People shift 2 or 3 year old units when they move or upgrade.

If you're using an inkbird, the freezer's useless and a waste of money running on and off.

Unless of course, you like a challenge
 

me14

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Thanks for the advice. I did have some significant ice build up in the freezer so I gave it a 24hr defrost and it looks like that's done the trick. Must have been a blockage. Hopefully it doesn't build up again.

As for fixing it, I wouldn't have bothered as I don't really have the skills and like you said I can pick up a used one for $100, but this fridge is only 5 years old and was still cooling so I thought it might be something simple I'd overlooked.
Again thanks for the help everyone.
 

Morgz

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Thanks for the advice. I did have some significant ice build up in the freezer so I gave it a 24hr defrost and it looks like that's done the trick. Must have been a blockage. Hopefully it doesn't build up again.

As for fixing it, I wouldn't have bothered as I don't really have the skills and like you said I can pick up a used one for $100, but this fridge is only 5 years old and was still cooling so I thought it might be something simple I'd overlooked.
Again thanks for the help everyone.
Good find mate, just remember, an iced over evaporator is a symptom of another root cause of the problem. It may return again causing a high temp, or when it was in the house, may have had the door opened too many times per day (for a domestic fridge) and caused a slow hard ice build up.

Time will tell. Good luck.
 

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