fridge-freezer thermostat

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chakka35 | 17:40 Mon 25th May 2009 | How it Works
4 Answers
My fridge-freezer has stopped working (just out of guarantee!), though its light comes on and there is a hum. My hunch is that the thermostat is at fault. If I buy a replacement ( which comprises a small rotary control and a metal coil) is it easy to fix?


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Sorry, I've no idea about how easy (or otherwise) it is to replace a thermostat but I'd ask you to reconsider your diagnosis of the fault. If you can hear a hum it suggests that the fridge-freezer is trying to cool the warm air inside it. (i.e. the thermostat is in the 'on' position, as it should be if it contains warm air). Since it's obviously failing in this task, it suggests that the coolant has leaked out.

All new electrical appliances should be expected (irrespective of any guarantee) to work for a minimum of 6 years. If a device fails within that period due to an inherent fault (e.g. poor workmanship or the use of poor quality components) the law requires the retailer (not the manufacturer) to remedy the fault by providing a repair or replacement. Since more than 6 months have passed from the date of purchase, there is no longer an automatic legal assumption that the problem must be due to an inherent fault. You're required to show, based upon the balance of probabilities, that an inherent fault is the most likely cause of the problem.

Contact the retailer and state that your fridge-freezer has failed. Challenge the retailer to suggest any other cause than an inherent fault. When he can't do so, demand a (free) repair or replacement, under your statutory rights.

Question Author
Grateful thanks to you, Buenchico. That advice may well come in very handy.

For brevity I didn't explain my reason for suspecting the thermostat. It is this:

I mentioned the hum and the light merely to make it clear that the device was switched on and getting power! But it is a very low hum.

If I switch the thermostat on and off there is sometimes a click and the louder hum consistent with the proper working then starts. But after a few seconds there is a another click and the louder hum stops.

Maybe I'm wrong. But it might be worth investing �11.40 in a new thermostat (I'm a reasonable handyman and knowledgeable about electrics) if I can work out how to fix it. I'll just have to take the present one out, I suppose...
You don't say wether or not your model is a side by side or over-under, which would be helpful to know.

Problem is, if you're hearing a "hum" you should also be getting airflow through the unit. I'm assuming an American style that has a single compressor unit that provides cooling for both the freezer and the fridge. In fact the cold air intially comes into the freezer section and then, through a motorized air flow control door (which is what the thermostat actually controls) between the fridge and the freezer.
Try this... when the "hum" is occuring, open the freezer side and see if the fan (should be at the top center, is working. If that's working place your hand over the exit of that doorway in the fridge side (should be at the top of the division wall, if a side-by-side) to see if there's any air flow entering the fridge. If the fan's working but no flow to the fridge side the control for the flow control door is inopeartive. This can be replaced by a reasonably astute DIY'er. You'll need the model and serial number to get the correct replacement part.

If there's no airflow anyplace, slide the unit out and, while the humming is heard see if any of the circulation tubing (usually copper piping) can be reached. Careful! Feel it to see if it's hot. This is also an indiaction the compressor is working, If that's the case, I'd be additionally suspicious of the fan itself, which can also be removed and repalced by a good handyman...

At any rate, Best of Luck!

Addendum: I realize I'm making judgements on my experience with units here in the U.S., so if there are differences,my apologies...
Question Author
Many thanks, Clanad. In my f-f ( a BEKO) the freezer is at the bottom and the fridge on top. At the back of the top drawer of the freezer there is certainly a fan operating, blowing in coldish air, but obviously not cold enough. I'll investigate as you suggest. Thanks again.

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