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Repair or Get New Fridge?

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Don't really know the age. This fridge was abandoned by a renter and I have been using it for about

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Old 06-19-2009, 07:57 AM
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Default Repair or Get New Fridge?
Model Number: Admiral HMG 501040   Brand: Admiral   Age: More than 10 years   

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Don't really know the age. This fridge was abandoned by a renter and I have been using it for about 4 years.

Have a BBQ tomorrow, so of course the fridge goes bad yesterday. Been up all night trying to fix it.

Just finished taking apart the inside of the freezer and the defrost heating element is definitely bad.

Talked to one local service guy and I am getting quotes of upwards of $300 to replace the timer (which still works) and the heating element.

Right now Sears has a Father's day sale with 20% off and free delivery/takeaway. Found a new fridge for $900 delivered.

I'm thinking new fridge is the way to go or is there something special about this Admiral that is worth saving?


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-2009, 08:45 AM
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Tried to find the parts on AppliancePartsPros, the Model Number does not come up, you probably have to call to get the parts/prices.

Just finished taking apart the inside of the freezer and the defrost heating element is definitely bad.
If you manually defrost it and it works OK for a couple days then the problem is probably just the defrost. I would just replace the defrost element/heater as you know this is bad. Probably under $50.00.
A time would probably be under $75.00.

Talked to one local service guy and I am getting quotes of upwards of $300 to replace the timer (which still works) and the heating element.
You have opened it up so I cannot see why you could not replace the heater yourself. Why the timer I have no idea!!!

I'm thinking new fridge is the way to go or is there something special about this Admiral that is worth saving?

Cannot think of anything special about it other than it is probably more reliable over the long term than a new unit.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:33 PM
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Thank you Denman.

The repair guy called back and said his parts suppliers couldn't locate parts for this old fridge and that I would have to try other parts suppliers.

This a pretty old and sturdy fridge and although my crash course last night on how refrigerators work as well as ripping the thing apart gave me much insight I haven't done ohm or other tests to truly determine if it is only the heating element that is bad.

The tech also kept talking about 2 heating elements and white wires, but I see only one element and it is set in two metal wire holders.

I defrosted the entire thing by hand and then now, less than 8 hours later the entire thing is covered with frost again.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:23 PM
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Frost is good, it means that it is working and the freon is OK.

Frost is only a problem when it builds up on the evaporator coils to the point that the evaporator fan cannot pull air through the fins on the coils. Then of coarse the evap is inefficient and your freezer temp rises.

You may want to check your door seal. Check it with a 2 inch wide piece of paper. Put it between the seal and the fridge body, close the door and try to pull it out. If it comes out very easy then the seal may be no good. Do this around the perimeter of the freezer.
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Last edited by denman : 06-19-2009 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:51 PM
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The freezer feels much colder now and the fridge is better, but not like before. In the freezer the fan blows against a shield and the cold air seems to be deflected into the fridge from there.

I used a dollar bill and tested the top and sides of the fridge door seal. The bill comes out fairly easily. It doesn't take much effort to remove the bill.

Do you think the door seal is contributing to the issue? Right now I have the freezer dam opened all the way and the fridge set to the highest cold setting, so the fridge used to be freezing things if left like this, but now it is barely keeping the drinks cool.
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:03 AM
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Give it about 24 hours to get to a stabilized temperature.

Could be the door seal is leaking some, can you feel cold air escaping from the bottom of the freezer door?

Also the amount of frost on the coils after a manual defrost can depend on where you live. The unit has filled with ambient air and the moisture in this air will frost up the coils.
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