Freon leak/warranty question
Our Amana bottom-freezer just stopped cooling. We had a tech look at it thismorning.Right off, he said it's either the compressor ($500 repair) or it needsfreon.
He ran a test, then said the compressor was fine. I thought,"Hallelujah! No $500 repair!" Then he said, "There's a freonleak. You need a new refrigerator." He said it's impossible to find andfix a freon leak, but that his company would be glad to sell a newrefrigerator.
The fridge is 3-1/2 years old. Documentation says 1-year limited warranty. Wecalled another repair company, and the dispatcher said they don't mess withfreon leaks, but that most major manufacturers have a 5-year Sealed Systemwarranty.
We called Amana, and the customer service rep said there is only the 1-yearwarranty. She said, however, that we can purchase an extended warranty fromAssurant for $299 that would cover the cost of an Amana service tech, and coverthe entire unit for one year afterward. On top of that, if the unit could not be repaired, the warranty would refundus 75% of the purchase price.
1) Is there ANYTHING that can be done about a freon leak? DoI really need to scrap a 3-year-old $1700 fridge?
2) Is the 1-year warranty really all I have? I keep seeingall over these sites about 5-year sealed system warranties, plus the repairservice dispatcher mentioned it.
3) Is this extended warranty for real? Because it soundstoo good to be true.
Thanks for your help,
Amana refrigerators are prone to microcracks in the internal tubing which are impossible to fix. If the freon leak was slow, it probably was from these type cracks. If a fast leak, probably from a bad seal in the evaporator, or an internal compressor leak.
Unfortunately, a low side leak will cause the compressor to suck in non-compressables that will damage the compressor. It may pump up the freon, but it's efficiency will be lower than normal.
A pro would replace both the evaporator and compressor at a cost of well over $ 600. Once fixed, the fridg compressor might fail in the future due to a microcrack which is impossible to see, or repair.
Thanks, and another question
Sorry to take so long, but thank you for your reply, richappy.
We tried the extended warranty route as a last resort to avoid buying a new fridge. Repair tech came today and said he would order the parts. After he left, the warranty company called and said the fridge couldn't be repaired, and the condenser tube (?) was corroded besides, so it wouldn't be covered anyway.
I called the repair tech back and asked him about what the warranty rep had said. He told me that the tube runs through the defroster pan, so when it gets a leak, water gets inside it and magnifies the problem. He said the fridges used to be made where the tube does not go through the pan, and the defroster fan would blow on it and evaporate water from it so that this problem wouldn't occur.
My question now, since I have to buy a new fridge after only 3-1/2 years, is:
Are there refrigerators that are made such that they don't have this problem? How can I know which models are less susceptible to these life-ending problems? I can't afford to be buying a new fridge every couple of years.
Get a GE refrigerator and you will not have refrigeration problems.
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