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fridge stopped working, worth repairing?

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  • Jan 11th, 2019 6:38 pm
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Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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Vancouver, BC
ranjeet2000 wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 7:06 pm
8 years is pretty old. i had a 4 year old one, and the fridge would not work, and the freezer would not work. i defrosted it and left it open for 2 whole days. then replugged and it worked.. until the next power outage. my issue was the frost build up in freeezer but it always happened ruing power outages
blexann wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 7:12 pm
Ridiculous. Not that old at all now to fix or not is another matter and would depend on what's wrong with it.
I have a 49-year-old fridge along with one that about 40 years old both working just fine. The 49-year-old one had a new compressor installed about 30 years ago and other than the occasional mechanical defrost timer and fan motor, it works like a champ. Sure I may be burning a bit more power per year (about $50 more per year the last time I looked) but then I'm not spending another $1,500 every 5 years for a new fridge.
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Oct 12, 2007
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 30th, 2018 2:10 pm
I have a 49-year-old fridge along with one that about 40 years old both working just fine. The 49-year-old one had a new compressor installed about 30 years ago and other than the occasional mechanical defrost timer and fan motor, it works like a champ. Sure I may be burning a bit more power per year (about $50 more per year the last time I looked) but then I'm not spending another $1,500 every 5 years for a new fridge.
How is the touch-screen control panel on those two units?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2005
562 posts
89 upvotes
Thanks everyone! Especially Exp315, I think the reasons might be radiator or Freon leaking.

1. The compressor seems to be running based on the sound I can hear.
2. The display panel works well without any error code
3. The coils were cleaned
4. There is no ice for sure
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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CaptSmethwick wrote:
Dec 30th, 2018 5:50 pm
How is the touch-screen control panel on those two units?
For the money saved, I could glue a new iPad to each door every 5 years and still save money. Does your fridge come with an iPad?
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Apr 19, 2018
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 31st, 2018 2:35 am
For the money saved, I could glue a new iPad to each door every 5 years and still save money. Does your fridge come with an iPad?
I'm with you on keeping old appliances that work and can be serviced if problems develop. I have a 40 year old Kenmore fridge at the cottage which was purchased used (customer return) with a short term Sears service agreement. Apart from one free service call the year after purchase to change out a bad compressor, it has run trouble-free. That's perfect for a place where delivery and service calls cost a small fortune. The Whirlpool fridge at my house is about 20 years old (bought it used for $150 10 years ago) and so far I have replaced a worn door hinge pin and a pooched compressor start relay myself for a grand total of $30. I'd hate to be spending $1,500 per appliance every five to eight years the way they're built now.

Don't think I'd be spending much money to repair an eight year old Samsung though. I'd rather go and try to find something more reliable and serviceable, if such a thing exists today.
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Dec 28, 2010
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Happened to me four weeks ago, my ten-year-old LG stopped working, no freezer, no cooling fridge. I didn't even bother with repair anymore. The previous one lasted 10 years, the one after that and I assume this one will give me at least 10 years as well.

If 8 years is the general number for Samsung, go out and get yourself a new one! Happy New Year! :)
Actions speak louder than words
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 31st, 2018 2:35 am
For the money saved, I could glue a new iPad to each door every 5 years and still save money. Does your fridge come with an iPad?
The great thing about those old fridges is that they were essentially an insulated box, a thermister, a compressor, and a light bulb - there was very little to go wrong with them. These new ones are just maintenance issues waiting to happen. And because almost nothing is standardized, parts and labour is ridiculously expensive.
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Apr 19, 2018
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CaptSmethwick wrote:
Dec 31st, 2018 6:56 am
The great thing about those old fridges is that they were essentially an insulated box, a thermister, a compressor, and a light bulb - there was very little to go wrong with them. These new ones are just maintenance issues waiting to happen. And because almost nothing is standardized, parts and labour is ridiculously expensive.
The one improvement I though that was worthwhile was the frost-free / automatic defrost feature. I remember the ice buildup on the freezer part of the old Leoanard fridge the parents had which required periodic defrosting. The Leonard was a tank for quality and durability but the frequent defrosts required just to get the ice cube trays out were annoying. All the other bells and whistles added since then didn't keep the food any fresher, the drinks any colder or give anything more than a marginal reduction in total power consumption. It just made for more things to go wrong and more frequent and expensive fixes.
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Enlgma wrote:
Dec 31st, 2018 7:14 am
The one improvement I though that was worthwhile was the frost-free / automatic defrost feature. I remember the ice buildup on the freezer part of the old Leoanard fridge the parents had which required periodic defrosting. The Leonard was a tank for quality and durability but the frequent defrosts required just to get the ice cube trays out were annoying. All the other bells and whistles added since then didn't keep the food any fresher, the drinks any colder or give anything more than a marginal reduction in total power consumption. It just made for more things to go wrong and more frequent and expensive fixes.
I agree. Freezers are still built that way. Things do go on them - usually a compressor or a thermistor issue - but they are usually inexpensively repaired.

Our fridges are 8 years old Electrolux models. The main fridge (cabinet-depth, French door, yadda yadda) lost its ice-maker years ago and LEDs a-plenty have burned out on its display panel. We don't care so much - the controls still function properly and fridge cools and freezer freezes as it should. We also have an under-counter drawer fridge wth tons of features - none of which work anymore because the wiring harness to the top drawer's control panel gave out. A service estimate is $500 to fix it. I rigged a by-pass and the fridge still works perfectly fine - I just cannot control the temperature or put it in vacation mode or any of that stuff. Essentially, I turned it into a fridge of days of yore and we're happy with it the way it is. Unfortunately, appliance companies don't make them that way these days because they couldn't command high prices for basic models. Features sell - they're just not always all that reliable.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
Samsung you say?

Trash it and get another brand of fridge.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
11340 posts
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Vancouver, BC
CaptSmethwick wrote:
Dec 31st, 2018 6:56 am
The great thing about those old fridges is that they were essentially an insulated box, a thermister, a compressor, and a light bulb - there was very little to go wrong with them. These new ones are just maintenance issues waiting to happen. And because almost nothing is standardized, parts and labour is ridiculously expensive.
The problem is the plastic parts start breaking... I had to replace a set of plastic fan blades as they just crumbled in front of my eyes one day about 7 years ago. Luckily, I know this local repair shop who stocked METAL fan blades in the right size so in it went!
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craftsman wrote:
Jan 1st, 2019 1:57 am
The problem is the plastic parts start breaking... I had to replace a set of plastic fan blades as they just crumbled in front of my eyes one day about 7 years ago. Luckily, I know this local repair shop who stocked METAL fan blades in the right size so in it went!
It's true. I've had this happen as well. I hate it when appliance makers only engineer their parts to last a half century...
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Jul 3, 2017
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The old fridges lasted longer for several reasons:
- Bigger compressors that ran slower and were made more for longevity than power efficiency
- More metal parts, fewer plastic parts
- Exposed external radiator on the back of the fridge doesn't tend to get as dusty or rusty from moisture buildup as hidden compact fan-cooled under-fridge radiators.
- No electronics (mechanical defrost timer)
- Built with quality intended to support warranties that generally ran at least 5 years and an intended lifespan of 15-25 years
- With just a few North American manufacturers, parts and service were easy to find and cheap

The usual failures were the mechanical defrost timer wearing out or a freon leak.

Modern fridges are more power efficient primarily because the use smaller high-speed compressors, but they tend to wear out faster. The entire fridge is therefore built for a much shorter lifespan, and warranties have dropped to 1 year.

You have to question whether the gain in power efficiency is offset by the environmental cost of disposing of the old fridge and manufacturing a new one every 8 years instead of every 25 years, along with all the associated transportation costs.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
11340 posts
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Vancouver, BC
CaptSmethwick wrote:
Jan 1st, 2019 6:34 am
It's true. I've had this happen as well. I hate it when appliance makers only engineer their parts to last a half century...
But you know what the real stupid thing was? When I bought the replacement blades, the metal ones were only about $1 or so more than the plastic ones... Sure they might slice a finger off since there's no finger/toe guards around the fan blades but heck, there's a price to be paid!
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
11340 posts
4630 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 1st, 2019 10:20 am
The old fridges lasted longer for several reasons:
- Bigger compressors that ran slower and were made more for longevity than power efficiency
- More metal parts, fewer plastic parts
- Exposed external radiator on the back of the fridge doesn't tend to get as dusty or rusty from moisture buildup as hidden compact fan-cooled under-fridge radiators.
- No electronics (mechanical defrost timer)
- Built with quality intended to support warranties that generally ran at least 5 years and an intended lifespan of 15-25 years
- With just a few North American manufacturers, parts and service were easy to find and cheap

The usual failures were the mechanical defrost timer wearing out or a freon leak.

Modern fridges are more power efficient primarily because the use smaller high-speed compressors, but they tend to wear out faster. The entire fridge is therefore built for a much shorter lifespan, and warranties have dropped to 1 year.

You have to question whether the gain in power efficiency is offset by the environmental cost of disposing of the old fridge and manufacturing a new one every 8 years instead of every 25 years, along with all the associated transportation costs.
Actually, the compact fan-cooled under fridge radiators were in style in the late 60's - that's what's in my 49-year-old fridge. Annually, I pull the fridge to clean up that radiator and pull out dust bunnies which are rabbit sized! The external radiator came back into fashion in the 70's.

As for environmental cost, the way I look at it is every replacement cost is an 'environmental tax' and should be viewed as such - ie any time you replace something (whether it be broken or fashion), the money paid is like an environmental fee and should be taken as a whole with any associated 'greening' fee. There's no difference in the fact that it comes out of your pocket... they only difference is who's pocket it goes into. So, that new $1,500 fridge that saves $91 a year in electricity actually cost the environment $1,409 for that first year with $91 removed from that number every year until that fridge is replaced with a $2,000 one (with inflation). The purchaser gains nothing but some 'personal greenwashing' for them as they show it off to their friends, the environment gains nothing (and probably looses), the vendor gains as it becomes a reoccurring sale, and the manufacturer gains.

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