How to repair the refrigerator: finding the cause of a breakdown + DIY repair methods
Household appliances make life easier for every busy person, but, unfortunately, it sometimes fails. And refrigerators are no exception. At one wonderful moment, the tried-and-true “white friend” suddenly breaks down.
Well, if he has already served his. But if the service life is still far from completion, the best way out is to contact specialists who carry out the repair of refrigerators. However, in some cases, you can handle yourself.
To an inexperienced user, it may seem that all refrigeration units are arranged approximately equally. However, this is not the case. According to the principle of action, three types of household refrigerators are distinguished at once.
Before you start repairing your equipment, you need to know exactly how it should work.Therefore, we consider in detail each of these types.
Compression Evaporative Units
In this case, a special liquid is used to cool the chambers of the unit, which under certain conditions is capable of passing from liquid to gaseous form and back at room temperature. This is the so-called refrigerant. It is pumped into a closed loop, moving along which performs the cooling process. It happens as follows. Initially, the refrigerant in a liquid form under pressure is injected into the evaporator.
It has the shape of a coil to make the cooling process as efficient as possible. The nozzle through which the refrigerant flows is called a spinneret. In household equipment, it is a small piece of an un-shaped capillary tube. In industrial models where high productivity is required, profiled dies are used.
After the refrigerant enters the evaporator, it begins to expand rapidly, turning into gas.At the same time he takes from the air a certain amount of heat, which corresponds to its heat of vaporization. Thus, the temperature in a well-insulated fridge or freezer is lowered and everything inside is cooled.
The normal evaporation process will continue only until the pressure inside the evaporator rises. For this reason, the compressor continuously pumps out refrigerant vapor and delivers them to the radiator. This is another coil, inside which the gaseous refrigerant turns into a liquid. At the same time it emits heat entering the air. Then the fluid is fed into the die and the cycle repeats.
What can be attributed to the advantages of this design? First of all, it is efficiency, approaching 100%. In addition, compression equipment is economical, efficient and easy to adjust. Absolutely safe and chemically neutral compounds are used as a refrigerant in such units.The main disadvantage is the presence of detachable connections, moving and rubbing parts.
In addition, the refrigeration circuit has a mechanical connection with the external environment, which requires high-quality seals. There is another significant unpleasant moment.
Absorption cooling devices
The design of the absorption type aggregates has some similarities with compression apparatus. However, its main difference is the absence of moving or moving parts. Consider the principle of operation of such devices. As a coolant, a low-boiling composition is used, which dissolves well in a high-boiling liquid. The latter is called the absorber.
Similarly called capacity, which contains a certain amount of concentrated refrigerant. From here, it enters the thermal pump, which is a vertically mounted copper tube that is heated by an electrical coil. Next, the refrigerant moves to the steam generator, heated from an electric current. Here the refrigerant evaporates and mixes with the vapor absorber.
The resulting mixture is advanced into a reflux condenser. This is a special design radiator in which the absorber and the refrigerant are separated. The first condenses and goes to the steam generator, and the gaseous refrigerant is directed first to the condenser, then by gravity to the evaporator.
Here is the cooling process, similar to that which takes place in compression units. Then the heat absorbed by the refrigerant is absorbed by the absorber and the process repeats.
Thus, the main advantage of absorption models is almost unlimited validity due to the absence of moving elements. However, they are not economical enough, becauseconsume about 1.5 times more energy than compression. In addition, they freeze such refrigerators rather badly and slowly. Another significant drawback is security.
Water is used as an absorber, and ammonia is used as a coolant. As a result, the circuit contains highly concentrated ammonia. With possible leakage, it is dangerous. Isobutane or propane models are being produced, but this is even more dangerous.
Given that the absorption units can be kept off in the refilled state for an arbitrarily long time, they are readily purchased for use in homes with seasonal living.
These are few common devices whose principle of operation is based on the Peltier effect. It lies in the fact that the junction of dissimilar conductors when heated through it electric current in one direction warms up, and in the other - freezes, compensating for the warming up of the other side.Thus, you can get the temperature up to -40C and even lower.
However, the system has significant drawbacks. First of all, it is a high power consumption. It is much higher than the low-cost absorption devices. In addition, Peltier elements have a limited resource.
At the same time, semiconductor refrigerators are insensitive to mechanical stress and freeze food quickly and efficiently. If necessary, it is possible to switch the direction of the current, which allows you to quickly defrost the system.
Self repair: what is possible and what is not?
To repair your refrigerator, and not to completely break it, you need to know exactly which parts of the system you can repair yourself, and which parts should not be touched.In any refrigeration unit can be divided into four circuits:
This includes the cooling circuit itself, including the coils. This is the least suitable for self-repair part of the unit. Masters strongly do not recommend trying to carry out independent repairs in the absence of knowledge and experience in this area. Self-activity can be very expensive. Unqualified repair often ends with the need to purchase a new unit.
It is here that the most frequent breakdowns occur. Repair is most often possible, but the experience of carrying out such work is desirable. It must be understood that self-repair will require the availability of spare parts, which are not always freely available. Most likely they will have to order in a specialized online store and wait for delivery for some time. For this reason, perhaps the more correct solution would be to call a specialist.
Includes seals, mounting shelves, covers, door hanger and compressor, and the like. The repair itself is usually simple and can be done even by the most inexperienced home craftsman. Usually it consists in adjusting the door, replacing the gasket, fixing the shelves. Special knowledge is not required here.
It is an electrical circuit that ensures the normal operation of the refrigeration unit. Includes wiring, multiple relays, electric motor, etc.
It is maintainable. Work will require a tester, a soldering iron and some knowledge in the field of electricity. In this system, you can fix almost any damage.
Common Refrigerator Issues
Before diagnosing a malfunction, you should decide on the type of your refrigeration equipment.
Thermoelectric units break extremely rarely. The most frequent breakdown is the termination of the battery life of thermoelements.
Replacing it, most likely, it makes no sense, since its cost is quite comparable with the price of the unit itself. In addition, sometimes contacts in such refrigerators burn, which even an inexperienced master can repair. Much more problems with compression models. If such a refrigerator does not work, there can be many reasons. Let's talk about the most common.
If it does not work when the device is turned on, it may be the fault of the power supply circuit. It includes the socket, plug, power cord, plug contacts in the compressor compartment. Perhaps a problem in a protective relay or thermostat. The latter should be called by the tester to find out the reason. If there is a breakdown, there will be no signal.
If the power supply network is fully functional, and the compressor does not turn on when starting up, or it starts up, but then stalls, the problem is most likely in the start-up relay.
In an almost similar situation with a healthy network, starting up the compressor takes from three to five seconds, or it starts working not from the first attempt to turn on; you should look for a problem in the starting relay. The unit badly freezes, but regularly reacts to signals from the thermostat. At the same time the compressor heats up, shakes, protection against an overheat works. Thermal protection and start relays are fully functional.
The operating winding of the compressor motor should be diagnosed to detect inter-turn circuit. If the coil short circuit occurs in the start winding, then the compressor will not start at all. In this case, the relay thermal protection and start will be intact. In both cases, the need to replace the motor.
Another malfunction. The unit freezes very hard, while the compressor is running without interruption or its operation is interrupted by the operation of thermal protection.The equipment practically does not react to the thermostat, only turning the knob to the “0” position stops the compressor.
The latter makes a lot more noise than usual. At the same time, the meter shows that the consumption of electricity far exceeds the usual volume. All this indicates the sticking of the starting relay. This is a rather dangerous condition for the compressor, since it leads to its overheating and burning out.
If the unit freezes badly, the thermostat is set correctly. By the time the compressor is turned off, the condenser is normally heated, so that the arm has to be pulled back. Most often the problem lies in the faulty thermostat. It will need to be replaced. In some cases, it is possible and repair. The thermostat is also broken in the event that the unit is turned on, but it freezes too weakly or severely.
The position of the thermostat knob does not respond. At the same time, the heating of the condenser and the hum of the compressor are normal. The unit operates on a short cycle, which is characterized by frequent shutdowns of the compressor.At the same time it freezes badly, and the condenser does not have time to warm up properly at the moment of shutting down the compressor. The reason for such a malfunction is the breakdown of the heat protection relay or thermostat.
The equipment operates on a long cycle, sometimes even continuously. Frost appears in the freezer in the area of the coolant supply pipe. There is no ice from the opposite side. The situation is stable and does not change. The cause of failure in this case is the leakage of the refrigerant. Most likely, a microcrack has formed somewhere. It is necessary to diagnose the circuit in order to detect it and to refill the system.
In some cases it is possible topping up with freon. All this is extremely not recommended to do on their own. If the refrigerator does not freeze at all, the reason may be the lack of refrigerant in the circuit. In this case, when it is turned on, it will be possible to feel a strong vibration, the compressor will start to knock and ring while operating.
Self repair can not be.In some cases, repairs may cost more than a new unit, which needs to be taken into account.
The equipment works only on a short cycle and at the same time it is very cold. Alarms the sound of a running compressor. It is too loud, as if chomping or sobbing. The reason most often lies in the unqualified maintenance of the unit. When the refrigerant was poured, it turned out to be too much, which led to the introduction of more concentrated “mist” of freon into the compressor, not vapors.
This is extremely dangerous for the integrity of the tubes and the compressor. Therefore, an urgent need to call the wizard. The unit freezes too much. So much so that you have to set the thermostat flag to a position no higher than 4. At the same time, the compressor heats up quickly and makes a lot of noise, there may be a smell of melting insulation. This is how a weakened bimetal plate, located in a heat protection relay, manifests itself.
Strong vibration, excessive noise of the compressor, but otherwise everything is normal.It is necessary to check the suspension of the compressor and, if necessary, adjust it. If this does not help, then the reason is its increased wear.
We'll have to think about replacing the compressor. Too much frostbite freezer indicates a problem with the tightness of the door or poor insulation. In the latter case, repair is extremely difficult or even impossible.
Basics of diagnostics and easy repair
Let us examine the simplest operations that must be carried out to test the refrigerator. It is worth starting with determining the quality of the mains voltage. It must strictly comply with 220 V. Smaller values may well cause a failure in the operation of the unit. You should also inspect the power cord with the cord. Bends, wrinkles, damage should not be. If the elements are heated or sparkled, this is a clear sign of trouble.
Compressor terminals are checked, which should be in working condition. After that, you need to use a tester to check whether the device receives sufficient voltage from the mains. Making sure that it is of good quality, the device is necessarily disconnected from the power supply.Now you need to carefully inspect the compressor, located at the bottom of the unit. There should be no visible damage.
To check the winding, the tester switches to ohmmeter mode. One end of the wire is fixed on the tester, and then the terminals are checked in turn. Conducted and steam diagnostics. On the closure or damage to the winding will indicate the lack of movements of the arrow tester.
Next, check the control circuit. To do this, disconnect the wires from the relay and close them, and then check for contact between them and the power plug. The presence of such a contact indicates that the relay, cord and thermal sensor are intact. If a problem is detected, you will have to check each block separately. To test the temperature sensor it is removed and disconnect the wires.
Next, each of the wires is checked, in the presence of a closure, it is concluded that the detector is faulty. It should be replaced. If the control circuit is working normally, there are no breaks, the protection and start relays are checked. To gain access will have to remove the cover. In older models, it is fastened with clips, in new ones - with rivets. They need to be carefully drilled out, and after inspection, fasten the cover to the screws.
The most frequent breakdowns of this unit are the seizure of the spring or core in the coil, contact burnings or stem breakage. All this is quite possible to fix. To begin with, the coil is removed from the latches, the core and the stem with contacts are removed from it. Next is a thorough cleaning of all these elements. In the simplest cases, there will be enough soft, alcohol-impregnated fabric.
In more difficult to ensure free running with the core, you will have to work with sandpaper or even a file. Cleared and all contacts. If it turns out that the stem is broken, and this is often the case, since it is a plastic rod, it can be replaced with a piece of ordinary nail. After repair, the node is assembled in the reverse order, put in place and connected.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
How to replace the thermostat in the refrigerator:
Features of the "No Frost" system:
Roller guide for replacing the compressor:
Fixing your fridge yourself is not easy. This is a complex unit, work with which requires special knowledge. An inexperienced master is unlikely to be able to perform all the necessary repairs correctly and without errors. Unfortunately, even small inaccuracies, not to mention major flaws, can completely disable the device. Then you will not have to think about repairs. It will be necessary to look for funds to purchase a new refrigeration unit.