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Author Topic: Why household fridge not cold enough?  (Read 2147 times)
belfert
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« on: September 02, 2008, 11:54:47 PM »

I have a Haier household fridge in my bus.  It is about 10 cubic feet.  Anyhow, any ideas why the fridge compartment won't get much below 45 degrees for a few days while the freezer is at about -20F?  Eventually the stuff in the fridge will start to freeze and the thermostat gets lowered from max.  It is not hot in the bus and the coil has adequate ventilation space.

This is the second trip using the fridge.  This trip the fridge was turned on about 2 hours before loading it with cold food.  We had similiar problems with the fridge on both trips.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 03:53:22 AM »

Hi Brian,

Does the refrig have a static evaporator? in other words, does it have a fan inside the refrig/freezer to circulate the air, or just coils?

If static and no fan, the system feeds the freezer first and if short on refrigerant, the refrig. will starve.

If not static and you have a fan, there are controls in the refrig part. One is a door and not a control.  And the one thats a door will be

marked with #'s or letters that will say colder with an arrow... That colder marking will make the freezer colder and not the refrig part. Common mistake!

If unsure, just put both controls in the middle setting and wait 24 hrs.

Cood Luck
Nick-
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gumpy
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 04:53:26 AM »

Are you running off your inverter?  Does your inverter go into sleep mode?

Next, is there a defrost circuit in the fridge?  Is your inverter going into sleep mode?

I had problems with this on mine. When my inverter would go into sleep mode while the fridge was in the middle of defrost cycle, the defrost timer would not advance, and the compressor wouldn't come back on. I rewired my defrost cycle and put a switch on it so I could disable it.

Next problem I had was misinterpreting the control settings, as Nick indicated. Mine only has numbers, and I think the words max and min on the dial. I thought max meant max cold, but in reality, it means max temp, as in warmer.... at least I think that's how it works.   I'm going to find out this weekend and label the dial better.

craig
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 06:06:26 AM »

   I am not familiar with the Haier units.  Your coils may be iced up.  This became a problem on our refrigerator. Our refrigerator has coils in the freezer section only (behind the "back wall" of the freezer compartment. As was mentioned, it has an adjustable door and a fan in that area. When our defrost timer failed, the coil would ice up, preventing the fan from blowing cold air through the opening into the refrigerator compartment.
   Thanks to Nick & Gumpy's diagnostic help, I was able to test and replace the defrost timer. Now wroking great.
    I have another refrigerator I keep in my shop that developed a problem of freezing everything, even in the refrigerator compartment with thermostat set on warmest setting. Again, thanks to Nick, I tested and replaced the thermostat. 
   Jack
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 08:03:08 AM »

This has happened since the fridge was brand new.  It sat in the bus unused for a year until last fall.  This unit is manual defrost.  I doubt the coils were iced up since the fridge was just turned on after sitting open since last fall.

I'll have to look at those other things closer once I catch up on stuff after my trip.
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 08:07:35 AM »

What worked well for my small 6.3cuft Norcold, was to buy a small circulating fan for the interior.  Mine didn't have any kind of circulating fan, but I know that some bigger reefers already have them, so this maybe a moot point.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 08:16:13 AM »

One more point... we've had some similar problems when we get too much stuff in the fridge and block the flow of the cold air too much.

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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 08:43:15 AM »

I have the 8 cu ft Haier in my bus and do occasionally have a similar problem. It took a while to figure out what was causing it.

Turned out that the tray that separates the freezer section from the lower section was installed wrong. This happens when you take it out and clean things, The tray must be inserted inthe right direction and in the correct slots to allow cold air to circulate. There is an upper and a lower track. The upper keeps the freezer colder and the lower allows better cooling in the fridge section.

The tray is also the defrost drain pan and can be inserted upside down which just makes things worse. Check the position of your drain pan and see if that helps.

Seems like every time my wife cleans and defrosts we start in that loop again, She can't remember where it came out of and about a week later I have to move it around to find the happy spot.

I have to look at it for a while.. Maybe a felt tip marker will help the next time?

Dave....
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 09:42:42 AM »

Good advice above.  Sounds like Dr Dave may have the answer to your problem.

Another thing that helps maintain even temps in small fridges is adding some thermal mass.  A fancy way of saying put a gallon jug of water in the freezer if it does not have much stuff in it.  It will help moderate temperature swings when the doors are opened or warm things are put in the frig.  Will also slow down the cycling.

Most refers have the thermostat in the refer compartment.  If you set the temp you want in the frig using a thermometer then adjust the air control, if there is one, to get the temp you want in the freezer it will be easier to get where you want to go.  As Nick said most will be close in the mid range to start out.

If there is one thing that has to work right for me it is the freezer.  The Breyers has to be right or my whole day just plain sucks!!!

Don 4107
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 10:08:22 AM »

I always use partially filled jugs of water to help with the temps.  I freeze one or two and then put them in the fridge and put another jug or two into the freezer.  Many times when we stop I will find our food super cold and sometimes near frozen and that was after traveling several hours with no power to our freezer.  I use milk jugs, even medium sized gatoraid bottles to freeze.  It always helps to make sure the fridge is full also because the more cold stuff you have, the colder it is going to stay.
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 12:03:49 PM »

One person is saying that lots of food helps and another says not to load it up too much so I'm confused.  When we left the fridge was absolutely crammed with food.  It is now basically empty and has not been opened for a while so I should recheck the temps when I get home.

I have never removed this tray, but it may have been installed improperly at the factory.  Will check this evening if I remember.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
kyle4501
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2008, 12:38:14 PM »

No one said to fill it up, but instead said that some thermal mass made it easier on the fridge to control the temp.

Most fridges cool by convection, that is, air moves over the cold coils then passes over the stuff inside the fridge to cool the stuff, when the air is warmed up, it rises & passes back over the cold coils. If the fridge is so full that air can't circulate, it can't cool properly.

If the fridge is empty, it cycles off & on a lot thereby making it difficult to establish a constant temp.
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2008, 02:24:54 PM »

Air is an insulator, about the best there is. That means it is harder to cool a box of air than one with liquid or solid contents that don't block air flow around them.

Once these liquids and solids are cooled they tend to stay cool much better than air and they stabilize the frig/freezer temps.

That is the reason it is a good idea to fill the frige with cold food and the freezer with frozen food once it is turned on for a few minutes. As already posted, jugs of water are good if there isn't enough food to fill it.
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2008, 04:30:57 PM »

Air is an insulator when trapped & can't move. That is why the spray foam works so well. The air is trapped in lots of tiny pockets.

Circulating air will transfer heat rather well, otherwise our engine radiators wouldn't work. 

The air needs to circulate to take the heat from the stuff & then allow the cold coils to take heat from the air.
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2008, 08:19:20 PM »

I have the 8 cu ft Haier in my bus and do occasionally have a similar problem. It took a while to figure out what was causing it.

Turned out that the tray that separates the freezer section from the lower section was installed wrong. This happens when you take it out and clean things, The tray must be inserted inthe right direction and in the correct slots to allow cold air to circulate. There is an upper and a lower track. The upper keeps the freezer colder and the lower allows better cooling in the fridge section.

I can't find any tray between the freezer and the fridge in my 10 cubic foot Haier.  Probably differences between models.  There is a little grid at the bottom of the freezer to help air circulate, but no slot and it is the same on either side.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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