How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Bryan Your Own Question

Bryan
Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12061
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
10522817
Type Your Appliance Question Here...
Bryan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My refrigerator/freezer is only a few months old and I came

Customer Question

My refrigerator/freezer is only a few months old and I came home from vacation to find everything ruined/rotting. Their is no air at all going into the fridge and there is less than freezing temperature air being blown into the freezer - slighter cooler air than warm. What is wrong? What needs fixing/replacing? And shouldn't anything gone wrong this soon be covered by warranty?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:
-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

can you get me the model # XXXXX make ? thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

 

I have been unable to locate the receipt - I don't see a make anywhere on the fridge: it just says "hotpoint." The model # XXXXX XXXXX

Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Yes if its less than a year old it should be covered by warranty.

Where did you get it? For example...my wife works at lowe's

If it was purchased with a credit card. You can get a copy of the

reciept she tells me.

 

 

Sorry it took me so long. I am here for a

while now.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My husband bought the fridge - most likely with cash - and I cannot find an owner's manual or receipt anywhere. He is on a fishing boat in the Gulf of Alaska and I live in Nome, Alaska. Small village that is not even on a road system (fly in only). There are no Lowe's, appliance repair persons, etc. Just the local Alaska Commercial company that sells everything - groceries, etc. They will be of no help. Any suggestions on what's actually wrong with the unit? Something I can fix myself perhaps?
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Wow. First you need to check these things.

 

Inside the freezer at the bottom on the back wall look for frost. Look for it hard,,this is the most common cause of not cooling. If you see that stop

and get back to me. If not then continue down the list.

 

There is a fan inside the freezer it should be running.

There is a fan on the outside around the back at the bottom it should be running as well.

There is a compressor...(looks like a black ball) Behind the panel at the bottom you should touch it see if its hot or warm or cold. Listen for a clicking sound.

After you have completed these steps let me know what you have found.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK - there is no frost in the freezer and the fan inside the freezer is running. However, as for checking the back of the freezer, I need to pull it out and cannot do so myself without scraping up the new flooring we just installed. I have a friend who will bring me something to move it with after lunch (it is only 10:30 am here). Once I have it moved, I will check and get back with you. Thanks so much for working through this with me!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Its not a problem...so in lets say 2 and a half hours I look here for you again? About 1PM your time. I will just start looking for you..I have some things to do here so I will go get those done and be back then.

When you get it out leave it out..reply here before you put it back in place.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately, I got stuck at work and am just getting home. My friend is on his way here to help me move the fridge. I will reply again as soon as we get it out - thanks so much!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Not a problem, I understand. I know you really need the help and I m happy to assist a fellow American.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much! My friend came over and we pulled the fridge out from the wall. He took the whole back panel off of the inside of the freezer and nothing is frosted up. That fan is still running. We took off the panel from the back of the freezer. The fan there is running as well. We found the compressor. It is not hot or cold but sort of room temperature, like it isn't doing anything. There is no clicking. My friend had to leave but we left all of the parts off that are already off so that I could check whatever else you might suggest. What do you think I should do next?
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

On the back side..about 2 feet from the floor is a panel. You need to remove that panel

revealing a circuit board. It used to be a lot of screws,,,about 20 but recently that has

been reduced to three....Its on the outside on the back of the fridge. Let me know when

you find it...remove the screws.

Most Important is to be sure the unit is unplugged before you start please.

Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
Just hang in there with me...I can get you there. If I can do it you can do it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK - There is no additional panel on the back of the fridge other than the one we already removed which reveals the compressor on the left, the fan in the middle (wedged in diagonally) and a bunch of wires to the right of the fan. Is this the "circuit board" to which you are referring? It runs along the very bottom back of the fridge and there are no other screwed in panels anywhere on the back of the fridge. Just one long piece that runs all the way to the top, no screws - the edges of the panel just run under the edges of the fridge that wrap around the back.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Ok there must not be a board it must be an older model. Somewhere there is a defrost timer. It could be in the back at the bottom its normally white with four wires going to it. I ll see if I can get you a picture....give me some time please.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Take your time - I'm just so happy for the help!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

At the bottom is a link for a timer...If you look at it there is a center part,,darker gray and is made for a flat screwdriver to turn. You need to find that. It could be in several places.

I have seen them behind the bottom grill

At the back near the compressor

In the fresh food compartment

You need to find that timer and turn that gear which I described above. See if

that starts your fridge. Do nt give up now its there all you have to do is find it.

I am so sorry I cannot direct you better, there are thousands and thousands of

models. There is no way I can remember them all.

 

Link

http://www.twinsupply.com/equipmentparts/proddetail.asp?prod=254-1003

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well, I've found the only place where it could possibly be - I can't see the timer completely but it looks like, what I can see of it, the right shape. It is the right color. It is, however, covered by a plastic cover that requires the removal of two phillips head screws. In attempting to unscrew them, I've discovered that the screws are stripped. It has just occured to me that I believe our local store sold us a rebuilt fridge as new. I cannot budge the screws. The phillips head screwdriver just spins and strips them more. The flathead won't budge them. I guess my only recourse at this point is to contact the store and demand a replacement (sans receipt as I cannot find it, if my husband even bothered to keep it) or take them to small claims court. I cannot believe this is what I've come home to following our anniversary vacation. Of course, he's off fishing and unreachable for I'm not sure how long - depends on the catch. Not sure what to do next.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Can you turn the timer with a screwdriver...its made to turn only one way.....Turn that center dark gray piece. It will be extremely difficult to turn it the wrong way so don t worry about that.

Usually that part is accessable.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes - well, the outer rim of the center that turns is gray. The center itself - the piece shaped exactly like the part that turns on the picture - is actually white plastic. But it does turn and it only turns one way. But it doesn't accomplish anything. It just turns and turns. Is it supposed to loosen?
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

No it should not loosen if you turned it you accomplished the task. It clicked as you

were turning?

Make sure the unit is unplugged again and go back to the compressor

on the side of it you will see either a cover to remove or just the starter

and overload. Pull those off noting where you pulled them from.

Look for a burned wire and shake them over your hand. See any

metal bits?

I am very sorry this is nt going quickly. I know its not your favorite

thing to do.

Do you have a meter and know how to use it?.....

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I never plugged it in again from before. Should I plug it in and then turn the timer again before I unplug and follow your next directions?
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
yea lol plug it in after you turn the timer....it may run...check and see.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The fan in the freezer and on the back panel turned on again (they were on before I unplugged - the one in the freezer just not blowing freezing air). There is no air being blown into the fridge. Should I give it some time to see if it gets cold before taking the next steps you mentioned?
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
And is the compressor running....you should touch it to see.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The compressor is running (it wasn't before) and it is warm to the touch. The freezer fan is blowing much colder air already. Please tell me this is good news!!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Great I can tell you its super news if you really want to trace it. Check the coils under coming from the compressor. the ones under the unit...if they are warm you can woooooooooohoooooo. Then I can tell you the part you need.

I hope they are warm.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It's ambiguous. There are several copper tubing/wires coming from under the unit and running next to the compressor. They are warm. There is one fatter copper tube that runs directly from the bottom of the fridge into the compressor. It is quite cold.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

The fatter tube is supposed to be cold..........

The smaller is hot.

You are quite the tech now. You can fix anyones refrigerator.

thanks for hanging in. Timers usually run in 8 hour cycles which

means you will have to click it again in about 8 hours.

If you followed all the steps and you are sure that you did then what you need is a timer.

just be sure you did nt accidentally miss something.

Let it run and if you find this is the correct solution call my friends at

midwayparts.net they can get it too you. 1-877-500-5591

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much for all of your help! Just one last question before I click "accept": if I understand you correctly, all I do is click the timer every 8 hours, to keep it cooling, and, assuming I missed no steps, if that does in fact keep it running, I then know I need to order a timer?
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Yes ma am ,

I truly believe that is the correct answer.

 

Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12061
Experience: 15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
Bryan and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Thank you so very much, I really appreciate the accept.

 

If you have a difficult time getting your part just contact midway,,I know these guys,. They will do their best to help you thats why I do business with them.

You take care...It must be beautiful,,,I could only imagine.

 

Again thank you and thank you for using justanswer.

Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

o wow...........I dont know what to say.........Thank you so much. My grandaugthers will most certianly appreciate that.........o00ooo wow /

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
just thanks for all your help!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
You are most welcome. Thank you for using Just answer.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well, I guess it was too good to be true. I got up this morning, the freezer fan is still working but not blowing freezing air again - just cool air. The compressor is working but all of the copper wires are cold. I clicked the timer, went to work for a couple hours and came back to check and it is still just cool air, still cool copper wires. What now? Did I not click the timer enough? Too much? (How many times should I turn the timer when I turn it?) Did I wait too long? (I didn't click it again right at 8 hours as that would have been the middle of the night for me. I figured the little bit of food I put back in the fridge - there is nothing in the freezer - would be okay until morning so I clicked it about 12 hours later instead of 8 - did this screw everything up?) Help!! I unfortunately have to go back to work where I can check my email for your response but cannot, obviously, do anything with the fridge until I can come back again - sometime this afternoon I can take another break. It is 11 am my time right now. I'm about to snap. I was supposed to do my taxes Tuesday night but have been working on this fridge issue ever since. In addition, I'm getting really behind at work. Please help. Thanks.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

If the compressor is running there is not a need to turn the timer. It shuts off the compressor at usually 8 hour intervals and defrosts the coils in the freezer for about

15 minutes and then resumes the cooling cycle.

About the only thing left to do is to remove the panel in the back of the freezer. With the unit unplugged. Get everything in there out of your way including the fan make sure the

wires are clear of everything or taped would be better. Plug it in and give it 5 minutes. You will be looking for those coils in the freezer to turn white. If that does nt happen and the compressor is running thats very bad. It will either need a freon leak repair or a compressor.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

OK - but just in case: is there anyway that the problem could be the fact that we never put the fridge back together? What I mean is, since we were hoping that it was the timer but I wasn't going to order the timer unless clicking the timer every 8 hours was keeping the thing running, I never put the rest of the parts back on. The panel and everything off of the inside of the back of the freezer has remained off - meaning the fan is completely exposed - and the back panel of the unit itself has remained off. I did this in case it wasn't the timer and we had to take it all apart again, we may as well leave it apart. But, the fans, compressor, timer etc are all in place. By any chance, would that make any difference? (she asked hopefully...)

Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

diagrams.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm not sure what you're asking me
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Although it does not work as well with the back off it should get cool. We

used to rebuild them and we always took the back off to clean and test

then we did not reassemble them until we were sure they would work for

a few days. It should be getting cold. What throws me the curve is that one

line was hot and the other was cold. Are you sure the compressor is nt kicking

off?

That drawing helps me keep track and gives you something to use in case

you need it.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I didn't check to see if the compressor was working before I clicked the timer. I thought I was just supposed to click it every 8 hours regardless. I only know it was running when I left home at 11 am. I will be going home again in about an hour and a half which is about 8 hours since I clicked the timer last time. I will see if it clicks off and get back in touch with you. Thanks for the drawing - it does help!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

I understand. You are welcome. Its the least I could do.

 

Check those lines again too. If one is hot and the other is cold it must be at some point either kicking off or clogging up however clogging and unclogging is so rare I think I have only seen that once or twice.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm home now - the freezer is again blowing freezing air (I think it's that cold - it is empty but I'm going to put an ice cube tray in there to test it) and the lines are one hot/one cold. So, I'm going to just see if the compressor kicks off again, reclick the timer if it does, and see what happens. I appreciate your help and will get back to you again if it doesn't turn out to be, as we originally thought, a faulty timer.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Has it frozen yet?

Sorry I was so long, I will try to stay around a bit.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The ice is frozen, the compressor is still working, one hot/one cold line, fridge is keeping the few drinks I have in there cold - I am at a loss as to what happened/needs to happen. I did not have to click the timer - I found the air flow this way when I got home. It has been well over 8 hours since I've touched the timer. There is a small amount of frost on the fat, silver, brushy looking coils in the back of the freezer compartment (still uncovered as we've not put the freezer completely back together yet) but all looks well. Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Ok thats really good news.....There are a few other things that can cause this as well.

First let me describe the timer again. It may have gotten stuck or there could be a loose connection on the timer. If you find you have to dig into it if it is a loose connection on the

timer the wire up next to the timer will have discolored. Again these wires are carrying

electricity at all times so be careful. There are different timers it could be a 10 or 12 hour

or it could have already cycled and kicked on again.

 

I have seen cold controls the one in the fresh food compartment get a bad spot if its left

at a setting for a very long time. Moving the control one way or the other should cure that. If you find this is the case you will need a cold control.

Loose wires at the cold control.

Loose or burned connections at the compressor normally you will be able to see that

after the cover is removed.

No matter what you do to try to find the problem you run the risk of disabling the unit. There is not a way around it.

But at least its repairable if you can find the problem.

And please remember. Everything in there has electricity at all times.

Oh and one more thing I am pretty sure there is a wiring harness connector in that panel that holds your cold control, it could be loose. I ll look to be sure and get back with that drawing. Give me just a bit.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks - I appreciate all of your help.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Look at the drawing there number 306 is where I would start. I think you will find your

short will be in there. Try and notice whats happening while your removing it. It could

be that main plug that connects up from that panel to the wall if the fridge.

 

If its not there take a look at everything else inside that panel.

 

 

Edit: I am off tomorrow if you don t feel up to it now. Does nt matter to me I m on here for another hour either way.

graphic

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much for all of your advice and your help - I do believe I will attempt this next effort tomorrow, however, because I absolutely must get my taxes done tonight. For the moment, I have no rotten food to deal with and a makeshift fridge in my bathtub!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

Good thinking.

 

Remind me to tell you about this thing when its all done. I remember working on these now. But for now we will leave it til the end as getting it repaired is the most important thing. We are taking photos tomorrow but should be done around noon eastern.

Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12061
Experience: 15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
Bryan and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

I do nt think you have to press accept anymore. I have never used the customer side but

I am pretty sure your question will stay open as long as needed.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK thanks - this is all new to me!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

There is nt a way to give it back. I ll ask around and see if there is something I don t know about the site.

I ll look for you tomorrow.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Don't worry about giving it back - we'll just catch up tomorrow.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
Ok I am in and out now and should be here the rest of the day.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well, at this point I just wish I could get the last 3 days of my life back. My husband finally hit land, called home, and let me know that he purchased the fridge at the local hardware store (there is one of those here, they just don't do repairs) and told me where the receipt was. I called the store, and they just delivered a brand new fridge. Now I have 2. One that needs work, but is taking up space, and a new one that I have to let "settle" for awhile before I can plug it in. If I had this knowledge back on Tuesday, I could have actually not come close to losing my mind! In any event, I really do appreciate all of your help. Perhaps I can donate the older fridge (yeah, less than 6 months old!) to some local organization that wants to finish the work that it needs. It seems a shame just to throw the whole thing out!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

I don t know what to say. I am so sorry.....I wished I could come there and fix it for you folks. I really would if I could.

 

You should be proud of yourself,,,how many ladies can say I know what a defrost timer is and what it does,,,I know how to tell if a compressor is working correctly or not or the first 3 things to check when a fridge is nt cold. Pretty impressive.

 

I can just tell you all are the nicest people. I have a business name at the bottom of the post you know. And if you want to continue of course I am here.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
That's very nice to say, thank you. I think I'm going to take a break from the fridge-biz for awhile. I'll just have a charity come get the old one and all of its parts and they can do with it as they will! The rest of my life has been quite neglected in my fridge repair time. But, I am quite glad to say that I DO know what to check for in a luke-warm fridge!
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.

I understand. You are probably the most well trained in Nome Alaska!

 

If you need me I m here.

Well Wishes

Bryan

 

Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
II meant I m impressed and I just never thought anyone could learn so fast....Not anything towards anyone that lives in that area. Just amazing.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you for the expeditious answer. It's good to know you're out there and awake in the wee hours when I finally have time to ask questions about my Jenn Air. Jean Riverhead, NY
< Last | Next >
  • Thank you for the expeditious answer. It's good to know you're out there and awake in the wee hours when I finally have time to ask questions about my Jenn Air. Jean Riverhead, NY
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • John

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    13453
    Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/docjohn174/2008-12-13_170143_johnask.jpg John's Avatar

    John

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    13453
    Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tomgoe/2011-01-04_021913_2008-03-03_183612_phpexrmok_c2pm.jpg Tom Goellner's Avatar

    Tom Goellner

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1293
    32 yrs. experience servicing major appliances and HVAC equipment.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MD/md2020/2012-6-6_20648_Selfpic.64x64.jpg Tyler Z.'s Avatar

    Tyler Z.

    Appliance Doc

    Satisfied Customers:

    58693
    9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SM/smitty1486/2011-3-1_0145_Snapshotofme1.64x64.png Kelly's Avatar

    Kelly

    Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    8783
    Highly accurate diagnostician with over 30 years experience!
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AP/appliance medic/2012-6-8_212544_Image4.64x64.jpg Appliance Medic's Avatar

    Appliance Medic

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7932
    Factory Trained CFC Technician
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TE/Teamcold/2012-6-15_15028_HomeRepairsquarecopy.64x64.jpg Barry G.'s Avatar

    Barry G.

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    6113
    27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TH/TheHomeSmithy/2011-8-13_11146_homesmithy.500x500.64x64.jpg The Home Smithy's Avatar

    The Home Smithy

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    6081
    30 years repairing appliances
 
 
 

Related Appliance Questions

Chat Now With An Appliance Technician
Bryan
Bryan
Tech/owner
11894 Satisfied Customers
15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.