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Fridge Repairs Sydney > Tips

Kelvinator, Westinghouse, Samsung, Whirlpool and Fisher & Paykel Model Number Locations

A common location for the model number plate is on the bottom front edge of the cabinet, possibly behind the kick plate. Another possible area is inside the fridge on the side or back wall or front edge of the refrigerator ceiling panel. It may be necessary to remove the crisper drawers to view the tag when located on the interior cabinet side.

Transporting of Fridges and Freezers

If you have to transport the fridge you can lay it on its side. It's best if the hinges are at the top so the doors don't fall open. After moving, you should leave it stand upright at least an hour before plugging it in. This is because when horizontal, the oil in the compressor will seep into the refrigerant lines plugging them, Also by starting the unit when there is insufficient oil in the compressor will seize the motor/compressor and it won't ever start again. The idea is to give it time to let the oil settle back into the compressor harmlessly. However, the less time it's on its side the better.

Cleaning

Exterior cabinet cleaning should only be done with a car shampoo with normal p.H. or warm soap and a soft cloth and no sprays like (spray & wipe etc) as they may contain ammonia and tend to cause some rusting of the doors and cabinet. Outer cabinet and paintwork can also be polished & waxed to seal to surface yearly with car wax. Do not leave unit running for extended periods of time with doors open when cleaning, best to turn it off till finished.

Do Not Fit Door locks / Padlocks

Do not drill holes into the cabinet to install a padlock. The condenser coils welded inside the cabinet will likely be punctured. The refrigerant gas will then leak out and the unit will require major repairs.

On going Problems

Some people are embarrassed to mention problems from other company’s or service people, be honest with the service technician and inform them of previous services or of failed attempts. They will find out eventually, better you don't waste their time and your money diagnosing everything instead of getting right to the problem.

On Holidays

If you're planning to leave a refrigerator unplugged or turned off for a length of time, be sure to keep both doors ajar. Put something between the door gaskets and the front frame of the cabinet like a rag and use masking tape to hold the doors in place. Moist air trapped inside the fridge will produce mould and mildew that will be very difficult to clean out.

Do not leave your freezer unplugged for a lengthy time (years). The condenser coils welded inside some cabinets are made of steel, while running they are kept hot evaporating moisture. When not operational, they are exposed to the moisture and rust out. The refrigerant gas then leaks out and major repairs are required.

Reducing Wear and Tear

When storing items in the door, place the heaviest items closest to the hinge side. This will minimize the distance these items travel when the door is opened and closed, reducing stress on the door and inner door panel.

Defrosting with Care

To increase cooling efficiency and reduce power consumption on a manual-defrost fridge, defrost it often. However, DO NOT use a sharp object to break up the ice. The gas refrigerant travels through tubing moulded into the freezer box (evaporator), and is easily punctured. Major costly repairs will be required to fix it and if the fridge is not unplugged immediately, moisture will be drawn into the compressor. In this case it will certainly not be economical to repair.

Taking it Apart!

It is not usually possible to diagnose a problem if an appliance has already been disassembled. If you think you'll save the technician's time and your money by doing this, you are mistaken. In most cases, the appliance will have to be reassembled before a service technician can return in 24hrs to diagnose the problem.

Preventative Maintenance every 6 to 12 months

On frost-free models with a condenser fan motor, clean the dust from the fan and condenser area periodically. Excessive build-up can lead to premature compressor failure and does result in higher energy consumption. Remove power plug from the wall.

Fridge Door Seals - All rubber door seals should be given a light coat of petroleum jelly/vaseline or silicone spray to stop drying out and tearing and prevent replacement.

Westinghouse Refrigerators - Freezers 12 month service - Cabinets should be pulled out, turned off and remove power plug and rear pipe work/fan/compressor etc. should be cleaned out for dust and correct air flow with brush and vacuum, to stop premature compressor failures affected by overheating. Some models will need removal of compressor compartment cover, please refer to user’s manual.

Cleaning Exterior cabinet - Cleaning should only be done with a car shampoo with normal pH or warm soap and a soft cloth. Do not use sprays such as “Spray and Wipe” that contain ammonia as use of these may cause some rusting of the doors and cabinet when used.

Protecting Cabinet paintwork - Outer cabinet and paintwork can also be polished & waxed to seal the surface yearly using a good quality car wax as the paintwork on your refrigerator is similar to car paint enamel and such treatment prolongs and protects the surface of your appliance.

Cleaning Interior cabinet – Cleaning can be done with very mild detergent to remove all sticky dropped food items. Then wiped over with cleaning cloth and water. 
*Please Note: Do not clean your interior by leaving the doors open for extended periods of time with the fridge or freezer “On” while you remove all the shelves and give it a thorough clean. The refrigeration unit will try to run for long periods of time to overcome the heat source of air driven into the coil. The best option is to prepare your cleaning materials and clean the interior swiftly or turn off the appliance altogether to clean it.

Save money

Frequently clean the door gaskets and the mating refrigerator surface. Any sticky buildup will put added stress on the gasket material and lead to premature failure. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline or use some silicone spray on seals when clean every 12 months. This prevents the seals tearing and costing you replacements

Defrosting Your Freezer

  1. If you own a chest freezer or upright freezer and do not have an Automatic Defrost option on your freezer, you will need to make sure you defrost your freezer manually at least once or twice a year. The best time to defrost your freezer is when your supplies are at their lowest, and the ice is over 5mm thick.
  2. Before defrosting, you will have to remove all items from the freezer. You can store as much frozen food as you can in your fridge if there is room. Wrap up the rest in newspaper or cardboard, and put it in a portable cooler or a cool and well-ventilated location. Turn off the power and pull out the power plug.
  3. Put on some gloves, place some old towels down to collect water spills and gently scrape off as much ice as possible from the freezer with a wooden or plastic scraper (do not use metal items like knifes etc as it can damage the gas pipes). You can even sit a container of hot water inside the freezer to speed up the defrosting process. (do not place the metal hot water container on the bottom of your freezer touching the plastic liner or on any of the plastic shelves as it might cause some cracking due to the temperature change). Pouring warm water over the ice walls is not recommended, as with an upright freezer it can flood the floor around it and it can be very hard to collect a pool of water from the bottom of a chest freezer (some chest freezers do have a water plug you can remove near the bottom to release the water).

It is just as important to regularly clean your freezer, as it is to defrost it.  

  1. Once the ice has been removed, wipe the interior of the freezer with a solution of 1 level tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to 1.2 litres of warm water. Make sure you also wash all shelves and baskets before returning them to the freezer and wipe everything completely dry before turning it back on! 
  2. The Black Condenser coils at the back of the freezer should also be cleaned at least once a year preferably before summer and kept free of all dust and spiders weds etc.
  3. After defrosting and cleaning, turn on the freezer and leave for one hour before repacking it to help the unit settle down and reach the desired temperature.
  4. The exterior of your freezer/fridge can also be kept clean quite easily by wiping it with a damp cloth. For stubborn stains use alittle metholated spirits or gumpton followed by a rub with a soft cloth and silicone car polish.
  5. When positioning your freezer, also ensure it is not exposed to direct sunlight or next to a hot object such as a stove or against an. Also allow for a clearance of at least 80mm between the coil at the back of the freezer and the wall. Refer to manufacturer's instructions for exact details.