Author Topic: Fridge freezer woes  (Read 1409 times)

Fridge freezer woes
« on: September 22, 2020, 05:26:23 pm »
Cost a lot american fridge freezer died yesterday 3 years 5 months from new. Control panel still illumated indicating temperature settings but no warning of failure huge design fault or pcb fault?  One of the freezers we had in the past was 25 years old when we got rid of it. Turkey crown, leg of lamb ya de ya de yada. A tad annoying. Any fault service £159.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 05:29:35 pm »
The frost-free fridge-freezers have lots of fans and heaters and stuffs to control them, all of which can stop them working, but are all repairable.

The actual cooling bit of all fridges and freezers is a sealed unit, the design of which hasn't changed for decades, and it very rarely goes wrong.
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hellymedic

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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 06:59:36 pm »
Sounds dreadful! Mum had trouble with her new Miele in the heatwave last year and had to wait AGES for a part. I works fine now.

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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 11:10:42 pm »
Expected life of the unit...talk to where you purchased it from.

Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 08:16:40 am »
I must admit that having separate under counter fridge and freezer was part of my thinking when considering breakdowns.  I wouldn't want both out of action at any one time and a quick visit to the local Heart Foundation shop in the town centre would provide a temporary replacement for either for very little hassle.

It's such a PITA when white goods go wonky.

Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2020, 07:51:42 pm »
Have to wait a week for the boffins to arrive.  >:(


 The scary scary bit is the cost of a new one has risen nearly five hundred quid since we bought ours.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 08:22:19 pm »
I must admit that having separate under counter fridge and freezer was part of my thinking when considering breakdowns.  I wouldn't want both out of action at any one time and a quick visit to the local Heart Foundation shop in the town centre would provide a temporary replacement for either for very little hassle.

It's such a PITA when white goods go wonky.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2020, 11:35:34 pm »
Unit is beyond economical repair and it cost me 8 days and another £160 to find that out which came as a bit of a shock. The FF is 3 years and five months old.  A replacement unit is approx £1,300 plus the usual disposal additions. There is a huge scam going on out there once you look into it. Most mainstream manufacturers offer 2 year guarantees  and this includes high end Miele and Leibherr et al. Top ups may be had by purchasers via expensive insurance plans, so  in essence the purchaser is paying for poor manufacturing quality. Some of these units are over £5k. No wonder the EU is bringing in 'must be repairable' legislation. Samsung seem to be the exception to the rule for certain products offering five year guarantees.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaces the Sale of Good Act and places the emphasis on the retailer to rectify the situation but I have to prove the unit was defective, so it comes down to what is reasonable.  Seems a bit unfair to me that it is the retailer in the frame, but thats how it is. They of course will say it is out of warranty. I feel that just over 3 years to be irrepairable is unreasonble for a large ticket item, however small claims courts are stymied by CV atm which makes taking this forward very problematic. In the meantime no damn FF so we cant really wait so looks like a straight loss.



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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2020, 12:13:10 am »
Did they tell you what had gone wrong?

I think that these things should be fixable, but if it is the compressor or cooling circuit, the fridge is basically built around that so it make repair effectively impossible.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2020, 12:21:15 am »
Yes a heat exchanger/condensor panel behind the freezer had pinholed with oil escaping and a control unit'sensor of some sort burning out which in turn had  burned and cracked the lining. What really surprised me is that there is no rising temperature alarm.

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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2020, 08:56:33 am »
Yes a heat exchanger/condensor panel behind the freezer had pinholed with oil escaping
If the heat exchanger has leaked, that is beyond the scope of most fridge repair places. I guess that all the refrigerant gas has leaked out and evaporated. The oil is all that remains.

It's extremely rare to get a leak like that, which is why they aren't made with repair in mind. Regassing a car aircon is easy as they are so much easier to get a leak on.

You could look and see if someone will fix the leak and regas the fridge. It's not commonly done but there may be companies that do it.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2020, 11:53:42 am »
Samsung seem to be the exception to the rule for certain products offering five year guarantees

I fear that my Samsung American style fridge freezer is on it's way out - the fridge section keeps freezing up (as in iceberg on the back wall originating from the cooling unit. It's manageable with a defrost every 6-10 months and I've now removed the shelf closest to the cooling unit, which has improved it a lot. I was having a massive downer on Samsung earlier in the year, until I realised that the unit is about 15 years old, and cost me nothing (my dad gave it to me second hand about 8 years ago).

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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2020, 11:54:04 am »
Ah, Samsung. We had a Samsung FF once. Pretty sure the same thing happened and it died right out of warranty. Also, I hated it and swore I'd never have another. https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=91433.msg1879338#msg1879338
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2020, 12:36:19 pm »
I fear that my Samsung American style fridge freezer is on it's way out - the fridge section keeps freezing up (as in iceberg on the back wall originating from the cooling unit. It's manageable with a defrost every 6-10 months and I've now removed the shelf closest to the cooling unit, which has improved it a lot
It may be a failed heater, or relay feeding the heater, or the fridge temperature sensor or some other component that can be replaced.

Also, when defrosting a frost-free fridge, make sure that you let it get properly warm. The actual cooling coils are hidden, and the only thing that carries cold to the food compartment is air blown by fans. If the visible ice has gone, there may still be ice blocking the cooling coils. The heating cycle of frost-free fridges may only work correctly for removing small amounts of ice from the cooling coils, and if something causes a complete blockage with ice, the normal running of the fridge won't remove it. Also the hidden cooling coils are deliberately arranged so that heat from them cannot escape without the fans running, so when defrosting, the coils will take far longer to melt than the visible ice that will gain heat from the room as soon as you leave the doors open.

I fixed one that was freezing up where a relay on the control board had welded contacts, resulting in the fridge needing defrosting regularly. I never saw the fridge freezer, as it was a colleague's, and he brought the control board to me to fix. Apparently there are other common faults in the control boards, and my colleague had bought a set of replacement capacitors for it. I changed them as well, but the ones I took out were fine. The relay was welded in on position and never operated.

The cooling system faults, of the type Carnardly has suffered, are very rare and should be just as likely on simple fridges as on complicated ones, because the cooling systems are virtually identical, don't have much in the way of new technology, and have proved to just work for decades in most cases.

Faults with freezing up are confined to frost-free fridges and freezers, and there are lots of bit for the defrost systems that can go wrong, but can be fixed.
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ian

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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2020, 09:33:22 am »
Our fridge-freezer is a Samsung and it's been fine for seven years now. I don't recall ever having a problem with any fridge-freezer (or washer or dishwasher for that matter). It does fancy frost-free stuff and spits out ice cubes. We did plan to get an American-size drive-thru one but despite there previously being one in the fridge-sized hole in the kitchen (when we came around to see the place before buying), they'd all grown a little in the interim and not one single model would now fit the gap. In the end we gave up, put a tall fridge somewhere else and put shelves up in the alcove. Still annoys me a bit. We did ask about making the alcove a bit bigger but then we'd have to move the stairs. Presumably to another house.

Generally, when stuff breaks out of warranty (which is fortunately rare in my experience), I find making a fuss with the manufacturer resulting in them agreeing to fix it.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2020, 11:39:29 am »
We have a Hotpoint chest freezer bought via a forummer (JT IIRC, but he's not been active for a long time) who sold such things and got us a pretty good discount. We also have a Beko fridge-freezer which was at Aunt Phyllis's bungalow and was much better than our old Beko fridge, if only because the fridge bit is now at eye level and you don't have to bend down to see what's going mouldy at the back. I don't know how old that is but I don't remember helping Phyllis buy it and most of the stuff that she had in her bungalow, which she moved into 17 years ago, would have come with her from her previous house or I would have probably been involved in the purchase.

When we started ordering a week's food at a time via delivery/click & collect we were finding that the veg was going bad before we could use it and there wasn't room in the Beko fridge, so I forked out for a very nice Miele big fridge which I like very much. The Dez & Alex moved out and there are only two of us, so we are over-endowed in the fridge-freezer department. The Beko ff will go do Dez eventually. At the moment he's renting and there's a pretty crappy fridge freezer as part of the deal.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2020, 10:30:28 am »
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaces the Sale of Good Act and places the emphasis on the retailer to rectify the situation but I have to prove the unit was defective, so it comes down to what is reasonable.  Seems a bit unfair to me that it is the retailer in the frame, but thats how it is. They of course will say it is out of warranty. I feel that just over 3 years to be irrepairable is unreasonble for a large ticket item, however small claims courts are stymied by CV atm which makes taking this forward very problematic. In the meantime no damn FF so we cant really wait so looks like a straight loss.

Still worth contacting them - I'd expect (reputable) retailers to be fairly clear on their obligations and to have a policy on this to avoid CRA/SOGA claims.

Obviously it's a much lower cost item, but when our last microwave packed up the seller gave a part refund without any real argument. (Cost £40 from Sainsbury's online in October 2012, one year warranty, failed in July 2015, £25 refund offered and accepted.)

Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2020, 10:40:28 am »
I have contacted the retailer and they are contacting the manufacturer. " It is difficult as it is out of warranty".  I was able to give them the repair reference number arranged via the manufacturer (LG) so we will see. Difficult to know what to do in the meantime. We have a small chest freezer but no fridge atm, full replacement units in my price range are a bit thin on the ground and this for a range of manufacturers. I may buy a basic small fridge to tide us over. I think that people will get a nasty shock when they start looking at quality brand replacement prices. In line with Ian's comments above I may have to have kitchens units amended to accept a stacked fridge freezer model. I am minded to buy a Liebherr replacement if my LG complaint is rejected. Leibherr however do not do the usual 90/91cm side by side American FF models.
Edit just found that Liebherr do 91cm FF. Its £5,500  :hand:
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2020, 12:41:40 pm »
Received an email from LG today cancelling the cost of the repair as they can't do one. Nothing else. mmmm.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2020, 01:07:10 pm »
I have contacted the retailer and they are contacting the manufacturer. " It is difficult as it is out of warranty".

If the retailer agrees it should last longer then they're on the hook for replacing / repairing it.

The warranty is there to cover the retailer's arse, not yours.

Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2020, 01:45:47 pm »
There's a general "merchantable quality" in the Sale of Goods Act, IIRC. It won't help you for a fridge if there's a crack in a bit of plastic at 3 years, but for total breakdown, that isn't something you would expect in that time.

The repair / replace would be at the merchant's discretion. It's their decision to make the fridge so that the cooling circuit can't be fixed, and that's the right decision in my opinion because they are so reliable. But it is only fair that they should bear the costs of failure (i.e replacing yours) as they have reaped the benefits of that decision (cheaper manufacture and probably better reliability for the vast majority).

IINAL so it might be worth speaking to Citizens' Advice.
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2020, 09:59:36 pm »
Interestingly this produict has a sealed system warranty of 7 years in the US (parts). So........ in terms of what is reasonable......
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Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2020, 09:09:23 am »
For a quick temporary replacement, freecycle can be useful.

When we moved into this house, remodelling the ktichen was on the priority list. We considered a big American style one, but decided to go with a tall build-in fridge/freezer plus a built-in under-counter fridge (the latter is mainly used for drinks and overflow from the main food one), and a small freezer in the garage (that had come from our old house). We thus have redundancy in case of failure, and capacity to store plenty of food so we don't have to shop too often in busy periods. It is a bit of overkill now the kids are rarely here, but was very useful when we had a house full of kids and their friends staying over.

Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2020, 09:55:54 am »
Interestingly this produict has a sealed system warranty of 7 years in the US (parts). So........ in terms of what is reasonable......

Does the retailer know this?  It is very persuasive in terms of expected life and durability and information that should be used to this effect. 

Of course, somebody along the chain may claim that the guts of the non US market versions are of a lower standard but that could turn out to be a "Ratner" declaration and come back to haunt them.  Wouldn't help bozo&co in their pursuit of the best, world-beating trade deal if it was to become public knowledge either.

Re: Fridge freezer woes
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2020, 05:10:42 pm »
I have bought a simple Bosch FF for now. Cant get hold of suitable Miele or Liebherr atm.  I will not buy another American FF. We will use the new one until it dies and amend the kitchen cabs for a different use profile. No response from retailer or LG re complaint. LG did however refund the repair call out cost. In view of CV 19 and the courts having a huge back log I will have to let it go I think. Also due to recent changes you now pay double court fees if you lose the case.  I am however determined that we will never use the brand again, or the electrical outlet concerned, as it just does not make economic sense (and I can be a stubborn so and so).

Cooincidentally there has been a recent  class action case in the US regarding the short life being experienced with LG cooling kit costing up to $7000. So its not just me folks. (says warranty is five years not 7 could be a labour plus part v parts thing). If a repair had been successful I would not be complaining at all. So a poor show all round. I might just have a small stand by FF in the garage in future, good idea.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/lg-refrigerator-class-action-lawsuit/
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