Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Monday, July 31, 2017

Refrigerator


My custom refrigerator dust getter. Made by taping a short piece of aquarium tubing to the end of a standard vacuum cleaner crevice tool. I used electrical tape to connect the two.
Our 25 year old refrigerator has given up the ghost. It's been leaking water, off and on, little drips and drabs for a month now. And a couple of weeks ago the freezer quit freezing. Yesterday I finally got a round toit and cleaned out the dust from the evaporator coils on the under side of the fridge. It was bad, I hadn't bothered to give it a thorough cleaning since we bought it. How can you tell anyway? Everything is painted black, and it's dark underneath there. I spent a couple of hours vacuuming, blowing dust with the air compressor, mopping up the mess the compressed air made and then doing it all over again. I even made a special tool to get through the outer grill of wires and tubes. I got a heck of a lot of dust out of there, and spread dust all over the downstairs. Put it back together, plugged it in and let it run for 12 hours. I felt for sure that getting the dust out would cure it, but such was not the case.

Our new fridge, a Frigidaire Gallery 22.6 Cu. Ft. French Door Counter-Depth Refrigerator DGHF2360PF
It used to be that in a such a case I would redouble my efforts until I had completely disassembled the fridge and rebuilt it to my exacting standards. Only then, when it still failed to freeze would I have  considered throwing in the towel. Maybe I have gained a little wisdom is my old age, or maybe I have just learned to listen to my wife, or maybe that is the same thing.

So we went to Hutchins TV & Appliance this afternoon and bought a new one. I find appliance stores are good for us because they have salesmen on hand who are willing to talk about their products. I don't care much for such conversations, I prefer a spreadsheet with the facts, but my wife is more verbal and she likes to talk about these things, and salesmen are perfectly happy to do that. Besides her concerns are different than mine. For example, at first she wanted black stainless steel, but defiant daughter talked her out that, for which I am glad. I suspect this 'black stainless' is fad that will last a couple of years until some really ugly examples start showing up. Might not be anything wrong with the finish, but it is new, and special, not 'standard', and therefor suspect.

Interesting thing about stainless refrigerators: stainless steel is not magnetic, so your cute little refrigerator magnets will not stick to the refrigerator door as they have been doing since time immemorial. Horrors! This cannot be! Well it is, and it isn't. Different manufacturers have taken different approaches to the problem. Frigidaire has backed their stainless steel skins with a sheet of regular steel, so the magnets still stick. Whirlpool (or is it GE?) concocted a special blend of stainless steel that is magnetic, so the magnets still stick. GE (or is it Whirlpool?) said phooey on this whole magnet business, we are the future after all, and integrated a touch screen into the door.

Poking around for an explanation, I found this:
Austenitic stainless steels (such as a typical 300 series) are non-magnetic, whereas martensitic stainless steels (such as a typical 400 series) are magnetic. - Brian Barnhart
Rumor has it that when consumer appliances with stainless steel skins first started to appear, they were prone to smudging, but now we have smudge resistant finishes. I wonder just what the heck they are doing to make them smudge resistant, and how thick is the stainless steel skin on Frigidaire refrigerator? I suspect it may be only a few thousandths of an inch thick, kind of like aluminum foil.

There is also a problem with ice dispensers in these 'portal' refrigerators. The top portion of the refrigerator is refrigerated, not frozen, but the ice dispenser is up there as well. How do you deal with this? You install a minature freezer inside the fridge. Some companies put them in the door, which limits their ice capacity. In our fridge, the ice maker and ice storage are in a box hanging from the inside top.

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