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FFTR1821QB0 Frigidaire Refrigerator - Burning Smell from Freezer

AnthonyF

Premium Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
8
Location
USA
Model Number
FFTR1821QB0
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
6-10 years
Hello and first thanks for looking at this and being willing to help. We have a frigidaire FFTR1821QB0 refrigerator without an ice maker. We are noticing that when the refrigerator goes into the defrost cycle we have a strong smell coming from it of burning plastic. The smell is only detectable in the defrost cycle it is absent otherwise. It still functions normally and gets cool. We have seen no smoke coming from the unit. Would anyone have any idea how we could diagnose the problem and make the repair?


Thank you in advance.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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McMullen Valley, Arizona
Another member posted the same thing a couple of weeks ago:
You likely have a plastic bag in the lower vent inside the freezer touching the defrost heating element too.:)

Take everything out of the freezer and check.

Jake
 

AnthonyF

Premium Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
8
Location
USA
Thank you for your response. The smell has gotten progressively worse and we did what you asked of us we took everything out and the smell in the freezer was really bad. We moved the food into a couple of coolers, and we allowed the refrigerator /freezer to defrost outside. Once defrosted we checked the vents and there was no obstructions. We took the back off and looked at the heating element as that was the resolution in the link you referenced. This is what we found and we need to know what you think about it and if its something we can safely handle.

From looking at it, it would appear to me to need a new heating element. However the connection doesn't look good either. It looks like the tape was what was melting. Again any help you can give us would be appreciated.
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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Yes, your defrost heater has burnt out.

Here's the defrost heater for your model you can order:
242044020 Defrost Heater


It looks like the tape was what was melting.
That's not black tape.:)

The manufacturers will sometimes use a piece of black permagum (plumbers putty) around the cap tube and muffler where refrigerant enters the evaporator. It's an added layer of sound protection to keep the sound (if any) of refrigerant boiling (gurgling) to a minimum. You can remove it completely without any problems or you can warm it up to room temperature and remold it around the same spot.

Jake
 

AnthonyF

Premium Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
8
Location
USA
Thank you Jake, for all your help so far. Will order that part momentarily.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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Ok Anthony, sounds good.

Let us know how it goes.

Jake
 

AnthonyF

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Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
8
Location
USA
Hi Jake, I got the new defrost heater in and in place pictures below. When I turned it on everything sounded right; however, now its not cooling down very much. A clear 13 hours later, the cool down is very weak on a high setting. Both the freezer and the refrigerator is having the problem (this is also new, it wasn't doing this before). I did make certain everything was reconnected including the ground wire before closing it back up. Any ideas?
 

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Jake

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Ok Anthony,

Put it all back together, your evaporator fan too needs to be in place, and put the back panel back in place and it should cool fine.

Jake
 

AnthonyF

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Apr 6, 2020
Messages
8
Location
USA
I did actually and its not. We ran it for about 18 hours and the cool down was tepid at best in both the freezer and the refrigerator now. Like I said that is new, it wasn't doing this before. Now its not cooling down very much at all. The fans do seem to be going as there is cold air being blown out them just not cold enough to decrease the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer to useful temperatures. Some more information, when it is turned on the fan goes at first and I hear a gurgling noise coming from behind the panel. The fan usually stops almost immediately but the noise of a liquid flowing is pretty much persistent. Any ideas?
 
Last edited:

AnthonyF

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Apr 6, 2020
Messages
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Location
USA
Jake I tried running it again for 10 hours and opened it up to photograph what was happening behind the panel this is what I got. I also noticed that the fan wasn't on. Not sure if this should be on or not ( it wasn't to an acceptible temperature either). The freezing point seemed to be limited to where the tube went into the styrofoam insert to the left. Nothing else felt as though it was getting cold.
 

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Jake

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You have a sealed system problem Anthony, Look at the photos below.

Frost Patterns.jpg


Jake
 

AnthonyF

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Apr 6, 2020
Messages
8
Location
USA
Jake can anything be done to trouble shoot this or is this something I need to consider either replacing the unit or call a repair man for?
 

Jake

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Ok Anthony,

The sealed system consists of the compressor, condenser, evaporator, heat exchanger, filter/drier and refrigerant. Common problems with a sealed system are bad compressors, refrigerant leaks, and system restrictions. Sealed system repair costs will often exceed the machines value.

Jake
 

AnthonyF

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Apr 6, 2020
Messages
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Location
USA
Thank you Jake, to the dump it goes... its a shame that it costs so much to repair. Seems wasteful but what to do.
 

Jake

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They will recycle it at the metal yard.

Jake
 
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