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FIXED Frigidaire Refrigerator FGHT1834KW2 - seems to run constantly and a second issue (see photos)

Grissom

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Silicon Valley
Model Number
FGHT1834KW2
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
More than 10 years
I am a new member here and I am hoping someone can give me some information as to what may be wrong with my refrigerator.

I bought this refrigerator new in 2010 and it is at our cabin so it does not get much use given its age. It still looks like new except for what is shown in the photos

Problem 1: Just recently I realized that the fridge seems to be running constantly unlike my fridge at home which will cycle off. I called customer service for advice and they told me to unplug it for an hour and then plug it back in and check after 2 to 3 hrs. He said the freezer should be at 6 degrees and the fridge 37 - it was -8 and 30 when I checked. None of my drinks showed any sign of them beginning to freeze in the fridge.
The fridge has always cooled the food in both compartments

The fridge never cycled off

Could this be a bad defrost timer?

Problem 2 (see photos) : This fridge when it was still under the warranty period had a problem and they repaired it by putting a copper line on the exterior wall from the compressor up to the top and covered it with the sheet metal shroud

When I pulled the fridge out to do some dusting I found what is shown in the photos. The frost on the copper line which rusted the back panel of the fridge and dripped onto the floor.

Is it frosting over because it is not insulated? Only the upper 2/3rds of the line appeared to have frost

Any advice would greatly be appreciated

Thanks

IMG_6118[1].JPG IMG_6120[1].JPG
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,025
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Here's our main thread on this issue:

Jake
 

Grissom

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Silicon Valley
Yes, I did see and read that thread

Any suggestions for problem #1

My place is in area with no factory service available

Thank you
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,025
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Yes, for Problem #1 its your temperature control thermostat that is the culprit.

Here's the temperature control thermostat for your model:
Temperature Control Thermostat 241537103


There is a video in the temperature control thermostat part link that shows you how to replace it.

Jake
 
Last edited:

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
134,025
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Anytime!

Jake
 

Grissom

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Silicon Valley
I ended up replacing the defrost timer (just in case) and temp control thermostat. The fridge seems to be operating normally again.
I will need to make a tray in order to catch the bit of water dripping from when the copper tube frosts over and then defrosts

Thanks again Jake for your help!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,025
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Excellent, glad to hear that.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Here's the defrost timer for your model, in case others need it too:
Defrost Timer 215846604


Jake
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,969
Location
Ontario, Canada
Pardon me for budding in but...

I will need to make a tray in order to catch the bit of water dripping from when the copper tube frosts over and then defrosts

That tubing shouldn't be frosting.

when it was still under the warranty they repaired it by putting a copper line on the exterior wall from the compressor up to the top and covered it with the sheet metal shroud

It sounds like they added an external heat exchanger in place of an original internal one.

That line up the rear is the "heat exchanger". It has a capillary tube welded/soldered to a thicker 1/4" (or 5/16") copper tubing called the suction line making the "heat exchanger". When that weld between those 2 lines breaks down the two separate, usually causing frost to develop on it. That problem is referred to as a 'split' heat exchanger.

Heater Exchanger
EDC61291-8683-4EF7-BF3F-ED24600784C6.jpeg 9ECD878A-B661-4EBF-8DF3-EAC3658CB08D.png

That condition also often causes the fridge to run excessively. Each time the fridge shuts off the frost buildup melts and if it leaks onto metal, that metal can rust.

I will need to make a tray in order to catch the bit of water dripping from when the copper tube frosts over and then defrosts

The solution for a 'split' heat exchanger is to replace that tubing ($$$+) or more cost effectively, try to refasten the capillary tube to the suction line so it doesn't frost any longer and then reinsulate it using ArmaFlex, etc. or similar pipe insulation.


Someone might want to cut back a bit of the insulation on the heat exchanger and look at the weld on the tubing beneath to see if it is still attached to each other or separated.

JMO

Dan O.
 

Grissom

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Silicon Valley
That tubing shouldn't be frosting.

That line up the rear is the "heat exchanger". It has a capillary tube welded/soldered to a thicker 1/4" (or 5/16") copper tubing called the suction line making the "heat exchanger". When that weld between those 2 lines breaks down the two separate, usually causing frost to develop on it. That problem is referred to as a 'split' heat exchanger.

IMG_6133[1].JPG

I believe it is fully attached together from the base to the top but I will need to double check the next time I go up there.

When I took the metal shroud off (see first original photo) there was no form of insulation.

Assuming that it is together - If I were to insulate the copper tubing would that solve the line frosting / defrosting and dripping?

Thanks Dan - now I know what that part is called
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
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Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,969
Location
Ontario, Canada
I believe it is fully attached together from the base to the top

The pic does look that way.

there was no form of insulation.

I've never seen an exposed heat exchanger not insulated. IMO insulation should have been installed on it when that line was installed.

Assuming that it is together - If I were to insulate the copper tubing would that solve the line frosting / defrosting and dripping?

The line outside the cabinet shouldn't frost at all but insulation might help. If the line isn't separated, there might be a chance the refrigerator was overcharged when originally serviced.

If the insulation you use can be sealed together, you might be able to catch any future dripping just at the very bottom and prevent more cabinet rusting.

Dan O.
 

Grissom

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Silicon Valley
That line up the rear is the "heat exchanger". It has a capillary tube welded/soldered to a thicker 1/4" (or 5/16") copper tubing called the suction line making the "heat exchanger". When that weld between those 2 lines breaks down the two separate, usually causing frost to develop on it. That problem is referred to as a 'split' heat exchanger.

That condition also often causes the fridge to run excessively. Each time the fridge shuts off the frost buildup melts and if it leaks onto metal, that metal can rust.

Update: I went back up there and inspected the tubing and found that there is about a 6" long split between the two tubes, it starts where it exits the top part of the Fridge going downward.

Would that be enough to cause the frosting?
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,969
Location
Ontario, Canada
It could very well. It should be tight together most of the way outside the cabinet and a bit inside the cabinet too although I don't know if you can do much about that bit but maybe a zip tie (see below) can be used to hold it together.

We would try reattaching the capillary tube.

Turn the fridge off. Dry the lines thoroughly. Once dry, clean the tubing surfaces (especially in between) as best you can with steel wool (not SOS) or Emory cloth.

Then wrap the two lines tightly together again using electrical tape or other. You could try a little heat-sink compound between the tubing (not absolutely necessary). A couple nylon zip ties could also be used to help hold them tight if you have a zip tie tightening tool.

zip tie gun.jpg pipe insulation.jpg

Make sure the hole through the cabinet is sealed tightly and recover (or in your case, cover) the heat exchanger with pipe insulation.

Dan O.
 

Grissom

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Silicon Valley
Make sure the hole through the cabinet is sealed tightly and recover (or in your case, cover) the heat exchanger with pipe insulation.

IMG_6717[1].JPG

This is what it looks like and they had used some sort of putty to seal the hole when they made the repair
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,969
Location
Ontario, Canada
That's probably permagum and fine. Just make sure it hasn't deteriorated due to all the moisture. Replace or reseal after service as necessary.

Dan O.
 
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